Noah Bonsey

Nota: Este archivo abarca los artículos publicados por el autor desde el 1 de mayo de 2009. Para fechas anteriores realice una búsqueda entrecomillando su nombre.

No Winners in Turkey’s New Offensive into Syria

A Turkish attack on the Kurdish “People’s Protection Units” (YPG), the Syrian affiliate of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), was long expected. For most observers, the question was not if, but when, where, and under what circumstances.

Now we have the answers: seizing on an inflammatory (and subsequently amended) U.S. statement concerning Washington’s cooperation with the YPG-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), Turkey has launched an aerial and ground offensive against the YPG-held enclave of Afrin in north-west Syria.

The battle is likely to prove indecisive and costly for both sides. It is already a tremendous headache for Washington, their mutual ally, and putting huge strain on North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO)-member Turkey’s relations with the U.S.…  Seguir leyendo »

Abd al-Menaam picks me up as usual from the customs shed on the Syrian bank of the Tigris river. As we drive west toward the town of Qamishli, we pass beneath a hilltop command centre bombed by Turkish warplanes some five weeks earlier. Glancing across from the driver’s seat, Abd al-Menaam asks: “Can it really be that the Americans had no idea those strikes were coming?”

The Turkish attack killed twenty members of the People’s Protection Units (YPG), the Kurdish military formation controlling much of northern Syria. To Abd al-Menaam and many Syrian Kurds, this is a real shock: despite deepening relations between the YPG and U.S.…  Seguir leyendo »

What’s on the agenda for the peace talks in Astana, Kazakhstan?

Here in Astana, the spotlight is on the talks between the Syrian government and members of the armed opposition, but this is largely theatrics. Indeed, among the diplomats, journalists and analysts waiting in the hotel lobby and pub, there is a growing sense that we are also part of the show. The more substantive event involves trilateral discussions among Russia, Turkey and Iran, yet little has been revealed about their content.

The very fact that Russia, Turkey, and Iran are driving the talks – with limited participation from the U.S.…  Seguir leyendo »

Despite the Syrian regime’s brutally effective campaign to recapture Aleppo, it cannot celebrate victory yet. In this Q&A, Senior Syria Analyst Noah Bonsey talks about the factors likely to fuel greater violence, increased radicalisation and more massive displacement.

What are the immediate implications of the regime’s victory in Aleppo?

Aleppo illustrates the bleak state of the Syrian war, more than five years into the conflict. The regime and its allies are defeating rebel groups by employing an expanded version of their long-favoured military approach: massive collective punishment, including siege tactics and relentless bombardment targeting civilians. With crucial support from Russian air power and Iran-backed foreign fighters, this set of tactics has enabled the regime to compensate, for now at least, for its eroding military and limited base of reliable Syrian fighters.…  Seguir leyendo »

Foreign ministers representing the primary external players in Syria’s conflict will gather in New York on Friday, and the stakes are high. In two meetings in Vienna spearheaded by the United States and Russia this fall, states backing President Bashar Assad’s regime and its primary, non-jihadist opponents agreed to push for a renewal of negotiations between the Syrian sides in January 2016 and set an ambitious timeline for those talks to achieve a national ceasefire and transition to “credible, inclusive and non-sectarian governance.”

Yet if this effort is to progress, the ministers convening in New York must first avoid sabotaging the diplomatic train whilst still in the station with squabbling over definitions of “opposition” and “terrorist.” Instead they should focus on key unanswered questions likely to eventually derail the process if left unaddressed.…  Seguir leyendo »

Whatever the Assad regime and its opponents may think, no side is heading toward military victory in Syria. On its current trajectory the war will worsen, with the already devastating death toll accompanied by increasing trans-border radicalization and further destruction of the country’s social and urban fabric.

Such continued misery for Syrians will entail rising costs for the conflict’s principal external stakeholders — Iran and Russia in the regime’s camp, the United States, Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar on the side of the opposition. It is high time for state backers on each side to recognize that their adversaries are not headed toward capitulation, and to begin the difficult work of outlining an ultimate geopolitical resolution to end the war.…  Seguir leyendo »

A Free Syrian Army fighter covers his ears as his fellow fighter fires a weapon during clashes with forces loyal to Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad in Aleppo, April 30, 2015. REUTERS/Hosam Katan

Whatever the Assad regime and its opponents may think, no side is heading toward military victory in Syria. On its current trajectory the war will worsen, with the already devastating death toll accompanied by increasing trans-border radicalization and further destruction of the country’s social and urban fabric.

Such continued misery for Syrians will entail rising costs for the conflict’s principal external stakeholders — Iran and Russia in the regime’s camp, the United States, Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar on the side of the opposition. It is high time for state backers on each side to recognize that their adversaries are not headed toward capitulation, and to begin the difficult work of outlining an ultimate geopolitical resolution to end the war.…  Seguir leyendo »