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Geopolitics

Has Syria Become Al-Qaeda's New Base For Terror Strikes On Europe?

Exclusive investigation: The terror network in Syria includes dozens of European members, and wants to get its hands on Assad's stockpile of chemical weapons.

The aftermath of a bombing last month in Damascus that the government blamed on terrorists
The aftermath of a bombing last month in Damascus that the government blamed on terrorists
Florian Flade and Clemens Wergin

A photograph from Syria shows a large man in fighting garb, carrying an assault rifle. His head is wrapped in black cloth, and the sign on his armband indicates beyond a doubt that he is an Islamist. But the man is not Syrian; he identifies himself as "holy warrior Abu Ahmad al-Almani" from Germany.

The picture of him was posted on Facebook. The information the man provides about himself says that he was born in Lebanon, and until recently lived in Germany. He left to join the fight against Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad.

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Geopolitics

Our 'Emotional' Divide: How The Ukraine War Reveals A World Broken In Two

Russia's invasion has created a stark global divide: them and us. On one side are the countries refusing to condemn Moscow, with the West on the other. It's a dangerous split that could have repercussions far into the future.

Protesters against the war in Ukraine demonstrate in front of the Russian embassy in London

Dominique Moïsi

-Analysis-

PARIS — "The West and the Rest of Us." That's the title of a 1975 essay written by Nigerian essayist and critic Chinweizu Ibekwe. I've been thinking about his words as the war in Ukraine both reveals and accelerates divisions of the world that I believe are ultimately "emotional" in nature.

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With war returning to Europe and the risk of escalation, there is a gap between the Western view and that of the "others," a distinct "us and them." This gap cannot be explained in strictly geographical, political, and economic terms.

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Central to the tragic absurdity of this war is the question of language. Vladimir Putin has repeated that protecting ethnic Russians and the Russian-speaking populations of Ukraine was a driving motivation for his invasion.

Yet one month on, a quick look at the map shows that many of the worst-hit cities are those where Russian is the predominant language: Kharkiv, Odesa, Kherson.

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