The Revolutionary Command Council has arrived in a time of crisis for Syria’s rebels. If it survives its formative period without major splits, it may well establish itself as the new political framework for most of the Syrian opposition.
The refugee influx, fighting along the Lebanese-Syrian border, and the intervention of Lebanese Shia and Sunni Islamists on opposite sides in Syria’s civil war have all contributed greatly to the withering of Lebanon’s already precarious stability.
By arguing against Iraqis being drawn into cross-border sectarian struggles, Muqtada al-Sadr has positioned himself as an important voice of reason within the Shia community that dominates Iraq.
Ahrar al-Sham has long been seen as one of the “swing voters” of the Syrian insurgency, and it may turn out to be pivotal in the current struggle for northwestern Syria.
In the war against the Islamic State, Iraq’s Sunni tribes are all the rage. They are the commanding high ground on the battlefield’s “human terrain.”
U.S. fighter jets, bombers, and drones have recently struck several targets in the Sarmada region of Idlib Province in northwest Syria, near the Turkish border. The targets of the attack have proven to be both disputed and controversial.
With the al-Qaeda-linked Nusra Front consolidating its control over key regions in Idlib, the group now appears to be the single strongest faction in northwestern Syria, shifting the power on the ground.
Despite the challenges faced, the 2014 parliamentary elections were a landmark in the history of Tunisia and a step in the right direction as the country embarks on its journey toward democratization.
By seizing Sanaa and its security apparatus, the Iran-linked Houthis have imposed a new political reality in Yemen. But to secure their influence, they will eventually need to seek accommodation with Saudi Arabia.
Nearly four years into its transition, Tunisia has successfully navigated multiple political crises, produced a constitution, and staged successful parliamentary elections. The country exemplifies that democracy can be successful in the Arab world.
Most Islamic State fighters on the ground are local Syrians and Iraqis. Many of them are conservative and religious, but the vast majority are not ideological Salafi-jihadis.
The upcoming Tunisian parliamentary elections have different implications for the two main parties contesting the vote. For Ennahda, the goal is to solidify its standing as Tunisia’s central political actor while for Nidaa Tounes, a win is necessary to remain politically viable.
As the Egyptian government’s crackdown on dissent broadened over the last year, university campuses have increasingly been in the crosshairs as one of the last remaining spaces for dissent.
Even if the Syrian conflict were to be viewed solely through a security prism, the international community’s tepid response to the humanitarian crisis is counterproductive.
While the eyes of the world are glued to the U.S.-led intervention against the Islamic State, millions of Syrians suffer from a far more serious problem: they fear that they won’t be able to cook their food or keep the cold out of their homes this winter.
The outcome of the battle for Kobane will have significant implications for the fight against the Islamic State and developments in Turkey, Syria, and Iraq moving forward.
The Syrian refugee crisis is a major driver of violence and political tension in Lebanon. Tolerance for the refugees is gradually turning into resentment.
While Turkey is likely to lend assistance to the U.S.-led campaign against the Islamic State, the recent parliamentary vote won’t trigger any military action by itself. For Turkey, the top priority is not to join the campaign but to leverage it for other purposes.
The contribution of Gulf Arab countries in the fight against the Islamic State should not be overstated and should be caveated with an awareness of the risks and costs—for both the Gulf regimes at home and U.S. interests in the region.
The “Khorasan Group,” a network affiliated with al-Qaeda, has been a target of recent U.S. bombing in Syria. The sudden flurry of revelations about the group in the past two weeks smacks of strategic leaks and political spin.