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.

  • Events

    Hybrid Warfare: The Conflict in Ukraine and the War against ISIS

    19 October 2015. 

    Discussion Meeting
    Ben Barry, Senior Fellow for Land Warfare, IISS
    Arundel House, London
    Monday 19 October, 6-7pm

  • Expert Commentary

    BBC World Service: Arab world ‘doesn’t like what Putin does, but likes how he does it’

    29 September 2015.  Interview with Emile Hokayem, Senior Fellow for Middle East Security Lawrence Pollard, Newsday presenter: Let’s ask a little bit about how it [Russia’s intervention in Syria] appears across the Arab world. Emile Hokayem is Middle East analyst at the International Institute for Strategic Studies and the author of Syria’s Uprising and the Fracturing of the Levant. Welcome, Emile, to the programme. First off, will this deeper involvement by Putin in the...

  • IISS Voices

    Ben Barry: Could Russia repeat the east Ukraine playbook in Syria?

    22 September 2015.  Despite many clear differences between Ukraine and Syria, a battle-hardened Russian army may be looking to apply lessons from the Donetsk and Luhansk regions

  • IISS Voices

    Emile Hokayem: West’s ‘fundamentally flawed’ strategy against ISIS

    16 September 2015.  Although Western options are limited, cooperation with Russia is no automatic solution

  • Expert Commentary

    Nouvel Observateur: "Les frappes françaises en Syrie n'atteindront pas leur objectif"

    07 September 2015.  Interview with Francois Heisbourg, Chairman of the IISS Pourquoi François Hollande a-t-il décidé de frapper maintenant la Syrie, éreintée par la guerre depuis plus de quatre ans ? Pour François Heisbourg, président de l'International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) de Londres et conseiller spécial du président de la Fondation pour la recherche stratégique (FRS), le revirement du président de la République s'explique par un changement de l'opinion publique française. Car "la situation en Syrie, elle, n'a...

  • Expert Commentary

    Libération: Une erreur stratégique

    06 September 2015.  By Francois Heisbourg, Chairman of the IISS A première vue, quoi de plus naturel que la conduite d’opérations militaires contre Daech en Syrie ? Les jihadistes sont une menace directe et croissante contre notre pays et ses habitants. Frapper les responsables de l’Etat islamique, détruire les lieux d’entraînement des «touristes du jihad» français en Syrie : voilà des actions légitimes tant du point de vue de nos intérêts que de nos valeurs...

  • Expert Commentary

    Ouest France: Commentaire - Sauver des vies ici et maintenant

    04 September 2015.  By Francois Heisbourg, Chairman of the IISS Les guerres au Moyen Orient et en Afrique, aggravées par l'irruption de Daech à l'été 2014, jettent sur les routes de l'exode des millions de personnes qui fuient la mort et les persécutions. Trois millions de Syriens ont trouvé refuge en Turquie, au Liban et en Jordanie. Avec l'aide internationale, ces pays ont fait beaucoup plus que la prospère Europe. Mais ils n'en peuvent plus...

  • Expert Commentary

    New Statesman: The Islamist Zero Hour

    26 August 2015.  By Sir John Jenkins, Executive Director, IISS-Middle East Living under the rule of Da’esh (the self-described Islamic State) would undoubtedly be horrific. Even if you accept that some of those apparent enthusiasts for the Rule of the Saints whom Da’esh interviews in Mosul, Raqqa or Deir az-Zour for its ­sequence of video postings do mean it – and aren’t just worrying about the guys in the background with beards, AK-47s and...

  • 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.

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.

Also available in Kindle format:

Kindle UK > 

Kindle US >

Available on iBooks >

From £15.00
Product variations
Online Access, Digital Download & Print £80.00 + shipping
Online Access & Digital Download £77.00
Print edition £15.00 + shipping

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.