Backgrounds

The Opposition

In response to a brutal government crackdown on peaceful protests in 2011, defectors from Assad's army and regular civilians took up arms to fight back. Today, there hundreds of distinct armed factions fighting across the country. Secular groups have been sidelines by increasingly hardline Islamist factions, coalitions have come and gone, all while foreign funding an agendas have worked to shape narratives of their own. Click here to understand the broader trajectory of the political and armed opposition in Syria.