Defeating the Jihadists in Syria: Competition before Confrontation

April 28, 2015 - 11:00 am

1030 15th Street, NW, 12th Floor (West Tower)
Washington, DC
Defeating the Jihadists in Syria: Competition before Confrontation

A conversation with:
Faysal Itani
Fellow, Rafik Hariri Center for the Middle East
Atlantic Council

The Hon. Robert Ford
Senior Fellow
Middle East Institute

Richard Barrett
Senior Vice President
The Soufan Group

Moderated by:
Kim Ghattas
State Department Correspondent
British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC)

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Since August 2014, the US-led coalition air campaign against the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) has successfully inflicted casualties on ISIS and weakened its oil revenues. In a new Atlantic Council report, "Defeating the Jihadists in Syria: Competition before Confrontation," Faysal Itani acknowledges these positive yet limited results, but also presents the unintended consequences of this air campaign and US policy options given local Syrian realities. 

Itani details how coalition efforts accelerated the rise of the Nusra Front, an al-Qaeda affiliate, and the near-collapse of nationalist rebel forces. He proposes a US strategy to assist nationalist insurgents to defeat ISIS and the Nusra Front–by enabling them to compete with and contain jihadist groups, and ultimately confront them. Please join us for a conversation about the author's findings with expert commentators. 

DATE:         Tuesday, April 28, 2015

TIME:        11:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. 
Light refreshments will be served. 

LOCATION:     Atlantic Council
1030 15th St NW, 12th floor (West Tower)
Washington, DC 20005



At the Hariri Center, Faysal Itani focuses on US policy in the Levant and Iraq, with an emphasis on the conflict in Syria and its regional impact.

The Hon. Robert Ford is Senior Fellow at the Middle East Institute and recently retired from the Foreign Service after serving as US Ambassador to Syria.

Richard Barrett is a former British diplomat and intelligence officer and is a recognized expert on violent extremism.

Kim Ghattas is the BBC's State Department Correspondent and was previously a Middle East Correspondent for the BBC and the Financial Times.