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You searched for: Content Type Policy Brief Remove constraint Content Type: Policy Brief Publishing Institution European Council On Foreign Relations Remove constraint Publishing Institution: European Council On Foreign Relations Political Geography Middle East Remove constraint Political Geography: Middle East Publication Year within 25 Years Remove constraint Publication Year: within 25 Years Publication Year within 3 Years Remove constraint Publication Year: within 3 Years Publication Year within 10 Years Remove constraint Publication Year: within 10 Years Topic Syrian War Remove constraint Topic: Syrian War
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  • Author: Julien Barnes-Dacey
  • Publication Date: 04-2020
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: European Council On Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: After nine years of conflict, the US is mounting a ‘maximum pressure’ campaign against Syria, seeking the regime’s demise. But, with Assad having effectively won the war, he is unlikely to succumb to US economic pressure. Assad bears responsibility for the country’s freefall but this strategy will further accelerate societal collapse, especially as coronavirus looms, and will not deliver a transition. European governments should pivot to a longer-term strategy focused on protecting those societal forces that are still standing and that can help salvage a better future aligned with European interests. This should include increased – and cautious – support to them within government-controlled Syria. The unpredictability of the Trump administration means persuading the US down this track is not impossible – Europeans should seek to influence Washington to widen space for societal support.
  • Topic: Sanctions, Conflict, Syrian War, Coronavirus, COVID-19, Bashar al-Assad
  • Political Geography: Europe, Middle East, Syria
  • Author: Asli Aydıntaşbaş
  • Publication Date: 05-2020
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: European Council On Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: Turkey now controls a long stretch of Syrian territory along its southern border that hosts nearly four million people, most of them Sunni Arabs. The challenges for Turkey there include a difficult balancing act with Russia, the huge financial costs of direct rule, the presence of radical Islamist factions, and the lack of a modus vivendi with the Kurds. Turkey faces the risk of the “Gazafication” of the area – the emergence of a militarily controlled territory that is perennially poverty-stricken and unstable. EU member states can find ways to cooperate with Turkey to support stabilisation in parts of the safe zone, without violating their interests and core principles. They should single out the Euphrates Shield Zone for stabilisation work, on the understanding that other areas captured from the Kurds are politically sensitive for European governments and voters alike. Europe should aim to strike a grand bargain with Turkey: in return for targeted European reconstruction aid to the safe zone, the country would lift its veto on stabilisation in Kurdish-controlled areas, allow trade between these zones, or agree to Kurdish participation in the UN-led political process on Syria.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Treaties and Agreements, Border Control, Geopolitics, Syrian War
  • Political Geography: Turkey, Middle East, Gaza, Syria, Idlib
  • Author: Nour Samaha
  • Publication Date: 05-2019
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: European Council On Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: As Syria transitions into a post-conflict phase, its government is trying to survive in much the same way it has over the last eight years. This involves a series of short-term fixes, heavy reliance on foreign allies, and a process of endurance it calls the “long breath”. Damascus wants to create a functional system that serves its ambitions, particularly its desire to re-establish strong central control rather than succumb to external demands. Crippling Western sanctions have led to increasingly drastic shortages of fuel and electricity, disrupting the supply – and increasing the price – of essential goods such as food. As a result, the state is increasingly relying on an array of racketeers, oligarchs and war profiteers to circumvent the sanctions, further entrenching Syria’s corruption networks. The West’s expectation that an economic war will eventually force the regime to acquiesce to its demands is short-sighted and counterproductive.
  • Topic: Corruption, Sanctions, Conflict, Syrian War, Bashar al-Assad
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Syria