Fareed Zakaria goes 1-on-1 with Syria expert Joshua Landis to discuss an innovative solution to the ongoing Syrian crisis

Fareed Zakaria goes 1-on-1 with Syria expert Joshua Landis to discuss an innovative solution to the ongoing Syrian crisis.

This short clip comes out of the longer interview I did with Danny

How do gains by al-Nusra affect U.S. strategy in Syria? – Part 2 | PBS NewsHour
Joshua Landis & Andrew Tabler discuss what this means for US policy with Judy Woodruff

Part 1 of the PBS show = The set up of news clips which also includes some excellent graphics explaining which describe the disposition of forces on the ground.

U.S. navigates complicated cast of opposition groups in search of partner to fight Islamic State – Part 1

Over the weekend, the al-Nusra Front seized a major weapons cache from U.S.-backed Syrian rebels — a blow to Washington’s effort to keep territory out of militant control. President Obama said the U.S. and its allies must tread carefully to find an ally among all of the different factions. Judy Woodruff takes a look at some of the major groups fighting in Syria.

Comments (18)

ALAN said:

/Fareed Zakaria goes 1-on-1 with Syria expert Joshua Landis to discuss an innovative solution to the ongoing Syrian crisis/
Is this decision can be offered as a formula for the solution of such issues by China and Russia?

Mr.Putin: I beg you to draw additional maps for some regions of Europe in the same style.

Mr Xi Jinping: Please, destabilize some countries around and redraw their borders for your good solutions.

If you recognize a non-significant number of Syrians loyal to America, then why did you decide to determine the fate of all Syrians?
Syria is not a geopolitical region of the United States. You can keep calm! Look for for another job and do not interfere in our affairs.

America has nothing to do in Syria ! Did not you said to stay away from Syria?

November 8th, 2014, 5:55 pm


Ghufran said:

Nobody asked Syrians if they want Sykes Picot and now some foreign governments and political pundits want to draw Syria’s borders while Syrians are busy killing each other.
I hope Joshua states his opinion about the map on this blog unless he indeed supports the plan. The partition of Syria will not end the war, it can only serve Israel’s interests and other powers that hate to see Syria in one piece. End the war if you want to prevent the partition of Syria. The map may sound ridiculous but it gives some people a subject to drool about.

November 8th, 2014, 6:13 pm


Aethelbald said:

@alan, @ghufran: We are where we are. So let’s agree about the toxic legacy of empire, and the bloodstains on hands of the powerful, and move on to finding a way to permanently stop the killing.

Unless you’d prefer a full-scale regional war.

November 9th, 2014, 4:09 am


Amir in Tel Aviv said:


“…It can only serve Israel’s interests”.

Israel has nothing to do with Syrians killing each other.

November 9th, 2014, 4:13 am


ghufran said:

Amir, you know what I meant but you and other Jewish friends are dodging the issue. For Israel to dominate and thrive as an apartheid Jewish state its neighbors have to be weak and divided and ruled by regimes that are in bed with Israel and the US, so far this has worked just fine for Israel despite the periodic battles with Hamas and Hizbullah and the few internal Intifadas, however,numbers will make it increasingly harder for Israel to keep business as usual.
Rebels in the south are in bed with Israel, Israel bombed a military facility in Jimraya associated with missiles development then this:
“moderate” rebels finish Israel’s job by assassinating 5 nuclear engineers, opposition boneheads are dead silent on the issue (marking the third known incident since 2011):
قال مدير المرصد رامي عبد الرحمن لوكالة فرانس برس ان “مجهولين اغتالوا اليوم خمسة مهندسين يعملون في مجال الطاقة النووية في مركز البحوث العلمية في حي برزة في شمال دمشق”
Similar murders took place in Iraq targeting Iraqi scientists, Israel even killed one of them in the UK at his hotel.

November 9th, 2014, 11:23 am


Hopeful said:

Powerful words. And very inspiring. With people like him, we, Arabs, May have a better future one day.


