Bassam Kassoumeh is a Syrian researcher focusing on governance, conflict resolution, peacebuilding and state-building. He holds an M.A. in Development Studies where his dissertation focused on local governance, legitimacy and state-building in non-government-controlled areas of Syria through a participatory action research methodology.

Collaboration between YPG and Regime Forces

In early 2018, the YPG publicly requested the support of the Syrian regime to obstruct the Turkish expansion in northern Syria (Reuters, 2018). The call for support fuelled a longer-standing suspicion among analysts about the level of cooperation and collaboration between the Syrian regime and the YPG. Similarly, the Syrian opposition has long argued that…

Pro-Government Militia Autonomy on the Battlefield in Syria

The presence of pro-government militias during civil wars has been a prominent feature in armed conflicts across the globe, and Syria is no exception (Kishi and Raleigh, 2018). The Syrian government first mobilised loyalist gangs, known as “Shabiha,” to act against civilian opposition when peaceful demonstrations began in Syria in 2011 (Marsh and Siddique, 2011).…