The Syrian conflict since 2011 is a constellation of overlapping crises. Each of its global, regional and sub-national dimensions demands a tailored response set within an overarching framework. Instead, chronic violence and worsening suffering have killed more than 250,000 people, fueling radicalisation, refugee flight and a self-sustaining war economy. Outside stakeholders must learn from the way the Syrian conflict has repeatedly dashed unrealistic expectations on all sides. Crisis Group pursues a comprehensive approach for achieving a sustainable decline in violence and, ultimately, a political settlement. We also seek to correct dominant narratives that focus on jihadism and migrant flows, which are the symptoms, rather than the causes, of the problem.

CrisisWatch Syria

Unchanged Situation

Israeli strikes killed dozens of pro-Iran combatants across country, while latter continued attacks on U.S. bases; Kurdish administration postponed municipal elections in north east.

Israel stepped up deadly strikes on Iran-backed militias, which targeted U.S. base. Alleged Israeli airstrikes 3 June killed Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) adviser Saeed Abyar and 16 Iran-backed fighters north of Aleppo city; 11 June killed six Hizbollah and affiliated fighters near al-Qusayr city, Homs province. Alleged Israeli drones 19 June also struck govt forces in Quneitra and Deraa provinces, killing one officer, while Israeli airstrike targeting pro-Iran centre 26 June killed at least two near capital Damascus. Meanwhile, Iranian-backed groups 10 and 22 June reportedly launched drones at U.S. al-Tanf base, Homs province; U.S. did not acknowledge attacks. Unidentified airstrike 21 June reportedly killed Islamic Resistance in Iraq member near al-Bukamal city, Deir ez-Zor province. 

ISIS attacks continued. Govt forces 7 June launched anti-Islamic State (ISIS) operation with Russian air support amid continued ISIS attacks. Notably in Homs province, ISIS minefield and attack 12 June killed 16 govt forces. U.S. 16 June killed senior ISIS official Usamah Jamal Muhammad Ibrahim al-Janabi in airstrike reportedly in Afrin, Aleppo province.

In north east, Kurdish authorities postponed municipal elections. Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria 6 June postponed municipal elections scheduled for 11 June to August after Turkish President Erdoğan threatened military action should elections proceed and Kurdish National Council (KNC), part of Turkish-backed Syrian National Coalition, questioned elections’ legitimacy, confirming intra-Kurdish tensions. Turkish drone 6 June killed one near Qamishli city, Hasakah province.

In other important developments. In north west, protest movement demanding resignation of Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) leader Abu Mohammad al-Jolani and prison reform entered fourth month; newly-formed local group Revolutionary Movement Gathering 6 June suspended dialogue with HTS until kidnappings of activists stop. Meanwhile in south, local armed factions continued to demonstrate their standing; notably, Mountain Brigade faction 13 June detained at least three security officers in al-Suwayda city to obtain release of local civil society activist Rita Nawaf al-Aqbani, who was arrested 10 June by security services in Damascus.

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In The News

30 آوریل 2024
International reporting on the Middle East is focused on the Gaza war…, which has further reduced the visibility of the Syrian conflict. Arab News

Nanar Hawach

Senior Analyst, Syria
18 ژوئیه 2023
Banks are hesitant to change their banking operations [in Syria] when they know that permissions could expire imminently. The National

Delaney Simon

Senior Analyst, U.S. Program
31 می 2023
Turkey is highly unlikely to compromise on troop withdrawal [from northern Syria]. Reuters

Dareen Khalifa

Senior Adviser for Dialogue Promotion
17 می 2023
It's important to remember that [Syrian president] Assad's return to the Arab League is a symbolic measure to begin the process of ending his regional isolation. AFP

Anna Jacobs

Senior Analyst, Gulf states
13 آوریل 2023
The U.S. and Europe have made it clear that they do not agree with Arab states normalizing with the Assad regime, but there doesn’t seem to be much they can do about it. New York Times

Anna Jacobs

Senior Analyst, Gulf states
22 فوریه 2023
The UAE has, since 2021, embarked on a policy of diminishing tensions with other countries in the region, and normalizing with Assad is part of that. Al Monitor

Dina Esfandiary

Senior Advisor, Middle East and North Africa

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Nanar Hawach

Senior Analyst, Syria

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