Landis in the News


The Washington Times
Journalist’s disappearance creates diplomatic crisis: ‘The Saudis have a lot of explaining to do’
Oct 10, 2018

We accuse the Iranians of exporting terrorism,” said longtime regional analyst Joshua Landis, who heads the Center for Middle East Studies at the University of Oklahoma. “Well, this looks an awful lot like the Saudis are exporting terrorism, and that puts a bone in the craw of the Trump administration’s whole narrative that it’s better to be friends with Saudi Arabia than Iran.”
The incident is likely to cool even further the frosty relations between Saudi Arabia and Turkey, battered by Ankara’s decision to side with Qatar in a diplomatic feud with Saudi Arabia and other Gulf allies. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has described Mr. Khashoggi as a “personal friend” and has issued increasingly harsh public statements demanding that the Saudis clarify what happened to him.

The Conservative Edge Show #29: A Retrospective on Iraq
Oct 2, 2018

The Conservative Edge deals with issues “Domestic and International” that affect the lives of Americans, their understanding of government and society, education of their children, and their belief systems. The show covers ideas on conservatism, economics, investments, and constitutionally protected freedoms.
Substance is our Hallmark!

Radio War Nerd
Radio War Nerd EP #150 — Idlib & the Syria Endgame, with Joshua Landis
Sep 27, 2018

NewsStatesmanAmerica
In Idlib, a father’s dreams hang on the Turkey-Russia deal
Sep 27, 2018

Joshua Landis, a Syria expert, said: “It certainly delays an offensive and makes a final political solution just a little more likely.” However, he inserts a caveat that the chances of a military assault on Idlib are still high.

“Assad has stated many times that he intends to retake all Syrian land,” he said. “It is unlikely that Assad will accept a permanent rebel enclave in Idlib.”

MilitaryTimes
The White House has revealed massive mission creep in Syria. Here’s why.
Sept 26, 2018

“The argument that ISIS is going to come back if America leaves Syria seems spurious to me,” Joshua Landis, director of the Center for Middle East Studies at the University of Oklahoma, said.
“ISIS has never spread in a country where there’s a strong state,” Landis said.
Now, ISIS has already shifted back to a grass-roots insurgency, similar to the group’s previous iteration that was known as al-Qaida in Iraq.

France 24 TV News Hour
Sept 23, 2018

Background Briefing
Russia is Giving Israel a Free Hand in Syria to Go After Iranian Targets
September 18, 2018

Russia is Giving Israel a Free Hand in Syria to Go After Iranian Targets – Joshua Landis

Russian TV Interview-newshour
Sept 17, 2018

BBC
Russia and Turkey to create buffer zone in Idlib
Sept 17, 2018

The demilitarised zone will separate government forces and rebel fighters. It would be patrolled by soldiers from both Russia and Turkey. Joshua Landis, the head of the Center For Middle East Studies at the University of Oklahoma says the agreement is important.

The Inquirer
Will anyone save Syrians in Idlib from possible massacre by Putin, Assad? | Trudy Rubin
Sept 14, 2018

“The United States, the Gulf states, and Europe encouraged a lot of Syrian rebels to become involved,” says noted Syria expert Joshua Landis, “and now they don’t want to take responsibility. Everyone is trying to shed crocodile tears, but we’re all complicit.”

DW
Idlib’s civilians in survival mode for Syrian assault
Sept 9, 2018

“Russia and Syria have demanded that Idlib’s population surrender and go through the sort of reconciliation process that [the province of] Daraa has gone through. HTS has refused all requests and said that it will cut the heads of any traitors who negotiate with the Syrian regime,” Joshua Landis, director of the Center for Middle East Studies at the University of Oklahoma, told DW.

Ahval
Turkey and the Idlib conundrum
Sep 8, 2018

In Idlib, HTS has been the predominant group since it defeated the Turkish-backed Ahrar al-Sham group in July 2017. Essentially HTS was previously the al-Qaeda offshoot Jabhat al-Nusra, a group so notorious that U.S.-Russian brokered ceasefires in Syria two years ago explicitly excluded that militant group alongside Islamic State.
“The world is looking to Turkey to save the province from a terrible humanitarian crisis,” Professor Joshua Landis, a noted Syria expert and the Director of the Middle East Studies Department at the University of Oklahoma, told Ahval News.
“Turkey will need to come up with a workable plan for dissolving or displacing the militant Islamist militias such as HTS,” Landis noted.

CrossTalk RTV
Trumpian trajectory
Sep 5, 2018

From Syria to the European Union, from Iran to Turkey and North Korea – what kind of world order is the Trump administration striving to create? Is there a method to all of this ‘madness’? Clearly the old world order is under threat and is intensifying. What will replace it?
CrossTalking with Joshua Landis, Abdel Atwan, and Mark Almond

The Washington Times
Saudi crown prince’s ambitious reforms quashed with ‘postponement’ of Aramco IPO
Sep 2, 2018

The crown prince “has been rather clubfooted and has scared away investors,” Joshua Landis, director of the Middle East Center at the University of Oklahoma, said in a phone interview.
Widely known as MBS, the charismatic and popular prince is the acknowledged power behind the throne of his father, King Salman, and has spent the past year introducing — some say force-feeding — political and social liberalizations in one of the world’s most hermetic kingdoms.

The Defense Post
Kurds tie northern Syria stability to continued US military presence
Aug 31, 2018

“The Defense Department and State Department have long seen staying in Syria for the ‘Long Haul’ as necessary for leverage against Assad, helping the Kurds and rolling back Iran,” said Joshua Landis, director of the Center for Middle Eastern Studies at the University of Oklahoma.
“President Trump has been the squeaky wheel. He surprised everyone by saying that he wanted to bring the troops home soon. This caused his national security community to do damage control and try to convince him to prolong the operation,” Landis told The Defense Post

Syria:direct
Infographic: Idlib, last resort for more than one million displaced Syrians
Aug 30, 2018

According to Joshua Landis, director of the University of Oklahoma’s Center for Middle East Studies, the mass movement of civilian populations into Idlib represents the culmination of a years-long military strategy by the Syrian government to hem in Syrians deemed to be pro-opposition, while pressuring Turkey on its borders.
“This was seen as a way to get rid of all these people,” Landis tells Syria Direct. “In their heart of hearts, the [Syrian government] would like to drive up through Idlib and chase out hundreds of thousands.”
With nowhere left to be displaced to in Syria, and Turkey sending mixed signals about its willingness to absorb more refugees, this enormous population now stands in the crossfire of what could be the last great battle of the Syrian conflict.
“People are stuck in the middle of these two big elephants” says Landis.

Mindanao Examiner
End of the line for Hay’et Tahrir al-Sham in Syria? – Al Jazeera
Aug 30,2018

I doubt if Turkey or others would be able to avoid an attack on Idlib or its takeover by the regime,” said Joshua Landis, director of the Center for Middle East Studies at Oklahoma University. Unless the US does something drastic, such as establishing a no-fly zone over the province, Syrian forces supported by Russia’s airpower will undoubtedly retake it, Landis told Al Jazeera.
Landis agreed that time was up for the armed group as Hay’et Tahrir al-Sham’s options have become exhausted, especially with Turkey.
The Turkish government will not allow HTS members to resettle in Turkey for fear of being accused of harbouring “terrorists”, thereby complicating ties with Western intelligence agencies.
“HTS has reached the end of the line,” said Landis, also the author of the Syria Commentblog.

