• The Free Syrian Armies: Failed Reconciliation

    The Free Syrian Armies: Failed Reconciliation

    March 26, 2014

    The institutional split within the Syrian opposition's Free Syrian Army may reflect foreign countries' disputes, but it also reflects the opposition's organizational chaos and personal rivalries.

  • The Free Syrian Armies: Institutional Split

    The Free Syrian Armies: Institutional Split

    March 25, 2014

    To understand the split in the Free Syrian Army that arose last month, one needs to understand the divisive history of the FSA's institutions.

  • The Ansar al-Sham Battalions

    The Ansar al-Sham Battalions

    Tam Hussein
    March 24, 2014

    Successfully navigating shifting rebel politics, the Islamist group called the Ansar al-Sham Brigades has become one of the key players in the Syrian opposition's powerful Islamic Front.

  • Does the “Southern Front” Exist?

    Does the “Southern Front” Exist?

    March 21, 2014

    The remarkably nonsectarian and democratic statement signed by rebel factions in southern Syria in February was likely only a ploy by rebel commanders to get more foreign support by declaring their opposition to extremism.

  • Iran and Syria: No Moderation in Sight

    Iran and Syria: No Moderation in Sight

    March 19, 2014

    Iran’s approach to power and ideology remains unchanged, and this directly affects its Syria policy. The Rouhani government sees its alliance with Assad in terms of a regional balance of power as well as geopolitics.

  • Mikhail Bogdanov and the Syrian Black Box

    Mikhail Bogdanov and the Syrian Black Box

    March 18, 2014

    It is hard to imagine a solution to the Syrian crisis that does not involve Russia. However, despite the long-standing ties between the two countries, even Russia's most-qualified Syria expert may have little insight into the Syrian regime's inner workings.

  • Jordanians Split Over the War in Syria

    Jordanians Split Over the War in Syria

    Nikita Malik
    March 17, 2014

    Popular opinion in the Hashemite Kingdom over Syria is divided. Many Jordanians support the insurgency against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, but some oppose it and many others have grown skeptical over time, as the spillover from Syria to Jordan increases.

  • Tripoli's Fragmented Sunni Islamists

    Tripoli's Fragmented Sunni Islamists

    March 13, 2014

    The simmering intra-Sunni tensions in Tripoli, Lebanon in relation to the conflict in Syria belies the standard sectarian divide of Sunni versus Shia, in a sign of how multifaceted and fragmented the Sunni Islamic spectrum really is.

  • Lebanon’s Pro-Assad Islamists

    Lebanon’s Pro-Assad Islamists

    March 13, 2014

    The northern Lebanese port city of Tripoli is home to several Sunni Islamist groups that support the Assad regime and Syrian patronage has given them access to funds, weapons, and political connections.

  • Searching for the Smoking Gun: An Interview With Åke Sellström

    Searching for the Smoking Gun: An Interview With Åke Sellström

    March 11, 2014

    Åke Sellström, who was appointed by the UN to investigate the allegations of chemical weapons use in the Ghouta suburbs of Damascus, discusses his findings.

  • The Miserable Afterlife of Michel Aflaq

    The Miserable Afterlife of Michel Aflaq

    March 10, 2014

    Today, the Baath Arab Socialist Party in Syria is a mere arm of the ruling apparatus, with no more intellectual independence than a police force or a ministry. But it started as a highly ideological movement of protest against French colonial control, led by the Arab nationalist philosopher Michel Aflaq.

  • Syriac-Kurdish Cooperation in Northeast Syria

    Syriac-Kurdish Cooperation in Northeast Syria

    Carl Drott
    March 07, 2014

    The Syriac Christian militia and its Kurdish PYD allies have deepen and restructure their control over the area.

  • A Christian Militia Splits in Qamishli

    A Christian Militia Splits in Qamishli

    Carl Drott
    March 06, 2014

    While the Christian Wusta neighborhood in Qamishli previously had one militia with ambivalent political loyalties, it now has two separate militias with clear and opposing loyalties: Sutoro and Sootoro.

  • Damascus Preachers and the Armed Rebellion

    Damascus Preachers and the Armed Rebellion

    March 05, 2014

    Syria’s indigenous Islamist traditions still remain a formidable force on the ground. It would be a grave mistake to imagine that Sunni Islamism in Syria could be neatly categorized into the best known, best organized, most violent, or most visible groups.

  • The Ajnad al-Sham Islamic Union

    The Ajnad al-Sham Islamic Union

    March 04, 2014

    Ajnad al-Sham appears to be the second-biggest rebel coalition in the Damascus area, and on the local level, the coalition seems to serve as a counterweight to the Islam Army as well as to more hardline jihadis, like al-Qaeda’s Nusra Front.

  • The Ukraine Conflict and Syria

    The Ukraine Conflict and Syria

    March 03, 2014

    If the conflict in Ukraine develops into a lasting standoff between the U.S.-EU camp and Russia, it may shift the dynamics in Syria in more direct ways as well.

  • Knocking On Every Door: An Interview With Saleh Muslim, Part II

    Knocking On Every Door: An Interview With Saleh Muslim, Part II

    February 28, 2014

    Saleh Muslim Mohammed, co-chair of the largest Kurdish party in Syria, explains the PYD’s views on the conflict in Syria and the Rojava, or Western Kurdistan, project.

  • The People’s Rule: An Interview With Saleh Muslim, Part I

    The People’s Rule: An Interview With Saleh Muslim, Part I

    February 27, 2014

    Saleh Muslim Mohammed, co-chair of the largest Kurdish party in Syria, explains the PYD’s views on the conflict in Syria and the Rojava, or Western Kurdistan, project.

  • Islam in Syrian Textbooks: Monolithic and Nonpluralistic

    Islam in Syrian Textbooks: Monolithic and Nonpluralistic

    February 26, 2014

    The school system in Syria has failed to be a crucial incubator of social and cultural understanding—notably when it comes to Islamic education. The effects of this failure are keenly felt today as Syria suffers sectarian conflict and a surge of religious intolerance.

  • Who and What Was Abu Khalid al-Suri? Part II

    Who and What Was Abu Khalid al-Suri? Part II

    February 25, 2014

    The Syrian Salafi faction known as Ahrar al-Sham has always stressed that it is not subservient to any group outside Syria, including al-Qaeda. Even so, there are connections between Ahrar al-Sham and al-Qaeda members.

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