Fighters with the U.S.-backed, Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces guard women and children evacuated from areas once controlled by the Islamic State as they wait to leave the al-Hol camp in northeastern Syria on June 3, 2019, and return to their homes.
(DELIL SOULEIMAN/AFP/Getty Images)
While the United States and Iran risk all-out war with their game of chicken in the Persian Gulf, their proxy war is still playing out in Syria. Iran's ally, Syrian President Bashar al Assad, won the war two years ago, but his victory was incomplete. Al Assad secured his throne, but two large swathes of the country remain beyond his reach. The Turkish army and rebel militants control the northwest. The mainly Kurdish Syrian Democratic Forces, supported by a small but unspecified number of American, British and French special forces, hold the area northeast of the Euphrates River near the Syria-Turkey-Iraq border triangle. Al Assad has said he will not give up the struggle until both areas revert to his dominion. The only other part of the country under foreign occupation is the Golan Heights, but Al Assad is in no position to expel the Israelis....
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