Washington, D.C. – Fifteen months into the uprising in Syria, international leaders are still struggling to figure out how to support Syria’s evolving opposition. In his new report Senior Research Analyst Joseph Holliday suggests that external support to the insurgency could do as much harm as good if it is not directed in a way that reinforces the growth of responsible rebel organizations.
As the international community debates how to slow the bloodshed in Syria, leaders in the Syrian government and the opposition have tried to use elections to gain popular support. Yet parliamentary elections in Syria and the presidential election at the Syrian National Council in May both led to more division. In a new backgrounder from the Institute for the Study of War, Research Analyst Elizabeth O’Bagy examines the effects of the May 2012 parliamentary elections in Syria and the power struggle within the Syrian National Council and other developing political opposition groups.
President Bashar al-Assad’s regime held parliamentary elections in early May in an effort to create a narrative of democratic transition and to offer fence-sitters the belief that peaceful reform was possible.