To date, Iran is the only country in the region actually fighting against Islamic State on both fronts, the one in Syria defending Bashar Assad's government, which Iran has supported since the beginning of the uprising in Syria, and the other front in Iraq opposing the Sunni Islamic State. On the face of it, this suggests that a strategic alliance of Iran with the United States might benefit both. read more
The Western opposition to Russian- speakers in Ukraine seeking the right to some form of autonomy has been extraordinary. Few of our politicians and commentators would even think of condemning the moves in Scotland, Catalonia or Quebec seeking independence, or the many moves to autonomy based on cultural, language or historical differences within the EU nations. Even nations without such differences, such as the U.S. or Australia, see the federation of partly self-governing units as a better form of government. read more
Charlotte Alfred, Huffington Post: The Islamic State seems to have a flexible, logistical supply chain. It's not one line, but weapons made in different years and from different countries. All these different types suggest a lot of points of supply. There are several possibilities. One way is an Islamic State fighter buys ammunition on the civil market in his country and it is brought with fighters as they come. Or it's more organized -- the Islamic State may buy foreign weapons from a broker. We can't be positive about this.
Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov queried why the recordings from the plane's black boxes had not been released publicly and said he had the impression that "everyone else has lost interest in the investigation."
Dutch investigators leading the probe said early this month that they would release an initial report "in a few weeks." read more
New York: When the bodies of three Israeli teens, kidnapped in the West Bank, were found late last month, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu did not mince words. "Hamas is responsible, and Hamas will pay," he said, initiating a campaign that eventually escalated into the present conflict in the region. But now, officials admit the kidnappings were not Hamas's handiwork after all. "After Israel's top leadership exhaustively blamed Hamas for kidnap of three teens, they've now admitted killers were acting as 'lone cell,'" reports Sheera Frenkel of BuzzFeed. After talking to Israel Police Foreign Press Spokesman Mickey Rosenfeld, Jon Donnison of the BBC reported, "men who killed three Israeli teens [definitely] lone cell, Hamas affiliated but not operating under leadership. Seems to contradict the line from Netanyahu government." read more