Playing chess with Hezbollah is one thing. Trying to figure out what Putin wants, in Syria and perhaps also in Lebanon, even as Hezbollah is trying to manufacture weapons there, is a completely different challenge
The Syrian Arab Republic is a Middle Eastern country located on the shores of the Mediterranean Sea. It shares a border with Lebanon, Turkey, Iraq, Jordan, and Israel.
For the past fifty years the country has been governed by the Assad family. The current president, Bashar Assad, took over after his father's death in 2000.
As of 2015, more than 250,000 Syrians have lost their lives in the ongoing civil war, which began with pro-democracy protests in 2011. More than 11 million have been forced from their homes in the conflict between the regime, ISIS, and anti-government forces.
Lingering disputes between Lebanon and Syria, and political gridlock in Beirut, have lead Lebanese exports to be more than halved over the course of a decade
Among those suffering the ravages of the civil war are Syrian students at local universities, or in their countries of refuge, who are in dire need of scholarships
Hassan Nasrallah says U.S. sanctions on Iran have no impact on the Lebanese militia; warns his group would respond to any attacks from Israel.
At least 22 members of the Jaish al-Izza faction died in ambushes, and dozens more were wounded, the highest casualty toll of fighters in the northwest in many months, Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says
After crises over Syria, Kurdish fighters, Russian missiles, beating up protestors, Iran sanctions-busting and jailing clerics, Trump ratcheted up the pressure on Erdogan, forcing Turkey to compromise. In dealing with belligerent authoritarian strongmen, it takes one to know one
Turkish President Erdogan has threatened more military action in Syria
U.S. Envoy to Syria: We Will Mount Financial Pressure on Iran, Contest Its Actions in the Middle East
Ambassador James Jeffery says the U.S. is 'contesting more actively' Tehran's actions, 'particularly in Iraq, Syria and Yemen'
Moscow said in October it had delivered the S-300 surface-to-air missiles to Syria, after accusing Israel of indirectly causing the downing of a Russian military jet by Syrian air defences
The Democratic majority's greatest influence will be oversight - the ability to call hearings