From the Summary: "As of 2020, Syria faces growing economic instability and pockets of renewed political unrest, amid ongoing interventions by outside states and new public health challenges posed by the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19). The government of Syrian President Bashar al Asad-- backed by Russia, Iran, and Hezbollah--has recaptured most areas formerly held by opposition forces but faces persistent challenges from fighters linked to the Islamic State (IS, also known as ISIL/ISIS), as well as new protests stemming from deteriorating economic conditions. U.S.- backed local forces have recovered most territory formerly held by the Islamic State, but the group continues to maintain a low-level insurgency. U.S. policy toward Syria since 2014 has prioritized counterterrorism operations against the Islamic State, which sought to direct external attacks from areas under the group's control in northeast Syria. [...] In addition to counterterrorism operations against the Islamic State, the United States also has responded to Syria's ongoing civil conflict by providing nonlethal assistance to Syrian opposition and civil society groups, encouraging diplomatic efforts to reach a political settlement to the civil war, and serving as the largest single donor of humanitarian aid to Syria and regional countries affected by refugee outflows. The Trump Administration has described U.S. policy towards Syria as seeking (1) the enduring defeat of the Islamic State; (2) a political settlement to the Syrian civil war; and (3) the withdrawal of Iranian-commanded forces."
CRS Report for Congress, RL33487
Congressional Research Service: https://crsreports.congress.gov/