Hamid cited an article by IHS Janes analyst Charles Lister that explains how a new alliance of several important Islamist militant groups in Syria could be extremely damaging the Western-backed Syrian National Coalition (SNC) and its military arm, the Supreme Military Council (SMC).
Hamid then explained where U.S. policy went wrong: By failing to build an effective opposition, the U.S. pushed rebel groups toward al-Qaeda extremists.
The U.S. has been reluctant to provide Islamist-linked rebels with weapons throughout the 30-month conflict.
Meanwhile more hardline Islamists — including groups affiliated with al-Qaeda — have become increasingly influential on the battlefield because of superior weapons and organisations.
After U.S. recently championed a diplomatic route to end the war, several of the largest Islamist rebel groups chose to go their own way.
So basically, the idea of a “moderate” SMC backfired when the “swing Islamists” — rebels fighters with good relations with jihadi and moderate groups — decided to denounce the SNC and work more closely with extremist factions.
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