Split Between Islamist, Secular Fighters Growing in Syria

New SNC President, But Islamists Increasingly Suspicious of Democracy

Syria’s rebellion has been divided across several different factions for quite some time, and efforts to form an umbrella group have failed repeatedly. The divisions are still growing, and it’s hard to imagine the rebels ever coming to any sort of real agreement.

The Syrian National Coalition (SNC) reflects both the ambitions of the US and its utter failures, as the group continues to struggle with leadership battles and with little support among the fighters on the ground. The group finally agreed to another president, Ahmed Assi al-Jabra, but the compromise choice and the time it took to reach that decision just underscores the SNC’s weak position.

It’s just getting worse, too, as the coup in Egypt has more and more of the Islamist rebels opposed to the idea of democracy on general principle, having learned the lesson that force of arms trumps voter support.

The SNC isn’t exactly a straightforward pro-democracy group, but as it courts support from Western nations it must at least give that appearance, and certainly can’t endorse rebel fighters who see military conquest as the safest route to rule, and as a result they will continue to struggle to get even nominal support from those factions, which are the most influential on the ground.

Last 5 posts by Jason Ditz

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.