The Great Debate

When it comes to Vladimir Putin and Islamic State, trust but verify

By Gregory Feifer
November 18, 2015
Russian President Vladimir Putin smiles during a session of the Valdai International Discussion Club in Krasnaya Polyana, Sochi, Russia, October 22, 2015. Putin said on Thursday he had asked his Syrian counterpart Bashar al-Assad how he would view an armed opposition force that was genuinely ready to combat Islamic State militants. REUTERS/Alexei Druzhinin/RIA Novosti/Kremlin ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY. IT IS DISTRIBUTED, EXACTLY AS RECEIVED BY REUTERS, AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS. - RTS5OQ8

Russian President Vladimir Putin smiles during a session of the Valdai International Discussion Club in Krasnaya Polyana, Sochi, Russia, October 22, 2015. REUTERS/Alexei Druzhinin/RIA Novosti/Kremlin

Islamic State and the ‘management of savagery’

By Emad Mostaque
November 17, 2015
Islamic State militants lead what are said to be Ethiopian Christians along a beach in Wilayat Barqa, in this still image from an undated video made available on a social media website on April 19, 2015. The video purportedly made by Islamic State and posted on social media sites on Sunday appeared to show militants shooting and beheading about 30 Ethiopian Christians in Libya. Reuters was not able to verify the authenticity of the video but the killings resemble past violence carried out by Islamic State, an ultra-hardline group which has expanded its reach from strongholds in Iraq and Syria to conflict-ridden Libya. Libyan officials were not immediately available for comment. Ethiopia said it had not been able to verify whether the people shown in the video were its citizens. REUTERS/Social Media Website via Reuters TV ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS PICTURE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY VIDEO. REUTERS IS UNABLE TO INDEPENDENTLY VERIFY THE AUTHENTICITY, CONTENT, LOCATION OR DATE OF THIS IMAGE. THIS PICTURE IS DISTRIBUTED EXACTLY AS RECEIVED BY REUTERS, AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS.  - RTR4XX9A

Islamic State militants lead what are said to be Ethiopian Christians along a beach in Wilayat Barqa, in this still from an undated video, released April 19, 2015. REUTERS/Social Media Website via Reuters TV

The clues Islamic State left behind in the Paris attacks will cost it dearly

By John Prados
November 17, 2015
Belgian police use an extended camera to look into an apartment as they stage a raid, in search of suspected muslim fundamentalists linked to the deadly attacks in Paris, in the Brussels suburb of Molenbeek, November 16. 2015.    REUTERS/Yves Herman - RTS7BPP

Belgian police use an extended camera to look into an apartment in a raid linked to the deadly Paris attacks, in the Brussels suburb of Molenbeek, November 16. 2015. REUTERS/Yves Herman

Paris attacks: What would it take for U.S. boots to hit the ground in Syria?

By Peter Van Buren
November 16, 2015
U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter rides on a Chinook helicopter during his visit to Baghdad, Iraq, July 23, 2015. U.S. Defense Secretary Carter made a surprise visit to Baghdad on Thursday to assess the campaign against Islamic State, as Iraq advances plans to retake the fallen capital of Sunni-dominated Anbar province. REUTERS/Carolyn Kaster/Pool - RTX1LK0P

U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter rides on a Chinook helicopter during his visit to Baghdad, Iraq, July 23, 2015. REUTERS/Carolyn Kaster/Pool

Paris attacks: The West’s fatal misunderstanding of Islamic State

By Rasha Elass
November 15, 2015
ATTENTION EDITORS - VISUAL COVERAGE OF SCENES OF INJURY OR DEATHGeneral view of the scene with rescue service personnel working near covered bodies outside a restaurant following shooting incidents in Paris, France, November 13, 2015.   REUTERS/Philippe Wojazer      TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY      - RTS6W3I

A general view of the scene outside a restaurant following shooting incidents in Paris, France, November 13, 2015. REUTERS/Philippe Wojazer

The state of play in the Syria talks (round 58692)

By Marco Vicenzino
November 13, 2015
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov (L) and US Secretary of State John Kerry (R) listen while UN Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura (C) speaks during a news conference at the Grand Hotel in Vienna, October 30, 2015. U.S. Secretary of State Kerry said on Friday he hoped progress could be made at international talks in Vienna aimed at finding a political solution to Syria's four-year-old civil war but it would be very difficult. REUTERS/Brendan Smialowski/Pool - RTX1U17Z

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov (L) and Secretary of State John Kerry (R) listen as UN Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura (C) speaks during a news conference at the Grand Hotel in Vienna, October 30, 2015. REUTERS/Brendan Smialowski/Pool

Podcast: The true horrors of life under Islamic State

By Matthew Gault
November 11, 2015
Participants: Jason Fields, Matthew Gault, Kevin Sullivan

Many in the West think of the Islamic State as a loose collection of fighters — rabble who kill, loot and burn. But the truth is more complex, though no less terrifying. Islamic State actually governs the territory it takes and it’s not terrible at it. The group levies taxes, teaches children and organizes garbage pickup.

Who’s in charge of the migrants arriving in Greece? The answer will surprise you.

By Tania Karas
November 10, 2015
A volunteer signals to a raft carrying refugees and migrants as they approach the shores of the Greek island of Lesbos, November 9, 2015. Since the start of the year, over 590,000 people have crossed into Greece, the frontline of a massive westward population shift from war-ravaged Syria and beyond. REUTERS/Alkis Konstantinidis - RTS63YV

A volunteer signals to a raft carrying refugees and migrants as they approach the shores of the Greek island of Lesbos, November 9, 2015.  REUTERS/Alkis Konstantinidis

No one is coming to rescue Islamic State’s capital

By Aki Peritz
November 9, 2015
Militant Islamist fighters waving flags, travel in vehicles as they take part in a military parade along the streets of Syria's northern Raqqa province June 30, 2014. The fighters held the parade to celebrate their declaration of an Islamic "caliphate" after the group captured territory in neighbouring Iraq, a monitoring service said. The Islamic State, an al Qaeda offshoot previously known as Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), posted pictures online on Sunday of people waving black flags from cars and holding guns in the air, the SITE monitoring service said. Picture taken June 30, 2014.  REUTERS/Stringer (SYRIA - Tags: POLITICS CIVIL UNREST CONFLICT) - RTR3WKTZ

Militant Islamist fighters waving flags take part in a military parade in Syria’s northern Raqqa province, June 30, 2014. REUTERS/Stringer

Why the West should worry about Turkey

By Peter Marino
November 2, 2015
People wave flags and hold a portrait of Turkish President Erdogan as they wait for the arrival of Prime Minister Davutoglu in Ankara

People wave flags and hold a portrait of Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan as they wait for the arrival of Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu in Ankara, Turkey November 2, 2015. REUTERS/Umit Bektas