Syria

الجمهورية العربية السورية

Obama's Letter to the Ayatollah

Matthew Lee & Julie Pace, Associated Press

ISIS on the Run in Iraq

Riyadh Mohammed, Fiscal Times

How the Middle East Got to This Point

Conrad Black, National Review

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...(full article)

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

As America and the West continue their fight against ISIS in Iraq and Syria, the Taliban is trying to prevent its rank and file from joining the jihadi group....(full article)

After a string of victories by Iraqi and Kurdish forces against ISIS over the past two weeks, the rumors started popping up online: Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the leader of ISIS, had be...(full article)

The entire kaleidoscope of countries and movements between Libya and Turkey and Pakistan and Yemen is perhaps more complicated than ever. This is an attempt to review how we got to...(full article)

Most Recent Articles

With This Congress, Expect More Middle East Tangles - Juan Cole, IC

The GOP may see Obama as not ultimately committed to keeping US troops out of Iraq and Syria, and will almost certainly attempt to force him to put more boots on the ground (John M...

A Plan to Heal Syria? - David Ignatius, Washington Post

With U.S.-backed "moderate" opposition forces on the run in northern Syria, a mediation group is proposing an alternative strategy for local cease-fires and a gradual de-escalation...

Where Has Obama Gone Wrong? - Andrew Sullivan, The Dish

Crisis-management? Well, what would the GOP have done with respect to Russia? As it is, that country is more isolated internationally than ever and is being punished economically b...

After Kobani, Save Aleppo - Laurent Fabius, Washington Post

Aleppo is caught between the regime’s “barrel bombs” and Daesh’s cutthroats....

A Look at How ISIS Smuggles Oil - Mike Giglio, BuzzFeed

The oil brings Omar to town weekly, huddling with grease-covered men to negotiate the purchase of faded, 17-gallon drums. A Syrian in his thirties, Omar was once a proud rebel in h...

When Are We Going to Admit Assad Stays? - Joshua Keating, Slate

Assad has almost certainly committed war crimes, and is almost certainly continuing to do so. Just last week, an army helicopter dropped a barrel bomb—one of the most deadly an...

The Progressive Syrian Revolution Lives Yet - Mais Istanbelli, Worldcrunch

The majority is angry because Western countries target Islamist groups while allowing the regime a free hand to kill and destroy for four years....

The West Cares Not What's Best for Turkey - Rabee Al-Hafidh, Daily Sabah

American provocation of Turkey and the attempts to embarrass and compromise Turkey's political and security positions, both locally and internationally, are nothing new....

Turkish Military Angry With Peshmerga Move - Semih Idiz, Al-Monitor

The Turkish military is said to be riled and to have informed the government of its opposition to seeing Iraqi Kurdish fighters in Turkey....

America's New Middle East Quagmire - Fred Kaplan, Slate

America’s campaign against ISIS has already lost its way....

Middle East Chaos Finds Roots at Versailles - Marc Grossman, Daily Star

The summer of 2014 was a season of analogies and anniversaries. European leaders commemorated the start of World War I. Russian President Putin’s annexation of Crimea and des...

Leaving Lebanon, Land of Dashed Hopes - Michael Karam, The Spectator

Escaping the shadow of the Islamic State to a changed country....

Whose Side Is Turkey On? - Patrick Cockburn, London Review of Books

Turkey’s volte face was the latest in a series of miscalculations it had made about developments in Syria since the first uprising against Assad in 2011....

Embryonic Democracy in Northern Syria - K. Zurutuza, Inter Press Service

Located 700 kilometres northeast of Damascus, Amuda hosts the headquarters of the so-called “Democratic Self-Management of Jazeera Canton”. Along with Afrin and the bes...

Vietnam and ISIS - Thomas Friedman, New York Times

Obsessed with communism, America intervened in Vietnam’s civil war and took the place of the French colonialists. Obsessed with jihadism and 9/11, are we now doing the biddin...

Washington's Wishful Thinking in the Middle East - David Ignatius, WaPo

The Arab world is suffering a sense of vertigo these days. Extremists from the Islamic State, who have seemingly arisen out of nowhere, have burst through the gates of power. Polit...

Unstoppable ISIS Has Been Stopped - Zack Beauchamp, Vox

Watching the news, you could be forgiven for thinking that ISIS is an unstoppable juggernaut, sweeping Iraq and Syria in an unending, unstoppable, terrible blitzkrieg. But you'd be...

Australian Troops Await Visas to Fight ISIS - Hartcher & Wroe, SMH

Prime Minister Tony Abbott six weeks ago announced a preparatory positioning of forces in the region. This made Australia the first country to commit troops to the international ef...

What Kobani Means, and What It Doesn't - Mark Thompson, Time

The Kurdish struggle to hold on to Syrian border town isn't all good news....

The Arab World Needs Israel's Help - Jake Wallis Simons, Jerusalem Post

After decades of corrupt dictatorships and rising Islamism, a brief glance across the region reveals that the blood of Sunni and Shi’ite spatters almost every cobblestone fro...

The Islamic State's Child Soldiers - Kate Brannen, Foreign Policy

The West could be fighting them for generations to come....

