Mr. Barabandi is Co-Founder of People Demand Change and was a Non-Resident Fellow at the Newlines Institute. Born in Damascus City with familial ties to Deir Azzour Province, Syria, Bassam Barabandi worked in the diplomatic civil service of the Syrian Government for 14 years before leaving the Syrian Embassy in Washington DC in the summer of 2013 and co-founding People Demand Change Inc. Previously as a diplomat, Mr. Barabandi had numerous postings, including being the first secretary at the Embassy of Syria in Washington DC, the head of political affairs at the Syrian Embassy in Beijing, China, and a post at the Syrian Government’s UN mission in New York City. Through his time as a diplomat, Mr. Barabandi also worked with the World Bank, the US Treasury Department and as a liaison to the US Congress.
Since the outbreak of the Syrian revolution in 2011, Mr. Barabandi was instrumental in providing unhindered access to consular services for all Syrians regardless of political or ideological affiliation, including access to many Syrians who had no other avenue through which to acquire passport extensions and other necessary legal documents. Mr. Barabandi has a BA in political science and public administration from the American University of Beirut and speaks fluent Arabic and English. Since co-founding PDC, Mr. Barabandi has written extensively on the Syrian conflict and has been published in Foreign affairs, Foreign policy, and was qouted by all main newspaper and reserch on Syria & has conducted guest interviews to provide his analysis for BBC, Al-Jazeera, Al-Arabiya, Sky News, France24 and other media outlets.
At the start of the eleventh year of the Syrian conflict several efforts are underway to try and bring an end to the war in the Levant. Only those that take into consideration the interests of the various nations with a stake in a negotiated settlement have a chance of succeeding.
When the Syrian civil war erupted, the tensions between Russia and the United States had intensified for the first time since the Cold War, greatly reducing the chance of a successful political transition in Damascus. Russia’s approach to Syria has changed over the years, depending on conditions at home.
Moscow is making a significant, sophisticated effort to dismantle local support for U.S. involvement in Syria, but its strategy faces several constraints.
The rift reveals deepening dysfunction amid unprecedented pressure on the Assad regime and, if not resolved quickly, raises the prospect of a long, complicated intra-regime conflict.