KGOU

Joshua Landis

An anti-Syrian government fighter, left, looks at a Syrian soldier, right, as he leaves the last besieged rebel-held neighborhood of Al-Waer in Homs province, Syria, Monday, Sept. 26, 2016.
SANA via AP

 

A cease-fire backed by Russia and Turkey is falling apart in Syria, and that leaves few good options for rebels in that country who are fighting against president Bashar al-Assad

Joshua Landis, the head of the Center for Middle East Studies at the University of Oklahoma, told KGOU’s World Views that Assad intends to take back all Syrian land currently held by rebels. Meanwhile, Turkey’s involvement in the cease-fire is an indication that country will no longer back the rebels.

Russian and Syrian army soldiers gather at the last checkpoint before the front line with rebels, in Karam al-Tarab, east of Aleppo, Syria, Sunday, December 4.
Hassan Ammar / AP

Syrian forces have now seized control of more than half of the territory in Aleppo once held by rebels who opposite President Bashar al-Assad, and supporters of the Assad regime expect victory in the country’s largest city.

It’s a crushing blow to the opposition, and could trigger a domino effect as rebels retreat to more rural areas of Syria.

Volunteers from the Kheir Zaman local supermarket sell a kilogram of sugar for 7.50 L.E. (0.84 US cents), in the Sayeda Zeinab neighborhood of Cairo, Egypt - October 26, 2016.
Nariman El-Mofty / AP

A week ago the International Monetary Fund approved a $12 billion loan to Egypt as the country slips into a perilous economic situation created by a declining currency, food shortages, and a strained relationship with a chief benefactor – Saudi Arabia.

“What we’re seeing from one end of the Middle East to the other is no money,” said Joshua Landis, the director of the Center for Middle East Studies at the University of Oklahoma. “You look at the spreadsheet for Egypt, and everything is moving in the wrong direction.”

World Views: November 4, 2016

Nov 4, 2016

University of Oklahoma Vice President for Weather and Climate Programs, College of Atmospheric and Geographic Sciences Dean, and National Weather Center director Berrien Moore talks with Suzette Grillot about his involvement with last year’s Paris Climate Conference, and some of the domestic politics surrounding climate change.

But first, Joshua Landis provides an update on the Middle East, including the latest on the fight against ISIS in the Iraqi city of Mosul.

Joshua Landis and Suzette Grllot discuss the situation in Yemen after rebel groups fired missiles at a U.S. naval vessel.

Then Rebecca Cruise talks with Lucio Bianchi. He's an activist and supporter of Italy's Movimento 5 Stelle ("Five Star Movement"), and will explain the country's growing populism.

Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump walks with Mexico President Enrique Pena Nieto at the end of their joint statement at Los Pinos, the presidential official residence, in Mexico City, Wednesday.
Dario Lopez-Mills / AP

As the United States gears up for the 2016 presidential election, voters must tackle the ever-present concerns of foreign policy and international engagement. In an era of globalization, increasingly open channels of information, disputes over land and growing trans-national trade, Americans are trying to figure out America’s role in the world.

A Turkish police officer patrols as pro-government supporters, gather on Istanbul's iconic Bosporus Bridge, Thursday, July 21, 2016. Turkish lawmakers approved a three-month state of emergency, endorsing new powers for Turkey's President Erdogan.
Petros Giannakouris / AP

A week after the beginning of a failed coup in Turkey, there are still so many unanswered questions about who was behind it and what’s next for the country that’s long walked a tightrope between religion and secularism.

Joshua Landis and Suzette Grillot discuss last weekend’s failed coup attempt in Turkey. Hundreds of people died during the uprising, and tens of thousands were arrested during this week’s crackdown.

Then we'll hear a conversation with World Neighbors' Southeast Asia representative Edd Wright. Ever since the 2004 tsunami, he’s been trying to make sure Indonesia is prepared for another catastrophe.

Syrian interior opposition member Mahmoud Marai, third right, listens to Elian Mous'ad, second right, during a meeting with the UN Syria Envoy during Syria peace talks at the United Nations Office in Geneva, Switzerland.
Fabrice Coffrini / Pool Photo via Associated Press

February’s tenuous cease-fire in Syria seems to breaking down for good.

Opposition leaders blame airstrikes around Aleppo have been blamed on both the Russian and Syrian forces. Civilians and doctors were killed when a Doctors Without Borders hospital was hit this week in the northern city.

Syrian Government And Opposition Agree To Ceasefire

Feb 23, 2016

After nearly five years of civil war and more than 250,000 deaths, the warring parties in Syria say they will abide by a ceasefire that is scheduled to take effect Saturday.

