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.
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.
U.S. President Barack Obama’s four-pronged strategy against the Islamic State is fraught with trade-offs, risks, and hidden costs that need to be addressed.
The path towards U.S. recognition of the Syrian opposition has been long and tortuous, but the United States has recently taken several steps to signal increased support for the opposition.
The remarkably nonsectarian and democratic statement signed by rebel factions in southern Syria in February was likely only a ploy by rebel commanders to get more foreign support by declaring their opposition to extremism.
If the conflict in Ukraine develops into a lasting standoff between the U.S.-EU camp and Russia, it may shift the dynamics in Syria in more direct ways as well.
The Supreme Military Council (SMC) issued a statement announcing that it had expelled its own chief of staff, Salim Idris. But confusion reigned—and soon thereafter, an SMC commander called the decision a “coup."
The rebel groups' armed offensive in southern Syria helps clarify where they think the real renegotiation of power in Syria is taking place: on the battlefield.
Much hinges on how Russia and Iran are approached by the Friends of Syria group, which will have to rethink their approach to opposition representation at negotiations and, more importantly, how a transitional process in Syria will unfold in practice.
The United States and Russia should present Syrians of all persuasions with a practical template against which to measure both the regime’s and the opposition’s willingness to find a genuine political solution.
Deraa, the cradle of the Syrian uprising, has become the main point of entry for direct U.S. support to the Syrian insurgency.
A preliminary date has been set for the Geneva II negotiations and the Syrian opposition is expected to sit down with representatives from Bashar al-Assad’s regime to discuss the prospect of a unity government. But note the word ”preliminary.”