Ömer Özkizilcik

Ömer Özkizilcik

Ömer Özkizilcik currently works at the Security Department of the SETA Foundation in Ankara and also the Editor-in-Chief of Suriye Gündemi.
Between Rock and a Hard Place The Armed Syrian Opposition

Between Rock and a Hard Place: The Armed Syrian Opposition In Idlib

February 7, 2019
Under current circumstances, the Syrian opposition remains weak in their disunity and seem incapable of getting rid of HTS. In this case, the Assad regime would start an operation towards Idlib under the pretext of the presence of HTS supported by Russia, who will try to persuade Turkey to withdraw from Idlib.
Four Scenarios for Idlib and the Future of Hayat Tahrir

Four Scenarios for Idlib and the Future of Hayat Tahrir al-Sham

January 12, 2019
Developments on the ground in Idlib and a bigger HTS presence will have serious implications for the international context and the signed Sochi agreement between Turkey and Russia.
Combatting Criminal Gangs in Northern Syria

Combatting Criminal Gangs in Northern Syria

November 26, 2018
While some media outlets reported efforts in Syria as "internal fighting among Turkey-backed groups," in reality, there was a "clean up" operation with the backing of Turkish Armed Forces in order to wipe criminal gangs from Afrin and Aleppo. 
How Broken Deals in South Syria May Affect Northern Syria

How Broken Deals in South Syria May Affect Northern Syria

July 19, 2018
The YPG-dominated SDF may become frightened of how reliable their patron really is. It can be stated that the fear of the U.S. abandoning the YPG-dominated SDF is growing within the ranks of the partners of the U.S. In addition to the developments in southwest Syria, the Manbij roadmap between Turkey and the U.S. led to frustration within the SDF. Especially as the war against Daesh is coming to a near end, the YPG’s trust in the U.S. administration is declining.
Does Pentagon s 2019 Budget Deny Trump s Latest Syria

Does Pentagon’s 2019 Budget Deny Trump’s Latest Syria Statement?

April 9, 2018
The Pentagon’s agenda for Syria lacks strategic guidance and it is short-sighted and single-minded as it prioritizes the U.S. partnership with the YPG-dominated Syrian Democratic Forces over U.S. long-term interests in the Middle East. However, the internal U.S. wrangle over their policy will most likely continue.
Iran and the YPG Friends or Foes

Iran and the YPG: Friends or Foes?

February 21, 2018
During Operation Olive Branch, the YPG has used, visually confirmed, Iranian weapons. Among them are Iran-produced 107mm rockets, which were also found earlier in Turkey during anti-terror operations against the PKK.
What will Turkey Face during the Afrin Operation

What will Turkey Face during the Afrin Operation?

January 25, 2018
In addition to the military difficulties to be embraced, Turkey has to ready itself for a propaganda war with the terrorist organization. A genuine media strategy by the YPG, in addition to journalists who openly sympathize with the group, will seek to de-legitimize the operation conducted in Afrin.
Why are Syrian Rebels Losing Ground in Idlib

Why are Syrian Rebels Losing Ground in Idlib?

January 11, 2018
While the Syrian opposition enjoyed important support within Syrian society, HTS is logically viewed as Al-Qaeda – a group that does not enjoy popular support among Syrians.
A Pending Threat for the West Foreign Fighters in the

A Pending Threat for the West: Foreign Fighters in the YPG

December 25, 2017
Battle-hardened veterans who have fought within the ranks of the YPG may wait for a crisis or for a war to promote their ideology, recruit and train new members against their real enemy – “the capitalists.”
Turkey and the UAE Economic Allies but Regional Competitors

Turkey and the UAE: Economic Allies but Regional Competitors?

December 5, 2017
While Saudi Arabia and the UAE form the so called “axis of the status quo" promoting authoritarian regimes, Qatar and Turkey work together in the “revolutionary axis" supporting popular democracy movements in the Middle East.