ISIS’ Global Reach Survives the Death of Its Caliph

The death of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi in the course of an American operation can only harm the Islamic State. Not only did Baghdadi claim religious authority, which failed to protect him from the Americans; he was also, far more than al-Qaeda’s Osama bin Laden, a field commander, issuing orders to subordinates on the ground on which they fought, and directing his organisation in war. Continue reading

Assad’s People, Accused of Torture, Begin Trial in Germany

This week, Germany began attempts to prosecute two Syrians who, prosecutors allege, committed crimes against humanity on behalf of the regime of Bashar al-Assad. Continue reading

Turkey’s Syria Operation Comes at the Cost of Global Goodwill

Turkey’s military incursion into northeastern Syria was never going to be popular. It aims to address a problem that only Turkey experiences and which, it seems, concerns only Turkey. Continue reading

A New Day Has Not Yet Come

Today the president of the United States announced the death of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the man who led the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS).

The president’s speech and his subsequent press conference were a failure and a missed opportunity. Here is what I wish he had said. Continue reading

Syria’s Civil War Proves Transformative for Turkey

Syria’s civil war has proven a transformative experience for Turkey. The violence of Syria’s war pushed millions into neighbouring countries, of which Turkey was one; but Turkey felt extra pressure and opportunity as a gateway to Europe. Continue reading

The Brexit Party Crack-Up

At the start of the year, the Brexit party didn’t exist. When it roared to success a few months later in the European parliamentary elections, much was made of how unlike a normal party it was. Nigel Farage was fond of telling audiences that his MEPs included Tories and former members of the Revolutionary Communist party. What else could unite them, he would ask, but the need to leave the European Union? Yet that common cause is now proving to be the party’s undoing in the wake of Boris Johnson’s Brexit deal. Continue reading

The Toll of American Indifference in Syria

Last month, while he was preparing to attend the United Nations general assembly, the American secretary of state Mike Pompeo, made a statement of seriousness but not of significance. Continue reading