Nicholas Heras

Middle East Researcher
Nicholas A. Heras is a Middle East researcher at the Center for a New American Security and an associated analyst with The Jamestown Foundation. He is a former contributing editor and analyst at Fair Observer and an ex-David L. Boren fellow.
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President Trump Should Invest in Southern Syria’s Rebels

By increasing its investment in the Southern Front, the Trump administration can secure some of the most important areas of Syria. The Syrian opposition movement has come to an inflection point from which it will be irreversibly changed—with significant consequences for the stability of the Middle East and the ongoing US-led campaign against the Islamic State (IS). The recent fall of the... Continue Reading

Fair Observer

The Reality in Syria Casts a Shadow Over Vienna

A hopeful start to the Vienna process on Syria belies a harsher and more harrowing reality on the ground. Hope is fleeting in Syria. The civil war has killed approximately 250,000 people, displaced more than 11 million (which is more than half of Syria’s pre-war population), caused hundreds of billions of dollars of destruction to the country’s infrastructure, and has been a beacon for... Continue Reading

Fair Observer

Kobani Could Strengthen Kurdish-Arab Relations in Syria

Will Kobani serve as a model for cooperation in the fight against the Islamic State? The Islamic State (IS) has suffered a setback at the Syrian-Turkish border city of Kobani. This much-heralded event was important for a reason that has potential ramifications for the civil war and the future stability of Syria: Arab-majority armed, moderate opposition groups and Kurdish militias under the... Continue Reading

Fair Observer

The Fight for Pluralism in Syria

The “train-and-equip” policy seeks to train Syrian rebel fighters to combat the Assad regime and the Islamic State. In March, the United States and several of its Middle Eastern allies will begin training Syrian fighters through a revamped train-and-equip program, which will form the core first class of Syria’s non-jihadist armed opposition. At this stage, the program will seek to... Continue Reading

Fair Observer

Does the Islamic State Pose a Threat to Morocco and Jordan?

The continued existence and potential expansion of the Islamic State undermines the legitimacy of the Middle East’s constitutional monarchies. The Middle East and North Africa's constitutional monarchies are surviving the upheaval of the Arab Spring. Morocco and Jordan, two key US allies in the region, are popularly billed as constitutional monarchies. The two kingdoms are generally... Continue Reading

Fair Observer

The Tribal Component of Iraq’s Sunni Rebellion

The GMCIR is emerging as one of the most powerful organizations in the Iraqi conflict. Following the Iraqi armed opposition’s seizure of Mosul on June 10, and the subsequent capture of large areas of Ninewah, Salah al-Din and Ta’mim governorates, several Iraqi organizations have proclaimed their role in the... Continue Reading

Fair Observer

Another Civil War in Libya?

Rivalries between Libya’s political and military actors threaten a new civil war. The ongoing political dispute in Libya between a secularist and liberal political alliance and Islamist groups is a significant contributing factor to violence afflicting the country. Militia groups that are allied with a retired Libyan general, Khalifa Haftar, and his “Libyan National Army” have seized... Continue Reading

Fair Observer

The Hezbollah Cavalcade: Iran’s Important Weapon in the Middle East

Foreign Shi’a fighters active in the Syrian conflict are a potent future weapon for Iran.   The Syrian Civil War is attracting a significant number of Shi’a jihadist fighters from the greater Middle East. With estimates ranging from 7,000-15,000, many of these fighters are traveling to Syria to protect the Sayyida Zainab shrine in Damascus’ southern suburbs in cooperation with the... Continue Reading

Fair Observer

Military Intervention in Syria: The End is Not Nigh

The proposed US-led military strikes are unlikely to end the Syrian military’s war efforts. The proposed US-led military action against the Syrian military, in response to allegations that the Bashar al-Assad government authorized the use of chemical weapons against civilian targets in the Ghouta suburb of Damascus, is being reported as likely to occur within the next few days. Leading... Continue Reading

Fair Observer

Understanding India and "West Asia"

The Middle East can expect the enduring future presence of India. India’s relationship with the Middle East — which Indian policymakers refer to by the perhaps more geographically correct, official United Nations term of "West Asia" — is driven by the cold, hard logic of realism. In the context of the civil society upheavals that are ongoing in many nations of the... Continue Reading

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