Gaps in the international coalition’s approach as well as deep sectarian divisions in Iraq and the shifting strategies of the Syrian regime and its allies are allowing the Islamic State to continue to exist and expand.
Tunisia is reeling from a brutal terrorist attack on one of its popular beach resorts that has left 37 people dead.
Any changes to the map of Syria’s conflict in the rest of 2015 will almost certainly occur in its “shatterbelt:” those areas caught between the regime, armed opposition, and self-proclaimed Islamic State.
Amidst concern over human rights abuses, President Barack Obama’s administration has requested $1.5 billion in foreign aid, almost entirely for military assistance, for Egypt this coming year.
The rise of the self-proclaimed Islamic State in Syria and Iraq has prompted Iran and Russia to rethink their strategies in the region in order to protect their interests.
Many Islamic scholars say the so-called Islamic State has diverged from classical Sunnism, but the lack of a central voice, a decline in Islamic education, and attempts by states to influence religious thought have hampered the development of a strong counter-narrative.
Since the 2011 uprisings across the Middle East, each year has proven more challenging than the last. With conflicts spreading across the region, 2015 will follow a similar pattern.
As regimes and traditional militaries across the Middle East and North Africa crumble, powerful militias have risen in their place. A well structured national guard system is necessary to draw them into the national command structure.
Hezbollah is Lebanon’s strongest political party. However, its military intervention in the Syrian conflict has put it at a crossroads.
Food security has been eroded in Syria over the last few years, with production of main crops falling by varying degrees mainly due to the impact of the conflict on fertilizers, the disruption of trade routes, and the reduction of subsidies on fuel.