ught in a pincer movement, Islamic state militants in al-Bab. These Turkish-backed rebels have besieged them from the north. To the south, Syrian troops and their allies cutting off a main IS supply route on Monday. That isolates the jihadists from their eastern territories, Deir ez-Zor and Raqqa, just as they're also looking ground in Iraq.
President Bashar Al Assad's army on a roll backed by Russian air power. Last week, it retook the springs and villages of
], the capital Damascus' water source, after a fierce battle with rebels. Residents as always, left to pick up the pieces, this ghost town once a bustling resort full of lively restaurants.
> A cease fire between government forces and rebels holds. If shakily, how to shore that deal up is on the table in talks in Astana, Kazakhstan on Monday.
Serious army and rebels each accused the other of breaches. Russia, Turkey and Iran, power brokers in Syria's war meeting with the United Nations to discuss securing humanitarian access and preventing provocations. Their influence on the rise as Washington's wanes.