The turbulent current affairs in the Middle East have been dominated in recent years by the events related to the self-proclaimed “Islamic State of Iraq and Syria”. A local offshoot of Al-Qaeda, this militia phenomenon was able to take advantage of Saddam Hussein’s neutralisation in 2003, then of the destabilisation of Bashar al-Assad as of 2012, in order to occupy the empty space left by both the political and security vacuum. In the continuation of its meteoric territorial conquest, Daesh differentiated itself from other jihadist protagonists through among others proclaiming its “caliphate” in 2014 as well as leading an unprecedented campaign of attacks that raged all over the world, even hitting Brussels in 2016.

In view of these events, the international community has established a coalition gathering more than sixty nations, which led a bombing campaign that caused the collapse of the “centralised Daeshistan” in 2019. Since then, the new balances of power already show their extreme fragility, notably regarding the Kurdish actors. How to understand the new challenges and reconfigurations at work in the region, where – beyond the US-Russia trial of strength – the Turkish, Iranian and Saudi Arabian interests (among others) are interwoven?

In order to provide us with a well-informed state of affairs on this topic, we will be pleased to welcome two guests distinguishing themselves by their empirical knowledge of the situation on the ground. Fabrice Balanche, Professor at the Université de Lyon 2, will share his recent experience in Syria and, more specifically, in the “Rojava” Kurdish region. As for Joost Hiltermann, Director of the MENA programme within the International Crisis Group, he will share with us his perspectives vis-à-vis the recent developments in Iraq and the “Southern Kurdistan”.

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Research lines: Threats, challenges and strategic responses ; Middle East and North Africa

Evening conference

The Post-Daesh Landscape across Syria and Iraq

Professor Dr Fabrice BALANCHE

Moderator: Didier LEROY

Languages: French and English
Simultaneous translation into Dutch, French and English

13 February 2020, 17:00 – 18:30
> 16:30 – Registration
> 17:00 – Conference
> 18:00 – Reception

Campus Renaissance
Rue Hobbema, 8
1000 Brussels

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