Politics

Members of an Islamist militia firing rockets at Tripoli Airport (photo: AP/dpa)

Clashes between rival militias in Libya

The battle for Tripoli

Like Benghazi before it, the Libyan capital, Tripoli, is now mired in chaos and violence. General elections held a month ago were not able to prevent the escalation in the conflict between rival militias. What triggered this development and what does the future hold for this troubled North African nation? By Valerie StockerMore

Muslims demonstrating after Friday prayers in Brooklyn, New York, to show their solidarity with the US after the 9/11 attacks (photo: Reuters)

Snowden revelations

NSA spied on prominent US Muslims

After 9/11, every Muslim was a potential suspect. Under President George W. Bush, the FBI and NSA read the e-mails of Muslim lawyers and activists even though they had no convictions and there was no evidence that any of them had committed a crime, called for jihad or sympathised with al-Qaida. Even a Department of Homeland Security employee was under surveillance. By Matthias KolbMore

Amos Oz (photo: picture-alliance/ZB)

Interview with Amos Oz

"For Israel, it is a lose-lose situation"

Israel's ground offensive against Gaza is justified but excessive, says Amos Oz in this interview with Dennis Stute. However, the Israeli writer is also critical of the Hamas strategy of attacking Israel from within civilian areasMore

A Palestinian boy sweeping up rubble outside a bombed-out building in Gaza (photo: AFP/Getty Images)

The Israeli–Palestinian conflict in Gaza

Propaganda war

The escalating conflict between Israel and the Palestinian group Hamas has been accompanied on both sides by massive propaganda drives. According to Joseph Croitoru, each side is attempting to speak directly to the opposing side through its propagandaMore

The High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs & Security Policy Catherine Ashton, and Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammed Javad Zarif (photo: Reuters)

Iran's nuclear programme

Hope Must Go On

In view of the stubborn hurdles on the path to a permanent nuclear treaty, Iran and the five UN veto powers plus Germany have agreed to continue their talks. Hope for a settlement remains. Yet the risks are not necessarily getting any smaller. By Ulrich von SchwerinMore

Ruined buildings in the Gaza Strip, 19 July 2014 (photo: DW/Shawgy el Farra)

Israeli military offensive in Gaza

1

Israel cannot win

All those whose opinions differ from the prevailing view are considered saboteurs. In this guest commentary, the Israeli writer Etgar Keret describes how the thought police are dominating his homeland and explains why the problems Israel faces cannot simply be bombed awayMore

Memorial march in Tizi Ouzou marking the crushing of a peaceful protest in the Kabylie region in 1980 (photo: picture-alliance/dpa)

Ethnic conflict in Algeria

A struggle for power and recognition

Algeria's non-Arab minorities are up in arms. The ethnic conflict between Arabs and Berbers is weakening the already fragile stability of the Maghreb state. By Susanne KaiserMore

A street in Kabul (photo: DW)

Afghanistan after Hamid Karzai

Facing an uncertain future

In Afghanistan, people look with nostalgia upon outgoing President Hamid Karzai. But at the same time, they fear the uncertain future that his successor might very well bring. By Emran FerozMore

Salafists handing out copies of the Koran in a German city (photo: dapd)

Interview with intelligence operative Benno Köpfer

"You're allowed to be a Salafist in Germany"

More than 300 people from Germany have gone to Syria to join the jihad. In this interview with Jannis Hagmann, Benno Köpfer of the German domestic intelligence service explains what radicalises young people, why not all Salafists agree with the ISIS caliphate and why he drinks the occasional tea with some of themMore

General Qassem Soleimani, the head of the Iranian Quds Brigade. Photo: Faresnews

Portrait: Qassem Soleimani

The man who pulls the strings

Iran is battling Saudi Arabia for regional supremacy in the Middle East, and is steadily expanding its sphere of influence in Lebanon, Syria and Iraq. Behind the scenes, Qassem Soleimani is a key figure who has had more influence on Iran's foreign policy over the last twenty years than almost anyone else. Martina Sabra reportsMore

