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The uprising that erupted in Syria in March last year has become the most protracted and destabilizing of all the revolutions now sweeping the Arab world. The Baath Party-led government of President Bashar al-Assad has been weakened by popular protest and international isolation, but the military core of the regime has remained largely intact.

With their hopes for a split in the regime fundament unfulfilled after more than a year of conflict, the opposition has little hope of defeating Assad on its own. He, in turn, seems equally unable to extinguish the protests. As the conflict grinds on, the anti-regime movement has increasingly turned to armed struggle, while sectarian sentiment is inflamed by conflict and violence. As Syria slides into civil war, Syria’s political opposition has a key role to play – but it has so far failed to effectively do so, due to its internal disagreements and structural weaknesses.

“Divided They Stand – An Overview of Syria’s Political Opposition Factions” is the most detailed description of Syria’s political opposition movement published to date. It describes the dynamics between the different groups and personalities, and explains the emergence of Syria’s main opposition coalitions, such as the Syrian National Council, as well as their complex internal tensions. The first part chronicles the history and development of the opposition before and during the revolution, while part two describes all the leading opposition factions and alliances, in addition to some thirty leading individual dissidents.

The author of the publication is Aron Lund, a Swedish writer and journalist, specialized in Middle Eastern affairs.

Published: 2012-07-05

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