Syrian opposition in race to convince skeptical Islamists

By REUTERS
November 22, 2012 18:04
1 minute read.

 
X

Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later Don't show it again

BEIRUT - Syria's new opposition leaders are struggling to win over powerful Islamist rebel combat units, whose radical elements question whether the "hotel warriors" of the fledgling coalition can offer their fighters any real support.

Islamists have established themselves as the most effective, best armed and fastest growing units in the 20-month-old uprising against Syrian President Bashar Assad.

Many of them are wary of the National Coalition for Syrian Opposition and Revolutionary Forces, set up earlier this month in an attempt to unify Assad's fractured opponents and win greater international support.

"They are the hotel warriors, we are the men in the trenches. No one should be allowed to marginalize us, politically or militarily. These coalitions are just fighting over us and not for us," said Yassir al-Karaz, a leader in the rebel Tawheed Brigade in northern Aleppo province.

Most rebels are conservative but politically moderate and willing to work with diverse opposition groups. But they were left to their own devices for months in an uprising they dubbed an "orphan revolution" and the challenge to bring them into the fold is made bigger by the rising role of radicals, including al-Qaida-style fighters in Syria.

Related Content

Breaking news
August 18, 2018
U.N. chief suggests options for improved Palestinian protection

By REUTERS