Category Archives: Syria

External Forces Against A Kurdish Referendum

By Dr Jan Best de Vries: After World War 1 the present borders of Iraq and Syria were drawn by respectively England and France on the basis of the presence of oil fields in these areas, their former mandates after destruction of the vilayets under Ottoman rule. So neither these present western powers nor the …

Al Qaeda On The Rise In Syria

By Manish Rai:  While the United States and NATO remains focused on the defeating Islamic State in Syria and Iraq, al Qaeda in Syria is accumulating strength and territory at an alarming pace and may eventually pose the most daunting counterterrorism challenge that the U.S and West has ever faced. Al-Qaeda has reportedly benefited from…

After the Fall of Raqqa

By Dr Jan Best de Vries: The military situation on the ground around and in Raqqa is clear: the villages north of Raqqa have been taken by the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) led by the YPG and YPJ, the villages south of Raqqa by Assad̉΄s Arabian Army with the support of Iranian elite troops, whereas…

Ending Turkish Aggression against Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) in Afrin (Rojava)

By Dr Amir Sharifi: The Honorable Dianne Feinstein United States Senate 331 Hart Senate Office Building Washington, DC 20510 Dear Senator Feinstein: I am writing to express my outrage at the Turkish military aggression against Syrian Democratic Forces in Syria (SDF). At a decisive moment when ISIS caliphate is waning in its last citadel and…

Kurdish Independence Under President Trump

By Rauf Naqishbendi: With any conflict in Mesopotamia, it makes headlines and is of significant importance when the Kurds are involved, even to the United States. The reality is that the Kurds altered the balance of power in Mesopotamia after the US’s invasion of Iraq. Thus, they are to be reckoned with when defending Iraq…

Turks Teaching Trump to Dump

By Dr. M. Koohzad: President Erdogan of Turkey came to Washington threatening, demanding, asking, even begging for a few things he badly needed. He wanted the U.S. to dump the Syrian Kurds who are bravely fighting ISIS, extradite his old friend Fethullah Gulen to Turkey to be executed, and fire Mr. Brett McGurk, the American…

Syria: Cultural Autonomy and the Risks of a Late Negotiation

By Carlos Rocabado: The draft Constitution prepared by Russia gives new hopes to Kurds on their demand for autonomy. It is not the federal scenario some expect, and of course it has nothing to do with dubious separatist wishes, but it is a step in the right direction: the acknowledgement of a long time ignored…

How Assad Won

By Manish Rai: President Bashar Al-Assad is starting to look like he will survive the uprising, even in the estimation of some of his staunchest opponents. It is a reality that almost everyone agrees to that the Syrian regime has revealed an extraordinary ability to survive. Despite the blows it has sustained in the initial…

Support the Pluralist SDF and Stop Turkey!

By Rebwar Rashed: Back in November, 2014, Mr. Michael Rubin explained wisely, “Here’s why training moderate Syrian rebels in Turkey is a bad idea”.  The article is still good reading for those who need a better understanding of Turkey, the so-called “Moderate Islamists” and how to ensure a Syria without dictatorship. On October 9th 2015, Michael…

‘Syria Won’t Return to Dictatorship Post War’ – Salih Muslim

Mr Salih Muslim is co-president of the Democratic Union Party or PYD. The PYD is one of the most dominant players in Syria; currently this is mostly because of its control over that most effective and formidable Kurdish militia YPG/YPJ, significant popular support, and its effective organization. In an exclusive interview with Manish Rai, Editor,…

Kurds Can’t be Ignored in Post-War Syria

By Manish Rai: The start of the Syrian civil war in 2011 gave the historically marginalized Kurds their first real chance to assert their autonomy and to become a political powerhouse. Syrian Kurdish society now strongly feels that they can reverse the last half-century of assimilationist pressures and revive their cultural heritage and get their…

Sheikh Maksud: The Barometer For Syria

By Dr Jan Best de Vries: From the beginning of the so-called civil war in Syria in 2012, the Kurdish civilian inhabitants of Aleppo’s northern district Sheikh Maksud have during the last five years been protected by the YPJ and YPG against attacks from both Hezbollah and salafist rebels supported by Turkey. Conflicts between the…

Fall of Aleppo May Initiate End of Revolution

By Manish Rai: After reclaiming almost all of Aleppo, Syria’s former commercial capital, President Assad has got his biggest prize of the war. It puts his forces in control of the country’s four largest cities as well as the coastal region, and cap a year of steady government advances. It should be remembered that more…

Why Diplomacy is Failing in Syria

By Manish Rai: There have been multiple diplomatic efforts to resolve the Syrian conflict since it erupted in 2011 but all have ended in vain. Recently as well no agreement was reached or set out in a final document at the ministerial meeting on Syria held in the Swiss lakeside city of Lausanne. It proved…

Syria’s Not So Civil War Explained – Neither in 2011 Nor a Sectarian War: Qatar-Turkey Gas Pipeline Design

By Dr. Koohzad: Many mainstream media reports, and even scholarly research works, mistakenly call the War on Syria a “Civil War.” They also believe that the war began in 2011, and is a sectarian conflict mainly between the Sunni and Shia sects of Islam. None of these three claims is true. The following arguments and…