The Sectarianization of Syria


Fighters from the FSA’s Southern Front: “Syria is for all – Druze, Kurds, Alawi, Assyrians, Sunni, Christians”

This article originally appeared in The New Arab. Here is the unedited version …

As the brief lull in Russian bombing comes to an end, Aleppo is entering its biggest and perhaps its last battle. For most people in the liberated east of the city this is a battle of survival against a genocidal regime, and a battle for democracy too, because in their hard-won liberty they have built democratic councils and a free media. Yet Aleppo often looks to the outside world like a battle between sects, and with good reason. A small proportion of the city’s defenders are Sunni Jihadists with previous links to al-Qaida. On the Assad regime side, up to 80% of fighters are foreign Shia Jihadists organised, trained and funded by Iran.

Continue reading


London Anarchist Bookfair

Today I was invited to speak at the London Anarchist Bookfair, an event I was excited to attend, to talk about the situation in Syria. Unfortunately the event did not take place.  We were shut down by a guy called Amir Taaki (a British-Iranian who claims to be a developer of Bitcoin and someone who apparently Forbes magazine considered ‘their top 30 under 30 list for 2014’ as he had previously proudly told me by email) along with around seven of his friends (one dressed in full military garb, a real revolutionary maybe?)

Continue reading