What the Idlib Crisis Means for Turkey and Russia

March 18, 2020

As the civil war in Syria moves toward an end, it becomes ever more difficult to postpone resolution of the toughest issues. Each actor has different priorities, which are not easy to reconcile. The Syrian regime wants to regain full control of its territory, while Russia and Iran are particularly...

The Unfolding Humanitarian Catastrophe in Idlib

March 04, 2020

On February 28, Turkey opened its borders with the European Union in the wake of the death of 34 Turkish soldiers in Syria. In response, Greece and Bulgaria stepped their border protections, insisting that they would not admit any Syrian refugees fleeing the civil war. In the meantime, the EU...

Turkey Pushes Syria and Egypt Closer

December 18, 2019

Since the 2013 coup in Egypt, Cairo has consistently supported Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. In October 2019, after Turkey launched Operation Peace Spring in northeast Syria, Egypt became more supportive of the government in Damascus.

Turkey’s Syria Gamble May Be a Losing Game

October 29, 2019

On October 22, the presidents of Russia and Turkey, Vladimir Putin and Recep Tayyip Erdogan, held a seven-hour summit in the resort town of Sochi to discuss Turkey’s incursion into northeastern Syria. Many experts and journalists are portraying the agreed deal as a success for Ankara and Moscow...

The Art of the Back-Pedal

October 25, 2019

It is a hallmark of right-wing populists to make a preposterous policy and then be forced — by opposition, by circumstance, by the laws of physics — to retreat. Three very recent examples involve US President Donald Trump, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Turkish President Recep Tayyip...

Facing the Consequences of Trump’s Decision to Abandon the Kurds

October 25, 2019

The sad tragedy of US President Donald Trump’s precipitous decision to suddenly abandon the Kurds of northern Syria is that it may have been inevitable. Turkey had long warned the Americans that it viscerally opposed its partnership with the People’s Protection Units (YGP) — a Syrian Kurdish...

Russia Turns Trump’s Middle East Blunder to Its Advantage

October 23, 2019

The Americans call the five-day halt to Turkey’s military incursion into northern Syria a ceasefire, while the Turks prefer to call it a pause. The Kurds call the incursion something else. For them, and for American soldiers who fought with them in the war against the Islamic State (IS), as well...

Will Idlib Trigger a Turkish-Syrian War?

July 29, 2019

In Syria’s northwestern province of Idlib, hundreds of thousands of civilians are trapped in what the UN has described as an unfolding humanitarian disaster.

The Battle for the Future of the Arab World

April 24, 2019

Today’s protesters have a leg up on their counterparts from the Arab Spring of 2011. Momentous developments across North and East Africa suggest the long-drawn-out process of political transition in the region — as well as the Middle East — is still in its infancy. So too does popular...

There Is No End in Sight for Turmoil in the Middle East

April 18, 2019

In this edition of the Interview, Fair Observer talks to Gilbert Achcar, professor of international relations at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London. The Middle East and North Africa continues to reverberate from the 2011 Arab Spring protests that rocked the region...

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