Amr al-Azm is an active member of the Syrian opposition and a professor of Middle East history and anthropology at Shawnee State University. This Peace Brief aims to examine the deteriorating relationship between the Syrian regime and its neighbors and the possible emergence of a “Benghazi scenario” involving Turkish military engagement.

pb 110

Summary

  • The Syrian regime was initially able to count on its neighbors in two key areas: ensuring that their territories do not become a safe haven for Syrian dissidents and continuing to receive their support on the regional and international level.
  • This support has since eroded as a result of the regime’s inability to contain the ever-escalating level of violence being perpetrated against the protesters.
  • The gravest concern for the regime is the emergence of a Benghazi scenario in a city like Aleppo as a result of Turkish military intervention. The Syrian regime now finds itself in an ever-increasing cycle of isolation and increased internal repression.

About This Brief

This brief is part of a series examining the regional dimensions of Syria’s popular uprising. The Institute invited leading experts from the U.S. and across the Middle East to identify key vectors of influence that Syria’s neighbors are bringing to bear on the conflict, to forecast how the ongoing conflict in Syria will affect the delicate and volatile regional balance of power, and to examine how the Syrian opposition and the Syria regime are factoring in regional and cross-border dynamics. The series was edited by USIP’s Steven Heydemann, senior adviser for Middle East Initiatives, and Scott Lasensky, a senior program officer. Through this series, workshops and ongoing programs that bring together experts, civil society figures and officials, the Institute aims to provide applied analysis and on-the-ground conflict management tools in support of political transitions across the Arab world.

Amr al-Azm is an active member of the Syrian opposition and a professor of Middle East history and anthropology at Shawnee State University. This Peace Brief aims to examine the deteriorating relationship between the Syrian regime and its neighbors and the possible emergence of a “Benghazi scenario” involving Turkish military engagement.

Explore Further

Related Publications

How Will New U.S. Sanctions Impact Syria’s Conflict?

How Will New U.S. Sanctions Impact Syria’s Conflict?

Wednesday, June 17, 2020

By: Mona Yacoubian

After nearly a decade of civil war and strife, Syria’s long-troubled economy is in tatters with spiraling hyperinflation, food shortages, and widespread unemployment. The Syrian pound has less than a fifth of the currency’s value from this time last year. These economic woes have led to new protests in areas long controlled by the regime. Amid this economic turmoil, the U.S. Caesar Syria Civilian Protection Act comes into force today, targeted at key internal and external pillars of support for the Assad regime. USIP’s Mona Yacoubian looks at what led to the economic collapse, how the regime is responding to the protests, and the implications of the new U.S. sanctions.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Economics & Environment; Global Policy

Coronavirus and ISIS: The Challenge of Repatriation from Al-Hol

Coronavirus and ISIS: The Challenge of Repatriation from Al-Hol

Thursday, May 28, 2020

By: Julia C. Hurley

It was just over a year ago, in March of 2019, that the United States and coalition forces declared the territorial defeat of ISIS following the fall of its last stronghold in Baghouz, Syria. Male fighters over 15 were placed in Kurdish run detention centers throughout northeast Syria, while tens of thousands of women and children who were living among the terrorist organization streamed into the al-Hol camp, giving rise to an unprecedented mix of humanitarian and security challenges. If left unaddressed, the camp could easily serve as the breeding ground for the next generation of ISIS, which is already beginning to reemerge in parts of Syria and Iraq.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Global Health; Violent Extremism

After Nine Years, Syria’s Conflict Has Only Become More Complicated

After Nine Years, Syria’s Conflict Has Only Become More Complicated

Thursday, March 12, 2020

By: Mona Yacoubian

In March 2011, as the Arab world was roiled by demonstrations, protests broke out in Syria to demand political reform after four decades of Assad rule. Nine years later, the Assad regime is on the offensive against the last rebel stronghold of Idlib, with Russia, Turkey and Iran all heavily invested in the conflict. The humanitarian consequences for Syrians cannot be overstated and a political solution to conflict seems as distant as ever. USIP’s Mona Yacoubian discusses the dreadful toll on the Syrian population and what the battle for Idlib means for the trajectory of the conflict.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Conflict Analysis & Prevention; Human Rights

View All Publications