• The Syrian Constitution: Assad’s Magic Wand

    The Syrian Constitution: Assad’s Magic Wand

    Qais Fares
    May 08, 2014

    The upcoming presidential elections will be no different from previous elections under the Assad regime. Even if the elections were democratic and transparent, Bashar al-Assad would win based on his constitutional powers alone.

  • Syrian Kurdish Areas Under the Rule of Law?

    Syrian Kurdish Areas Under the Rule of Law?

    Carl Drott
    May 07, 2014

    While the establishment of people's courts and peace councils in the Kurdish region of Syria are positive, the boundaries between party, civil society, and state structures have becomed blurred and could be problematic.

  • A New Leader for Syria's Muslim Brotherhood?

    A New Leader for Syria's Muslim Brotherhood?

    May 06, 2014

    With its leadership elections officially due to take place in July 2014, the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood is bracing to overcome internal divisions in order to elect its new comptroller general on time.

  • Teaching Revolution: Education in Wartime Syria

    Teaching Revolution: Education in Wartime Syria

    Tam Hussein
    May 01, 2014

    Supporting schools inside Syria is essential. Education is particularly important for civil society to flourish, and strengthening civil society within the country may give students a sense of normality back.

  • Yarmouk Ceasefires Have Brought No Reconciliation

    Yarmouk Ceasefires Have Brought No Reconciliation

    Salim Salamah
    April 29, 2014

    The ceasefires in the Yarmouk refugee camp were imposed solutions. It would be a grave mistake to understand these agreements as an example of genuine reconciliation.

  • Starving the Palestinian Yarmouk Camp

    Starving the Palestinian Yarmouk Camp

    Salim Salamah
    April 28, 2014

    The Syrian regime's siege of the Yarmouk refugee camp has changed the course of the conflict and strengthened the hand of the government.

  • What Would the Fall of Homs Mean?

    What Would the Fall of Homs Mean?

    April 24, 2014

    If the Syrian regime recaptures Old Homs, it will further cement Bashar al-Assad’s grip on an area of Syria he truly cannot afford to relinquish.

  • The Syrian Army Closes in on Homs

    The Syrian Army Closes in on Homs

    April 23, 2014

    The rebel stronghold in the Old City of Homs, which has withstood nearly two years of government siege and shelling, is close to falling.

  • Al-Qaeda Is Dead, Long Live Al-Qaeda

    Al-Qaeda Is Dead, Long Live Al-Qaeda

    Jean-Pierre Filiu
    April 22, 2014

    The former Iraqi branch of al-Qaeda has become an important driving force behind the global jihad, in its current guise as the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, or ISIL.

  • The Syria Factor in Iraqi Kurdish Politics

    The Syria Factor in Iraqi Kurdish Politics

    Wladimir Van Wilgenburg
    April 21, 2014

    Competing regional agendas continue to drive the two leading Kurdish actors in the region apart and because of this, they cannot agree on a joint policy to aid the Syrian Kurds.

  • Drought, Corruption, and War: Syria’s Agricultural Crisis

    Drought, Corruption, and War: Syria’s Agricultural Crisis

    April 18, 2014

    Villages, towns, and entire farming regions in Syria are being depopulated by violence, social breakdown, and economic collapse; they may never again be able to sustain a population of the size they held before 2011.

  • Druze Sheikhs Protest in Sweida

    Druze Sheikhs Protest in Sweida

    Tobias Lang
    April 16, 2014

    The regime's removal of a military intelligence chief of the southern Syrian city of Sweida after protests led by Druze religious sheikhs indicates that the position of the regime in the city is not as strong as it once was.

  • The Sham Legion: Syria’s Moderate Islamists

    The Sham Legion: Syria’s Moderate Islamists

    Raphaël Lefèvre, Ali El Yassir
    April 15, 2014

    The emergence of the Sham Legion, a moderate Islamist rebel group, may be a significant political development because, until its formation, only more conservative and Salafi-oriented brigades had managed to merge into ideologically coherent countrywide alliances.

  • Politics of the Islamic Front, Part 6: Stagnation?

    Politics of the Islamic Front, Part 6: Stagnation?

    April 14, 2014

    While the ideology, politics, and public messaging of the rebel factions making up the Islamic Front have been streamlined effectively, initial hopes for closer organizational and battlefield unity have not yet borne fruit. Five months after its creation, the Islamic Front seemingly remains a rather wobbly umbrella movement.

  • Iran’s Unrealistic Endgame in Syria

    Iran’s Unrealistic Endgame in Syria

    April 11, 2014

    Until Iran and all the other governments currently fanning the flames of war in Syria have accepted that no peace plan can work without a critical mass of armed actors on both sides, Syria’s slow collapse into Somalia-style anarchy will continue.

  • One Year of Jihadi Civil War

    One Year of Jihadi Civil War

    April 09, 2014

    Since the creation of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant a year ago today, the rivalry between Iraqi and Syrian militant leaders has grown into a full-blown jihadi civil war.

  • The Mujahideen Army of Aleppo

    The Mujahideen Army of Aleppo

    April 08, 2014

    Made up of thousands of fighters, the Mujahideen Army dominates a chunk of the strategically important countryside west of Aleppo and exerts influence over at least some of the main supply routes from Turkey to Aleppo.

  • What Do Syria’s Rebels Want From the West?

    What Do Syria’s Rebels Want From the West?

    Vera Mironova, Loubna Mrie, Sam Whitt
    April 07, 2014

    Many Syrians are well-aware of the role that major powers could play to determine the outcome of the war, but the public is divided on its support for the West. The United States and NATO are neither fully embraced nor universally reviled.

  • A New Free Syrian Army Leadership

    A New Free Syrian Army Leadership

    April 04, 2014

    It is far too early to tell whether it will have any impact on the ground, but a new Syrian rebel leadership is finally taking form after the splits of this spring.

  • Fueling Conflict: Syria's War for Oil and Gas

    Fueling Conflict: Syria's War for Oil and Gas

    David Butter
    April 02, 2014

    Syria’s oil and gas resources are too small to be considered a prize in the struggle over the country’s destiny, but energy issues still play an important part in the conflict.

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