Not that it clears things up much but important to know.
Currently there are some 1500 groups fighting in Syria, in constantly shifting alliances. While many foreign fighters join the IS, many also join the rebels, who are also made up by great numbers of jihadists, and it is a complete mess as the West has supported some of these groups with arms while also considering the very same groups as terrorists. And the IS are fighting the Rebels who are fighting both the IS and Assad, while the West is in alliance with some who bomb other of our allies.
And while the IS are incredibly brutal, Assad kills 6-7 times as many civilians and uses both torture, kidnapping and illegal weapons against civilians. And millions of civilians are still caught in this meat grinder.
And while removing Assad seems right, the worst fear is that it will lead to even worse things and some hope that a brutal dictator, much like Saddam Hussein, is needed to control things, and is therefore better than the alternative as a known and lesser evil. It is a hellhole.
To me this seems to be the current focal point of what in effect is World War 3, but a war very different to WW2 and WW1, as there is no clear enemy and the many alliances of backers and proxy troops shift by the day. I believe it will get a whole lot worse and it will affect us more and more on our own soil as we all sooner or later will have to make a stand and join in military capacity, all the while we also work on diplomatic and financial solutions. And I say this as someone who was strongly opposed to the wars in Iraq and Afganistan. I don’t carelessly support war efforts.
I wish it were as easy as WW2, with a clear division between good and bad, enemy and victim, but it is not, it can’t be, and in that I believe we more than ever will have to stand up for our values and beliefs and strive to defend the defenceless, to give them shelter, to stand up for democracy and human rights for everyone, even when it costs us more than we dare think.