With so many threads following events in the Middle East conflicts in Syria and Iraq it can be hard keeping up with all the discussion, much of which follows the same events in both countries. Therefore it is perhaps wise to consolidate the discussions into one thread.
Syraq has emerged as the new term to describe the conflicts in Syria and Iraq that have now merged into one regional war between Shi'a, Sunnis and other actors such as the Kurds, Turkmen, Christians and other outside influences. With the emergence of ISIS in both Syria and Iraq both wars are now considered part of one conflict, a war that has been intermittently played out for centuries between the two main factions of Islam: Shiaism and Sunnism.
Right now here is the general state of play in the Levant/Mesopotamia region:
ISIS itself lays claim to much of "Syraq" but not all of it. Here is their current territorial control:
Presently Iraqi government forces are pressing north in their attempt to retake towns and cities from ISIS, starting with Tikrit, Saddam Hussein's homeplace, and a major source of recruitment for Sunni militants hostile to the Malaki government.
BBC News - Iraq crisis: Fresh clashes over TikritIraqi government forces are continuing an offensive to retake the northern city of Tikrit from Sunni rebels.
Aircraft have struck at rebel positions and clashes have broken out in various parts of the city, witnesses and officials have said.
Troops had reportedly pulled back to the nearby town of Dijla as Saturday's initial offensive met stiff resistance.
The city of Tikrit was captured by Sunni rebels on 11 June as they swept across large parts of northern Iraq.
"The security forces are advancing from different areas", Lt-Gen Qassem Atta told journalists. "There are ongoing clashes."
There was fighting in the northern Qadissiyah district, near the university where troops established a foothold in the city a few days ago, witnesses told the Associated Press.
An unnamed official also told the agency of clashes around an air base formerly used by the US military, Camp Speicher.
At the same time Syrian warplanes have taken part in bombing runs inside Iraq, targeting a number of ISIS controlled positions, actions the Malaki government had not requested.
Spillover of the Syrian Civil War - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Syrian Civil War - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Iraqi insurgency (post-U.S. withdrawal) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
And let's try to keep the discussion civil and rational.