Establishment of humanitarian corridors, safe havens, safe zones, or buffer or no-fly zones could turn the tide of Syria's humanitarian crisis, but it could also pose numerous complications and create second- and third-order effects for the region.
Turkey said Tuesday it is pressing for ground operations in Syria, hoping for the involvement of the U.S. and other allies as a force dominated by Kurdish fighters pushed through rebel lines and captured more territory near the Turkish border.
By Ilan Goldenberg, Nicholas A. Heras and Paul Scharre via War on the Rocks
The announcement of an agreement by the United States and Russia on a possible temporary cessation of hostilities in Syria is a positive development, though we are skeptical that this deal will hold or ever even go into effect. Until there are fundamental changes on the ground there will be no major breakthroughs in the negotiating room. And unless the United States is willing to significantly increase its support for opposition groups in Syria and take more risk in confronting both Bashar al-Assad and his Russian and Iranian supporters, it is hard to see an acceptable end to this that sets conditions for destroying ISIL and other extremist groups in Syria and Iraq. At the Center for a New American Security, we have been undertaking a review of current U.S. strategy towards ISIL, in which the Syrian civil war that stretches from Dara’a to Aleppo is one of three separate but interrelated theaters.