Turkey has no choice but to accept a Syrian Kurdistan -Al Jazeera


“The PYD shot to international prominence in January after it repelled Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) fighters from the besieged town of Kobane. It is now a force in its own right, with not only an organised and disciplined armed wing but also a viable autonomous region in a country embroiled in devastating conflict.
Turkey has no alternative but to accept that a Syrian Kurdistan has become more sovereign and more powerful.”


Turkey’s Role in a Shifting Syria -Atlantic Council


“In recent weeks, a Turkish backed umbrella group dubbed Jaysh al-Fateh has taken control of Idlib, prompting speculation that the group’s recent advance could mark a turning point in the war. These recent successes are widely attributed to a rapprochement between Saudi Arabia and Turkey – two critical regional players in Syria that had hitherto supported different factions in northern Syria.

The United States has quietly acquiesced to the resurgent Saudi-Turkish role in Syria, but the prevalence of al-Qaeda affiliate Jabhat al Nusra and ally Ahrar al-Sham in recent offensives will certainly complicate on-going discussions about whether to provide air cover for rebel battalions in the north. This key divergence could further complicate US-Turkish relations, despite the recent agreement to train-and-equip up to 15,000 Syrian rebels in Turkey, Jordan, and Saudi Arabia.”


How not to write about Iran -Washington Post


“But whether that changes the actual Western discourse around Iran is another matter. Every society or culture gets stereotyped in some way by others — but Iran, even before the rise of the Islamic Republic in 1979, has been a very conspicuous victim.

That’s in part a consequence of its history. As the inheritor of Persia’s ancient empires, Iran has been the Other — the enemy of the nominal “West” — since classical times and the famous wars with Greek city-states. In the 18th century, some European writers and thinkers popularized the image of a “decadent” and “despotic” Persia as an allegorical device to critique their own societies. A century later, as Europe’s empires gained in power, the Orientalist cliches hardened and served to bolster the West’s own sense of racial and moral superiority.”