Guido Steinberg

The New “Lions of Syria”

Salafist and Jihadist Groups Dominate Insurgency

SWP Comment 2014/C 19, April 2014, 8 Pages

Almost three years into the Syrian uprising, Islamist groups of various colour have established themselves as the dominant force among the rebels. The jihadists of the Nusra Front and the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria represent two especially powerful groupings. Their growing strength has led international donors to reduce their support, and has sown violent conflict among the rebel groups. This has strengthened the position of President Assad, who has been arguing ever since 2011 that his adversaries are terrorists. Today there are indeed Islamist terrorists on the ground, enormously complicating the West’s search for a Syria strategy. Neither the continuation of the Assad regime nor a take-over by the insurgents would be in the German interest. As long as this dilemma continues, Germany should concentrate on humanitarian aid and counter-terrorism, and to that end improve cooperation with Turkey.

SWP Research Paper

Muriel Asseburg
Reconstruction in Syria

Challenges and Policy Options for the EU and its Member States


Guido Steinberg
Regional Power United Arab Emirates

Abu Dhabi Is No Longer Saudi Arabia’s Junior Partner