Deborah Amos http://ktep.org en Syria's Army On The Verge Of Retaking The Country's Largest City http://ktep.org/post/syrias-army-verge-retaking-countrys-largest-city When Syria's rebels were on the offensive in 2012, they captured the eastern half of Aleppo and the surrounding countryside. But now President Bashar Assad's troops are poised to retake all of the city that is the largest in Syria and served as the prewar financial capital.<p>A new military campaign is heating up as Assad, who assumed power when his father, Hafez Assad, died in 2000, was sworn in Wednesday for his third term as president. Wed, 16 Jul 2014 19:06:00 +0000 Deborah Amos 44823 at http://ktep.org Syria's Army On The Verge Of Retaking The Country's Largest City In Defiance of Damascus, Aid Goes Cross-Border To Rebel-Held Areas http://ktep.org/post/defiance-damascus-aid-goes-cross-border-rebel-held-areas The warehouse off a dusty back road near the Turkish frontier is vast. Large wooden crates are stacked and ready for delivery to the desperate and displaced inside Syria.<p>This is the operations hub for Mercy Corps, a U.S.-based charity, and one of the largest aid providers to civilians in rebel-held areas in northern Syria. Mon, 14 Jul 2014 17:59:00 +0000 Deborah Amos 44662 at http://ktep.org In Defiance of Damascus, Aid Goes Cross-Border To Rebel-Held Areas Have The Islamist Militants Overreached In Iraq And Syria? http://ktep.org/post/have-islamist-militants-overreached-iraq-and-syria The Islamist radicals who have declared an Islamic caliphate on land they control straddling Iraq and Syria are waging an audacious publicity stunt, according to some analysts.<p>While it may bring them even greater attention, it's also likely to be an overreach that will open rifts with its current partners, the Sunni Muslims in Iraq who welcomed the militant group in early June. Sat, 05 Jul 2014 09:14:00 +0000 Deborah Amos 44064 at http://ktep.org Have The Islamist Militants Overreached In Iraq And Syria? Emerging Alliances In Mosul Raise Tensions And Complications http://ktep.org/post/secular-and-socialist-sunnis-ally-extremists-mosul Sunni militants were originally welcomed when they rolled into the Iraqi city of Mosul, but now there's a power struggle between the local tribes, Sunnis and Saddam Hussein's former Baathist party. Sun, 29 Jun 2014 12:12:00 +0000 Deborah Amos 43681 at http://ktep.org For Iraqi Christians, Return To Captured City Is A Fraught Mandate http://ktep.org/post/iraqi-christians-return-captured-city-fraught-mandate Transcript <p>AUDIE CORNISH, HOST: <p>Mosul is northern Iraq's largest city and the takeover by ISIS has prompted an exodus of the last remaining Iraqi Christians there. The seizure raised fears that a thousand years of Christian culture would vanish. But in recent days, some Christian families have returned to Mosul and surrounding villages. And soon they'll be joined by the Archbishop of the Chaldean Church. NPR's Deborah Amos caught up with him in nearby Erbil.<p>DEBORAH AMOS, BYLINE: The Christian exodus from Mosul weighs heavily on Archbishop Amil Nona. Fri, 27 Jun 2014 20:30:00 +0000 Deborah Amos 43595 at http://ktep.org Iraq's Ethnic Kurds See Opportunity In Nation's Chaos http://ktep.org/post/iraqs-ethnic-kurds-see-opportunity-nations-chaos Iraq is in chaos, but the country's ethnic Kurds might come out ahead.<p>They rule a semi-autonomous area in the north that is fairly prosperous and safe, and as the Iraqi army crumbled before militants this month, Kurdish forces moved in to take long-sought areas that had been under the central government in Baghdad.<p>The Kurds are now talking about their generations-old dream of independence, but they still face many dangers.<p>On a recent hot summer night in Erbil, Iraq's fourth largest city, many Kurds were more focused on the World Cup, the new Miss Kurdistan named this week and the fina Fri, 27 Jun 2014 07:36:00 +0000 Deborah Amos 43534 at http://ktep.org Iraq's Ethnic Kurds See Opportunity In Nation's Chaos At Iraq's Largest Oil Refinery, Siege Nears A Complicated Conclusion http://ktep.org/post/iraqs-largest-oil-refinery-siege-nears-complicated-conclusion Transcript <p>AUDIE CORNISH, HOST: <p>This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Audie Cornish. The U.N. says today that at least 1,000 people - mostly civilians - have died this month in Iraq as the fighting there goes on. A key battle is centered on the country's largest oil refinery, located in the town of Baiji. It's been under siege by the Islamist militant group known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria