As ISIS’ Role in Syria Wanes, Other Conflicts Take the Stage

By ANNE BARNARD and HWAIDA SAADOCT|

BEIRUT, Lebanon — American-backed forces have barely begun to clear the land mines from Raqqa after pushing the Islamic State from the city, the de facto capital of its self-declared caliphate.

But the militants’ defeat there is already setting the stage for a new round of conflict and instability in Syria’s long civil war.

Fleeing jihadists are already regrouping in remote areas, rearming with the help of desert smugglers. Tensions are brewing over who will ultimately control Raqqa, where American-backed Kurdish and Arab forces declared victory on Tuesday.

And as the Islamic State threat wanes, the Syrian government is expected to return its military attention to the Syrian rebels, intensifying the kind of bombardment that has led to mass civilian casualties, with no sign of a political solution in sight.

To defeat Islamic State, myriad international and Syrian combatants — many of them sworn enemies — banded together or put their conflicts on the back burner. Now, even as they close in on Islamic State’s last territories near the Iraqi border, their submerged tensions are rising to the surface.

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Source: New York Times / News Now

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About Cholo Brooks 13507 Articles
Joel Cholo Brooks is a Liberian journalist who previously worked for several international news outlets including the BBC African Service. He is the CEO of the Global News Network which publishes two local weeklies, The Star and The GNN-Liberia Newspapers. He is a member of the Press Union Of Liberia (PUL) since 1986, and several other international organizations of journalists, and is currently contributing to the South Africa Broadcasting Corporation as Liberia Correspondent.