New fronts emerge in Syria as Assad, allies push for victory

BEIRUT (AP) — New fronts have opened up in Syria as President Bashar Assad and his allies push toward final victory and the fight against the Islamic State group draws to an end.

This threatens an even broader confrontation among regional and world powers.

While large areas of Syria have stabilized, giving the impression of a war that is winding down, violence has exploded elsewhere with renewed ferocity, killing and wounding hundreds of people in a new and unpredictable spiral of bloodshed.

The United States, Israel and Turkey all have deepened their involvement, seeking to protect their interests in the new Syria order.

Within a week, al-Qaida-affiliated rebels shot down a Russian jet, Kurdish fighters downed a Turkish helicopter, Israel downed an Iranian drone and the Syrian army shot down an Israeli F-16.