Islamic State’s rapid loss of territory brings new challenges and opportunities for countries in the Middle East and beyond. IISS Senior Fellow for Middle East Security Emile Hokayem explored these issues at an IISS event in London, Conflicts and Transformation in the Levant. He said:
- President Bashar al-Assad will survive – and has every interest in capturing as much territory as possible;
- There is no prospect for a political transition in Syria anytime soon, and the Geneva process is a farcical sideshow;
- Iran has emerged a winner from the conflict, and Saudi Arabia a loser;
- Tehran’s partnership with Moscow is blossoming, and Arab states are attempting to move closer to Moscow;
- Iraq is gripped by intense political wrangling ahead of next year’s elections.
Taking questions from the audience, Mr Hokayem addressed a host of topics linked to the Syrian conflict. These included the current strength of Hezbollah, Arab states’ perceptions of US President Donald Trump, the Kurdish independence referendum, and evolving military tactics in the region. Watch the full video below: