By: Patrick Hoover, Columnist Photo by: Reuters Southwestern Syria may be the next focal point of local and regional tension in the seven-year-running civil war. While other fronts have been more active, regime and rebel forces have remained stalemated in the area for nearly four years. Nevertheless, an anticipated Syrian regime offensive is exerting pressure … Continue reading Southern Syria: The Next Arena for Regional and Local Confrontation?
By: Patrick Hoover, Columnist Photo by: The Century Foundation The relationship between Turkey and al-Qaeda’s Syrian affiliate, Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS and previously known as Jabhat al-Nusra), is a complex and ambiguous one. Since the Syrian civil war began in 2012, Turkish-HTS dynamics have ebbed and flowed largely according to regional and local conditions. On … Continue reading A Long Game in Syria: Turkey Versus Al-Qaeda
By: Patrick Hoover, Columnist Photo by: http://www.almasdarnews.com On January 20, the Turkish army, with Free Syrian Army (FSA) proxies, launched Operation Olive Branch to clear the Kurdish enclave of Afrin in northwestern Syria. Ankara’s chief strategic objectives include eliminating the Syrian Kurdish militia’s People’s Protection Units (YPG) and their political partner, the Democratic Union Party … Continue reading The Impact of Turkey’s Afrin Operation on US-Kurdish Stability Operations
By: Patrick Hoover, Columnist Photo Credit: Middle East Monitor Russia is increasingly in the diplomatic driver’s seat of the seven-year Syria conflict. Russian President Vladimir Putin hosted his Iranian and Turkish counterparts, Hassan Rouhani and Tayyip Erdogan, in Sochi between November 20 and 25 to issue a joint statement affirming their commitment to a “post-conflict” … Continue reading Undermining the UN, Putin’s Russia Drives Regional Diplomatic Talks on Syria
By: Patrick Hoover, Columnist Photo Credit: Chiangrai Times The Islamic State (IS) is on the verge of transforming from a semi-conventional to a decentralized, underground organization. With the loss of al-Raqqa city and al-Mayadin this past month, IS is rapidly losing control over towns and cities in Syria. However, the post-IS fallout may pose various … Continue reading What Is Next for the Islamic State?
By: Patrick Hoover, Columnist Photo Credit: Daily Sabah The race to rule eastern Syria after the defeat of Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) is quickly and quietly escalating into a focal point of US-Russian tension and competition. The US-backed, Kurdish-majority Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) and the Russian-backed Syrian regime are conducting separate, but competing, … Continue reading The US-Russia Race to Beat ISIS in Eastern Syria