Playing with Fire: Why Private Gulf Financing for Syria’s Extremist Rebels Risks Igniting Sectarian Conflict at Home

Addressing vulnerability and promoting security
Posted Sep 30, 2014 | Brookings’ Saban Center, Elizabeth Dickinson

Kuwait has emerged as a financing and organisational hub for charities and individuals supporting Syria’s myriad rebel groups. These donors have taken advantage of Kuwait’s unique freedom of association and its relatively weak financial rules to channel money to some of the estimated 1,000 rebel brigades in Syria. In this paper for BrookingsSaban Center, Elizabeth Dickinson discusses the risk that private financing by Kuwaiti donors for Syria’s extremist rebels will ignite sectarian conflict in Gulf countries. The paper charts support by Kuwaiti donors for armed groups, which helped shape the ideological and, at times extremist, agendas of rebel brigades.


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