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Is "Greater Syria" Still Policy?

Reader comment on item: "Greater Syria" in the News

Submitted by Alex (United States), Jul 22, 2006 at 13:46

Does Dr. Pipes believe that Bashar still seeks a Greater Syria? Bashar's withdrawals from Alexandtretta in Turkey and from most of Lebanon seem to indicate that the idea of Bilad al-Shem has at least been put on hold.

Another interesting development is that jihadists in the Levant have in the past 18 months been referring to Bilad al-Shem as an area where they would like to usurp state institutions on behalf of zealous mass-movements, in line with the idea that "there is no such thing as an Islamic land, just a land where Muslims adhere to Shari'a."

A group calling itself "The Organization for Victory and Jihad in Bilad al-Shem" even claimed responsibility for the Hariri assasination, so I wonder whether al Qaida and Bashar's regime have entered into a dynamic whereby Syrian policy becomes increasingly coopted by the the much less particularistic goals of global jihad, the same way that Syrian policy has lately become subject to Iranian hegemony.

Submitting....

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Daniel Pipes replies:

"Does Dr. Pipes believe that Bashar still seeks a Greater Syria?"

No, by writing that "Greater Syria is a topic that has disappeared into the historical shadows," I was saying that this goal is not in play at present.

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Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

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