Slowly, the political and military power balance in Syria is beginning to crystallise. The Islamic State caliphate has been defeated, while Russia and Iran have saved the Assad regime and put it in a position of relative strength. The competing interests of external powers, and their Syrian allies, are now coming into clearer focus – hence Turkey’s strike against Syrian Kurdish groups in Afrin. Meanwhile, efforts to define the contours of a political settlement are split between Geneva and Sochi, with little progress in either location.
In his presentation, Emile Hokayem assessed Syria’s military and political battlefields. He analysed the objectives of the principal groupings and their external patrons, as well as the state of the Geneva and Sochi negotiations. He also outlined possible endgames and identified the likely political and military winners.
Emile Hokayem is the Senior Fellow for Middle East Security at the International Institute for Strategic Studies, based at its headquarters in London. He specialises in political and conflict analysis, including the wars in Syria, Iraq and Yemen; relations between Iran and its Arab neighbours; the rise of non-state actors, including jihadi groups and Hizbullah; national security and defence policy in the Arab states; the interests and involvement of external actors in the Middle East. He regularly provides analysis on Middle East affairs to governments, corporations and the media. His commentary has featured in the New York Times, the Financial Times, The Economist, Al-Hayat, Asharq Al-Awsat, Foreign Policy, Le Monde, the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, the BBC, NPR and other outlets.
This event took place at Arundel House, London.
Emile Hokayem is the Senior Fellow for Middle East Security at the International Institute for Strategic Studies. He specialises in political and conflict analysis, including the wars in Syria, Iraq and Yemen; relations between Iran and its Arab neighbours; and the rise of non-state actors, including jihadi groups and Hizbullah.
Dr Nicholas Redman is Director of Editorial at the International Institute for Strategic Studies, overseeing the Institute’s large and highly regarded publications output. He is Editor of the Adelphi book series and Strategic Survey: The Annual Assessment of Geopolitics, and he directs the continued development of the Armed Conflict Database.