Syrian opposition bodies need to rethink their overall strategies

Eva J. Koulouriotis 2017-02-27 12:55:00

expressive image

Taking a look at the political movements carried out by the Syrian political opposition, we see that there is total absence of any kind of communication and PR campaigns. This absence was and still is the reason that the image in the minds of the European audience regarding the truth about what is really going in Syria changed. European public opinion, which teamed up with the Syrian revolution, began to change through time. The idea of European people today is that in Syria there is an ongoing “civil war” and at the same time a war on terrorism. Additionally, several European cities have faced terrorist attacks which caused a state of great fear among European societies, as well as a feeling of insecurity. For this reason, they started comparing the current situation with Syria before the revolution, reaching the wrong conclusion that Assad and his regime need to stay in Syria. 

At a time when terrorist militias organize conferences and gatherings in European countries, the Syrian opposition, which is internationally and officially recognized, lacks the lowest sense of responsibility. Members of the Syrian opposition are not doing what they have to do. The Syrian National Council opposition members are still divided for a worthless chair. Yet the Syrian people who have revolted in millions against the dictatorship of the Assad regime are facing death every minute. The Syrian opposition politicians are still convinced that the decisions of the western governments are not affected by the people, but reality is different. European people’s reactions in many international conflicts have had a significant effect on their governments. Athens and other European capitals’ squares were filled with hundreds of thousands during the war in Bosnia and Serbia, demanding to stop it, thus exercising a lot of pressure on their governments. What have the Syrian opposition politicians really offered for Syrian refugees during the border crisis, in the beginning of 2015? When was their last media appearance to raise awareness within the EU? When was their last visit to the refugee centers scattered across Europe?

At the media level, also the Syrian opposition outlets have not succeeded in outreaching the outside world. The work done by Orient News owned by Mr. Ghassan Abboud is highly appreciated in this regard as it is one of the very few outlets that have an English-speaking platform trying to convey the true picture of what is happening on the Syrian territory, serving the Syrian people in a way more effective than the work done by hundreds of Syrian opposition figures who benefit materially from the Syrian revolution. Still, Orient News’ influence on European audience is limited. 

It is high time for the Syrian opposition bodies to re-evaluate and rethink their overall strategies?

Eva J. Koulouriotis is a Greek political analyst specialized in the Middle East. Twitter: @evacool_f, Facebook: @evakoulouriotis