Syria’s war is not only a humanitarian catastrophe but threatens stability as far away as Europe. At least 400,000 people have died in the fighting and half the population—12 million people—is displaced. The often-overlooked roots of this violence lie in a complex knot of local and sectarian conflicts that remained unresolved under decades of authoritarian rule. USIP pilot projects facilitate community dialogue in Syria. In neighboring countries, USIP works to reduce tensions between Syrian refugees and their host communities. Learn more in USIP’s fact sheet on The Current Situation in Syria.
Protests during the 2011 Arab uprisings triggered one of the deadliest wars of the early 21st century. It produced one of the gravest humanitarian crises, as hundreds of thousands were killed, millions fled their homes, and more than half the population relied on aid for daily sustenance.
Eight years of conflict has decimated Syria’s infrastructure and shredded the social fabric. But, intelligence officials expect ISIS to be “fully ejected” from Syrian territory in the next two to four weeks. Mona Yacoubian argues that a precipitous U.S. withdrawal could lead to an ISIS resurgence and examines the complex regional situation.
On Wednesday, the White House announced that it will “fully” and “rapidly” withdraw the U.S. military presence in Syria, where approximately 2,000 U.S. troops have been stationed in the northeastern, Kurdish-controlled part of the country, near its border with Turkey. USIP’s Mona Yacoubian examines the implications of the troop withdrawal and its broader impact on the Syria conflict.