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Author Cafarella, Jennifer, author

Title Syrian armed opposition powerbrokers / Jennifer Cafarella and Genevieve Casagrande
Published Washington, DC : Institute for the Study of War, 2016
Online access available from:
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Description 1 online resource (46 pages, approximately 68 pages total) : illustrations, color maps, color portraits
Series Middle East security report ; 29
Middle East security report ; 29
Contents Introduction. -- Methodology. -- Syrian armed opposition power brokers. -- Syrian armed opposition groups with powerbroker potential. -- Notes
Summary International negotiations to reach a political settlement in Syria have resumed, although serious challenges remain to reaching a political settlement. The opposition delegation attending the negotiations in Geneva does not actually speak for most of the armed opposition groups with power inside Syria. As such, it cannot enforce its own decisions. Creating a partner from Syria's armed opposition will be difficult, however. This opposition remains diverse and fractious in the sixth year of the war. Opposition groups frequently merge and disassociate, producing a dynamic churn that makes understanding the opposition challenging and developing policies to support the opposition difficult. The opposition is highly unlikely to cohere into a stable, unified structure in the near future without significant outside support and leadership. Nevertheless, there are identifiable powerful groups that shape general trends within the armed opposition and play leading roles in military operations and governance. Some of these groups offer the U.S. an opportunity to build an indigenous Sunni partner to defeat ISIS and al Qaeda in Syria, but only if the U.S. applies leadership, works smartly, and allocates sufficient resources. This report assesses the most powerful Syrian armed opposition groups on the battlefield as of March 16, 2016 and details key aspects of each group, including the group's leadership and perspective on Jabhat al-Nusra, that will need to inform American strategies in Syria. The armed groups examined in this report include groups that currently receive American support, groups that are potential American allies, and groups allied to al Qaeda in Syria that stand to gain additional power in the next year. This report updates part of the assessment of the armed opposition that ISW released in October 2015, titled "Syrian Opposition Guide, "ix which detailed all prominent armed opposition groups in Syria at the time. The report also lays the foundation for an upcoming report that outlines the requirements to produce a Sunni partner in Syria as a component of any course of action to destroy ISIS and al Qaeda in Syria
Notes "March 2016"--Cover
Bibliography Includes bibliographical references
Notes Online resource; title from PDF title page (ISW, viewed March 18, 2016)
Subject Civil War (Syria : 2011-)
Insurgency -- Syria -- Leadership
Syria -- History -- Civil War, 2011- -- Leadership
Form Electronic book
Author Casagrande, Genevieve, author
Institute for the Study of War (Washington, D.C.), publisher
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