Author: Hashem Osseiran
Hashem Osseiran is the deputy managing editor of Syria Deeply. He has previously written for The Arab Weekly and The Daily Star, and the Associated Press, where he focused on user-generated content. Osseiran is a native of Beirut, Lebanon.

BEIRUT – Iraq’s self-declared victory over the so-called Islamic State (ISIS) at the end of 2017 was a key reason the country was listed as the second most improved state on the 2018 Fragile State Index, which assesses a state’s vulnerability to conflict or collapse. (More…)

BEIRUT – Syrian government forces and their allies regained control of several strategic opposition-held areas in recent weeks, as its aerial campaigns and ground offensives culminated in a series of so-called evacuation deals. (More…)

BEIRUT – Syrian government forces are allegedly in full control of the last rebel pocket in Eastern Ghouta, the Russian military announced on Thursday, ending a nearly two-month-long campaign that has killed at least 1,600 people and has largely cleared the area in the Damascus suburbs of rebel forces for the first time since 2012. (More…)

BEIRUT – Situated within mortar-range of the Syrian capital, the Eastern Ghouta region has been the main launch point for rebel attacks targeting Damascus – thus a grave threat to the government’s seat of power – since it fell to opposition forces in 2012. (More…)

BEIRUT – The Syrian war has often been cast as a sectarian conflict between a Sunni majority population and a minority Shiite ruling elite. However, sectarianism is only one component of a multi-faceted conflict that is also partially driven by socio-economic grievances, according to Fabrice Balanche, a visiting fellow at Stanford University’s Hoover Institute. (More…)

BEIRUT – Hundreds of civilians have been killed in attacks on so-called de-escalation zones in Syria in January, undermining a Russian-led agreement that world powers have touted as a step toward a comprehensive cease-fire in the country. (More…)

BEIRUT – Turkey’s latest offensive on a Kurdish enclave in northern Syria has pitted two US allies against each other and raised the risk of a confrontation between Ankara and Washington – a move that “is great for Russia”, Jonas Parello-Plesner, senior policy fellow at the Hudson Institute, told Syria Deeply. (More…)

As world powers push ahead with diplomatic attempts to end the war in Syria, any potential political settlements must address the key component of power distribution, according to Imad Salamey, associate professor of political science at the Lebanese American University in Beirut. (More…)

BEIRUT – The same day that President Vladimir Putin declared victory over the so-called Islamic State, the militant group launched a surprise offensive against government forces in Deir Ezzor province, killing up to 31 pro-government fighters in the following three days. (More…)

After establishing a presence in northern Idlib and western Aleppo over the past month, Turkish troops and Turkey-backed rebels are now looking to expand their area of control along the border by moving further east into Aleppo’s countryside, a rebel spokesman told Syria Deeply. (More…)

Author Joseph Daher examines the Syrian government’s reconstruction strategy and warns that Assad will use rebuilding to reward foreign allies and consolidate power around a small core of Syrian elite. (More…)

President Bashar al-Assad’s allies in Lebanon have continued to challenge Beirut’s muddled policy of disengagement with the Syrian state – so far without any repercussions. (More…)