Money and Expectations

August 14, 2012

Over the weekend U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton met with Turkish officials in Istanbul to work on contingency plans for the eventual fall of the Syrian regime. Secretary Clinton says that it’s urgent to prepare for a transition in order to make sure Syria’s institutions remain intact.

Syrian opposition groups are hoping that the U.S. will do more than just design transition plans. Many are calling for U.S. involvement in overthrowing President Bashar al-Assad’s rule through military and monetary support.

The U.S. Treasury has granted a license to an American-based organization to raise money on behalf of a coalition of armed opposition groups known as the Free Syrian Army (FSA). The “Syrian Support Group” (SSG) is a nonprofit organization that has an office in Washington, DC. The nonprofit is primarily comprised of Syrian ex-pats (12 are on its board of directors) and they volunteer their time to support “peaceful protests in Syria” as well as the FSA.

The SSG’s director of government relations, Brian Sayers, has suggested in media interviews that the nonprofit is providing needed intelligence to the U.S. government (through contacts it has on the ground) in exchange for the U.S.’s facilitation of monetary donations to the FSA.

As I have stated previously, there are possibly hundreds of opposition groups in Syria. Several of these groups consider themselves to be the incumbency for the opposition. These groups are not part of a larger monolithic whole; rather, they are  divergent ethnic groups that are often antagonistic and even violent towards one another.

Read the rest of this entry »

%d bloggers like this: