90.9 WBUR - Boston's NPR news station
Top Stories:
PLEDGE NOW
Here and Now with Robin Young
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.
  • J Frog

    Interesting theory about the Syrian uprising being spurred on by economic troubles. So what he’s saying is that the financial meltdown caused the Syrian Arab Spring? I guess that was one good outcome of the meltdown and recession. Take a bow George W. Bush, Alan Greenspan, Former Speaker Pelosi, Sen. Reid, and Rep. Barney Frank.

Robin and Jeremy

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

August 29 Comment

World Championship Tug-Of-War Is ‘A Thing Of Beauty’

This weekend's competition in Wisconsin is a bit more intense than it was in your grade school gym class.

August 29 Comment

Repelling Mosquitoes With A Natural Sticky Patch

The Kite Patch releases odors that block the bug's carbon dioxide receptors, sending them in another direction.

August 28 Comment

Catching Up With The Polyphonic Spree

The choral rock band out of Dallas, Texas, has been thrilling audiences with its live performances for over a decade.

August 28 5 Comments

‘Enormous’ Growth Of Ocean Garbage Patch

The oceanographer who discovered the floating island of trash in 1997 says he's shocked by how much it's grown.