Breakingviews

Even a weaker Islamic State will drag on economy

By Edward Hadas
December 23, 2014

Cheap oil may now be the biggest worry for Middle Eastern economies, but the struggle against the radical group also has the potential to undermine growth. Even if IS has peaked, its ideology remains a problem, especially for Iraq and Turkey. Iran could end up gaining ground.

West faces only high-cost options in Syria

August 28, 2013

Surgical strikes against the Assad regime’s military facilities may aim to undermine its ability to deploy chemical weapons. There would be a price for doing nothing, but action is fraught with risks and could exacerbate regional instability.

Lucrative Sino-Gulf ties will survive Syria clash

March 6, 2012

China and Gulf Arab countries have different views on whether Assad should be forced out. But they also have $90 bln in trade. It’s in neither’s interest that this is disrupted. If the Syrian conflict escalates, Beijing may need to further soften its position.

Can non-violent struggle bring down Syria’s Assad?

By Hugo Dixon
August 1, 2011

The best way to fight in Syria is not to fight dictators with their own weapons -– matching violence with violence in a struggle they are likely to lose – but to use non-violent tactics.

Syrian crackdown stamps on economic dream

April 11, 2011

Bashar al-Assad's regime had an ambitious plan to quadruple foreign investment and boost tourism in order to drive growth in a poor country with dwindling oil. But the violent suppression of protestors will scare off both investors and tourists.