PLEDGE NOW
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.”

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
ONPOINT
TODAY
Feb 5, 2016
Republican presidential candidate, Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas mingles at a campaign event at Robie's Country Store, Wednesday, Feb. 3, 2016, in Hooksett, N.H. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)

Ted Cruz, Clinton and Sanders out of Iowa. Zika panic. Syrian peace talks fall apart. Our weekly news roundtable goes behind the headlines.

Feb 5, 2016
A portion of the cover of Ben Ratliff's new book, "Every Song Ever." (Courtesy Farar, Straus and Giroux / The Publisher)

How to choose music in an age when everything is online and always there. New York Times music critic Ben Ratliff shows the way.

RECENT
SHOWS
Feb 5, 2016
A portion of the cover of Ben Ratliff's new book, "Every Song Ever." (Courtesy Farar, Straus and Giroux / The Publisher)

How to choose music in an age when everything is online and always there. New York Times music critic Ben Ratliff shows the way.

 
Feb 5, 2016
Republican presidential candidate, Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas mingles at a campaign event at Robie's Country Store, Wednesday, Feb. 3, 2016, in Hooksett, N.H. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)

Ted Cruz, Clinton and Sanders out of Iowa. Zika panic. Syrian peace talks fall apart. Our weekly news roundtable goes behind the headlines.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
Notes From New Hampshire, #4: Donald Trump — You Heard It First!
Friday, Feb 5, 2016

Jack Beatty recounts an evening rally with Republican Presidential frontrunner Donald Trump, and wonders if the billionaire businessman is really looking for an exit.

More »
Comment
 
Our Week In The Web: February 5, 2016
Friday, Feb 5, 2016

Spread the word — we FINALLY have both a new website (in beta) and a new newsletter. Sign up, visit and see what’s happening in the On Point digital universe.

More »
Comment
 
Notes From New Hampshire, #3: Jeb Bush — Cry for Me, America!
Thursday, Feb 4, 2016

Former Gov. Jeb Bush (R) asked a New Hampshire audience to clap for him — and our own Jack Beatty was there to hear it.

More »
Comment