War on the Rocks: “The Tangled Web of the Syrian Jihad”

New: I review Charles Lister’s The Syrian Jihad for War on the Rocks.

The Tangled Web of the Syrian Jihad

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The Daily Beast: “One Kurdish Neighborhood in the Crossfire”

New from me on The Daily Beast:

While most of Syria got a ceasefire, Aleppo’s Kurdish al-Sheikh Maqsoud got two months of violence. Rebels and Kurdish forces each claim the other started the running battle on the edge of the neighborhood. Meanwhile, al-Sheikh Maqsoud’s civilians have been dying under apparently indiscriminate shelling – and now, Kurds allege, a chemical weapons strike – with no end in sight.

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VICE News: “Syrian Fighters Say the Ceasefire Is Getting Shakier and Shakier”

New from me on VICE News:

Syria is caught in a sort of half-war limbo. The internationally sponsored ceasefire remains in effect nationwide, but isolated clashes across the country seems to be escalating, and there are fears that a battle south of Aleppo city may be spiraling out of control.
But even as violence ticks up, it seems no one thinks the ceasefire will actually end. So long as Russia and the U.S. remain vested in a political solution, sources say, Syrians are locked in a war that’s mostly off, partially on.


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VICE News: “Rebels Ignored the Islamic State in South Syria, and It’s Come Back to Haunt Them”

New from me and Avi Asher-Schapiro at VICE News:

Southern rebels have mostly been ignoring their local proto-ISIS creeps – in part, they say, because the US and their other state backers told them to. But now ISIS has come for them, and they’re realizing they made a mistake.


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World Politics Review: “Separating Nusra Front From Syria’s Rebels Is Easier Said Than Done”

New from me on World Politics Review:

Syria’s ceasefire has made clear the growing rift between the country’s mainstream opposition and Jabhat al-Nusrah, al-Qaeda’s Syrian affiliate. But at the same time, it’s also highlighted how Nusrah it tangled up in and dependent on the opposition. It turns out that Nusrah is a symbiote – it can only succeed when it is attached to a Syrian opposition at war.

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The Daily Beast: “Al-Qaeda’s Screwing up in Syria”

New from me on The Daily Beast:

New static between Jabhat al-Nusrah and mainstream Syrian rebels and a half-tell-all, half-anti-Nusrah jeremiad by the son of the founder of modern jihadism have embroiled the Syrian al-Qaeda affiliate in new controversy. Now opposition Syrians are debating Nusrah’s place in the rebellion and re-litigating some of the grimier episodes in north Syria’s recent history.


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War on the Rocks: “Are CIA-Backed Syrian Rebels Really Fighting Pentagon-Backed Syrian Rebels?”

New from me on War on the Rocks:

Everyone, take a breath. CIA-backed Syrian rebels are not fighting Pentagon-backed Syrian rebels.


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