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A Guide to the Major Warring Parties in Syria

Key internal actors Syrian Government — President Bashar al-Assad, of Shi'ite offshoot Alawite minority, dubs all opponents, civilian or armed, "terrorists;" indiscriminately kills civilians, as well as armed opposition. Relatively Moderate and Islamic Nationalist Opposition — Includes Western-backed Free Syrian Army, countless local militias seeking Assad's ouster. Mainly Sunni. At times, has sided with hardline Islamists when battlefield circumstances have dictated;...

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