Easing Syrian Refugees’ Plight in Lebanon (ICG)

Most Syrian refugees in Lebanon have thought many times about going home but in the end deemed the risks too great. Donors should increase aid allowing the Lebanese government to continue hosting the Syrians, so that any decision they make to leave is truly voluntary.

https://www.crisisgroup.org/middle-east-north-africa/eastern-mediterranean/lebanon/211-easing-syrian-refugees-plight-lebanon

 

The syrian desert hawks: flying no more (Clingendael)

The Desert Hawks were a pro-Assad paramilitary group of 5,000 – 12,000 fighters that fought in the Syrian civil war between 2014 – 2017. Its postmortem highlights how the politics of coercion and the economics of loyalty can link in a wartime autocracy. Having amassed their fortune and influence in Syria before 2011 as part of the patronage systems of the Assad family, the brothers Mohammad, Ayman and Ibrahim Jaber created the Desert Hawks when wartime manpower shortages threatened regime survival.

https://www.clingendael.org/publication/syrian-desert-hawks-flying-no-more

 

Short- and Long-Term Impacts of the Escalation in Idlib (SWP)

The current escalation in Idlib between Turkish and Russian-backed Syrian forces has two dimensions: the immediate Turkish involvement in Syria and the broader Turkish-Russian rapprochement. An assessment by Salim Çevik.

https://www.swp-berlin.org/en/publication/short-and-long-term-impacts-of-the-escalation-in-idlib/

Salim Çevik

Can Idlib Ruin the Turkey-Russia Entente? (Valdai Discussion Club)

Russia and Turkey are not natural partners in Syria, but share enough overlapping interests to maintain dialogue about the direction of the conflict. Ankara’s position in the Syrian civil war has been shaped by its initial risk averse approach to the conflict and refusal to use military force to try and shape outcomes. In eastern Syria, Ankara was initially unable to upend the American war strategy and its reliance on the Syrian Kurds, a group Turkey has labeled a terrorist organization. In Syria’s West, the Russian entrance into the war directly challenged Ankara’s support for the anti-regime insurgency, which had made considerable gains in Idlib before September 2015.

https://valdaiclub.com/a/highlights/can-idlib-ruin-the-turkey-russia-entente-/

Aaron Stein

The Eleventh Hour for Idlib, Syria’s Last Rebel Bastion (ICG)

The Syrian regime’s deliberate but devastating campaign to retake Idlib has picked up in intensity, threatening death and displacement at levels unseen in Syria’s conflict, terrible as it has been to date. Damascus and its Russian backers must conclude an immediate ceasefire with rebel forces.

https://www.crisisgroup.org/middle-east-north-africa/eastern-mediterranean/syria/eleventh-hour-idlib-syrias-last-rebel-bastion