Battleground Syria: Foreigners Flock to Fight in Sectarian War

'Civil War' Is Increasingly About Religious Divide, Not Syria

As the ongoing Syrian Civil War continues to get bloodier and more religious in tone, foreign fighters, who have been a real part of the conflict for a long time, are flocking to the nation in droves for a war that is less and less about Syria, and more about the age-old Sunni-Shi’ite schism.

The rebellion has relied on foreign jihadists to do heavy lifting almost from the start, when al-Qaeda openly endorsed them, and with the Egyptian government giving its own imprimatur, Egyptian Salafists are now planning to head to Syria to join the war.

As the rebellion becomes more religious and more foreign, regional Shi’ites are taking notice too which large numbers planning to take up arms and head to Syria to defend the Assad government from the “savages.”

Syria is the pretext, and Syria is the battleground, but a religious dispute that dates back to 632 and the death of Mohammed, the founder of Islam, is front and center in the conflict. The fate of Syria is increasingly an afterthought.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of