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The Carter Center Releases Reports on Syrian Paramilitary Groups

CONTACT: In Atlanta, Deborah Hakes 1 404 420-5124

The Carter Center today released to the public a series of reports that provide a comprehensive analysis of Syrian paramilitary group structures and their evolution.  The reports are part of the Center's Syria Conflict Mapping Project, which analyzes the unprecedented volume of online citizen-generated information about the conflict in an effort to better inform peace-building efforts.

"There are millions of firsthand reports from Syrians trying to tell what they have seen — posting videos, joining political groups, defecting from the military — screaming at the world to listen, yet being ignored," said Christopher McNaboe, who manages the Carter Center initiative. "The Syria Conflict Mapping Project was born out of this frustration, with a simple goal in mind: to piece all these individual Syrian voices together to get a clearer picture of developments on the ground, and use that information to better inform local, regional, and international policy aimed at ending the violence and addressing the grievances of the Syrian people."

Funded jointly by The Skoll Global Threats Fund and The Carter Center, the Syria Conflict Mapping Project details the growth of opposition armed groups in each governorate within Syria; illuminates the evolution of armed opposition hierarchies at the local, regional, and national levels; shows the current geographic delineation of pro- and anti-government paramilitary forces; and provides up-to-date analysis on the current status of the conflict.

The Center is among the first to use social media mining for the Syrian conflict in such a comprehensive way and, as a nongovernmental organization, is uniquely positioned to use the information to help push for a more comprehensive political solution. Collaborating with a team of independent researchers, The Carter Center now has a detailed database of all known armed group formations and can determine the structure of these groups throughout the country.

"Our reports shed light on aspects of the conflict in a neutral way, and releasing them publically can make a difference," said McNaboe. "The Syria Conflict Mapping Project not only enables us to respond better to the Syrian crisis, but will enable us to provide analysis on other future conflicts."

The most recent report provides an overview and analysis of major conflict developments; an analysis of major conflict incidents per month for Aleppo, Homs, and Damascus governorates; and an analysis of armed opposition structures in each governorate, detailing the formation of 5,004 armed groups and military councils over the course of the conflict.

See the reports from the Syria Conflict Mapping Project.


"Waging Peace. Fighting Disease. Building Hope." 
A not-for-profit, nongovernmental organization, The Carter Center has helped to improve life for people in more than 70 countries by resolving conflicts; advancing democracy, human rights, and economic opportunity; preventing diseases; improving mental health care; and teaching farmers in developing nations to increase crop production. The Carter Center was founded in 1982 by former U.S. President Jimmy Carter and his wife, Rosalynn, in partnership with Emory University, to advance peace and health worldwide. Please visit to learn more about The Carter Center.

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