Trump Is Giving Syria the “Iran Treatment”

July 22, 2020

In mid-June, Washington imposed harsh economic sanctions on Syria under the Caesar Act. A key US objective behind these sanctions is to prevent President Bashar al-Assad from achieving a true victory in the civil war.

Vladimir Putin Is the Dominant Force in Syria

April 09, 2020

A month on from the deal signed between Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow, a truce remains in place in Idlib, the last rebel redoubt in Syria. The deal allowed Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, who was notably not involved in the negotiations, to...

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 “Peace Corridor” Isn’t a New Idea

October 10, 2019

There is a strange irony to the latest Turkish offensive announced in northern Syria. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan couched it on his Twitter feed as a move that will “preserve Syria’s territorial integrity and liberate local communities from terrorists.” Yet the creation of a “safe...

The Unabated Bombardment of Idlib in Syria

August 22, 2019

Over the last few weeks, the northwestern area of Idlib province in Syria has come under constant bombardment from regime forces and its allies. With a disturbing civilian casualty count mounting and a nation in upheaval after years of civil war, waning global attention is causing concern that one...

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.

American War Is Off the Charts

April 23, 2019

As the 2020 elections approach, watch out: There’s one possible American war still to come in the greater Middle East. Here’s a statement it might be hard to disagree with: American war is off the charts. Still, I’d like to explain, but I’m nervous about doing so. I know perfectly...

Syrian Kurds: The New Frontline in Confronting Iran and Turkey

January 15, 2019

In the Middle East, frontlines and tactics may be shifting, but US and Gulf geopolitical goals have not. Donald Trump’s threat to “devastate” the Turkish economy if Ankara attacks Syrian Kurds serves his broader goal of letting regional forces fight for common goals, like countering...

World Refugee Day Challenges Our Humanitarian Sensibilities

June 20, 2018

World Refugee Day should be an observance of communities that have opened their hearts and cities to those in need. While I have often expressed my thoughts about the Syrian, Palestinian and Iraqi refugees in Lebanon, even including the burdens carried by Jordan and Palestine, it is only a...

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