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.
Robin and Jeremy

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

November 20 3 Comments

The Man Behind ‘Mockingjay’

Francis Lawrence describes the rewards and challenges of bringing "The Hunger Games" books to the screen.

November 20 Comment

Iraq War Vet Wins National Book Award For Fiction

The judges described the short stories in Phil Klay's collection "Redeployment" as brutal, piercing and sometimes darkly funny.

November 19 11 Comments

New Film Revisits The Jerry Sandusky Sex Abuse Case

The Penn State assistant football coach will likely spend the rest of his life in prison, but that's not the end of the story.

November 19 222 Comments

Without Slavery, Would The U.S. Be The Leading Economic Power?

Edward Baptist argues in his new book that slavery was integral to establishing the America as a world economic power.