Update on the Syrian Conflict

“One Kuwait-based effort raised money to equip 12,000 rebel fighters for $2,500 each. Another campaign, run by a Saudi sheikh based in Syria and close to Al Qaeda, is called “Wage Jihad With Your Money.” Donors earn “silver status” by giving $175 for 50 sniper bullets, or “gold status” by giving twice as much for eight mortar rounds. …

Kuwait lacks a tough police state like those that have cracked down on such activity in other gulf states, and a range of Islamists participate in its relatively open political system. A number of former members of Parliament actively raise funds, and some have traveled to Syria to meet their rebel allies. Kuwait’s turning a blind eye to the fund-raising has upset Washington. The nation’s location and banking system also make it easy for donors from more restrictive countries to wire money in or drive it across the border for drop-off. Some fund-raisers and donors have amplified the conflict’s sectarian overtones, calling for revenge against Shiites and Alawites, the sect of Mr. Assad.” (http://www.nytimes.com/2013/11/13/world/middleeast/private-donors-funds-add-wild-card-to-war-in-syria.html?hp&_r=0)

  • Syrians on Both Sides of the War Increasingly See Assad as Likely to Stay:

“A growing number of Syrians on both sides of their country’s conflict, along with regional analysts and would-be mediators, are demanding new strategies to end the civil war, based on what they see as an inescapable new reality: President Bashar al-Assad is staying in office, at least for now.

They say the insistence from the United States-backed opposition that Mr. Assad must go before peace talks can begin is outdated, failing to reflect the situation on the ground. Rather, they say, a deal to end or ease the violence must involve Mr. Assad and requires more energetic outreach to members of his government and security forces, with concrete proposals and reassurances that could bring compromise. They also contend that the American-backed exile opposition coalition that remains at the center of Washington’s policy has little relevance and no respect from combatants on either side.” (http://www.nytimes.com/2013/11/09/world/middleeast/syrians-and-observers-increasingly-see-assad-as-likely-to-stay.html?src=recg)

About angelajoya

Assistant Professor, Middle East Political Economy, at the University of Oregon. Currently writing on the Egyptian revolution and the Syrian crisis.
This entry was posted in Al Qaeda, Diplomacy, Syria and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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