2015 Year in Review

Al-Monitor's Year in Review Al-Monitor's Year in Review highlights the events and trends that have shaped the Middle East in 2015.

2015-01-06 00:00:00

Is the Islamic State in Gaza?

Some salafists in Gaza claim to be following the Islamic State ideology but few have left to fight for the group.

2015-01-14 00:00:00

Are Israel, Jabhat al-Nusra coordinating in Syria?

Syrian opposition activists say Israel has played a crucial role in Jabhat al-Nusra’s recent gains in Quneitra and Daraa.

2015-01-15 23:59:59

Turkish military says MIT shipped weapons to al-Qaeda

Secret official documents leaked online corroborate suspicions that Turkey has been supporting extremists in Syria.

2015-01-28 00:00:00

Kurdish victory in Kobani a defeat for Turkish policy

Now that Kurdish forces have regained control of the city, Ankara fears a Kurdish corridor.

2015-01-29 23:59:59

Hezbollah's tactical shift against Israel

The opening of another allows Hezbollah to blame other organizations for possible escalations.

2015-02-11 23:59:30

Egyptian army struggles to address terrorism in Sinai

Despite the Egyptian army's claims of victory over terrorists in the Sinai Peninsula, attacks have increased.

2015-03-01 00:00:00

Women in the Middle East

Follow the link for our month-long series featuring reporting by and about women across the region.

2015-03-03 23:49:30

US still considering no-fly zone for Syria

Top US officials differ about the prospects for identifying, training and equipping a new moderate Syrian force to oppose the Islamic State.

2015-03-06 23:59:00

300 days at the Tomb of Suleiman Shah

Turkish officers share stories of the dramatic rescue operation to relieve special forces trapped in Syria.

2015-03-17 00:00:00

Is there hope for long-term truce between Hamas, Israel?

There is talk about implementing the initiative proposed by UN special coordinator Robert Serry to impose a long-term truce between Hamas and Israel.

2015-03-18 23:59:00

Israel's diplomatic future in Kahlon's hands

Moshe Kahlon may be the only member of Netanyahu's coalition interested in a deal with the Palestinians.

2015-03-23 23:59:00

The many names of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi

Al-Monitor traces the journey that led an unremarkable religious student to become head of the Islamic State and self-proclaimed Caliph.

2015-03-24 23:59:00

Kurdish Prime Minister Barzani: Shiite militias should be regulated

KRG Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani discusses with Al-Monitor the fight against IS and the rise of the Iraqi Popular Mobilization Units.

2015-03-26 00:00:00

Are Turkey's young IS recruits now a domestic threat?

Young Turks are increasingly attracted to the Islamic State's radical doctrines yet the Turkish government remains unconcerned with the phenomenon.

2015-04-03 00:00:00

Al-Qaeda gains ground in Yemen war

The conflict has profound implications for the stability of the Arabian Peninsula, Saudi Arabia and the region, as al-Qaeda exploits the chaos.

2015-04-09 00:00:00

Iran, P5+1 reach 'historic' framework deal

Iran and six world powers announced a political agreement for a final Iran nuclear accord after turbulent talks.

2015-04-10 23:59:30

Middle East Lobbying: The Influence Game

Our updated series tracks Middle Eastern nations and their efforts to influence US policy.

2015-04-23 00:00:00

The Kremlin's unexpected decisions

Moscow’s current Middle East policy is characterized by maintaining a focus on bilateral relations and wishing to play a mediating role in conflict.

2015-04-27 23:59:59

Defense bill recognizes Iraq's Kurdish, Sunni militias as a 'country'

The draft House bill initially carves out 25% of anti-Islamic State funding for the Kurdish peshmerga and Sunni tribes.

2015-05-08 00:00:00

Turks fear Saudi alliance will drag country into Syria

Opposition politicians in Turkey have charged President Recep Tayyip Erdogan with leading Turkey to war in Syria.

2015-05-12 00:00:00

US willing to 'compensate' Israel for Iran deal

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu continues to fight the Iran deal while rejecting two “special interest deals” with the US.

2015-05-15 23:59:59

Congress sends mixed messages on toppling Assad

The House passed a defense bill with contradictory guidance for assistance to the Syrian rebels.

2015-05-20 00:29:00

Kurds abandon AKP

Thousands of pious Kurds, including entire tribes, have parted ways with the AKP, convinced that it has no real intention of reconciling with them.

2015-05-22 23:59:59

Saudi Arabia's war in Yemen is not producing victory

Saudi Arabia jumped into the war in Yemen without thinking about the consequences, the US, and the struggle against the Islamic State.

2015-05-28 23:29:00

Ramadi's displaced find restrictions, not refuge, in Baghdad

The exodus of people from Anbar after IS took control should be an opportunity for the Iraqi government to unify all sects in the face of terrorism.

