Syria 2013: Rise of the Warlords

Syrian Revolution Digest

Prepared for a briefing that took place in Washington on January 15, 2013.


The regime is continuing its policy of holding on to big cities and main roads while surrendering the surrounding countryside to rebels. However, it seems inevitable now that the regime might be forced to relinquish its control over the north and northeast soon, a process that could begin within the next 2 to 3 months. This move will include Aleppo City, and the provinces of Deir Ezzor, Raqqa and Hassakeh. Continue reading “Syria 2013: Rise of the Warlords”

New Name, Same Problems

The New York Times – Room for Debate:

A new Syrian opposition group has earned diplomatic recognition from France and Britain.

National Coalition for Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces might offer more legitimate leaders than the Syrian National Council, but its rank and file are dominated by the same tired figures. Worse, the Muslim Brotherhood’s influence on the group’s decisions is even more pronounced, as the Brotherhood has reportedly gained more power within the coalition, far in excess of its actual support on the ground. Continue reading “New Name, Same Problems”

Syria’s Delicate Transition: An Interview with Ammar Abdulhamid

On November 19, 2012, Sharnoff’s Global Views interviewed Ammar Abdulhamid. Ammar is a Syrian dissident and founder of the Tharwa Foundation. He is currently a fellow at Foundation for Defense of Democracies.

SGV: On your Website, the Syrian Revolutionary Digest, you are described as “a liberal Syrian pro-democracy activist.” How do you define liberal with respect to freedom, democracy, human rights, minority rights and women’s rights?

AA: I believe in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and other international conventions on human rights, such as the Convention Eliminating All Forms of Discrimination Against Women.

Inspired by my liberal values I started my “career” as an activist by launching the Tharwa Project in Syria as an initiative meant to facilitate the processes of democratization in the country and the wider region by addressing the issue of minority rights and improving inter-communal relations in the country.

My liberalism also includes a belief in the free market system, albeit my faith is balanced by an equal commitment to union rights and universal healthcare among other checks on the system.  Continue reading “Syria’s Delicate Transition: An Interview with Ammar Abdulhamid”

Preacher takes opposition lead

Quoted in:

Those sceptical about his chances of reinvigorating and bringing together Syria’s opposition are doubtful less about the man himself than the possibility of anyone pulling off the task he has taken on. “[He is] a figure who has long managed to bridge . . .  communications between secular and Islamist groups on the ground,” wrote Ammar Abdulhamid, a US-based anti-regime activist, on his blog. “As such, he is a potentially unifying figure, and his touch will be needed in the days and months, if not years ahead.”