al-Qaeda

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A newspaper stall in Karachi. Pakistan could face blowback for sponsoring and hosting the Afghan Taliban if the Pakistani Taliban revive. Photograph: Shahzaib Akber/EPA

The swift Taliban victory in Afghanistan could have a profound impact on its Central Asian neighbours, the Middle East and Africa where governments ar(...)

 China’s president Xi Jinping: In turning from the “greater Middle East” to China, the US turns from a vicious but containable adversary to a historically awesome one. Photograph:  Nicolas Asfouri/AFP/Getty Images

Washington has no cannier lobbying firm than the Pentagon. As such, the war games that predict a US rout by China should be taken with more salt than(...)

Tens of thousands of internally displaced Syrians are returning to their homes to avoid Covid-19.  Photograph: Reuters/Khalil Ashawi

Fearing the coronavirus more than warfare, tens of thousands of displaced Syrians are returning to their homes in the conflict-ravaged northwestern Id(...)

US president Donald Trump  and Gen Mark Milley: Gen Milley seeks to counter damage caused by Mr Trump’s “we’re keeping the oil” tweet.  Photograph: Brendan Smialowski/AFP

Syria continues to suffer from contradictory external interventions which create confusion and prolong the eight-year war. While US president Donald (...)

Damaged buildings in the Khan Sheikhoun city area of Idlib’s southern countryside. Photograph: Syrian Arab News Agency

All is quiet on the northwestern front. The Syrian army has rolled back jihadis from the edge of Hama, the country’s fourth largest city, and taken te(...)

Smoke billows above buildings during a reported air strike by pro-regime forces on the town of Hish in Syria’s Idlib province on August 19th, 2019. Photograph: Omar Haj Kadour/AFP

Air strikes on Monday halted a Turkish armoured convoy by targeting its route as it entered Idlib province in northwest Syria. The Turkish defence m(...)

An undated screengrab taken from video released by Islamic State-linked Al-Furqan media shows the chief of  Islamic State,   Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi,  for the first time in five years  in an undisclosed location. Screengrab: AFP/Getty

The reappearance of Islamic State founder Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi in a video released on Monday was undoubtedly timed to demonstrate he has survived the (...)

Khalid Ibn al-Walid mosque: A Unesco world heritage site, the mosque has been restored with donations from Chechen president Ramzan Kadyrov.  Photograph: Michael Jansen

Homs is a city of celebrations. Its residents have survived eight years of war and are determined to overcome deprivations imposed by the punitive pea(...)

Iran’s president Hassan Rouhani, Russia’s president Vladimir Putin and Turkey’s president Recep Tayyip Erdogan give a joint news conference following their trilateral talks in Sochi on February 14th. Photograph: Mikhail Klimentyevass via Getty Images

In the Black Sea resort of Sochi on St Valentine’s Day, Russia’s president Vladimir Putin welcomed the leaders of Turkey and Iran with tea and biscuit(...)

Iran’s  Hassan Rouhani,  Russia’s Vladimir Putin  and Turkey’s Recep Tayyip Erdogan  at a trilateral meeting about Syria in the Black Sea resort of Sochi on February 14th. Photograph: Sergei Chirikov

Russia, Iran and Turkey have welcomed the US’s decision to withdraw its troops from northern Syria, but have failed to agree on a plan to deal with th(...)

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