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Department of Politics and International Studies (POLIS)

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After-ISIS: the future of Raqqa and Northern Syria

When Jan 09, 2018
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The Islamic State was defeated in mid-October, by the Syrian Democratic Forces, a Kurdish-Arab alliance in Raqqa, the de-facto capital of its Caliphate, significantly limiting the group's capabilities. With the capture of Raqqa, the Syrian conflict entered into a new, post-IS phase, during which the Russian and Iranian-backed Bashar Assad government and the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Council, which is backed militarily by the US, would likely be the two main actors in the country.  Recently back from a three-week research trip to several cities in Northern Syria, with a particular focus on non-Kurdish majority areas under Kurdish-led administrations, Guney Yildiz will talk about post-IS stabilisation, international dynamics, the possibility of inter-ethnic alliance and the governance mechanisms being put in place by the Syrian Democratic Council throughout Northern Syria. 

Guney Yildiz is a researcher and analyst on Turkey, Syria and the Kurdish affairs. He is currently a Visiting Fellow with the European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR) focusing mostly on dynamics of Kurdish politics in Northern Syria and Iraqi Kurdistan. He also advised British politicians at the Foreign Affairs Select Committee of the UK Parliament as a Special Adviser on Turkey. As a journalist with the BBC, he broke numerous top UK and international stories that have been picked up by other domestic and international broadcasters. He holds a master's degree from the London School of Economics and pursues a PhD on armed non-state actors in the Middle East at the Sociology Department of the University of Cambridge.