Aljazeera
End of the line for Hay’et Tahrir al-Sham in Syria?
Aug 29,2018

“I doubt if Turkey or others would be able to avoid an attack on Idlib or its takeover by the regime,” said Joshua Landis, director of the Center for Middle East Studies at Oklahoma University.
Unless the US does something drastic, such as establishing a no-fly zone over the province, Syrian forces supported by Russia’s airpower will undoubtedly retake it, Landis told Al Jazeera.

Aljazeera Arabic talk show
Aug 29, 2018

Aljazeera Arabic
Aug 17, 2018

Russian TV news
Aug 17, 2018

BBC
Aug 11, 2018

BBC
Aug 12, 2018

Voice of America
Water Crisis Looms as Syria Military Conflict Winds Down
Aug 28,2018

Joshua Landis, who heads the Middle East program at the University of Oklahoma, said the four-year drought “caused immense suffering in Syria,” and forced more than a million people to leave their farms in eastern Syria and to migrate to cities or the edge of cities. “It was that population,” Landis said, “that in many ways laid the groundwork for civil war.”

Newsweek
Is U.S. Going to Attack Syria Again? Russia Thinks So and It’s Getting Ready for Action
Aug 27, 2018

In discussing the tension between the U.S. and Russia in Syria, Joshua Landis, head of the University of Oklahoma’s Center for Middle East Studies and the blog Syria Comment, told Newsweek that this “back and forth” appeared to be “a replay of the lead up to the Ghouta Campaign,” located in the recently-retaken suburbs of Damascus and “in which both sides accused the other of planning the use of chemical weapons.”

BBC NEWS
US-Turkey row: Pastor a ‘pawn in personal feud’
Aug 19, 2018

Turkish officials have said the bank did nothing illegal and shouldn’t be penalised. Meanwhile the feud continues. Mr Trump wants Mr Erdogan to release Mr Brunson for humanitarian reasons. If Mr Brunson is found guilty, he could face up to 35 years in prison. But there are other reasons too, says Joshua Landis, a professor of Middle East studies at the University of Oklahoma in Norman. He says that if Mr Trump wins Mr Brunson’s freedom, then the president can claim that his “strong-arm tactics” are effective in the realm of foreign policy. Besides that, says Mr Landis, securing the release of Mr Brunson would be welcomed by “the religious right”. “That’s his bread and butter,” says Mr Landis. “He’s doing this for them.”

Newsweek
U.S. DISPUTE WITH TURKEY HELPS RUSSIA AND IRAN IN SYRIA, WHERE WASHINGTON IS LOSING ALLIES
Aug 18, 2018

“It appears there are two contradictory things going on in U.S. foreign policy,” Joshua Landis, who heads the University of Oklahoma’s Center for Middle East Studies and the online blog Syria Comment, told Newsweek. “One being driven by the White House for domestic reasons and one driven by the Department of Defense for strategic reasons.”

Trump SHOOTING HIMSELF in foot’: US-Turkey sanctions may STRENGTHEN Syria
Aug 17, 2018

Joshua Landis, who heads the University of Oklahoma’s Centre for Middle East Studies and the online blog Syria Comment, told Newsweek: “It appears there are two contradictory things going on in US foreign policy.
“One being driven by the White House for domestic reasons and one driven by the Department of Defence for strategic reasons.”

The Straights Times
Turkey crisis risks souring military ties with US
Aug 14, 2018

Professor Joshua Landis, director of Centre for Middle East Studies, told AFP that Turkey’s ejection from Nato would be disastrous.
“There’s no upside to kicking Turkey out, it’ll just force Turkey into Russia’s hands,” he said.

South China Morning Post
How Trump is risking a military mistake of ‘epic proportions’ by souring US ties with Turkey
Aug 14, 2018

“Turkey is going to be hurt the most because it’s weaker and America is just a big elephant,” says Joshua Landis, director of Centre for Middle East Studies at the University of Oklahoma.

Voice of America
Eerie Calm Pervades Idlib as Government Forces Amass
August 11, 2018

Joshua Landis, who heads the Middle East program at the University of Oklahoma, told VOA he thought the Syrian government was hoping to retake Idlib the same way it recently recaptured the southern city of Daraa — by negotiating “reconciliation agreements” with the various rebel militias that are at each other’s throats.
“[President Bashar al-] Assad’s strategy is to divide and conquer in Idlib province, in the same way that he did in Daraa,” Landis said. “There were 56 militias. More than half of them reconciled with the government and put down their guns. This left the remaining militias in a very weakened and vulnerable position. And this is why the Syrian government and army [were] able to sweep through Daraa in less than a month’s time and conquer the place.”

Ahval
Turkey on alert as threat of Idlib “bloodbath” rises
Aug 9,2018

Should Assad regime forces take Idlib, Turkey could also face accommodating up to 100,000 rebel fighters, many of whom have ties to Al-Qaeda, according to Syria scholar Joshua Landis,director of Centre for Middle East Studies at the University of Oklahoma.
“(The) Turkish government doesn’t want them in Turkey, and it wants to see some gains from its Syrian adventure, which so far has brought nothing but pain, expense, and refugees into Turkey,” said Landis.

The Litchfield County Times
KentPresents brings together experts across the field for weekend of brainstorming
Aug 8,2018

In discussing Kent Presents: A Festival of Ideas Benjamin Rosen states, we have had Joshua Landis, director for the Center of Middle East Studies and professor at University of Oklahoma. He writes SyriaComment.com, a daily newsletter on Syrian politics that attracts some 200,000 page-reads a month. He has been to the conference twice and the response has been extraordinary.”

Syria:direct
As Syria’s proxies converge on Idlib, what’s next for Turkey’s northern state-within-a-state?
Aug 6, 2018

Ankara is digging deep into northern Aleppo’s nominally rebel-held towns and villages—and it doesn’t plan on leaving anytime soon, says Joshua Landis, director of the University of Oklahoma’s Center for Middle East Studies.
“Turkey is prepared to, in a sense, quasi-annex this region,” Landis tells Syria Direct’s Madeline Edwards.

The Weather Channel
Depleted: Water and Patience Are Running Out in Jordan
Aug 1, 2018

Identity in Syria is tied up in rain. It’s all about social geography: how it was created over thousands of year and how it continues to impact daily life. This argument has best been articulated by Joshua Landis, professor at the University of Oklahoma. Water scarcity exacerbated by climate change has only made more apparent what’s been present throughout history.

Aljazeera
How big a threat is ISIL to the Syrian government?
July 27, 2018

Joshua Landis, director of the University of Oklahoma’s Center of Middle East Studies was a guest in this discussion of ISIL (ISIS) and the threat it poses to the Syrian government.

Ahval
Kurdish fighters increase attacks on Turkish posts around Afrin
Jul 24,2018

In this article Joshua Landis offered insights into the future of Syria’s north.“The YPG did not contest the Turkish conquest of Afrin once it became clear that the only outcome would be greater destruction of the region and a high rate of Kurdish deaths,” said Joshua Landis, director of Center for Middle East Studies at the University of Oklahoma. “All the same, there was considerable doubt within the Kurdish community about the wisdom of not contesting the conquest more vigorously.”
Landis said it was far from clear what would happen in Syria’s north.

