As Cambanis admits, the Obama administration has been "funding, training, and arming parts of the opposition" for several years now. And he acknowledges that "Most of the armed opposition has survived only because of foreign intervention -- the exceptions being the most distressing elements: Islamic State and Nusra."
BEIRUT -- Putin's surprise drawdown announcement seems intended to test whether it's possible for America and Russia to trust one another and work together in Syria, and to find a path to an eventual solution for the war-torn country. A lot rides on this; it's not just about Syria. It will shape the global order, one way or another.
BEIRUT -- Negotiations over the future of Syria are not taking place in Geneva. They're taking place on the battlefields of Idlib and Aleppo. And it's not the opposition that's winning: it's the Assad regime, backed by Russia. This victory will have grave consequences for the U.S. and Europe-led security infrastructure in the Middle East and beyond.
In recent years, Turkey and Qatar have found much common ground on a host of foreign policy issues. Both Ankara and Doha have sponsored a variety of Sunni Islamist groups, seen as conduits for their geopolitical influence in the fluid Middle East. However, both countries have experienced setbacks from their engagement in some of the region's conflicts, most notably in Syria.
In a new video posted online, Nusra Front militants announced the formation of a 'Jaish al-Fateh' branch in the Qalamoun region. Jaish al-Fateh (Army of Conquest) is the same rebel alliance which has scored numerous victories in recent weeks against the Assad regime in northern Syria's Idlib Province.