Five years into Syria war, battlefield is at its most chaotic

A new front opened up in Syria’s civil war when Syrian regime planes bombed Kurdish fighters, and the two sides battled street-to-street on the ground in Hasaka, in the country’s northeast.

The Kurdish group is backed by the U.S. in the fight against ISIS and American special forces operate in the region, so the U.S. scrambled fighter jets to protect them.

But that risks a direct clash in the air with the Syrian regime, which the U.S. has strenuously tried to avoid.

Five years into Syria’s civil war, this multi-sided conflict is more chaotic than ever. 

It’s also again spilling into neighboring countries like Turkey, where on Saturday a suicide bomber targeted a wedding party. More than 50 where killed, including at least 22 children.

Turkey initially suspected ISIS, but on Monday the prime minister said it could have been another group.

The U.S. and its Kurdish allies have made progress against ISIS, killing thousands of fighters and clawing back territory. But even if ISIS loses all its territory in Syria, that won’t end the civil war.

The Syrian regime is thought to have killed far more people than ISIS, and is now backed by firepower from its ally, Russia. That ensures it’ll keep bombing its own people, perhaps for years to come.

Secretary of State John Kerry said on Monday that talks with Russia on possible military cooperation​ in Syria are drawing to an end. But many are skeptical about Moscow’s intentions, since its goal appears to be to prop up the Syrian regime.