Voice of America
Syrian Media: Hundreds of Refugees Returning From Lebanon
July 23,2018

Syria expert Joshua Landis, who heads the Middle East program at the University of Oklahoma, told VOA that it is very difficult for many former rebels and their families to accept life under government control again.
“It’s a miserable decision for each of these families to make: families who have people who have fought on the rebel side because many of the most established rebels have decided not to return under Bashar [al-Assad’s] control and they have gotten on buses to leave for the north of the country, where rebels still hold sway. But the vast majority of people don’t want to leave their homes and don’t want to become refugees. The situation is very bad and they are throwing themselves at the mercy of the Syrian government,” he said.

Voice of America
Syrian Army Moves to Retake ‘Cradle’ of Revolution
Jul 10, 2018

Syria expert Joshua Landis, who heads the Middle East program at the University of Oklahoma, tells VOA the Syrian government is putting an end to the last independent rebel militias around Daraa, which in effect signals the death knell of the revolution against President Bashar al-Assad that began in 2011.
“This is the end of the revolution, so there will be a new phase, because once the south is finished and consolidated, or more or less consolidated, the regime is going to move its best troops up to Idlib province and it is going to want to take back as much land as it possibly can from Turkey and we do not know how this is going to work out, because Turkey is not going to allow the Syrian Army to drive the tens of thousands of rebels who have collected in Idlib into Turkey,” he said.

France 24
Syria talks resume after day of bombardments
July 5,2018

The latest offensive, according to Joshua Landis, head of Center for Middle East Studies at Oklahoma University, meant not just the end of the rebellion in Deraa. “This is the end of the Syrian revolution. Everybody could see it coming – perhaps not as quickly as they thought, but the Syrian military has amassed a major force – it has moved in with air power, everything,” said Landis.
For the Deraa-based rebels who have been virtually abandoned by the international community, the situation was very grim, explained Landis.

Voice of America
Syrian Government Forces Close In on Jordanian Border
July 5,2018

Reuters news agency reported Thursday that allies of the Syrian government in Lebanon are claiming that Hezbollah is participating in the operation to recapture southern Syria for the government.
Joshua Landis, who teaches at the University of Oklahoma, tells VOA he thinks “Hezbollah will play an advisory role,” but the “Syrian government has every incentive to take control of the [border with Israel],” which is close to the Jordanian border as well, “and not to allow Iran or Hezbollah to control Syria’s foreign policy by going to war with Israel on the border.”

Aljazeera
🇸🇾 Is the battle for Deraa decisive for the war in Syria? | Inside Story
June 24,2018

YouTube video discussing the battle for Deraa. Joshua Landis says it is one of three areas Assad has promised to take back.
Guests:
Sami Nader – Director of the Levant Institute for Strategic Affairs
Mamoun Abu Nowar – Retired Jordanian Air Force General
Joshua Landis – Director, Center for Middle East Studies, University of Oklahoma.

Al-Monitor
Congress wants Trump to resume aid to Syria
June 21,2018

“The US government’s refusal to allow any funds to be spent on Syrian reconstruction in government-held areas not only ties the hands of US officials who may seek to leverage concessions from the Syrian government, but it is also more likely to hurt the Syrian people than the Syrian regime,” Joshua Landis, the director of the Center for Middle East Studies at the University of Oklahoma, told Al-Monitor. “These additional financial restrictions will do little to loosen regime control over the people and will likely serve to delay the restoration of education and health institutions the people depend on.”

Lobe Log
What Happens Now in Syria?
June 19,2018

To get a sense of where the conflict stands now and where it might be heading, LobeLog spoke recently with University of Oklahoma professor Joshua Landis, who has been covering the war from its Arab Spring origins at his Syria Comment blog.
Joshua Landis: Assad has won the major battle against the uprising. There’s no real organized, armed opposition in Syria anymore. There are these pockets that you talk about, these “deconfliction zones” that are being protected by outside powers. There’s Daraa, which Israel and the United States have told Assad not to attempt to take back although it looks as though he’s going to push in that direction. There’s Idlib, which Turkey is trying to protect.

Aljazeera
Did US-led coalition commit war crimes in Syria’s Raqqa?
June 5,2018

A report by Amnesty International said there is strong evidence the US-led coalition fighting the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, also known as ISIS) in Raqqa violated international law and may have committed war crimes.So can the coalition be held accountable?
Guests:
Haid Haid – Syria consulting research fellow at Chatham House
Elias Farhat – military analyst and retired Lebanese army general
Joshua Landis – director of the Center for Middle East Studies at the University of Oklahoma

Haaretz
Trump Administration’s Next Iran Battle: Enforcing Sanctions on India, China and Europe
May 14, 2018

Joshua Landis, director of Center for Middle East Studies at the University of Oklahoma is quoted in this are that discusses the Trump administration’s attempt to enforce sanctions on Iran.

Investing with the Buyside
May 12,2018

Joshua Landis director of Center for Middle East Studies takes part in a podcast that focuses on giving the average investor some of the information that gives institutional investors an advantage.

MDC for Middle East and African Studies
Rami Makhlouf and the Syrian war economy
April 28, 2018

Now that many parts of the country have been destroyed, those close to the regime aim to capitalize on rebuilding projects. Most recently, thanks to a government decree, a spin-off of Makhlouf’s Damascus al-Cham Holdings joint-capital investment firm is positioned to control a planned massive real estate project – including a large new shopping mall – in place of the slums of Damascus. This is specifically designed to attract a new elite class which will be loyal to the regime.[6] Moreover, Syria expert Joshua Landis noted recently that Makhlouf’s firm has received a license for Syria’s first mortgage finance operation—giving the Makhlouf-Assad family even deeper control of the economy in addition to another mechanism for shaping the demographics of Syria’s housing landscape.

94.1 KPFA The Ralph Nader Radio Hour
Beating City Hall/What’s Really Going On in Syria
April 23, 2018

Ralph welcomes independent candidate for California Lieutenant Governor, Gayle McLaughlin, who talks about how she and small group of progressive reformers turned around the city of Richmond, California. And one of the foremost experts on the Middle East, Professor Joshua Landis, clues us in to what exactly is going on in Syria, and what we should do about it.

Yahoo7 News
Western strikes on Syria, turning point that never was
April 20, 2018

In discussing the strikes on Syria carried out by the U.S. and its allies,Joshua Landis, director of the Centre for Middle East Studies at the University of Oklahoma, said all the United States and its allies had achieved was to uphold a norm on the non-use of chemical weapons.

The Straits Times
Mission accomplished? Most Syrians wonder what’s next after US-led strikes
April 16, 2018

If the West refuses to invest the resources needed to determine Syria’s future, its efforts to penalise Mr Assad will make life worse for average Syrians.
“You are not punishing Assad, you are punishing the poor Syrian people,” said Dr Joshua Landis, director of the Centre for Middle East Studies at the University of Oklahoma.

The New York Times
After U.S. Strikes, Syria Returns to War as Usual
April 15, 2018

Some counter that if the West refuses to invest the resources needed to determine Syria’s future, its efforts to penalize Mr. Assad will make life worse for average Syrians.
“You are not punishing Assad, you are punishing the poor Syrian people,” said Joshua Landis, the director of the Center for Middle East Studies at the University of Oklahoma. “If America’s objectives are countering terrorism, stabilization and the return of refugees, all of these will fail.”

DW.com
US-led strikes on Syria: A move with unpredictable consequences
April 14, 2018

Joshua Landis, the director of the Center for Middle East Studies at the University of Oklahoma, said the United States had tried to look strong in a situation where it does not have much leverage, and seeks to leave Syria.

