Tag "Bashar al-Assad"

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Middle East/North Africa North America

Obama’s diplomatic shift in Syria

On Friday, President Obama announced that the United States is to deploy around 50 Special Forces troops to Syria, after repeatedly ruling out US “boots on the ground” action in

Middle East/North Africa Security

Iran’s military and economic investment in Syria

Since the early 1980s, Iran has invested substantial political and economic capital into Syria. Tehran will continue to support the Assad regime, acting as a counter-point alongside Russia to the

Europe Politics

Three reasons why Europe should welcome migrants

European economies could experience a significant long-term boost from accepting more refugees from war-torn countries like Syria and Iraq. But high short-term costs and inflexible labor markets could limit the

Middle East/North Africa Security

Russia’s sudden military build-up in Syria

Recent reports suggest a Russian military build-up in Syria as President Vladimir Putin searches for new venues to stoke both domestic and international legitimacy — an expanded foray into the

Middle East/North Africa Security

Can the US and Russia find agreement on Syria after the nuclear deal?

Discussions between high level US and Russian diplomatic officials over Syria may be signaling the conflict is entering its end phase. With the Iranian nuclear agreement finalized, bilateral cooperation on

Middle East/North Africa Politics

Two ways WWII’s legacy still links Europe to the Middle East

This May 7th marks the 70th anniversary of the end of WWII in Europe (VE Day). Just a short distance away, the Middle East still remains a major source of

Middle East/North Africa Politics

Turkey has much to lose in Kobani

With the Islamic State’s insurgency in Kobani still raging economic fallout in Turkey has already begun. The Turkish state is making significant unforced errors, with damaging long-term consequences for its

Middle East/North Africa Security

Islamic State takes advantage of cash economies in Iraq and Syria

Backed by hundreds of millions of dollars in locally generated funding, the Islamic State has reaped the benefits of cash-driven economies in Iraq and Syria. The US-led military campaign must

Economics Middle East/North Africa

Islamic State reshapes Syria’s war economy

In the Syrian conflict, all sides had developed a stake in maintaining a war economy. With the emergence of the Islamic State (IS), which controls a third of Syria’s territory, the

Middle East/North Africa Natural resources and energy

Iran is open for business and Switzerland leads the way

As Switzerland lifts its economic sanctions against Iran, Swiss companies lead the way in exploiting new opportunities. But the waters between Iran’s new openness and the West’s suspicions are tricky to