Islam in the Middle East: Saudi Arabia Backs Rebels

A column in Reuters this week explores a recent move by Saudi Arabia to unite rival Islamist groups under a single Saudi-backed command. The move by Saudi Arabia to consolidate the rebel groups is in response to the rise of Al Qaeda in Syria.

Rebel and diplomatic sources said it was Saudi Arabia which nudged rebel brigades operating in and around Damascus to announce this week that they have united under a single command comprising 50 groups and numbering some thousands of fighters.

There are many layers to the conflict in Syria. This story helps explain which players in the Middle East are involved with which rebel groups. Read the full column from Reuters here.

A view of damaged buildings in the Damascus suburb of Zamalka October 3, 2013. REUTERS/Bassam Al Arbeeni

A view of damaged buildings in the Damascus suburb of Zamalka October 3, 2013. REUTERS/Bassam Al Arbeeni

PRAY FOR SYRIA
As the fighting between President Bashar al-Assad’s forces and rebel forces continues, pray for Syria. Pray for the people who are refugees outside the country and for those who have been displaced within Syria’s borders. Pray for those who were affected by the chemical weapons strike six weeks ago.

Read the story of a Syrian suburb that stands defiantly against government forces even as it mourns its loss from the sarin attack here.

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