BBC Newshour
Apr 14, 2018

Russia TV
Apr 14, 2018

Turkish RTV
April 14, 2018

Aljazeera English Program
April 14, 2018

France 24 TV
April 14, 2018

CNNi News
Apr 14, 2018

Joshua Landis discusses U.S., UK and France launching 105 missiles at Syria

Al-Monitor
Pentagon acknowledges US contractor presence in Syria for first time
April 13, 2018

Despite their nonkinetic role, some experts say contractors face many of the same dangers as the US troops and Syrian forces who battled Russian mercenaries in February. With IS on the run and multiple US antagonists ready to push out the United States and its allies, civilian personnel risk getting caught in the crossfire.
“I would give America a six-month honeymoon here,” said Joshua Landis, the director of the University of Oklahoma’s Center for Middle East Studies. “Turkey, Syria and Iran are just sitting there, waiting to stick shivs in us.”

Express
World War 3 THREAT: This is why the US needs to stop Syria, reveals Middle East expert
Apr 12, 2018

Donald Trump has to stop Syria if they are using chemical weapons because “weapons of mass destruction work”, warned Joshua Landis.
Dr Landis, Director of Centre for Middle East Studies, told Russia Today: “The US after all demonstrated that weapons of mass destruction work when it used the atomic bomb at the end of world war 2 and it brought about the end.
“The surrender of the Japanese because as we recall in March 1945, the US killed about 140,000 people, the largest single day of death in Tokyo using firebombing.

Military Times
US strikes on Syria pose risk of conflict with Russia
Apr 12, 2018

Given that Trump has also been vocal about his desire to pack up and end the U.S. mission to Syria — which would be a dream come true for Russia, Syria, and Iran — it seems unlikely that any adversaries would want to do anything that could force Trump to stay, according to Joshua Landis, director of the University of Oklahoma’s Center for Middle East Studies.
“Look, the Russians are winning here. They don’t need to respond,” Landis said. “They need to get Trump out of north Syria. They don’t want to get into a fight. They’ve been bending over backwards to avoid that.”

On Point
Syria Chemical Attacks And The World’s Next Moves
April 10, 2018

Joshua Landis, author of Syria Comment, director of the Center for Middle East Studies at the University of Oklahoma, comments on the Syrian chemical weapons attack and what it means for Syria and the possible response from the world.

Rudaw
What would happen if Trump pulls US forces out of Syria?
Apr 7, 2018

Professor Joshua Landis, a Syria expert from the University of Oklahoma, also predicts that a major power vacuum will result from a US withdrawal from Syria in the foreseeable future that would have with profoundly negative results for the Kurds.
“Ankara and Damascus would race to capture the territory that US troops and the US air force withdraw from,” Landis told Rudaw English. “But just because special forces may not be located in Syria that does not mean the US air force would not assist the SDF.”
“It is not at all clear to me that the US would abandon the SDF entirely,” he concluded.

RT
Will Syria peace trio succeed given all three have different agendas?
Apr 5, 2018

Joshua Landis, director at the Center of Middle East Studies, University of Oklahoma, argues “it is going to be very difficult” for these trilateral efforts to rebuild Syria, considering US troops are still stationed there.
“What we are seeing today is that Syria is increasingly being divided into three zones: a Russian and Assad zone, an American and Kurdish zone and a Turkish zone where the rebel militias hold sway,” he noted. Landis said that “this is a period of great turmoil.”

Military Times
Trump wants troops out of Syria, but his generals may resist
April 4, 2018

While the president seems content with eliminating ISIS holdovers and pulling out, the generals he tends to trust may be interested in pursuing broader, more strategic concerns in the region.
“The only reason for staying there in the long run is to hurt Iran and Russia,” Joshua Landis, director of the University of Oklahoma’s Center for Middle East Studies, told Military Times.
“The United States in this northern Syria region has control over 50 percent of Syria’s oil, and much of its best agricultural land,” Landis said. “So by denying that to [Syrian President Bashar] al-Assad, we can make him extremely poor and we can stop him from rebuilding.”

The Daily Star
What’s left of Daesh in Syria
Mar 21, 2018

Joshua Landis, director of the Centre for Middle East Studies at the University of Oklahoma, predicted a real resurgence was unlikely, however.
“It is very difficult for ISIS to get its feet back on the ground. The situation is nothing like it was in 2014,” he said, stressing that the Syrian army had grown stronger.

LA Times
Seven years on in Syria: Nobody seems willing to stop the bloodshed
Mar 14, 2018

And the fighting has raged on, said Joshua Landis, director of the University of Oklahoma’s Center for Middle East Studies, in full view of the world.
“Syria has engaged a great deal of the world’s attention in the last seven years,” Landis said. “The problem is that no one really cares about Syria the country, it’s that they care about the geographic position of Syria and they want leverage.
“They care about Syria, but not the Syrian people.”

Gulf News
Syria war shifting gears but still deadly
Mar 13, 2018

The organisation that once administered millions of people still has a few fighters hunkering down in desert hideouts, but its territorial ambitions have been dashed.
“It is very difficult for Daesh to get its feet back on the ground,” said Joshua Landis, director of the Centre for Middle East Studies at the University of Oklahoma.
He warned that it would retain the ability to carry out spectacular attacks and suicide bombings.As they invested forces and equipment in the war on the extremists, world powers were also staking their claim to increased influence in the region.
After foreign militaries finished wresting back one Daesh bastion after another, parts of Syria that had seen a relative lull in fighting became the focus once again.
“What we are seeing is the scramble for Syria right now,” said Landis.

FAIR
Media Erase US Role in Syria’s Misery, Call for US to Inflict More Misery
Mar 7, 2018

America currently controls 28 percent of Syria (Foreign Policy, 1/25/18), precisely the opposite of being “on the sidelines,” and has recently declared its intent to continue occupying the country indefinitely (New York Times, 2/22/18). As Joshua Landis (Syria Comment, 1/15/18), director of the Center for Middle East Studies, notes, the US controls “half of Syria’s energy resources, the Euphrates dam at Tabqa, as well as much of Syria’s best agricultural land.”

Wesa.fm
First Aid Convoy Makes Its Way To Rebel-Controlled Syrian Territory
Mar 5, 2018

Here & Now‘s Peter O’Dowd speaks with Joshua Landis (@joshua_landis), director of the Center for Middle East Studies at the University of Oklahoma.

ISPI
Afrin, Ghouta and the post-IS scramble for Syria
Feb 27, 2018

ISPI interviewed Joshua Landis, Director of the Center for Middle East Studies at the University of Oklahoma and a leading expert on Syria, on unfolding events.
Afrin, a Kurdish dominated region of north Syria that borders Turkey, has been at the center stage of the latest dangerous escalation between actors involved in the conflict. What is happening and why has Turkey invaded Afrin?
A week ago, it seemed that a cease-fire in Afrin between Turkey, Russia, Assad and the YPG or Kurdish militia had been concluded. According to this agreement, the Syrian army would move into Afrin, disarm the YPG and send them to the east, thereby restoring Syrian sovereignty to Afrin, allowing the Turks to withdraw their forces and stop their advance into Afrin.
What happened then?
Turkey greeted the Syrian pro-Assad militias that advanced into Afrin with artillery fire, claiming that the Assad forces had come to defend the YPG rather than disarm them. So, clearly, the negotiations failed.

