Syrian Conflict Attracts Many Foreign Radicals


The revolution in Syria, originated by its citizens in their fight for freedom, has been convoluted by the massive influx of radical Muslims who seek to establish strict Islamic rule in the region.

The Washington Institute for Near East Policy has estimated that over 11,000 foreign fighters are active in the Syrian conflict. Many of who hail from Turkey, Iraq and Lebanon, though there are some fighters who have traveled from as far away as Indonesia.

There are a multitude of Islamist groups that have sprung up in recent months to include the Green Battalion, the Suquor I-Izz, both of which are comprised of Saudis, the Jamaat Jund al-Sham from Lebanon and the Harakat Shat al-Islam, which was created by Moroccans. However, the most powerful group is undoubtedly the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS).

ISIS grew out of the rising violence in Iraq and has since spread into neighboring Syria. Its members seek to create a Caliphate spanning across both nations with their ultimate goal of spreading the Caliphate across the entire globe.

Such an extremely delusional yet highly motivated group has proven to be a very dangerous entity.

Despite the fact that both ISIS and the Free Syrian Army (FSA) are fighting Assad’s regime, ISIS has attacked the FSA on numerous occasions. In September, they forcibly seized the town of Azaz in northern Syrian from the FSA.

In July, ISIS fighters shot and killed a high-ranking commander of the FSA.

In November, ISIS reportedly killed a leader of Syrian based Islamist group, Ahrar al-sham.

Despite their mutual goal of overthrowing the regime, radical groups see anyone who does not share their extremist religious views as an enemy, thereby causing the infighting amongst the rebels.

As more factions form throughout the conflict, the possibility for violent clashes between revolutionaries will only increase.

The regime will be hard-pressed to effectively quell the dissent with so many militant groups to combat simultaneously.

However, resistance fighters will find it nearly impossible to oust the government while also battling rival factions.

Ultimately, Syria will likely be bogged down in heavy fighting for years to come, as no side will be able to muster a definitive victory. Sadly, the conflict that has already claimed over 100,000 lives and forced millions to flee their homes has no end in sight.

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