or ISIS. ISIS now claims to have captured the refinery. The government denies that, saying reinforcements are on the way. The truth is more complicated. Tue, 24 Jun 2014 20:15:00 +0000 Deborah Amos 43344 at http://ktep.org After Mosul's Fall, Iraqis Adjust To New Normal Under ISIS http://ktep.org/post/after-mosuls-fall-iraqis-adjust-new-normal-under-isis Not all Sunnis are on board with the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, even if they oppose the Iraqi government. One ranking Sunni cleric in northern Iraq calls ISIS "scum" and hints at limits to the group's influence. <div class="fullattribution">Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.<img src="http://www.google-analytics.com/__utm.gif?utmac=UA-5828686-4&utmdt=After+Mosul%27s+Fall%2C+Iraqis+Adjust+To+New+Normal+Under+ISIS&utme=8(APIKey)9(MDEwNzczMDA2MDEzNTg3ODA1MTAzZjYxNg004)"/></div><p>Transcript <p>ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST: <p>This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. Fri, 20 Jun 2014 21:44:00 +0000 Deborah Amos 43129 at http://ktep.org Iraqi Territory Lost To Insurgents May Be Tough To Retake http://ktep.org/post/iraqi-territory-lost-insurgents-may-be-tough-retake President Obama is sending 300 military advisers to Iraq to beef up intelligence efforts to try to counter insurgent activity in the northern part of the country. Fri, 20 Jun 2014 10:12:00 +0000 Deborah Amos 43063 at http://ktep.org ISIS Presses Its Advance, Attacking Iraq's Largest Oil Refinery http://ktep.org/post/isis-presses-its-advance-attacking-iraqs-largest-oil-refinery Transcript <p>ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST: <p>This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Robert Siegel.<p>MELISSA BLOCK, HOST: <p>And I'm Melissa Block. Iraq's largest oil refinery is under attack today by Islamist militants, and the Iraqi capital continues to brace for an assault. The militants, led by ISIS, the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, have already taken over major cities in the north and west. Iraq's prime minister has appealed for national unity, and he's vowed that government forces will turn the insurgents back. Wed, 18 Jun 2014 20:22:00 +0000 Deborah Amos 42952 at http://ktep.org Gulf Neighbors Struggle To Deal With Militant Advance In Iraq http://ktep.org/post/gulf-neighbors-struggle-deal-militant-advance-iraq The takeover of much of Iraq — one of the hubs of the Middle East — by extremist militants has shaken the region. How do Iraq's neighbors see the conflict rippling throughout the area? Mon, 16 Jun 2014 09:15:00 +0000 Deborah Amos 42756 at http://ktep.org Like 'Doctor Who,' Syrian Activists Hang In Limbo Post-Election http://ktep.org/post/doctor-who-syrian-activists-hang-limbo-post-election A popular, British science-fiction TV show about a time-traveler would seem to have few parallels with the Syrian civil war. Sat, 07 Jun 2014 11:54:00 +0000 Deborah Amos 42252 at http://ktep.org Like 'Doctor Who,' Syrian Activists Hang In Limbo Post-Election U.S. Policy In Syria Could No Longer Be Defended, Ex-Ambassador Says http://ktep.org/post/us-policy-syria-could-no-longer-be-defended-ex-ambassador-says Transcript <p>DAVID GREENE, HOST: <p>It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. Good morning, I'm David Greene.<p>STEVE INSKEEP, HOST: <p>And I'm Steve Inskeep. President Obama's former point man on Syria resigned because he can no longer defend U.S. policy there. Ambassador Robert Ford was once known for dramatic gestures supporting Syria's opposition. But Ford says, as the uprising became a civil war he was frustrated by limited U.S. support for rebels. Wed, 04 Jun 2014 11:38:00 +0000 Deborah Amos 42010 at http://ktep.org What Syria's President Seeks From A Not-So-Democratic Election http://ktep.org/post/what-syrias-president-seeks-not-so-democratic-election The Turkish border city of Gaziantep becomes more Syrian by the day. New waves of refugees have arrived since January. In the market, Syrian craftsmen hammer out copper pots and plates, as they did back home in Aleppo.<p>"We left to save our children," says Ali Abu Hassan. "The bombs come every day."