Al-Qaeda vs. Hizballah

Mohammed Azakir / Reuters

Forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar Assad celebrate the defeat of rebels in the city of al-Qusayr on June 5

The battle for the soul of Syria has taken an even deadlier turn over the past two months. The strategic center of the Middle East is also now a battleground between Hizballah and al-Qaeda, the region's two toughest extremist movements. The groups, both with roots outside Syria, represent rival versions of jihadism. Both use the same repugnantly violent tactics and advocate rigid Islamic rule: they're just from different sects.

This war within the war carries new dangers for the Middle East, for Islam and for the outside world. The regionalization of...

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