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The new "Lions of Syria": Salafist and jihadist groups dominate insurgency

Die neuen "Löwen Syriens": salafistische und jihadistische Gruppen dominieren die syrische Aufstandsbewegung

Steinberg, Guido

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Corporate Editor Stiftung Wissenschaft und Politik -SWP- Deutsches Institut für Internationale Politik und Sicherheit
Abstract Almost three years into the Syrian uprising, Islamist groups of various colour have established themselves as the dominant force among the rebels. The jihadists of the Nusra Front and the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria represent two especially powerful groupings. Their growing strength has led international donors to reduce their support, and has sown violent conflict among the rebel groups. This has strengthened the position of President Assad, who has been arguing ever since 2011 that his adversaries are terrorists. Today there are indeed Islamist terrorists on the ground, enormously complicating the West's search for a Syria strategy. Neither the continuation of the Assad regime nor a take-over by the insurgents would be in the German interest. As long as this dilemma continues, Germany should concentrate on humanitarian aid and counter-terrorism, and to that end improve cooperation with Turkey. (author's abstract)
Keywords Syria; civil war; Islam; terrorism; political power; islamism; fight against terrorism; political development; foreign policy; Federal Republic of Germany; Iraq; Turkey; Arab countries; international cooperation
Classification Peace and Conflict Research, International Conflicts, Security Policy; International Relations, International Politics, Foreign Affairs, Development Policy
Free Keywords Heiliger Krieg (Islam); Salafisten; Al-Qa'ida; Al-Gais al-Suri al-Hurr
Document language English
Publication Year 2014
City Berlin
Page/Pages 8 p.
Series SWP Comments, 19/2014
ISSN 1861-1761
Status Published Version; reviewed
Licence Deposit Licence - No Redistribution, No Modifications