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The Syrian Crisis

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Vera Evertz
6 September 2013


Will there be a western attack on Syria, and if so, on what scale and at what cost? What are the non-military options for resolving the Syrian conflict, protecting civilians and punishing those responsible for war crimes there?

Read our latest contributions on the Syrian crisis here.


Press Release - SYRIA: A Means to a Bigger End - Going Beyond A Chemical Weapons Agreement

London 12 September 2013. Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov and U.S. Secretary of State Kerry commenced their critical talks in Geneva on Thursday 12 September. The issue on the table is the Russian proposal on Syrian chemical weapons. However, Russian/U.S. cooperation needs to go beyond the chemical weapons issue. The aim has to be to come up with a joint plan for convening the Geneva II peace talks, bringing all the parties to the conflict and their supporters to the negotiating table.

One Signature by Assad Could Help to Avert the Bombing

Does military intervention make a safer world? We seem to be trapped in a crude, bipolar choice, in which we either use military force or we do nothing. One signature by Assad could help avert the bombing. Getting him to sign the chemical weapons convention is an alternative to war. A version of this piece by our Middle East Programme Director, Gabrielle Rifkind, has appeared in The Times newspaper on 7 September 2013. Read more »

Press Comment - Syria and the Law of Unforeseen Consequences

In Syria, President Obama has been at pains to stress that US plans are for ‘limited, tailored approaches, not getting drawn into a long conflict’. But because of the ‘law of unforeseen consequences’, this is not an assurance that the President can make. While targeted strikes can deliver a strong message to Assad that the use of chemical weapons must stop, western forces must also be fully prepared to deal with longer term consequences of military intervention. Unless western powers really do believe that one-off punitive strikes will be sufficient to end Syria’s humanitarian crisis, they must ask themselves what else they are prepared to do and whether they can really walk away from a job half done. Read more »

Press Comment - Beyond Crime and Punishment: UK Non-Military Options in Syria

The defeat of the UK government’s parliamentary motion on support in principle for military action against the Syrian regime means that Britain will play no part in any direct attack on Syria. What then are its options for resolving the Syrian conflict, protecting civilians and punishing those responsible for war crimes there? This article assesses what the UK can do in terms of pushing for a negotiated peace settlement and to hold accountable those responsible for using chemical weapons and any other war crimes committed during this century’s worst humanitarian crisis. Read more »

Syria: A Fatal Choice

The momentum in the United States is shifting towards a larger-scale attack on the Assad regime. But, according to our Global Security Consultant, Professor Paul Rogers, even a limited attack will transform the war, with severe region-wide, as well as global, consequences. This piece was orginally published on openDemocracy on 29 August 2013. Read more »


Syria: US, UK Strike Against Assad Carries High Risks

The US, along with its allies Britain and France, is apparently gearing up for yet another military intervention in the Middle East. But the consequences of even the most minor attack in Syria are very precarious, says our Global Security Consultant, Paul Rogers, in this interview with Deutsche Welle on 26 August 2013. Read more »

Every Casualty Campaign Statement on Casualty Recording and Military Intervention in Syria

In light of the debate currently taking place among many states on proposed military intervention in Syria, members of the Every Casualty Campaign produced a statement on casualty recording and military intervention in Syria. The statement calls on all parties involved to ensure that every casualty of the conflict in Syria is promptly recorded, correctly identified, and publicly acknowledged. The Every Casualty Campaign was founded in 2011 by Oxford Research Group's Every Casualty Programme and currently counts 55 members. Read more »


For interviews with the authors of the above pieces, please contact our Head of Communications, Vera Evertz, at vera@oxfordresearchgroup.org.uk, 079 52 907 807, 0203 490 7616 and 020 7549 0298/ -0284 direct.


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