Following sporadic violence throughout the summer of 2013, fighting between pro-regime and rebel forces has begun to concentrate on the Damascus-Homs supply route running through Qalamoun.
Middle East Security
In late June 2013, the Syrian government renewed its campaign in the central Syrian province of Homs, indicating that it failed to achieve its operational and strategic objectives after defeating the rebels in al-Qusayr.
Iraq continues its slide towards widespread violence. Over the weekend, the Iraqi government has issued an ultimatum to anti-government protesters following an attack in Anbar province that left five soldiers dead.
"The American refusal to proffer lethal aid serves only to undermine the credibility of the U.S. with the opposition, while strengthening the hand of Qatar and Saudi Arabia." ISW Founder and President Dr. Kimberly Kagan writes for Hoover Institution's Strategika.
Today, political and military power in Iraq is highly centralized in Prime Minister Maliki’s personal office. This will have important implications for the future of Iraq and the trajectory and durability of its democratic transition.
At least 3 million Syrians have been displaced from their homes but remain within their war-torn country with no way to escape. PBS NewsHour reports.
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The Institute for the Study of War launched its Middle East Security Project in November 2011. The project seeks: to study the national security challenges and opportunities emerging from the Persian Gulf and wider Arab World; to identify ways the United States and Gulf States can check Iran’s growing influence and contain the threat posed by its nuclear ambitions; to explain the shifting balance of power within the Middle East caused by recent upheaval, and assess the responses of the United States and Arab States to address these changes as they emerge.
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In addition to giving insight into the current state of play between regime and rebel forces in the war, the unfolding dynamics among rebel groups in Deraa serve as indicators for how the armed opposition is taking form in Syria’s southern front.
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ISW in the News
As the Syrian conflict becomes increasingly sectarian, the ongoing isolation of the Alawite population runs the risk of turning ethnic violence into genocide.