Morgenbladet, 17 January 2014

The longer the Assad regime remains in power, the stronger the jihadists get, says the author Yassin al-Haj Saleh, a former political prisoner in Syria.

‘The revolution is no longer only against the dictatorial regime of Bashar al-Assad. Now there are three parties inthis conflict, and we are fighting on two fronts’, says al-Haj Saleh by telephone from Turkey, where he has been since October, when he fled his home country Syria. For 16 years he was a political prisoner during the regime of Hafez al-Assad, the father of the present dictator in Damascus.

Al-Haj Saleh is a veteran in the secular, Syrian opposition and a highly respected intellectual. Now he is deeply concerned by the fact that Islamist groups like Islamic state in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) or the al-Nusra Front is gaining ground on the Syrian battlefield.

‘Our situation resembles what the Spanish revolutionaries experienced in the civil war between 1936 and 1939. They were confronted with the falangist fascist groups of Franco and with Stalinist groups supported by the Soviet Union.’

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