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Egypt, Syria & Lebanon

Anything But Politics: The State of Syria’s Political Opposition

Middle East Report N°146, 17 October 2013

SyriaOften derided for its infighting or dismissed as irrelevant, Syria’s political opposition reflects the contradictions and conflicting geopolitical interests upon which it was founded.

Recent Reports

Anything But Politics: The State of Syria’s Political Opposition, Middle East Report N°146, 17 Oct 2013

Often derided for its infighting or dismissed as irrelevant, Syria’s political opposition reflects the contradictions and conflicting geopolitical interests upon which it was founded.

Marching in Circles: Egypt’s Dangerous Second Transition, Middle East/North Africa Briefing N°35, 7 Aug 2013

Nearly two-and-half years after Hosni Mubarak’s overthrow, Egypt is embarking on a transition in many ways disturbingly like the one it just experienced, only with different actors at the helm and far more fraught and violent.

Syria’s Metastasising Conflicts, Middle East Report N°143, 27 Jun 2013

While a diplomatic settlement of the Syrian war is unrealistic at present, it remains the only viable option. It will require difficult steps by local, regional and international actors to accommodate competing interests.

Too Close for Comfort: Syrians in Lebanon, Middle East Report N°141, 13 May 2013

As the Syrian conflict increasingly implicates and spills over into Lebanon, a priority for its government and international partners must be to tackle the refugee crisis, lest it ignite domestic conflict that a weak state and volatile region can ill afford.

Syria’s Kurds: A Struggle Within a Struggle, Middle East Report N°136, 22 Jan 2013

Syria’s conflict gives its Kurdish population an opening to rectify historic wrongs and push for more autonomy, but facing internal divisions, poor ties with the non-Kurdish opposition and regional rivalries, its challenge is to articulate clear, unified and achievable demands.

A Precarious Balancing Act: Lebanon and the Syrian Conflict , Middle East Report N°132, 22 Nov 2012

Syria’s civil war is spilling beyond its borders and threatening Lebanon’s stability. More than ever, it is crucial that Lebanon’s leaders address the fundamental shortfalls of their governing structure, which exacerbate factionalism and leave the country vulnerable to the chaos next door.

Tentative Jihad: Syria’s Fundamentalist Opposition, Middle East Report N°131, 12 Oct 2012

The presence of Salafi groups among Syria’s armed opposition is an irrefutable, damaging yet not necessarily irreversible trend. Breaking this cycle will require the opposition to curb their influence, members of the international community to coordinate their policies and a perilous military stalemate to transition to a political solution.

Syria’s Mutating Conflict, Middle East Report N°128, 1 Aug 2012

As fighting rages in Aleppo, the combination of a regime morphing into a formidable militia and an Alawite community fearing for its survival leaves Syria’s opposition – itself threatened with radicalisation – with a difficult task: to tackle its own demons, reach out to the Alawites and focus on restoring strife-torn institutions.

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Lost in Transition: The World According to Egypt’s SCAF, Middle East/North Africa Report N°121, 24 Apr 2012

With Egypt’s presidential election having become a free-for-all, zero-sum game, the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) should take a step back and, with the full range of political actors, agree on principles for a genuine and safe political transition.

Syria’s Phase of Radicalisation, Middle East Briefing N°33, 10 Apr 2012

With the Syrian crisis having taken a perilous turn, predictable obstacles in implementing UN envoy Kofi Annan’s peace plan should not lead to give up on what – for now at least – remains the only serious option on the table.

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