Russia's Dead-End Diplomacy in Syria

November 21, 2019 - Jennifer Cafarella

Syria's Assad is the primary obstacle to peace in Syria. The U.S. has for too long, and with little basis, expected Russia to compel Assad to accept a genuine diplomatic process to end the war. Given Russia's intent, it is time for the U.S. to widen its aperture for what diplomacy in Syria can and should achieve.

Map: Russia Expands Air Presence in Northeast Syria

November 20, 2019 - John Dunford

Russia established a permanent rotary-wing headquarters and support structure at Qamishli Airport on November 14 and likely intends to deploy new air defense systems to the area, enabling it to further contest the U.S. position in Eastern Syria.

Map: Russian Military Police Reinforce Two Front Lines with Turkish Forces

November 13, 2019 - Press ISW

President Trump met with Turkish President Erdogan on November 13 to discuss the situation in Syria. In recent weeks, Turkey has continued to expand its offensive in the northeast, prompting Russia and the Assad regime to strengthen their positions along frontlines and along the Syria-Turkey border.

The Kremlin's Inroads After the Africa Summit

November 8, 2019 - Press ISW

Vladimir Putin is using Russia’s campaign in Africa to support a range of strategic objectives. His latest push surrounding the Russia-Africa summit focused on security cooperation, the information space, nuclear energy exports, and access to natural resources.

Iraq Situation Report: November 1-4, 2019

November 6, 2019 - Press ISW

Protests continued to grow in Baghdad and southern Iraq after Iran intervened to block the resignation or ouster of Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mehdi in a no-confidence vote. Backlash against Iranian influence among Iraqis is intensifying in Karbala and Baghdad.

Podcast: Gen. (Ret.) David Petraeus on the Middle East

November 1, 2019 - Press ISW

ISW Board Member General (Ret.) David H. Petraeus was a recent guest on the ISW Overwatch podcast. On the episode, he shared his perspective on the current situation in the Middle East and U.S. strategy. The discussion focuses on the future of ISIS, Syria, Iraq, and Iran.

Map: Russo-Turkish Agreement on Northeast Syria

October 23, 2019 - Press ISW

How would the announced agreement on Northern Syria between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan alter the situation on the ground if implemented? See the new ISW map for a depiction of the deal's terms.

Al Qaeda Expands its Presence in Afghanistan

October 23, 2019 - Press ISW

It is unclear whether the U.S. and the Taliban will resume talks following the breakdown in negotiations in September 2019. On the battlefield, al Qaeda continues to expand its presence in Afghanistan in a close relationship with the Taliban.

Iraq Situation Report: October 17-21, 2019

October 22, 2019 - Press ISW

Iraqi cleric Muqtada al Sadr called for renewed protests in a statement released on the Shi’a religious holiday of Arba’een on October 19. Sadr accused the government of being “incapable of reform.” The Iraqi government is meanwhile establishing a new force to suppress further protests.

What Will Follow The Crises in Iraq and Syria?

October 21, 2019 - Press ISW

Ketti Davison forecasts ten likely outcomes of the twin crises in Syria and Iraq for the Defense One website. Among the threats to watch for: a degraded U.S. ability to target terror plotters and an opportunity for Russia as it carves out a leading regional role.