ISIS and the Battle for Syria

Talk Wednesday 19 February 2014, 7:00 PM

The uprising in Syria began as a battle between Syrians and the regime of Bashar al-Assad, but the situation in the country now is much more complicated. With foreign fighters streaming in to join al-Qaeda-affiliated groups, such as the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS), the conflict has entered a new phase.

As fighting between the Syrian opposition and al-Qaeda-affiliated groups intensifies, we will be bringing together a panel to offer a picture of what is happening on the ground in Syria. We will be looking at the groups involved, how they have developed, and their power and influence in the country and further afield.

With the conflict spilling into Iraq, we will be asking what the international community should be doing to prevent further expansion of groups such as ISIS in the region.

Chaired by Lindsey Hilsum, international editor at Channel 4 News and author of Sandstorm; Libya in the Time of Revolution.

The panel:

Raffaello Pantucci is a senior research fellow at the Royal United Services Institute for Defence and Security Studies (RUSI).

Aymenn Jawad Al-Tamimi is a student at Brasenose College, Oxford University, and a Shillman-Ginsburg at the Middle East Forum. He focuses on developments in Syria and Iraq, particularly jihadist militant groups.

Kim Sengupta is the defence and diplomatic correspondent at The Independent.

Malik Al-Abdeh is a British-Syrian freelance journalist based between London and Antakya. He previously worked for the BBC and Reuters and was co-founder of Barada TV. He now reports from inside Syria and serves as a consultant on Syrian affairs for NGOs and media organisations.

Photography: Ayman Oghanna

ALEPPO, August 3rd 2012. In areas liberated by the Free Syrian Army, protestors took to Aleppo’s streets to demonstrate against the Assad regime, following Friday prayers.