What will happen to the foreign fighters who traveled to Iraq and Syria to combat the Islamic State?
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The United States still has some leverage to push for a deal.
It has been almost three weeks since the president ordered the precipitous withdrawal of U.S. forces from northeast Syria. The move allowed the Turkish military and its proxies to swiftly invade the area, setting off a cascade of events that has forced America’s Syrian-Kurdish partners to strike a deal with the Assad regime, exposed Kurdish soldiers and civilians to a barrage of attacks, enabled more than 100 ISIS fighters to escape Kurdish detention facilities, and facilitated the growth of Russian and Iranian influence in the region.
On Oct. 29, the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on the Middle East, North Africa and International Terrorism will hold a hearing titled “Examining the Administration’s Policy Objectives for a Turbulent Middle East.” The hearing will feature testimony from David Schenker, the assistant secretary of state for near eastern affairs, and Michael Harvey, the assistant administrator for the Middle East at the U.S. Agency for International Development.
President Donald Trump announced on Sunday that Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi, the leader of the Islamic State, died in a raid conducted by U.S. Special Operation Forces. The president used highly unusual language to describe the raid, including that al-Baghdadi “died like a dog.” He also stated that the U.S. would be “leaving soldiers to secure the oil.” Scott R.
On Oct. 23, the House Foreign Affairs Committee will host a hearing titled, "The Betrayal of Our Syrian Kurdish Partners: How Will American Foreign Policy and Leadership Recover?" The committee will hear testimony from James Jeffrey, the U.S. special representative for Syria engagement and the special envoy to the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS, and Matthew Palmer, the deputy assistant secretary of state for European and Eurasian affairs.
On Oct. 16, the Subcommittee on Middle East, North Africa, and International Terrorism hosted a hearing on recommendations for U.S. Policy with the co-chairs of the Syria Study Group following the release of their final report. The livestream is available below.
Editor’s Note: Perhaps the biggest counterterrorism challenge facing European states is how to handle their citizens who went to fight in Iraq and Syria and now seek to return. Europe's response has been muddled, with many states reluctant to take responsibility for their nationals yet not advancing an alternative policy. Thomas Renard and Rik Coolsaet of the Egmont Institute assess the problems European states face and outline ways to make the return of foreign fighters less risky and more sustainable.
Editor’s Note: Even as the Syrian war winds down, the millions of refugees it spawned show little sign of returning. Experts have long feared that these refugees will spread instability and, in poorer countries like Jordan, foster economic resentment. MIT’s Elizabeth Parker-Magyar finds that in Jordan such resentment is limited at best. The refugees remain welcome, and any economic resentment is directed at the government.
Editor’s Note: This article originally appeared on Order from Chaos.
Eight years after Syrians began to flee en masse from the growing violence in their country, Turkey now hosts 3.6 million Syrian refugees. For the fourth year running, this makes Turkey the largest host, globally, of refugees.