Are Al Qaeda-linked groups in Syria winning the hearts and minds of Syrians through new PR campaigns?
In the battle to win hearts and minds in the war-torn Syrian city of Aleppo, al-Qaeda has found a new weapon: ice cream.
It would be hard to make children sound happier than at an ice-cream eating contest. Especially perhaps in Aleppo, Syria ... a city that has endured two-and-a-half years of miserable warfare.
But the organizers of this particular contest add another layer of complication. It's the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant or ISIS .... Al-Qaeda's affiliate in Syria.
The group also arranged a friendly tug of war with a rival Islamist group -- Jabhat al-Nusra -- all in an effort to win support from a war-weary public... one increasingly skeptical of the Free Syrian Army's ability to crush the forces of President Bashar al Assad.
The rise of al-Qaeda -- coupled with Hezbollah's very effective intervention on behalf of President Assad -- are alarming turns for an opposition movement that had been harbouring high hopes.
To talk about the positive "PR campaign" and the Free Syrian Army, we were joined by:
This segment was produced by The Current's Geoff Turner, Catherine Kalbfleisch and Jessica deMello.If you have anything you want to say about what you hear on The Current - Contact us. Tweet us @thecurrentcbc. Follow us on Facebook. Or e-mail us through our website. Call us toll-free at 1 877 287 7366. And you can always write to us at PO Box 500, Station A, Toronto, M5W 1E6. And if you missed anything on The Current, grab a podcast.