2013 Year in Review

Al-Monitor's Year in Review highlights the events and trends that have shaped the Middle East in 2013.

2013-01-04 00:00:00

Sunni Turkey and Shiite Iran battle over Syria

Before the regional nature of the conflict in Syria became clear, Al-Monitor focused on the danger of a sectarian proxy war developing in the region.

2013-01-14 14:55:04

Syrian refugees flood Lebanon

Al-Monitor reports gave a sense of the grave challenges facing Lebanon as it struggled to deal with an influx of refugees from Syria.

2013-01-16 04:33:00

Salafists vow to create Islamic state in Syria

In a rare interview, an Ahrar al-Sham fighter told Al-Monitor that the goal of his Salafist group is to establish an Islamic state in Syria.

2013-01-17 17:56:33

Kurdish issue in Turkey hinges on Syria

Ahead of Turkey’s cease-fire with the PKK, Al-Monitor's Denise Natali said that solving the Kurdish Issue could be complicated by Syria and Iran.

2013-01-24 01:43:40

Al-Qaeda establishes new footholds

As optimism about the Arab Spring faded, Bruce Riedel wrote that al-Qaeda had re-emerged as a new and deadlier threat.

2013-02-03 23:00:00

Terrorist attack at US Embassy in Turkey

Turkey Pulse columnist Tulin Daloglu was one of the first reporters at the scene of the embassy bombing in Ankara.

2013-02-12 04:33:00

Trouble in Tunisia

On location in Tunisia, Ali Hashem noted the growing resistance of the population to Islamist rule after the assassination of an activist.

2013-02-20 04:33:00

Hezbollah's role in Syria

Clashes between Hezbollah and Salafists over Shiite villages in Syria foreshadowed the role Hezbollah would play there.

2013-02-25 04:33:00

Iraq sees spike in terrorism from Syria

Iraq's national security adviser Faleh al-Fayad told Al-Monitor, "Foreign factors have increased the country’s exposure to terrorist attacks."

2013-03-03 04:33:00

Four trends in Syria

The key issues in Syria include its minority populations, relationship with Turkey, and the role of Russia and Iran.

2013-03-08 00:40:30

Turkey's weak Syria policy

Opponents of Turkey’s Prime Minister criticized his abandonment of diplomacy with Syria.

2013-03-10 00:00:00

Kerry: no military solution in Syria

Stating that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad can't "shoot his way out" of the civil war, US Secretary of State John Kerry called for negotiations.

2013-03-10 00:00:00

Iran shapes sectarian conflict with Sunni rivals

Al-Monitor analyzed Iran's use of proxies in Gaza and Syria in its conflict with Sunni powers.

2013-03-21 04:25:30

Cease-fire with Kurds in Turkey

Imprisoned Kurdish leader Abdullah Ocalan asked “armed [PKK] members to move out of Turkey’s borders,” as Kurds marked the beginning of a new year.

2013-03-26 04:25:30

Istanbul talks with Iran lay groundwork

Reporting from Istanbul, on the “most substantive” talks to date, Laura Rozen chronicled steps that would lead to the Nov. 23 deal in Geneva.

2013-03-31 12:06:45

Al-Monitor now available in Arabic, Hebrew and Turkish

Al-Monitor began providing original content from the Iraq, Lebanon, Palestine, Israel and Turkey Pulses in their native languages.

2013-04-01 01:48:00

Sinai next frontier for Egyptian Salafists

In a sign of trouble to come, an Egyptian Salafist claimed, "Yes, we consider Sinai the next frontier of conflict with the Zionists and Americans."

2013-04-06 16:25:30

Almaty nuclear talks a sign of engagement

Laura Rozen reported from Almaty on progress in nuclear negotiations, laying the groundwork for increased US-Iran contacts leading to Geneva.

2013-04-11 18:18:00

Obama and Netanyahu at odds

As strained relations between the leaders surfaced, Ben Caspit imagined a tense conversation between the two heads of state on Iran.

2013-04-21 09:51:45

Threats to freedom of expression in Turkey

Following the conviction of pianist Fazil Say for Twitter comments, Orhan Cengiz saw growing alarm among pro-democracy groups in Turkey.

2013-05-01 07:34:38

Iran Pulse Launched

Al-Monitor expanded its coverage on Iran, providing regular reporting and inside analysis from the country.

2013-05-05 07:34:38

Nasrallah: we won't let Syria fall

A month before Hezbollah’s capture of Al-Qusair, Lebanon Pulse columnist Ali Hashem confirmed that the group was active in the strategic border town.

2013-05-05 10:40:55

Iran and US share red-lines on chemical weapons

Al-Monitor Editor-in-Chief Andrew Parasiliti wrote that Iran and the US could work together to facilitate a deal on Syrian chemical weapons.

2013-05-12 03:00:25

US-Russia diplomacy on Syria makes a comeback

Increased diplomatic efforts by the US, Russia and Iran signaled that a political solution to the Syria conflict may be achievable.

