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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, 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

    Security in the urban century - a new research stream at IISS

    23 March 2017.  As the world's urban population booms, cities in the Global South face unique challenges.

  • Strategic Comments

    The urban refugee crisis

    21 March 2017. 

    The Syrian refugee crisis has highlighted the urgent need to address the multi-dimensional challenges presented by urban refugees more effectively. In particular, a municipal approach that better coordinates the efforts of national and local authorities, with an eye to increasing local capacity and building social cohesion, is needed.

  • ACD Insight

    Refugees caught in toxic mix brewing in Turkey

    21 March 2017.  Several recent incidents in Turkey speak to a dangerous atmosphere for the country's Syrian refugee population. Caitlin Vito argues that if the tension continues to build, something will have to give.

  • IISS Voices

    Refugees caught in toxic mix brewing in Turkey

    17 March 2017.  Several recent incidents in Turkey speak to a dangerous atmosphere for the country's Syrian refugee population. Caitlin Vito argues that if the tension continues to build, something will have to give.

  • Strategic Comments

    The future of US Syria policy

    17 February 2017. 

    Despite campaign rhetoric suggesting bold changes to US Syria policy, President Trump has few realistic military or political options for major departures from Obama's policy. US policy will probably change only at the margins.

  • The Military Balance

    Chapter 7: Middle East and North Africa

    14 February 2017.  Middle East and North Africa: Russia changes the battlefield; The campaign against ISIS; The Iraqi Army; The war in Yemen; Yemen and GCC military cooperation; Regional capabilities increase; Defence Economics; Macroeconomics; Defence spending and procurement; Defence industry; Emirates Defence Industries Company

    Saudi Arabia: Defence policy; The armed forces; Defence and security cooperation and coalitions; Operations in Yemen; Defence economics and industry

  • Strategic Comments

    Social divisions and rising terrorist violence in Turkey

    12 January 2017. 

    In the past 18 months, Turkey has not appreciably reduced Kurdish militant groups' terrorist capabilities or addressed the root causes of their grievances. The country has grown less tolerant of Islamic State activity, and friction between Turkey and its NATO allies has impeded intelligence-sharing about terrorist threats. Accordingly, the level of terrorist violence in Turkey appears set to rise in the months ahead, potentially leading to sustained domestic instability and severe damage to the country’s social fabric.

  • Expert Commentary

    How Syria Defeated the Sunni Powers

    03 January 2017.  Breakthroughs for Bashar al-Assad and Vladimir Putin have presented supporters of the Syrian uprising with difficult choices. Emile Hokayem, senior fellow for Middle East security, asks how three nations will respond.

  • Manama Voices

    No cats, but same old traps

    11 December 2016.  Recent aircraft losses by the Russian navy have provided a salutary reminder of the demanding nature of fixed-wing aircraft operations at sea. Here, Douglas Barrie explains what operational insights can be gleaned from the incidents.

  • Expert Commentary

    The Islamic State and Israel's Arab Citizens

    06 December 2016.  In this article for War on the Rocks, Elisabeth Marteu discusses the reasons why the Islamic State, also known as ISIS or ISIL, has failed to gain a foothold amongst Israeli Arabs.

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.