11th-18th July

Who is Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi ? -14/07/2014- Al-Monitor

Afghan sources have provided new information on the elusive leader of the Islamic State, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, also now known as Caliph Ibrahim. According to these accounts, Baghdadi spent several years in Afghanistan working with the Arab jihadist community and the Taliban.

Israel-Gaza : why the story repeats itself -15/07/2014- Le Monde

“Summer Rains” in 2006, “Cast Lead” in 2008-2009, “Pillar of defense” in 2012, “Protective edge” in 2014: the story of the relations between Israel and Gaza, since the Jewish colonists were evacuated by this small coastal territory in 2005, seems to amount to a succession of military operations. Hardly a cycle of violence ends that a new episode seems in preparation.

© AFP/Mahmud Hams. A Palestinian fireman in front of a warehouse on fire, on July 12th in Gaza

Lebanon, haven of peace and manufacturer of crises -16/07/2014- L’Orient Le Jour

A brief blow of eye on the region of the Near East would be enough these days to list Lebanon – or at least the largest part of its territory – in the category of havens of peace so impertinent as privilegied. Never maybe previously the expression “the fire is in our doors” was so real, so alive that it is today. Lebanon is encircled by wars and carnages, which certain episodes extend beyond even his borders, both in North and in East and in South.

Revisiting Kurdistan: “If there is a success story in Iraq, it’s here” – 16/07/2014- The Guardian

In 2003, before the US invasion of Iraq, Luke Harding found the Kurds full of defiance and hope. Returning 11 years later – with Baghdad’s hold on power crumbling – he finds a self-confident region transformed by oil money.

Three winners in the Yemenite revolution -18/07/2014- Orient XXI

Since 2011 and the uprisings of the “Arab Spring”, Yemen made a commitment in a fascinating phase of political transition. The change on the institutional plan still generates some hope because of the ongoing redaction of a Constitution and elections to come. However, the management of the diverse security files by the new president Abd Rabbo Mansour Hadi is characterized by a disturbing continuity.