Even though, during the past year, developments in Syria have entered a stabilization trajectory, the country remains fragmented and a “playground” where different regional and national interests collide. The Assad regime has managed to maintain and extend its control in most of the Syrian territories around Damascus and in the south. However, there are still challenges from opposition forces in the northwest, the Kurdish-controlled areas in the northeast and a re-emerging ISIS threat looming both from previously ISIS-controlled enclaves as well as prisons and camps. At the same time, lines are blurred in regional alliances, such as the one between Russia and Iran, as the players attempt to consolidate their power at each other’s expense. What will 2022 look like for Syria and what are the imminent threats for the country’s sovereignty?
Almost 6 years since the Saudi-led intervention in Yemen, the long-term and largely neglected conflict, is still going strong, albeit turning to several internal conflicts between local actors benefiting from the weakness of central government and the numerous divisions of societal and state structures that favor the prevalence of local authorities. Even though frontlines have not changed significantly over the last couple of years and most local actors have established their authority in certain regions, the war has not been called and conflict persists in key areas of the country. In the governorates of Marib, Taiz, Hadramawt and Al- Hudeydah, clashes persist and neither of the two main conflicting parties has consolidated its authority in these areas, despite Houthis gaining significant ground over the last year.
Almost two years after the imposition of a blockade to Qatar by the Anti-Terror Quartet (ATQ), what started as an effort to force Doha into the Saudi sphere of influence has now turned into a power struggle between the Gulf monarchies. Despite the fact that there is no clear winner in this rivalry, the tiny but resilient Gulf state is now posing as a strong adversary to Saudi Arabia, emerging as an aspiring leader with conflicting economic interests and significant involvement in vital Saudi operational theaters, such as the Yemeni one. In what way has the Gulf crisis reshaped conditions in the region and is there any chance for reconciliation?
Saudi Arabia is undergoing significant political change as it moves from family rule to a one man state. Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman is undertaking a series of reforms with implications both to Saudi society and economy and to the regional strategy of the country. His aspirations to restructure the economy and provide some freedoms to segments of society are combined with an aggressive foreign policy resulting in the war in Yemen and tensions with other neighbors such as Qatar. However, these initiatives might be an indication of the efforts for a greater concentration of power on the hands of the Crown Prince and have led to what has been described as a “palace coup”.
Το Κέντρο Μεσογειακών,Μεσανατολικών και Ισλαμικών Σπουδών φιλοξενεί πληθώρα διαφορετικών απόψεων στα πλαίσια του ελεύθερου ακαδημαϊκού διαλόγου. Οι απόψεις αυτές δεν αντανακλούν υποχρεωτικά τις απόψεις του Κέντρου. Η χρήση και αναπαραγωγή οπτικοακουστικού υλικού για τις ανάγκες της ιστοσελίδας του ΚΕΜΜΙΣ γίνεται για ενημερωτικούς, ακαδημαϊκούς και μη κερδοσκοπικούς σκοπούς κατά τα προβλεπόμενα του Νόμου 2121/1993 (ΦΕΚ Α' 25/4-3-1993) περί της προστασίας της πνευματικής ιδιοκτησίας, καθώς και του άρ.8 του Νόμου 2557/1997 (ΦΕΚ Α' 271/1997).