[Marxism] Fwd: Changes in Syria’s Armed Opposition - Carnegie Endowment for International Peace

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Fri Dec 11 14:30:24 MST 2015

The armed opposition groups in Syria have seen significant changes over 
the past few months, largely in response to the Russian intervention and 
the subsequent and unprecedented commitment Western and regional states 
have shown to a political transition. The latter’s reactions include 
increasing military support for the Free Syrian Army (FSA), which had 
grown weaker over the past few years. These efforts to support moderate 
Syrian opposition formations are lessening the appeal of fundamentalist 
Islamist rhetoric among the armed opposition. Large extremist factions 
like Ahrar al-Sham and Jaish al-Islam are beginning to soften their 
fundamentalist and sectarian rhetoric, while smaller scattered 
groups—like Suqour al-Ghab, Tajammou al-Izza, Brigade 111, Jabhat 
al-Inqaz, the 101st Infantry Division, the Forsan al-Haq Brigade, and 
others—have unified into larger alliances.

Many opposition groups initially took on Salafi-jihadi characteristics 
to gain support. In many cases, their manifestations of fundamentalism 
were not a true embrace of Salafi-jihadi ideology, but rather a way to 
obtain money from wealthy donors in the Arab Gulf. In light of meager 
Western support for moderate forces, small factions had to adopt 
Salafi-jihadi symbolism and slogans to ensure protection from powerful 
Salafi-jihadi forces that were ready to eliminate any groups that 
differed from them. Thus, the strength of extremist factions, including 
al-Qaeda-linked groups, grew—while the FSA, which maintained nationalist 
and moderate Islamist rhetoric, was losing support.

full: http://carnegieendowment.org/sada/?fa=62256

More information about the Marxism mailing list