The Syrian war grinds lethally on, as regime forces move to recapture rebel-held areas. In our first-ever illustrated commentary, Crisis Group explores one holdout, Idlib, where three million Syrians – many already displaced – chafe at jihadist rule but dread the coming onslaught.
CrisisWatch is our global conflict tracker, a tool designed to help decision-makers prevent deadly violence by keeping them up-to-date with developments in over 70 conflicts and crises, identifying trends and alerting them to risks of escalation and opportunities to advance peace.
The June/July 2018 instalment of CrisisWatch features important updates on some of the world's longest-running conflicts. Our President Rob Malley finds optimism in Ethiopia and Eritrea; mixed omens in Afghanistan and Yemen; and dashed hope in Syria.
As the Syrian regime masses its forces to recapture the country’s south west from the opposition, another humanitarian disaster looms. The U.S., Russia and Jordan, which brokered a south-western ceasefire in 2017, should urgently extend that truce in preparation for a broader settlement.
More than three years into Yemen’s war, a bloody battle looms for the Huthi-held port city of Hodeida. International leaders should work for a UN-led negotiated settlement to stop the offensive and, if this fails, take steps to avoid deepening what is already the world’s worst humanitarian crisis.
The quarrel between Gulf monarchies has spilled into Somalia, with the fragile state now caught between the rival interests of Qatar and the United Arab Emirates. The competition has already aggravated intra-Somali disputes. All sides should take a step back before these tensions mount further.
Four main Libyan leaders meet in Paris on 29 May to sign a roadmap to peace, including 2018 elections with united international backing. But with Libya’s UN-backed peace process at risk from the meeting's format and the accord that France has brokered, the sides should instead commit to a broader declaration of principles.
Saudi Arabia has been forging links to Iraq since reopening its Baghdad embassy in 2016. Its adversary Iran has strong Iraqi ties. If Riyadh avoids antagonising Tehran, invests wisely and quiets anti-Shiite rhetoric, Iraq can be a bridge between the rival powers - not a battleground.
The surprise electoral defeat of one Libyan leader and the hospitalisation of a rival show the error of relying solely on individuals to achieve national reconciliation in Libya. All sides in Libya’s conflict should focus instead on making institutions more representative and improving governance.
Jusque-là, les Russes sont restés relativement passifs et ont laissé les Israéliens bombarder plusieurs positions en Syrie. Mais avec l’avancée significative de Bachar Al Assad, dans la région, leur calcul a changé, les Russes veulent rétablir la stabilité du régime. Ils pourraient bien considérer la prochaine frappe israélienne comme une violation du territoire syrien et, dans ce cas, les conséquences seront difficiles à prévoir.
Fifteen years after the change of order in Iraq, it’s the same problem. The central government is unable or unwilling to address problems across the board in Iraq. The corruption is endemic, the government’s inability to deal with it is endemic, and the protests are endemic.
Trying to appropriate Iranian women’s discontent to advance regime change is a surefire way to undermine their cause. The more the Trump Administration tries to deepen Iran’s domestic fault lines, the more likely it is that the political élite will close ranks and bring down the iron fist.
We are entering a new stage of the relationship with Russia and Israel as it comes to Syria, and we will see more divergences. If Israel does not find a way to drive a wedge between the Iranians and the Syrians in the long term, then, whether in a few weeks, or a few months, the Iranians will return to south-west Syria.
[The last rebel stronghold in southwestern Syria] presented a problem for the regime and its Russian and Iranian backers. The presence of Iranian-backed militias in the region would be a red line for Israel. The Russians have therefore been looking for a way to negotiate a deal whereby the takeover of the south would be peaceful, with political agreement. As far as we can tell, this hasn’t come about yet, but may still be being negotiated.
What's different today is that there is no expectation on the part of Hamas that if there were a big war today that it would result in Gaza or Hamas being in a better position in terms of the blockade.
Originally published in The Times of Israel
Interview with Crisis Group's Senior Analyst for Libya Claudia Gazzini. "There is a risk that by focusing so much on the migration-Libya nexus, we actually forget that Libya is a state that requires all our help to get back on its feet."
Originally published in The Hill
Originally published in War on the Rocks
Originally published in IRIN