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Middle East & North Africa

CrisisWatch Middle East & North Africa

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 80 conflicts and crises, identifying trends and alerting them to risks of escalation and opportunities to advance peace.

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Trends for Last Month December 2019

Deteriorated Situations

SyriaIranIraq

Improved Situations

none

Outlook for This Month January 2020

Conflict Risk Alerts

IranIraqLibya

Resolution Opportunities

none

Contributor

President & CEO
Rob_Malley

In his introduction to this month's edition of CrisisWatch, Crisis Group's conflict tracker, our President Robert Malley reflects on the consequences of President Trump's decision to kill Qassem Soleimani, Head of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps Quds Force.

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Reports & Briefings

In The News

6 Jan 2020
The outpouring of grief for Qassim Suleimani is the country’s first act of retaliation. New York Times

Azadeh Moaveni

Project Director, Gender in Policy Management
4 Jan 2020
[The assassination of Iranian General Suleimani] is precisely the sort of deus ex machina the organization [ISIS] needed, to give it room to operate and to allow it to break out of its current marginality. New York Times

Sam Heller

Senior Analyst, Non-state Armed Groups
3 Jan 2020
Netanyahu fears this incident lacks a broader U.S. strategy and would either merely escalate dynamics without restraining Iran’s nuclear program and regional activities. Time

Ofer Zalzberg

Senior Analyst, Arab-Israeli Conflict
3 Jan 2020
Netanyahu fears this incident lacks a broader U.S. strategy and would either merely escalate dynamics without restraining Iran’s nuclear program and regional activities. Time

Ofer Zalzberg

Senior Analyst, Arab-Israeli Conflict
2 Jan 2020
A strike that the [U.S] administration claims was intended to deter Iranian attacks is almost certain to trigger far more of them. Foreign Policy

Robert Malley

President & CEO
19 Nov 2019
The Trump administration is trying to unravel international consensus on this issue of the illegality of settlements. AFP

Ofer Zalzberg

Senior Analyst, Arab-Israeli Conflict

Latest Updates

Editorial in the Washington Post: The World Must Do Something about the Children of ISIS Fighters

On 12 January 2020, the Editorial Board of the Washington Post cited International Crisis Group's recommendation of pursuing a  “Women and Children First” policy in repatriating Western ISIS affiliates – and warned about the risks to humanitarian values and security of failing to do so.

Originally published in Washington Post

Tackling Intersecting Conflicts in the MENA Region

In a speech at the Institut Europeu de la Mediterrània, Crisis Group’s Middle East and North Africa Program Director Joost Hiltermann highlights four key issues that hinder peace efforts in the region, and five clusters of century-old conflicts that are still causing turmoil today.

Iran Sanctions under the Trump Administration

Since 1979, Iran has been subjected to a steady stream of sanctions. Under the Trump administration, their depth and breadth have dramatically increased in the U.S. campaign of "maximum pressure". This interactive infographic illustrates all the major unilateral U.S. sanctions imposed on Iran since 2017 by year, type and location.

A Perilous Turning Point in the U.S.-Iran Confrontation

With the assassination of Iranian General Qassem Soleimani, the U.S.-Iran standoff has shifted from attrition toward open conflict. Tehran will retaliate – the only question is how – prompting another response from Washington. Allies of both should intercede to stop the exchange from spinning out of control.

Also available in العربية

Rescuing Iraq from the Iran-U.S. Crossfire

Ominous developments – attacks on U.S. personnel in Iraq, U.S. retaliation and turmoil at the U.S. embassy in Baghdad – could drag Iraq deeper into the U.S.-Iranian confrontation and spark direct clashes between Washington and Tehran. Urgent steps are needed to break this predictable but perilous cycle.

Also available in العربية

Our People

Riccardo Fabiani

Project Director, North Africa
ricfabiani

Joost Hiltermann

Program Director, Middle East and North Africa
JoostHiltermann

Michaël Béchir Ayari

Senior Analyst, Tunisia

Claudia Gazzini

Consulting Analyst, Libya

April Longley Alley

Deputy Program Director, Middle East and North Africa

Nathan Thrall

Project Director, Arab-Israeli Conflict
nathanthrall

Ali Vaez

Project Director, Iran
AliVaez

Ofer Zalzberg

Senior Analyst, Arab-Israeli Conflict
OferZalzberg