The traditional tools of U.S. statecraft in the Middle East are wanting.
Syrian rebels are borrowing from the legacy of the Fighting Vanguard.
As a new UN humanitarian coordinator arrives in Damascus, calls for a debate over aid increase.
With Iranian and Russian support Assad seems to be winning in the areas that matter most to him.
Syria’s rebels are learning the disadvantages of being a proxy force.
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.
Competing forces in the Syrian city of Aleppo have managed to place each other under siege, likely prompting further fighting at great human cost.
The attempted coup in Turkey and its aftermath may become a defining moment in both the country’s contemporary history and the war in Syria.
While forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad have suffered setbacks, recent advances have managed to reclaim strategic territories.
For Russia, the Syrian conflict is clearly a burden, but it is also a source of influence, through which the Kremlin has sought to develop its regional alliances, especially with Iran.
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.
For Turkey, changing course on Syria would be problematic and painful, but staying the course would be no less costly.
Russia and Iran are now trapped in a situation of mutual dependence where both stand to lose if the pact between Moscow, Tehran, and Damascus should fall apart.
Russia’s September 2015 aerial intervention in Syria would not have succeeded without a parallel Iranian intervention on the ground.
If negotiations fail to overcome the divide between rebel factions, the East Ghouta may be heading for a permanent internal split.
Tensions among rebel groups in Syria’s East Ghouta threaten to destabilize the enclave and perhaps even the broader Syrian rebellion.
Rebels in Syria’s East Ghouta enclave have established a unique system of coordination and governance under the auspices of one of Syria’s most powerful rebel factions.
The rapid depreciation of the Syrian pound has caused a further decline in the living standards of ordinary Syrians and threatens the continued functioning of what remains of the state.