Lebanese pop star Fadel Shaker gave unique momentum to jihadists in Syria when he took up their cause in 2012. But his sudden defection has had the opposite effect.
Mr. Shaker is the latest and the most high-profile of hundreds of jihadist fighters and supporters turning their backs on Islamist militias in Syria, disillusioned after three years of warfare failed to improve conditions for Sunni Muslims or establish Islamic law.
Shaker stunned the music industry and the wider Arab world in September 2012 by renouncing his multimillion-dollar music career for hard-line Islamist activism. He aligned himself with Lebanese jihadist cleric Ahmed al-Assir, who reportedly maintains strong ties with Al Qaeda-linked Jabhat al-Nusra.