Carnegie Middle East Center's Director Maha Yahya joined Al Jazeera's Inside Story with Martine Dennis, alongside J.D. Gordon, national security and foreign policy adviser to Donald Trump, and Samer Shehata, associate professor of politics and international relations at the Doha Institute for Graduate Studies, to discuss US president-elect Donald Trump's stances on Syria, ISIL, and Iran. Yahya argued that Trump's proposed strategy of increased bombing of ISIL targets without regards to civilian lives is severely misguided and will only increase the threat of radicalization and terrorism globally. Yahya stated that eliminating ISIL means looking at the root causes of the group and working with the Iraqi government and US allies.
According to Yahya, rivalries between and the radicalization of Sunni and Shia communities and polarization between Saudi Arabia and Iran did not happen because strongmen in the region were removed but because how these strongmen ruled the region. She also noted that the US and its allies do have boots on the ground fighting ISIS. Maintaining Assad is not a viable solution for peace and could be fodder for more radicalization. Also Yahya pointed out that US-Russian cooperation should focus on local governance in Syria. On the topic of the Arab-Israeli conflict, Yahya argued that Trump's proposition to move the US embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem and declare Jerusalem as the capital of Israel could spur a third intifada.