The Naval Postgraduate School & The U.S. Department of Homeland Security

The Syrian Opposition: Taking a Closer Look

imageIn a new report by the Arab Reform Initiative, authors Bassma Kodmani and Félix Legrand argue that there is still hope for the original, democratically-focused opposition forces in Syria to regain some control and shape the future of the country. "Empowering the Democratic Resistance in Syria" discusses the events and circumstances that shaped the initially peaceful uprisings of 2011 into the violent events of today. Further, it surveys and identifies the opposition groups that are still committed to a free and democratic Syria.

Kodmani and co-author Legrand not only work for the Arab Reform Initiative, but also founded the NGO Initiative for a New Syria. Kodmani was a founding member of the Syrian National Council, which provides an insightful perspective. The authors comment that "as extremist groups sought to dominate in certain areas, efforts by mainstream Syrian groups to re-gain control of the resistance and re-instate its original objectives are leading to a de facto triangular struggle involving the regime, radical Jihadi groups and the democratic opposition." The Daily Beast also picked up on the report, noting the argument that a tactic of the Assad regime was to depict opposition forces as nothing more than terrorists.