<p>Back in Syria, President Bashar Assad is universally expected to win in Tuesday's election, a sign to Hassan and his family that they should expect an indefinite stay in Turkey alongside the swelling ranks of refugees. Mon, 02 Jun 2014 19:29:00 +0000 Deborah Amos 41896 at http://ktep.org What Syria's President Seeks From A Not-So-Democratic Election Iranian Activist Says Her Release Is A Gesture, Not A New Era http://ktep.org/post/iranian-activist-says-her-release-gesture-not-new-era When Nasrin Sotoudeh, a prominent Iranian human rights lawyer, was <a href="http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2013/09/18/223792619/iran-frees-political-prisoners">released in September 2013</a> — along with 11 other high-profile political prisoners — many Iranians saw the move as opening a new era following the election of centrist President Hassan Rouhani.<p>He had promised to release political prisoners rounded up after the contested 2009 elections, when thousands of protesters, known as the Green Movement, were tried and jailed.<p>The high-profile gesture came less than a week before Rouh Mon, 05 May 2014 19:44:00 +0000 Deborah Amos 40034 at http://ktep.org Iranian Activist Says Her Release Is A Gesture, Not A New Era Iran's Culture Wars: Who's Winning These Days? http://ktep.org/post/irans-culture-wars-whos-winning-these-days In Iran, hardline critics are waging a campaign against President Hassan Rouhani to limit his campaign pledge of opening Iran to more social and cultural freedoms.<p>The "culture wars" are as old as the Islamic revolution that swept conservative clerics to power more than three decades ago. The latest chapter comes as Rouhani is negotiating a nuclear deal with six world powers. Sat, 12 Apr 2014 13:04:00 +0000 Deborah Amos 38535 at http://ktep.org Iran's Culture Wars: Who's Winning These Days? Iranians Begin To Feel The Heavy Burden Of Syria's War http://ktep.org/post/iranians-begin-feel-heavy-burden-syrias-war The Syrian civil war has been a major headache for President Obama. Critics at home and abroad, like Saudi Arabia, where the president was on Friday, have urged the U.S. to do more.<p>But the U.S. isn't the only country that's faced difficult choices over Syria. Iran and Syria have been close allies for decades. Fri, 28 Mar 2014 20:32:00 +0000 Deborah Amos 37577 at http://ktep.org Iranians Begin To Feel The Heavy Burden Of Syria's War Viral Photo Of Syrian War Victims Comes To Times Square http://ktep.org/post/viral-photo-syrian-war-victims-comes-times-square <p>http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PLp_2QU1nmY</p> Thu, 20 Mar 2014 20:28:00 +0000 Deborah Amos 37066 at http://ktep.org A Syrian Refugee Camp With Girl Scouts And A Safeway Store http://ktep.org/post/syrian-refugee-camp-girl-scouts-and-safeway-store On a sunny afternoon in the dusty, overcrowded Zaatari refugee camp in Jordan, a group of Syrian girls recites a familiar pledge and hope to change their future. Mon, 17 Mar 2014 20:30:00 +0000 Deborah Amos 36854 at http://ktep.org A Syrian Refugee Camp With Girl Scouts And A Safeway Store Syrian Conflict Marches Into Fourth Year http://ktep.org/post/syrian-conflict-marches-third-year The Syrian uprising started three years ago this week with protests and eventually a military crackdown that led to all-out civil war. More than 130,000 people have died. Mon, 17 Mar 2014 09:02:00 +0000 Deborah Amos 36802 at http://ktep.org Saudi Aid Boost To Syrian Rebels Puts Jordan At Risk http://ktep.org/post/saudi-aid-boost-syrian-rebels-puts-jordan-risk For months, a military stalemate has defined the war in Syria. Now, a new strategy is emerging as Western allies and Gulf states step up support for rebels in southern Syria.<p>Along Jordan's northern border, Syrian rebels say they are unifying their fractious ranks, urged to unite by Western and Arab intelligence operatives who work in a covert command center in Jordan's capital.<p>Rebel sources confirm pledges of stepped-up deliveries of arms and intelligence sharing. Sun, 16 Mar 2014 14:58:00 +0000 Deborah Amos 36770 at http://ktep.org Saudi Aid Boost To Syrian Rebels Puts Jordan At Risk 'Waiting For Godot' Strikes A Chord In Tehran http://ktep.org/post/waiting-godot-strikes-chord-tehran At the National Theater in downtown Tehran, "Waiting for Godot" seems to have captured the mood of a country.<p>The Irish playwright, Samuel Beckett dramatized endless waiting in vain for someone named Godot. The play, translated into Farsi, got a standing ovation on the night I attended. The characters, in classic white suits, black top hats and black shoes, took endless bows as the audience whistled and clapped.