A year ago, the Syrian War could fairly have been seen as primarily an ISIS war, with several different groups scrambling to attack ISIS from different angles, looking to get the juiciest bits of the carved up “caliphate.”
ISIS is now mostly gone, but the Syria War is actually getting substantially worse, with a series of new conflicts starting to erupt on several different fronts, and threatening a new round of chaos.
The Syrian government tried to shift from fighting ISIS to fighting al-Qaeda and the other Islamist factions in Idlib. In the meantime, they got over 100 of their fighters killed in a US attack last week, and the biggest Israeli attack on Syria in decades over the weekend.
The US-backed Kurds, meanwhile, have about 25% of the country, but are in the process of being invaded by Turkey, following up on long-standing Turkish threats to ensure the Kurds don’t control any of the border. This is rapidly escalating, and with US troops embedded in Kurdish territory, the US could quickly get sucked into the fight.
Even beyond that, Russian and Syrian warplanes have been pounding the Damascus suburb of Eastern Ghouta, trying to mop up the last of the rebellion there. Little headway is being made in territory, but a lot of civilian bystanders are dying along the way.