Swiss Radio
Konzession für Schweizer Fernbusse
Feb 19, 2018

Aljazeera
Feb 21, 2018

BBC news
Feb 21, 2018

Rudaw
Assad in Afrin: Possible ramifications of Damascus’ deployment
Feb 21, 2018

Professor Joshua Landis, a Syria specialist from the University of Oklahoma, argued just before this deployment that it could well constitute “a win-win for everyone.”
“Turkey wins because its YPG problem in Afrin would be solved,” he told Rudaw English. “The Kurds win because they would not be defeated by a hostile military and would thus save life and home. The Syrian government would win because it restores its sovereignty over another region of Syria and would show that it can serve as a protector rather than threat to local populations.”
Even the United States and Russia would benefit he argues, “because they can state that they have worked for stability in Syria.”
The only stumbling block Landis foresees is the US government “dilemma” over “whether it weighs stability in Syria over its goal of rolling back Iran.”

The Wall Street Journal
Syrian Forces Backed by Russia Bombard Hard-Hit Suburb of Capital
Feb 20, 2018

Joshua Landis offers insight into the military action in Eastern Ghouta. Including the role of Russia in the Assad regimes attacks.

BBC
Josh Landis on Newshour
Feb 18, 2018

Joshua Landis, director of the center for Middle East Studies at University of Oklahoma, says Turkey is determined to crush the YPG. As a result the Kurds have turned to the Syrian government in order to lay down their arms to stop Turkey’s attacks. Landis says everyone could come out a winner.

Who.What.Why.
Major Powers Mingle in Syria in an Explosive Mix
Feb 14, 2018

“This is a scramble for position in Syria,” Joshua Landis, a prominent Syria expert at the University of Oklahoma, told WhoWhatWhy. “As long as ISIS was still a powerful force in Syria, the US and Russia worked together to concentrate on defeating ISIS, and they agreed on deconfliction zones around Syria … but now that ISIS is destroyed, and it’s just a policing matter, there is a scramble for the endgame.”

Hurriyet Daily News
How long will and can the US stay in Syria?
Feb 12,2018

Robert Ford, who resigned as the U.S. ambassador to Damascus in 2014, asked Congress to decide whether it wants an indefinite presence in Syria and to instruct the Trump administration “to identify benchmarks and timelines for when political conditions in Syria are such that American forces can withdraw.”
Stressing that the U.S. has spent some $12 billion on its operation in Syria, excluding CIA activities, according to American expert Joshua Landis, Ford said: “That’s a lot of money and it’s not clear when those outlays will stop… Our military and civilian personnel on the ground in Syria will be targeted, eventually.”

Gulf News
‘Paroxysm of anxiety’ after Israeli jet downed by Syria
Feb 10, 2018

Prominent Syria expert Joshua Landis, head of the Centre of Middle East Studies at Oklahoma University, thinks the downing of the Israeli jet “will send Israeli politicians into paroxysms of anxiety.”
Speaking to Gulf News, he said: “This is proof that Israel’s redlines are being shifted by new Syrian capabilities” saying that previous attacks had been at zero cost for Israel whereas now, “one of their top line US jets has been shot down”.
Landis added: “Israel will undoubtedly seek to make Iran and Syria pay a heavy price in order to deter further action. This is sure to open a new chapter in the Syrian-Israeli conflict

Al-Jazeera news TV
🇸🇾 Is Syria’s de-escalation deal over? | Inside Story
Feb 7, 2018

Joshua Landis offers insight into the Syria de-escalation. Landis states that the ceasefire was negotiated because everyone wanted to fight ISIS. Now with ISIS being rolled back the great powers have turned their focus to grabbing control of land in Syria.

Aljazeera Inside Story
Is Syria’s de-escalation deal done?
Feb 7, 2018

The truce was supposed to bring temporary relief to hundreds of thousands of Syrians suffering from severe food and medicine shortages. Instead, Russian and Syrian government forces launched a new wave of air raids and shelling, plunging besieged rebel-held areas into even more despair. So what exactly triggered the latest round of violence? And who can stop it?
Presenter: Folly Bah Thibault
Guests:
Dmitriy Frolovsky- political analyst and researcher of Russian affairs in the Middle East
Hisham Jaber- retired Lebanese army general
Joshua Landis- director of the Center for Middle East Studies at the University of Oklahoma

The Wall Street Journal
Syrian Offensive Creates New Frictions Among Foreign Powers
Feb 4, 2018

“Idlib really represents the massive complications that Syria presents to everybody because it is the last rebel stronghold. But at the same time it is the biggest stronghold of al Qaeda-affiliated rebels and deeply committed Islamists,” said Joshua Landis, director of the Center for Middle East Studies at the University of Oklahoma.

Energy Intelligence
Energy Compass
Feb 2, 2018

However, Washington’s Syria position rests on shaky legs, with supply lines and support dependent on the Incirlik airbase in Turkey and overland supply via Iraq. And while US control of northeast Syria and its resources means it can frustrate Moscow’s efforts to impose its will, it is in no position to push through its own solution. The likelihood is that a new “standoff” between “the Russians and the Americans, between Iran and Saudi Arabia” develops and “the whole region gets locked into a downward cycle of pain,” warns Syria expert Joshua Landis.
Any bold initiative to break the deadlock is unlikely. “I think the United States will be content to ensure that Iran and Russia don’t enjoy the fruits of their gains,” explains Landis

SYRIA:direct
Joshua Landis: ‘The war is coming to an end, and the US should let it end’
Jan 31, 2018

The Syrian government controls most of the country’s major cities. Yet rebuilding Homs, Aleppo and other Syrian cities destroyed by airstrikes and ground fighting with rebels requires billions of dollars and years of work.
But US-backed rebel forces control “50 percent of Syria’s oil and gas,” along with a major swathe of the Baghdad-Damascus highway—cutting off two major revenue streams for the Syrian government, says Joshua Landis, director of the University of Oklahoma’s Center for Middle East Studies.
The result? The US is “punishing” the Assad government economically at a time when it should be promoting economic growth in the region, Landis says.
“If the United States pursues the policies that it is pursuing today,” Landis tells Syria Direct’s Justin Clark, “we are going to get a region that is fragmented, weak, that can’t grow and nothing is allowed to heal.”

Soundcloud
This Week in Turkey (47): with Joshua Landis on the Syrian Kurds and regional/global powers
Jan 26, 2018

Professor Joshua Landis, who is the head of the Center for Middle East Studies at the University of Oklahoma, discusses U.S. relationship with Turkey. Landis discusses the future of U.S. presence in Northern Syria. He says, “U.S. is staying in Northern Syria and will continue to assist the Kurds in the region”.

War Nerds Radio-podcast
PREVIEW: Radio War Nerd #118—Afrin Invasion, Turkey & US Syria Policy, with Joshua Landis
Jan 23, 2018

Here is a 25+ minute preview of Radio War Nerd episode 118 with Joshua Landis trying to make sense of Turkey’s invasion of Syria’s Afrin province, US strategy in the region, and the nature of sectarian warfare . . .

RT
‘US broken promises to stop arming Kurds triggered Afrin op’ – Turkey’s ex-FM to RT
Jan 21, 2018

Relations between the NATO allies “have been going from bad to worse in the last several years,” noted Joshua Landis, Director at the Center of Middle East Studies at the University of Oklahoma. “The US has begun to write Turkey off as a partner and a security ally in the region. Turkey felt increasingly that the US is siding with Kurdish nationalism in Syria, in Iraq, defying Turkish interests.” Landis believes.
Washington’s announcement to create a predominantly Kurdish border force in Syria was “the final straw” Landis said. Although the US later backtracked on the thousands-strong “Border Security Force,” its stated intention to maintain a military presence in Syria has further fuelled the flames.

