Is Lebanon Prepared to Repel the Islamic State?

On June 9th, Hezbollah met the “Islamic State” on the battlefield and for the first time ever the clash took place on Lebanese soil. Both Dae’sh and Jabhat al-Nusra (al-Qaeda in Syria) have a presence in the Qalamoun region along the Lebanon-Syria border—and have long aspired to make inroads into Lebanon in order to attack Read more about Is Lebanon Prepared to Repel the Islamic State?[…]

Meet the New Israeli Government

After more than a month of negotiations, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu managed to cobble together a coalition government in the final hour, with commentators describing the process as embarrassing and circus-like. The stability of Netanyahu’s new Likud-led government is questionable – it has the slimmest coalition majority possible with only 61 of 120 seats, Read more about Meet the New Israeli Government[…]

Red Hands Waving False Flags

The Erdogan Administration’s Plan for War in Syria Earlier this week, two videos, totaling 15 minutes,  began circulating on YouTube wherein senior Turkish officials, including Minister of Foreign Affairs Ahmet Davutoglu and Intelligence Chief Hakan Fidan, discuss at length their intentions to have extremist groups in Syria carry out an attack on the Tomb of Suleiman Shah, Read more about Red Hands Waving False Flags[…]

Middle East Trench Warfare: Saudi Foreign Policy in Lebanon and Beyond

Lebanese President Michel Suleiman hailed the recent Saudi pledge to donate $3 billion directly to the Lebanese military for the purchasing of advanced weapons and equipment as a positive development in a time of rising sectarian tensions and escalating attacks across Lebanon. Indeed, the acquisition of new arms is framed in the public domain as Read more about Middle East Trench Warfare: Saudi Foreign Policy in Lebanon and Beyond[…]

SISMEC Presents Jonathan Randal: Journalism, War and History

    Veteran war correspondent Jonathan Randal speaks to SISMEC Research Associate ST McNeil about reporting in the Middle East, minorities, the value of history to journalists, the 1982 Siege of Beirut, his many books and the evolution of American foreign news gathering since 1945.

Syria in the Lebanese Context

When the fighting began in Syria, Bashar al-Assad’s life span was measured in weeks rather than years. The war then appeared localized.  Since, the scope of the conflict has grown and prospects for a mediated solution appear naive. But as the war continues to ravage Syria, it is destabilizing Lebanon and making Hezbollah’s position more Read more about Syria in the Lebanese Context[…]

From Diyala to Dahiya and Beyond: The Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria

After the deadly bombing in the Hezbollah stronghold of Dahiya in southern Beirut, Lebanon that killed close to 30 people and injured up to 400, jihadi media outlets were inundated with posts by members of the al-Qaeda affiliated Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) praising the attack. In the rebel-held provincial capital of al-Raqqa Read more about From Diyala to Dahiya and Beyond: The Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria[…]