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Iraq after the IS: Opportunities and Challenges


On December 9th, 2017, five months after the liberation of Mosul, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi officially declared the end of the war against the Islamic State (IS). However, following the military defeat of the organisation, Iraq already faces the next set of major challenges: The country requires a sustainable long-term plan for reconstruction as well as national reconciliation. In this context, the KAS Syria/Iraq office, together with Basra University and a number of German partners held an international conference in Basra on “Rebuilding War Societies: Iraq after the IS”. more…

Event Reports | December 21, 2017

The Shiite Clergy in Iraq After Sistani - Growing Iranian Influence?

KAS and MDF publish research paper on Iran's religious Influence in Iraq

Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani is the most important Shiite cleric in Iraq and has traditionally acted as a bulwark against the influence of Iran's religious establishment in Iraq. However, being 87 years of age, the era of Sistani could soon be over. Laura Henselmann describes the competition between the Shiite seminaries in Najaf and Qum and discusses three scenarios for the post-Sistani time in Iraq. She argues that the religious influence of Iran will remain limited in Iraq in the future even after Sistani's death. more…

December 12, 2017

Israel's Role in the Syrian Conflict

KAS and MdF publish Policy Paper on Israeli interests and goals in Syria

Israel has significantly increased its engagement in Syria over the course of the last months. The Israeli airforce is conducting raids against positions of Hezbollah and the Assad regime in the southern parts of the country on a regular basis. Geoffrey Aronson from the Middle East Institute argues in a guest contribution for the KAS Syria/Iraq office and Maison du Futur that Israel is preparing for the "endgame" in Syria and aims to contain Iranian influence over Syria in the post-conflict scenario. more…

December 7, 2017

Turkey's Foreign Policy in Syria: Towards "Neo-Ottoman Realpolitik"

KAS and al-Nahrain Center publish policy paper on Ankara's role in the conflict

Turkey has been one of the main external actors in the Syrian civil war from the beginning. While Ankara supported a regime-change from 2011 onwards, the country seems to have largely abandoned this goal in the course of 2016 and is now predominantly focused on the conflict with the Syrian Kurds. In his guest contribution for the al-Nahrain Center for Strategic Studies and the KAS Syria/Iraq office, Tim Manhoff argues that Turkey's policy change signifies a shift from "Neo-Ottoman Adventurism" to "Neo-Ottoman Realpolitik". more…

December 3, 2017

German Stabilization Efforts in the Middle East - A Review

KAS hosts workshop on challenges and opportunities of German policy in the region

After the liberation of Raqqa and Mosul, the Islamic State (IS) is on the verge of a military defeat. However, the challenges in the Middle East, which still hosts around 15 million refugees, in the post-IS phase remain enormous. Against this background, the KAS Syria/Iraq office hosted a high-level workshop in Cadenabbia, Italy, to discuss challenges of opportunities of German stabilization efforts in the region. more…

Event Reports | November 16, 2017