EPC | 18 Aug 2021
A visit by China’s Foreign Minister to Syria on July 17, during which he met with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, and put forward an initiative to solve the crisis in this Arab country raised many questions about its objectives and implications. Among these questions: Will this visit be a turning point in the Syrian crisis? Will China become a major player in this issue? It goes without saying that it is no longer possible for new actors to enter the Syrian arena and that the solution to the protracted crisis is now dependent on an international consensus on the implementation of UN Security Council Resolution 2254, and accordingly there is no prospect for new initiatives. Therefore, the Chinese initiative to resolve may have other objectives.
EPC | 04 Aug 2021
Tensions have recently escalated between US forces and Iranian militias in eastern Syria against the backdrop of an uptick in attacks by Iranian militia on US bases in Iraq and Syria, and counter-raids by US forces against Iranian militias. The two sides have been using the Syrian arena to settle scores and send political and military messages, which increases the complexity of the situation in the Arab country and threatens a military clash between these parties. This paper examines US-Iranian tension; its causes and trajectories.
EPC | 30 Jun 2021
After the end of the presidential elections that took place on 26 May 2021, the Syrian regime announced a set of priorities that it would work on during the next phase. These included military, developmental and diplomatic items that are thought by the regime to constitute exits from the Syrian crisis. Realising those priorities requires high resources and costs, and political flexibility or a different political and diplomatic approach than before, which raises questions about the regime's ability to provide the appropriate conditions to achieve its priorities.
This paper highlights the Syrian regime's priorities in the next stage, and discusses its ability to realise them.
EPC | 22 Mar 2021
The Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS, Organisation for the Liberation of the Levant), led by Abu Mohammad al-Julani, seeks to reproduce its image through the shifts it makes at the level of its political rhetoric, or through the tactical changes made by Julani, both by appearing in a modern outfit, abandoning the stereotypical image of the Mujahideen (Holy Warriors), and by wandering in Idlib's markets, unlike the jihadi leaders who live in isolation from the people and reside in unknown areas.
Most of the interpretations have argued that this behaviour is as an attempt on the part of the HTS to reposition itself vis-à-vis the Syrian crisis, and to present itself as a moderate local player who deserves to be a party to the final settlement that determines the future of Syria. This paper tries to shed light on those shifts and determine their causes and the results expected to be achieved from them.
EPC | 15 Feb 2021
The competition over areas of influence between the Kurdish Autonomous Administration (KAA) and the Syrian regime in the east of the Euphrates developed into direct tension with the beginning of 2021, as the two parties exchanged sieges on areas belonging to the other side, or related to the environment supporting it in Hasaka (also Hasakah) Governorate. While the two parties, with Russian mediation, reached an agreement on 2 February 2021 to lift the mutual siege on their respective regions, the agreement does not constitute a complete and final solution to the outstanding problems between them, which foreshadows new rounds of dispute.
EPC | 11 Jan 2021
For the first time since their intervention in Syria, the Russian forces have reached the Iraqi borders at the Albu Kamal crossing in December 2020. This area is considered to be purely under Iranian influence since control over it was regained from the Daesh (Islamic State, ISIS) organisation in 2018. There are indications of an unannounced Russian-Iranian agreement, many of whose details are unclear. This raises questions about the considerations that prompted the two countries to conclude this agreement, and whether it constitutes a prelude to changing the conditions of the players in the Syrian-Iraqi border area.
This paper sheds light on the current developments in the region of West Euphrates and explores the potential prospects for them.
EPC | 08 Dec 2020
The local, regional and international actors involved in the Syrian conflict are anticipating the policies of the US President-elect Joe Biden's administration and the strategy by which he will deal with the Syrian issue and the actors therein. This paper sheds light on the Biden administration's potential policy toward the Syrian conflict, its positions on the domestic and external actors, and the potential responses on the part of those actors.
EPC | 19 Nov 2020
The Syrian Badia (Desert) region is witnessing intense and frequent operations by the Daesh (Islamic State, IS) organisation, which extend to vast areas and target multiple opponents. They are also characterised by speedy execution and striking specific targets. Despite the numerous campaigns launched by the actors being targeted by the terrorist organisation, this did not affect the offensive strength of the Organisation. Those operations raise a question about whether the Organisation, whose elimination was announced in March 2019 after liberating its last stronghold in the town of Al-Baghouz in eastern Syria, has regained its capability to operate, and the effect of this return in the context of developments in a region that abounds with problems and players.