Thomas Hegghammer is a senior research fellow at the Norwegian Defence Research Establishment in Oslo. He has held fellowships at the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton and at Harvard, Princeton, New York and Stanford universities
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At the start of the Syrian conflict in 2011, thousands of pro-democracy rebel groups spontaneously formed to fight the Assad regime. Years later, the revolution was unrecognizable as rebel opposition forces had merged into three major groups: Jabhat al-Nusra, Ahrar al Sham, and the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS). Why did these three groups ...