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Attacking Al-Qaeda in Syria

A robust information campaign to undermine al-Qaeda in Syria would help to mitigate, although not eliminate, the dangers of the civil war.
A fighter from the Islamist Syrian rebel group Jabhat al-Nusra is seen in front of a burning vehicle, caused by what activists said were missiles fired by a Syrian Air Force fighter jet from forces loyal to Syria's President Bashar al-Assad, at their base in Raqqa province, east Syria, May 12, 2013. REUTERS/Hamid Khatib (SYRIA - Tags: CONFLICT POLITICS CIVIL UNREST) - RTXZJTP

US President Barack Obama has made a compelling case that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s regime has used nerve agents to kill hundreds of Syrians. A decision to use military force against the Assad regime is now rightly being debated in Congress. The United States wants to find some way to strike Assad that does not benefit the most dangerous elements of the Syrian opposition — the al-Qaeda franchises that have become increasingly important in the Syrian civil war. One way is to better use information warfare against the al-Qaeda menace.

The intelligence case presented by Obama demonstrates clearly that the Syrian regime used the nerve agent sarin in August. The Centre d’Etudes et de Recherches Scientifiques, the agency that created Syria's chemical warfare arsenal and reports to Assad, has been directly implicated in the attack.

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