MENA wars in the shadow of Covid-19

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Will the global battle against coronavirus help to counter three major MENA wars? The evidence is mixed. Despite Covid-19 numbers rising dramatically in the Gulf states and elsewhere in the Middle East (with a particular concern that Egypt is both suppressing true numbers and showing itself dangerously unprepared) there is one ray of positive news. In Syria, one of the three major conflicts in the region, combatants have appeared much readier to accept a truce and to consider putting talks ahead of guns. In Libya, however, the warlord General …

Erdoğan and Putin cobble together a deal over Idlib

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Russia and Turkey have veered away from the risk of a direct confrontation in Syria but the situation in Idlib remains very much in flux. We are again grateful for the article below to David Barchard, a writer on Turkish history and politics. Six days after Presidents Vladimir Putin and Recep Tayyip Erdoğan hammered out a temporary agreement for a cease-fire in the troubled northern Syrian province of Idlib, Turks are trying to work out whether it was a disappointment or a success. The disappointment would be that Turkey has …