It is just as well that, when he met with Russian President Vladimir Putin in the Kremlin March 5, Turkey’s President Rejep Tayyip Erdogan did not look up to his right. If he had, he would have seen towering over him a lofty statue of Russia’s Catherine the Great, who in the 18th century sheared … Continue reading Two big powers arm-wrestle in Syria. Neither one is the United States.
The thousands of highly motivated foreign fighters at all ranks of the fighting forces that control Syria’s Idlib enclave pose a particular challenge to policymakers worldwide trying to deal with the bitter fighting in the enclave and the humanitarian crisis that has resulted from it. (Many of these foreigners have also brought their children with … Continue reading Foreign jihadis playing a big role in Syria’s Idlib
Might “Gaza-ification”– a Gaza-style form of stabilization that is still a long way from a stable peace agreement– be a viable way of alleviating the currently dire humanitarian situation of the residents of Syria’s northwestern Idlib province? This prospect might seem little better better than the current situation of Idlib’s three million or so residents, … Continue reading Idlib: Is ‘Gaza-style’ stabilization possible?
For legitimate international aid organizations, the intense needs of the three million or so residents of Syria’s war-torn Idlib province pose a sharp moral (as well as legal) dilemma, since the many very needy noncombatants there have effectively been held hostage for more than two years by the genocidal coalition of militias led by the … Continue reading Idlib and the “Interahamwe aid trap”
The New York Times continues its lengthy tradition of covering the story of Idlib as if it were one only of a humanitarian crisis brought about by the Syrian government (which they call a “regime”), and its allies. In yet another lengthy, expensive, lavishly illustrated story about Idlib, the NYT once again failed to make … Continue reading Idlib: A political conflict, not a one-sided “humanitarian” tearjerker
If you rely only on the New York Times to understand events in Syria, you likely have the idea that the peaceable people of the Idlib province in the northwest of the country have for some years now been subjected to gratuitous attacks by the Syrian and Russian air forces that, for some unknown reason, … Continue reading What the New York Times doesn’t want you to know about Idlib
Yesterday, Pres. Rejep Tayyip Erdogan was here in DC. His presence and the apparently lengthy meeting he had with Pres. Trump both attracted many criticisms and a non-trivial street protest in the square across from the White House. Yes, there are numerous serious things to criticize Erdogan for, including some of those mentioned in the … Continue reading Some quick thoughts on Turkey
The United Nations’ Special Envoy for Syria, Geir Pedersen, recently expressed confidence that the Syrian Constitutional Committee (SCC), a key gathering of representatives of the country’s government, opposition, and civil society, can convene as planned in Geneva, October 30. If this does occur-even with, perhaps a slippage of a few days-it could mark the beginning … Continue reading Can the Turkey-Russia Agreement Help Syrians End Their Civil War?
Washington, DC — It took less than a week after President Trump announced the summary withdrawal of the tripwire U.S. force deployed in northeast Syria alongside the Kurdish-dominated “Syrian Democratic Forces” (SDF), before the SDF concluded a new alliance with the Syrian government. What happened between, of course, was the large-scale incursion of Turkish forces into the … Continue reading U.S. forces (and policy) in Syria head south
This week, Mideast watchers have been breathlessly awaiting the arrival in NATO member Turkey of the first of the two batteries of Russian-made S-400 air defense systems that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan purchased from Russia in December 2017. Officials in the State and Defense Departments have warned that, with Turkey’s receipt of the S-400s, … Continue reading Global Power Shifts Sparked in Syrian Hornets’ Nest