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Syria

Shedding light on Syria's enduring conflict

The IISS provides expert, regularly updated analysis on Syria's enduring crisis via blogs, commentary and journals. 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.

  • Events

    Conflicts and transformation in the Levant

    04 October 2017. 

    Wednesday 4 October, 12.30–2pm BST
    Arundel House, London
    Speaker:
    Emile Hokayem, Senior Fellow for Middle East Security, IISS
    Chair:
    Dr Nicholas Redman, Director of Editorial; Editor, Strategic Survey and Adelphi Books, IISS

  • Events

    Debating counter-factuals: was the rise of ISIS inevitable?

    02 October 2017. 

    Monday 2 October, 6–7.30pm EDT
    IISS–Americas, Washington DC
    Speakers:
    Dr Hal Brands, Henry A. Kissinger Distinguished Professor of Global Affairs, Johns Hopkins University SAIS
    Dr Peter Feaver, Professor of Political Science and Public Policy, Duke University
    Chair:
    Dr Dana Allin, Editor, Survival; Senior Fellow for US Foreign Policy and Transatlantic Affairs, IISS

  • Events

    ISIS, Al Qaeda, and Beyond: From Barcelona to Raqqa

    28 September 2017. 

    Thursday 28 September, 10–11am EDT
    IISS–Americas, Washington DC
    Speaker:
    Robin Wright, Joint Fellow, U.S. Institute of Peace and the Woodrow Wilson International Center
    Chair:
    Mark Fitzpatrick, Executive Director, IISS–Americas

  • IISS Voices

    Neighbours ready to block Kurdish independence

    25 September 2017.  Iraq’s Kurds enjoy greater autonomy than their brothers and sisters elsewhere in the Middle East. But a drive for full independence has caused alarm across the region, writes Emile Hokayem.

  • Strategic Comments

    Al-Qaeda’s evolution since 9/11

    22 September 2017. 

    Although the Islamic State is collapsing in the Middle East, it continues to inspire and assist terrorist attacks in the West, where jihadist terrorism is perceived as a major threat. Al-Qaeda appears to be gaining momentum after a period of relative quiescence, notably in Syria. Hamza bin Laden, Osama bin Laden's son, is a charismatic and increasingly prominent al-Qaeda leader, and is focused on Syria.

  • Strategic Comments

    The Trump administration and the Russia probes

    17 August 2017. 

    Special Counsel Robert Mueller heads the most aggressive of five investigations of possible collusion between US President Donald Trump's campaign and Russia to influence the 2016 US presidential election. Trump has continued to pursue a conspicuously friendly relationship with Russian President Vladimir Putin. Trump will probably continue to attack the special counsel's legitimacy and avoid unequivocally acknowledging Russian interference for as long as possible.

  • Expert Commentary

    Qatar and the interconnection of regional crises

    29 July 2017.  The Qatar crisis is not simply a regional tiff, it is a fundamental disagreement about the direction the wider region should take. The West needs to see that actions in one country immediately affect others, says Sir John Jenkins.

  • Strategic Comments

    Trump’s erratic Middle East policy

    12 July 2017. 

    The Trump administration's Middle East policy has become impulsive and inconsistent, as with its intervention in Qatar's dispute with Saudi Arabia, other Gulf Cooperation Council members and Egypt. The United States is also leaning towards intensified confrontation with Iran – especially over Syria. In any case, the administration's policy is unlikely to lend needed stability to the region.

  • IISS Voices

    Turkey’s border wall no substitute for effective refugee policy

    20 June 2017.  A vast new wall built by Turkey on its border with Syria offers the country some protection from external security threats. But the wall does not address domestic challenges, specifically those posed by the many refugees already inside Turkey. Caitlin Vito argues the investment on the border should be mirrored by an equally robust effort to develop effective, long-term refugee policies.

  • IISS Voices

    Rouhani's Iran: between hardliners and Trump

    02 June 2017.  Hassan Rouhani was the clear winner of the Iranian presidential election - but he faces challenges at home and abroad.

IISS Research Programme

Middle East and the Gulf

The IISS Middle East and the Gulf programme is based at the IISS–Middle East Office and provides analysis of regional geopolitics and security, including the Iran nuclear accord, the ongoing civil war in Syria, and enduring instability in Iraq.