Britain Courting Islamist Factions to Keep Syria War Going

Face-to-Face Meetings With Rebels Demanding Harsh Sharia State

The British government, with the blessings of other Western powers, have held “face-to-face” meetings with the leaders of several Islamist factions in the Syrian rebellion, hoping to establish ties with them as the more pro-West secular blocs become less and less relevant.

The “why” behind this remains an unanswered question, as the talks apparently began as feelers over whether or not the factions were comfortable allying with the secular Free Syrian Army (FSA).

But the factions in question are vehemently opposed to the FSA, having closer ideological ties with the al-Qaeda blocs in Syria, and with the FSA openly talking about reintegrating into the Assad government just to fight al-Qaeda and the other Islamists, that’s clearly a non-starter.

Instead, it suggests Britain may be trying to keep its options open in the event the FSA does jump ship from their regime-change ambitions, and would just shift its aid to its new allies to keep the war going and ensure they’ve got a dog in the fight – no matter who that dog winds up being.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of