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Syria At War

We go back to Syria, where the fighting is intense, the warnings are loud, and the future is wildly unclear.

In this Thursday, Nov. 1, 2012 photo, rebel fighters watch over enemy positions as they wait for Syrian army troops to enter a street during clashes in the Karmal Jabl battlefield in Aleppo, Syria. (AP)

In this Thursday, Nov. 1, 2012 photo, rebel fighters watch over enemy positions as they wait for Syrian army troops to enter a street during clashes in the Karmal Jabl battlefield in Aleppo, Syria. (AP)

Civil war in Syria has become a long nightmare now.  40,000 dead.  Freezing refugees looking at another winter.  NPR’s Deborah Amos has brought it powerfully home to Americans.  She’s with us today.  But there is more to come in Syria.  So explosive and unresolved.

Sarin gas precursors – chemical weapons – reportedly already mixed into bombs.  Al Qaeda in the middle of the rebellion.  Assad’s Alawites, maybe ready to split the country.  A region already on edge, and a Syrian tipping point.

This hour, On Point:  NPR’s Deborah Amos and more, on the urgent challenge of Syria.

-Tom Ashbrook

Guests

Deborah Amos, covers the Middle East for NPR News.

Andrew Tabler, senior fellow, Washington Institute for Near East Policy. Author of In the Lion’s Den: An Eyewitness Account of Washington’s Battle With Assad’s Syria.

From Tom’s Reading List

Christian Science Monitor “But Mr. Assad also might be sending a different signal to the US and the international community, analysts say. By ordering “activity” at chemical weapons sites, Assad could be reminding the international powers demanding his departure that his fall would likely be followed by chaos – in which radical Islamists could get their hands on Syria’s weapons of mass destruction.”

Russia Today “American media are reporting extensively that the Syrian president is getting ready to use chemical weapons on his own people, raising concerns that Washington could be planning a strike on Damascus with the chemical threat as a pretext.”

CNN “With the strength of Bashar al-Assad’s forces diminishing in Syria’s civil war, global fears are mounting that Syria might unleash chemical weapons to quash the country’s uprising. The government insists it would never use chemical weapons on its own people. But world leaders say Syria’s desperation could lead to even more tragedy in the war-torn country.”

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