November 9th, 2014, 12:55 pm


ALAN said:

Professor decided to imitate Bernard Levy in divide and conquer Zio-mapping.

November 9th, 2014, 4:08 pm


Helen said:

Joshua seems to have overlooked the fact that the Syrian revolution against Assad and Alawite rule began in Dara’a, also a Sunni area. And no mention of Homs or Hama? Broad policy strokes that pay no attention to the fact that Assad and his cronies do not deserve to rule the populous and prosperous majority of Syria. Unnuanced.

November 9th, 2014, 6:49 pm


Ghufran said:

The Lebanese army arrested col. Abdullah Al- Rifaee from the FSA after he tried to enter Lebanon using a fake Lebanese ID. Rifaee is a senior officer operating in Qalamon area, he and his colleagues are accused of working with nusra against the Lebanese army.
What a sad fate for a movement that claimed that it was formed to ” protect” Syrians and is now acting as pimps for a terrorist organization , nusra, that is killing and kidnapping Lebanese soldiers.

November 9th, 2014, 7:51 pm


ALAN said:

/We are where we are. So let’s agree about the toxic legacy of empire/

We are not Haiti!

/Unless you’d prefer a full-scale regional war./

Is it a threat?

November 10th, 2014, 1:43 am


JulesG said:

Joshua Landis’ very last sentence: “…but try to get better rulers for it.”
That, compressed into one sentence, is the central problem – one that Joshua doesn’t even begin to discuss a solution to.
It’s correct to say that a restructured, US-backed FSA is not a realistic military project; and yes – partition may at some point be a part of the answer to the Syrian mess, and it’s right to start breaking the taboo over it. But how on earth are we then going to set about dislodging ISIL from the newly created Sunnistan?

November 10th, 2014, 7:29 pm



Silly map, Aleppo is a very secular, industrial city. slightly over 60% of the population of the city is Sunni, and of those, about 1/3 are hardline Islamists that would want to be part of a “Sunni State!”

The odds of a breakout, if it ever happens, are more likely to be along a vertical fault line that divides Syria into a “Western” and “Eastern” parts rather than North and South, with close to 85% of the current population, including the majority of Sunnis opting to stay and live in the “Western” part. The Islamic “Eastern” Sunni state will be landlocked, primitive, and internationally-isolated. Not a great place to be and will not strive, but will be unstable enough to generate great headaches to other states in the region to keep their attention away from Israel.

Additionally, the map does not take into account the Kurdish regions that are scattered along the northern part of Syria all the way from Northwest Aleppo to Qamishli.

A plausible but less talked about scenario is that the powers that be will allow this war to continue on for a decade or more until hard borders to new mini-states are established by force and regional/international agreed-upon red lines. No one, regrettably, seems interested in ending this war and saving Syrian lives anymore.

November 10th, 2014, 10:54 pm


Ghufran said:

An excellent post, Damascus rose

November 11th, 2014, 9:56 pm


Juergen said:

The Dresden Damascus Room slept in the basement of the Ethnographical Museum in Dresden for over a 100 years … until it was brought to life by Dr. Anke Scharrahs and her team. This short documentary takes you on a journey between Germany & Syria, past & present. It questions static museum exhibitions, and sheds lights on the role of technology and digital media in preserving the life of the cultural heritage, not just the physical artifact itself.

November 11th, 2014, 10:48 pm


George H said:


Are the maps you showed to Fareed available somewhere to share? Very interesting.



November 11th, 2014, 11:42 pm


Joe said:

I think this will play out along the lines in the map Landis uses because of the demographics of the territory under Assad’s control. With, roughly speaking, 3 million Alawites/Shia, 1 million Christians, and half a million Druze; religious minorities make up close to half the population under Assad’s control. If one adds non-Arab ethnic minorities, the percentage of Arab Sunni could be below 50% of this area. I believe this is significant concerning Assad’s ability to continue to control this area, and may contribute to the present stalemate.

January 24th, 2015, 12:21 pm


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