Throughout the month of May, Idlib witnessed heavy fighting between Syrian government forces and rebel groups. The latter is made up of Hayat Tahrir Al-Sham (HTS), which controls Idlib, and a wide variety of militant groups that have been brought together by Turkey into the so-called National Liberation Front (NLF).
As the month that will see the conflict in Syria enters its eighth year began on Friday, the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) announced the start of its “final assault” on the last ISIS enclave at Baghouz, on the Iraqi border.
Three weeks on from the announcement by US President Donald Trump that he would be withdrawing the 2,000 US troops that are currently stationed in Syria, the decision continues to reverberate across the Middle East.
On Dec. 6, Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation at the US Department of State Zalmay Khalilzad began his third foray to pursue peace in a country that has experienced civil conflict and external assaults for 40 years.
The heads of state of the three nations pursuing the Astana peace process — Russia, Turkey and Iran — held their 11th summit late last month. The meeting lasted just one day, with a joint statement being issued on Nov. 29 morning.