Syria Project

Our work on Syria sheds light on the ongoing struggle of Syrians to fulfill their desire for democratic self-governance as the United States and the international community grapple with the aftermath of a devastating civil war, millions of refugees across the Middle East and Europe, and ongoing security and political challenges spilling over Syria’s borders.



Past events

Learn more about the Rafik Hariri Center and Middle East Programs

Middle East Programs

Working with our allies and partners in Europe and the wider Middle East to protect US interests, build peace and security, and unlock the human potential of the region.

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Experts react

Feb 5, 2024

Experts react: US retaliation for the deadly attack in Jordan has begun. What’s next?

By Atlantic Council experts

Our experts interpret the United States' ongoing strikes against Iran-linked targets—and how Tehran and its proxies might view this response.

Conflict Crisis Management

Fast Thinking

Jan 28, 2024

Will the US retaliate against Iran after a deadly drone attack?

By Atlantic Council

Iran-backed militias just killed three US servicemembers in a drone attack in Jordan, and US President Joe Biden has promised to respond.

Conflict Iran

New Atlanticist

Jan 28, 2024

Experts react: Three US servicemembers were killed in Jordan. Will the US strike back at Iran?

By Atlantic Council experts

More than 150 attacks on US forces in the Middle East have occurred since October 2023, but the strike overnight was the first to kill a US soldier.

Conflict Iran


Jan 10, 2024

Mercenaries and Gaza

By Alia Brahimi

Host and Nonresident Senior Fellow Alia Brahimi speaks with Iraq expert Renad Mansour about what motivates the non-state actors who are leading the bid to avenge Gazans.

Conflict Crisis Management


Dec 18, 2023

2023: A year in the Middle East

By Rachel Friedman

2023 was a tumultuous and tragic year for the Middle East and North Africa. It also produced moments of hope and diplomatic feats.

Iran Iraq


Nov 30, 2023

What’s Charlie Sheen got to do with it?

By Alia Brahimi

Host and Nonresident Senior Fellow Alia Brahimi speaks with Russia analyst Sergey Sukhankin about the arrest in Libya of the Wagner Group operative Maksim Shugaley.

Conflict Crisis Management


Nov 8, 2023

The Gaza war raises questions about the future of Iran’s Resistance Axis

By Raz Zimmt

The Gaza war presents the first significant test of the level of cooperation present among the elements of the Iran-led Resistance Axis.

Iran Israel

Event Recap

Oct 30, 2023

Addressing the captagon crisis in MENA: Strategies & Challenges

By Diane Mohamed and Rachel Friedman

The Syria Program hosted a panel discussion taking stock of current captagon landscape in Syria and captagon’s place within the global illicit supply chain.

Corruption Crisis Management


Oct 26, 2023

Prosecuting the Wagner Group

By Alia Brahimi

Host and Nonresident Senior Fellow Alia Brahimi speaks with international human rights lawyer Jason McCue about the legal mechanisms available to prosecute the Wagner Group.

Conflict Crisis Management


Oct 16, 2023

Is Captagon going to halt the Arab normalization deal with Syria? An expert weighs-in

By Holly Dagres

New Lines Institute’s Caroline Rose was interviewed by our MENASource editor about the captagon crisis plaguing the region and what can be done to curb the illicit trade of the popular drug.

Economy & Business Middle East