The Levant region has experienced a tremendously unstable three-and-a-half years. In Syria, what was once a populist revolution is now a brutal and protracted civil war, in which Sunni jihadism has flourished. In Iraq, a divisive central government alienated a powerful Sunni minority and empowered the so-called Islamic State (IS) group. Combined, conflict in Syria and Iraq has provided a ripe environment for the emergence, growth, and consolidation of jihadist militancy, which to varying extents has spilled over into parts of Lebanon, Turkey, Jordan, Israel, and the Palestinian Territories.
With the world’s attention now focused on combating IS and Al-Qaeda in Syria and Iraq, what does the future hold for jihadist militancy in the Levant? Will airstrikes and other existing coalition-led efforts be sufficient to contain or destroy these groups? Will such military intervention spark an increased threat of blowback abroad? In short, what does the future hold?
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