Problems With Kurdish Independence Referendum

Kurdistan Regional Government president Masoud Barzani announced on June 7 that the region had set September 25 as the date for a referendum on independence. He was joined by members of the Kurdistan Democratic Party, the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan, Kurdistan Islamic Union, Kurdistan Islamic Movement and other small parties, including those representing Assyrian and Turkmen minorities. New signs on billboards throughout the KRG capital of Erbil tout “yes to independence.”

Continue reading

Syrian War Moves Closer To An End

The Syrian conflict is moving closer to its end. Despite global expectations, the key settlement process is occurring on the ground and in closed talks, not in front of the media and, therefore, not manipulated by geopolitical players and games in Astana or Geneva. Such formats on the ground and in talks beyond closed doors prove to be more successful and fruitful than all the pomp covered by the media, which just recycles the message of “no outcome.” But through minor steps the greatest goals are achieved.

Continue reading

Jordan Pins Hopes On US-Russian Accord On Southern Syria

Jordan is intensifying diplomatic efforts to help forge an agreement between the United States and Russia to establish a safe or de-escalation zone in southern Syria. Jordan hopes to prevent the vast Syrian Badia area, which extends along Jordan’s northern borders with Syria, from turning into a battlefield involving US-led coalition forces and rebel allies on the one hand, and regime and Iran-backed militias on the other.

Continue reading