Political Opposition in Syria Becoming More Organized, New ISW Report Shows

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Stephanie Robson(202) 253-1150 [email protected] April 9, 2012

Washington, D.C. – As UN monitors arrive and the international leaders continue to debate how to support the opposition in Syria, the next step may be determining who would lead if President Bashar al-Assad’s government falls. In a new report from the Institute for the Study of War, researcher Elizabeth O’Bagy examines the political opposition evolving in Syria, including the Syrian National Council (SNC), the National Coordination Committee (NCC) and the grassroots protest movement.

“The established political coalitions such as the SNC have articulated a national vision for a post-Assad future and have received nominal support from the international community, yet they lack strong networks and popular legitimacy inside Syria,” O’Bagy writes. “On the other hand, the grassroots political opposition has gained the support of the people, but it lacks a national vision and united front as the basis for international support.”

“Syria’s Political Opposition” details the groups that have organized protests and interfaced with the international community on behalf of the opposition since demonstrations started in March 2011. Many of the leaders of the SNC and the NCC have actively opposed the government since the early 1980s, while demonstrators on the ground tend to be youths protesting the government for the first time.

This is the third report on Syria ISW has published as part of its Middle East Security Project. Senior Research Analyst Joseph Holiday wrote “ Syria’s Armed Opposition,” an in-depth look at the Free Syrian Army and its affiliates, and “ The Struggle for Syria in 2011: An Operational and Regional Analysis,” an examination of the first months of the revolution.


To talk to a Syria analyst, please contact Stephanie Robson at [email protected] or at (202) 253-1150.




The Institute for the Study of War (ISW) is a non-partisan, non-profit, public policy research organization. ISW advances an informed understanding of military affairs through reliable research, trusted analysis, and innovative education. We are committed to improving the nation’s ability to execute military operations and respond to emerging threats in order to achieve U.S. strategic objectives.



Push to Front Latest from ISW: