Articles on Syria / Iraq / Lebanon

How a dispute over European ISIS members split a ruling coalition (Commentary)

Anthony Dworkin - 24 January 2020

Despite the many risks of inaction, European governments are reluctant to repatriate ISIS supporters due to fear of the political consequences.

EU support for Lebanon: If not now, when? (Commentary)

René Wildangel - 29 November 2019

The Lebanese desire for change is not going to go away. The EU should place itself at the heart of smoothing this transition.

Open letter: Call for a managed return of ISIS foreign fighters (Commentary)

- 26 November 2019

A number of ECFR Council Members urge European governments to immediately begin a programme of managed repatriation of ISIS foreign fighters in Syria.

4 ways Europeans should respond to the Lebanon and Iraq protests (Commentary)

Julien Barnes-Dacey - 08 November 2019

Europeans can help the Lebanese and Iraqi people achieve their reform goals. Here’s how.

Managed chaos: Russia’s deal with Turkey on northern Syria (Commentary)

Gustav Gressel - 03 November 2019

Russia is now in charge of a multi-front war. It will need to manage relations between multiple local actors very carefully.

Leverage, for now: Turkey’s deal with Russia on northern Syria (Commentary)

Asli Aydıntaşbaş - 30 October 2019

Erdogan's government views the deal as a testament to its ability to act independently of Washington even in areas where there is a US military presence.

Clumsy but useful? The German defence minister’s initiative for northern Syria (Commentary)

René Wildangel - 29 October 2019

The widely dismissed proposal can still serve a valuable purpose if it relaunches a debate on how Europe can act with long-overdue relevance in Syria.

Lebanon protests: A now-or-never moment? (Commentary)

Kareem Chehayeb - 25 October 2019

The demonstrations in Lebanon are unprecedented in scale. But European governments remain wary.

Another fine mess: Syria after the US exit (Commentary)

Asli Aydıntaşbaş & Julien Barnes-Dacey & Jeremy Shapiro - 16 October 2019

Turkey’s invasion means Europeans can no longer be bystanders to Syria. They must now take three urgent steps.

European foreign fighters in Syria: The cost of inaction (Commentary)

Anthony Dworkin - 15 October 2019

Repatriation remains the most effective way for EU member states to assess each case, prosecute jihadists where necessary, and interrogate returnees to learn more about ISIS methods and plans.