“Because [the opposition groups in urban centers] tend to be more vocal, their views may be magnified beyond their numbers. Most are urbanites who had little understanding of the conservative poor whose mobilization is the backbone of the insurgency, he said. But their backing off has real impact, he said, especially on local governance, where they tended to be active. Disillusioned activists say that early on, euphoric at being able to protest at all, they neglected to build bridges to fence-sitters, or did not know how. Homegrown fighters desperate for help welcomed foreign jihadists, and many grew more religious or sectarian in tone, alarming Mr. Assad’s supporters, dividing his opponents and frightening the West out of substantially supporting them.” Full story here.