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.

  • IISS Voices

    Maxime Humeau: Simple narratives fall short in Syria and Iraq

    28 July 2015.  To devise a coherent strategy to defeat ISIS in Iraq and Syria, the West needs to face up to the true complexity of the shifting alliances in the region

  • Survival

    Auxiliaries at War in the Middle East

    22 July 2015.  If the West wants to contain or rout the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham, it will have to rely on local allies in some way. The history of modern war suggests three ways in which such cooperation has previously been problematic.

  • IISS Voices

    Defining a 'full-spectrum' counter-terrorism strategy

    22 July 2015.  Guest post by Alia Brahimi, Visiting Research Fellow at Oxford University and IISS Armed Conflict Survery contributor, and Chris Mackmurdo, Director, Contest Global On 9 July the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) took the extraordinary step of urging all British nationals, including roughly 3,000 tourists, to leave Tunisia. This tightened travel advice followed the Sousse attack by the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) that left 38 people dead, including 30 British holidaymakers...

  • IISS Voices

    Tilly Grove: The changing face of war

    22 July 2015.  More people are dying and being driven from their homes as local grievances and global jihad merge, and as crime and cyber hacking become forms of warfare

  • Events

    Two Unforeseen Wars: A Military Analysis of the Conflict in Ukraine and the Campaign against ISIS

    07 July 2015. 

    IISS-US Lecture Series
    Brigadier (Retd) Ben Barry
    Senior Fellow for Land Warfare, IISS
    IISS-US, Washington DC
    Tuesday 7 July 2015, 2-3pm EDT, 7-8pm BST

  • Shangri-La Voices

    Sir John Jenkins: 'A significant moment for the Middle East'

    16 June 2015.  Over the past decade, the IISS Manama Dialogue has become the most important national security and defence forum in the Middle East. This year’s conference, at the end of October, will be one of the most essential yet, says Sir John Jenkins, the new Executive Director of IISS–Middle East. Crises in the region – in Iraq, Syria and Yemen – are ‘more urgent now... than they have ever been’. At...

  • Events

    The Expansion of ISIS in a Regional Context

    08 June 2015. 

    Emile Hokayem, Senior Fellow for Middle East Security, 
    Monday 08 June 2015, 12pm

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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

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.