Der tagesspiegel
Türkei und USA: Scheidungsgrund Syrien
Jan 21, 2018

Nach der Auflösung des IS-„Kalifats“ will Washington im Syrien-Konflikt vor allem einen weiteren Machtzuwachs des regionalen Gegenspielers Iran verhindern, sagt Joshua Landis, Syrien-Experte an der Universität von Oklahoma. Die neue Kurden-Truppe dient Amerika demnach als Instrument, um den an Bodenschätzen reichen und landwirtschaftlich wichtigen Norden Syriens dauerhaft kontrollieren zu können. Der Iran, Russland und Syriens Präsident Baschar al Assad sollten auf diese Weise an einem endgültigen Sieg im Bürgerkrieg gehindert werden.

EL PAIS
Oriente Próximo en la era de Trump
Jan 20, 2018

“En 2018, el Ejército sirio continuará reconquistando el territorio retenido por los rebeldes en la provincia de Idlib (norte) y en la frontera jordana”, pronostica Joshua Landis, editor del portal especializado Syria Comment y destacado analista regional. “No podrá recuperar toda Siria porque está apoyando a las Fuerzas Democráticas Sirias (FDS) en aproximadamente el 30% del país, y el Ejército turco respalda a grupos rebeldes suníes en un pequeña zona situada al norte de Alepo”, detalla en un correo electrónico el también director del Centro de Estudios sobre Oriente Próximo de la Universidad de Oklahoma. “Pero sí creo que la mayoría de los combates terminarán antes de fin de año, salvo en esas regiones”.

Ausland
Zum Amtsjubiläum könnten Lichter ausgehen
Jan 19, 2018

Nach Auflösungd es IS-„Kalifats“w ill Washington im SyrienKonfliktv or allem einen weiteren Machtzuwachs des regionalen GegenspielersI ranv erhindern, sagt Joshua Landis,S yrien-Experte an der Universität von Oklahoma. Die neue Grenztruppe dientden USA demnacha ls Instrument, um den an Bodenschätzen reichen und landwirtschaftlichw ichtigen Norden Syriens dauerhaft kontrollieren zu können. Der Iran, Russland und der syrische Präsident, Bashar alAssad, sollten aufdiese Weise an einem endgültigen Sieg im Bürgerkrieggehindertwerden.

KOMMENTAR & HINTERGRUND
US-Unterstützung für Kurden vertieft Zwist mit Ankara
Jan 19, 2018

Nach der Auflösung des IS„Kalifats“ will Washington im Syrien-Konflikt vor allem einen weiteren Machtzuwachs des regionalen Gegenspielers Iran verhindern, sagt Joshua Landis, Syrien-Experte an der Universität von Oklahoma in den USA. Die neue Grenztruppe dient den USA demnach als Instrument, um den an Bodenschätzen reichen und landwirtschaftlich wichtigen Norden Syriens dauerhaft kontrollieren zu können. Der Iran, Russland und der syrische Präsident Baschar al-Assad sollten auf diese Weise an einem endgültigen Sieg im Bürgerkrieg gehindert werden.

Express Newsline
President vows to uproot ‘terror nests’ in Syria
Jan 17, 2018

“The US has redefined its goals in Syria to include two important additional reasons for its continuing presence: not only to police against a comeback of ISIS, but to also gain leverage for a political process to gain traction, and roll back Russian Federation and Iran”, Joshua Landis, director of the Center for Middle East Studies at the University of Oklahoma, said in a phone interview.

The New York Times
U.S.-Backed Force Could Cement a Kurdish Enclave in Syria
Jan 16, 2018

Joshua M. Landis, a Syria specialist at the University of Oklahoma, said in an email that the United States was effectively “backing an independent state north of the Euphrates River,” one that controls a large portion of Syria’s oil and gas reserves and its main electric dam and that has its own army and Kurdish-language school curriculum.

LA Times
Turkey says U.S. ‘stabbed us in the back’ by aligning with Kurds on Syrian border
Jan 16, 2018

“The U.S. has redefined its goals in Syria to include two important additional reasons for its continuing presence: not only to police against a comeback of ISIS, but to also gain leverage for a political process to gain traction, and roll back Russia and Iran,” Joshua Landis, director of the Center for Middle East Studies at the University of Oklahoma, said in a phone interview. “They believe they can deny Iran and Russia the fruits of their victory in Syria by keeping Assad weak and Syria poor.”

Aljazeera Inside Story
Is Trump ‘playing with fire’ by backing Kurds in Syria?
Jan 15, 2018

US support for Kurds in Syria is leading to threats of retaliation from Turkey.
A coalition of countries led by the US is planning a 30,000-strong force in Syria, just across the border with Turkey.
Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan thinks the Kurdish-led force is a threat and is vowing to attack the city of Afrin in northern Syria.
Afrin is a major stronghold of YPG Kurdish fighters. Turkey considers the YPG a “terrorist” group linked to the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK). Its PKK fighters have waged a long war against Turkish dominance.
How much volatility will be added to the war zone?
Presenter: Jane Dutton
Guests:
Giran Ozcan – Peoples’ Democratic Party representative to the US
Metin Gurcan – security analyst and former military officer in Turkey
Joshua Landis – Center for Middle East Studies, University of Oklahoma

Rudaw
Resisting Assad advances, rebel enclave near Damascus may face onslaught
Jan 7, 2018

Joshua Landis, director of the Center for Middle East Studies at the University of Oklahoma, said the ongoing rebellion in Eastern Ghouta contrasted with the regime “presenting itself as the winner” of Syria’s war elsewhere.

“The persistence of the East Ghouta resistance has become a major embarrassment and liability for the Assad regime,” he said.

The Assad regime, militarily backed by its ally Russia, has retaken control of more than half of the country with a string of victories against rebel and jihadist forces.

“It hopes to convince the international community that it faces little opposition any more save for the enclaves on the margins of Syria,” Landis said.

Morning Star
Escalating the war: the West’s responsibility for the slaughter in Syria
Jan 3, 2018

Professor Joshua Landis, director of the Centre for Middle East Studies at the University of Oklahoma, explained that the US had “prolonged the civil war and has abetted the terrible destruction” and “destabilised the region.”

TRTWorld
Roundtable: Has Bashar al-Assad won the war in Syria?
Dec 22, 2017

In the beginning it was all about bringing down the president – but now talk of removing Syria’s leader Bashar al-Assad appears to have gone quiet. At a cost of hundreds of thousands of lives and billions of dollars, could he be thinking he’s won?
More than six years of the Syrian civil war have changed the country – and the region – forever. Even if President Assad remains in power, he’ll be ruling a very different society; a nation divided. In the face of monumental violence and huge international pressure – what – or indeed who, has managed to keep him from being toppled? How secure does he now look?
At the Roundtable was Joshua Landis, a Middle East and Syrian affairs specialist and the Director of the Center of Middle East Studies at the University of Oklahoma; Ibrahim Olabi, the founder and Executive Director of the Syrian Legal Development Programme; and Omar Imady, a senior fellow at the Centre for Syrian Studies at the University of St Andrews.

