Archive Profile

2014 Country Profile

Middle East violence and instability in 2013 and 2014 have put increased strain on peace operations in the region. Iraq and Syria have seen intense fighting, with Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) militants taking control of large portions of both states. The effects of these conflicts have had serious regional implications, with fighting in Syria spilling over into Lebanon and Israel. Hundreds of thousands of civilians have been displaced, many fleeing to neighboring countries.

Violence has limited the ability of some missions to fulfil their mandate, restricting the mobility of peacekeepers as they come into harm’s way. The flood of refugees has taxed the resources of multilateral actors, while political deadlock in Iraq and Lebanon has limited the ability of these states to effectively respond to the many problems they face.


Lebanon Lebanon’s stability and security are strongly tied to the states it borders. The war in Syria has fueled existing conflicts within Lebanon, while fighting has strayed across the border into Lebanon itself. ISIL and Nusra Front militants carried out attacks in Lebanese territory near the Syrian border. The small country’s already large refugee population has swelled, with over 1,100,000 Syrian refugees in the country registered with the UN in addition to a longstanding population of o Read More...

Key developments

By June 2014, the militants took over Iraq’s second largest city, Mosul. By November, only a few areas of Anbar province that the group entered at the beginning of the year were still under government control. In June 2014, the UN estimated that at least 2,417 people died in Iraq, the highest monthly total since 2008. Car bombs and attacks by gunmen have targeted security forces and civilians. Minority groups bear the brunt of the conflict, with people often targeted for ethnic or religious re Read More...


Peace operations in the Middle East will continue to face adversity while large-scale conflicts rage. The UN must manage the risks to which peacekeepers and civilian staffers are exposed in conflict areas, while assuring that they play an effective monitoring and mediating role. The ability of missions to solve longstanding intricate conflicts in the region may be limited, but they can assist in the delivery of aid to those in need and facilitate dialogue between key players. Multilateral peace Read More...