Syria Update: May 2018

SYRIA UPDATE: The Assad regime is now in complete control of Damascus and the surrounding region. This means the strategic map of Syria has been greatly simplified.

The rebels are now down to four pockets of territory: Idlib province in the north, the Turkish occupation zone north of Aleppo, rural Daraa province in the south, and the area around the Tanf border crossing. Idlib and north Aleppo are both under the protection of Turkey, Tanf is under the protection of the US, and Daraa is probably under the protection of the US and/or Israel.

The Kurdish-dominated, US-aligned SDF controls two areas: Their main territory, which is most of the territory east of the Euphrates, and the Tel Rifaat pocket near the Turkish occupation zone. It's a little unclear who's actually in control of Tel Rifaat -- the maps show it as SDF territory, but it looks like security is being provided by Russia and the Regime. To all intents and purposes, the SDF is limited to the third of the country east of the Euphrates.

ISIS has four pockets, all of which are pretty minor. They control the town of Hajin and surrounding villages along the Euphrates at the Iraqi border, which is where all of their remaining command infrastructure seems to be located. They control two patches of desert, which are mostly empty. And an ISIS-aligned group controls the Yarmouk valley next to the Golan Heights.

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