Rise of Radical Jihadists Setback for Syria

Nervana

Omar-al-Farouk-Brigade

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.

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