New from me for The Century Foundation:
Syria’s former al-Qaeda affiliate and a set of hardline allies have taken over the country’s rebel-held northwest, the last bastion of determined opposition to the regime of Bashar al-Assad. They’re apparently convinced they can reverse the rebellion’s downward trajectory and kneecap “defeatists” within the opposition who might settle for anything less than toppling the regime. And they think they can rebalance the opposition’s lopsided relationships with its foreign backers, forcing countries like Turkey and the United States to engage them on their terms.
They’re wrong. And by hijacking Syria’s armed opposition and placing its core under unambiguous jihadist control, they’ve likely sealed its fate.