With the US, Russia and Jordan agreeing to a ceasefire in south-west Syria and the recapture of Mosul from Islamic State, this Update looks at the implications for the region and in particular how these new developments could affect Israel's security and Kurdish independence.
Brian Fishman's The Master Plan provides a comprehensive history of the Islamic State's (ISIS) strategic evolution, covering the personalities and events that shaped one of the most feared terrorist-insurgent groups that has ever existed. Eminently readable, in places even amusing - no small feat in a book about ISIS - Fishman flips with ease between the overview and the granular to demonstrate his points...
The Islamic State, whose main slogan in Arabic is Baqiya watatamadad (remaining and expanding), has in reality been contracting since the high point of its advance in the autumn of 2014. Its eventual demise, at least as a quasi-state entity, is assured.
But Syria is host not only to the war against ISIS, but to a series of other, interlocking conflicts.