2015-06-04 00:12:00

Islamic State infiltrates Iraqi Kurdistan

The Islamic State is exploiting divides in Iraqi Kurdistan to radicalize youths.

2015-06-08 00:00:00

Islamic State releases first Turkish publication

Pro-Islamic State groups ramp up their propaganda in Turkey by issuing their first online periodical.

2015-06-10 23:59:24

How will election results affect Turkey's Syria policy?

Election results could make Turkey's current Syria policy difficult to implement.

2015-06-17 00:00:13

Captured fighter details Islamic State's Turkey connection

A Turkish citizen who joined IS in September and was captured in early June by Syrian Kurds explains IS' induction process with chilling clarity.

2015-06-21 23:55:13

Why Assad is helping the Islamic State’s offensive

The latest regime airstrikes against rebels in Aleppo’s countryside seem to benefit IS, but also help the Syrian government divide its enemies.

2015-07-02 23:49:30

Erdogan looks for military victory to avenge electoral defeat

Some observers believe that Turkish President Erdogan attempts to force Turkey into a confrontation with Syria before a coalition government forms.

2015-07-15 00:04:30

Netanyahu threatens to 'kill himself' in order to stop Iran deal

Benjamin Netanyahu's continued opposition to the Iranian deal will inevitably hurt US-Israeli security coordination.

2015-07-22 00:04:30

Deciphering IS' strategy in latest Turkey attack

The July 20 attack on Suruc was designed to send a strong message to Kurds, the United States, and Turkey.

2015-07-27 00:00:30

Egypt’s journalists worry new anti-terror law could send them to jail

Egypt’s new draft anti-terrorism law is not sitting well with journalists, who claim the law is unnecessary and violates the rights of the Egyptians.

2015-07-28 23:59:30

Is Turkey really committed to fighting IS?

Turkey strikes harder at PKK then at IS, raising concerns that Turkey is pursuing the AKP's political agenda.

2015-08-01 00:00:30

Al-Monitor's Cultural Heritage Series

Follow the link for our month-long series on the Middle East's rich cultural heritage from reporters in the region.

2015-08-06 22:04:05

Exclusive: Rafsanjani on future of Iran-US ties, Saudi Arabia

In an interview, Ayatollah Rafsanjani speaks about the future of Iran-US ties, Tehran's troubled relations with Riyadh and how to move forward.

2015-08-07 23:59:30

Middle East Lobbying: Update

Our updated series tracks Middle Eastern nations and their efforts to influence US policy.

2015-08-11 23:46:54

Inside the secret US-Iran diplomacy that sealed nuke deal

Ayatollah Khamenei authorized talks with the US on the nuclear issue in 2011, but real progress was not made until Rouhani came into office in 2013.

2015-08-17 00:46:54

Moscow's revolving door of Arab monarchs, Syrian opposition

Russia continues to navigate the complex process of tackling the Syria crisis, slating Damascus as a hopeful ally against the Islamic State.

2015-08-25 00:00:54

Who is to blame for the fall of Mosul?

An Iraqi parliamentary report faults high-ranking officials and military personnel for the fall of Mosul to IS, providing the ammunition for reforms.

2015-08-25 23:41:18

Iraqis protest corruption, lack of services while politicians blame everyone but themselves

Protests in Iraq demanding the implementation of reforms have taken a political course, engendering sensitivities at the sectarian level.

2015-08-26 23:59:59

The Shiite leadership crisis Baghdad doesn't see coming

With frequent visits between Tehran and Baghdad, the question of Iranian politics seeping into Iraq arises, and what that means for Iraq's future.

2015-09-04 00:19:30

King Salman's first visit to DC

The inaugural visit of Saudi Arabia's King Salman to DC offers Obama a chance to address long-standing tensions between Iran, Iraq and the GCC.

2015-09-08 00:19:30

How the Islamic State has helped the Middle East

The expansion of the Islamic State has forced regional powers to cooperate and is strengthening state governance in the Middle East.

2015-09-08 23:59:30

Syria diplomacy 'stuck'

Hopes of the US, Europe and Russia to try to ramp up Syria diplomacy after the Iran nuclear deal have stalled amid Saudi reluctance.

2015-09-11 23:56:57

What exactly is Russia doing in Syria?

Moscow's stance on Syria reveals a complicated web of alliances, armament and regional plays, widening the diplomacy gap between the US and Russia.

2015-09-16 00:00:13

Congress rethinks anti-Assad stance

Senate Democrats question regime-change goals in Syria amid Islamic State gains.

2015-09-18 23:53:13

US announces implementation team for Iran nuclear deal

Outgoing Ambassador to Poland Stephen Mull, former senior adviser to William Burns, will lead the team coordinating Iran nuclear deal implementation.

2015-09-24 00:26:57

How the Iran deal affects regional cooperation

Despite the nuclear deal between Iran and six world powers, it appears that an improvement in Saudi-Iranian relations in the short term is unlikely.

2015 Year in Review

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