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The Syrian civil war is not a rallying call for the region's Shiite communities in the same way that it is for foreign Sunni jihadists. The involvement of the region's Shiite actors – Iran, Lebanon's Hezbollah and Iraqi groups – is often presented in religious terms. That is not to say that Syria has no religious significance for the Shiites. Rather, in contrast to some of the more avowedly Sunni Islamist groups among the opposition, who see in Syria the opportunity to establish an Islamic state as part of a broader regional caliphate, the Shiites fighting in this conflict don't appear to approach it as part of a broader Shiite project. So when reports of a Salafist desecration of a minor Shiite shrine in Syria emerged, accusations that Salafists were targeting Sayyida Zeinab began to resonate within the Shiite community.Furthermore, not all Shiites view the situation in Syria, or their need to intervene, in the same light. The religious motivation of other Shiite actors is much more limited.
Separate the Shiite revival from Iran
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