Thursday 20 Feb 2020 | 07:56 | SYDNEY
What's happening on

Middle East

Where the Russian intervention in Syria is headed

Russian President Vladimir Putin is well on the way to achieving several objectives of his military intervention in Syria. Russia has ensured the survival of the Assad regime, its only Arab partner, without loss of Russian personnel to the rebels or becoming mired in a ground conflict. In doing so

Iran and Russia: Not an easy relationship

Iran’s relationship with Russia has been characterised as many things, ranging from a ‘marriage of convenience’ to a ‘long-lasting alliance’. In reality it's a  pragmatic working relationship forged between two countries that  have faced similar political and economic pressures

Confronting Turkey: The looming challenge for the West

Turkey’s relations with its Western allies and partners, with the lone exception of Netanyahu’s Israel, are on a steep slide towards open hostility. Millions of first and second generation Turks live and work in Europe as either refugees or as guest workers and it is geographically too close not

Major political change on the horizon for Turkey

In one poorly organised show of lukewarm force, Turkey’s failed coup plotters have provided President Recep Tayyip Erdogan with the catalyst for major political change.  For Erdogan, it vindicates years of conspiratorial rhetoric around the ‘deep state’, which prompted two high-profile

Reset: Why Erdogan is mending (some) fences

Economics and ethnic solidarity both played a role in the rapprochement reached between Israel and Turkey and economics is also a motivating factor in Turkey's recent overtures toward Russia. There is a reason why Turkish President Recep Erdogan refers to a 'common history and common culture'

Turkey: Erdogan poised for triumph in feud with PM

Turkey's ruling party, the AKP, announced last week that it would hold an 'extraordinary congress' on 22 May where Ahmet Davutoglu would be replaced as prime minister. The announcement follows a year of growing friction between Davutoglu and President Recip Tayyip Erdogan after the June 2015

Quick comment: Indonesian students in Egypt and Turkey

In this quick comment, the Lowy Institute's Anthony Bubalo and his co-authors, Sidney Jones and Navhat Nuraniyah from the Institute for Policy Analysis of Conflict,  discuss their recent Lowy Institute Report that examines the effect of the current turmoil in the Middle East on Indonesian

Saudi Arabia goes to war

Saudi Arabia's recent actions have caused a great deal of anxiety within its region. On 4  February, a military spokesman suggested that Saudi Arabia was ready to send troops ground troops to fight ISIS in Syria. A week later Saudi Arabia announced that it will send combat aircraft and soldiers

Syria: The gift that keeps on giving

The official announcement today that the government would refuse a US request for additional assets to be deployed in the Middle East against Islamic State came as little surprise. These types of requests rarely come out of the blue, and it is likely that Washington was aware of what Canberra’s

Turkey has got Syria wrong — again

The shooting down of the Russian aircraft by the Turks and the subsequent death of two Russian servicemen briefly got the tabloids talking about World War III but in reality this was never going to blow up into a direct military confrontation between Moscow and Ankara. What it did demonstrate, once

On Syria, the West must face facts: Russia can help

Western analysts have been at pains to discern Russia's 'real aims' in Syria.  But the best explanation probably remains the simplest: the preservation of the existing Syrian state and its institutions in pursuit of a political settlement that limits the amount of Syrian territory under

Syrian refugee crisis: Time for the G20 to step up

By the Lowy Institute's G20 Fellow Tristram Sainsbury and Research Associate Casper Wuite. Chatham House's Paola Subacchi recently asked why the G20 has not addressed the Syrian refugee crisis. She acknowledges that refugee issues have not historically been within the G20's bailiwick. However, she

Is Russia's growing intervention in Syria a game changer?

The latest analysis of the Syrian conflict from the Institute for the Study of War provides a detailed examination of what it describes (correctly) as a game changer. Assuming its analysis of the military calculus is sound, the questions that remain unanswered relate to the extent to which the

Cambodia and Syria: Every refugee crisis is different

The staggering dimensions of the migrant flow into Europe prompts me to offer a note on the Cambodian refugee crisis of the late 1970s and early 1980s, in which I played a small part. I am not suggesting that what happened 35 years ago offers any answer to current challenges. Rather, the

Syria: It's what isn't being said that's of interest

The Government's announcement yesterday that it would conduct air strikes inside Syria is notable more for what it didn't say than what it did. It was long on rhetoric, but short on detail, and lacked any semblance of strategic vision or acknowledgment of the potential impact on the situation inside

Syrian refugees and the Gulf states' lack of charity

The humanitarian tragedy unfolding daily in Europe has forced the West to again try and redefine its obligations to those who have been made vulnerable as a result of conflict in the Middle East, particularly the Syrian civil war. But it may also have stirred a desire to question why the burden

Will the RAAF be assisting the Syrian Army?

The Syrian Arab Armed Forces (SAAF) are fighting ISIS in eastern Syria. Australia is planning to bomb ISIS targets in eastern Syria. But Australia will not be involved in the broader conflict in Syria involving the Assad regime. If this doesn't appear to make sense to you it's because the concept

Address by Peter Varghese AO - An Australian world view: A practitioner's perspective

On 20 August 2015, the Lowy Institute hosted an address from Peter Varghese AO, Secretary of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. Mr Varghese presented his perspective on key themes in Australia’s Foreign Policy

Pages