Syria

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

Deteriorated Situation

Deadly clashes escalated in north between Turkish and Kurdish-led forces; Idlib ceasefire held despite violations, as skirmishes broke out between U.S. forces and Iran-linked groups. In north, suspected Turkish drone 6 Aug killed four, including top commander of Kurdish Workers’ Party’s (PKK) Iranian affiliate Kurdistan Free Life Party (PJAK), in Qamishli city, Hasakah province; in response, Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) 8 Aug claimed three cross-border attacks into Türkiye. Turkish troops and Kurdish forces 16 Aug exchanged fire in Kobane, Aleppo province, killing one civilian, while mortar attack on border post reportedly killed Turkish soldier in Turkish province Şanlıurfa. In retaliation, Turkish defence ministry same day claimed Turkish artillery killed 13 suspected Kurdish militants. Syrian state media reported Turkish airstrike 16 Aug killed three regime soldiers and injured six in Aleppo province; Syrian army claimed to have responded by striking Turkish military sites. SDF 18 Aug claimed attacks on army sites in Turkish border provinces Şanlıurfa, Mardin and Gaziantep; Turkish media confirmed three soldiers killed and eight wounded in attacks on border posts in Şanlıurfa and Gaziantep. Kurdish-run administration 19 Aug accused Türkiye of drone attack on girls’ school in Hasakah province, killing four. Rocket attack on market same day killed at least 14 in Al-Bab city in Aleppo province, held by Türkiye-backed forces. Suspected Turkish drone 24 Aug reportedly targeted Tal Rifaat town, Aleppo province, allegedly injuring nine. Meanwhile, Turkish FM Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu 11 Aug stated need to reconcile opposition with regime, stoking unprecedented anger as thousands 11-12 Aug protested Turkish policy in opposition-held areas across north. Idlib province’s March 2020 ceasefire held despite Russian airstrikes in central desert and Idlib province. U.S.-led coalition 15 Aug repelled drones allegedly operated by Iran-linked groups targeting its al-Tanf base in Homs province; U.S. 23 Aug launched airstrikes against groups allegedly linked to Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps in Deir al-Zor and next day reported three injuries in subsequent exchanges with “Iran-backed militants”. State media 14 Aug claimed Israeli missiles killed three Syrian soldiers in Tartous province and near capital Damascus. Russian forces 26 Aug said Israeli jets targeted facility in Masyaf city, Hama province.

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In The News

21 Jul 2022
Renewed conflict [in northern Syria] will inevitably lead to mass displacement and suffering. AFP

Dareen Khalifa

Senior Analyst, Syria
21 Jan 2022
Jailbreaks and prison riots were a central component of IS resurgence in Iraq and are a serious threat in Syria today. France24

Dareen Khalifa

Senior Analyst, Syria
27 Dec 2021
I wouldn’t expect that Turkey would like to expand the zone it occupies in the northeast [of Syria]. A move like this will require a difficult conversation with the Russi... Syria Direct

Heiko Wimmen

Project Director, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon
2 Jul 2021
Putting the lifeline of three million Syrians up for negotiations every six to 12 months, is an unsustainable situation. And Syrian civilians end up paying the price. The Guardian

Dareen Khalifa

Senior Analyst, Syria
14 Mar 2021
La direction du mouvement [HTC en Syrie] s’efforce désormais de régler ces problèmes. La manière dont elle se comporte vis-à-vis des minorités est en train de changer. Le Monde

Dareen Khalifa

Senior Analyst, Syria
8 Mar 2021
La meilleure des pires options qui se posent aujourd'hui [en Syrie], c'est une impasse prolongée. AFP

Dareen Khalifa

Senior Analyst, Syria

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Dareen Khalifa

Senior Analyst, Syria
Dareen Khalifa