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The Briefing

The Briefing: Latest Middle East news, opinions and research from American Friends of Tel Aviv University

We're pleased to present this week's round-up of Middle East insight and analysis from
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Gail Reiss, President & CEO

Volume V, Number 12:
March 30, 2018

Tel Aviv Notes

"Wither the Syrian Ba'th? Down, but not out" by Carl Yonker
The brutal war in Syria is entering its eighth year. Many people have thought the Syrian regime has been on the verge of defeat or victory, but neither outcome has ever manifested, and the war continues. Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s administration appears to have gained the upper hand — demonstrated by its recent battlefield victories and territorial gains secured with the help from the Russian and Iranian militaries. This progress has emboldened the regime, which seems ever more confident that "final victory" is within reach, even though it still doesn’t control important parts of Syrian territory. These developments have also encouraged the Arab Socialist Ba'th Party — the one institution that has been supportive of the regime for more than five decades, even though its status was diminished significantly in the early years of the conflict. A weakened and less influential Ba'th is dedicated to regaining what it lost, and it's currently ever more empowered to reclaim its status.
Source: Tel Aviv Notes/The Moshe Dayan Center for Middle Eastern and African Studies, Tel Aviv University — March 28, 2018

Iqtisadi: Middle East Economy

"Syria: Towards reconstruction or deconstruction?" by Paul Rivlin
Sixty percent of Syrians now live in extreme poverty as a result of the continuing conflict. Some 540,000 jobs have been destroyed each year of the first four years of the war. By 2017, more than six million Syrians weren't working or engaged in any schooling or training. Unemployment among young people reached 78% in 2015. This inactivity will have long-term consequences; it will create a huge deficit of human capital and a shortage of necessary skills.
Source: Iqtisadi: Middle East Economy/The Moshe Dayan Center for Middle Eastern and African Studies, Tel Aviv University — March 23, 2018


"In a new media campaign, the Islamic State (IS) targets Egypt's presidential elections and democracy" by Adam Hoffman
This issue analyzes IS social media efforts against the backdrop of the Egyptian presidential campaign.
Source: Jihadiscope: Insights on Global Jihad/The Moshe Dayan Center for Middle Eastern and African Studies, Tel Aviv University — March 27, 2018

Middle East News Brief

The Middle East News Brief is on hiatus until April 12, 2018.


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