MOSCOW, August 22 (RIA Novosti) – The immediate threat coming from the brutal Islamic State insurgency in Syria appears to be welding together the country split between pro-government and rebel forces, according to Abdallah Ali, an expert on the Middle East and Islamism in the region.
“Some groups within the so-called ‘Free Syrian Army’ have entered a dialogue with the Syrian government’s armed forces. Moreover, Free Syrian Army’s founder Riad Asaad said in his Twitter blog yesterday that some FSA battalions wanted to re-join the ranks of the Syrian Army and fight against IS under the Syrian state banner,” Abdallah Ali told Rossiya Segodnya news agency.
The pundit said this shift in the balance of powers in the country could lead to rapprochement in certain areas of Syria, in particular in and around Damascus where a truce between the two major warring parties – those pro- and anti-President Bashar Assad – had previously taken hold.
Abdallah Ali said that, in addition to the first signs of a thaw between the government and rebels, some militant brigades in Syria’s patchwork of rebel groups had been closing their ranks against the radical Islamist organization, forming “blocs of resistance” to IS insurgency.
The Sunni Muslim insurgency, commonly known as the Islamic State or IS, controls swathes of land in Syria and northern Iraq. Their radical take on Islam has already forced tens of thousands of Christians, Shias and Yazidis to flee their homes in Iraq’s Kurdistan alone.