Local authorities and international actors alike have serious questions to consider about how to stabilize the region.
Local councils in Syria may form the basis of a post-conflict government with broad legitimacy, but only once their roles and powers are more clearly detailed.
The impending fall of rebel-held eastern Aleppo is a sign of the Syrian government’s success in using siege tactics that cut residents off from much-needed commodities like fuel.
Warring parties in Syria have weaponized aid by granting or withholding humanitarian access, complicating the work of aid organizations.
Months of planning and Russian air support led to a final, successful battle to recapture Palmyra by Syrian regime forces that has helped boost their morale.
Working side-by-side with Russian officers in Syria is sure to improve Hezbollah’s offensive fighting capabilities.
Supporting Kurdish groups in Syria could empower them to play a role in resolving regional conflicts, not just in Syria but also in Iraq and Turkey.
The promise of Western military support and a shared opposition to Russia’s intervention are driving Syrian opposition forces to unite and—for many of them—move away from extremist rhetoric.
Russia’s involvement in Syria is less about protecting natural gas interests and more about prosaic strategic interests.
Amid the violence of the fight for Aleppo, local residents have come up with makeshift methods of survival and resistance.
By destroying rebel groups’ attempts at local governance, Russian military assistance is helping Assad present his government as the only viable force to rule Syria.
Russia hopes its recent military support to Bashar al-Assad will give it political leverage over the Syrian regime and counter Western military might both in Syria and globally.
Assad may be relinquishing authority over certain parts of Syria he is unable to hold or recapture, but the war is sure to drag on for some time.
Although political considerations are the main drivers of Iran’s policy toward Syria, economic interests are playing an ever greater role.
After several setbacks outside of Damascus, Assad’s regime has turned to fighting terrorists operating near or inside Yarmouk refugee camp, while its residents are trapped between the two assaults.
The international community has heavily invested in the armed forces of Syria’s neighbors, but hard security cannot be achieved without more robust humanitarian aid.
As the Syrian war approaches its fourth year, the Assad regime may finally be losing a critical tool in its arsenal—bread subsidies.
New rules restricting the entry of Syrians into Lebanon are only a stopgap measure in the government’s effort to curb and ultimately control the refugee population.
The inability of the Lebanese state to figure out where Arsal stands has made public and state perceptions increasingly hostile toward the town.
Realpolitik, rather than ethics, provides the most powerful arguments against the growing calls to forge a deal with the Syrian regime.