The gash on Abu Ahmed’s face has almost healed but the
troubling memory of Syrian rebels thrashing him with rifle butts evokes
fear of another looming war: an intra-rebel conflict.
groups battling a common enemy — the regime of President Bashar
al-Assad — are frequently confronting each other, with ideological
rifts emerging in the highly fragmented opposition as Syria’s civil war
grinds on in its third year.
“As the situation in Syria continues to deteriorate, clear
fault lines marking the battle for post-Assad Syria are emerging. In
particular, rivalries among different rebel groups are taking shape
along ideological lines,” said Mona Yacoubian, a senior adviser for the
Middle East at the Washington-based Stimson Center.
with a more moderate, inclusive vision of post-Assad Syria are pitted
against more radical extremists with an ultra-conservative
interpretation of Islam. Already these groups have engaged in limited
skirmishes with each other.”
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