A brutal dictator, warring US partners, and a former al-Qaeda branch: Here's who controls Syria now
- Who controls which parts of Syria has changed dramatically since the civil war began in 2011.
- While Kurdish forces control a large swath of northeastern Syria, a Turkish incursion threatens to change that.
- Syrian President Bashar Assad, who used chemical weapons against his own people, now controls about half the country.
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Since the Syrian civil war started in 2011, who controls what parts of the country has changed dramatically.President Donald Trump's abrupt decision to pull US forces from Kurdish-controlled areas in northeastern Syria, which Turkey threatens to invade, cast renewed attention on Syria's territorial divisions.Advertisement
As of October, Kurdish forces, loosely allied under the banner of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), control much of northeastern Syria, from the northern border with Turkey, encompassing the former ISIS capital in the city of Raqqa, south to al-Qaim on the Syria-Iraq border, as well as a bit of territory in western Syria, north of Aleppo.
Here are the major forces that control Syria.
Kurdish forces, aligned with Arab fighters in the SDF, control the northeastern part of Syria.
Turkish forces control a few scattered bits of land near the Syrian city of Aleppo, as well as a strip along the Syrian border, south of the Turkish city of Gaziantep.Advertisement
Assad regime forces hold most of Syria.
Other, smaller pieces of the country are held by groups like Hayat Tahrir al-Sham, which holds territory in the northwest.Advertisement
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