Syria

الجمهورية العربية السورية

Eddie Gerald documented the battles between Kurdish fighters and Islamic State militants in Syria and Iraq....(full article)

It is clear that our efforts to defeat the Islamic State have been inadequate. Half-measures will not work against a growing threat from radical Islamists that are uniting fracture...(full article)

In August, Iraq’s Kurds faced their most serious threat since the Baath Party’s massacres and genocide of the 1980s. The Islamic State came within 30 kilometers of Erbil, the...(full article)

Gen. John Allen must sometimes feel as if he’s navigating a maze as he organizes the coalition to defeat the Islamic State: Iran is a silent partner in Iraq but a potential adver...(full article)

As Congress struggles to pass a bill to fund the government for the rest of the year, one curious and significant item was left on the cutting room floor: a request from the Barack...(full article)

Most Recent Articles

We Can't Use the 9/11 AUMF in Perpetuity - Joshua Keating, Slate

It’s now been more than a year and a half since President Obama told an audience at the National Defense University that “this war, like all wars, must end. That’s what histo...

Lebanon's Political Soothsayer Sees no Syria Solution - Ali Hashem, A-M

If there’s a name to be given to Walid Jumblatt, one of Lebanon’s veteran politicians and once a warlord during the 1975-1990 civil war, he might be called the survivor...

Israel Is Still doing America's Dirty Work - Jonathan Tobin, Commentary

Like those strikes, this past weekend’s attacks were primarily directed by Israel’s own security imperatives. Allowing Russia to transfer arms to terrorists, whether se...

Kurdistan's 'State' Warfare - Odisho, Mustafa & Fisher, The Conversation

Opening a front against Kurdistan, although inexplicable on military and political grounds, is intelligible under different criteria. The only reason that stands out among the prev...

Moscow's View on Damascus - Christopher Phillips, Chatham House

A weaker economy and the threat of Islamic State may limit some tools available to Russia, but are unlikely to alter Moscow’s overall view and strategy in Syria....

Iran Is Getting a Pass on Its Support of Syria - Bob Feferman, The Algemeiner

The recent CBS News 60 Minutes segment on Syrian refugees should have been a wakeup call and moved citizens of the world to action. In the report, we learned that the regime of Bas...

Mosul, a City at Death's Doorstep - James Denselow, Al Jazeera

December 9 marks the six-month anniversary of ISIL's capture of Mosul. The capture both put ISIL on the map and simultaneously threatened to fundamentally redraw it. Coverage of th...

ISIS Jihadis Get 'Slavery for Dummies' - Jamie Dettmer, The Daily Beast

Whom can you enslave? What can you do with female slaves? Can you beat them and have sex with them? The militants of the self-styled Islamic State, never shy to parade their grue...

Syria Breaking World's 'Humanitarian' Bank - Joshua Keating, Slate

The U.N. appealed Monday for $16.4 billion in donations to meet global humanitarian needs in 2015, the largest annual appeal in history.  Last year, the U.N. asked for $12.9 bi...

Rescuing Hostages Is Never Easy - Martin Reardon, Al Jazeera

Saturday's failed hostage rescue mission in Yemen was indeed tragic. While the official details as to exactly what happened have not yet been released, it appears Luke Somers, an A...

A Look at Life in Kobani - Associated Press

From a small, backwater tucked in northern Syria, the Kurdish town of Kobani was thrown onto the world stage in September when Islamic State militants stormed in and captured almos...

French Jihadism Carries Shades of WWII - Robert Zaretsky, LA Times

What Hitler's recruits and Islamic State's have in common....

Monday Morning Quarterbacking, Syria Style - Timothy Hoyt, WOTR

Senator Corker suggests that if President Obama had ordered this strike, we would somehow be in a better place in Syria today. This argument should be examined carefully. It is a p...

Obama Can't Decide If Assad Should Go - Max Boot, Commentary

The good news: the U.S. and Turkey are supposedly making progress on a deal whereby the U.S. would declare a small buffer zone along Syria’s border with Turkey in return for An...

A Mideast Threat Bigger Than ISIS - Faisal Al Yafai, The National

The Middle East’s most influential figure is faceless, a challenge for the region bigger than the threat of ISIL or the rise of Iran. It is the refugee crisis in Syria, a namel...

Joining ISIS Not All Its Cracked Up to Be - Siobhan O'Grady, FP

Someone's got to clean toilets and fetch water for Islamic State militants, but a would-be Indian jihadi who traveled all the way to Iraq to fight for the armed group came home i...

How ISIS Came to Use North Korean Tanks - Oliemans & Mitzer, NK News

Influence, legacy of DPRK weapons industry extends beyond original Syrian government clients....

ISIS Plunders the Treasures of Antiquity - Martine Robert, Worldcrunch

Amid the mayhem of civil war, huge money is to be made from stealing and selling archeological treasures from Iraq and Syria. ISIS ambitions are fueling an already huge black marke...

U.S. Foreign Policy After Obama - Jennifer Rubin, Washington Post

As Republicans are looking to formulate a post-Obama foreign policy, they would do well to avoid Obama’s fundamental errors. Like our Western allies, Republicans must go beyo...

The Secular Jihad in Kobani - Crispian Cuss, Al Jazeera

Western fighters on the Kurdish front lines is a counter-narrative to the thousands of foreigners who have joined ISIL....

