Syria

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Snapshot,
Soner Cagaptay

From Turkey’s perspective, Kurdish autonomy is starting to look like a good thing. The portions of northern Iraq and Syria that are under Kurdish control are stable and peaceful -- a perfect bulwark against threats such as the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS). And that is why Turkey has been on good behavior with the Iraqi Kurds, is working on its relations with the Syrian Kurds, and might finally be breaking the impasse with the Kurds in its own territory.

Snapshot,
Andrew J. Tabler

Uprooting ISIS from the swath of territory it holds between Aleppo and Baghdad will take a lot more than airstrikes or a change of government in Iraq. To prevent ISIS from building a permanent safe haven in the region, Washington must help settle Syria.

Essay, 2014
Erica Chenoweth and Maria J. Stephan

Revolts against authoritarian regimes don’t always succeed -- but they’re more likely to if they embrace civil resistance rather than violence. Over the last century, nonviolent campaigns have been twice as likely to succeed as violent ones and they increase the chances that toppling a dictatorship will lead to peace and democracy.

Snapshot,
Kemal Kirisci and Raj Salooja

Turkey has maintained a generous open-door policy for Syrian refugees. As Syrian refugees continue to pour into the country, Turkey must address their long-term status within its borders.

Snapshot,
David Malet

Foreign fighters might seem like a product of twenty-first-century warfare, but they are nothing new. Over the past two centuries, more than 70 insurgencies have successfully gone transnational. The patterns of recruitment for such disparate groups are broadly similar and, because of that, their campaigns all have the same Achilles’ heel.

Snapshot,
Marisa L. Porges

Supporting refugees is costly, financially and otherwise, and Jordan is having trouble coping. The United States and key partner nations must help support the still-growing Syrian refugee population there. If it doesn't, Syria’s spillover risks destabilizing Jordan even more than it already has.

Snapshot,
Barak Mendelsohn

Disowning ISIS came at some cost of reputation for al Qaeda, but the group could no longer afford to keep an affiliate that subverted central command. In the weeks and months to come, the United States would be wise to use the continued rift to promote its own interests in Iraq and Syria.

Snapshot,
Michael Doran, William McCants, and Clint Watts

The al Qaeda of yesterday is gone. What is left is a collection of many different splinter organizations, most with local agendas. The United States should treat each on a case-by-case basis, especially in Syria were two affiliates, the al-Nusra front and the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, are battling it out.

Snapshot,
David Kaye

An explosive new report on torture in Syria politicizes atrocities committed during Syria's civil war. It will not lead to what Syrians want and need: an independent criminal inquiry that results in international prosecutions and promotes domestic accountability.

Snapshot,
Hassan Hassan

In recent months, local efforts to end the violence and aid the starving have led to numerous small-scale cease-fires in the Damascus suburbs of Barzeh, Moadamiya, Bibilla, Bait Sahem, and Dumayr. Peace could soon spread if the negotiators in Geneva create a credible plan to promote and oversee similar truces across the country.

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