What is going on in Syria's north

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MENAroundupMENA Roundup is a weekly publication containing insightful articles on politics in the Mid
 
March 1 · Issue #27 · View online
MENAroundup

MENAroundup
MENA Roundup is a weekly publication containing insightful articles on politics in the Middle East, focussing on Syria and Iraq. lars@menaroundup.com

Key developments
  • Against all expectations, the Geneva conference so far made no progress.
  • What is going on in northern Syria? 
  1. After Turkey-backed rebels seized the Islamic State stronghold of Al-Bab they faced pro-regime troops south of the city. Clashes erupted in the town of Tadef where the assumedly demarcation line is located. Rebels claimed to have killed more than 20 regime troops.
  2. Turkey is now pushing further into the IS-held corridor with three obvious aims. First, it wants to prevent a land connection between the Kurdish cantons and regime territory. Second, Ankara is heading towards Manbij where it wants to have a free hand. Third, control over the corridor means access to Raqqa without facing heavy Kurdish resistance in the Kobanî Canton. 
  • A US-drone strike killed Abu Khayr al-Masri, deputy leader of Al-Qaeda, in Idlib province. 
  • After the suicide bombings in Homs, done by a group of young men who give an impression of the war-torn generation that is approaching us, Abu Mohammed al-Joulani appeared in a video. Jabhat Fatah al-Sham’s former leader who is now military commander of the Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham bloc appears to still be the shot caller.
Articles worth reading
Hope and fear for Syria's Kurds
Despite its Weakness, the Syrian Army Remains Central to the Regime’s Survival
The Houthis Are Not Hezbollah
De-Conflicting Turkish, Kurdish, and American Aims in Syria
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