The Real News network
Putin’s Syria ‘Victory’ Won’t End the Proxy War
Dec 14, 2017

Russian President Vladimir Putin has declared victory in Syria and says he’s withdrawing troops, but the proxy fight there remains and could ramp up in neighboring Lebanon, says Syria expert and scholar Joshua Landis

TheNewArab
Erdogan ‘open to working with Assad’ against Syrian-Kurds
Dec 6, 2017

“Turkey has largely stopped arming the Syria rebel factions and has moved away from its early position that Assad must go,” Professor Joshua Landis told The New Arab.
“Erdogan has brought Turkey into Russia’s orbit in order to counter the US decision to help Syria’s Kurds train, arm and finance its YPG forces,” he added. “In order to limit the growth of Kurdish power in Syria, Turkey will have to cooperate with Assad and Russia.”

BBC Morning World News Program
Dec 1, 2017

BBC News
Russia in Syria: ‘Victory’ in war but can Moscow win the peace?
Nov 27, 2017

As Prof Joshua Landis, a Syrian expert at the University of Oklahoma, told me: “There remain a number of militias that have not given up and continue to win foreign backing, but they are almost uniquely arranged along the border with Turkey.
“They will continue to give Assad a hard time, until he crushes them or comes to terms with Turkey about their disposition.
“Otherwise,” he argues, “the opposition has been largely dismantled. It is possible that secret cells will try to carry on with strikes on government buildings and explosions in crowded markets, but the Assad government demonstrated considerable skill and ruthlessness in rolling up such terror organisations before the uprising broke out.”
Russia has achieved this “victory” – if you want to call it that – by the simple exercise of realpolitik with little concern about what its many critics would call the morality of its actions.

DW
Syria: Putin, Erdogan, Rouhani hold talks as opposition gathers in Saudi Arabia
Nov 22, 2017

Joshua Landis, a Syrian expert and head of the Center for Middle East Studies at the University of Oklahoma, told DW that Putin wanted to send a message that Russia and Iran had largely defeated IS and foreign backed opposition forces.
“There remains much for them to do in order to consolidate their success, but they are seeking recognition of their position in the hope that world opinion will accept their victory as an ineluctable fact and cease to oppose them by sponsoring opposition members, arming militants and imposing new sanctions,” he said.

Milliyet
Esad denklemde mi?
Nov 22, 2017

Bu yüzden geçen hafta gündeme bomba gibi düşen DEAŞ’la YPG’nin yaptığı anlaşma, Şam rejimini küplere bindirmiş durumda. Hatırlarsanız, YPG’nin yüzlerce DEAŞ’lıyı Rakka’dan tahliye ettiği ortaya çıkmıştı. Hem de Amerikan jetlerinin gözetiminde. ABD’de Suriye’yi en yakın takip eden isimlerden, Ortadoğu Araştırmaları Merkezi Başkanı Joshua Landis’e göre: “Esad, bunun PYD’nin Rakka’da savaşmak yerine Suriye’nin doğusundaki petrol kaynaklarını ele geçirmesi için yapıldığını biliyor.” Landis bu nedenle önümüzdeki dönem Washington
ile Şam arasında tansiyonun
ciddi şekilde
yükselmesini bekliyor.

Milliyet
Kirli pazarlık
Nov 18, 2017

Hurriyet
Suudi Arabistan Orta Doğu’da silahlanma yarışını ‘önde götürüyor’
Nov 16, 2017

HUrriyet.com.tr’ye konuşan ABD’li Orta Doğu uzmanı Joshua Landis, Oklohoma Üniversitesi Ortadoğu Çalışmaları Merkezi Direktörü Joshua Landis Hürriyet.com.tr’ye “Suudi Arabistan açık bir şekilde daha agresif bir konuma geliyor. Orta Doğu ülkeleri, iç muhalefete daha fazla baskı yapıldığı ve diğer ülkelerdeki isyancı hareketler tetiklenmeye çalışıldığı bir dönemde, İran ve Suudi Arabistan arasındaki savaş riskinin artmasıyla askeri gücü artırmak için tam kapasiteli bir yarışta. İki taraf da daha fazla silah almak için yarışıyor. İsrail de Lübnan ve Suriye’yi tehdit etti. Batı merkezli silah endüstrileri ise oldukça kârlı anlaşmalar imzalama peşinde…” yorumunda bulundu.

Aljazeera
Saudi-Iran proxy wars: In pursuit of regional hegemony
Nov 14, 2017

Considering the Saudis’ extended involvement and apparent losses in these conflicts – seen as attempts to curb Iranian influence – the decision to engage Iran in Lebanon may not be wise, according to Joshua Landis, head of the Center for Middle East Studies at the University of Oklahoma and expert on Syria.
Landis believes the contest for military supremacy is already over.
“The Iranians have won the war for military strength in Lebanon, Syria and Iraq. There can be little doubt about this,” he told Al Jazeera.

RT
Last ISIS stronghold in Syria, Abu Kamal, totally liberated – Syrian Army
Nov 9, 2017

Abu Kamal’s liberation marks the ultimate end of Islamic State’s territorial ambitions, says Joshua Landis, head of the Middle East Studies Department at the University of Oklahoma.

Stars and Stripes
Final Islamic State defeat brings Syria’s war to key crossroads
Nov 9, 2017

“We’re at the end in the sense that there certainly is not going to be a rebel revolution,” said Joshua Landis, director of the Center for Middle East Studies at the University of Oklahoma, who has run an influential Syria commentary forum for much of a war now in its seventh year. “There’s a raggedy ending here, with bits and pieces left.”

MINA
Syrian army & allies capture last major ISIS held town in Syria
Nov 9, 2017

The liberation of Abu Kamal marks the ultimate end of the territorial ambitions of Islamic State, Joshua Landis, head of the Middle East Studies Department at the University of Oklahoma, told RT. He added that Islamic State has now lost all the major settlements it controlled while being pinned down by the Syrian and Iraqi armies in the border region between the two countries.

“The two armies met up and liberated this last major town [held by Islamic State],” Landis, adding that “this is the end of ISIS as a ‘state’.” He also pointed out that the terrorists are now being prevented from freely moving between Syrian and Iraqi territory, making the fight against them much easier.

Gulan-Media
Nov 8, 2017

BBC News
What will happen in Syria following IS defeats?
Nov 4, 2017

Joshua Landis, a Syria expert and professor at Oklahoma University, summed it up in simple terms. “Assad has won the Syria war militarily,” he told me. “He has defeated the original uprising or revolution. The rebel groups that remain have been pushed to the margins of Syria.

Haaretz
Syria’s Assad Risks New Conflict by Setting Sights on Kurdish Areas
Nov 1, 2017

The U.S.-led coalition, which has established several military bases in northern Syria, has been helping the SDF shore up control of the recently captured al-Omar oil field in Deir al-Zor province.
“Many people will say that will help them with (political) negotiations, but only if the United States remains with them, otherwise they are going to get clobbered,” said Joshua Landis, an expert on Syria and head of the Center for Middle East Studies at the University of Oklahoma.

“I think the Syrian government is going to push on some of these oil wells, in the same way as Iraq just pushed to get Kirkuk oil, and in the same way the Iraqi push is going to embolden the Syrian army,” he said.

Aljazeera
Syrian opposition: We still believe in the revolution
Oct 31, 2017

Joshua Landis, a professor at Oklahoma University and editor of the Syria Comment blog, told Al Jazeera that although there have been several international initiatives aimed at bringing the war to an end, “Astana has turned into the real venue for Syria negotiations.
He added the talks in Afghanistan had eclipsed “Geneva in importance”, referring to the separate UN-sponsored negotiations held in the Swiss city.

