Skip to main content

Are Syria’s Salafi movements witnessing a split?

The creation of Jaish al-Sham might be indicative of widening ideological fissures inside Ahrar al-Sham and other Salafi movements in Syria.

The Syrian Salafi scene witnessed in October the emergence of a new fighting force called Jaish al-Sham, which appears to have distanced itself from other hard-liners by embracing populist and nationalist slogans.

With the polarization of the Syrian military scene, Salafi organizations such as Ahrar al-Sham have gained power and notoriety. The militant group, which is active around the Idlib region, is also present in Hama and Daraa. According to the University of Stanford’s website, Ahrar al-Sham is perceived as a more moderate Islamist alternative to other Salafi factions.

Access the Middle East news and analysis you can trust

Join our community of Middle East readers to experience all of Al-Monitor, including 24/7 news, analyses, memos, reports and newsletters.


Only $100 per year.