War in Syria
With the support of the US, Kurdish-Arab units are leading an operation to take the last stronghold held by the IS. Around 600 IS fighters are estimated to have withdrawn to the area surrounding the village of Baghuz in eastern Syria, where some of them are putting up fierce resistance. Will the terrorist group soon be a thing of the past?
The differences separating Turkey and the US on Syria became clear on Tuesday with US National Security Advisor Bolton's trip to Ankara. The US has postponed its announced
Leading politicians at home and abroad have lambasted Trump's decision to withdraw US troops from Syria. There are currently around 2,000 US soldiers stationed in the war-torn country. Although it now seems likely that the withdrawal will be postponed, commentators observe a strengthening of radical Islamist forces and expect another shift in the balance of power in Syria.
Turkish President Erdoğan has announced a new offensive against the Kurdish YPG militia in northern Syria. Ankara
Erdoğan, Macron, Merkel and Putin have agreed at their summit meeting on Syria in Istanbul on the key points of a political process in the war-torn country. A constitutional committee is to be up and running in Geneva by the end of the year. What are the chances of finding a solution in this format?
Now that the offensive against the last Syrian rebel stronghold in Idlib has been
They made a name for themselves by rescuing civilians from war zones in Syria, but now they are in danger: 422 members of the Syrian aid organisation White Helmets and their families have been rescued from the combat area in the south of Syria - by the Israeli army. The press reacts positively to the spectacular rescue of the rescuers.
The US, France and Britain hope to decide on a joint reaction to the presumed chemical weapons attack by the Assad regime in eastern Ghouta within the next few days. Russia has said rebels staged the attack in which according to the aid organisation White Helmets 42 people were killed. Commentators discuss the credibility of the West's threats and Assad's future.
At their summit in Ankara the presidents of Russia, Turkey and Iran have resolved to quickly establish peace in Syria. However, their different interests were also manifest at the meeting. Commentators criticise Europe's lack of involvement and explain why Russian and Iran have won the war twice over.
US President Donald Trump has announced plans to withdraw US troops from Syria and cancel aid that had already been pledged for the country's reconstruction. A withdrawal would have a negative impact on the balance of power in the region, some commentators stress. Others see the step as tantamount to capitulation.
A Russian-backed ceasefire will apply today and for the next few days from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. local time in East Ghouta. It is aimed at facilitating aid deliveries and establishing a corridor to allow civilians to exit the area. In
Roughly two months after the start of their
As a direct conflict between Turkey and the Assad regime looms in the Kurdish province of Afrin in northern Syria, 400,000 people are trapped in the rebel enclave of Eastern Ghouta near Damascus. The Syrian army has been bombing the area for days. Now the UN Security Council plans to convene to discuss the situation. Journalists describe the plight of the population, at the mercy of the warring parties.
An unspecified number of Russian mercenaries fighting in units loyal to President Assad are said to have been killed by US airstrikes in the governorate of Deir ez-Zor last week. The incident marks the first fatalities in direct confrontations between US and Russian forces in Syria. Russian media seize the opportunity to examine the Russian mercenary army system.
Turkey's President Erdoğan announced on Saturday that "Operation Olive Branch" will be extended southwards to Idlib province. The Turkish army has been fighting the Kurdish militia in the northern Syrian province of Afrin for a week now. Commentators take a look at the offensive's motives and chances of success.
Turkey has gathered its troops on its border with Syria. It plans to launch an offensive against the Kurdish-held enclave in Afrin, where the US supports a Kurdish-led "border security force". Commentators disagree as to whether this means a direct confrontation between Nato allies the US and Turkey is unavoidable.
The seventh round of
US Secretary of State Tillerson and his Russian counterpart Lavrov agreed in Moscow on Wednesday that both states must seek better relations. However, they failed to reach a consensus on the key topic of Syria. Moscow blocked a
The UN Security Council plans to vote again on a resolution calling for an investigation into the poison
The conflicting parties have been engaged in another round of talks in Geneva aimed at ending the Syrian war since Thursday. UN special envoy Staffan de Mistura had separate meetings with the delegations of the Assad regime and the opposition. The future of Assad continues to be the main bone of contention. Commentators are not very optimistic and appeal to Moscow to use its influence to negotiate an agreement.
The two-day Syria peace talks in Astana ended without a major breakthrough. Russia, Turkey and Iran will try to strengthen the
The Syrian regime has driven back the rebels in eastern Aleppo with the help of Russian fighter jets and tens of thousands of people are fleeing the areas under attack. A victory for the government forces in the northern Syrian city could mark a turning point in the civil war. Aleppo's recapture will bolster terrorist groups, commentators predict, concluding that US President Obama is partly to blame for the course the war has taken.
The EU foreign ministers have decided not to impose further sanctions against Moscow for the time being. At a meeting in Luxembourg on Monday they did, however, harshly condemn the
Incessant bombing, destroyed hospitals, no water or food: the situation in Aleppo is becoming increasingly desperate. UN Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura has warned that the rebel-held eastern part of the city could be completely destroyed by the end of the year. Putin's plan is ruthless, commentators write, and ask why no one is standing up to Moscow.
The US has pinned the blame for the attack on a UN aid convoy on Russia, while the government in Moscow rejects the accusation. Roughly 20 people were killed in the attack on Monday. The timing of the attack was deliberate, commentators believe, and blame US President Obama for the fact that Assad and his allies have dared to do such a thing in the first place.
The ceasefire that has been in force in Syria for just under a week threatens to break down. According to observers, fighting in
A report published by Amnesty International documents how thousands of prisoners have been subjected to dreadful abuse and tortured to death in the prisons of the Syrian regime since the start of the civil war. The report is a stark appeal to the international community's conscience, commentators say, but doubt that it will lead to a change of approach.
The fighting that has gone on for almost five years in Syria is to come to an end within a week. The foreign ministers of the contact group on Syria agreed the deal as well as humanitarian aid and the resumption of the
A new round of international talks on a solution to the Syria crisis starts today in Vienna. For the first time Iran - alongside Russia, the most important supporter of the Assad regime - will be at the table. In view of the conflicting interests of the different players a quick agreement won't be on the cards, some commentators predict. Others argue that the war in Syria can only be ended by deploying ground troops.