The Six Most Common Middle East Conspiracy Theories


Common Dreams Dec.  15, 2016 Reese Erlich I speak about the Middle East to people of various political persuasions around the US, from leftist college students to conservatives on AM radio talk shows. Most Americans are wary of further US military intervention in the region and ask intelligent questions about this very complicated topic. But … Continue reading

Turkey: Why Yet Another Country Invaded Syria


The Progressive, September 2, 2016 by Reese Erlich On August 23, Turkey sent troops, tanks, and artillery into the mainly Kurdish region of northern Syria, ostensibly to fight the Islamic State (IS). Turkey joins the United States, Russia, Iran, and Lebanon’s Hezbollah in stationing troops in Syria in what has become an international proxy war. … Continue reading

Iran’s Diplomatic Dance on Syria


Tehran says it backs the Syrian cease-fire — but only if it can still hammer “terrorists” the West sees as the valid opposition to Assad. By Reese Erlich Foreign Policy, March 1, 2016 TEHRAN — As a partial cease-fire between the Syrian government and some rebel groups began Saturday, Iranian authorities expressed support for the … Continue reading

US and Russia compete to woo Syrian Kurd rebels


POLITICO Magazine November 02, 2015 Now Obama wants to help the Kurds? Russia’s already there. By  Reese Erlich Sulimaniya, Kurdish Region, Iraq – President Obama’s bid to exert more influence in the Syrian civil war may be too little, too late. Stung by Vladimir Putin’s military intervention, Obama last week foreswore his previous refusal to … Continue reading

The heroes of the battle of Kobane want their political reward.


VICE News By Reese Erlich April 8, 2015 In late January, Kurdish fighters backed by US airstrikes routed the Islamic State (IS) in the Syrian border town of Kobane. In Iraq, too, they have been a key bulwark against the extremists amid the collapse of the Iraqi army. Now, seizing their political moment, Syrian Kurds … Continue reading

Syria’s minority Christians under threat from extremist Muslim rebels


Once a safe haven for Middle Eastern Christians, Syria has become a place where Christians are targeted for kidnapping and murder. Reese Erlich, GlobalPost December 25, 2013 DAMASCUS — The Arab Spring has turned very wintry for many Christians in the Middle East. As the Christian minority in Syria celebrates Christmas, local leaders say they … Continue reading

Assad’s divide-and-conquer strategy proving effective against Syrian rebels


GlobalPost By Reese Erlich December 18, 2013 US-supported rebels are losing ground to both ultra-conservative Islamist rebels and the Assad regime. DAMASCUS — Syria’s US-backed rebels are steadily losing ground to extremist Islamist groups, dealing a serious blow to Washington’s hopes to overthrow the regime of Bashar al-Assad. The splintering of the Free Syrian Army … Continue reading

Exclusive: GlobalPost speaks with Syria’s minister of justice


By Reese Erlich November 18, 2013 As the government retakes significant positions from the rebels, President Bashar al-Assad’s confidant Najm al-Ahmad discusses the war. DAMASCUS, Syria — Within the last few days the Syrian Army has retaken areas on the outskirts of Damascus, as well as parts of Homs and Aleppo, according to Najm al-Ahmad, … Continue reading

Iran: Firmly behind the Assad regime


For both religious and geopolitical reasons, the Iranian government continues to serve as Syria’s most important backer with broad domestic support. Reese Erlich, Global Post, July 16, 2013 TEHRAN — Saeed Mohammad Husseini sat behind the counter at a store selling religious CDs as he explained his support for President Bashar al-Assad in the Syrian … Continue reading

Syria spillover into Lebanon furthers intra-Muslim conflict in Mideast


Hezbollah claimed victory over the Free Syrian Army in Qusayr, but its entry into the war is fueling Sunni-Shia violence at home. Reese Erlich, GlobalPost, June 10, 2013 HERMEL, Lebanon — The strategic city of Qusayr in Syria has fallen to the Syrian Army, and the shock waves are still being felt in Lebanon, where … Continue reading