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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.

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...

Rumsfeld Interview: 'A Leader Should Be Careful about Drawing Red Lines'

Rumsfeld Interview: 'A Leader Should Be Careful about Drawing Red Lines'

SPIEGEL ONLINE - September 16, 2013

Donald Rumsfeld is no stranger to intervening abroad. In an interview with SPIEGEL, the former US secretary of defense explains why Obama was right to delay military action in Syria and why the president must be wary of Russian President Putin. more... Comment ]

World from Berlin: 'The West's Zig-Zagging Is Astounding'

World from Berlin: 'The West's Zig-Zagging Is Astounding'

SPIEGEL ONLINE - September 11, 2013

US President Obama announced Tuesday night he would postpone military intervention in Syria in favor of diplomatic measures. But such waffling is shameful and the US would be foolish to trust Russia's plan, German commentators say on Wednesday. more... Comment ]

Backlash: Merkel's Erratic Syria Course Sows Discord in Europe

Backlash: Merkel's Erratic Syria Course Sows Discord in Europe

SPIEGEL ONLINE - September 10, 2013

German Chancellor Angela Merkel says that her diplomacy on the Syria question has yielded a "markedly good result." But many in Europe would beg to differ -- and the EU is more divided on the issue than ever. By Christoph Schult and Gregor Peter Schmitz more... Comment ]

Russia's Syria Initiative: Obama Postpones Attack on Assad

Russia's Syria Initiative: Obama Postpones Attack on Assad

SPIEGEL ONLINE - September 10, 2013

Potential US strikes against the Assad regime now appear to be postponed until further notice after US President Barack Obama said he was open to a Russian plan to put Syrian chemical weapons under international control. But many doubt the plan will work. By Marc Pitzke in New York more... Comment ]

World from Berlin: Germany's 'Cowardly Position' on Syria

World from Berlin: Germany's 'Cowardly Position' on Syria

SPIEGEL ONLINE - September 09, 2013

As Western leaders scramble to find a common stance on the crisis in Syria, Berlin's back and forth on the issue has become embarrassing, the German press writes on Monday. more... Comment ]

Outmaneuvered: Merkel Weakened by Blunder in Syria Debate

Outmaneuvered: Merkel Weakened by Blunder in Syria Debate

SPIEGEL ONLINE - September 09, 2013

German Chancellor Angela Merkel's delay in signing a US-backed resolution against the use of chemical weapons in Syria is being portrayed as a major misstep. Now, as Washington continues its diplomatic offensive, Merkel faces a political backlash at home. By SPIEGEL Staff more... Comment ]