The Syria Mess

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Hezbollah declares Syria victory: report

BEIRUT (Reuters) - The Syrian government's powerful Lebanese ally Hezbollah has declared victory in the Syrian war, dismissing remaining fighting as "scattered battles", a pro-Hezbollah newspaper reported on Tuesday.<p>The comments by Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah mark one of the most …

Syria

Pro-Iranian Shiite factions lose popular support in Iraq

On Aug. 30, 308 Islamic State fighters along with 670 members of their families were allowed to evacuate from the Qalamoun area along the …

Middle East

Victory for Assad looks increasingly likely as world loses interest in Syria

States that were until recently committed to toppling the Syrian leader are now resigned to him staying<p>In recent months, as supplies of aid, money and weapons to Syria’s opposition have dwindled, it had clung to the hope that ongoing international political support would prevent an outright victory …

Syria

Ankara makes overtures to Idlib militants

The English-language edition of Yeni Safak has reported that Turkey asked the group to dissolve itself and for the militants, who seized Idlib …

Syria

Analysis: The Syrian regime’s offensive towards Deir Ezzor

Bashar al Assad's forces and allies are advancing on the Islamic State's stronghold in the eastern Syrian province of Deir Ezzor. The two sides have …

Deir ez-Zor

Pentagon: Rebel forces taking heavy casualties in Raqqa fight

Author: Jack Detsch<p>US-backed Syrian rebels are suffering heavy casualties as they attempt to retake the Islamic State (IS) stronghold of Raqqa from …

The Kremlin’s contradictory behavior in Syria

Author: Anton Mardasov<p>The Kremlin is seeking to flesh out the idea of creating four de-escalation ("safe") zones in western war-torn Syria while …

Russia Deploys a Potent Weapon in Syria: The Profit Motive

MOSCOW — The Kremlin is bringing a new weapon to the fight against the Islamic State militant group in Syria, using market-based incentives tied to oil and mining rights to reward private security contractors who secure territory from the extremists, Russian news outlets have reported.<p>So far, two …

Russia

Russia, Turkey, Iran fail to agree on Syria de-escalation zones

ASTANA (Reuters) - Russia, Turkey and Iran failed in talks on Wednesday to finalise an agreement on creating four de-escalation zones in Syria after Ankara raised objections, diplomats said.<p>Russia and Iran, which back President Bashar al-Assad’s government, and Turkey, which supports some of the …

Syria

How Moscow and Ankara are forging plans for a post-IS Syria

Islamic State has been reduced to its final strongholds in Syria, but a clear end game for the country’s wider conflict remains uncertain.<p>With the US …

Russia

US opens gaps in Old Raqqa's historic walls, allowing SDF footholds

ERBIL, Kurdistan Region — Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) backed by international forces blew through sections of the 1,242-year-old City Walls in …

SDF warns of 'fierce' conflict with Turkey in north Syria

<b>ISTANBUL, Turkey –</b> Syrian Kurd leaders have warned of "open, fierce confrontation" with Turkish forces in northern Syria, after a third day of …

Turkey

How the Gulf crisis could spill over into rebel rivalry in Syria

The ongoing Gulf rift is creating anxiety among Syrian rebels who fear that the crisis will deepen divisions within the anti-Syrian regime alliance …

Syria

Recapture of Iraq-Syria border point heralds new regional reality

The move by the Iraqi and Syrian governments to link the forces under their command along their border is a new reality on the ground.

Middle East

Iran draws line in the sand in Syrian desert

Iran stakes claim in eastern Syria; Saudi move against Hamas; Qatar risks confrontation in the Gaza Strip.

Middle East

Kurds reaching critical juncture in US partnership

The United States and Kurds currently share a partnership of convenience in Syria, but Kurds are looking ahead warily to the role they might be asked …

Syria

America's Political Gamble in Syria May Not Pay Off

As the Islamic State’s territory continues to shrink in the Middle East, its henchmen and those inspired by the extremist group are increasingly …

Middle East

The scramble for eastern Syria: A new Great Game

After the Syrian regime’s recapture of Aleppo in December 2016 and the consequential pushing and cornering of major rebel forces into Idlib, the tide …

Fighting ISIS: The Road to and beyond Raqqa

The U.S. campaign against ISIS in northern Syria both benefits from and is complicated by its partnership with an affiliate of the Kurdistan Workers’ …

Middle East

'Beaten into confession': Missing Syrian rescuer filmed denouncing White Helmets

<b>BEIRUT -</b> Fears are growing for the fate of a Syrian rescue worker, who appeared in a video from a news agency supporting President Bashar al-Assad …

A new “moderate” coalition: U.S.-armed Syrian rebels join Al-Qaeda’s “Bin Laden Front”

The new alliance, which is led by former heads of extremist militias, calls itself Tahrir al-Sham<p>So-called moderate rebels in Syria that have been vetted and previously armed by the U.S. government and its allies have officially partnered with al-Qaeda’s rebranded local affiliate in a new …

Syria

The United States Used Depleted Uranium in Syria

The airstrikes on oil trucks in Islamic State-controlled areas employed the toxic material, which has been accused of causing cancer and birth …

Russia used 'war on facts' to deny Aleppo bombings: Report

Pro-government forces hit hospitals repeatedly, dropped incendiary and cluster bombs on residential areas and used chemical weapons during the battle …

Turkey faces two uneasy choices in Syria. Neither of them is good

Turks woke up to hear a pleasant and quite unexpected surprise on their morning news last Thursday.<p>But then, just a few hours later, it was followed …

Obama’s White House worked for months on a plan to seize Raqqa. Trump’s team took a brief look and decided not to pull the trigger.

Planning for the final assault on Raqqa, the capital of the Islamic State’s caliphate, had been grinding on for more than seven months. There had been dozens of meetings of President Barack Obama’s top national security team, scores of draft battle plans and hundreds of hours of anguished, …

Islamic State (ISIS)

What prompted Russia’s shift in stance on Syria opposition?

When 2016 was drawing to a close, Moscow surprisingly agreed to divide Syrian warring factions into “good” and “bad” guys and to recognize the idea …

Syria

Return to Aleppo: A squandered legacy

<i>This is the second in a series of stories from Al-Monitor correspondent Fehim Tastekin, who is traveling in Syria.</i><p>ALEPPO, Syria — When I finally …

Syria

Two sides of Syria: Damascus and Aleppo

Lebanon is a country of unsettled scores. Each time I visit the country, I keep seeing and feeling the burdensome legacy of its 15-year civil war, no …

Syria

US kills, captures ISIS militants in raid east of Raqqa

ERBIL, Kurdistan Region – American forces carried out a raid in the Raqqa countryside on Sunday, killing a reported 25 ISIS militants and detaining …