Syria Terrorist List Effort Still Deadlocked as Nations Bicker

Beyond ISIS and Nusra, Differences Abound on Lists

Several months ago, the effort to get Syrian peace talks going began with a UN call for the various interest nations getting together and agreeing on a formal list of Syrian rebels, deciding which are proper rebels and which are terrorists. To this day that list doesn’t exist.

The recent indications are that there’s been more than a little effort to get these lists together, but that every nation has a different idea who the “terrorists” are, and almost every faction in Syria has someone pushing for their inclusion at any given time.

The only real unanimity is that ISIS, and al-Qaeda’s Nusra Front will be on the terrorist side of the list, while everyone else is up for dispute. This includes Turkey pushing hard for all the Kurds to be terrorists, and the Saudis pushing for several other al-Qaeda-linked Islamist groups to be on the good rebel side.

But as the arguing goes on for months, it gets more absurd, with Egypt demanding that the Iranian government’s Quds Force be included as a terrorist group, leading Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif to suggest that the American CIA ought to also be included in that event.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of