Syria News

Engaging Iran and Russia on Syria, the U.S. Has a Weak Hand

Sep 28, 2015
"But if we engage Mr. Assad’s two allies over his fate, we should be under no illusion on what the outcome is likely to be: a never-ending transition that keeps him in power (for a good while) and Russia and Iran as the key eternal actors in the Syrian drama," writes Aaron David Miller.

Why Putin’s Move into Syria May Be One Step Too Far

Sep 28, 2015
"Imperial overstretch serves as a recurring theme throughout Russian history. Putin’s grand U.N. pronouncements should not obscure the fact that he brings few deliverables — and multiple vulnerabilities — to the table," writes Will Pomeranz.

Are the U.S. and Russia Now on the Same Page About Syria?

Sep 18, 2015
"The issue with engaging Mr. Putin on Syria is not that the U.S. looks weak-–of course it does-–because Moscow has acted and Washington has not reacted. Far more concerning is that Mr. Putin appears to know what he wants: to prop up Mr. Assad, oppose the U.S., and pick up propaganda points abroad," writes Aaron David Miller.

How Putin's Boldness on Syria Trumps U.S.

Sep 15, 2015
"The Syrian regime is weakening and isn’t much as an ally. But when it comes to Syria, Mr. Putin has got Iran in his corner, too. That’s more than Washington can say," writes Aaron David Miller.

Are there any reasons for hope in the Middle East? Maybe.

Aug 27, 2015
In the aftermath of the Iran nuclear agreement, there was a broad expectation, both in the region and beyond, that sectarian tensions and conflict would intensify and deepen the proxy battle between Iran and Saudi Arabia. In the United States, even some strong supporters of the nuclear deal emphasized that Washington needed to respond aggressively to the inevitable push by Tehran to expand its regional influence at the expense of traditional U.S. allies.

What’s Behind Turkey’s U-Turn on the Islamic State?

Jul 29, 2015
After years of disagreement, the U.S. and Turkey are preparing to fight together in Syria. Henri Barkey explains Ankara's change of heart.

The Iran Nuke Deal Could End Any Hope of Israeli-Palestinian Peace

Jul 22, 2015
"An agreement this complex will require interaction between the United States and Iran at many levels. To what extent that interaction, cooperation, and problem-solving (rather than problem-creating) will extend from the nuclear issue to regional issues is another matter," writes Aaron David Miller.

Turkey blames ISIS for suicide bombing

Jul 20, 2015
"If there is one group in the Middle East that has managed to bloody ISIS seriously, it has been the Syrian Kurds. Therefore, ISIS has an incentive in hurting the Kurds wherever they are, whether it is in Turkey or in Syria," says Henri Barkey in this interview on CNN.

How the Iran Nuclear Deal Stands to Inflame U.S.-Saudi Tensions

Jul 17, 2015
"Friction between Saudi Arabia and the U.S. over coalition actions in Yemen underscores how the agreement announced this week on Iran’s nuclear program threatens to widen a rift between Washington and its most important Arab ally in the Persian Gulf," writes David Ottaway.

No, the Iran Nuclear Deal Will Not Be Good for the U.S.

Jun 18, 2015
"The deal may succeed in slowing Iran’s nuclear program. But sooner or later, some future U.S. President is bound to confront a richer, stronger, more influential Iran, one with nuclear weapons still within its reach," writes Aaron David Miller.