Participants during an October 2, 2013 panel discussion about Syria, Egypt, and the Arab Spring. Left-to-right: NPR correspondent Kelly McEvers, Egyptian scholar Samer Shehata, Syria expert Joshua Landis, and KGOU's "World Views" host Suzette Grillot
NPR assigned correspondent Kelly McEvers to Iraq in 2010 with instructions not to miss a day ahead of the expected troop withdrawal by the end of 2011.
“Then in late 2010, a young man in Tunisia set himself on fire, and literally changed everything,” McEvers says. “At first I was watching it on TV in Baghdad, sitting there thinking, ‘Do we really have to stay in Baghdad? C’mon, you know? Put me in coach!’ asking to be sent out on the stories.”
Men chat Thursday in front of badly damaged buildings in the central city of Homs. Many Syrians are critical of the Nobel Peace Prize that was announced Friday for the group that is in Syria to dismantle its chemical weapons program.
Credit Shaam News Network/AP
Members of a chemical weapons investigation team take samples outside Damascus on Aug. 29.
Originally published on Tue September 17, 2013 9:57 am
Throughout the Syrian war, President Obama has insisted that President Bashar Assad must go. But now, the U.S. may want, or even need, Assad to remain in power for a while longer so he can oversee the dismantling of his chemical weapons stockpile.
"For the sake of the Syrian people, the time has come for President Assad to step aside," Obama said back on Aug. 18, 2011, in his first explicit call for Assad's ouster, something the U.S. president went on to repeat on multiple occasions.
The Syrian regime calls a new deal on its chemical weapons a victory, in a reaction that came one day after the U.S. and Russia announced the plan. On Saturday, live coverage of the the deal drew the attention of a Damascus flower shop owner.
Originally published on Sun September 15, 2013 11:06 am
One day after the United States and Russia announced a deal to rid Syria of its chemical weapons, the first official reaction has emerged from the Syrian regime, which calls it a "victory." Syria's rebels are criticizing the plan, saying it doesn't punish President Bashar Assad.
Earlier this week President Obama asked congressional leaders to postpone a vote on legislation that would authorize the use of force against Syria. Joshua Landis provides an update on what's next in the volatile region.
Later, journalist Erielle Reshef joins Suzette Grillot for a conversation about covering the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Before returning to her home state last year to anchor and report for KOCO-TV, the Oklahoma City native spent several years working for the Israeli Broadcasting Authority.
“We will work together in consultation with Russia and China to put forward a resolution at the U.N. Security Council requiring Assad to give up his chemical weapons and to ultimately destroy them under international control,” the president said in a televised address to the nation Tuesday night.
Joshua Landis, the Director of the Center for Middle East Studies at the University of Oklahoma and the author of the influential and widely-read blog Syria Comment, says the new diplomatic development is a victory for Moscow.
On 'Morning Edition': Free Syrian Army Gen. Salim Idris
As Secretary of State John Kerry was preparing to sit down with his Russian counterpart Thursday to discuss whether the Assad regime's chemical weapons can be handed over to international monitors, the commander of the rebel Free Syrian Army was telling NPR that "the Russian initiative is just a lie."
The U.S. is considering adding helicopters to its list of potential targets of a military strike. Here, rebel fighters are seen on a Russian-made helicopter seized from the Syrian army at the Minnig Military Airport near the Turkish border on Aug. 11.
As U.S. lawmakers weigh whether to support an attack on the regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad, military planners have expanded the target list for a potential strike.
The Pentagon had been focused on attacking Syria with so-called standoff weapons — cruise missiles, for example. Launched from ships, they can attack Syrian positions without placing American pilots in danger. Cruise missiles are very precise, and perfect for hitting fixed targets, such as command-and-control centers the Syrian military relies on.
The arguments for and against taking military action against the regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad for its alleged use of chemical weapons against civilians were laid out Monday on Morning Edition.
Making the case for a "legitimate, necessary and proportional response" was Samantha Power, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations.