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Security and Defense

Webinar | Five Years After ISIS: What’s Next in Northeast Syria?

Tuesday,  March 26, 2024   |   1:30pm – 2:45pm EDT

In March 2019, the Syrian Democratic Forces and the U.S.-led Global Coalition Against Daesh captured the last ISIS-held territory in Syria, marking the territorial defeat of the caliphate. Since then, the United States has maintained a military presence in Syria in order to ensure the enduring defeat of the jihadist group. The SDF continues to conduct counter-ISIS operations and keep tens of thousands of ISIS-affiliated individuals in custody.

But regional political dynamics and military developments have changed the game.  The war against ISIS is no longer the primary axis of conflict in northern Syria. In the five years since the end of the caliphate at Baghouz, Turkey, Iran, the Syrian regime, and other actors have advanced their own strategies in the region to the detriment of security and stability in Syria and beyond. In Washington, discussions about a potential U.S. withdrawal from Syria and Iraq are gaining momentum—but discussions about a political strategy to end the war are lagging behind.

How did we get here? What is the state of the U.S.-SDF partnership today, and where is it going? And what can be done to re-prioritize northern Syria, find a sustainable solution to ensure the defeat of ISIS as a group and an end to the conditions that led to its rise, and bring the conflict in the region to an end in a way that serves the interests of all parties involved? Our speakers discussed the answers to these questions and more on this timely panel.

Gen. Joseph Votel, U.S. Army, Ret.
Former CENTCOM Commander (2016-2019)

Ilham Ahmed
Co-Chair, Foreign Ministry, Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria

Meghan Bodette, Director of Research, Kurdish Peace Institute

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Date & Time
March 26, 2024
1:30pm – 2:45pm EDT