For Many Players the Focus in Syria Shifts from ISIL to Iran

One year after a crucial turning point in the war in Syria – the fall of rebel-held parts of Aleppo to pro-regime forces – the once closely linked and relatively coherent struggle inside the country has fragmented into a series of intense, but highly localized, battles that, at first glance, appear only loosely connected: a dramatic flare-up in the south of Syria pitting Israel against Syrian government and Iranian forces; a bitter battle between Turks and Kurds in the north, also involving a tense standoff between fellow NATO members Washington and Ankara; and a horrifying series of attacks by the Assad regime, both in the far-flung north and Damascus’ own suburbs, with hundreds of civilians killed in a few days.

For Many Players the Focus in Syria Shifts from ISIL to Iran
U.S. troops look out toward the border with Turkey from a small outpost near the town of Manbij, northern Syria, Feb. 7. (AP Photo/Susannah George)

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