Rise of Radical Jihadists Setback for Syria


This image of the Omar al-Farouq brigade was taken from the group’s website; Syrian Sunni rebel Khalid al-Hamad, who mutilated a corpse, is a member of the brigade.

I wrote this piece for  Al-Monitor, look forward to your comments.

The recent gruesome video of a Syrian rebel soldier, Khalid al-Hamad, mutilating a corpse has triggered shock and outrage, fueling a tense debate over the wisdom of supporting the armed uprising against President Bashar al-Assad. While some consider the video as the ultimate proof that backing the rebels is a bad idea, others view the radicalization and increasing brutality of the armed opposition as a direct result of the weak Western response and US dithering. This later opinion is based on the assumption that an early and decisive intervention in support of the moderate factions of the Syrian rebels would have marginalized the radicals and reduced their recruiting abilities.

While debating the brutal war in Syria — and the possible solutions and the inherit risks associated with each option — there are a few issues to consider about radical groups, the factors that help increase their power, and, more important, whether early military intervention would have prevented the radicalization of the Syrian opposition.

Collapse of the state

Undoubtedly, the collapse of law and order has had an enormous impact on the rise of non-state players, particularly radical groups. Even the short-term security vacuum has created enough of an opportunity for jihadists to pour in. For example, the January 2011 revolution in Egypt has compromised security and helped jihadists to build their own safe haven in the mountains of Sinai. Syria is no different; in fact, it is easier to get into Syria due to its porous border security, particularly along the borders with Iraq and Lebanon. The lack of intervention in Syria has resulted in a chronic collapse of law and order. Any military intervention, however, would also cause law and order to crumble, and result in a more acute form that would encourage (rather than discourage) radical groups to pour into Syria under the pretext of helping the rebels. Continue reading here

About nervana111

Doctor, blogger and Commentator on Middle East issues. The only practising doctor who write in Middle Eastern politics in UK.
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4 Responses to Rise of Radical Jihadists Setback for Syria

  1. Reblogged this on Al-Must'arib (the vocational Mossarab) and commented:
    Nervana Mahmoud hits right on the spot of my thoughts on the Syrian issue.


  2. great publish, very informative. I ponder why the other specialists of this sector do not notice this.

    You must continue your writing. I am sure, you have a huge readers’ base already!


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