The United Nations says it will be a challenge to enforce the truce. That’s because the Syrian battlefield is complicated by the presence of ISIS and the al-Qaida group, al-Nusra.

Here & Now’s Jeremy Hobson talks with Joshua Landis, director of the Center for Middle East Studies at the University of Oklahoma, about the prospects for peace.

Boutros Boutros-Ghali (left), Secretary-General of the United Nations, and Klaus Schwab (middle), founder and president of the World Economic Forum, and Flavio Cotti, member of the Swiss Federal Council, at the 1995 World Economic Forum.
World Economic Forum / Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

On Tuesday former United Nations Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali died at the age of 93.

“He was an extraordinary man, and he really symbolized his age, the period that he grew up in,” said Joshua Landis, the Director of the Center of Middle East Studies at the University of Oklahoma, who shared his personal memories of interactions with Boutros-Ghali with Rebecca Cruise on KGOU’s World Views.

Landis is the author of the widely-read blog Syria Comment, which Boutros-Ghali read.

The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom monitors the right to thought, conscience, and individual expression around the world. Suzette Grillot talks about some of their work with the agency's acting co-director of policy and research Elizabeth Cassidy.

But first, Rebecca Cruise talks with Joshua Landis about how the continued decline in oil prices is affecting international markets., and the upcoming meetings on Syria.

Two riverine command boats like this one were taken into custody by Iran, along with 10 U.S. sailors.
MC2 Ecklund / U.S. Navy

Earlier this week Turkey attacked Islamic State forces in Iraq and Syria after a suicide bombing in Istanbul that killed 10 tourists. Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan says the tank and artillery attack killed nearly 200 militants.

Growing up in Ghana, Meshack Asare loved to read, but the only books available were educational texts designed to teach English. He became a prolific children's author to provide the world with the kind of books he would've loved to read as a child, and just won the 2015 NSK Neustadt Prize for Children's Literature.

But first, Joshua Landis provides an update on Saudi Arabia’s break in relations with Iran after protests at the Saudi embassy in Tehran. On Sunday the kingdom executed a popular Shiite cleric.

The portrait of Nimr Baqr al-Nimr, the recently deceased Shia cleric in al-Awamiyah, Eastern Province, Saudi Arabia.
Abbas Goudarzi / Wikimedia Commons

Since the January 2 assassination of popular Shiite cleric Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr, Iranians have continued to rally against Saudi Arabia, leading to a severing of diplomatic ties between the kingdom and the Islamic Republic.

Rebecca Cruise provides an update on this week's climate talks in Paris, and Joshua Landis discusses the British Parliament's vote to increase the country's involvement in Syria.

Then, retired diplomat Joe Cassidy talks about his 25-year career in the Foreign Service. In July, he wrote an editorial in Foreign Policy magazine with his prescription to fix the ailing U.S. State Department.

British protesters gather for a sit-in in London's Parliament Square Dec. 1, 2015 ahead of a vote to authorize increased military intervention in Syria.
Allsdare Hickson / FLickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)

On Wednesday, bombs began falling in Syria hours after Britain’s Parliament voted overwhelmingly to approve airstrikes against ISIS militants in the country.

The 320-211 vote followed hours of debate, and could be a sign Europeans are starting to coalesce around a common goal of defeating radical Islamic militants in the wake of last month’s terrorist attacks in Paris, and security concerns in Brussels.

Joshua Landis and Rebecca Cruise talk about what's changed (or hasn't) since the Paris and Beiruit terrorist attacks a week ago, and whether or not the world will ever come to an agreement about how to deal with ISIS.

Then, Suzette Grillot talks with Vanessa Tucker from the international watchdog organization Freedom House. Every year the group issues rankings that compare the global political rights and civil liberties across the globe.

World leaders pause to honor the memory of the victims of the terrorist attacks in Paris at the G20 summit in Antalya, Turkey.
Kremlin.ru / Wikimedia Commons

It’s been a week since the world watched in horror as terrorists killed 130 people in a series of coordinated attacks across Paris, which came just a day after dozens were killed in an ISIS-claimed bombing in Beiruit.

Historian Beeta Baghoolizadeh says 19th century Iranian slavery can appear softer alongside its American counterpart, but that’s not a fair comparison. She'll trace the country's history of slavery and its erasure from the national consciousness.

But first, Joshua Landis joins the show again for a discussion of the Russian airliner that crashed in Egypt and what may have caused it, and Turkey’s recent parliamentary elections.

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