In the civil war, the conflicting parties accused each other of including chemical weapons (Chemical weapons) to use. Finally, in July 2013, the Assad regime agreed with the United Nations to send inspectors to examine the allegations at selected locations. On August 21, 2013, there were massive poison gas attacks in Ghouta, a suburb of Damascus. According to unofficial information, over 1,400 people were killed in the attacks. The western states, led by the USA, suspected the Assad regime to be responsible for the attacks. On August 25, 2013, the UN inspectors already in the country were given permission to carry out an investigation. The USA and France threatened to intervene militarily in Syria. Against this background, Russia proposed that Syrian chemical weapons be placed under international control. On 9/14 In 2013, in Geneva, the USA and Russia agreed on the disclosure and destruction of Syrian chemical weapons. Thereafter, numerous pieces of evidence supported the use of surface-to-surface missiles with the nerve gas sarin. However, the inspectors had not investigated who was responsible for the use of chemical weapons. On September 27, 2013, the UN Security Council demanded the controlled destruction of all Syrian chemical weapons with resolution 2118 under threat of sanctions. The Assad regime accepted the demands and also joined the international one In 2013 the UN Security Council demanded the controlled destruction of all Syrian chemical weapons with resolution 2118 under threat of sanctions. The Assad regime accepted the demands and also joined the international one In 2013 the UN Security Council demanded the controlled destruction of all Syrian chemical weapons with resolution 2118 under threat of sanctions. The Assad regime accepted the demands and also joined the international one Chemical weapons agreement. Peace talks between the government and the opposition in Geneva (Geneva II) in January / February 2014 did not produce any satisfactory results. In July 2014, the Italian-Swedish diplomat Staffan de Mistura (* 1947) became the new UN special envoy for the Syria conflict.
According to computerminus.com, the insurgents lost ground militarily without the Assad regime being able to inflict the decisive defeat on them. Several Islamist groups (including Jaish al-Islam, Ahrar al-Sham) had now joined forces to form the “Islamic Front” due to differences with the FSA. In addition, the militias of the al-Nusra Front and the Islamic State were active in Iraq and (Greater) Syria (ISIS), which was renamed Islamic State (IS) in June 2014. In January 2014, ISIS militias had expelled the al-Nusra front from Raqqa. The YPG limited its activities to the defense of the three Kurdish settlement areas near the Turkish border, where the PYD had installed an autonomous government in January 2014.
The disagreement of the opposition favored the military strategy of the government troops and the forces allied with them (especially Hezbollah and Iran). The regime concentrated on controlling the most important areas in the west of the country. The metropolis of Aleppo, whose eastern part was controlled by the rebels, and its surroundings, the southern suburbs of Damascus, Homs and the southwestern part of the country around the provincial capital Dara remained fiercely contested. The government made an agreement with the rebels trapped in Homs. They were given safe conduct to withdraw to other areas with their weapons. The withdrawal from Homs, which was completed by the end of 2015, had great symbolic significance, as the third largest city in the country was long considered the “capital of the revolution”.
In the meantime, IS has developed into the strongest force among the competing Islamist militias. As a result, the units of the “National Coalition” increasingly got into a two-front war, since IS fought other insurgents just as hard as the government troops. In July 2014, the IS militias began to draw an increasingly tight ring of siege around the Kurdish city of Kobane, right on the Turkish border. After the Turkish government had initially refused to with the Kurdish PKK defenders to grant affiliated Kobanes help, Ankara allowed October 2014 for the first time Iraqi Kurdish peshmerga -To advance fighters with heavy weapons through Turkish territory to Kobane. With their help and thanks to US air support, IS was able to be driven out of the city by January 2015. In June 2015, the YPG took control of the northern border town of Tal Abyad, which had previously been held by ISIS. It thus linked two of the three de facto autonomous Kurdish regions of Syria. In April 2015 IS invaded the Yarmuk Palestinian camp in Damascus, which had been cordoned off by government troops since 2012, but withdrew after heavy fighting with the al-Nusra front. In May 2015, the IS militia captured the ancient oasis city of Palmyra.
In 2015, the government camp essentially ruled the Mediterranean coast, the core area of the Alawite minority that dominates the state, and thanks to Hezbollah also the border area with Lebanon, the greater Damascus area, parts of the central Syrian provinces of Homs and Hama and a corridor to the embattled metropolis of Aleppo in the north. The FSA remained significant in the Dara province bordering Jordan. In the northern provinces of Aleppo and Idlib, Islamist rebels, often in alliance with the al-Nusra Front, fought against both the government and the Islamic State (IS), which was advancing from the eastern provinces. The air strikes of a US-led alliance on IS targets in Syria, which began in autumn 2014, continued in the period that followed and gradually led to the terrorist militia losing ground more and more.