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What the Isis head's “caliphate” achieved was as remarkable as it was horrifying.
Donald Trump’s ignorance and Turkey’s onslaught against the Kurds have emboldened Islamic State and the murderous Assad regime – and strengthened Russia’s control over the blighted country.
Sarout became emblematic of the early optimism for change as protests swept the country.
The caliphate is collapsing, but the Sri Lanka attacks showed that IS’s tactics remain deadly.
Begum is just one of hundreds of foreigners from 40 different countries being detained by the Syrian Democratic Forces. No one is rushing to bring their citizens home.
There is a moral case for repatriating minors taken to Syria by their parents or born there to British migrants.
As Assad sets his sights on Idlib province, the stage is set for one of the fiercest confrontations so far.
IS has lost control of most of the territory it once held. But it is not defeated and is morphing into an international movement, inspiring more attacks.
A United Nations resolution calling for a 30-day ceasefire across Syria, agreed on 24 February, has proved meaningless.
Like the plaited, interwoven roots of an ageing tree, the rivalries and intrigues of the Syrian conflict are long and sinewy.
Its message remains as defiant as ever.