File - Militants bulldoze a berm dividing Iraq and Syria.
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A blistering jihadist offensive has sparked debate on the Middle East's colonial-era borders being redrawn, but experts say this is unlikely as Arabs have grown accustomed to their nation states.The Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS) posted pictures online this month of militants bulldozing a berm dividing Iraq and Syria, symbolizing its goal of uniting its forces in the two countries. From the ruins of the Ottoman Empire, the birth of a greater Arab kingdom as promised by the Britons never eventuated, with nation states still persisting.The Sykes-Picot Agreement, which was endorsed at the San Remo Conference in April 1920, riled Arab nationalists and Islamists, but the leaders of these new states have jealously held on to power and decolonization has changed little.For Sluglett, the jihadist offensive that this month captured tracts of land linking Syria and Iraq is little more than a "symbolic gesture".
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