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Topic - Bruce Riedel
Iranian support for embattled Syrian President Bashar Assad is producing a violent backlash against Tehran's interests in the Middle East and fueling a proxy war with Saudi Arabia that threatens to further destabilize the region.
U.S. intelligence has yet to uncover evidence that Syrian President Bashar Assad directly ordered the chemical attacks last month on civilians in a suburb of Damascus, though the consensus inside U.S. agencies and Congress is that members of Mr. Assad's inner circle likely gave the command, officials tell The Washington Times.
Egypt's crackdown on Muslim Brotherhood supporters risks driving the Islamist movement back toward the violent extremism it renounced decades ago, analysts said Thursday as security forces spent a second day fighting protesters who torched government buildings, churches and police stations.
Nawaz Sharif, a two-time former prime minister who has talked about ending Pakistan's role in the U.S.-led war against terrorism, was set to win a third term as the South Asian nation's leader on Sunday.
Fears of a coup in Pakistan increased Wednesday when the military warned of "potentially grievous consequences" after the prime minister criticized the army chief and the head of the country's spy agency.
Lebanon's year-old coalition government collapsed Wednesday amid fears that a United Nations report into the 2005 assassination of the country's prime minister will trigger a new civil war and plunge the Middle East into another conflict.
Pakistan provided support and training for militants to fight in India in an attempt to focus world attention on Kashmir, the country's former president said in a recent magazine interview.
A former Pakistani special forces officer has emerged as al Qaeda's most dangerous field commander in charge of a network of deep-cover agents in Europe who has had contact with an American terror suspect, Western intelligence officials say.
The West's engagement with Iran has "made Riyadh even more concerned about the rise of Iranian and Shia power from Lebanon, to Syria, Iraq, Bahrain and even Yemen," said Bruce Riedel, a former CIA officer who heads the Intelligence Project at the Brookings Institution in Washington.
The Saudis don't control Jabhat al-Nusra or Abdullah Azzam Brigades and are "increasingly worried that they are out of control and will bring civil war to Lebanon as well as Syria," Mr. Riedel said.