Paul Wood

A new Islamist alliance among Syria’s rebels has given Assad the enemy he wants

Parts of northern Syria are already an Islamic emirate in the making

Credit: AP Photo/Hussein Malla, File

 Amman — Beirut — Istanbul

I recently bumped into a senior officer with the rebel Free Syrian Army who was waiting in the passport queue at the Turkish border. I didn’t recognise him at first, out of uniform and without his entourage, and I told him so. He was following the example of the 7th-century Second Caliph, Omar bin al Khattab, he replied.

Already a subscriber? Log in

Keep reading with a free trial

Subscribe and get your first month of online and app access for free. After that it’s just £1 a week.

There’s no commitment, you can cancel any time.


Unlock more articles


Written by
Paul Wood
Paul Wood was a BBC foreign correspondent for 25 years, in Belgrade, Athens, Cairo, Jerusalem, Kabul and Washington DC. He has won numerous awards, including two US Emmys for his coverage of the Syrian civil war

Topics in this article


Don't miss out

Join the conversation with other Spectator readers. Subscribe to leave a comment.

Already a subscriber? Log in