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Embattled Land

Dozens of wars, endless peace negotiations, terrorism and oil: The Middle East is a tinderbox of competing national and international interests beset by religious strife. The top international interests include stabilizing Iraq's fledgling democracy and the Israeli-Palestinian peace process.

Minister and Consoler: The Man Who Wants to Fix Egyptian Society

Minister and Consoler: The Man Who Wants to Fix Egyptian Society

SPIEGEL ONLINE - February 13, 2014

Mohammed el-Mahdi is Egypt's new minister for reconciliation. He's fighting to create a new country, even as society fragments. It's an uphill task in a land where the military is expanding its power and younger generations are digging their heels in for a fight. By Ralf Hoppe and Daniel Steinvorth in Cairo more... Comment ]

Syria's Bodies: 'The Stench Was Unfathomable'

Syria's Bodies: 'The Stench Was Unfathomable'

SPIEGEL ONLINE - January 27, 2014

Photos released last week show that the regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad tortures, starves and murders its prisoners. The images provide grisly evidence to support what witnesses have been telling SPIEGEL for months. By Christoph Reuter and Christoph Scheuermann more... Comment ]

Hope in Montreux? A Starting Point for Peace in Syria

Hope in Montreux? A Starting Point for Peace in Syria

SPIEGEL ONLINE - January 22, 2014

Violence in Syria has been appalling in the run up to this week's peace talks in Switzerland, where rebel and government representatives are to sit down together. Secret meetings in recent months give cause for hope. By Christoph Reuter more... Comment ]

Justice or Peace? Hariri Trial Could Spark Further Unrest in Lebanon

Justice or Peace? Hariri Trial Could Spark Further Unrest in Lebanon

SPIEGEL ONLINE - January 14, 2014

Proceedings in the case of murdered ex-Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri are set to being in the Netherlands this week. The trial could cause further unrest in a country that is already on the verge of chaos. By Erich Follath more... Comment ]

Brussels Summit: EU to Refocus on Stalled Defense Initiatives

Brussels Summit: EU to Refocus on Stalled Defense Initiatives

SPIEGEL ONLINE - December 18, 2013

EU leaders are gathering in Brussels Thurday in an effort to shore up the bloc's common defense policy, amid growing doubts over whether Europe can bridge divergent national views on the continent's security role. By Christopher Alessi more... Comment ]

Interview with Bashar Assad: 'In the End, a Lie Is a Lie'

Interview with Bashar Assad: 'In the End, a Lie Is a Lie'

SPIEGEL ONLINE - October 07, 2013

In a SPIEGEL interview, Syrian President Bashar Assad discusses his fight for power, his arsenal of weapons of mass destruction and the special expectations he has for Germany. By Dieter Bednarz and Klaus Brinkbäumer more... Comment ]

'Sex Jihad' and Other Lies: Assad's Elaborate Disinformation Campaign

'Sex Jihad' and Other Lies: Assad's Elaborate Disinformation Campaign

SPIEGEL ONLINE - October 07, 2013

Syrian President Assad's regime is waging a PR campaign to spread stories that discredit its rivals and distract from its own crimes. Aided by gullible networks and foreign media, it has included tales of rebels engaging in "sex jihad" and massacring Christians. By Christoph Reuter more... Comment ]

The Wave from Syria: Flow of Refugees Destabilizes Lebanon

The Wave from Syria: Flow of Refugees Destabilizes Lebanon

SPIEGEL ONLINE - October 02, 2013

The war in Syria and its wave of refugees is destabilizing and overwhelming Lebanon. Now there are fears the hundreds of thousands of newcomers will never want to leave, and the sectarian conflict will worsen. By Samiha Shafy more... Comment ]

Jihad Tourists: How Dangerous Are Syria's Foreign Fighters?

Jihad Tourists: How Dangerous Are Syria's Foreign Fighters?

SPIEGEL ONLINE - September 27, 2013

Once just a small group, now there are several thousand foreign jihadist fighters present in Syria today. Though some rebel leaders say their presence does pose a danger, the impact of these groups is often exaggerated by the Western media. By Christoph Reuter more... Comment ]

UN Report: Gas Attack in Syria 'Indisputable'

UN Report: Gas Attack in Syria 'Indisputable'

SPIEGEL ONLINE - September 17, 2013

It is a horrific report. On Monday, UN weapons inspectors presented their conclusions on the use of chemical weapons in Syria on Aug. 21. The evidence, says Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, is "overwhelming and indisputable." By Marc Pitzke in New York more... Comment ]

Mountain Getaway: Lebanese Town Parties in Shadow of War

Mountain Getaway: Lebanese Town Parties in Shadow of War

SPIEGEL ONLINE - September 17, 2013

Beirut has a reputation as the nightlife capital of the Middle East, yet increasing violence and the civil war in neighboring Syria have dampened the mood. The mountain village of Faraya has meanwhile filled the role of party mecca. By Raniah Salloum more...