The ongoing wars in Syria and Iraq have resulted in hundreds of thousands of deaths. By far the largest number of victims have been civilians, and some groups, like the Yazidis, have been targeted for genocide. But the significance of the two wars extends far beyond the Middle East. They have helped to produce a flood of refugees that has in turn sparked political turmoil in Europe. They have given birth to ISIS, the most feared and active terrorist network on the current scene. They have had a considerable impact on international relations, as a number of major regional and world powers, including Iran, Russia, and the United States, have become involved.
In his talk, Sarhang Hamasaeed will examine the complexities of the wars in Iraq and Syria and discuss their implications for the region and the wider world. He is well acquainted with the intricacies of Middle East politics and at one time served as deputy director of the Council of Ministers of the Kurdistan Regional Government in Iraq. He is currently the director of Middle East Programs at the U.S. Institute of Peace. As such, he often speaks on issues that affect the Middle East, advising the State Department, giving testimony to Congress, and providing analysis to such outlets as NPR, PBS, Al-Jazeera America, and Voice of America.