Mona Alami

  • With US Withdrawal, EU Left Alone to Manage the Syrian Crisis

    The defeat of the last Islamic State (ISIS) stronghold in Syria concomitant with the sudden USannouncement of troops withdrawal from the northeast; leaves Europe in a tight spot. In recent years, EU governments have spent billions to mitigate the repercussions of the refugee wave resulting from the Syrian war while working towards normalization with the regime on a fair transition process.


    Read More
  • US Preparing to Withdraw Troops From Syria: What Does It Mean?

    Media reports suggest that the Trump administration has begun planning the removal US armed forces from northeastern Syria, as US President Donald Trump believes “we have defeated ISIS in Syria.”

    White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said on December 19, "five years ago today, ISIS was very powerful and dangerous force in the Middle East, and now the United States has defeated the territorial caliphate...We have started returning United States troops home as we transition to the next phase of this campaign. The United States and our allies stand ready to re-engage at all levels to defend American interests whenever necessary." According to Department of

    ...

    Read More
  • Hezbollah’s Evolving Role in Syria and Lebanon

    Hezbollah has been instrumental to Iran’s power play in the Middle East, and its behavior is often evocative of Iran’s priorities in Syria and Lebanon. As the United States ramps up sanctions against Tehran and the war winds down in Syria, Hezbollah has adapted by scaling back and shifting its role in regime areas while escalating its political rhetoric and activity in Lebanon. 

    Read More
  • Russia's Disinformation Campaign Has Changed How We See Syria

    Assad's future is looking brighter these days. He has regained control over much of Syria and is amassing loyalist forces in the north in preparation for the Idlib offensive, the last opposition Syrian stronghold. The regime has also met with the Syrian Democratic Council, a Kurdish dominated organization backed by the United States, and discussing the possibility for Kurdish self-administration and the integration of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) into the Syrian army.

    Read More
  • What Does the Ongoing Israel-Iran Confrontation in Syria Mean?

    Tension continues to escalate along the Israeli-Syrian border with the recent regime southern offensive to oust opposition in the area and Israeli attacks on Iranian targets in Syria. Continued activity along the border is expected as Iran continues to solidify its hold on Syria. Yet Israel's strategy is less clear as Iran continues to test the boundaries pushing Israel to act in Syria; among other actors like the Islamic State. We asked our nonresident senior fellows former Ambassador Frederic C. Hof, and Mona Alami about Israel's current and potential involvement in the Syrian conflict as it develops.

    Read More
  • What Does the Ongoing Israel-Iran Confrontation in Syria Mean?

    Tension continues to escalate along the Israeli-Syrian border with the recent regime southern offensive to oust opposition in the area and Israeli attacks on Iranian targets in Syria. Continued activity along the border is expected as Iran continues to solidify its hold on Syria. Yet Israeli's strategy is less clear as Iran continues to test the boundaries pushing Israel to act in Syria; among other actors like the Islamic State. We asked our nonresident senior fellows former Ambassador Frederic C. Hof, and Mona Alami about Israeli’s current and potential involvement in the Syrian conflict as it develops.

    Read More
  • The Superficial Removal of Iranian Troops from Southern Syria

    Much has been said in the last week of a possible Israeli-Russian arrangement in Syria aimed at curbing Iranian presence in strategic areas like the country’s southern border with Israel. Contradictory reports of troop movements in Qusayr by Tehran’s proxy, Hezbollah, do not change geopolitical realities: the militant group is there to primarily protect Iranian security interests, which remain focused on a long- term presence across the borders, even if this translates into possible dissensions with its tactical ally Russia.

    Read More
  • Lebanon’s Elections: Hezbollah in the Driver’s Seat?

    Hezbollah’s emergence as the strongest political faction during the Lebanese May elections confirms Iran’s sway over Lebanon, with the party now capable of securing an unchallenged veto at the parliamentary level and an absolute majority if it secures the right alliances. The recent electoral results also underline Hezbollah’s continued grip over its community despite ongoing governance challenges, and could herald instability for the Land of the Cedar amid escalating regional tensions.

    The May 6 Lebanese elections granted Hezbollah a comfortable majority. “Hezbollah’s block is unwavering since 2009, with thirteen seats for the organization. The main difference is that now, with allies such as the Syrian Nationalist Progressive Party, Amal, the Baathist movement, and the Marada’s advances in parliament (included in the hard March 8 core), the coalition...

    Read More
  • Alami in the Arab Weekly: Lebanon: New government, same choices


    Read More
  • Iran-Israel Proxy War Heats Up in Syria

    On the night of April 29, air strikes targeting Syrian military positions in Hama and Aleppo reportedly hit two Iran-linked bases resulting in a giant explosion measuring 2.6 on the Richter scale. According to a former head of military intelligence, this indicates the target may have been a weapons depot that was highly explosive, stating “the level of explosion that even moved the needle of an earthquake detector is not from the munition that attacked these places, but from the target.”

    Read More