Ali Hashisho / Reuters

What Syrians Want

New Survey Data Show Which Side Refugees Support

Five years into the war in Syria, most reporting focuses on the ebb and flow of the fighting, incessant foreign meddling in the conflict, and the spectacular brutality of extremist groups such as the Islamic State (ISIS). Aside from the occasional human-interest story on the plight of the refugees, however, ordinary Syrians have largely been lost in the shuffle. Yet what ordinary people think of the war, and of the groups claiming to fight on their behalf, is of direct interest to policymakers, humanitarian organizations, and peace negotiators. Popular support is how the factions get fighters, material resources, information, and refuge. …

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