Syria Project

A Political Settlement in Syria?

ISW's Syria Analyst and Evans Hanson Fellow Jennifer Cafarella makes the case that "The framework for a political settlement in Syria, recently negotiated by the United States, will fail to end the Syria Civil War." arguing that "The diplomatic track must be a partner and beneficiary of a sound military effort. It cannot be a substitute." Read her full op-ed in the Cipher Brief here.

Russia's False Narrative in Syria: December 1, 2015

President Vladimir Putin is actively misinforming his domestic audience and the international community about Russia’s first military intervention outside the former Soviet Union since Afghanistan. Putin has created a false narrative about the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) to disguise the true objectives behind Russia’s intervention Syria and is using this narrative to manipulate the international community.

UPDATE: Posture of Syrian Regime and Allies: November 9, 2015

Russia shifted military assets into eastern Homs Province, positioning at least five attack helicopters at the T4 (Tiyas) Airbase and additional rotary-wing aircraft at the Shayrat Airbase east of Homs City by November 4.

For additional information on Russian military activity in Syria, see: Russian Airstrikes in Syria: October 29 - November 8, 2015

Russian Airstrikes in Syria: October 27 - November 5th, 2015

Key Takeaway: Russian warplanes continued to target core ISIS-held terrain in Syria following regime anti-ISIS operations in Homs and Aleppo. Russian airstrikes targeted ISIS’s positions in ar-Raqqa, Homs, and reportedly Deir ez-Zour from November 4 - 5. Local sources reported that Russian airstrikes targeted the ISIS-held town of Albu Kamal near the Iraqi border in Deir ez-Zour Province on November 5, claiming that the strikes killed over 50 civilians.

U.S. Options For A Syrian No-Fly Zone

The U.S. can and should act decisively in Syria in order to protect its national security interests and those of its allies. The current exodus of refugees from Syria presents significant economic and security challenges to America’s allies in Europe and the Middle East, and directly benefits the Syrian Assad regime, Iran, Hezbollah, Russia, the Al-Qaeda affiliate Jabhat al-Nusra (JN), and the Islamic State of Iraq and al Sham (ISIS).