Issue Brief

Mar 18, 2022

THE DAY AFTER: Anticipating trouble in the event of a US withdrawal from Syria

By Jomana Qaddour

Jomana Qaddour’s latest issue brief examines the social, political, and economic implications and the challenges to US presence in Syria.

Middle East Politics & Diplomacy

Issue Brief

Jun 14, 2021

What choices remain for the United States in Syria?

By Nate Rosenblatt and Jomana Qaddour

In a new issue brief Nate Rosenblatt and Jomana Qaddour describe the challenges the United States faces in Syria, including Russia’s attempt to expand the UN Strategic Framework as well the struggle to keep the UN humanitarian border crossings open in northern Syria.

Human Rights International Organizations

Issue Brief

Jun 4, 2021

Syrian lives in peril: The fight to preserve Syria’s last humanitarian border crossing

By Salman Husain, Yasmine Chawaf

A new Atlantic Council report, “Syrian Lives in Peril: The Fight to Preserve Syria’s Last Humanitarian Border Crossing,” places humanitarian considerations at the forefront of the cross-border debate. In addition to examining the devastating impacts of losing Bab al-Hawa, this report explores the limitations of cross-line operations (from government-held areas of Syria to areas outside of its control), which are presented as feasible alternatives.

Middle East Migration
A net launched from a net-capture system just before catching its target, Quantico, Virginia (December 2018). Source: Red Six Solutions

Issue Brief

May 4, 2020

Drone attacks against critical infrastructure: A real and present threat

By Dr. Scott Crino and Conrad “Andy” Dreby

Read the Middle East Program’s new paper on the use of weaponized drones in the Middle East, with recommendations for policymakers.

Drones Middle East

Issue Brief

Sep 24, 2019

The United States in Syria: Why it still matters

By Frederic C. Hof

The objective of the United States in Syria must be a full political transition from criminal, terrorist rule by family and entourage to a consensual, legitimate system featuring rule of law. Its achievement would, barring unanticipated regime collapse, take years of patient, focused, and disciplined effort.

Politics & Diplomacy Resilience & Society

Past events

All content


Nov 14, 2022

How a former al-Qaeda affiliate became an existential threat and a wake-up call for the Syrian opposition

By Ömer Özkizilcik

The entry and forced withdrawal of Afrin city by Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) shook local dynamics and may ultimately serve as a wake-up call for the Syrian opposition.

Middle East Politics & Diplomacy


Sep 8, 2022

In Syria, cutting and running is not on the cards for Turkey

By Malik al-Abdeh and Lars Hauch

If diplomacy fails, the military option is always on the table, as President Recep Tayyip reiterated in a speech on August 25.

Middle East Politics & Diplomacy


Aug 4, 2022

Russia is forming an alliance of pariah states in the Middle East. It might put Israel in an awkward situation in Syria. 

By Ksenia Svetlova

For lack of other options, Russia is opening to Iran and is preparing to establish a new alliance of pariah states with the Islamic Republic—to the detriment of Jerusalem.

Europe & Eurasia Israel


Jun 21, 2022

This organization is helping Syria’s LGBTQI community. Here’s how.

By Jennifer Bailey and Francois Zankih

Guardians of Equality Movement and other organizations and groups like it are a promising indicator for renewable development.

Human Rights Middle East


Mar 24, 2022

Action must be taken to award reparations to victims of Russian war crimes

By Jomana Qaddour, Celeste Kmiotek

The international community is overdue for an overhaul of the legal tools accessible to victims of state-sponsored crimes in the twenty-first century. Perhaps justice mechanisms for Ukraine and Syria can stymie such impunity once and for all.

Middle East Politics & Diplomacy


Mar 18, 2022

ISIS has a new leader. It’s important to understand their operational capacity.

By Orwa Ajjoub

The attack on al-Sina’a prison and other similar attacks reflect its operational capacity and the future threat it will pose to the region.

Middle East Politics & Diplomacy


Mar 9, 2022

The Russian invasion of Ukraine happened because the world gave Vladimir Putin a free pass in Syria

By Marwan Safar Jalani

Now that the world can finally—albeit belatedly—see Vladimir Putin for what he is, Syrians hope that the world views their plight for democracy and freedom in Syria with more solidarity.

Middle East Politics & Diplomacy


Feb 24, 2022

Syria has a water crisis. And it’s not going away.

By Aurora Sottimano and Nabil Samman

The current water crisis wasn’t entirely unexpected. Profound changes to Syria’s hydrology have been taking place for decades due to mismanagement, climate change, economic growth, intensified water use, and heightened competition for water across international boundaries.  

Energy & Environment Middle East


Feb 10, 2022

A perpetrator of Syrian crimes against humanity went free in France. Here’s why it shouldn’t happen again

By Michel Duclos

If the scope for changing the course of events in Syria is limited, it’s honorable to take a stand against the abominable crimes of the Bashar al-Assad regime. It would be a great pity for France to be seen as a safe haven for Assad’s accomplices.

Europe & Eurasia France


Feb 8, 2022

The politics of early recovery aid in Syria. Is it actually reconstruction aid?

By Samy Akil and Dr. Karam Shaar

The stakes remain high and immediate action is needed to avoid further suffering and enrichment of the regime from aid. This can only be achieved with a grand vision by the Biden administration to resolve the conflict that remains vague to date.

Middle East Politics & Diplomacy


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