Rafik Hariri Center Nonresident Fellow Mona Alami writes for Al-Monitor on the creation and implications of Jaish al-Sham:

The Syrian Salafi scene witnessed in October the emergence of a new fighting force called Jaish al-Sham, which appears to have distanced itself from other hard-liners by embracing populist and nationalist slogans.

With the polarization of the Syrian military scene, Salafi organizations such as Ahrar al-Sham have gained power and notoriety. The militant group, which is active around the Idlib region, is also present in Hama and Daraa. According to the University of Stanford’s website, Ahrar al-Sham is perceived as a more moderate Islamist alternative to other Salafi factions.

On Oct. 16, Carnegie Endowment’s researcher Aron Lund, who is the editor of the website Syria in Crisis, published a report on a new faction that appears to have resulted from a split within Ahrar al-Sham.

“The creation of Jaish al-Sham reflects the feeling of unease experienced within Ahrar al-Sham,” Sinan Hatahet, a researcher at think tank Omran Dirasat, told Al-Monitor. Omran Dirasat, based in Istanbul, also published a report on the new faction.

Read the full article here.

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