Salman Rafi Sheikh

Iran is Expanding its Regional Influence in a...

LA45345222Last few weeks have seen the Iranian diplomats and top officials engaging in a lot of diplomatic activity in the Middle East, particularly in Iraq and Syria, marking a systematically built web of relations that Iran is building as part of a policy based upon what its supreme leader…

Major Powers Response to Indo-Pak Crisis Reve...

7543While the recent Indo-Pak military stand-off did turn into actual hostilities and a small air-war as well, the way major powers—specifically, the U.S., Russia and China—responded to the crisis reveals how their respective responses not only reflected the existing geo-political…

Why is Saudi Arabia Turning towards ‘the East...

17085Last two weeks saw Saudi Arabi’s Mohammad bin Salman (MBS) visiting Asia—Pakistan, India and China— for the first time ever. Promises of investment were made, signalling how Saudi Arabia was pushing towards expanding its economy globally. Although the visit seems to have been…

How Sochi Conference is Bad News for the US

6beWhile the meeting was going to be intense not just because of the varying, though not diverging, interests of Russia, Iran and Turkey, but also because of the situation developing on the question of creating a US-Turkey jointly managed “safe zone” in Syria, the outcome of the conference…

Afghanistan: Russia Starts the True ‘Intra-Af...

6332It wasn’t long ago when top US military officials had accused Russia of supplying weapons to the Afghan Taliban, an accusation that the mainstream western media understood not just in terms of some ‘Russian plan’ to make sure that the US meets a military defeat in Afghanistan but also that the war must drag on to inflict heavy damages on the US military…

Trump Re-Sets the Sail for U.S. Nuclear Supre...

6911While for many the scrapping of INF at the hands of Donald Trump is a symbolic revival of cold war geo-politics, there are many important differences, which strongly indicate there is much more to it than meets the eye. This isn’t just a second coming of cold war; rather at the heart…

An Official Anti-Iran US Military Build-up in...

UST56345222It’s official. America is looking for ways to re-build its military presence in Iraq as a way to keep an eye on Iran. This was confirmed by none other than the US president, Donald Trump, himself in a recent interview when he said “I want to be able to watch Iran”, adding that “We’re…

Russia Walking a Fine Line between Turkey �...

PERT76332T7The politics of ‘safe-zone’, a stretch of Syrian territory along Turkey-Syria border jointly managed by Turkey and the U.S., has certainly given a new twist to the Syrian end-game. Most certainly, the US’ encouragement of this ‘safe-zone’ is part of its plan to win back its…

Turkey is Back at It Again in Syria

15311425585b43619eefc477.54789317For the good part of almost 7 years of war, Syria has seen tremendous upheavals both internally and externally. Even now when the terrorist groups have almost been defeated and the foreign-supported so-called ‘rebel’ groups are also joining the peace-process, the geo-politics around…

Israel’s Undeclared Air War on Iran in Syria

ISAW3534522Until few weeks ago, there was an undeclared war that Israel had waged on Iran in Syria to force Iranian presence out the country. While the war was officially ‘undeclared’, various pronouncements by the top-rank Israeli officials confirmed that there was a war going-on in Syria. However, a number of statements made by Israeli officials would indicate that the…

What is NATO’s New Mission in Iraq?

The newly launched ‘NATO Mission in Iraq’ has a clear geo-political underpinning to it which aims to disturb the delicate edifice of peace that Russia, Turkey and Iran have been building for last two years or so. Although the new mission has been announced at a time when the US…

Despite Reassurances, the US Can’t Change the...

7215The US secretary of state Mike Pompeo’s visit to the Middle East has come at a time when the US politics at both domestic and international levels is facing extreme contradictions. There is a government shutdown at home, and at international level, Donald Trump and his team are…


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