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Friday, October 15, 2021
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The Assad Regime’s Business Model for Supporting the Islamic State

The Syrian regime made this strategic decision to enable and facilitate the continued survival of the Islamic State in Syria in an effort to paint all of the Syrian opposition as “terrorists.”

The regime of Bashar al-Assad consistently supported the Islamic State (ISIS) when the group controlled significant amounts of territory, even as the regime struggled to retake control of Syrian territory from the various rebel groups engaged in the Syrian civil war, including ISIS. One key tactic of the regime’s strategy was to focus its military efforts against the moderate Syrian rebel groups opposing the Assad dictatorship, in particular the Free Syrian Army (FSA), and not the Islamic State group. Assad typically would be involved in any major decisions, and government officials would be wary of the consequences of making sensitive decisions or taking sensitive actions without Assad’s prior approval. It is therefore inconceivable that Syrian intelligence could have assisted, facilitated or tolerated ISIS operatives without prior decision-making at the highest levels of the Syrian government. The Syrian regime made this strategic decision to enable and facilitate the continued survival of the Islamic State in Syria in an effort to paint all of the Syrian opposition as “terrorists.”

In May 2011, in the wake of some of the early Arab Spring protests in Syria, the Syrian government began to release hardline Islamist terrorists in the first of a series of official government amnesties. Decree No. 61, for example, issued in May 2011 covered “all members of the Muslim Brotherhood and other detainees belonging to political movements.”

Read more at Lawfare

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The Government Technology & Services Coalition's Homeland Security Today (HSToday) is the premier news and information resource for the homeland security community, dedicated to elevating the discussions and insights that can support a safe and secure nation. A non-profit magazine and media platform, HSToday provides readers with the whole story, placing facts and comments in context to inform debate and drive realistic solutions to some of the nation’s most vexing security challenges.

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