Syria 2013: Rise of the Warlords

Syrian Revolution Digest

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

MAP OF CONFLICT

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”

The Struggle for Syria’s Body & Soul!

According to Shaaban Abbod of An-Nahar, thestrugglebetween Islamists and secularists in Syria is intensifying. The recent sign in this regard can be seen in the open Letter to the President sent by Syria’s foremost Islamic scholars and Imams proclaiming the existence of an official conspiracy against Islamic education in the country. The leaders of this conspiracy seem to the secular forces in the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Religious Endowment (?), where the new Minister has just issued an edict against admitting students into religious schools at the preparatory level. Continue reading “The Struggle for Syria’s Body & Soul!”

Wet Dreams and Dry Realities!

The recentarticleby Shaaban Abboud on Islamic Movements in Syria highlights the fact that, in the final analysis and after all is said and done, these movements are formed along provincial rather than ideological lines, with personalities playing a huge role in this regard. Different sheikhs have different followers, disciples and devotees. They will compete with each other, and vilify each other, now somewhat quietly but tomorrow quite overtly, but they will eventually agree on one thing: the Shariah. Continue reading “Wet Dreams and Dry Realities!”