Syrian Emergency Task Force

The Syrian Emergency Task Force (SETF) is a United States-based, 501-C(3) organization established in March 2011 to support the demand of the Syrian people for freedom and democracy, irrespective of ethnicity, region, or background. SETF advocates in solidarity with the Syrian people to inform and educate the American public and its representatives about their suffering while addressing the colossal humanitarian crisis and promoting the development of the Syrian civil society based on respect from human dignity and freedom. The organization's primary focus is those still inside of Syria. In 2016, SETF opened a school for orphans in the Northern Idlib Provence of Syria and in August of 2017 expanded the school to include a women's center.

Syrian Emergency Task Force
Key people
Mouaz Moustafa, Executive-Director

Another focus of the Syrian Emergency Task Force is advocating on behalf of Syrians to the United States government. Their aim is to protect the innocent civilians caught in the war and place pressure on the Syrian government whether that be through advocating for U.S. military support in the Syrian Civil War, congressional office visits, media awareness campaigns, and organizing briefings for key U.S. foreign policy decision-makers.[1]


SETF's executive-director, Mouaz Moustafa, is a former field organizer for the U.S. Democratic National Committee and previously served as executive-director of the Libyan Council of North America.[2]

The organization's media coordinator is Cassie Chesley.[3] Chesley concurrently serves as chair of the public relations committee of the Coalition for a Democratic Syria.[4]

Elizabeth O'Bagy served as political director of SETF until 2013. She was formerly dismissed from the defense-industry funded Institute for the Study of War for resume padding.[5][6]


SETF officials - including Moustafa and Chesley - have been widely cited in media reports on the Syrian Civil War and have been influential in advising United States policymakers on issues related to Syria. According to the group, SETF staff have held meetings with more than two-thirds of the membership of the U.S. Congress and have organized junkets for members of congress to visit selected regions in northern Syria.[7]

Syrian Emergency Task Force has worked with Americans for a Free Syria and Syrian American Council before for similar objectives.

In 2013, an op-ed by political director Elizabeth O'Bagy was cited by Senator John McCain and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry during congressional hearings on possible U.S. military involvement in the Syrian Civil War.[5][6] O'Bagy was subsequently hired by McCain as a legislative assistant in the Arizona senator's Washington, D.C. office.

See also


  1. "Syria conflict: US Senator John McCain visits rebels". BBC. May 27, 2013. Retrieved September 28, 2013.
  2. "As Predicted, Syrian Emergency Task Force Dumps Elizabeth O'Bagy". Frontpage Magazine.
  3. "The Grassroots Democracy Movement in Syria: A Case for Intervention". Georgetown Journal of International Affairs. December 14, 2012. Archived from the original on October 13, 2014.
  4. "Obama's Red Line in Syria: A Case for Intervention". Foreign Policy Blogs.
  5. "WSJ op-ed writer fired for resume lie". Politico.
  6. "Researcher cited by Kerry, McCain on Syria fired by think tank". Reuters. September 11, 2013.
  7. "Political Advocacy". Archived from the original on December 6, 2013. Retrieved July 24, 2017.

Further reading

  • Christiane Amanpour (March 12, 2019). "Amanpour". Caesar discussion. CNN. Caesar Discussion.
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