Category Archives: International Affairs

Idlib’s Unenviable Situation Gets Worse

Last year, Syria’s Idlib province was in direct peril. The regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad and its Russian allies, having consolidated their control of southern Syria, seemed poised to move on the northern province, where most of the territory was dominated by Hayat Tahrir al-Sham. Continue reading

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Iraqi Militias in Syria Spur Iraqi Criticism

The story of Iraq’s militias is contentious. These forces were undoubtedly significant in the country’s recent fighting – against the Islamic State and against Kurdish forces after the Kurdistan region’s referendum on independence in 2017. Continue reading

On Sri Lanka and the Western Far-Right

After an act of evil, silence and solemnity are rarely enough. Even commemoration of the victims, and calls for social stability and solidity, frequently come up short. As attractive, if not more, are demands for action, in extreme cases vengeance, and attacks on those seen to be reacting wrongly or perversely to the tragedy newly witnessed. Continue reading

Daraa Protests Show the City Remains Outside the Regime’s Orbit

Last week, demonstrations took place in the southern Syrian city of Daraa to protest something symbolic.

In the former heartland of Syria’s revolution, protesters gathered on March 10 to oppose the refurbishment of a statute depicting Hafez al-Assad, the father of Syria’s hereditary president, Bashar al-Assad. Continue reading

Shamima Begum’s Media Circus

When, four years ago and at the age of fifteen, Shamima Begum first left her family and her country to join a group of religiously-inspired murderers in the Levant, I doubt she expected that her future life would include so many TV interviews. Continue reading

Germany’s Attempted Extradition Sends Strong Message to Syria

When Germany announced last April that it was seeking the arrest of Jamil Hassan, head of Syria’s feared Air Force Intelligence Directorate, many dismissed it as a well-meaning piece of theatre. Continue reading

Syria’s Chemical Tactics Could Have Dreadful Consequences for Future Conflicts

Chemical warfare has dominated the global perception of the Syrian civil war. The use of chemical weapons, banned internationally, attracts its own condemnation but the way the Syrian war is captured and communicated to the world increased the horror and disgust its crimes can inspire. Continue reading