The Islamic State Reshapes the Middle East - George Friedman, Stratfor

The United States withdrew from Iraq hoping that Baghdad, even if unable to govern its territory with a consistent level of authority, would nevertheless develop a balance of power...

Rand Paul Declares War on ISIS - Olivia Nuzzi, Daily Beast

The Kentucky senator, seeking to define himself as a foreign policy heavyweight ahead of 2016, will introduce a measure in the Senate next month declaring war on the terror group....

A Look at Obama's Syria Options - Henri Barkey, The American Interest

Press reports suggest that President Obama has ordered a review of Syria strategy (though the White House is denying this). He has already made it clear that he does not favor dire...

U.S. Has Nothing to Gain from Intervention in Syria - J.D. Stuster, RCW

After three years of strategic ambivalence followed by three months of strategic shift, President Barack Obama may be considering another change in strategy for Syria. He's conveni...

Bashar Al Assad Looks Comfortable as Ever - J. Bowen, New Statesman

In Damascus, the war seems to have receded. The city no longer shakes quite so much from the cracks and booms of outgoing artillery fire. The Syrian armed forces have taken ground ...

Congress Should Debate Obama's New War - Los Angeles Times

This is a new and different war — not a repeat of the George W. Bush-era conflicts — and Congress must debate the wisdom, or folly, of using force....

Thinking About post-ISIS Geopolitics - Ronald Tiersky, Huffington Post

IS has already put into place certain aspects of a normal state. A recent New York Times article noted that it not only has a flag, it has also created courts (a religious judicial...

Iran Hardly Needs Nukes to Be a Threat - Faisal Al Yafai, The National

In just under a week, the Iranians and the Americans say, they will present an answer to Iran’s nuclear programme. In reality, they are only likely to raise more questions....

ISIS's Institutional Brutality may Be Working - Zack Beauchamp, Vox

Scattered reports from inside ISIS-controlled territory have painted an awful picture of life under the militant group's rule. But a brand-new UN report, compiled from interviews w...

Congress Must Act on War Authority - New York Times

Military Action in Syria Requires a New A.U.M.F....

Westerners Among ISIS Executioners - Megan Specia, Mashable

When a graphic video surfaced this weekend, claiming to show that ISIS militants had beheaded the American aid worker Peter Kassig, investigators across the world quickly took noti...

A United GCC Benefits Everyone - The National

Syria will also benefit from a united GCC after the current crisis is eventually replaced by peace. While there is no imminent prospect of this, when calm does return the GCC is th...

The Kurds Rise from the Ashes of Syria - Michael Totten, World Affairs

Syria no longer exists. The tyrannical regime of Bashar al-Assad governs parts of what’s left of it. The psychopathic Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) controls another l...

How ISIS Is Winning Women - Vivienne Walt, Time

Sahra, from Lézignan-Corbières in a wine-producing region of southern France, never went to school that day. Instead, she took a train to a nearby airport and flew alone to Tu...

The Risk of Nation-State Conflict - Walter Russell Mead, American Interest

While it is difficult to see into the future at all and impossible to make detailed predictions, everything we know about history and human development suggests that the 21st centu...

Inside the Mind of a British Suicide Bomber - James Harkin, Newsweek

If Kabir Ahmed is dead, as suspected, he will have become Britain’s first ISIS suicide bomber. For those struggling to understand why a 30-year-old with a wife and three chil...

The Declining Relevance of Despots - Robert Kaplan, Stratfor

Karl Marx had a phrase for the kind of tyranny that has existed in parts of the developing world in our era: "oriental despotism." In an article in an 1853 edition of The New York ...

Kurds Fight for a New Kind of Democracy - K. Manoharan, Conversation

The struggle for Kobane is an event of global significance on a par with the Declaration of Independence, the Storming of the Bastille, the Paris Commune, or the Vietnamese victory...

A Killer Al Qaeda-ISIS Alliance - Jamie Dettmer, Daily Beast

U.S. airstrikes have helped drive ISIS and al Nusra together, and the Khorasan group is trying to cement the deal. The big losers: Everybody else—except Assad....

9 Truths About the War on Islamic State - John McLaughlin, Ozy

What are the hard realities we’re dealing with? And, given that U.S. officials say it could take up to a year to train and field a ground force to combat the Islamic State in...

Is ISIS Minting Gold and Silver Dinars? - Gilad Shiloach, Vocativ

Some ISIS supporters were enthusiastic about the new currency rumors, while other online observers seemed to think it wasn’t the most economically sound idea....

ISIS Leader May Be Dead, and It Doesn't Matter - Juan Cole, IC

Rumors are swirling that ISIL leader Ibrahim al-Samarra’i (who goes by the nom de guerre of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi) was severely wounded and that some of his chief lieutenants ...

U.S. Hits Hard at ISIS Leadership - Erin Cunningham & Missy Ryan, WaPo

U.S. warplanes launched airstrikes on what U.S. officials said was a gathering of Islamic State commanders near the militant-held city of Mosul on Friday, in one of the most promin...

Obama's Letter to the Ayatollah - Matthew Lee & Julie Pace, Associated Press

In a rare outreach to Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, President Barack Obama has written a letter about the fight against Islamic State militants, a common enemy in S...

Canada Should Be Wary of Greater Middle East Role - The Star

It’s early days yet but Canada already faces pressure to ramp up its military commitment against Islamic State jihadists in Iraq and Syria....

Syria