The Trump administration, increasingly concerned that the 74-strong coalition it cobbled together to destroy the Islamic State group is losing sight of the prime objective, is pressing its partners to refocus efforts, overcome rivalries and concentrate on the task at hand: the eradication from Iraq and Syria of the extremist group.
The alarm U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson plans to sound at a coalition gathering in Kuwait on Tuesday comes with the fight at a critical moment and the mission shifting from offensive military operations to stabilization. Distractions are adding up, such as Turkey's fighting with U.S.-backed Kurdish rebels in Syria and renewed spillover from Syria's civil war. Meanwhile, hostilities between noncoalition actors — Iran, its proxies in Syria, and Israel — risk creating a new conflict in an already crowded battlespace.Full Story
A confrontation at the weekend in Syria has turned up the heat between arch-foes Israel and Iran, but neither side seems to want a war for now, analysts said.Full Story
Israel is believed to have carried out several raids inside Syria since 2013, mostly targeting its Lebanese arch-foe Hezbollah, a key ally of the Syrian government.Full Story
Al-Qaida's global network remains "remarkably resilient," posing more of a threat in some regions than the Islamic State group, UN sanctions monitors said in a report seen by AFP on Wednesday.Full Story
President Donald Trump delivered his maiden State of the Union address on Tuesday, calling for national unity, strong borders and a powerful U.S. military to repel threats to America.Full Story
Syria's Kurds, whose Afrin enclave in the north of the country has been bombarded for the past week by Turkey, spent years carefully building a system of self-rule amid the chaos of war.Full Story
Turkey's assault against Kurdish forces in the northern Syrian enclave of Afrin has further complicated the bloody and complex war raging in Syria since 2011.Full Story
Since the start of the conflict in Syria in 2011, the belligerents -- in particular the regime of President Bashar al-Assad -- have been accused on numerous occasions of using chemical weapons.Full Story
The Turkish military has started an air and ground operation against Syrian Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) militia whom Ankara views as "terrorists" linked to outlawed militants.
Turkey's last such cross-border operation -- against the Islamic State extremist group and the Kurdish militia -- was between August 2016 and March 2017.Full Story