Robert M. Danin

Middle East Matters

Danin analyzes critical developments and U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East.

Middle East Matters This Week: Lebanon Erupts, Syria Boils, and Egypt Builds Up

by Robert M. Danin Thursday, August 23, 2012
A Sunni Muslim gunman aims his rifle from the neighborhood of Bab al-Tebbaneh in Tripoli, northern Lebanon, during clashes between Sunni Muslims and Alawites on August 22, 2012 (Courtesy Reuters).

Significant Middle East Developments

Lebanon. Renewed clashes broke out today in Lebanon’s northern city of Tripoli between Sunnis and Alawites, despite a ceasefire brokered yesterday. Since fighting first erupted four days ago, fifteen people have died and nearly one hundred have been injured. Prime Minister Najib Mikati voiced concern on Wednesday over “efforts to drag Lebanon more and more into the conflict in Syria when what is required is for leaders to cooperate … to protect Lebanon from the danger.” Read more »

Middle East Matters This Week: Egyptian Bloodshed; Intensified Syrian Fighting and Defections

by Robert M. Danin Thursday, August 9, 2012
Egypt's prime minister Hisham Kandil prays for soldiers killed during an attack at a checkpoint along the Sinai border with Israel by unknown gunmen, at Omar Makram mosque in Cairo on August 7, 2012 (Mohamed Abd El Ghany/Courtesy Reuters).

Significant Middle East Developments

Egypt. Clashes between militants and security forces continued today in Egyptian Sinai with gunmen firing on a police station and hundreds of troops entering the town of El-Arish searching for militants. The clashes were sparked by a brutal attack on Sunday in which militants ambushed and killed sixteen border guards at sunset as they were breaking their daily Ramadan fast. The attackers then fled the slaughter in an armored vehicle which they drove into Israel. Read more »

Middle East Matters This Week: Annan’s Resignation, Syria’s Escalation, and Egypt’s Plodding Government Formation

by Robert M. Danin Thursday, August 2, 2012
UN-Arab League mediator Kofi Annan addresses a news conference at the United Nations in Geneva on August 2, 2012 (Denis Balibous/Courtesy Reuters).

Significant Middle East Developments

Annan Resignation. Kofi Annan, the UN and Arab League envoy for Syria, tendered his resignation today, having served in the position since late February. In a statement announcing that Annan was stepping down at the end of the month when his mandate expires, UN secretary general Ban Ki-Moon said: “The hand extended to turn away from violence in favor of dialogue and diplomacy—as spelled out in the Six-Point Plan—has not been taken, even though it still remains the best hope for the people of Syria.” Read more »

Syria by the Numbers II

by Robert M. Danin Wednesday, August 1, 2012
A man writes names on fresh graves of people whom activists say were killed by forces loyal to Syria's president Bashar al-Assad, after their funeral at the Qusseer neighbourhood of Homs on July 19, 2012 (Courtesy Reuters).

Length of Conflict

17 months


Total opposition deaths: 17,778 – 22,601
Civilians: 16,03220,958
Children: 1662 – 1754
Opposition military: 16431746 Read more »