Syria

  • Kuwait’s Apprehension about Normalizing Relations with Syria

    With the Syrian civil war winding down, politicians and observers alike recognize that President Bashar al-Assad has managed to retain his position as Syria’s head-of-state. Some countries have moved swiftly in acknowledging the outcome of the conflict by reinstating diplomatic ties with the Assad regime and reopening embassies in Damascus. The United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Bahrain, which, to varying degrees, opposed Assad after the civil war erupted, are two salient examples of this trend.
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  • The Risks of Ignoring Former ISIS Women Members

    The relationship between the Islamic State (ISIS) and its female members has always been complicated. On the one hand, the extremist group imposed rigid restrictions on women’s dress and their ability to appear in public places. On the other hand, it conscripted and trained many women to undertake various tasks within its ranks. Now, as the military defeat of ISIS draws near, many women want to go back to their lives before they joined.


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  • Faysal Itani in Syria Studies: Geo-economics - Russia and Iran in Syria


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  • ‘A Slow Death’ : Syrians Continue to Suffer in Idlib

    In light of what appears to be Assad’s victory in Syria, domestic and international attention is increasinglyshifting towards Syria’s reconstruction phase and the future of post-war Syria. But for many Syrians, the horrors of war are far from over. 


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  • In Syria, Civilians Again on the Bullseye

    According to a Western physician who returned days ago from a mission of mercy into Syria’s northwestern Idlib Province, no fewer than thirteen hospitals have been successfully targeted by Russian combat aircraft; three of them had previously declared their geographic coordinates to the United Nations. Thus far, Russia’s hospital offensive and the Assad regime’s barrel bombings have reportedly killed dozens of civilians and put 150,000 terrified people on the road. Provided the regime of Bashar al-Assad refrains from using chemical weapons, it seems very unlikely that anyone will lift a finger to protect Syrian civilians and, by extension, defend the West.
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  • Constant Attacks Continue to Displace Thousands in Syria

    The Syrian government along with its Russian allies launched a brutal assault on Idlib province, the last rebel-held areas, on Monday 30 April. The United Nations said the attacks included the worst use of barrel bombs by the Syrian army in 15 months. It said an estimated 323,000 people have been displaced in northwest Syria since last year. This bloody assault has been going on for two weeks and is a violation of the ongoing ceasefire agreement. The only victims of the daily barrel bombs and the Russians airstrikes are the civilians in Idlib.


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  • Why Europe Won’t Rebuild Syria

    Since the fall of 2018, we have seen increasing signals of disagreement among European Union (EU) member states regarding Syria. The official EU position remains one of non-engagement with the Bashar al-Assad regime until the realization of an “inclusive and Syrian-led political process that meets the legitimate aspirations of the Syrian people”— as stated in the United Nations Resolution 2254 that inspires the EU position. However, some European governments are breaking away from this position and beginning to engage with the Syrian government. Although some degree of political normalization between single EU member states and Damascus is likely in the near future, several powerful factors still prevent any significant European contribution to Syria reconstruction.


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  • El-Gamal joins Al-Jazeera to Discuss the Return of ISIS Fighters to their Countries of Origin


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  • The Growing Russian Challenge and What Should Be Done About It

    All around the world, Russia is increasingly asserting itself, propping up dictators, and, in some instances, posing a direct challenge to US interests. Russian President Vladimir Putin held his first-ever meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un in Vladivostok on April 25. Kim’s visit to Russia, an old ally, came as diplomacy with US President Donald J. Trump has faltered.

    Trump and Putin spoke on the phone for over an hour on May 3. Venezuela and North Korea were among the topics the two leaders discussed.


    We take a look at some areas of confrontation, what is driving Russian interests, and how the United States is responding to this challenge.


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  • In Syria, Trump Claims Victory but ISIS Remains

    US President Donald Trump’s December 2018 tweet announcing the withdrawal of American military forces from Syria has inadvertently invited ISIS (ISIL, IS, Daesh, Islamic State) to resurrect itself. Even though American officials have walked-back the presidential decree, the president himself has signaled no enduring or enthusiastic support for the essential, victory-sealing stabilization of areas liberated from ISIS.


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