The Syrian Jihad: Al-Qaeda, the Islamic State and the Evolution of an Insurgency

The Syrian Jihad Al Qaeda the Islamic State and the Evolution of an Insurgency The eruption of the anti Assad revolution in Syria has had many unintended consequences among which is the opportunity it offered Sunni jihadists to establish a foothold in the heart of the Middle Ea

  • Title: The Syrian Jihad: Al-Qaeda, the Islamic State and the Evolution of an Insurgency
  • Author: Charles R. Lister
  • ISBN: 9780190462475
  • Page: 308
  • Format: Paperback
  • The eruption of the anti Assad revolution in Syria has had many unintended consequences, among which is the opportunity it offered Sunni jihadists to establish a foothold in the heart of the Middle East That Syria s ongoing civil war is so brutal and protracted has only compounded the situation, as have developments in Iraq and Lebanon Ranging across the battlefields andThe eruption of the anti Assad revolution in Syria has had many unintended consequences, among which is the opportunity it offered Sunni jihadists to establish a foothold in the heart of the Middle East That Syria s ongoing civil war is so brutal and protracted has only compounded the situation, as have developments in Iraq and Lebanon Ranging across the battlefields and international borders have been dozens of jihadi Islamist fighting groups, of which some coalesced into significant factions such as Jabhat al Nusra and the Islamic State This book assesses and explains the emergence since 2011 of Sunni jihadist organizations in Syria s fledgling insurgency, charts their evolution and situates them within the global Islamist project Unprecedented numbers of foreign fighters have joined such groups, who will almost certainly continue to host them Thus, external factors in their emergence are scrutinized, including the strategic and tactical lessons learned from other jihadist conflict zones and the complex interplay between Al Qaeda and the Islamic State and how it has influenced the jihadist sphere in Syria Tensions between and conflict within such groups also feature in this indispensable volume.

    One thought on “The Syrian Jihad: Al-Qaeda, the Islamic State and the Evolution of an Insurgency”

    1. Writing about a moving target is very difficult, but this is the most detailed look at the Syrian crisis that I have seen. Published in 2015, this work discusses events from 2011 up to September of 2015. Charles Lister has fantastic access as scholar and advisor with Brookings Institute, and not all this material is easily available in innumerable newspaper reports. He spent four years researching and writing about the incredibly complex fighting environment in Syria: "By early 2015 at least 150 [...]

    2. Deeply inadequate. A more accurate title of this book would be "The Syrian Jihad The US wants You to Freak Out About". This book does tell the story of ISIS and Al Nusra compellingly (Al Nusra is the Al Queda affiliate in Syria). The rest of the book is quite confused, and if it does not willingly obfuscate, it has that effect nonetheless. The book, much like US policy, is dedicated to the proposition that there is a deeply legitimate Syrian Revolution going on somewhere, and these Jihadist folk [...]

    3. Very granular and detailed account of the Islamist parties and jihadist groups taking part in the Syrian uprising. Most interesting segments dealt with Ahrar al-Sham composition and history, as well at tidbits of historical AQC involvement (the parts on Abu Musab al-Suri were especially fascinating). The author is one of the few people who has had close access to many of the main players (notably the late Hassan Abboud) and is thus able to offer a perspective that is more than just conjecture.De [...]

    4. This book provides a comprehensive descrption of what happened in Syria the past years. The writer gives a chronological, very detailed account of all battle facts, militias and developments in the war of attrition between the Syrian government and its manyl opposing factions.Notwithstanding many difficult-to-pronounce names of actors and factions, I found the book a page-turner; it is clear the writer is very well informed and provides the reader with an oppressive accounr of the developments o [...]

    5. Fantastic entry point into the Syrian (and Iraqi) civil conflict(s). Is Syria the most complex civil war in modern history? It probably is.

    6. This was a tough book to rate, deserving anywhere from 2 to 5 stars depending on perspective. The comprehensive, chronological reporting on the rise of jihadist and other anti-Assad forces in Syria is likely unparalleled. For academics, foreign policy experts and journalists interested in accurately depicting the struggles in Syria, this piece of historic reporting is essential background. But the material is dense and it's chronological ordering made gleaning insights a challenge. In addition, [...]

    7. A thorough book on the development and impact of the islamist armed groups in Syria.The author describes the events in chronological order (after giving some historical background on Syria) and goes down to the level of central individuals and their backgrounds. Despite the detail I found it easy to follow the text and the developments described there. I did have some background knowledge on the topic, which probably helped, but I think the book was very clearly written – as clearly as one can [...]

    8. From start to the end of 2015 Lister lets you follow the development of the armed opposition in Syria, with a focus on ISIS, al-Nusra and Ahrar al-Sham as well as smaller groups that could be labelled as salafist. This book is an absolute gem packed with details on the different groups, battles, back-stabbing (actual and written/verbal) and the ebb and flow of the war. What stood out to me was how ISIS throughout came to be a major enemy of the rest of the armed opposition, how they seem to prop [...]

    9. Stunning. The author truly knows his subject -- possibly better than anyone else writing in English. Had he modified his tone and pace more, I wouldn't have hesitated with my rating.

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