Landis in the News


Politifact.com
Donald Trump suggests Barack Obama supported ISIS, but that’s a conspiracy theory
June 15, 2016
by Louis Jacobson

Joshua Landis, director of the Center for Middle East Studies at the University of Oklahoma, agreed. “It has never been the policy or stated goal of the Obama administration to arm or assist al-Qaida,” he said.

El PAIS
Kurdos, rebeldes y EE UU impulsan una ofensiva coordinada contra el ISIS en Siria
June 14, 2016
by Natalia Sancha

“El avance de Washington y kurdos hacia Raqa ha obligado a El Asad a desviarse de sus objetivos”, valora al teléfono el especialista norteamericano Joshua Landis. “Ahora a El Asad no le queda más remedio que ir a Raqa y luchar contra el ISIS para evitar que los kurdos o rebeldes se hagan con ella. Y ello, dejando a un segundo plano su principal prioridad: el frente de Alepo y los rebeldes suníes allí afincados”, añade. Un análisis que refrendan fuentes de las milicias libanesas aliadas a Damasco (Hezbolá y el Partido Nacional Socialista Sirio) quienes aseguran que si bien la prioridad para ellos sigue siendo Alepo, “los rusos han impuesto la ofensiva sobre Raqa presionados por la opinión pública y Washington”.

Business World
US-led offensive in Syria aimed at cutting off IS supply route
June 2, 2016

But some are skeptical of the Pentagon’s assurances. They suspect that despite Washington’s touting the role of the Arabs, it is the Kurds who will ultimately retain control. “I doubt that they are in command and they are going to have control over this territory once Kurds will have spent their blood,” said Joshua Landis, director of the Center for Middle East Studies at the University of Oklahoma.

National Post
History of violence: Aleppo has been fought over for millennia and citizens are no closer to escaping war
May 7, 2016
by Michael Petrou

“Aleppo has become the real epicentre of this struggle,” says Joshua Landis, director for Middle East Studies at the University of Oklahoma. “And it’s likely to remain an open sore.”

WBEZ’s Worldview
The Battle in Aleppo
May 3, 2016
Host Jerome McDonnell

The New York Times
Leader of Syria Rescue Group, Arriving in U.S. for Award, Is Refused Entry
April 20, 2016
by Somini Sengupta and Anne Barnard

Joshua Landis, a Syria expert at the University of Oklahoma at Norman, called the denial of entry “a scandal.”
“The White Helmets are one of the few organizations in Syria that have been above reproach,” he said. “They have tried to observe strict neutrality in order to facilitate their humanitarian work and save lives. To do this they have worked along side all sorts of militias in order to get to victims of the fighting.”

USA TODAY
Syria peace talks set to resume amid new fighting
April 12, 2016
by Oren Dorell

“The cease-fire cut off some very unfinished business around Aleppo, which the regime is trying to retake,” said Joshua Landis, a Syria analyst at the University of Oklahoma. Syrian government troops are trying to retake the entire border with Turkey, which is controlled in various segments by Kurdish militias, Turkey-supported rebels and Islamic State factions, Landis said.
“The Syrian government is more concerned about the areas it hasn’t captured where other Arab militias can get arms and resupplies from Turkey,” he said. “So the cease-fire was going to be broken, it was a matter of when.”

France24 English
‘Islamic State’ Conflict, Syrian army recaptures Palmyra from ‘IS’ Group
March 29, 2016

Recapture of Palmyra: “changed the balance of power in Syria dramatically” Joshua Landis

TRT World
Joshua Landis talks to TRT World about Syria: Fiver years of war
March 18, 2016

To the Point
Russia Draws Down in Syria
March 17, 2016

Vladimir Putin surprised the world when he suddenly started bombing in Syria last September. This week, he surprised the world again when he ordered the “main part” of his military forces out of Syria. The Pentagon says the Russians aren’t going away. Long-range missiles and bombs are still falling, and Russia’s airbase and naval station are permanent fixtures. For the moment, Putin’s surprise move has kept him out of the “quagmire” predicted by President Obama, but his long-range intentions are unclear. His air assaults did enough damage to embolden President Assad to join talks in Geneva, but are Syrians any closer to ending a savage civil war?

