Syrian Emergency Task Force

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

The Syrian Emergency Task Force (SETF) is a United States-based, 501-C(3) organization established in March 2011 to support the overthrow of the Syrian government.

SETF is indirectly funded by the U.S. State Department through contracting firms including Chemonics and Creative Associates International.[1]

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 involvement in the Syrian Civil War, congressional office visits, media awareness campaigns, and organizing briefings for key U.S. foreign policy decisionmakers.[2]


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.[3]

The organization's media coordinator is Cassie Chesley.[4] Chesley concurrently serves as chair of the public relations committee of the Coalition for a Democratic Syria.[5]

Elizabeth O'Bagy served as political director of SETF until 2013.[citation needed] She was formerly dismissed from the defense-industry funded Institute for the Study of War for resume padding.[6][7]


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.[8]

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.[6][7] O'Bagy was subsequently hired by McCain as a legislative assistant in the Arizona senator's Washington, D.C. office.[citation needed]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Charles C. Johnson (September 9, 2013). "Who funds Syrian rebel advocate O'Bagy and the Syrian Emergency Task Force? You do". The Daily Caller. Retrieved April 4, 2019.
  2. ^ "Syria conflict: US Senator John McCain visits rebels". BBC. May 27, 2013. Retrieved September 28, 2013.
  3. ^ "As Predicted, Syrian Emergency Task Force Dumps Elizabeth O'Bagy". Frontpage Magazine.
  4. ^ "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.
  5. ^ "Obama's Red Line in Syria: A Case for Intervention". Foreign Policy Blogs.
  6. ^ a b "WSJ op-ed writer fired for resume lie". Politico.
  7. ^ a b "Researcher cited by Kerry, McCain on Syria fired by think tank". Reuters. September 11, 2013.
  8. ^ "Political Advocacy". Archived from the original on December 6, 2013. Retrieved July 24, 2017.

Further reading[edit]

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