By ANNE BARNARD and HWAIDA SAADOCT|
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.
Source: New York Times / News Now