The opposition movement in Syria has been fragmented from its inception, a direct reflection of Syria’s social complexity and the decentralized grassroots origin of the uprising. This condition has plagued Syria’s armed opposition since peaceful protestors took up arms and began forming rebel groups under the umbrella of the Free Syrian Army (FSA) in the summer of 2011.
On March 4, 2013, rebel groups overran government forces in al-Raqqa city, the first provincial capital and only urban center to fall to rebel hands since the start of the uprising.
Sunni insurgents ambushed a convoy of Iraqi and Syrian troops inside Iraq on March 4, 2013, marking the clearest example of spillover from the Syrian conflict into Iraq since the beginning of the Syrian uprising in early 2011.
Following the February 28 Friends of Syria meeting, Secretary of State John F. Kerry announced that the U.S. will provide non-lethal aid, including food and medicine, to Syrian rebel fighters under the auspices of the Supreme Military Command of the Free Syrian Army.
Current estimates of Syrian opposition strength have generated confidence that the Assad regime will be defeated militarily. This assessment cannot be made without also estimating the real fighting power of the Syrian regime.
Elizabeth O'Bagy talks to NPR's Deborah Amos about the Syrian Opposition