The Back Channel


Men run at a site hit by airstrikes in the rebel-held, besieged Douma neighborhood of Damascus, Feb. 19, 2017.  (photo by REUTERS/Bassam Khabieh)

No breakthrough expected at new Syria talks

Wednesday, Feb. 22, 2017 | Laura Rozen, Back Channel

Expectations were modest for a new round of Syria talks set to get underway in Geneva Feb. 23, with the new US administration still formulating its policies.

Netanyahu arrives to Trump White House in turmoil

Tuesday, Feb. 14, 2017 | Laura Rozen, Back Channel

The Israeli prime minister, who has long hoped to work with a Republican US president, arrives to a White House in crisis, but early enough, he hopes, to influence policies.

The colonels shaping Trump's Middle East policy

Thursday, Feb. 9, 2017 | Laura Rozen, Back Channel

Who’s who in the Trump NSC: The retired military intelligence officers who helped David Petraeus with the surge in Iraq are now shaping policies for a president who says the United States should have never invaded Iraq.

White House warns Iran on missile test, but signals intent to enforce nuclear deal

Thursday, Feb. 2, 2017 | Laura Rozen, Back Channel

Trump national security aides warned Iran against missile tests and its support for Yemen’s Houthi rebels, but said they were drawing a line between Iran’s regional behavior and the Iran nuclear deal.

Former US envoy: Syria may be central to Trump-Netanyahu meeting

Wednesday, Feb. 1, 2017 | Laura Rozen, Back Channel

US President Donald Trump has hinted at creating safe zones in Syria in a draft executive order and in conversations with the Saudi king, while the former US ambassador to Israel says Syria will likely be a "central topic" in Trump’s upcoming meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Trump follows predecessors in slowing Israel embassy move

Tuesday, Jan. 24, 2017 | Laura Rozen, Back Channel

Overshadowed by his unorthodox campaign promises, new US President Donald Trump, in his first days in office, has followed convention elsewhere in slowing down his pledge to move the US Embassy to Jerusalem.

Confusion over US presence at Astana Syria talks

Thursday, Jan. 19, 2017 | Laura Rozen, Back Channel

A Russian invitation to the Trump transition team to send a representative to Syria peace talks in the Kazakh capital Astana Jan. 23 has caused confusion and revealed limited interactions between the incoming and outgoing US administrations.

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