China News International
Syria conflict: Kurds to declare federal system
March 17, 2016

Daily Mail
Kurds plan to declare a federal region in northern Syria
March 16, 2016
by Associated Press

Joshua Landis, director of Middle East studies at the University of Oklahoma, said the federalist project has logic to it, but is doomed to fail under current conditions.
“The federal system would be the way forward if people would accept it,” Landis said, “But they won’t because they don’t like each other.”

The Globe and Mail
Kurds announce plans to declare federal region in Syria
March 16, 2016
by Zeina Karam and Philip Issa

Joshua Landis, director of Middle East studies at the University of Oklahoma, said the federalist project has logic to it, but is doomed to fail under current conditions.
“The federal system would be the way forward if people would accept it,” Landis said, “But they won’t because they don’t like each other.”

The Washington Post
In the Syria chess game, did Putin outwit Obama?
March 16, 2016
by Ishaan Tharoor

“Assad’s people were very confident only a week ago that Russia was going to take them all the way, help them reconquer all of Syria,” Syria expert Joshua Landis told NPR. “In a sense, Russia’s saying, we don’t have to do that; we’re not necessarily going to do that.”

PRI
Mission Accomplished? Russia Withdraws from Syria
March 15, 2016

Joshua Landis, director of the Center for Middle East Studies at the University of Oklahoma, joins The Takeaway to discuss what Putin’s announcement means for the situation in Syria.

CNN
Putin: Russian troops out of Syria
March 15, 2016

CNNi talks to Middle East expert Joshua Landis of the Uni. of Oklahoma about the message Russian Pres. Putin is sending by ordering its troops out of Syria.

Zero Hedge
“We Can Always Come Back”: Video Shows Beginning Of Russia’s Withdrawal From Syria
March 15, 2016
by Tyler Durden

“Putin is a wily guy. He is showing he’s a statesman. Russia is also sending a message to Assad who has been sounding too confident.” That’s from Joshua Landis, director of the Center for Middle East studies at the University of Oklahoma, and a frequent commentator on Syria’s five-year conflict.

Foreign Policy
Russian Withdrawal Could Set Stage for Assad’s Exit
March 14, 2016
by Paul Mcleary

Joshua Landis, director of the Center for Middle East Studies at the University of Oklahoma, said that until the past week, he had been in touch with officials close to the Assad regime in Damascus who expressed “a constant drumbeat of confidence that they’re going to take back every inch of Syrian soil, and Russia is their partner.” But those communications abruptly fell off earlier this month. “No one was answering the phones in Damascus. That leads me to believe they were thrown for a loop.”

Los Angles Times
As Syrian peace talks near, Bashar Assad’s future remains a sticking point
March 14, 2016
by Patrick J. McDonnell

“Expecting Syrians to come to terms among themselves is not productive,” said Joshua Landis, a Syria expert at the University of Oklahoma. “The ideological, political differences between them are too great.”

NPR
Russian President Vladimir Putin To Withdraw Majority Of Troops From Syria
March 14, 2016
Host Robert Siegel, All Things Considered

Vladimir Putin says he’s withdrawing the main part of Russia’s troop deployment to Syria. What do you think he means by that?
LANDIS: Well, it’s not quite clear, but I – but he’s sending, in a sense, three messages, it seems to me. One, he’s establishing that he’s a statesman. He wants peace. He’s willing to meet America halfway. He’s also letting the people know at Russia – at home, mission accomplished.

PRI
Here’s why the partial truce in Syria has astounded even the experts
March 1, 2016
by Joyce Hackel

“This is essentially a deal that was made between America and Russia, and is being pushed on the Syrians. And so far it’s working,” Landis says.

