Phillip Smyth

Phillip Smyth is a journalist and researcher specializing in Middle Eastern affairs. He travels regularly to the region. You can follow him on Twitter @PhillipSmyth.

A New Identity for Middle East Christians


The 20th century was a time in the Middle East when nominally secular dictators espousing notions of pan-Arabism — the ideology of uniting the “Arab World” and downplaying or crushing the different cultural aspects of the region’s innumerable sectarian groups — reigned supreme. However, as we continue past the first decade of the 21st century, […]

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Turkey and Arms for the Free Syrian Army: An Update


(This update has been added to Mr. Smyth’s piece, “Arming the Free Syrian Army,” which was posted Tuesday on our main site.) For some time, official Turkish spokesmen have denied the FSA was receiving arms from or through Turkey. In late March, one FSA spokesman told the press, “Enough talk about humanitarian aid…If Turkey had […]

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Arming the Free Syrian Army


In many modern wars, small-arms have been at the forefront of most operations. When taking on enemies of much greater size and scope, individually wielded weapons are often all that stands between survival and being crushed. The supply, acquisition, and types of arms used by armed forces are all vital pieces to any conflict. This […]

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Iraqi Kurdistan Without Blinders


Ever since the 2003 invasion of Iraq, media reports have typically drawn a contrast between the relatively prosperous the areas of Iraq under the jurisdiction of the autonomous Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) and the rest of the country. For example, a recent piece in the Washington Post noted the construction boom in Irbil — the […]

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