ASSESSMENTS

The Next Phase of the Syrian Conflict Could Be the Most Damaging

MIN READNov 30, 2018 | 10:00 GMT

A Syrian air force Sukhoi Su-22 fighter jet flies over the Palestinian camp of Yarmuk on the southern outskirts of Damascus during airstrikes on the Islamic State in April 2018.

A Syrian air force Sukhoi Su-22 fighter jet flies over the Palestinian camp of Yarmuk on the southern outskirts of Damascus during airstrikes on the Islamic State in April 2018. The jihadists have lost most of the territory they once controlled in Syria.

(RAMI AL SAYED/AFP/Getty Images)

Syria's civil war may not be forgotten -- least of all by the millions the maelstrom has affected -- but the conflict no longer drives the international news cycle as it once did. In large part, that's because Syrian government forces have succeeded in seizing control of most of the country's population centers and because most of the remaining front lines have become relatively frozen. Nevertheless, even as hot conflict becomes less common in the country, the year ahead remains fraught with the risk of perhaps the biggest firestorm yet: this time, not just among government forces and rebels, but among the many states that have entered the Syrian arena....

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