PLEDGE NOW
Here and Now with Robin Young and Jeremy Hobson
Public radio's live
midday news program
With sponsorship from
Mathworks - Accelerating the pace of engineering and science
Accelerating the pace
of engineering and science
Thursday, May 31, 2012

Syria’s Bashar Assad Hangs Onto Power Despite Turmoil

In this July 13, 2008, file photo, Syrian President Bashar Assad and his wife Asma arrive for a formal dinner after a Mediterranean Summit meeting at the Petit Palais in Paris. (AP)

In this July 13, 2008, file photo, Syrian President Bashar Assad and his wife Asma arrive for a formal dinner after a Mediterranean Summit meeting at the Petit Palais in Paris. (AP)

The revolt against the Syrian regime is now more than a year old and has claimed an estimated 10,000 lives.

This week, international outrage has flared up after reports of more than 100 civilians killed in the village of Houla.

So how has President Bashar Assad been able to hold onto power when other Middle Eastern leaders have fallen?

One reason could be that Assad, and his wife, Asma, still enjoy support across the country from people of all walks of life. They also have support in all of Syria’s religious communities.

But ultimately, economic issues could undermine Assad.

The international community is putting increased pressure on Syria, and the economy is now beginning to fail, which could turn Assad’s supporters into dissenters and damage his ability to maintain power.

Guest:

  • Joshua Landis, director of the Center for Middle East Studies at the University of Oklahoma

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
Spotlight

From controversial new textbooks to a Maverick family reunion, here are stories from Jeremy Hobson's week in Houston and San Antonio.

Robin and Jeremy

Robin Young and Jeremy Hobson host Here & Now, a live two-hour production of NPR and WBUR Boston.

June 29 11 Comments

First Known Plane Hijacking Was A Flight To Freedom

Nearly 60 years ago, a forced laborer in a Hungarian brick factory hatched a far-fetched plan to escape.

June 29 34 Comments

Paul Thurmond Explains His Change Of Heart On The Confederate Flag

The state senator is now among those calling for the flag to be removed from near the South Carolina State House.

June 26 4 Comments

What Happens When Mavericks Gather For Family Reunion

Their family name inspired the English word we know today. We drop in on their unusual family reunion in San Antonio.

June 25 81 Comments

Controversial New Textbooks Go Into Use This Fall In Texas

The books contain information challenged by academics, that critics say is making education far too political.