Regional Overview – Middle East 21 May 2018

Significant demonstrations were reported across a number of Middle Eastern countries last week, including in Iraq following its elections; in Palestine, especially in Gaza, over the US embassy move to Jerusalem; in Israel, Jordan, and Turkey, in response to the recent use of force against demonstrators in Gaza; and in Iran, where economic issues continue to motivate protests.…

Alleged Chemical Incidents in Syria

Chemical incidents have perhaps been the only consistent factor shaping the United States’ position on the civil war in Syria before and after Trump’s election. A chemical attack on Eastern Ghouta in August 2013 prompted an imminent attack, led by the Obama administration.…

Regional Overview – Middle East 14 May 2018

Both Lebanon and Iraq held elections last week, with the number of riots and protests as well as election-related violence rising, respectively, in each case. Demonstrations in Iran were focused on “Teacher’s Week” while a smaller subset of demonstrations were focused on the United States’ pulling out of the Iran nuclear deal.…

Operation Olive Branch: Patterns of Violence and Future Turkish Offensives

As Turkish and allied Syrian faction violence has decreased after their March 2018 capture of Syria’s Afrin border region from Kurdish forces, questions remain about Turkey’s plans for further operations in Kurdish-controlled areas of northern Syria.…

Turkey’s Air War in Iraq

Since the beginning of 2017, Turkish military forces have been responsible for the vast majority of the remote violence reported in the Iraqi governorates bordering Turkey. This is largely due to their ongoing conflict with the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), which maintains bases in northern Iraq (Iraqi News, December 25, 2017).…

Regional Overview – Middle East 30 April 2018

The number of political violence events recorded in Iraq, Israel, Lebanon, and Palestine dropped this week, while the number of events in Bahrain and Turkey rose considerably. Meanwhile Syria is seeing a renewed focus by various forces on fighting the Islamic State, while fighting remains roughly static in Yemen.…