24 Jan 2014

Syria’s rebel groups fighting Assad – clickable graphic

Progress at the Geneva II conference may be undermined by the fact that many of the opposition fighting groups in Syria are not represented at the talks. Our graphic explains who those groups are.

Ban Ki-moon has called the Geneva II peace conference, which opens on 24 January, “our long-awaited chance to end the violence”.

But the position of Syrian National Coalition, the western-backed “moderate” opposition to President Assad’s regime, is undermined by the fact that it does not represent, or speak for, the huge number of Islamist fighters in Syria.

The coalition’s link to the fighting is through the 140,000-strong Free Syrian Army. But there are other fighting groups inside Syria: the Syrian Islamic Liberation Front, together with the more extreme Syrian Islamic Front and the radical jihadist Al Nusrah group.

It is an indication of the challenge of Geneva II that most of the opposition groups described in our graphic reject the talks. Any gains achieved during discussions may not translate into compromise on the battlefield.

What is more, since Channel 4 News published its first interactive graphic of Syria’s rebel groups in May 2013, the number of those fighting the Assad regime has grown.

Click on the name of the group at the top to explore details about their size, weapons, beliefs – and who funds them.