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.
President Bashar al-Assad’s advance into Palmyra has redrawn Syria’s military battlefield and may accelerate a shift in the political landscape of the conflict as well.
Five years into the conflict, a credible path toward peace has yet to emerge in Syria.
Russia’s announcement of its withdrawal from Syria has surprised the international community and raised questions about the underlying calculations of the decision and the effect it may have on Syria’s future.
Choices in peacemaking terminology are often based on subtle differences and the political circumstances of various parties, particularly in the Syrian conflict.
A tenuous ceasefire has taken hold in Syria, but allegations of breaches, disparate motivations of outside actors, and local politics among rebel groups have already imperiled the agreement.
Although progress has been made toward a ceasefire in Syria, the road to a lasting solutions remains fraught with challenges.
While the Geneva III peace talks have been postponed, there is still hope that they will produce a framework for conflict management and the mitigation of Syrians’ horrific suffering.
Four months of relentless Russian bombardment and offensives by the government of Bashar al-Assad and its Shia allies seem to have left the Syrian opposition exhausted.
Aron Lund, Editor of Syria in Crisis, looks back on events in Syria in 2015 through the site’s most popular posts.