Are Missiles the Answer?

By: Ilana Friedman The conflict in Syria began in March 2011 with pro-democracy demonstrations against the harsh regime of President Bashar al-Assad. In August 2011, then-President Obama called for Assad to step down and also enforced new sanctions on the Syrian government. Allies of the United States — France, Germany, and the United Kingdom —…

The Middle East’s Cold War: Iran and Saudi Arabia

By: Maura Pallitta On Saturday, November 4, the Prime Minister of Lebanon, Saad Hariri, shocked both his country and the international community by announcing his resignation. A Sunni Muslim who came to power in 2016 because of a compromise, he stepped down in Saudi Arabia, citing Iran’s interference in his country and the region as a…

Trump in Syria

By: Rebecca Hanks For the past five years civil war has raged within Syria’s borders. Under President Bashar al-Assad, the Syrian Arab Army pushes back against the Free Syrian Army in an attempt to maintain power. The presence of Kurdish nationalists and the Islamic State serves to further complicate the conflict, creating a vicious cycle of…

The Yazidis: Declaring a Genocide is Not Enough

By Rebecca Hanks The Yazidi people, most of whom live in the mountainous Nineveh province of Northeastern Iraq, are an ethnic and religious minority that is widely unknown despite its almost 700,000 followers worldwide. The group, which began in the early eleventh century and combines influences of Islam, Christianity, Judaism, and Zoroastrianism, has drawn harsh allegations…

What An al-Qaeda-Islamic State Rapprochement Could Look Like

Written By: Iakovos Balassi While al-Qaeda and the Islamic State compete for supremacy, analysts have debated the likelihood of the two groups joining forces. In “The Coming the ISIS-al Qaeda Merger,” Bruce Hoffman outlines why it could make sense for the groups to reunite, and predicts that by 2021 the two could merge or be in…