9 page study on the Rebel Groups in Syria
9 page study on the Rebel Groups in Syria- http://www.understandingwar.org/sites/default/files/Backgrounder_RebelGroupsJebelAlZawiyah.pdf
Washington, D.C. - As fighting persists in Syria and the Assad regime shows signs of fatigue, the Institute for the Study of War ( ISW) continues to research and chart the key groups and figures of the Free Syrian Army and the opposition movement within Syria.
ISW’s latest Backgrounder, ‘Rebel Groups in Jebel Al-Zawiyah,’ takes a deeper look at the groups of Jebel Al-Zawiyah, a region in northern Syria which consists mainly of rural areas between the cities of Hama and Idlib. Rebel groups there are well positioned to deny the regime access to key lines of communication across Syria. ISW researcher and author of the Backgrounder, Asher Berman writes that, “The Syrian insurgency is maturing into a capable fighting force increasingly able to neutralize the regime’s combined arms advantages and to strike at strategic targets that undercut Assad’s increasingly tenuous grip on Syria.”
Rebel groups based in northern Syria, most notably the Suqour al-Sham Brigade and the Shuhada Jebel al-Zawiyah Battalion, continue to mature in their ability to plan and conduct operations and are demonstrating increasing coordination in their efforts. Berman writes that “in under a year, the rebels of Jebel al-Zawiyah have evolved from isolated bands of militants into a complex network capable of major offensive operations directed at strategic targets. They have held territory against the regime’s limited armored incursions and defeated main battle tanks and helicopters.” His research explores the religious ideology, main sources of income and weapons, and the recent organizational developments of the group. As the Syrian conflict evolves, these groups- and other rebel groups like them- will continue to play an important role and may even determine the future of the nation