Syrian Civil War

Putin Doubles Down on Syria

Putin interview, cc

There are finally boots on the ground in Syria; they just happen to be Russian.

Is Turkey In Over Its Head?

Grafitti of Turkey president Tacip Erdogan, whose policy is turning the MENA region upside-down.

Ankara’s decision to intervene directly in Syria further complicates an already complex battlefield dynamic, and it risks repercussions for Turkey’s internal and external security.

Is Islamic State a State?


Islamic State is certainly different from many of the terrorist groups that preceded it. But is it actually a state?

Turkish Troops Aim to Counter Kurds, Not Islamic State

Kurdistan Peshmerga, cc Flickr jan Sefti, modified,

The Turkish government is considering deploying troops to create a “buffer zone” along its southern border with Syria, and it is clear that the intended target of such a move would be the Syrian Kurds, not Islamic State.

Israel’s Syria Dilemma: Assad or the Terrorists

assadgraf, cc Flickr thierry ehrmann, modified

The Syrian civil war has created a strategic dilemma for Israel: Is the collapse of the Assad regime worth the risk of what might replace it?

Map: Syrian Civil War (04-08-2015)


Recent movements, attacks, and territory shifts in the Syrian civil war.

Assad Key to Any Political Solution in Syria

cc Christiaan Triebert, modified,

Had Bashar al-Assad gone into exile, the ISIS Caliphate would be based in Damascus rather than the middle of nowhere.

Blowback: Charlie Hebdo and the Contradictions of Western Policy

Charlie Hebdo Memorial France, cc Flickr Valentina Calà, modified,

John Rosenthal argues that recent Western foreign policy missteps in Libya and Syria have fueled the rise of radical Islam.

GPM Outlook 2015: War, Refugees, and Chaos in the Middle East


2015 projects to be another difficult year for the Middle East, with old vacuums widening and a few new ones opening up.

Turkey Takes Aim at the Kurds

PKK Flag Turkish Kurds cc Flickr hughes_leglise

With all eyes on Kobane, the Turkish government decided to launch on attack not on the Islamic State fighters besieging the town, but the Kurds desperate to defend it.

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