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Gulf and Arabian Peninsula

CrisisWatch Gulf and Arabian Peninsula

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 May 2017

Deteriorated Situations

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Improved Situations

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Outlook for This Month June 2017

Conflict Risk Alerts

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Resolution Opportunities

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Reports & Briefings

In The News

22 Jun 2017
If we were to witness an incident at sea between an Iranian and a U.S. vessel in the Gulf, [...] how likely is it that the confrontation would be defused rather than exacerbated? Reuters

Robert Malley

Vice President for Policy
22 Jun 2017
If we were to witness an incident at sea between an Iranian and a U.S. vessel in the Gulf, [...] how likely is it that the confrontation would be defused rather than exacerbated? Reuters

Robert Malley

Vice President for Policy
19 Jun 2017
The strike [by Iran against ISIS in Syria] further complicates an already complex situation. If the US takes measures beyond rhetorical condemnation, tensions could escalate too far too quickly. Al-Monitor

Ali Vaez

Senior Analyst, Iran
9 Jun 2017
The most significant change in the past few days has been the shift in President Trump’s posture [toward the Qatar crisis] which does open up greater room for negotiating a settlement. Financial Times

Robert Malley

Vice President for Policy
9 Jun 2017
It's not the attacks that are surprising. It's that Iran has been able to avoid one for so long. The attacks were a wake-up call for Iran's security apparatus. Reuters

Ali Vaez

Senior Analyst, Iran
7 Jun 2017
It’s the first time that ISIS has been able to strike Iran within its border, so without any doubt it’s going to have significant consequences for the country both domestically and regionally. HuffPost World

Ali Vaez

Senior Analyst, Iran

Latest Updates

Qatar Punched Above Its Weight. Now It’s Paying the Price.

Doha has become a casualty of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates’ fights with Iran and the Muslim Brotherhood. But don’t expect a war.

Originally published in The New York Times

Also available in العربية

Reconciling Iraq's Hard Realities

In a Berlin speech to German and Dutch officers, diplomats and civilians, Crisis Group's Middle East and North Africa Program Director Joost Hiltermann argues that any attempt to help Iraqis piece their country back together again needs to take into account local realities, the grander geopolitical picture, and especially regional powers Turkey and Iran.

Iran’s Bipolar Election

Iranian voters have a real choice on 19 May between a president promising engagement with the West or one focused on the ideological purity of the Islamic Revolution. At the same time, both leading candidates are clerical insiders who support the continuation of Iran’s nuclear deal.

The US joins the Turkey-PKK fight in northern Syria

Directly arming one mainly Kurdish faction in Syria makes U.S. partly responsible for the fate of Syria’s Kurds. Given Ankara’s bitter opposition to the group, Washington should push its Kurdish partner to focus on regional autonomy in Syria, not its insurgency in Turkey.

Originally published in Middle East Eye

The PKK’s Fateful Choice in Northern Syria

The Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) and its Syrian affiliates face a stark choice: risk their gains in northern Syria through continued prioritisation of the PKK's fight against Turkey, or pursue local self-rule in the area they have carved out of the chaos of the Syrian war.

Also available in العربية, Türkçe

Our People

Maria Fantappie

Senior Analyst, Iraq

April Longley Alley

Senior Analyst, Arabian Peninsula

Ali Vaez

Senior Analyst, Iran
AliVaez