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Middle East & North Africa

CrisisWatch Middle East & North Africa

CrisisWatch is a monthly early warning bulletin designed to provide a regular update on the state of the most significant situations of conflict around the world.

View latest updates

Trends for Last Month September 2017

Deteriorated Situations

Iraq

Improved Situations

none

Outlook for This Month October 2017

Conflict Risk Alerts

none

Resolution Opportunities

none

Reports & Briefings

In The News

17 Oct 2017
We’ve seen aspects of governance [in Syria] managed by cadres within the [People's Protection Units (YPG)] and the [Democratic Union Party (PYD)]. That has been a source of tension in some areas. Al Jazeera

Noah Bonsey

Senior Analyst, Syria
17 Oct 2017
IS sleeper cells and the Syrian regime may see an interest in using loyalist networks to destabilise things. Either of those dynamics could heighten ethnic tension. Reuters

Noah Bonsey

Senior Analyst, Syria
16 Oct 2017
[The Kurds] may have made a miscalculation of historic proportions by proceeding with the [independence] referendum over the objections of just about everyone who counts. The New York Times

Joost Hiltermann

Program Director, Middle East and North Africa
16 Oct 2017
The fight [between the Kurdish and Iraqi forces] is clearly not over. The potential for civil war is there. Los Angeles Times

Joost Hiltermann

Program Director, Middle East and North Africa
13 Oct 2017
The [Trump] administration could usher in what it purportedly seeks to prevent: greater Iranian assertiveness, more regional instability and lower odds of resolving the conflicts in Syria, Yemen, and Iraq Time

Ali Vaez

Senior Analyst, Iran
11 Oct 2017
Given the growth in trade between the EU and Iran since the [nuclear] agreement came into force, Europe could potentially salvage the Iran deal even if the United States sought to sabotage it. Carnegie Europe

Ali Vaez

Senior Analyst, Iran

Latest Updates

Syria’s Fractured Future

Despite recent successes in Syria for the regime, Iran, Russia and Syria’s Kurds, deeper polarisation than ever points to a future in which the country remains chronically divided.

Saving the Iran Nuclear Deal, Despite Trump's Decertification

President Trump’s decertification of the Iran nuclear deal is a blow to this multi-national accord, but need not be fatal. The U.S. Congress, Iran and the European co-signatories can still do much to save one of the great diplomatic achievements of the past decade.

Also available in فارسی

Breaking Taboos in Tunisia

Tunisia has struggled to stay on track during the turmoil of the Arab uprisings. A dedicated Tunisia analyst, unique field work and privileged access to influential actors helps Crisis Group play a leading role in shaping policies to ensure the country’s democratic transition stays peaceful.

Also available in Français

What Did the Kurds Get Out of the Referendum?

The “yes” vote in the 25 September 2017 referendum will not deliver independence for Iraqi Kurds. Rather, it is designed merely to remind Iraqi leaders in Baghdad that it is the Kurds’ strong wish to split off from a country from which they have always felt alien.

Originally published in The Atlantic

Also available in العربية

The Politics of the Kurdish Independence Referendum

On September 25, Iraqi Kurdish leader Massoud Barzani plans to hold a referendum on Kurdish independence. The results will not be legally binding, but in calling for a vote, the Kurdish leadership has put its own society and its foreign partners into a bind. Although the vote may extend the lifespan of a Kurdish leadership otherwise in decline, it calls for unity that mutes domestic dissent and risks provoking crises that will leave Kurdistan externally exposed.

Originally published in Foreign Affairs

Also available in العربية

Our People

Joost Hiltermann

Program Director, Middle East and North Africa
JoostHiltermann

Robert Blecher

Deputy Program Director Middle East and North Africa & Special Adviser on Economics of Conflict
RobBlecher

Issandr El Amrani

Project Director, North Africa
boumilo

Sahar Atrache

Former Senior Analyst, Lebanon

Michaël Béchir Ayari

Senior Analyst, Tunisia

Noah Bonsey

Senior Analyst, Syria
NoahBonsey

Maria Fantappie

Senior Analyst, Iraq

Claudia Gazzini

Senior Analyst, Libya
claudiagazzini