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The Syrian opposition is in a rare position of power, at least internationally.Even though the opposition's National Coalition welcomed the American move against ISIS, the political opposition is still waiting for an invitation to play a role, rather than proactively presenting a vision for a way out for the Syrian crisis.On Sept. 10, seven groups affiliated with the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG), Free Syrian Army and the Islamic Front, among them Kurdish and Arab fighters, announced a small yet symbolically significant coalition to fight ISIS in eastern Syria.Even though rebels on the ground are willing and prepared to fight ISIS, the political opposition has a critical role to play. The areas tightly controlled by ISIS will require an assiduous effort to organize groups that could fill any vacuum left by ISIS as a result of the potential airstrikes. The U.S.-led coalition will have to consider aligning with rebel groups from adjacent areas outside ISIS control, combined with effective air operations, before expecting a popular impetus against the group.Airstrikes against ISIS will provide the opposition with an opportunity to work alongside countries that long doubted its ability to rule a post-Assad Syria.
The Islamic State expands in Syria
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