The WorldPost
A partnership of the Huffington Post and Berggruen Institute
The Terror Group That Could Ruin Syria’s Ceasefire Isn’t ISIS
February 27, 2016
by Charlotte Alfred

The WorldPost spoke to Joshua Landis, director of the Center for Middle East Studies at the University of Oklahoma and editor of the blog Syria Comment, about the dilemmas that Nusra Front poses for the truce deal — and for peace in Syria.

El Pais
Islamistas sirios, entre Occidente y Al Qaeda
February 24, 2016
by ANDRÉS MOURENZA

“En Siria hay muchos moderados, pero si quieres ganar la guerra sólo tienes dos opciones: ir con el régimen o con los salafistas”, sostiene Joshua Landis, experto en el país árabe.

Here & Now
Syrian Government And Opposition Agree To Ceasefire
February 23, 2016
Host Jeremy Hobson

After nearly five years of civil war and more than 250,000 deaths, the warring parties in Syria say they will abide by a ceasefire that is scheduled to take effect Saturday.
The United Nations says it will be a challenge to enforce the truce. That’s because the Syrian battlefield is complicated by the presence of ISIS and the al-Qaida group, al-Nusra.
Here & Now’s Jeremy Hobson talks with Joshua Landis, director of the Center for Middle East Studies at the University of Oklahoma, about the prospects for peace.

Sputnik News
Turkey Fears Alienating US by Restricting Access to Incirlik Airbase
February 20, 2016

University of Oklahoma Center for Middle East Studies Director Joshua Landis told Sputnik that if Turkey were to follow through on threats to limit access to Incirlik it would put the United States in a very precarious position.
“Incirlik remains crucial to US efforts to fight the Islamic State [Daesh],” Landis suggested. “The United States has been building an airport in northern Syria, but it is small and would not be able to repair sophisticated jets.”
Landis, who is also the editor of Syria Comment, observed that Washington is trying not to get in between the PYD and Ankara in their dispute because they both are vital US allies.

Foreign Policy
In Spat Between Turks and Kurds, U.S. Remains on the Sidelines
February 18, 2016
by John Hudson, Dan De Luce

Joshua Landis, a Syria expert at the University of Oklahoma, said Washington was in a “very bad predicament here because the U.S.’s only dependable ally in Syria is the Kurds.” He added that YPG fighters have helped reclaim significant amounts of territory from ISIS.

The Globe and Mail
Ankara bombing underscores border fears as Turkey pushes for buffer zone
February 17, 2016
by Victor Kotsev

“Saudi [Arabia] and Turkey are likely engaged in great theatre,” Joshua Landis, a prominent Syria expert at the University of Oklahoma, said in an e-mail. “Both powers, which have ambitions to lead the Sunni world, must demonstrate to their people and beyond that they are defending the Sunni rebels and not standing idly by as they are defeated by Russia and its allies.”

Los Angeles Times
Backed by Russian air power, Syria’s army builds on gains
January 18, 2016
by Nabih Bulos
“Assad is winning. Russian air power [has] changed the entire dynamic of what’s going on, and it just gives the Syrian army an incredible boost,” said Joshua Landis, director of the Center for Middle East Studies at the University of Oklahoma, in a phone interview.
ABC
‘I don’t see any way that Assad is not going to win this’: Analyst
February 17, 2016
by Eleanor Hall

“After all, the Syrian Government – the economy has been collapsing – the Syrian Government does not have the money to feed its own people. And it would I’m sure be very interested in having tons of international aid but it will want to direct to whom it goes.” Joshua Landis

Kent Presents
Understanding Islamic Extremism
February 26, 2016

Michael Kramer, Joshua Landis and Chase Robinson parse out the facts of Islamic extremism and ISIS.