Ruins of a house in Gaza after a rocket attack on 13.07.2014. Photo: Reuters

Escalation in the Middle East

Provocation and violence

What set off the new spiral of violence in the Middle East? Does Palestinian organisation Hamas deserve the blame? Bettina Marx doubts that's the case and takes a look back at developments in recent weeksMore

Raji Sourani. Photo: Tom Knutson/Right Livelihood Foundation

Interview with Raji Sourani in Gaza

"We are just soft targets: we are very cheap"

Raji Sourani is a human rights lawyer and founder of the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights, which documents and investigates human rights violations in the Occupied Territories. Jailed on six occasions for his work, Sourani is staying put in Gaza at the moment, and continuing to work under siege. He tells Roma Rajpal Weiss that people there have lost all hopeMore

Israeli soldiers near Hebron. Photo: picture alliance/AP

Israel's crisis politics

On hope and despair in the Middle East

The Middle East powder keg is threatening to explode. Anyone who still believes in peace must have hope – yet hope is precisely what is lacking. The Israeli writer David Grossman makes this appeal to his countrymenMore

ISIS using a bulldozer to destroy Sunni sites in Tal Afar. Photo: justpaste.it/atrah

ISIS' cultural vandalism

A trail of destruction

Cultural barbarism prevails in the territories declared a "caliphate" by the radical Islamic group ISIS. The sad irony of this is that its members are even destroying monuments to the companions of Muhammad, whom they themselves supposedly revere. Joseph Croitoru reportsMore

The self-styled "caliph", Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. Photo: YouTube

ISIS leader in Iraq

The new face of jihad?

The Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIS) has been active in Syria for two years now. It currently has around 5,000 fighters there – and the numbers are growing. Aron Lund, who has written studies on Syria's fighter landscape for the Swedish Institute for International Affairs, explains the terrorist organisation's strategies to Mona SarkisMore

Indonesian presidential candidate Joko Widodo meets the people. Photo: Getty Images

Indonesian Presidential Elections 2014

Populist versus autocrat

The two candidates in the forthcoming presidential elections in Indonesia could hardly be more different. Prabowo Subianto, former son-in-law of the late dictator Suharto, has adopted a militaristic style, and likes to present himself as a strong leader, while social democrat candidate Joko Widodo is seen as a man of the people and establishment outsider. Christina Schott examines their chancesMore

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. Photo: Hassan Ammar/AFP/Getty Images

The Syrian conflict and the advance of ISIS

Assad and the myth of the lesser evil

Assad has used chemical weapons and laid waste to entire neighbourhoods and regions with barrel bombs. However, in the West, fears of what ISIS Islamists could achieve loom so large that Syria's dictator continues to be seen as a smaller part of the problem. By Bente SchellerMore

The Lebanese journalist and political scientist Abdel Mottaleb El-Husseini. Photo: private

Interview with the political scientist Abdel Mottaleb El-Husseini

Lebanon: "A mixture of vacuum and volcano"

A million Syrian refugees, a catastrophic economy and increasing domestic hostility towards Hezbollah: the war in Syria is pushing neighbouring Lebanon to the limit. Mona Sarkis spoke to the Lebanese journalist Abdel Mottaleb el-Husseini about the current political situation in his countryMore

US Secretary of State John Kerry on a visit to the Iraqi prime minister, Nouri al-Maliki, in Baghdad. Photo: Reuters

The Iraq crisis and the West

The ugly new order in the "Fertile Crescent"

Iraq is in the grip of a devastating inner-Islamic religious war. The conflict has an inherent dynamic that cannot be stopped by presidential wishful thinking or a hurried visit to Baghdad by US foreign minister John Kerry. Stefan Buchen commentsMore

Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki (left) during a visit to President Hassan Rouhani in Tehran (photo: AFP)

Iran's role in the Iraq conflict

An ally, but not a puppet

For many Sunnis in Iraq, the country's Shia prime minister, Nouri al-Maliki, is a puppet of Iran. In the West too, the view that Tehran is pulling the strings in Iraqi politics is widely held. But what influence does Tehran really have in Iraq, and what role is it playing in the current crisis? Answers from Ulrich von SchwerinMore

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