The Chaos Created by Syria’s Four-Front War

The Fellowship  |  February 14, 2018

'Operation Olive Branch' to Afrin
AFRIN, SYRIA - FEBRUARY 12 : A silhouette of a member of Free Syrian Army (FSA) holding a gun loaded on back of a pick-up truck during an operation against PYD/PKK terrorists in Deviye village and three hills around as part of the "Operation Olive Branch" in Jinderes district of Afrin, Syria on February 12, 2018. Turkey launched Operation Olive Branch on January 20 in Syrias northwestern Afrin region; the aim of the operation is to establish security and stability along Turkish borders and the region as well as to eliminate PKK/KCK/PYD-YPG and Daesh terror groups, and protect the Syrian people from the oppression and cruelty of terrorists. (Photo by Mahmut Faysal/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

This week has been an especially chaotic one in the already troubled country of Syria. Al-Qaeda downed a Russian jet. Kurds downed a Turkish helicopter. Israel downed an Iranian drone. And Syria downed an Israeli jet. With all these things happening – and pulling in so many outside forces – Haaretz explains how this chaos poses threats to Israel, to the rest of the Middle East, and to the world:

While large areas of the country have stabilized, giving the impression of a war that is winding down, violence has exploded in other areas with renewed ferocity, killing and injuring hundreds of people in a new and unpredictable spiral of bloodshed. The United States, Israel and Turkey all have deepened their involvement, seeking to protect their interests in the new Syria order.

The recent chaos has been exceptional: within a week, al-Qaida-affiliated rebels shot down a Russian jet, Kurdish fighters downed a Turkish helicopter, Israel downed an Iranian drone and the Syrian army shot down an Israeli F-16.

Over the weekend, a battle erupted along Syria’s border with Israel, which shot down an Iranian drone that infiltrated its airspace before one of its own fighter jets was downed by Syrian air defense missiles. It was the most serious flare-up between the neighbors since fighting began in Syria in 2011…

“The specter of the world’s worst civil war in decades is becoming demonstrably worse by the week — and even more complicated by the actions of outside forces — creating a perfect storm of chaos and suffering in Syria,” the Soufan Center said in an analysis of the situation.

Here is a look at some of the new and old fronts in Syria’s war…

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