State-centric approaches cannot adequately capture contemporary political dynamics — as beyond the state, a range of diverse non-state armed actors are active in different arenas. This Dossier seeks to shed light on different non-state actors in Syria and in Iraq, that have risen to prominence in recent years. How have those non-state actors emerged and evolved? How do they interact with the state and other armed groups, as well as with the local population?
The MED This Week newsletter provides expert analysis and informed comments on the MENA region’s most significant issues and trends. Today, we focus on the upcoming 31st Arab League Summit, where representatives of national governments will convene in Algeria, after a hiatus of more than three years, to address the most relevant current issues concerning the Arab world.
With the beginning of the popular uprising in Syria in early 2011 and of the armed conflict later in 2012, the Assad regime found itself in need of more human power to try to control local communities and suppress demonstrations. To do so, the regime militarized the population by setting up local militias — not only to be at the forefront of the military struggle against the opposition, but also to gain complete and blind support from the local communities.
In recent years, the topic of rebel governance has received increased attention in academic research and beyond. Notably, there has been a greater focus on Islamist rebel governance—i.e. on cases where militant Islamist groups come to control swaths of territory, in contexts of war and/or insurgency.
Syria remains under the repressive leadership of the regime of Bashar al-Assad. The regime’s behaviour makes it impossible for security sector governance to be reformed in Syria in any meaningful way while the regime remains in power.
The MED This Week newsletter provides expert analysis and informed comments on the MENA region's most significant issues and trends. Today, we focus on the visit that Russian President Putin and Turkish President Erdogan paid to Tehran, where together with Iranian President Raisi, they discussed the Ukraine war and the Syrian conflict.
The MED This Week newsletter provides expert analysis and informed insights on the most significant developments in the MENA region, bringing together unique opinions on the topic and reliable foresight on future scenarios. Today, we focus on Syria, recently back in the spotlight following the sixth edition of the EU-promoted Brussels Conference and Assad’s recent visit to Tehran.
Regardless of how things play out in Ukraine over the near-term, it appears all but certain that Russia and the West will find themselves locked in a protracted confrontation for years to come. The Syrian civil war and the Iran dossier provide good test cases for assessing how that confrontation could affect the Middle East. In Syria, Russia and the West have in recent years competed for influence, deconflicted to avoid clashes, while cooperating selectively on counterterrorism, humanitarian issues, and a political process under UN auspices.
On March 11, two weeks after the creation of Ukraine’s International Legion, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced that he would approve the deployment of up to 16,000 Middle Eastern fighters to support Russian-backed rebels in Ukraine.
The MED This Week newsletter provides expert analysis and informed comments on the MENA region’s most significant issues and trends. Today, we turn the spotlight on Tunisia, where the ongoing political crisis has intensified after President Kais Saied dissolved the Parliament, which had been frozen since July. This move has further plunged the country into political turmoil and stoked fears of a nascent autocracy.
The MED This Week newsletter provides expert analysis and informed insights on the most significant developments in the MENA region, bringing together unique opinions on the topic and reliable foresight on future scenarios. Today, we turn the spotlight on Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad's visit to the UAE, his first trip to an Arab country in over a decade.
Turkey’s newfound willingness to engage states it long antagonised, most notably Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt, and Israel, holds the potential to lead to a reshuffling of international relations in the Middle East. Across the region, these developments could herald a further weakening of Sunni Islamist organisations such as the Muslim Brotherhood and its many offshoots, and could also buttress the anti-Iran partnership linking the Gulf states to Israel.