New Publication WPCS | Competition, Collusion and Smuggling: Syria’s Borders with Turkey and Iraq | Sinan Hatahet and Ayman Aldassouky

MEDirections is delighted to share a new Policy Brief from the Wartime and Post-Conflict in Syria project (WPCS).

Smuggling goods in and out of Syria to Turkey and Iraq has long been an essential part of the Syrian economy. Smuggling was dominated by affiliates of the Syrian regime before 2011, and new actors have since emerged. The increase in smuggling activities during the Syrian conflict has been encouraged by many factors, and illicit trafficking has taken on different forms depending on the level of collusion and cooperation between actors. Smuggling has created complex patronage networks with even foes working together. To develop adequate strategies to limit illicit flows, policymakers must adopt a holistic approach. Measures need to go beyond security to be effective.