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Fikra Forum

The Fate of Tel Rifaat Hangs in the Balance

Baraa Sabri

On July 2, the Turkish army reportedly shelled Kurdish forces in the Northern Aleppo region of Tel Rifaat, following a similar incident in mid-June where the Turkish Defense Ministry reported killing ten Kurdish soldiers in retaliation for the death of a Turkish soldier. These recent intermittent skirmishes reflect how Tel Rifaat remains a potential flash-point in the hotly contested region of Northwest Syria, where Kurdish, Russian, Turkish, and Syrian armed forces are all in close proximity.

Fikra Forum

Lebanese are Tired of Hosting Syrian Refugees

Edward Gabriel

During a recent trip to Lebanon, members of the American Task Force for Lebanon (ATFL) were struck not only by the deteriorating humanitarian crisis in Lebanon but also by how many Lebanese blame the strains of their country on the significant number of Syrian refugees who remain in the country. Without the partnership of the United States, Lebanon, and the international community, they fear these suffering refugees and host communities will become even bigger losers in a larger regional conflict.

Fikra Forum

“Miss Me Yet?” What the UAE Drawdown Means For the United States and UN in Yemen

Michael Knights

At the end of June, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) used a combination of leaks and statements to communicate that it was beginning to fold its large military intervention in support of the internationally-recognized—if rather undeserving—government of Yemen. The UAE’s drawdown has a number of possible consequences for the counter-terrorism fight, the humanitarian situation, the UN peace process, and the military balance inside Yemen.

How Iran’s New Education Proposal Silences and Criminalizes Non-Persian Languages

Iran’s High Strategic Value for Turkey

Firas Elias

In a time where the balance of the Middle East is in flux, regional leaders and the international community alike should be closely following the relationship between Turkey and Iran. While the relationship between Teheran and Ankara has historically been troubled, mutual interests have sprouted newfound cooperation between the two nations.

Fikra Forum

Tensions Between Egypt and Turkey Are on the Rise

Mohamed Maher and Irina Tsukerman

Egypt and Turkey are the two largest countries in the eastern Mediterranean; along with Iran, they make up nearly half of the total population of the Middle East. And though Ankara and Cairo have consistently avoided direct confrontation or hostilities, a deep-seated conflict between the two countries is currently playing out across the region.

Fikra Forum

How Iran’s New Education Proposal Silences and Criminalizes Non-Persian Languages

Rahim Hamid

Despite Iran’s composition as a multi-ethnic country whose citizens speak dozens of languages—including Persian, Kurdish, Arabic, Turkish, Balochi, Turkmen, and the Caspian people’s Gilaki and Mazandarani—the prevalent educational policy in the country deliberately ignores this linguistic pluralism and enforces Persian-Iranian hegemony in the form of language exclusivity.

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