The Broader Nature of the Conflict in Iraq and Syria – Jonathan Spyer
(dailyalert.org, Oct. 15, 2014)
Seeing Syria, and increasingly Iraq, as wars between central governments taking on insurgencies challenging the nature of their rule is increasingly a redundant way to see this conflict. A better frame for seeing both conflicts is as a single sectarian war taking place across borders in Iraq, Syria, and increasingly Lebanon. We can see a united Shia/minority alliance, a much more confused picture on the Sunni Arab side, and a Kurdish contiguous area of control separated by the rivalries of two pan-Kurdish political organizations.
The heartland of the Islamic State is in Raqqa city in Syria. If you want to destroy the Islamic State, you – or someone on your behalf – will have to go into Raqqa city and take on and defeat them. It is not clear who that candidate could possibly be. If somebody believes that the Syrian rebels are going to march into Raqqa city and defeat the Islamic State, they are dreaming. The writer is a senior research fellow at the GLORIA Center at the Interdisciplinary Center, Herzliya.(Fathom-BICOM)
(Click on the article’s title to see the whole article…Ed.)