State of Play

Our Foresights and Insights

“The entire world should know that we will never allow the establishment of a terror state across our borders in northern Syria. … We will continue to crush the head of the serpents in their nests. Here is my message to those who want to block the steps we will take for the survival of our … Continue reading Towards Renewed War in Syria? The Kurds and Turkey

This (long) post ends the current series of updates on the Syrian war. It focuses on the evolution within the National Coalition and the Supreme Military Council, the expected failure of Geneva 2 and the start of a new phase in the Syrian war. This will allow us, next, to finally turn to an evaluation of … Continue reading The Syrian War: the Start of a New Phase

During the Autumn 2013 and Winter 2014, we witnessed a major reconfiguration of forces in Syria, as seen previously, including with the rise of Salafi-Nationalists. This article looks at the evolution that took place in Western Kurdistan, notably the birth of novel political institutions, Rojava, and how and why the Kurds relate to the Geneva conference that took place in … Continue reading The Kurds and Rojava, State-Building in the Syrian War

Since October 2013, much has been going on in Syria. We shall first review major changes in the state of play for the Syrian actors, starting with the Salafi-Nationalist groups, before to re-evaluate our scenarios and their indicators in the light of recent events, notably Geneva 2. As was already underway during September, the various … Continue reading Facing the Fog of War in Syria: the Rise of the Salafi-Nationalists?

This post is the latest update for the State of Play: The Kurds in the Syrian civil war. It can be read independently, but readers will be able to refer to the initial post for background. A general call to arms to fight Jihadis – Since first clashes erupted on 12 July, intensifying on 16 … Continue reading Facing the Fog of War in Syria: The Tragedy of Kurdistan

This second update covers the evolution in Syria from July to October 2013. It focuses first on dynamics of change involving the interplay between the Syrian Islamist factions on the ground and international players – especially the declaration of an “Islamic framework” and then the creation of the Islam Army, with impact on the overall situation, and … Continue reading Facing the Fog of War in Syria: The Syrian Islamists Play the Regional “Game of Thrones”

Having an idea of the forces present on the battlefield in Syria is crucial to understand the state of play, to follow the course of the war, to evaluate the impact of the decisions taken by external players, and to estimate the likelihood to see one scenario (or one of its variations) happening. Here is a synthesis of the various estimates found for each warring group…

Detailed state of play for the Syrian Sunni Factions between May 2013 and January 2014 (open access) with actors mappings (members only).

The Kurds in Syria: background and analysis for the Syrian war (open access) with actors mapping (for members only)

This post and the next will present the current state of play and the various categories of actors fighting in and over Syria, namely the pro-Assad groups, the moderate opposition forces and the Muslim Brotherhood “related” groups, the Islamist groups fighting for an Islamist state in Syria, the groups linked to a global Jihadi Front, and, finally, the Kurds in Syria, without forgetting the external actors.