NZZ am Sonntag
Syrien «Der Westen ist spektakulär gescheitert»
February 16, 2016
by von Anna Trechsel

Der amerikanische Syrien-Experte und Nahost-Professor Joshua Landis rechnet im Interview damit, dass der syrische Diktator Bashar al-Asad den Bürgerkrieg gewinnt – dank der Unterstützung Russlands.

The Washington Times
Syria cease-fire would help Assad, allies secure control of Aleppo
February 14, 2016
by Guy Taylor

Joshua Landis, who heads the Center for Middle East Studies at the University of Oklahoma, argues that the cease-fire is “necessary for Russia to finesse international outrage at the terrible human cost of its advances around Aleppo.”

Sputnik
Erdogan’s Gamble in Syria Goes Bust
February 13, 2016

“Turkey is furious because it placed a big bet on backing the rebels,” Landis said. “It thought it had America behind it in destroying Assad. It looks today that Assad may reconquer the country and establish his authority. The Kurds then would then have a backer in Syria and a large degree of autonomy, and that would put Turkey in a terrible position.”

Who. What. Why.
Confused by the bloody war in Syria? Here’s the whowhatwhy.
February 12, 2016
by Victor Kotsev

“That’s the same strategy that was used around [the capital] Damascus for the entire campaign, to close off the border with Lebanon,” says Joshua Landis, one of the top Syria experts in the West who teaches at the University of Oklahoma. “It began in 2012 with the conquest of [the town of ] Qusayr… and they sealed the border with Lebanon, which really protected Damascus. And they’ve got to do the same thing with Turkey.”

The Diane Rehm Show
The Latest on the Military, Political and Humanitarian Crises in Syria
February 11, 2016

Russia continues airstrikes in Syria. Secretary Kerry meets with world leaders in an attempt to resolve the country’s five-year civil war. A panel joins Diane to discuss the latest on the military, political and humanitarian crises facing Syria. Joshua Landis and Ambassador James Jeffrey get heated over whether U.S. should use overwhelming force in Syria or not.

The Take Away
Syria: Time to Favor a Dictator over Democracy?
February 11, 2016
by John Hockenberry

According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, at least 500 people—including 89 civilians—have been killed since the Russian-backed offensive on Aleppo province began earlier this month. Tens of thousands of people have left the area and have headed to the Turkish border, which has been sealed shut.
Is the U.S. letting Russia take the lead on Syria? And what does this mean for the Syrian rebels? For answers, we turn to Joshua Landis, director for Middle East Studies at the University of Oklahoma.

PRI
Erdogan feels the US left Turkey in the lurch with Syrian conflict
February 11, 2016
by Kenny Sokan

“Turkey wants the United States to come in strong on Syria, stop the Russians and stop the refugee flow that’s pouring out of Aleppo,” says Josh Landis, director of the Center of Middle East Studies at the University of Oklahoma. “Turkey feels like it’s been left holding the bag both by the United States and Europe. … America looks like it’s bowing out. It’s going to let Russia try to clean up Syria or at least have its way in Syria.”

RT
Syrian quagmire
February 3, 2016

The talks have started, but where will they go? Ending Syria’s civil war is a daunting endeavor. There are too many parties with conflicting agendas. Outside powers have been fueling this war for years. Can the same powers end it?
CrossTalking with Joshua Landis, Richard Murphy, and Andrew Cockburn.

WBUR On Point with Tom Ashbrook
Peace Talks For Syria
February 3, 2016

Guests: Joshua Landis, Noah Bonsey and Patrick McDonnell
After all kinds of pressure from Washington and beyond, peace talks over the Syrian civil war are finally underway in Geneva. Maybe. Participants can’t even agree over whether they’ve started. The odds of a negotiated solution seem almost nil. But the talks are a good window through which to look at Syria and the clashing interests behind a war that has destroyed a country, spawned ISIS, flooded Europe and set the world on edge. This hour On Point, war and peace and Syria.

