Ever since a deal was struck in the Kazakh capital of Astana early this month to de-escalate the conflict in western Syria, all eyes have been turning east. Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and his allies have just launched an operation to “ take control of the eastern desert in Syria ”. It is not just about driving out the Sunni extremist group known as the Islamic State , but also about preventing other rivals from filling the void.
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The complex battle for control in eastern Syria