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Former US Syria envoy: Assad more cohesive than opposition

In his first major public appearance since retiring from the State Department, Robert Ford said both the United States and the Syrian opposition need to change strategies to counter the Assad regime and its external backers.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry confers with U.S. Ambassador to Syria, Robert Ford (R) as Kerry testifies at a U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing on Syria on Capitol Hill in Washington, September 4, 2013.   REUTERS/Jason Reed     (UNITED STATES - Tags: POLITICS) - RTX137DD

Robert Ford, the just-retired former US ambassador to Syria, says that the Syrian war is grinding toward an intractable stalemate in part because the opposition has failed to unify around a single leadership against the regime of President Bashar al-Assad.

Ford, who left Damascus in 2011 and spent the past three years trying to help the opposition become more coherent, told an audience at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars on March 20 that a “huge amount of personal ambition and competition” among would-be replacements for Assad have hurt their cause “from the beginning.”

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