Escalating tensions surrounding the Kurdish independence referendum are encouraging Iran to accelerate efforts to diversify trade to Iraq.
The Kurdistan Region’s “yes” vote in the independence referendum does not translate to unconditional support for independence in the short term.
The aggressive rhetoric surrounding Kurdistan’s largely symbolic independence referendum risks triggering armed conflict in ethnically mixed territories.
As Iran-aligned factions within Iraq’s Popular Mobilization Forces expand their political influence, Abadi is working to strengthen and integrate rival factions within the military.
As the Israeli state ramps up exclusionary policies against its Palestinian citizens, the Palestinian community is increasingly resorting to protests and grassroots activism to produce results.
The Syrian regime is turning to reconstruction to boost legitimacy and consolidate control, a process that also benefits its external allies.
Amid low enthusiasm for local elections intended to decentralize governance in Jordan, Islamists and their tribal allies have gained political ground.
Hezbollah’s branding of its Arsal offensive as a victory for all Lebanese further undermines the Lebanese state as a political and security actor.
EU support for Palestinian security reforms has not increased prospects for a democratic and viable Palestinian state as intended.
Abadi is using the narrative of victory in Mosul to distract from dire policy issues that cannot be resolved in the near future.
The independence referendum for the Kurdistan Region reflects not just struggles with Baghdad but intra-Kurdish political rivalries that could encourage further conflict.
While the new Lebanese electoral law introduces a few reforms, it entrenches sectarianism and favors big parties and established politicians.
Far from being a unifying call for prisoners’ rights, the Palestinian hunger strike campaign is exposing intra-Palestinian divides, particularly within Fatah.
Despite tensions over Syria, Turkey is increasingly turning to Russia to secure its foreign and domestic policy needs.
Debates over how to oversee and tally votes in Iraq’s provincial and national elections could spill over into popular unrest.
Despite a number of challenges, many Syrian refugees find Turkey offers much more than Europe does.
Despite the apparent military success in Mosul, the state’s ineffectiveness has driven a reliance on airstrikes and put pressure on Abadi’s government.
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.
Despite the inherent challenges of finding a long-term solution to Lebanon’s refugee crisis, its focus on short-term responses could worsen social and political cleavages and foster new forms of marginalization.
Hezbollah and Russia have enjoyed close cooperation in Syria, but their military successes could undermine Hezbollah’s hopes of playing a major role in the country post-conflict.