2013-05-14 05:17:31

Iran supplies all Gaza weapons

Reporting in-depth on Palestinian Islamic Jihad, Asmaa al-Ghoul quoted the group's spokesman: “All of the weapons in Gaza are provided by Iran."

2013-05-19 05:17:31

Iran key to success at Geneva II

As a major regional player, Iran will help determine the success of the Geneva II talks on Syria, provided that the US invites them to the table.

2013-05-26 05:17:31

Nasrallah declares war on Salafists

Less than 24 hours after Hassan Nasrallah officially declared war on Salafist groups in Syria, a Hezbollah stronghold was struck by rockets.

2013-06-01 05:17:31

Erdogan defies Gezi protests

Turkey Pulse contributor Yavuz Baydar covered protests in Gezi Park and the heavy-handed government response.

2013-06-09 05:17:31

Syrian opposition divided over Geneva II

Divided and faced with setbacks on the military front, the Syrian opposition could not come to an agreement on attending Geneva II.

2013-06-15 05:17:31

Iran elects centrist Rouhani

Arash Karami reported that newly elected President Hassan Rouhani could make meaningful reforms at home and was open to working with Western powers.

2013-06-30 06:06:45

Millions of Egyptians demand Morsi's downfall

Millions of Egyptians flooded the streets protesting President Mohammed Morsi, who would be ousted from power three days later.

2013-06-30 08:23:51

Violence surges in the Sinai

Divided after President Mohammed Morsi's ouster, the Sinai, an increasingly violent region, was placed under curfew following deadly clashes.

2013-07-06 10:40:57

Crackdown on Muslim Brotherhood

Formerly accused of suppressing protests, the Muslim Brotherhood faced a severe crackdown culminating in the Rabia al-Adawiya bloodshed.

2013-07-09 08:23:50

Bomb shakes Hezbollah stronghold in Lebanon

In another sign that spillover from the Syrian crisis would have regional implications Hezbollah supporters were targeted in Lebanon.

2013-07-12 08:23:50

Window for nuclear talks progress in Iran

Citing positive signs in the month since President Hassan Rouhani's election, senior US officials said they hope for movement on nuclear talks.

2013-07-17 08:23:50

Saudi Arabia's domestic worker crisis

Madawi Al-Rasheed highlighted the vulnerability of the more than 1 million maids in Saudi Arabia who are often victims of abuse and human trafficking.

2013-07-18 06:06:43

Egypt turns away from Turkey towards Gulf

After President Mohammed Morsi's ouster, Egypt found renewed allies in the Gulf and a chilly reception in Turkey, while the US pursued a third path.

2013-07-31 06:06:43

US reconsiders Middle East policy

Vali Nasr wrote for Al-Monitor that the US has shifted from a policy of trying to promote democracy to one geared to combatting Islamic extremism.

2013-08-06 03:49:36

Are kidnapped bishops still alive?

Worries grew that a pair of kidnapped Syrian bishops may have been killed as minorities fear the consequences of Syria's civil war.

2013-08-08 10:40:55

Iranian reformists back in public sphere

Hassan Rouhani's election has brought Iran's reformists back in from the cold after a four-year crackdown.

2013-08-14 10:40:55

Brotherhood tactics provoke more bloodshed

The Muslim Brotherhood's tactics, including mass protests, storming police stations and a willingness to sacrifice its members, caused mass casualties.

2013-08-19 11:49:53

Options for sanctions relief key to nuclear talks

Anticipating opposition in Congress to any deal reached with Iran, Kenneth Katzman charted the leeway Obama has to issue sanctions relief.

2013-09-05 11:49:53

Jihadists besiege Syrian Christian village

In an event that stoked fears of minorities in Syria, jihadist Salafists laid siege to the historic Christian village of Maaloula.

2013-09-13 11:49:53

Turkey transfers arms to Syrian groups

A court case documenting weapon transfers received attention from a public increasingly wary of Turkey's involvement in Syria.

2013-09-14 11:49:53

Chemical weapons framework a breakthrough

A US-Russia framework agreement to eliminate Syria's chemical arsenal accomplishes more than a strike would and allows for future diplomacy.

2013-09-16 10:49:53

Zarif backs US-Russia plan for Syria

In support of the US-Russia accord, Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said, if there is a chance for peace in Syria, “we have to grab it.”

2013-09-30 03:58:34

Israel sees new regional dynamics in US-Iran talks

Worried that a thaw in relations between the US and Israel will change its regional security considerations, Israel must adapt.

2013-09-30 04:58:34

Zarif open to Geneva II

In an interview with Al-Monitor, Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said his country is open to participating in the Geneva II talks.

2013-10-03 04:58:34

ISIS announces plans establish emirate in Syria

Al-Qaeda-affiliated Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) has begun to carve out an emirate in occupied territory in Syria.

2013-10-07 09:38:39

Syria conflict fuels terrorism in Iraq

Speaking exclusively to Al-Monitor, Iraq's Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki linked the rise of extremists in Syria to a spike in violence in Iraq.

2013 Year in Review

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