Security officials at the scene of a car bombing in the central Anatolian city of Kayseri, Turkey, Dec. 17, 2016. (IHA via AP).

Last week, Turkey was hit by yet another terrorist attack, a car bombing that killed 13 soldiers and wounded 55 others in the central Anatolian city of Kayseri. Although quickly overshadowed days later by the assassination in Ankara of Russia’s ambassador to Turkey, the bombing came just a week after a twin suicide bombing killed 44 policemen and wounded another 150 outside the Besiktas football stadium in Istanbul. While no immediate claim of responsibility has been issued for the Kayseri bombing, solid evidence points to the same perpetrators as the earlier Dec. 10 attack: the Kurdistan Freedom Falcons (TAK), a […]

An Aleppo neighborhood retaken by troops loyal to the government of President Bashar al-Assad, Syria, Dec. 13, 2016 (Kyodo via AP Images).

The United Nations is kind to losers. The defeated parties in many conflicts, large and small, frequently turn to the U.N. in the last resort to defend what remains of their positions. Palestinian leaders have turned to the General Assembly for decades to argue their case against Israel. In the wake of the Cold War, Russia clung onto its permanent seat in the Security Council as one last bastion of international influence. Moscow made the best use it could of the U.N. during its years of weakness, and Western powers often threw it a diplomatic bone or two. After bombing […]

Posters of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, Aleppo, Syria, Dec. 5, 2016 (AP photo by Hassan Ammar).

The Syrian civil war has undeniably reached a turning point. Syrian government forces and their allies have routed the rebels in the eastern side of the city of Aleppo, once the country’s largest and most thriving metropolis. Aleppo lies in ruins, its population terrified by a relentless assault by the Syrian army, with the support of Russia, Lebanon’s Shiite militia Hezbollah and other Shiite forces organized and backed by Iran. The eastern districts of Aleppo had been under rebel control since 2012. Their fall marks the most significant setback suffered by the forces seeking an end to the dictatorship of […]

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The Syrian war has laid bare the inadequacy of current international responses to refugees and the global system in place to protect them. While the number of refugees arriving in Europe from Syria and elsewhere has slowed in recent months and the topic has largely faded from the front pages of newspapers, this lull is likely to be temporary. The slowdown is largely the result of the European Union’s controversial agreement with Turkey, which requires Ankara to improve conditions for refugees and crack down on illicit departures to Europe in exchange for economic aid and visa-free travel within the Schengen […]