REPORT: Claims a Third of Syrian Rebels ‘Share Islamic State Aims’

Screen Shot 2015-12-20 at 9.58.34 AMWell they want Assad out of power, that much is certain. But it’s scary what else they agree on.

About a third of rebel groups in Syria – some 100,000 fighters – share the ideology of so-called Islamic State (IS), new research suggests.

The Centre on Religion and Geopolitics, linked to former UK Prime Minister Tony Blair, said defeating IS militarily “would not end global jihadism”.

That would require an “intellectual and theological defeat” of its ideology.

The Syrian conflict has killed more than 250,000 people. Millions more have been displaced.

A Western coalition has been carrying out air strikes against IS in Syria and Iraq for more than a year.

In September, Russian forces began air strikes against rebels in Syria, targeting “all terrorists”, including IS. However, Western-backed groups are also reported to have been hit.

UN resolution

The Centre on Religion and Geopolitics, an initiative of the Tony Blair Faith Foundation, says that Syria now hosts the largest gathering of jihadi groups in modern times.

The report, due to be published on Monday, says the greatest danger to the international community are groups who share the IS ideology but are currently being ignored – they number about 100,000 fighters.

Read more: BBC

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