• Expert Commentary

    Syria Deeply: How Entrenched is ISIS in Syria – and can it be Rooted Out?

    31 August 2014.  Interview with Emile Hokayem, Senior Fellow for Regional Security, IISS–Middle East SYRIA DEEPLY: How well entrenched is ISIS in Syria right now? EMILE HOKAYEM: The levels of entrenchment vary considerably, depending on the region. There are areas where they clearly have the upper hand because they made a lot of local [business] deals. In other areas, especially in and around Deir Ezzor, their military victories have been overwhelming, and their ability to...

  • Expert Commentary

    NPR Morning Edition: Is Syria Becoming A Partner In The Fight Against Islamist Terror

    22 August 2014.  Kelly McEvers talks to Emile Hokayem, of the International Institute for Strategic Studies, about some western nations shifting to the idea of working with Syria's regime to fight Islamist militants.

  • IISS Voices

    Nigel Inkster: ISIS - Shock and Awe

    22 August 2014.  By Nigel Inkster, Director, Transnational Threats and Political Risk  The progression of Islamic State militants through the Sunni heartlands of Iraq this year has been accompanied by shocking levels of brutality. The group – which began as al-Qaeda in Iraq before rebranding itself as ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham) – has made a show of beheading or crucifying hundreds of opponents. Minority groups like Christians and the Yazidi have...

  • IISS Voices

    Strategic Snapshots: US Power Projection: Measured or Enfeebled?

    05 August 2014.  Is a US abdication of global leadership and military power, perceived or otherwise, exacerbating conflicts such as those in Syria and Ukraine? Dana Allin expands on his recent Survival article to argue that restraint in US foreign policy has good precedent, despite fears that Washington has ‘overlearned’ the costs of military adventurism.

  • Politics and Strategy

    Dana Allin: Washington, Gaza and Syria

    24 July 2014.  Yesterday the Washington Post, in an editorial, complained that the Obama administration is not doing enough to arm and organise the moderate elements of a Syrian opposition. There is an unresolved vagueness about what, exactly, Washington can do to shape a battle against the regime of Bashar al-Assad when the most powerful rebels fighting him are the same Islamists that we hope to stop from taking over Iraq. The Post concedes...

  • Military Balance Blog

    Ben Barry: Iraq - from insurgency to counter-insurgency and back again

    01 July 2014.  By Ben Barry, Senior Fellow for Land Warfare The recent rapid eviction of Iraqi government forces from much of Ninewa and Anbar provinces by the jihadi insurgents of the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) is a bitter blow for the Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki. It is uncomfortable news for many in the US, including President Barack Obama’s national security team and US veterans of the Iraq War, as progress made...

  • Events

    Syria after Geneva, the Elections, and ISIS: Partition, Fragmentation, and Escalation

    01 July 2014. 

    IISS-US Discussion Meeting
    Emile Hokayem
    Senior Fellow for Middle East Security, IISS
    Tuesday 01 July 2014

  • IISS Voices

    Dina Esfandiary: Syria and the removal of chemical weapons

    25 June 2014.  By Dina Esfandiary, Research Associate, Non-Proliferation and Disarmament Programme This week the remaining stockpiles of chemical weapons were shipped out of Syria, according to the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW). The result? 100% of Syria’s declared chemical weapons stockpiles have been destroyed or removed from the country. This represents a significant victory, but many problems still remain – most notably, the continued use of chemical agents, which puts...

  • IISS Voices

    Emile Hokayem: Iraqi and Syrian battlefields merge

    13 June 2014.  By Emile Hokayem, Senior Fellow for Regional Security, IISS–Middle East The spectacular advance of the Islamic State in Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS) in Iraq and its resilience in Syria have in effect merged the Iraqi and Syrian battlefields. This has momentous local, regional and international repercussions: a jihadi statelet extending from Mosul and Fallujah to Deir Ezzor and Raqqa is an extraordinary, if profoundly disruptive addition to the already troubled Middle...

  • Survival

    The Syrian Tragedy and Precedent

    19 May 2014.  If Washington’s Syria policy succeeds, it will crystallise efforts to privilege diplomacy over the use of force and create a precedent other powers will be apt to follow.

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