Since March 2011, fighting in Syria (the War in Syria) has killed an estimated 465,000 people, injured more than one million, and forced about 12 million people – or half the country’s pre-war population – from their homes.
Forces loyal to the Syrian government have retaken major rebel strongholds, as well as large swaths of territory in the country’s south in recent months.
Who are the key players:
The main cities under government control are: Damascus, Homs, Hama, Aleppo, Latakia, Tartus, Palmyra, Albu Kamal.
Free Syrian Army (FSA)
– The Free Syrian Army is a loose conglomeration of armed brigades formed in 2011 by defectors from the Syrian army and civilians aiming to topple President Bashar al-Assad.
– Since the battle of Aleppo, the FSA has retained control of limited areas in northwestern Syria.
– The main area it controls is: Idlib province.
The main cities under Kurdish control are: Raqqa, Qamishli, Hasakah.
After the battle for Raqqa, the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, also known as ISIS) remains in control of an area near Albu Kamal, surrounded by government forces westward and Kurdish forces in the east.
Other groups fighting in Syria include Jabhat Fateh al-Sham, Iran-backed Hezbollah and the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) dominated by the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG).