A regular survey of experts on matters relating to Middle Eastern and North African politics and security.
In an interview, Isabel Käser discusses Kurdish female participation in northern Syria.
Iraq’s Yezidis are trapped amidst the rivalries all around them.
Carnegie Middle East recently hosted a roundtable on the self-declared Federation of Northern Syria-Rojava.
Once the Islamic State is defeated, Iraq will have to mend a divided society.
Why local tribal calculations will determine what happens outside Syria’s heartland.
Hoshyar Zebari, no paragon, has fallen victim to his rivals’ political machinations.
Turkey’s recent incursion into Syria aims to secure the self-proclaimed Islamic State’s main smuggling and trade hub in northern Syria, but there may be other motives.
Recent airstrikes in Hasakah by the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad may signal a shift in strategy against Kurdish movements in Syria.
As it becomes possible to take stock of the situation in Manbij and a new administration moves in, the city will be seen as an important bellwether in the war against the Islamic State.
Recent changes in the Turkish government and the consolidation of Kurdish gains in Syria and Iraq may cause a shift in Turkey’s Syria policy.
Recent strategic victories by the Kurds over the self-proclaimed Islamic State have bolstered prospects for continued Kurdish expansion.
The self-proclaimed Islamic State has recently experienced significant setbacks at the hands of the Syrian Democratic Forces, a Kurdish-majority alliance backed by the United States.
The Islamic State is no longer winning, but recent victories against the militant group have done little to address the long-standing grievances at the root of its emergence and continued appeal.
The battle to reclaim the Syrian city of Kobane was no Pyrrhic victory. It was a serious military change of fortunes, a major event in Kurdish politics, and an ominous sign of things to come for the Islamic State.
Kurdish-Arab clashes in Syria’s civil war have a history of flaring up violently and then dying down with little fanfare, including in Hasakah. But if the fighting continues, it may have a serious impact on the military balance in the city and the surrounding countryside.
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 provisional governance structures that have emerged in the Syrian Kurdish-majority areas captured by the PYD have become more formalized, and much of the policies are inspired by the writings of Abdullah Öcalan.
As the armed conflict between jihadists groups and the Syrian Kurdish militia moves into Arab-majority territories, both sides have increasingly relied on support from local Arab tribes to tip the balance.
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.