Syria’s civil war is not only one of the bloodiest conflicts in the world today, it’s also one of the most complicated.
It started out as an uprising against President Bashar al-Assad, but now it’s a free-for-all.
ISIS controls a big chunk of the country, but they are under attack from all sides.
The Kurdish YPG and its allies are fighting them. Rebel groups, such as the Free Syrian Army and the Syrian Democratic Forces, are fighting them. And there are also competing Islamist groups like Jabhat Fateh al Sham.
That’s just the half of it.
The Iranian-supported Hezbollah militia is backing Assad, while the US is backing the YPG. Turkey hates the YPG because it fears Kurdish separatism. But Turkey’s letting the US bomb ISIS from one of its bases.
Russia supports Assad and is fighting ISIS. The US is fighting ISIS but it’s also bombed Syrian military targets in retaliation for a chemical attack on civilians.
Confused? That’s why we figured it’d be easier if we just drew you a picture.
Meet the key players in Syria’s civil war