Syria

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Snapshot,

We poll experts on whether they think the United States should significantly step up its military campaign against ISIS in Iraq and Syria.

Snapshot,
Khalil al-Anani

On November 10, Ansar Beit al-Maqdis, a militant movement that operates out of the northern Sinai Peninsula, pledged allegiance to ISIS. The new merger underscores just how unstable Egypt remains—and how the military government may be losing its grip.

Snapshot,
Oula Abdulhamid Alrifai

Since the start of the Syrian conflict, the country’s Alawites have kept President Bashar al-Assad in power. But there are signs that he is now losing their support.

Snapshot,
Nicholas Sambanis and Jonah Schulhofer-Wohl

The usual argument for partition is that, once ethnic or sectarian fighting gets too bloody, nobody can put Humpty Dumpty back together again. The argument seems intuitive, but it rests on a flawed premise.

Snapshot,
Louise Shelley

A key element of U.S. President Barack Obama’s strategy against ISIS has been striking at the oil fields seized by the group to undermine its finances. But ISIS is a diversified criminal business, and oil is only one of its several revenue streams. U.S. officials ignore that fact at their own peril.

Snapshot,
J. Trevor Ulbrick

To date, three million Syrians have fled the war in their country. The exodus has now surpassed the Rwandan genocide as the largest refugee crisis since World War II.

Snapshot,
Gunes Murat Tezcur and Sabri Ciftci

The past few weeks have seen a wave of Muslims from all around the world joining the ranks of ISIS. Although most of the attention has been on those coming from the United States and Europe, the bulk of foreign fighters has actually come from places like Turkey, from which the flow of jihadists is particularly puzzling.

Snapshot,
Piotr Zalewski

Kurds have a right to take Turkey to task for its inaction in Kobani, just as Turks have a right to insist that Kurdish suffering in Syria does not give the PKK license to kill civilians or off-duty soldiers in Turkey.

Snapshot,
Steven Simon

Obama faces a tragic choice between restraint against ISIS to avoid entanglement in Syria’s civil war or full engagement against ISIS with an eye to regime change and the reconstruction and stabilization of a devastated country. After Afghanistan, Iraq, and Libya, we have a rough idea of what such an effort would entail and of the elusiveness of lasting gains.

Snapshot,
Lionel Beehner

To justify possible attacks on ISIS in Syria, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry invoked the right to hot pursuit -- an old maritime precept. But using this rationale would put Washington on a slippery legal slope. 

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