This paper assesses the position of the armed Syrian opposition four years after the militarization of the country’s revolution. It considers the implications of the shift in operations to ISIL-held territories in the north, which have become pivotal to the outcome of the conflict. Within this context, the continued internecine divisions that have paralyzed the armed Syrian opposition, specifically those armed groups operating as part of the Free Syrian Army, are considered anew. Internal divisions continue to reflect not only a multiplicity of foreign funding sources but are further rooted in the diversity of circumstances that lead to the formation of each group. Moscow’s direct military involvement in the Syrian conflict and the shift of international focus to the battle against ISIL have only served to highlight these divisions, diverting attention away from the crimes of the Syrian regime. Since the pressing needs of nearly half a decade of armed struggle against the Syrian regime have not pushed factions to unite, new tactics must be developed.
To read this Case Analysis in full, please click here or on the icon above or on the reader below. This Case Analysis was translated by the ACRPS Translation and English editing team. The original Arabic version appeared online on June 15, 2016 can be found here.