Foreign Policy
In Confidential Memo, U.N. Says It Can’t Enforce a Syrian Peace Deal
January 29, 2016
by Colum Lynch

Joshua Landis, a Syria expert at the University of Oklahoma, predicted that government forces will negotiate directly with the fighters on the battlefield. But in Geneva, he added, it’s likely Damascus will denounce the opposition as terrorists. “They will do the Trump thing and tell you how bad you are,” he said.

RT
Official Syrian opposition to join Geneva 3 peace talks after about-face – UN mediator
January 29, 2016

Joshua Landis, Director of Middle Eastern Studies at the University of Oklahoma commented on the complexities of the new round of talks, which will see de Mistura shuttling between different groups and factions.
There will be at least four groups sitting in four different rooms: “Women and civil society group, there is another group that the Russians put together, which includes Haytham Manna who is the co-president of the Syria Democratic Council and it represents the Kurds to a certain degree … and then there is the Syrian opposition that Riyadh has put together, and there will be Assad’s team in the fourth room,” Landis told RT.

Al Arabiya
Diplomatic Avenue: The US relationship with the Syrian opposition
January 29, 2016
by Talal al-Haj

Diplomatic Avenue is beamed live every month from Al Arabiya’s studios in the United Nations. Presented by Talal al-Haj, the show features interviews with high-level diplomats and decision makers, with video reports focusing on recent diplomatic developments and pressing issues. The program casts a critical eye over the work of the U.N. and its agencies, not only on the political front, but also on the humanitarian, cultural and scientific levels. The show gives its audience an insight into what goes on within the halls and corridors of the U.N., with a special emphasis on issues that matter to the Arab and Islamic worlds.

TRT World
The Newsmakers: Syria Peace Talks and Refugee Volunteers
January 28, 2016

Renewed efforts to solve Syria’s war through talks. But is it possible to get all the players round the negotiating table?
Also on today’s programme… What role do civilian volunteers play in the refugee crisis effort? We have a special report from Lesbos. Joshua Landis and Mohammad Alabdallah debate.

IRIN
Syrian peace talks lost in a fog of war
January 28, 2016
by Annie Slemrod

“Assad is not going because he wants to negotiate, and not because he thinks the opposition can deliver [on unity],” Joshua Landis, a Syria expert and director of the Center for Middle East Studies at the University of Oklahoma, told IRIN. “He’s going because his major sponsor, Russia, has told him to.”

TRT World
The Newsmakers: Syria Peace Talks and Refugee Volunteers
January 28, 2016

Renewed efforts to solve Syria’s war through talks. But is it possible to get all the players round the negotiating table?

Sputnik News
Syrian Kurds Should Attend Peace Talks Amid Dispute Over Terrorist Label
January 27, 2016

“The Syrian Kurds make-up 10 percent of the population of Syria and should be included,” University of Oklahoma Center for Middle East Studies Director Joshua Landis told Sputnik on Tuesday. “Claiming that they are terrorists is not an excuse for excluding them.”
Landis added that considering members of the Syrian opposition and Syrian President Bashar Assad’s government have exchanged terrorist allegations to no effect, and there should not be an exception when it comes to the Kurds.

Rudaw
The Kurds and the Great Sorting Out
January 26, 2016
by Paul Iddon

Professor Joshua Landis is an expert foremost on Syria. Having followed the Middle East for decades now his input on the current crisis is frequently cited and solicited. He has devised a broad theory to try and summarize what is happening across the region which he calls ‘the great sorting out’. Hence, as with Europe over the course of the century past different underlying ethno-sectarian tensions reached boiling point at a time of war and the regions different ethno-sectarian groups are being reorganized on more homogenous grounds. While this doesn’t necessarily mean Iraq and Syria will permanently break-up Landis’s precedent is a dire one.

