Contents

  1. Introduction

  2. Main Body

    1. Executive Summary

      1. Mood
      2. Potential Outcomes
      3. Halting Hostilities at Local Level
      4. Local Negotiation and Mediation Efforts
      5. Rebuilding Trust, Post-Conflict
      6. Views of Key Actors
      7. Information Sources
    2. Mood

      1. Regime Opponents Say Situation Ever Worsening
      2. Pro-Regime Respondents Credit Army Gains with Improvements
      3. Regime Opponents Continue to Place Hopes in the Rebels
      4. Aleppo Residents Say Life Was Better A Year Ago
      5. In Tartous, Life is Mostly Normal
      6. Damascus Residents Note Some Improvements
      7. Hamah and Homs Respondents Feel Unsafe Amid Fighting
      8. Deir al-Zor and Al-Hasakah: Worsening Conditions Due to Extremists, Factionalism
      9. Raqqah Residents Fear ISIS Rule
      10. Both Sides Worry About Foreign Influence over the War
      11. Service Provision is a Function of Territorial Control
      12. Lack of Trust Prevents Dialogue
      13. Summary of Findings on Mood
    3. Potential Outcomes

      1. Fight to the Finish
      2. Negotiated Settlement Unacceptable to Either Side
      3. Syria Must Remain Whole
      4. Each Side Predicts That They Will Prevail
      5. Summary of Findings on Potential Outcomes
    4. Halting Hostilitiesat the Local Level

      1. Many Support Local Ceasefires to Stop the Bloodshed
      2. Mistrust, Fear of Regime Victories, and Hostility to Talks Hamper Local Ceasefire Negotiations
      3. Some Want a National Ceasefire
      4. Strong Desire for Freer Movement and More Normal Life
      5. Views of Ending Local Sieges Mixed
      6. Views of Regime Control After Local Ceasefires Polarized
      7. Security Coordination between Sides Rejected
      8. Summary of Findings on Halting Hostilities at the Local Level
    5. Local Negotiation and Mediation Process

      1. Opposition: FSA Should Take the Lead
      2. Regime Supporters Favor Inclusive Talks
      3. Local Mediators Respected by Both Sides
      4. Talks for New Local Government Structures Welcomed by Some
    6. Rebuilding Trust Post-Conflict

      1. Many Can Still Live With Neighbors
      2. Forgiveness Is Too Much to Ask for Some
      3. Traditional Dispute Resolution Mechanisms of Sulha and Musalaha Embraced
      4. Government Must Help With Compensation
      5. Local Committees for Fact Finding, Truth Revealing Well-Received
      6. Post-Conflict Trust Building Widely Supported
      7. Reintegration Programs for Former Fighters Favored
      8. Summary of Findings on Rebuilding Trust Post-Conflict
    7. Views of Key Actors

      1. Views of Assad Further Apart than Last Year
      2. Similar Polarization of Views on the Army
      3. FSA Held in Higher Esteem by Opposition
      4. Syrian Opposition Coalition Also Has a Boost in Stature among Opposition
      5. Interim Government Enjoys Positive Image but Weak Presence
      6. ISIS Rejected by All
      7. Views of Jabhat al-Nusrah Mixed But Negative Among Opposition
      8. Low Awareness, Conflicting Views on Jaish al-Mujahideen
      9. Islamic Front Poorly Known and Gets Mixed Reactions
      10. Views of PYD/YPG Mixed
      11. European Fighters Get Polarized Reactions
      12. Hezbollah and Iranian Fighters Welcomed by Regime Supporters
      13. Summary of Findings Regarding Views of Key Actors
    8. Information Sources

      1. Television Remains Most Important Source of Information
      2. Facebook, Local Sites are Important Sources
      3. Summary of Findings on Information Sources
    9. Conclusions and Implications

      1. Greater Polarization and Bitterness Have Undermined Support for National Negotiations
      2. Opportunities for Progress Exist at the Local Level, If Locally Led
      3. Mistrust and Doubts as to Follow-Through Make Local Initiatives Tenuous
      4. Local Initiatives May Be Building Blocks for Broader “Bottom-Up” Processes
      5. Local Initiatives Should Promote Accountability, Rebuilding, and Democracy to Build Long-Term Peace
      6. Rejection of ISIS Provides Some Common Ground
      7. Syrians Want to Come Together Again After the Conflict, With Conditions
      8. Outsiders Can Support Syrians by Promoting Local Discourse and Initiatives
  3. Appendix: Methodologyand Interviewee Details

  4. Acknowledgements

  5. About the Syria Justice and Accountability Centre