Ireland Bows to Russia's Intimidation

If any doubt ever existed that Russia’s newly imposed adoption ban was undertaken not out of genuine concern for the fate of orphans now in the custody of American parents but rather to punish any government that takes a strong line on Russian human rights violators, then recent events in Ireland have just eliminated any such reservations.

Is Peace at Hand with Turkey's Kurds?

Last week, Abdullah Ocalan, the jailed leader of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), used the occasion of Nowruz, or the Persian New Year also celebrated by the Kurds, to call for the transformation of his militant group, which is blacklisted as a terrorist organization by the United States and Turkey, into a political movement. Ocalan said it was time for the PKK to end its armed struggle and to withdraw its fighters from Turkish soil, marking perhaps the most optimistic development since Turkey’s National Intelligence Organization entered into direct talks with him a few months ago.

Assessing Israel's Strike on Syria

Last week saw what might have been the first incursion by Israeli warplanes into Syria airspace in six years. The strike took place on Wednesday (January 30th), and by week’s end, unnamed US and Israeli officials were claiming that the Israel Air Force had hit a convoy of Russian-made SA-17 antiaircraft batteries, plus other “game changing” munitions, en route to Lebanon. By Sunday, Israel’s defense minister seemed to confirm the reports of his country’s involvement in the attack, but that hardly answered all the questions swirling around last Wednesday’s events.

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