NPR
Pentagon Gets ISIS Metaphor Wrong, Critics Say
January 26, 2016
Host David Welna, Morning Edition

JOSHUA LANDIS: It makes it seem like we’re going to be able to apply our modern techniques of warfare in the same way that you would going into the hospital to fight some kind of skin cancer or something like that. It isn’t going to be so easy.

Voice of America
Challenges Could Derail Syria Talks
January 26, 2016
by Mohamed Elshinnawi

But Landis argues there is no good will to ensure any optimistic outcomes of the talks, even if all parties attended.
“I believe the upcoming Geneva talks will be in vain as the previous efforts were, simply because neither side is willing to compromise.” Landis said, “It is quite clear that Russia and Assad believe that they can achieve a conquest in the battlefield and the Syrian opposition groups still believe they can take Damascus by force.”

Hürriyet
Türkiye’yi Sıkıştıran Denklem
January 25, 2016
by Verda Özer

DW
Syrian talks jeopardized by dispute over participants
January 24, 2016

“Everybody is making these very maximalist demands, it doesn’t look good,” Joshua Landis, a Syria expert at the University of Oklahoma, told DW.

Financial Times
Vladimir Putin asked Bashar al-Assad to step down
January 22, 2016
by Sam Jones in London, Erika Solomon in Beirut and Kathrin Hille in Kazan

The disappearance of Abdelaziz al-Kheir, an Alawite dissident, was a striking example, said Joshua Landis, a Syria analyst from Oklahoma State University.
Mr Al-Kheir, a leading member of the National Co-ordinating Body, a political grouping dedicated to negotiating with Mr Assad to achieve democratic change, was from a prominent family in Mr Assad’s home town, said Mr Landis.

Foreign Affairs
Assad Has It His Way
January 19, 2016
by Joshua Landis and Steven Simon

Most important to Assad has been the attitude of the United States. U.S. President Barack Obama’s first reaction to Russia’s entry into the war on September 30 was to state, “We’re not going to make Syria into a proxy war between the U.S. and Russia.” This was consistent with the administration’s long-standing reluctance to go beyond its current support for a small number of armed groups opposed to the Assad regime. Moscow has had a long and important relationship with Damascus; Washington has not.

The American Interest
“Asad is Winning”
January 19, 2016

Noted Syria expert Joshua Landis put it more bluntly in an interview with the LA Times: “Assad is winning. Russian air power [has] changed the entire dynamic of what’s going on, and it just gives the Syrian army an incredible boost. […] What I’m hearing from Damascus is that it has taken time to digest the new technology, for the Russians to get well situated, get the intelligence they require and know what they’re doing.”

Los Angeles Times
Backed by Russian air power, Syria’s army builds on gains
January 18, 2016
by Nabih Bulos

“Assad is winning. Russian air power [has] changed the entire dynamic of what’s going on, and it just gives the Syrian army an incredible boost,” said Joshua Landis, director of the Center for Middle East Studies at the University of Oklahoma, in a phone interview.

INTERNACIONAL EL PAÍS
El ISIS trata de tomar el control total del mayor enclave sirio del Éufrates
January 18, 2016
by NATALIE SANCHA

Aferrado a su oasis en territorio del califato que reina en el noreste del país, Bachar el Asad está determinado a mantenerla. “Deir al Zor prueba tanto que el ISIS está debilitado como que El Asad no se va a centrar solo en las metrópolis de su feudo sino que piensa mantener su control sobre esta capital de provincia”, explica en una entrevista a este diario el experto norteamericano Joshua Landis.

Ripubblica
Joshua Landis: “Il Califfo perde consensi e si vendica sui civili inermi”
January 18, 2016
by FRANCISCO CAFERRI
Financial Times
Russia helps shift balance against rebels in southern Syria
January 7, 2016
by Erika Solomon in Beirut and John Reed in Jerusalem

Interfaith Voices
How Middle East Governments are Exploiting an Ancient Religious Divide
January 6, 2016

The Sunni kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the Shia theocracy of Iran have evolved into the de-facto religious superpowers of the Middle East. Saudi Arabia’s recent execution of a prominent Shia cleric sparked a new round of tension between the two rival countries. We talk with a Middle East expert to help us understand the roots of this conflict and what the latest fallout means for the region.

