Understanding the role of armed actors across the Middle East

Experts assess the power and motivations of different groups in the Middle East crisis.

Open event, Panel Recording
22 February 2024 — 3:00PM TO 4:00PM


Experts assess the power and motivations of different groups in the Middle East crisis.

The Gaza war has not been contained to its borders and has spilled over in Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Iraq and the Red Sea, fuelling fears of a wider conflict in the Middle East. This has included tit-for-tat attacks between Israel and the US on one side, and Iran and its armed allies, which fall under the ‘axis of resistance’ banner.

These groups include Hezbollah in Lebanon, the Popular Mobilization Forces and Islamic Resistance in Iraq and Syria, as well as the Houthis in Yemen. Making sense of how these armed groups function militarily, economically, and ideologically both domestically and transnationally, and how their relationship with Iran plays out is crucial to understanding their capabilities and motivations, and thinking through ways to reduce conflict in the precarious region.

In this webinar, a panel of experts discuss:

  • How do the networks of the ‘axis of resistance’ operate domestically and transnationally?
  • What makes up their military, economic, and ideological authority?
  • What is their relationship to the state in these countries?
  • How does this impact the political, economic and security landscape?
  • How do these groups relate to Iran and the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps?
  • Are they proxies or do they have autonomy?
  • What are the tools that policymakers are currently using to approach and respond to these groups, and are they working?
  • What can be done to reduce possible conflict in the region?

This event is part of Chatham House’s ongoing work focusing on the Israel-Palestine conflict’.