Returning From Syria: Terrorism in the West

March 01, 2014

Western security services need to be on guard to handle a new terrorist threat from Syria. With numerous foreign fighters converging in Syria over the last couple of years, the following question needs to be asked: What happens to the face of terrorism once the foreign fighters return...

Syria’s Implosion Shakes Jordan

January 29, 2014

Syria presents Jordan with complex social, political, economic and security challenges. The ongoing conflict in Syria is impacting the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan in numerous ways. Jordan tends to present an image of political stability and social cohesiveness in an otherwise turbulent...

Al-Qaeda’s Governance Strategy in Raqqa

December 19, 2013

An insight into Raqqa, a Syrian city under the control of an al-Qaeda affiliate. "Every 15 minutes someone poured water on me, electrocuted me, kicked me, and then walked out," says one activist in...

The Enemy of My Enemy: Perils of Training Syrian Rebels

October 03, 2013

Imparting war-fighting skills to Syrian insurgents might backfire. Training and supporting insurgents against one’s adversaries has been a cost effective strategy since the late 20th century, when states co-opted their adversaries’ enemies as proxy forces, avoiding the monetary cost of...

Sunni vs Shi’a: The Middle East Chessboard (Part 2/2)

September 06, 2013

Hostility between Sunnis and Shi’as has taken on an increasingly political core. This is the last of a two part series. Read part one here. This being said, gauging from personal interactions with many people hailing from both sects as well as the world of Twitter and Facebook, there is...

Considering the Options for Western Intervention in Syria

September 03, 2013

Syria's future may not be better off with regime change. Once again, the West seems to be teetering on the edge of invading a Middle Eastern country that is revolting against a Ba’athist government. However, there is still a great deal of uncertainty that would make a military operation...

Sunni vs Shi’a: The Middle East Chessboard (Part 1/2)

August 30, 2013

Hostility between Sunnis and Shi’as has taken on an increasingly political core. This is the first of a two part series.  The logic is simple enough, right? In black, we have the Shi’a with the king being Iran. In the white, we have the Sunnis with the king being Saudi Arabia. The...

Military Intervention in Syria: The End is Not Nigh

August 28, 2013

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...

Saudi Arabia and Qatar: Royal Rivalry in the Levant (Part 1/2)

August 14, 2013

The rivalry between Saudi Arabia and Qatar will not cease to be a factor affecting events in Syria. This is the first of a two part series. The cycle of calamity plaguing Syria continues to intensify with no end in...

International Jihad and the Syrian Conflict

August 07, 2013

Nicholas A. Heras speaks to Aaron Y. Zelin about the Syrian Civil War and foreign jihadi fighters. Nicholas A. Heras: What particular characteristics of the Syrian conflict have made it an attractive theater of jihad for militant Salafist fighters? How has the jihadi concept of fard kifaya...

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