Burning Raqqa

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by Laura Gottesdiener It was midday on Sunday, May 7th, when the U.S.-led coalition warplanes again began bombing the neighborhood of Wassim Abdo’s family. They lived in Tabqa, a small city on the banks of the Euphrates River in northern… Continue Reading  

After Raqqa: The Islamic State and the War on Terror

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by Maximilian Beauchene On July 4, 2014, the first Friday of Ramadan, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi climbed to the pulpit of the Great Nur al-Din Mosque in Mosul to announce his self-proclaimed caliphate. His declaration was a historic milestone in the post-9/11… Continue Reading  

Echoes in Syria of Afghanistan in the 1990s

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by Paul R. Pillar The battle for Raqqa is now being waged, and the diverse forces that have been helping to extinguish the self-proclaimed caliphate of the so-called Islamic State (ISIS or IS) soon must face squarely what becomes of… Continue Reading  

Syria: Still a No-Win Situation

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by Paul R. Pillar Six years into one of the most complex, many-sided civil wars in modern times, Syria has almost no chance of being made whole any time in the foreseeable future. The Assad regime, aided by allies, has… Continue Reading  

Can Trump and Erdogan Agree to Disagree on Syria’s Kurds?

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by Giorgio Cafiero and Theodore Karasik Turkey and the US share certain common interests in the Syrian civil war, from defeating the Islamic State (ISIS or IS) and checking Iran’s influence to calling for President Bashar al-Assad to relinquish power.… Continue Reading