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Syria conflict enters fifth year

The conflict in Syria is now entering its fifth year. The IISS provides expert, regularly updated analysis on the crisis via blogs, commentary and journals, and in-depth examinations can be found in our Adelphi series and publications including The Military Balance and Strategic Survey. 

Monitoring the conflict in Syria

Armed Conflict Database

A regularly updated IISS online resource providing day-by-day timelines and detailed monthly reports on the conflict in Syria.

  • Survival

    Sexual Violence and the Making of ISIS

    11 May 2015.  ISIS deploys sexual violence in ways that mirror the states it is trying to supplant.

  • Survival

    ISIS: The Dubious Paradise of Apocalypse Now

    11 May 2015.  ISIS’s four principal manifestations – as a guerrilla army, Sunni political movement, millenarian cult and administrator of territory – suggest a strategy against it: aggressive containment.

  • Events

    Strange Bedfellows: Shifting Alliances in the Middle East

    28 April 2015. 

    Discussion Meeting
    Sir John Jenkins, Executive Director, IISS-Middle East
    Emile Hokayem, Senior Fellow for Regional Security, IISS-Middle East
    IISS-US, Washington DC
    Tuesday 28 April 2015

  • Events

    Four Years into the Syrian Conflict: Humanitarian Challenges and the ICRC Response

    24 April 2015. 

    Discussion Meeting
    Robert Mardini
    Head of Operations for the Near and Middle East, International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC)
    Arundel House, London
    Friday 24 April 2015, 12:30-1:30pm

  • Events

    The Campaign Against ISIS: Assessment and Prospects

    21 April 2015. 

    Discussion Meeting
    Emile Hokayem
    Senior Fellow for Middle East Security, IISS   
    Arundel House, London
    Tuesday, 21 April 2015

  • Armed Conflict Survey

    Chapter 1, Part II: The Evolution of Global Jihadism

    14 April 2015.  In the act of joining together, there is often a corresponding act of breaking away. In June 2014, the self-styled Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS), a jihadist group based in parts of Iraq and Syria, announced the establishment of a ‘caliphate’ led by Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi: ‘the sun of jihad has risen. The glad tidings of good are shining.’

  • Armed Conflict Survey

    Chapter 3: Middle East

    14 April 2015.  Egypt (Sinai) 
    Iraq 
    Israel–Palestine 
    Lebanon–Hizbullah–Syria 
    Libya 
    Mali (The Sahel) 
    Syria 
    Turkey (PKK) 
    Yemen 

  • Survival

    Al-Qaeda and the Rise of ISIS

    25 March 2015. 

    Ayman al-Zawahiri and his allies have focused on the excessive violence perpetrated by ISIS, and sought to present al-Qaeda as a more moderate alternative.

  • Survival

    ISIS and the Killing Fields of the Middle East

    25 March 2015. 

    ISIS has successfully linked jihadi ideology to sectarian division.

  • Expert Commentary

    Emile Hokayem on Syria

    17 March 2015.  As the war in Syria enters its fifth year and US Secretary of State John Kerry floats the idea of opening negotiations with President Assad, Emile Hokayem, IISS Senior Fellow for Middle East Security and author of Syria’s Uprising and the Fracturing of the Levant, sees little hope for an imminent resolution to the conflict. On prospects for an end to the conflict: 'The levels of violence may drop because a lot...

Middle Eastern Security, the US Pivot and the Rise of ISIS

Published to mark the tenth anniversary of the IISS Manama Dialogue, this new Adelphi book that analyses the key challenges now faced by the Middle East.

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IISS Research Programme

Middle East and the Gulf

IISS has long been involved in the Middle East, attracting leading global policy-makers to its summits on regional security. IISS-Middle East works closely with other offices on research into Iran's nuclear programme, unrest following the Arab Spring and other topics.