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Al-Qaeda-linked group exploits ISIS decline in Aleppo

A recent field study in Aleppo finds Jabhat Al-Nusra and other "Islamic brigades" have benefited from the brutal tactics and unpopularity of the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS).
Members of Islamist Syrian rebel group Jabhat al-Nusra carry their weapons as they move towards their positions near Aleppo international airport which is controlled by forces loyal to Syria's President Bashar al-Assad January 28, 2014. Picture taken January 28, 2014. REUTERS/Ammar Abdullah (SYRIA - Tags: POLITICS CIVIL UNREST CONFLICT) - RTX17ZNO
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A four-month study of residents of Aleppo organized by the mapping firm First Mile Geo and Caerus Associates, a company founded by David Kilcullen, an Australian counter-insurgency expert and former aide to retired Gen. David Petraeus, suggests that international mediators are ignoring changing dynamics in Syria that have discredited both the Damascus government and, increasingly, the externally-based Syrian National Coalition.

The spreading catastrophe of the Syrian civil war has alienated most Syrians and indeed a plurality of 40% of the 561 Aleppo residents surveyed from September through January tend to believe that “no one” represents the Syrian people, according to the study.

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