“The Islamic State has suffered major reversals in eastern Syria with the liberation of Raqqa and Deir Ezzor. But this alone will not facilitate a large-scale return of refugees. Both governorates have lost their status as economic hubs, and rival actors are vying for control. Rising Kurdish-Arab tensions and potentially abusive security screening methods implemented by forces backed by the international coalition have all increased instability and unpredictability. This reduces the prospect of return”.
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