Separating Nusra Front From Syria’s Rebels Is Easier Said Than Done

Separating Nusra Front From Syria’s Rebels Is Easier Said Than Done
Smoke billowing as Nusra Front fighters attack the village of al-Ais, near Aleppo, in an image posted on the group's Twitter page, April 1, 2016 (Nusra Front via AP).

BEIRUT—Syria’s nationwide cessation of hostilities has made clear the growing rift between the country’s mainstream opposition and the Nusra Front, al-Qaida’s Syrian affiliate. But just as the cease-fire has highlighted these maybe irreconcilable differences, it has also shown the extent to which the Nusra Front is tangled up in and ultimately dependent on the rest of the Syrian opposition. The Nusra Front often sells itself as the beginning and end of the fight against the Syrian regime of Bashar al-Assad. But Nusra cannot win single-handedly. It is a symbiote—it can only succeed when it is attached to a Syrian opposition […]

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