The Washington Times
Obama yields to Russia and Iran, puts Assad ouster on back burner
December 21, 2015
by Guy Taylor

The calculation that the White House has made is that working with Assad is less bad than the alternative of going to war with Russia over Assad, or of sending in a large number of American troops to fight the Islamic State on the ground,” says Joshua Landis, who heads the Center for Middle East Studies at the University of Oklahoma.

PolitiFact
Chris Christie mostly wrong that Barack Obama invited Russia into military role in Syria
December 21, 2015
by Louis Jacobson

“It isn’t true,” Landis said. “The United states tried to oppose Russia moving aircraft and weaponry into Syria. The U.S. government convinced Greece and other countries to close its airspace to Russian planes. Russia flew over Iran and Iraq, which allowed the Russian resupply planes to overfly them. The U.S. could have attacked the Russian planes and ships and did not. I presume Chris Christie is confusing that with an invitation.”

International Business Times
UN security Council unanimously adopts resolution to conclude long-standing civil war in Syria
December 19, 2015
by Debleena Sarkar

“It is very good that the U.S. and Russia are trying to work together even if they have very different outcomes in mind,” Bloomberg quoted Joshua Landis, director of the Centre for Middle East Studies at the University of Oklahoma, as saying. “Up until now, both sides have believed that an escalation in fighting could help turn the balance of power in their favor and bring their opponents to their knees.”

Geneva Centre for Security Policy
Is there a solution in Syria with Assad?
December 16, 2015

Dr Joshua Landis, Director of the Center for Middle Eastern Studies and Associate Professor at the University of Oklahoma, took position in favour of a negotiated ceasefire with Bashar al-Assad that would keep him in power. His counterpart, Dr Randa Slim, Director of the Initiative for Track II Dialogues at the Middle East Institute in Washington DC and Adjunct Research Fellow at the New America Foundation, argued that Syria has no future with Assad staying in power.

ABC RN (Australia’s NPR/BBC)
Lessons from WWII for the Middle East today
December 16, 2015
Presenter Andrew West

American academic Joshua Landis likens what’s happening in the Middle East today to what occurred in Europe during and after World War II, where many nations became, through violence and genocide, ethnically homogenous.
In Iraq, the Christian population has fallen from around 1.5 million at the time of the Western-backed invasion in 2003 to just 400,000 today. They’re barely clinging to survival in a land they’ve called home for 2,000 years. What future is there for the Middle East with religious nationalism in charge?

AVE MARIA RADIO
Special Coverage from Rome-Christian Persecution:A Global Tragedy
December 15, 2015
by Al Kresta

Foreign Policy
Will an al Qaeda Ally Be a Peacemaker in Syria?
December 4, 2015
by Colum Lynch, John Hudson

At the same time, the armed group signed up to a coalition — dubbed Jaish al-Fatah, or the Army of Conquest — that included fighters from al-Nusra Front and other extremist Islamic factions seeking to topple the Syrian regime.
“They are very tight with al-Nusra,” said Joshua Landis, the director of the University of Oklahoma’s Center for Middle East Studies.

ABC RN
Is Syrian settlement possible?
December 2, 2015
by Keri Phillips

‘They have a long swathe of territory that runs right along the Syrian/Turkish border for hundreds of miles, from the Iraq border, where of course there’s Iraqi Kurdistan, right along this Turkish border to Kobani’, says Joshua Landis, head of the Center for Middle East Studies at the University of Oklahoma.
‘Then there’s another blob of Kurdish territory, Afrin, all the way out to the west. The Kurds would like to sew together all those Kurdish majority regions in a long strip that would almost divide Turkey from Syria.’