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Stop Fanning the Flames

Author: Ed Husain, Adjunct Senior Fellow for Middle Eastern Studies
August 9, 2012
New York Times

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Fully attuned to the direction in which the wind is blowing in Syria, the country's Muslim Brotherhood recently declared the creation of its own militia. It is not alone. The Brotherhood adds its gun-carriers to an array of vigilante fighters ranging from the detested shabbiha of the pro-government Alawites, to a plethora of self-proclaimed jihadist battalions that fight beside the Free Syrian Army.

These rival armed groups are not only fighting to remove Assad from power, but have conflicting visions of what a post-Assad Syria should look like. If their ideological, religious and ethnic divisions were not bad enough, then add to the mix the financial support from neighboring countries for different factions, the unhealed emotions swirling throughout the population of those seeking revenge and justice, and a growing sense of entitlement among many to govern. This combination does not bode well for Syria's future.

Unless the current trajectory is changed, the country is headed toward an all-out civil war.

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