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Syria conflict enters fifth year

The conflict in Syria is now in 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

    From the archive: Clinton’s running mate, Tim Kaine, offers his views on military intervention

    24 July 2016.  In a candid address to the IISS Manama Dialogue in 2013, Hillary Clinton’s running mate, Tim Kaine, identified four key elements that must be addressed if policymakers are to convince a sceptical public of the need for military engagement. The speech offers a fascinating insight into his personal views on military intervention, and how he would seek to win over his public if elected to office.

  • Expert Commentary

    New York Times: Why the US military can't fix Syria

    13 July 2016.  By Jonathan Stevenson, Senior Fellow for US Defence and Editor of Strategic Comments, and Steven Simon The State Department “dissent channel” memo on the United States’ policy in Syria, leaked last month, is just the latest expression of a widespread belief in and out of government that American intervention in Syria is necessary and would be successful. After five years of brutal, grinding war, this view is understandable. The idea of the United...

  • Expert Commentary

    iPolitics: Refugees in the Olympics? It should have happened sooner

    16 June 2016.  By Caitlin Vito, Research Events Administrator When the newest Olympic team enters the stadium in Rio this August, they'll be representing no nation. Instead, the ten athletes – two Syrian swimmers, two judokas from the Democratic Republic of the Congo and six runners, one from Ethiopia and five from South Sudan – will be competing on behalf of 20 million refugees around the world. The unprecedented decision by the International Olympic Committee...

  • Strategic Comments

    Jordan’s pragmatism and current challenges

    15 June 2016. 

    Historically, Jordan has handled the challenges of being located in a contested region with effective pragmatism. It now faces refugee pressure and the threat of jihadist infiltration from Syria, as well as a weak economy. Amman will have to strike a delicate balance between security cooperation with the United States against the Islamic State and cooperation with Saudi Arabia and the Gulf Arab states against the Assad regime to ensure it gleans maximum strategic rent.

  • ACD Insight

    Al-Qaeda’s prospective challenge to the Islamic State in Syria

    27 May 2016.  Al-Qaeda is reportedly seeking to strengthen its affiliate in Syria, raising questions about the possible outcomes of increased competition with the Islamic State.

  • IISS Voices

    Jonathan Stevenson: Al-Qaeda’s prospective challenge to the Islamic State in Syria

    27 May 2016.  Al-Qaeda is reportedly seeking to strengthen its affiliate in Syria, raising questions about the possible outcomes of increased competition with the Islamic State.

  • Armed Conflict Survey

    Chapter 3: Middle East

    05 May 2016. 

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

  • IISS Voices

    Jonathan Stevenson: Ratcheting up US military involvement in Syria and Iraq

    21 April 2016.  The US Defense Department has announced increases in the number of special-operations forces to be deployed in Syria, and enhancements to their missions in Iraq. Jonathan Stevenson analyses the strategic and political implications of this move.

  • Events

    *CANCELLED* The New Paradigm in Turkey-EU Relations

    20 April 2016. 

    Discussion Meeting
    H.E. Ambassador Volkan Bozkır, Minister for EU Affairs and Chief Negotiator, Turkey
    London

  • Expert Commentary

    Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists: US–Russian relations - The middle cannot hold

    14 April 2016.  By Dr Samuel Charap, Senior Fellow for Russia and Eurasia, and Jeremy Shapiro, Research Director at the European Council on Foreign Relations US–Russian relations have been in a downward spiral since Vladimir Putin took the fateful decision to invade Crimea in February 2014. More than two years later, the situation is as grave as it has been since the heated days of the Cold War, in the early 1980s. Russia and...

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.