<p>Iran is also waiting. It is waiting for the outcome of negotiations with six world powers over the country's nuclear program. Fri, 14 Mar 2014 07:27:00 +0000 Deborah Amos 36640 at http://ktep.org 'Waiting For Godot' Strikes A Chord In Tehran Iranian Women Make A Push For Greater Opportunities http://ktep.org/post/iranian-women-push-tighten-gender-gap Iran is starting to see a re-launch of activist groups following the election last year of President Hassan Rouhani. Social movements were scarce after the government crushed public protests known as the Green Movement following the 2009 elections. After the decisive vote for Rouhani, a surge of hope in Iran has attracted activists back to the political arena. Iranian women, in particular, are seizing the opportunity.<p>On a recent afternoon in north Tehran, two professional women huddle with an adviser to the Ministry of Mines and Trade. Wed, 05 Mar 2014 08:08:00 +0000 Deborah Amos 36003 at http://ktep.org Iranian Women Make A Push For Greater Opportunities My (Brief) Detention By Iran's Morality Police http://ktep.org/post/my-brief-detention-irans-morality-police On my third day in Tehran last week, I was detained by Iran's notorious "morals police." This volunteer corps, with a presence in nearly every city and town, polices infractions against Islamic values. These guardians patrol parks, recreation centers, shopping malls and cafes where young people gather.<p>My introduction to the morality squad began with shouts and threats and ended with fruit juice and a hug from a lady cop in a black chador that covered bleached blond hair and a snug red leather jacket.<p>She headed the women's detention room in the gender-segregated station. Mon, 03 Mar 2014 19:50:00 +0000 Deborah Amos 35894 at http://ktep.org My (Brief) Detention By Iran's Morality Police What Comes Next In Syria? http://ktep.org/post/what-comes-next-syria For eight days, the Syrian regime and an opposition delegation sat face-to-face, but were not on speaking terms in Room 16 of the Palais des Nations in the sprawling complex of United Nations headquarters in Geneva.<p>Round one demonstrated the bitter divide with no breakthrough on the core issues of a political transition or access to humanitarian aid.<p>So what comes next?<p>An agreement to continue the talks remains on hold. The opposition delegates pledged to return to the table in early February. Sat, 01 Feb 2014 16:26:00 +0000 Deborah Amos 33961 at http://ktep.org What Comes Next In Syria? Is The U.S. Leaving A Leadership Void In The Middle East? http://ktep.org/post/us-leaving-leadership-void-middle-east Transcript <p>AUDIE CORNISH, HOST: <p>From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.<p>ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST: <p>And I'm Robert Siegel. In this part of the program, we're going to address a question that keeps bubbling up in news stories and commentary from the Middle East. Thu, 30 Jan 2014 23:32:00 +0000 Deborah Amos 33850 at http://ktep.org On Different Frequencies, Two Sides Of Syrian Media Clash http://ktep.org/post/different-frequencies-two-sides-syrian-media-clash Transcript <p>AUDIE CORNISH, HOST: <p>The meeting between Syrian government and opposition leaders also brings competing entourages to Geneva. Pro-government reporters and opposition journalists are covering the same events, often in the same room, and it's not pretty. Mon, 27 Jan 2014 22:01:00 +0000 Deborah Amos 33610 at http://ktep.org During Syrian Peace Talks, Rival Sides Wage A Media Battle http://ktep.org/post/during-syrian-peace-talks-rival-sides-wage-media-battle Friday was the first day of negotiations at the Syrian peace conference. There were no direct talks, however. Instead, international envoy Lakhdar Brahimi shuttled between government and opposition delegations in separate rooms. Fri, 24 Jan 2014 23:04:00 +0000 Deborah Amos 33457 at http://ktep.org Negotiations Begin At Syrian Peace Talks In Geneva http://ktep.org/post/negotiations-begin-syrian-peace-talks After the formal opening of the Syria peace conference in the Swiss resort of Montreux, government and opposition representatives begin negotiations Friday at United Nations headquarters in Geneva. International envoy Lakhdar Brahimi is mediating the talks. Fri, 24 Jan 2014 10:57:00 +0000 Deborah Amos 33404 at http://ktep.org Syrian Peace Talks Open With Bitterness And A Bit Of Hope http://ktep.org/post/syrian-peace-talks-open-bitterness-and-bit-hope Transcript <p>ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST: <p>This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Robert Siegel.<p>MELISSA BLOCK, HOST: <p>And I'm Melissa Block. The Syrian peace conference got off to a bitter start today with sharply opposing visions over a future role for Syria's President Bashar al-Assad. Wed, 22 Jan 2014 21:47:00 +0000 Deborah Amos 33296 at http://ktep.org