Aron Lund was a nonresident fellow in the Middle East Program and the author of several reports and books on the Syrian opposition movement.
Aron Lund, previously a nonresident fellow in the Carnegie Middle East Program, has published extensively on Syrian opposition movements and military dynamics. In addition to being a regular contributor to various journals and newspapers, Lund has published two books and several reports on Syrian militias and opposition politics. He is also the author of “Struggling to Adapt: The Muslim Brotherhood in a New Syria.”
The Islamic Front argues for social and educational work to help develop the public’s Islamic consciousness, but it rejects the idea that Syrians could ever be allowed to vote on whether to have sharia law, or Islamic law, or to what degree.
On political matters, just as in religious affairs, the Islamic Front has staked out a hawkish position. Its officials say that they are firmly opposed to any peace deal with the regime and seem unwilling to hold talks even on minor matters.
Any attempt to describe the Islamic Front’s ideology is complicated by the fact that even some of its members seem puzzled by it. The member factions still serve under different leaderships, and there is no guarantee that they will be able to coordinate their policies or keep disagreements under control.
As soon as it announced its formation on November 22, 2013, it was clear that the Islamic Front would be a powerful influence on Syria’s future and a key actor in the rebellion against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
The Baath Battalions, a militia controlled by the ruling Baath Arab Socialist Party, has started to show up at government checkpoints and roadblocks in Damascus, with aims to support the Syrian Arab Army and the security services.
The Islamic Front contains some of Syria’s most powerful rebel groups, particularly in the now-contested northern areas, and its position will matter for the outcome of the fighting between rival rebel groups.
The violence that erupted on January 3 was preceded by several months of rapidly worsening relations between the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant and the rebel mainstream. Two newly formed northern coalitions have led the charge against the ISIL, the Syria Revolutionaries’ Front (SRF) and the Mujahideen Army.
The fighting that erupted on January 3 has been driven the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) from several of its strongholds in northern Syria by rival rebel factions.
The Tawhid Brigade is one of Syria’s largest armed rebel groups fighting against the regime of President Bashar al-Assad and dominating much of the insurgency around Aleppo.
Isolating Iran from the Syria peace talks is no longer a realistic option.