• A Government to Fill the Void in Lebanon

    A Government to Fill the Void in Lebanon

    February 18, 2014

    If the creation of a cabinet does indeed result in intensified efforts to “disassociate” Lebanon from Syria, it may grant Lebanon some well-earned breathing space—but tightening the border could also increase the pressure within Syrian borders.

  • A Coup in the Supreme Military Council?

    A Coup in the Supreme Military Council?

    February 17, 2014

    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."

  • Syria’s Southern Spring Offensive

    Syria’s Southern Spring Offensive

    February 14, 2014

    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.

  • Syria’s Spillover Effect on Jordan

    Syria’s Spillover Effect on Jordan

    Nikita Malik
    February 13, 2014

    There is a risk that the flow of weapons and fighters from Jordan into Syria will contribute to lawlessness and insecurity in Jordan, and the spillover of the hundreds of thousands of Syrians refugees into Jordan is likely to continue.

  • No Stability in Syria Without Political Change

    No Stability in Syria Without Political Change

    Thomas Pierret
    February 12, 2014

    Attempts to resolve the conflict by focusing only on its regional dimension will be doomed to fail. Any credible peace effort requires negotiations that deal with the root problem and the demand for real political transition.

  • As Syria Crumbles, Israel Woos the Golan Druze

    As Syria Crumbles, Israel Woos the Golan Druze

    Tobias Lang
    February 11, 2014

    More than thirty years after its annexation of the Golan Heights, the civil war in Syria seems to have presented Israel with a chance to draw the Druze population of the Golan Heights closer to itself.

  • Ambiguous Rebel Statements on the Geneva Negotiations

    Ambiguous Rebel Statements on the Geneva Negotiations

    February 10, 2014

    Despite the radicalization and despair that has set in on the opposition side, some combination of international pressure and real political opportunity could still have an influence on the insurgency’s ideological choices.

  • Russia’s Influence in Syria: The Million Ruble Question

    Russia’s Influence in Syria: The Million Ruble Question

    February 07, 2014

    In the past three years, Russian influence in Syria has swelled dramatically and Moscow has acquired a new hand to play in regional politics.

  • Syria Drawn Into Turkey’s Crisis

    Syria Drawn Into Turkey’s Crisis

    February 06, 2014

    Syria is clearly an area where Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan is dangerously exposed, at a time when he is already facing growing internal pressure.

  • Sharia Strategy: Rule of Law Replacing the State

    Sharia Strategy: Rule of Law Replacing the State

    Corri Zoli, Emily Schneider
    February 04, 2014

    Instead of focusing on the institutions of a future Syria, the al-Qaeda aligned Nusra Front is trying to implement a more broadly based Islamic rule of law.

  • Isolating the Islamic State

    Isolating the Islamic State

    February 04, 2014

    A civil war has erupted within global jihadism and it seems to pass the point of no return. Senior militants and clerics are now lining up to isolate and undermine the Syrian-Iraqi faction known as the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).

  • A Public Service Announcement From Al-Qaeda

    A Public Service Announcement From Al-Qaeda

    February 03, 2014

    A statement released by the top leadership of al-Qaeda asserts that there is no organizational link between the group and the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).

  • A Rift in the National Coordination Body

    A Rift in the National Coordination Body

    January 31, 2014

    The alliance between Syria’s Arab nationalist and pacifist opposition and its most hardline Kurdish guerrilla movement is possibly nearing a divorce.

  • The Politics of the Islamic Front, Part 5: The Kurds

    The Politics of the Islamic Front, Part 5: The Kurds

    January 30, 2014

    The Islamic Front has presented unified positions on a number of issues, but in one case the Islamic Front has had trouble reconciling its stated ideological agenda with political reality—namely, the Kurdish question.

  • How the War in Syria Empowers Lebanese Jihadism

    How the War in Syria Empowers Lebanese Jihadism

    January 29, 2014

    Viewing Lebanon as a transit point for the struggle in Syria and considering its state institutions as legitimate targets may, in due course, fuel the rise of the much-feared Islamic State of Lebanon.

  • Syria’s “Lost Province”: The Hatay Question Returns

    Syria’s “Lost Province”: The Hatay Question Returns

    Emma Lundgren Jörum
    January 28, 2014

    The Hatay region, located on the coast north of Latakia, was originally a part of Syria, but Turkey annexed the region in 1939. While Hatay has made a forceful comeback in Syrian media, nothing suggests that the new rhetoric is indicative of a deeper change in the view that has quietly guided Syrian policy ever since 1939.

  • The Other Syrian Peace Process

    The Other Syrian Peace Process

    January 27, 2014

    The Umma Initiative, launched by Saudi Salafi preacher Abdullah bin Mohammed al-Moheisini, calls for an immediate ceasefire between the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant and other rebels, and the election of a joint arbitration court from a list of ten independent religious scholars.

  • Weak Rebel Support for the Syrian Peace Talks

    Weak Rebel Support for the Syrian Peace Talks

    January 24, 2014

    Most of Syria’s large rebel groups have explicitly distanced themselves from the Geneva talks.

  • A Revolution in Syria’s Muslim Brotherhood?

    A Revolution in Syria’s Muslim Brotherhood?

    January 23, 2014

    A recent statement authored by a self-described “group of sons of the Muslim Brotherhood” criticizes the organization's leadership handling of politics over the past three years, revealing real grievances

  • The Syrian Regime’s Geneva Strategy

    The Syrian Regime’s Geneva Strategy

    January 22, 2014

    President Bashar al-Assad sent a delegation to Geneva II composed largely of veteran diplomats, politicians, and media specialists. According to the Syrian president, they are going to the talks in order to discuss the best way to “fight terrorism” in Syria.

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