Frederic Hof discusses a lesser-known track in the Arab-Israeli peace process: a Syrian-Israeli mediation that came closer to a deal than expected
It’s time to stop using a Western-based concept ten years on from the events that began the Arab Uprisings.
How Russia’s military, diplomatic, and economic roles in the Mediterranean have developed in recent years
Over the past forty years, Iran has written the book on Lebanization and using non-state actors in interstate warfare
While maintaining the status quo for the time being might seem the easiest option, it is also the worst possible one
State (re)building in war-torn countries can only happen in a conducive political process on all levels ranging from the local to the international, which is exactly what seems lacking in MENA
Iran’s role in the “end-state diplomatic model” of conflict resolution and crisis management in the Middle East
Iran continues its military presence in Syria even after the fight is won—a move which is underpinned by the Islamic Republic’s core deterrence and defense foreign policy against possible Israeli or US military action.
Syria and its neighbors all have a vested interest in resuming agricultural trade to increase food security across the region.
Russia is primed to benefit economically from an influx of foreign investment in Syria, but an emerging rivalry with China and Iran for contracts could erode its long-term leverage.
Divisions among the states vested in Syria are opening possibilities for Syria’s Kurds to secure greater protection for their autonomy.
To meet the challenges of massive human displacement in the Middle East and North Africa, civil society actors need a common platform where they can advocate. The MENA Civil Society Network for Displacement or CSND sets out to be that.
Instead of putting its full strength behind unifying Syrian rebel groups, Ankara is slowly supporting that process without disturbing the status quo.
Reduced American focus on the Middle East going forward is just one of many changes with which Arab leaders will have to grapple in the coming years, and it is disorienting
In Idlib, Turkey could deter Russian airstrikes and ensure the region remains out of the Syrian regime’s control by going after extremist groups.
Jordan’s economic, demographic and geographic characteristics have left the country vulnerable to mass protests and external pressure that can only be overcome by a comprehensive reform program.
While Assad and his supporters seem close to reconquering Southwestern Syria, stability is far from assured.
Nader Hashemi, Middle East and Syria expert, speaks with the Cairo Review’s Senior Editor Sean David Hobbs.
As the fighting in Syria enters its eighth year, the United Nations Deputy Special Envoy for Syria Ramzy Ezzeldin Ramzy speaks about efforts to end the conflict.
The Assad regime has won the war; it cannot, however, win the peace.
Rebuilding Iraq and Syria, and addressing separatist movements, require learning from the mistakes of a century’s misrule.
The historical changes behind the country’s complicated civil war.
The Syrian Al-Assad regime’s survival owes a lot to its foreign patrons, as well as U.S. incompetence.
Iran’s support for the Al-Assad regime in Damascus has long provided it with a foothold in Lebanon, Palestine, and the rest of the region. But with its deepening role in the Syrian civil war, Tehran is losing hearts and minds in the Arab World.
Lebanon’s president navigates the treacherous waters of the cold war between Iran and Saudi Arabia.
To understand the messy state of the Middle East today, look toward its past.
From Riyadh to Washington, international leaders overestimate the power of the Islamic Republic of Iran.
America wades deeper into the quagmire of Syria’s civil war.
Donald Trump’s tough talk of defeating Islamic terrorists, ripping up the Iran nuclear deal, and barring Muslims from entering the U.S. suggests a sharp pivot in Middle East policy, but could be surprising continuity with Barack Obama’s approach to the region.
Syrian rebels are unlikely to rebound from defeat anytime soon, while Iran and Russia stand to gain immensely.
Western impotence in Aleppo and the Syrian civil war, and the approaching victory of the Russian-Iranian alliance, is another sign of sweeping changes in the region’s political order.
Along with Saudi Arabia and Iran, Hezbollah and the U.S. risk being pulled further into Yemen’s civil war.
The outcome of military and political developments in Aleppo in the coming months will clarify critical dimensions of the Syria conflict that also reverberate widely across the region.
Syria, Turkey, Iraq, Lebanon, and Iran effectively have to be seen as a single geo-strategic arena in which hundreds of local and national actors engage one another—and many have links to other regional players and global powers.
President Barack Obama needs to square up with the realities of the Middle East.
Warring parties in Syria have weaponized aid by granting or withholding humanitarian access, complicating the work of aid organizations.
The scale, intensity, and persistence of the last five years of nonstop and often barbaric violence reflect the fact that Syria today, as in the past four millennia at least, continues to be a central pivot in the geopolitics of the Middle East and its neighbors.
The Syrian conflict has been alternately exploited and ignored long enough. The world can no longer afford to look the other way.
Long-term stability in Syria requires a process of national self-determination that allows citizens to freely express how they wish to configure their sovereignty and be governed.
This is the moment to shed the ghosts of 1916 by affirming citizen rights in Arab lands, not to perpetuate them by bowing to the dictates of failed authoritarian powers.
The slow, steady, numbing dehumanization of young Syrians measured in hundreds of thousands of lives is mirrored in similar trends in other countries at war in the Arab region.
Working side-by-side with Russian officers in Syria is sure to improve Hezbollah’s offensive fighting capabilities.
That it is Russia and the United States who are signaling future developments in Syria is not a good sign of a stable situation to come.
The Damascus regime’s military offensive could ruin already slim chances for a negotiated peace in Syria. A divided opposition and rival great powers further complicate a tricky diplomatic initiative.
President Barack Obama had to deal with a dysfunctional state system and fraying civil societies, as well as blowback from George W. Bush’s invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq. Yet his own actions and inactions throughout two terms of office contributed significantly to the great unraveling of the Middle East.
This week’s most intriguing sign of things to come was the official announcement that Saudi Arabia is willing to provide ground forces to fight “Islamic State” (ISIS) in Syria.
Supporting Kurdish groups in Syria could empower them to play a role in resolving regional conflicts, not just in Syria but also in Iraq and Turkey.
Russia’s intervention has intensified the Syrian civil war, drawing both Western and regional powers deeper into a seemingly intractable conflict.
The promise of Western military support and a shared opposition to Russia’s intervention are driving Syrian opposition forces to unite and—for many of them—move away from extremist rhetoric.
The Vienna talks on Syria have produced an important agreement that clearly signals one thing and one thing only: The fighting in Syria is no longer to anyone’s advantage and must be brought to an end soon.