December 30, 2013

How al-Qaeda Changed the Syrian War

Sarah Birke, New York Review of Books

The Associated Press

Since its appearance last April, ISIS has changed the course of the Syrian war. It has forced the mainstream Syrian opposition to fight on two fronts. It has obstructed aid getting into Syria, and news getting out. And by gaining power, it has forced the US government and its European allies to rethink their strategy of intermittent support to the moderate opposition and rhetoric calling for the ouster of Syrian president Bashar al-Assad. After months of shunning Islamist groups in Syria, the Obama administration has now said it may need to talk to the Islamist Front, a new coalition of hard-line rebel groups, in part, because they might prove a buffer against the more extreme ISIS. Ryan Crocker, a former top US State Department official in the Middle East, has told The New York Times...

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TAGGED: Al-Qaeda, Syria, ISIS

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