Single title

Reintegration and de-radicalization of the Yazidi victims of ISIS terror

KAS supports Yahad in Unum in supporting traumatized Yazidis in the KRI
In August of 2014, the Iraqi town of Sinjar became the arena of the massacre of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) against the Yazidis. More than 5,000 Yazidis were killed in the process and more than 7,000 women and children were either taken as sex slaves or indoctrinated and recruited as child soldiers by ISIS. In 2017, KAS supported Yahad in Unum in its efforts to provide psychosocial support to Yazidi victims that have escaped captivity and are now living in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq (KRI).

Single title

Preserving an uncensored history of life in pre-war Syria

KAS and Sharq continue documentation of pre-war life in Syria
For decades, the Assad regime has controlled the dominating cultural and social narrative of Syria. As a consequence of the ongoing war, millions of Syrians have left the country. As in 2016, the KAS Syria/Iraq office in 2017 again supported the NGO Sharq for citizen development in compiling the stories of life in Syria before the war. Interviewing displaced Syrians from different ethnic, confessional and social backgrounds, the oral history project “Syrian Voices” aims to draw an uncensored history of Syria and its people and to thereby lay the foundation for future reconciliation efforts.

Single title

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.

Single title

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.

Single title

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".

Single title

Toward Economic Recovery and Food Security in Post-ISIL Iraq

KAS and IRIS publish study about Iraq's future perspectives after the fall of ISIL
In Iraq, the recent war against the Islamic States (ISIL) resulted in massive food insecurity, and profoundly affected the food system’s infrastructure. Sarah Mathieu-Comtoi, in cooperation with the Institute of Regional and International Studies (IRIS) of the American University of Sulaymaniyah and the KAS Syria/Iraq Office, addresses current food insecurity in multiple post-ISIL towns in Iraq through the lens of economic recovery. She shows that these factors are mutually essential in Iraq, and that together they form the backbone of long-term post-conflict stability.

Country Reports

Irakisch-Kurdistan: Auf dem Weg in die Unabhängigkeit?

by Nils Wörmer, Lucas Lamberty

Hintergründe und Implikationen des Unabhängigkeitsreferendums in der Region Kurdistan-Irak
Am 25. September will die Regierung der Region Kurdistan-Irak über die Unabhängigkeit der autonomen Region abstimmen lassen. Das Referendum wird von der irakischen Zentralregierung, der Türkei, dem Iran und weiten Teilen der internationalen Gemeinschaft abgelehnt. Der kurdische Präsident Masud Barsani hat zugesichert, im Nachgang zu dem zu erwartenden positiven Votum auf die unilaterale Ausrufung eines kurdischen Staates zu verzichten. Dennoch birgt sein Kurs die Gefahr, einen neuen bewaffneten Konflikt auszulösen und Irakisch-Kurdistan in die internationale Isolation zu treiben.

Single title

The Syrian Kurds and the Assad Regime - Opportunistic Allies

KAS and MDF publish research paper on the alliances of the Kurds in Syria
Despite the prominent position of the Syrian Kurds in the conflict and their military achievements, their political ambitions within the context of the Syrian crisis are not as widely covered by the media. The Kurds are a crucial, yet undetermined actor in the conflict, as their military capabilities make them an indispensable actor in the Raqqa offensive; however their relations with other actors are more muddled. In her research paper, Kari Frentzel analyzes the Syrian Kurds' relations with the Assad regime, as well as the US and Russia.

Single title

The Significance of Southern Syria - The Elements and Trajectory of a Civil War

KAS and MdF publish Policy Paper on future scenarios in the region
In spite of its geostrategic significance, the south of Syria has received less media and political attention than the rest of the war-torn country. In their policy paper for KAS and Maison du Futur, Frederic Hof and Faysal Itani from the Atlantic Council explain the relevance of the Syrian south for all actors involved. The two authors compare three possible scenarios for the future of the region and argue that an Iranian dominance at the borders to Jordan and Israel could be the most likely outcome of the current conflict.

Single title

Report on the future of Iraqi minorities in the liberated territories

IILHR and KAS officially launch report in the European Parliament
With the recent liberation of territory by Iraqi security forces from the so-called Islamic State (IS), the question about the future of the ethno-religious minorities in Iraq is pressing. Against this background, the Institute for International Law and Human Rights (IILHR) with the support of KAS recently published its report “Crossroads: The future of Iraq’s minorities after ISIS” after several months of field research in Baghdad, Erbil and Dohuk. The report was officially launched at a conference in the European Parliament on 6 June that was hosted by MEPs Ana Gomes and Elmar Brok.
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