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Iraq: Politics, Governance, and Human Rights

Description: This report discusses the situation immediately following the completion of the U.S. withdrawal from Iraq on December 18, 2011, when relations among major political factions worsened substantially, threatening Iraq's stability and the legacy of the U.S. intervention in Iraq. It includes an overview of historical and current political, military, and governance issues as well as an analysis of Iraq in relation to the other nations in the region.
Date: June 13, 2012
Creator: Katzman, Kenneth

Hamas: Background and Issues for Congress

Description: Hamas, or the Islamic Resistance Movement, is a Palestinian Islamist military and sociopolitical movement that grew out of the Muslim Brotherhood, a Sunni religious and political organization founded in Egypt in 1928 that has branches throughout the world. The United States, Israel, the European Union, and Canada consider Hamas a terrorist organization. The overarching U.S. goal regarding Hamas is to deter, transform, marginalize, or neutralize it so that it no longer presents a threat to Israel's security, to a peaceful and lasting resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, or to other U.S. interests. This report discusses U.S. efforts and policy debates on these issues.
Date: December 2, 2010
Creator: Zanotti, Jim

Israeli-Arab Negotiations: Background, Conflicts, and U.S. Policy

Description: This report discusses issues related to peace in the Middle East, including post-Gulf War negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians, Jordan, Syria, and Lebanon; U.S. interest in these and continuing negotiations and peacetalks between Middle Eastern countries; and the role of the U.S., the U.N., the European Union, and Russia in Middle Eastern relations.
Date: September 5, 2009
Creator: Migdalovitz, Carol

The "Islamic State" Crisis and U.S. Policy

Description: This report discusses the current crisis involving the Islamic State, which is a transnational Sunni Islamist insurgent and terrorist group that has expanded its control over areas of parts of Iraq and Syria since 2013.
Date: May 27, 2015
Creator: Blanchard, Christopher M.; Humud, Carla E.; Katzman, Kenneth & Weed, Matthew C.

The "Islamic State" Crisis and U.S. Policy

Description: This report discusses the current crisis involving the Islamic State, which is a transnational Sunni Islamist insurgent and terrorist group that has expanded its control over areas of parts of Iraq and Syria since 2013.
Date: June 11, 2015
Creator: Blanchard, Christopher M.; Humud, Carla E.; Katzman, Kenneth & Weed, Matthew C.

Syria: Unrest and U.S. Policy

Description: Syria remains mired in political confrontation and violence, and is perched on the edge of civil war. U.S. officials and many analysts believe that President Bashar al Asad, his family members, and his supporters will ultimately be forced from power. President Obama and his Administration have been calling for Asad's resignation since August 2011, and have been vocal advocates for United Nations Security Council action to condemn the Syrian government and end the bloodshed. The United States has closed its embassy in Damascus, and Ambassador Robert Ford has left Syria. In the face of intense domestic and international pressure calling for political change and for an end to violence against civilians, the Asad government has offered limited reforms while also meeting protests and armed attacks with overwhelming force. After a year of unrest and violence, Syria's political crisis is characterized by dilemmas and contradictions, which are discussed in this report.
Date: May 24, 2012
Creator: Sharp, Jeremy M. & Blanchard, Christopher M.

Syria: Overview of the Humanitarian Response

Description: This report examines the ongoing humanitarian crisis in Syria and the U.S. and international response. The report discusses the use of chemical weapons in Syria on August 21, 2013, that triggered an intense debate over possible U.S. military intervention.
Date: September 16, 2013
Creator: Margesson, Rhoda & Chesser, Susan G.

Temporary Protected Status: Current Immigration Policy and Issues

Description: When civil unrest, violence, or natural disasters erupt in spots around the world, concerns arise over the safety of foreign nationals residing in the United States who are from these troubled places. Provisions exist in the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) to offer temporary protected status (TPS) or relief from removal under specified circumstances. A foreign national who is granted TPS receives a registration document and an employment authorization for the duration of TPS. The United States currently provides TPS or deferred enforced departure (DED) to over 300,000 foreign nationals from a total of eight countries: El Salvador, Haiti, Honduras, Nicaragua, Somalia, Sudan, and most recently Southern Sudan and Syria.
Date: April 2, 2012
Creator: Wasem, Ruth Ellen & Ester, Karma

Syria: Background and U.S. Relations

Description: This report analyzes an array of bilateral issues that continue to affect relations between the United States and Syria. It includes descriptions of recent developments, issues for Congress, U.S.-Syrian relations, U.S. Sanctions, and future prospects related to the role of Congress.
Date: May 1, 2008
Creator: Sharp, Jeremy M.

Israeli-Arab Negotiations: Background, Conflicts, and U.S. Policy

Description: This report discusses issues related to peace in the Middle East, including post-Gulf War negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians, Jordan, Syria, and Lebanon; U.S. interest in these and continuing negotiations and peacetalks between Middle Eastern countries; and the role of the U.S., the U.N., the European Union, and Russia in Middle Eastern relations.
Date: June 9, 2009
Creator: Migdalovitz, Carol

Syria: Background and U.S. Relations

Description: This report analyzes an array of bilateral issues that continue to affect relations between the United States and Syria. It includes descriptions of recent developments, issues for Congress, U.S.-Syrian relations, U.S. Sanctions, and future prospects related to the role of Congress.
Date: March 11, 2009
Creator: Sharp, Jeremy M.

Armed Conflict in Syria: Overview and U.S. Response

Description: This report discusses the continuing conflict in Syria including recent regime losses in confrontations with forces of the Islamic State (IS, aka the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant or ISIL/ISIS) in northeastern Syria. The report also covers U.S. policy responses to the conflict.
Date: July 15, 2015
Creator: Blanchard, Christopher M.; Humud, Carla E. & Nikitin, Mary Beth D.

Israeli-Arab Negotiations: Background, Conflicts, and U.S. Policy

Description: This report discusses issues related to peace in the Middle East, including post-Gulf War negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians, Jordan, Syria, and Lebanon; U.S. interest in these and continuing negotiations and peacetalks between Middle Eastern countries; and the role of the U.S., the U.N., the European Union, and Russia in Middle Eastern relations.
Date: March 9, 2009
Creator: Migdalovitz, Carol

Russian Deployments in Syria Complicate U.S. Policy

Description: This report briefly discusses Russia's military presence in Syria. In recent weeks, Russia has moved military equipment and personnel to Syria, which could potentially be used to resupply the Asad regime or lead to a direct Russian intervention in the Syrian civil war.
Date: September 18, 2015
Creator: Humud, Carla E.; Woehrel, Steven; Mix, Derek E. & Blanchard, Christopher M.

The "Islamic State" and U.S. Policy

Description: This report discusses the The Islamic State (IS, aka the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, ISIL/ISIS, or the Arabic acronym Daesh), which is a transnational Sunni Islamist insurgent and terrorist group that controls large areas of Iraq and Syria, has adherents in several other countries, and disrupts regional and international security with violence and terrorism.
Date: November 18, 2015
Creator: Blanchard, Christopher M. & Humud, Carla E.