Category Archives: Academic


Turkey vs Syria, amid international scrutiny

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has threatened to invade northeastern Syria and establish a so-called ‘safe zone’ by force, unless the United States follows on a pledge to scale-back the presence of the pre-dominantly Kurdish SDF alliance, a local composition of Syrian militias that are backed by Washington. This has become a major bone of contention among several causes for dispute between the Erdogan government and Trump Administration.
-Jonathan Hesse, host.
-Amir Oren, analyst.
-Dr. Hay Eytan Cohen Yanarocak, research fellow Jerusalem Institute for Strategy and Security.
-Dr. Nir Boms, Research fellow, Moshe Dayan center at Tel Aviv University.


Changing borders in a changing region: the civilian dimension and security predicament along the Syrian-Israeli border

The Syrian civil war – which has largely ended following bloody 8 years – serves as a prime case study of mechanisms which challenge border realities, as well as geography and demography, through engagement of manifold internal and external actors. This article discusses these processes and their implications by focusing on the Syro-Israeli borderland. It analyses the main actors and their motives, geography of interactions, as well as implications for humanitarian situation and security considerations. It is argued that while the dynamics in the Syro-Israeli borderland have several unique characteristics, they also point to a broader process of re-drawing borderlands and lines of influence in the Middle East region.

Boms,Nir & Zielińska Karolina (2019) Changing borders in a changing region: the civilian dimension and security predicament

along the Syrian-Israeli border, Israel Affairs, DOI: 10.1080/13537121.2019.1626090

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Iran and the New State of Play in Southwest Syria

In the summer of 2018, the Asad regime reestablished its control over the Syrian side of the Golan Heights, restoring Syrian sovereignty and redeploying the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) to its pre-war positions. However, a deeper look at the developments across the Syrian-Israeli frontier reveals that the new reality is substantially different from pre-civil war Syria. The Syrian military bases today host a number of new actors, which include pro-Iranian militias, Russian military police, and reconfigured Syrian units under new command. The local leadership and elements identified with the opposition, who informally governed these areas before the Asad regime reestablished control, have fled or been killed. In its place is a new Syrian security architecture that is based, in part, on foreign actors (some with Syrian identity cards), who are playing the role that used to be reserved for the Syrian security apparatus.

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