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Washington Institute: Battling the Lion: Syria's Domestic Opposition and the Asad Regime

Author: Seth Wikas
May 1, 2007


In Syria, the U.S. government would be better served by focusing its efforts on building stronger relationships with members of the opposition and bringing willing civic dissidents to the United States to speak with U.S. government officials about conditions within Syria. The U.S. government should carefully follow the manifestations of rising Islamism within Syria and how the Syrian government is reacting to them. In the short term, the domestic opposition remains weak and cannot be seen as a vehicle for change, but the United States can quietly assist the opposition’s endeavors. U.S. engagement on Syria should focus on weakening Syria ’s allies, Iran and Russia, and convincing European and regional actors to isolate and pressure Syria to bring about a change in the regime’s behavior.

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