By Shakeeb Asrar
A map of the Syrian civil war that shows who controls what after five years of fighting.
After years of civil war, Syria is now a country that lies in ruins. Thousands of people have died, millions have fled. With no end of the war in sight, groups continue to battle for control over large parts of the country. The Syrian government, ISIL, Kurdish factions, and several other rebel groups are still fighting for some of the most important parts of the country.
Government troops, supported by Russian war planes, have gained some ground over the past few months, expelling ISIL from Palmyra and other important places. At the end of 2016, the Syrian government managed to capture Aleppo, one of the main battlegrounds in the conflict.
Meanwhile Kurdish fighters have made gains in the northern part of Syria, reducing the territory under control by ISIL. Turkish troops recently joined the fight against ISIL, expelling the group from the city of Jarablus.
ISIL has not only been losing territory in Syria, but, as this map shows, also in Iraq, where the Kurds and the Iraqi Security Forces are slowly making their way to ISIL’s last stronghold, Mosul.