For months, even years, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has threatened that Turkey’s armed forces and their Syrian rebel allies will launch a new attack on areas currently controlled by the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF).Continue reading
Tag Archives: Kurds
Liberators or Occupiers?
The fourth anniversary of the start of the battle for Raqqa has just passed, during which time the city was recaptured from the Islamic State (IS).
Raqqa had been IS’ Syrian capital, and it took over four months for the liberators, the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), to wrest back control of the city in October 2017 with international support.Continue reading
Americans and Russians ‘Skirmish’ in Syria
With all of the foreign forces operating within Syria, it is not surprising that their soldiers occasionally meet – in times of coordination, or by chance on the road or battlefield. For nations whose policies have stood, at least nominally, in opposition to each other, these meeting might be expected to elicit reactions ranging from frosty to hostile. Continue reading
Turkish ‘Forced Medicine’ for Europe’s ISIS Problem
Hundreds of fighters flocked from all over the world to join Islamic State (ISIS), lured by the promise of a utopian society. But now they find themselves in squalid jails and refugee camps while the world worries about what to do with them. Continue reading
Leaked Documents Show Iran’s Influence over Iraq
It has long been known that Iran exerts significant power and possesses long reach in its neighbouring countries.
After the deposition of Saddam Hussein, and the subsequent withdrawal of the United States in 2011, Iran’s influence in Iraq became dominant. Continue reading
Idlib, on a Knife-Edge, Awaits Its Destiny
In the last Syrian rebel-held province of Idlib, Turkey is more influential than the Syrian government. But Turkey’s position has never been entirely secure. Run by Syrian rebels and Islamists, Idlib is the last part of Syrian territory not run by a foreign state or President Bashar Assad. Idlib’s people are not happy with their present rulers and protest against them, but they fear the government and its allies. 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
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 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
What Turkey’s ‘Operation Peace Spring’ Means for Syria – and the US
On Sunday, the White House announced that ‘Turkey will soon be moving forward with its long-planned operation into northern Syria’ and that American forces, though they would not support this advance, would move out of the way to allow it to take place. Continue reading