Trump’s Withdrawal from Syria: Not Unexpected and a Victory for the “Astana Three”
The possibility that Iran and Turkey will be emboldened by the American decision, is worrisome. The main counter to that will be robust deterrence from Israel, whose maintenance may increase the likeliness of escalation in Syria and Lebanon, and even more resort to the restraining hand of Russia.
The Murder of Sheikh Bashir Faisal al-Huwaidi in Raqqa
The killing of prominent Arab tribal leader Sheikh Bashir Faisal al-Huwaidi has serious implications for the US and Kurdish administered part of Syria, in which Raqqa is located. That administration of Syria has many enemies and remains fragile.
Iran’s Lies – A Tool for Concealing its Policy Contradictions in Syria
Iran is hiding its efforts to establish a presence in Syria, for both internal and external reasons. This policy involves numerous internal contradictions and to avoid admitting to them, the IRGC and Hezbollah are conducting a propaganda campaign.
The Real Story behind the Repatriation of Syrian Refugees
Russia is actively promoting international involvement in the reconstruction of Syria as a humanitarian effort aimed at creating the conditions for refugees to return, but in practice this will reinforce the foundations of Assad’s rule and territorial control. The US is in no hurry to respond, but the Russian initiative will not remain unanswered.
The Future of Eastern Syria and the Israeli Interest
JISS fellow Dr. Jonathan Spyer travelled in late July to the SDF enclave in eastern Syria. He reports that maintenance of this enclave is critical to keeping a substantial physical obstacle to the Iranian goal of a contiguous corridor from the Persian Gulf to the Mediterranean.