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By mid-November, the United States and allied forces kicked out Daesh (ISIS) from Raqqa and the Assad regime retook the Daesh stronghold of Albukamal, signaling the decline and shift away from Daesh and back to the ongoing civil war.While the United States helped create a de-escalation zone with Jordan and Russia in southwest Syria, and pledged to restore water and power in Raqqa, it has largely procrastinated in creating a clear post-Daesh policy that goes beyond basic stabilization to address Syria's evolving conflict.The U.S. has discontinued support to some opposition groups, pledged to stop arming the YPG, and pushed the opposition in southeast Syria to withdraw into Jordan, leaving the opposition to seek support elsewhere in the form of military coordination with Turkey and financial backing by Saudi Arabia. Assad seems committed to forcibly retaking all of Syria despite opposition groups that continue to fight against the regime and refuse to accept a solution where Assad holds power.However, the United States is largely avoiding these two, preferring to limit itself to military operations against Daesh and stabilization activities – not reconstruction – in northeast (SDF-controlled) Syria.However, the longer the United States waits, the stronger Assad, Russia and Iran become, making the U.S. decision more complex and costly.
The precarious situation of Syrian refugees returning to Syria
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