The Back Channel


US allies mobilize on two fronts against IS, but Sunnis wary

Wednesday, May. 25, 2016 | Laura Rozen, Back Channel

US-backed Iraqi forces have encircled Fallujah, and mostly Kurdish Syrian Democratic Forces have advanced on villages north of Raqqa, but Sunni residents are terrified of retribution by Kurdish and Shiite local forces preparing to liberate those cities from the Islamic State.

Syria contact group urges air drops, expanded cease-fire

Tuesday, May. 17, 2016 | Laura Rozen, Back Channel

The International Syria Support Group, meeting in Vienna May 17, appeared to lower emphasis on Syria political talks as it urged shoring up a partial cease-fire and using air drops if needed to get aid to towns subjected to a type of "medieval" siege.

US, Russia to jointly monitor Syria cease-fire

Tuesday, May. 3, 2016 | Laura Rozen, Back Channel

US Secretary of State John Kerry and UN Syria envoy Staffan de Mistura said they hoped that a partial Syria cease-fire would be extended to Aleppo after the United States and Russia agreed to create a joint Syria cease-fire monitoring operation in Geneva, but fighting raged on in the city.

UN warns of 'catastrophic' breakdown of Syria cease-fire

Thursday, Apr. 28, 2016 | Laura Rozen, Back Channel

The United Nations warned of a catastrophic breakdown of the Syria cease-fire as the United States said it was outraged by what it initially assessed to be a deliberate Syrian regime airstrike on a Doctors Without Borders hospital in Aleppo.

Trump meets the DC foreign policy establishment

Wednesday, Apr. 27, 2016 | Laura Rozen, Back Channel

Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump rolls out his "America First" foreign policy speech, leaving many unanswered questions about his plans to secure the United States and stabilize the world's trouble spots.

Can US, Iran maintain ties after Obama?

Thursday, Apr. 21, 2016 | Laura Rozen, Back Channel

After three years of frequent and intense US-Iranian diplomatic contacts during the successful Iran nuclear deal negotiations, can the United States and Iran maintain their diplomatic opening after President Barack Obama leaves office and John Kerry is no longer secretary of state?

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