SyriaSource

  • Syria: Moscow Makes a Move

    Although the precise nature of Russia's recent upgrading of its military presence in Syria remains largely opaque to Western eyes, one thing seems clear: Moscow has doubled-down in its support of Bashar al-Assad and the family-based Assad regime.
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  • Syria: The Right Salafis Can Make All the Difference

    Salafi groups in Western media have triggered a debate over the jihadists’ role in the Syria war. The proliferation of terrorist groups like the Islamic State (ISIS or ISIL) has left the West wary of the Salafis, a narrative used by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to promote himself as a counterweight to the spread of extremism—an expansive label lumping together secular rebels and Salafi factions.
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  • Obama’s Failure to Stop Assad Contributes to Refugee Crisis

    The following is an excerpt from an article by Frederic Hof, Senior Fellow at the Atlantic Council’s Rafik Hariri Center for the Middle East, originally published by Foreign Policy on September 9, 2015.
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  • Syria: Don’t Let Perfect Be the Enemy of Good

    Foreign Policy published an intriguing article by Aaron David Miller, arguing that the current US Syria policy is the inevitable outcome of President Barack Obama’s foreign policy worldview.
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  • Syria Banks Will Wait Out the Conflict

    Many observers have dubbed the conflict in Syria (and rightly so) an international one, as regional and global powers compete through direct and proxy actors on Syrian territory. Their different forms of intervention has both shaped and transformed the Syrian revolution, which started with local protests in March 2011 as a rejection to the untenable status quo. Among the many grievances that galvanized protestors, their deliberate exclusion from economic opportunities featured prominently in demonstrations throughout the country. The entrenchment of crony capitalism among the regime’s inner circle, or regime businessmen, became the predominant characteristic of the Syrian political economy.
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  • Iran: The Costs of Diplomatic Single-Tracking

    Head counting in Congress indicates that President Barack Obama is closing in on veto-proof numbers as he seeks to implement the Iranian nuclear agreement. Indeed, he may well acquire the requisite number of Senate supporters (forty-one) to prevent a resolution of disapproval from even getting a vote in the upper house.
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  • A Potential Ground Component for the ISIS-Free Zone

    The Islamic State (ISIS or ISIL) attack on Marea on August 11 closely resembled their offensive in northern Aleppo two months prior. In both instances, ISIS launched attacks against the Levant Front (or Jabhat al-Shamiyya), in close proximity to the Turkish border and within ten miles of a Turkey-Aleppo supply route critical to rebel forces.
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  • Syria: Kicking the Can Down the Road

    The United Nations Security Council authorized a statement by the Council's president on August 17 endorsing a new search process for a negotiated political settlement in Syria. "Syrian parties" would be invited to attend "more focused consultations and discussions" in "four thematic working groups."
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  • Syria: An Open Letter to President Obama

    US Representative to the United Nations Samantha Power said that the Assad regime has “apparently grown reliant on the repugnant use of barrel bombs as an instrument of terror against innocent Syrian civilians.” Over 2,000 barrel bombs dropped on Syria since the first week of July. It is within this context that Ambassadors Frederic Hof and Robert Ford alongside humanitarian leaders and activists have urged US action.
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  • Syria: Is There a Political Future for Assad?

    News that Iran may submit a Syria peace plan to the United Nations combined with ongoing Syria-related talks between Moscow and Washington brings to the fore the perennial question of Bashar al-Assad, still recognized by the West as presiding over a heap of physical and political wreckage known as the Syrian Arab Republic.
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