Middle East

Syria's Uprising : Opinion Brief
With Kofi Annan resigning as special envoy of the United Nations and Arab League, the U.S. could feel pressure to take action in Syria.

Kofi Annan quits on Syria: Is diplomacy dead?

The venerable statesman and envoy to Syria throws up his hands in frustration, all but guaranteeing that the bloody conflict will be settled on the battlefield

Syria's Uprising : The List
Demonstrators in Istanbul protest against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, who has launched a major assault on the rebel-held city of Aleppo.

What happens to Syria if Bashar al-Assad falls? 4 scenarios

American officials say the Syrian president's days are numbered — but don't expect his countrymen to join hands and start singing "Kumbaya" anytime soon

Syria's Uprising : Analysis
A woman receives a gas mask kit at a distribution center near Jerusalem: Given the Syrian government's possession of chemical weapons and the possibility that it might lose control of them, Israeli defense officials are trying to calm fears by passing out protection.

Did Syria just threaten to use its chemical weapons?

The Assad regime insists it won't use WMD against its own people, reserving them instead to counter "external" threats — but what exactly does that mean?

Syria's Uprising : Opinion Brief
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad pictured in Iran Oct. 2, 2010: The embattled president has reportedly taken refuge in his palace in the coastal city of Latakia after the July 18 bombing.

Assad leaves Damascus: Is he 'losing control'?

The Syrian regime struggles to recover from rebel advances and the shock of a bombing that killed three top security chiefs

Syria's Uprising : Opinion Brief
A 2011 photo shows Syrian President Bashar al-Assad with army leaders, including Defense Minister Daoud Rajha (front, right), who was killed in a rebel bombing July 18.

Syria's devastating bombing: A turning point?

A blast kills several of the architects of President Bashar al-Assad's battle against the opposition. Is this the beginning of the end?

Syria's Uprising : Instant Guide
A protester steps on a poster of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad during demonstrations in London: World leaders are concerned Assad will tap into the country's stockpile of chemical weapons if he feels cornered.

Would Syria's Assad use chemical weapons on his own people?

A defector warns that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad won't hesitate to use his weapons of mass destruction if he gets cornered

The New Egypt : Fact Sheet
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton prepares to leave Egypt on July 15, after a weekend visit in which she was met with protests that could point to Egyptian suspicion of American meddling.

Hillary Clinton's rough reception in Egypt: What it means

The secretary of State faced protests and insulting taunts on the street during her weekend trip to Egypt. Here, 3 theories on the real message behind the jeers

Syria's Uprising : Fact Sheet
Manaf Tlas, Syrian Republican Guard commander and close friend of President Bashar al-Assad, defected last week, and this week, Nawah Fares (not pictured), the country's ambassador to Iraq, followed suit.

Syria's runaway ambassador: 3 takeaways

Bashar al-Assad's ambassador to Iraq jumps ship, the latest in a string of high-level defections. What does this mean for the country's 16-month uprising?

Afghanistan War : Controversy
Afghan men stand on a hill moments before a Taliban judge shoots a woman to death, reportedly her punishment for alleged adultery.

The Taliban's execution of an accused adulteress: The fallout

A gruesome video shows militants shooting a young woman accused of adultery. Will the uproar help Afghanistan bolster opposition to the Taliban?

Syria's Uprising : Opinion Brief
U.N. special envoy Kofi Annan and Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi hold a joint press conference in Tehran on July 10: Annan is confident that working with Iran will make peace in Syria more likely, especially since Tehran is a close ally of President Bashar al-Assad's regime. 

The new Syria peace plan: Does it stand a chance?

U.N. envoy Kofi Annan says President Bashar al-Assad's regime is on board with a proposal to revive a failed ceasefire. One hitch: It involves getting Iran to help

The New Egypt : Forecast
Egypt's disbanded parliament meets Tuesday, intensifying tensions between the military and President Mohamed Morsi.

Egypt's political standoff: 4 possible outcomes

Egypt's disbanded parliament meets at the urging of the country's new president, Mohamed Morsi. Will the military stand for such open defiance?

War in Libya : The List
A woman shows off her inked finger and celebrates casting her vote during Libya's first election since the end of Moammar Gadhafi's 42-year reign last year.

Libya's joyous election: 3 takeaways

Libyans celebrate the first free elections in their country in decades. Milestones aside, what does the vote say about the country's prospects for democracy?

Syria's Uprising : The List
The first batch of leaked Syrian emails revealed that an Italian company had allegedly been supplying the Syrian regime with communications equipment, an action that was barred by the European Union.

WikiLeaks' Syria documents: 5 talking points

The controversial secret-sharing site is back in the news, vowing to embarrass both Syria's government and its opponents

The Pakistan Dilemma : Opinion Brief
"We are sorry for the losses suffered by the Pakistani military," Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said in a statement. "We are committed to working closely with Pakistan and Afghanistan to prevent this from ever happening again."

America's apology to Pakistan: Bad idea?

After Hillary Clinton says sorry, D.C. and Islamabad shake hands and try to move on from a bitter standoff over airstrikes that killed two dozen Pakistani soldiers

Iran's Threat : Opinion Brief
In 2005, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said Israel "must be wiped off the page of time," a threat that Iran more or less repeated on Sunday while Tehran tested missiles.

Are the West's sanctions pushing Iran too hard?

The economic noose is tightening around Iran, prompting fears that our aggressive approach could spur the regime to lash out in unpredictable ways

The New Egypt : The List
Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi is presented with the military's highest honor, the "shield of Armed Forces," following his inauguration Saturday.

4 ways Mohamed Morsi can push Egypt toward democracy

Despite inaugurating its first democratically elected president, the country is still controlled by the military. Will Morsi change that?

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