Hama's Ominous Shadow and the Stalled Jihadist War in Syria
Abstract

Little has been written about the Syrian Civil War and its relationship to the 1980s revolutionary period. This essay examines this historical connection and emphasizes the unique features that drive the current rebellion. The essay has five sections. First, it lays out the historical roots of the current confessional-political conflict. Second, it provides an overview of the Muslim Brotherhood–led 1979 – 82 rebellion and its defeat in Hama. Third, it discusses the role that the Muslim Brotherhood revolt plays in the current conflict. Fourth, it analyzes jihadist infighting that has weakened the insurgency. Finally, it assesses the role that Russian, Iranian, and Hezbollah intervention has had in bolstering the regime of Bashar al-Assad. Syria's jihadist revolt has limited but important parallels to the failed 1982 Muslim Brotherhood insurrection. Even with the regime's conquest of Aleppo, the Islamist defeat in today's war is far from certain, although the current jihadist insurgency has stalled.


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