Analysis

How the Syrian Regime Is Using the Mask of ‘Reconciliation’ to Destroy Opposition Institutions

As the Syrian regime and its allies have regained control of opposition areas in the Damascus countryside (Rif Dimashq), they have used two separate tactics to try to eliminate pockets of resistance. One is forced displacement of the entire population, which has occurred in areas such as Daraya and Zabadani. The other is the misleadingly named ‘comprehensive reconciliation’ – in reality, a combination of coercion and enticement aimed at replacing administrative bodies set up by the opposition with local authorities loyal to the regime.

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Analysis

Why the liberation of Raqqa will not bring stability to Syria

The battle to liberate Raqqa from ISIS has started and reports of areas that are being taken back from the terrorist organization are already emerging. The United States and its allies are presenting the campaign in positive terms, saying that stripping the so-called ‘caliphate’ from its capital will be a significant blow to ISIS. But the liberation of Raqqa faces a number of significant challenges that the international anti-ISIS coalition needs to pay attention to, lest the gains from the campaign be overshadowed by a new wave of tension.

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Research Paper

Local Community Resistance to Extremist Groups in Syria: Lessons from Atarib

A sole focus on defeating ISIS in Syria militarily will likely further enable al-Nusra, which has been able to exploit the power vacuum where its rival has collapsed.

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External Article

Social Degradation in Syria 2017

The Syrian Center for Policy Research has published a detailed, field-based report on the impact of the armed conflict in Syria on social relations. It uses the concept of social capital as an approach to analyzing trust, cooperation, and shared values in different regions in Syria over time, and proposes alternative policies to overcome the catastrophic social impact of the conflict.

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Analysis

The Next Battle in Syria Will Be in the Eastern Desert

Ignored for much of the conflict, the country’s vast eastern regions now hold important geographic and strategic advantages for all sides.

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Analysis

Iran Is Building a Base of Post-War Influence in Syria

If the US is serious about containing Iran in Syria, focusing on Tehran’s military tactics alone in the fight against ISIS is not enough.

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Analysis

The US May Be Finally Moving to Quell Tensions Between Kurds and Syrian Arabs

But having ignored the consequences of its Syrian policies until now, it may be too little, too late.

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Video

Syria: Six Years On

Six years into the Syrian conflict, it might be the last chance for Western governments to positively shape Syria’s post-conflict settlement.

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Research Paper

Western Policy Towards Syria: Applying Lessons Learned

Over the past six years, there has been a significant gap between the West’s rhetoric and its actions in Syria. Western policymakers must learn from their mistakes to form a more effective strategy.

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Video

Syria: Areas of control

This clip maps the control of territory among armed actors in the Syrian conflict in the period January 2014 to December 2016.

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