A few days before the tenth anniversary of the initial uprising, Syria has once again been placed under the international spotlight after a US Air Force attack against pro-Iranian militias’ positions on the eastern border with Iraq. The raid was in response to the missile strike on a US military facility at Erbil airport on February 15 that killed an Iraqi contractor, and represents the first lethal operation ordered by the Biden administration against Iran’s network of armed proxies. Nonetheless, it represents only the latest episode of external interference in a conflict that transformed from a revolution into a civil war and, at its tenth anniversary, still struggles to find a solution. In ten years, Syria has become the battleground for proxy confrontation by regional and international powers, experiencing extensive damage and displacement as its national sovereignty continues to be seriously compromised. Furthermore, a decade of upheaval has left the country with a widespread economic crisis, rising costs of goods, stringent Western sanctions, a political impasse, a daunting humanitarian situation, and scant provisions to fight the coronavirus. As the country moves towards controversial presidential elections this Spring, many questions with regards to its future still remain unanswered.
Joseph Daher, Affiliate Professor, European University Institute (EUI)
Abdulla Erfan, Senior Advisor, Diplomatic Dialogue Department, Geneva Center for Security Policy
Dareen Khalifa, Senior Analyst, Syria, International Crisis Group
Reem Salahi, Nonresident Fellow, Atlantic Council
Chiara Lovotti, Associate Research Fellow, Middle East and North Africa Centre, ISPI