Obama's Team of Bumblers - Michael Hirsh, Politico

Are Susan Rice and Chuck Hagel equal to today’s new national-security challenges?...

A New Era of Disorder - Richard Haass, Project Syndicate

Historical eras are difficult to recognize before they end. The Renaissance became the Renaissance only in retrospect; the same can be said for the Dark Ages that preceded it and a...

The Neocon Spring - Jacob Heilbrunn, National Interest

Perhaps no one has inadvertently done more to revive the fortunes of the neocons and liberal hawks than President Obama....

Winning Kobane, Losing Syria - Michael Weiss, NOW

Within the space of a week, Kobane, the Syrian-Kurdish city on the lip of the Turkey that has been besieged for weeks by the Islamic State, has gone from being “not strategic...

Russia's Vested Interests in Supporting Assad - Josh Cohen, Moscow Times

As the Syrian civil war drags on and the situation in the Middle East continues to spiral out of control, Russia remains a steadfast supporter of Syrian President Bashar Assad's re...

The Middle East's Loss of Sovereignty - Juan Cole, Informed Comment

In global law since the Peace of Westphalia, states are supposed to rule specific territories and to be inviolable in those territories. Max Weber, writing in the early 20th centur...

The Cryptic Motives Driving the anti-ISIS Coalition - Daily Star

The Syrian regime said Wednesday it too was providing assistance to the Kurds, joining a motley crew of Iranians, the U.S., Gulf countries and many European nations....

My Childhood Friend, the ISIS Jihadist - Jakob Sheikh, Mashable

Amir has calculated that it takes about four seconds from the moment a bullet leaves his AK-47, to the moment his enemy is lifeless on the ground....

13 Years of Costly Foreign Follies - Robert Merry, National Interest

The gnawing question is: What accounts for so many years under two presidents when foreign policy turned out to be one fiasco after another?...

Obama's Successful Push of Turkey - Bloomberg

In air-dropping weapons to the Kurdish People's Protection Units in Kobani this week, President Barack Obama has applied the pressure needed to get Turkish President Recep Tayyip E...

Why Syria's Moderate Opposition Is Useless - David Kenner, Foreign Policy

Syria's moderate rebels are brawling among themselves in the streets of Turkey. And these are the people the White House wants to arm?...

Doubling Down on Obama's Syria Disaster - M. Weiss & F. Itani, Politico

Fareed Zakaria and Leslie Gelb both have made what they think are bold and unfashionable proposals for U.S. policy in Syria without bothering to realize that their prescriptions ha...

Do ISIS Fighters Value the Caliphate? - Tiersky & Chioke, Huffington Post

The outside world's war with ISIS seems to be evolving in a more positive direction. In the battle for Kobani on the Syrian-Turkish border, ISIS fighters are retreating even althou...

Daily Life in the Shadow of ISIS - Alice Su, The Atlantic

Meryem has renamed the third floor of Motel Kurdistan. “Welcome to Bayt al-Sinjar!” the 8-year-old shouted, flinging her arms wide as my elevator door opened. I followed her ...

Does Obama Know PKK Can Be Allies? - Michael Rubin, Commentary

Difficulties in the Turkish government’s relationship with Turkey’s Kurdish population continue to overshadow efforts to implement a coherent and comprehensive strategy to ad...

'Core al-Qaeda' Coming Back to Bite Us - Bridget Johnson, PJ Media

A possible chairman of the House Intelligence Committee in the 114th Congress warned that “every day” al-Qaeda gets stronger as the Obama administration tries to perpetuate a...

U.S. Humanitarian Aid Going to ISIS? - Jamie Dettmer, Daily Beast

Not only are foodstuffs, medical supplies—even clinics—going to ISIS, the distribution networks are paying ISIS ‘taxes’ and putting ISIS people on their payrolls....

Which Syrians Will Turkey Train? - Sibel Utku Bila, Al Monitor

U.S. officials now devote a fair bit of energy to keeping up appearances that Turkey is a partner in the US coalition against the Islamic State....

Obama's Coalition Is Fighting to Lose - Ira Straus, National Review

Obama certainly “believes in” international cooperation and organization, but this does not mean he knows how to build it or even sustain what there is of it....

Understanding Why Women Join ISIS - Amanda Taub, Vox

ISIS's treatment of women seems to be rife with confusing contradictions. The group's strict rules for women's dress seem oppressive, and its restrictions on women's behavior seem ...

ISIS Is on the Path to Defeat - Hussein Ibish, The National

In spite of its technical competence and impressive adaptability, the militant group may have overreached. The range of territory controlled by its fighters involves vulnerable sup...

Arming Rebels Works - Christopher Dickey, Daily Beast

President Obama has weighed the options and concluded America does more harm than good when it sets out to topple regimes. OK. But don’t pretend that’s the CIA’s ...

Obama Must Recalibrate Syria Strategy - Fareed Zakaria, Washington Post

The administration should abandon its lofty rhetoric and make clear that it is focused on a strategy against the Islamic State that is actually achievable: containment....

7 Bad Endings to the New Middle East War - Peter Van Buren, TomDispatch

Here, then, are seven worst-case scenarios in a part of the world where the worst case has regularly been the best that’s on offer. After all, with all that military power be...

Syria