February 2, 2013

The Hard Men of the Syrian Revolution

C. J. Chivers, New York Times

AP Photo

The uprising to unseat President Bashar al-Assad is now almost two years old. While Western governments have long worried that its self-declared leaders, many of whom operate from Turkey, cannot jell into a coherent movement with unifying leaders, the fighting across the country has been producing a crop of field commanders who stand to assume just these roles. These men — with inside connections, street credibility and revolutionary narratives that many of the Western-recognized leadership lacks — have taken the reins of the war. They hold the weapons. They have their own international relations and financing.

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