From the Kurds' perspective, many chapters in their history of military cooperation with the US have ended in disappointment. In Syria, the Kurdish YPG is the key US ally in the fight against ISIS, and they have expectations.
Domestic violence is reported to have risen sharply among Syrians forced to flee their homeland. While many aid programs target women, some groups in Lebanon are putting new focus on men, hoping to address the problem at the source.
Despite Trump's warm words about Putin during his presidential campaign, the Kremlin has found little common ground with the new administration – and little indication that the US has a coherent plan in Syria or elsewhere.
The Tomahawk cruise missiles fired at a Syrian air base were a clear message to Assad from President Trump that the use of chemical weapons would not be tolerated. They did not signal support for regime change.
Though Russia has been dealing with terrorism for many years, it has mostly been rooted in domestic conflicts in the Caucasus. But Monday's deadly bombing of a St. Petersburg metro seems likely linked to Russia's involvement in Syria's civil war.
On the secretary of State's agenda in Ankara Thursday is the Raqqa, Syria, offensive. But his real challenge is Turkey's disappointment that Trump's election hasn't brought a new alignment of US and Turkish interests.
Arab leaders are gathered in Jordan, but the region's main movers and shakers – Iran, Russia, and Turkey – are absent, a telling sign that the Arab League's influence over events and its own citizens has waned.
Having spent heavily to preserve its geopolitical link to Hezbollah, Iran appears to be settling in for a long presence in Syria. That has caught the attention of the US and Israel, which fears a widening of its Southern Lebanon front to the Golan Heights.
Just weeks after the eastern part of the city was liberated, schools are scrambling to accommodate eager learners. Education suffered badly under ISIS, which imposed a curriculum filled with violent viewpoints and drove away students fearful of being forcefully recruited.
Even as the Trump administration closes US borders to some refugees, Canada's decades-old private refugee sponsorship program is getting another look by nations struggling with their own influxes of migrants.
Russia, Iran, and Turkey agreed Tuesday to sketch the outlines of a wider political settlement to Syria's civil war, which would be taken to larger talks in Geneva that include the US, the EU, and other major players.
After several years of economic hardship and international pressure over its annexation of Crimea, Russia may see its lot improve next year. But most are skeptical of the possibility of lasting change.
The war in Syria is far from over, and the anti-Assad rebels have vowed to fight on. Many are congregated in Idlib province. But before the Syrian president elects to go after them, he has other options to consider.
Assad's key allies say the victory over rebels in Syria's second city advances their standing globally and in the region. But with no quick end to the conflict, they are likely to push for a political solution, analysts say.
By letting refugees from Syria, Afghanistan, and elsewhere into its work training programs, Germany can help its shorthanded enterprises – and enable the new workers to get on with their lives in a sustainable way.
There is little optimism in Russia that there could be a serious reconciliation between Washington and Moscow, even if Donald Trump is in the White House. But if it happened, this is what Russian analysts say it would have to entail.