Landis said Astana has practically replaced “years of fruitless grandstanding in Geneva” achieving tangible results on the ground in the form of “de-escalation zones”, which brought about some reprieve to the affected population.

RT
‘Treating returning ISIS fighters as prisoners will make them go underground’
Oct 30, 2017

There has to be a reintegration program for returning ISIS fighters because if they are treated as terrorists, the chance of identifying and deprogramming them falls dramatically, says Joshua Landis, Center for Middle East Studies, University of Oklahoma.
While ISIS continues to lose ground in Syria and Iraq, fears are growing in countries like the UK, that hundreds of its fighters may be heading home. A new report estimates more than 400 British Jihadis could already be back in Britain.

Digital Journal
Assad regime wins ground, but political fights ahead
Oct 30, 2017

Joshua Landis, a professor at the University of Oklahoma, predicted Damascus could also see ties improve with its neighbours.
“They need refugees to go home and trade to return,” he said.
During the conflict, Damascus has leaned heavily on allies Russia and Iran, which are likely to retain powerful influence over the regime, including during the potentially lucrative reconstruction process.

Aljazeera
Could battle for Raqqa bring the end of ISIL in Syria?
Oct 15, 2017

So, will the battle for Raqqa mean the end of ISIL in Syria? Presenter: Sami Zeidan Guests: Sami Nader – director of the Levant Institute for Strategic Affairs Sonia Khush – Syria director for Save The Children Joshua Landis – director of the Centre for Middle East Studies at the University of Oklahoma Al Jazeera News

AP
It’s not independence, but Syria’s Kurds entrench self-rule
Oct 9, 2017

“The United States can limit Iran’s freedom of action in the region by becoming a major patron for the Kurds,” while trying to be “polite with Turkey,” Joshua Landis, a Syria expert and professor at the University of Oklahoma, said recently to Syria Direct.
Syria’s PYD is ideologically affiliated with the Turkish Kurdish PKK, inspired by its leader Abdullah Ocalan

.
Aljazeera Inside Story
What are Turkey’s plans for Syria?
Oct 8, 2017

Turkey is launching a major military campaign in Syria’s northwestern province of Idlib, just across its border.
It is backing the Free Syrian Army, which moved into the area on Saturday in a fight against the group that controls much of the area – Hay’et Tahrir al-Sham, an alliance of factions spearheaded by a former al-Qaeda affiliate.
Turkey wants to ensure security in the region where some of the most violent conflicts of the Syrian civil war have taken place.
During the talks in Kazakhstan’s capital, Astana, in May, Russia, Turkey, and Iran signed a deal to establish de-escalation zones in Syria, which included Idlib.
Ankara says it is not sending its forces in just yet, but providing logistical and intelligence support.
But could this be the beginning of more direct involvement in the war? And what will be the cost?
Presenter: Elizabeth Puranam
Guests:
Metin Gurcan – columnist for Al-Monitor’s Turkey Pulse.
Pavel Felgenhauer – defence analyst and columnist with Novaya Gazeta.
Joshua Landis – professor at the department of International and Area Studies at the University of Oklahoma.

Breitbart
World View: Syria’s War Resumes in Full as ‘De-Escalation’ Agreements Unravel
Oct 6, 2017

Joshua Landis, from the Center for Middle Eastern Studies at University of Oklahoma, is an expert on Syria. He was interviewed on the BBC on Thursday, where he gave a chilling analysis of what’s to come. Landis was asked why there’s been a spike in violence in Syria (my transcription):
In the south of Syria, near the Jordanian border, it has largely been controlled. But in the north of Syria, there is intense fighting around Deir az-Zour, major provincial capital, held by ISIS, both pro-US Kurdish forces and the Syrian army are trying to take that city, and trying to take the Euphrates, all the way down to the Iraqi border. And there’s a scramble to destroy ISIS as quickly as they can, and to grab as much territory. This territory has lots of oil wells in it. It’s very important for the future of both the Kurds and Syria. So this is causing a spike in the amount of deaths , because they’re trying to go as quickly as they can, they’re not being very discriminatory.
Then in the west of Syria, the northwest, near the Turkish border, there’s been a lot of fighting and a lot of bombing, by the Syrian air force and the Russian air force, of rebels, largely extremist Muslim rebels. and so this doesn’t entirely put paid to the de-escalation zones, but on the other hand it shows how delicate they are, and that the war is far from over.

Rudaw
Russia and Rojava autonomy
Oct 5, 2017

A war between Damascus and the SDF is in the interests of neither Damascus or Moscow, argues Professor Joshua Landis, a Syrian expert and head of Middle East Studies at the University of Oklahoma.

“If Syria goes to war against the Kurds who have US backing, it could be ruinous to the government,” Landis told Rudaw English.

“The government’s situation is already facing many challenges,” he added. “Russia has been trying to encourage Damascus to talk to the Kurdish authorities about autonomy for over a year without any success. Russia looks on the Kurds as allies and hopes to head off a war between the two.”

BirGUn
‘ABD Ortadoğu’da hasar kontrolü yapıyor’
Oct 3, 2017

Oklahoma Üniversitesi Uluslararası ve Alan Çalışmaları bölümünden Joshua Landis, Filistin’de yayın yapan Al Quds gazetesi Washington Büro Şefi Said Arikat ve Erbil merkezli Rûdaw’ın Washington Büro Şefi Namo Abdulla bölgedeki krizin ABD’deki yansımalarını farklı açılardan aktardı.

Joshua Landis, Irak’a ilişkin ‘resmi’ Amerikan politikasını şöyle çerçeveliyor: “Bağdat’ta seçeneğimiz yok. Abadi’yi güçlü tutmamız lazım, Türkiye’yle ilişkimizi yok etmek istemiyoruz. Ortadoğu’da daha fazla değil daha az radikal değişiklik istiyoruz. Bu nedenle herkes kibar davranmalı.”

SYRIA:direct
Why is an Islamic State affiliate quietly ruling unchallenged in a corner of Syria’s south?
Sep 28, 2017

“The Syrian government is insistent they’re going to take back every inch of Syria,” says Joshua Landis, head of the Center for Middle East Studies at the University of Oklahoma, and founder of the influential blog Syria Comment.
“[This is] probably true for the south, along the Jordan border, and it is only a matter of time before Syria takes back those regions and destroys whatever Arab militias are remaining in that area.”

SYRIA:direct
Joshua Landis: Syria on track ‘to go back to what we had before’
Sep 28, 2017

The vision of a whole, functioning Syria is a distant one, says Joshua Landis, director of the University of Oklahoma’s Center for Middle East Studies. “It’ll take years, many years.”
For now, a decentralized, ad hoc system of local warlords is holding some parts of Syria together. That system is not sustainable. “The warlords get to steal from the people in the form of taxation, but of course it’s not systematic taxation,” Landis tells Syria Direct’s Avery Edelman from Arezzo, Italy, where he is the Faculty-in-Residence at the University of Oklahoma’s Italian Study Center.
If the war is in fact winding down, Syrians will want to rebuild, and they will look to the state to do it. “People will want greater benefits from the central state, they’ll want all kinds of services, whether it’s schools, water, street cleaning, you name it,” says Landis

TheNewArab
US-backed Syria militia ‘hit by Russian bombing’
Sep 25, 2017

Professor Joshua Landis, of the University of Oklahoma, said both groups were heading for oil-rich territories. “Both the Syrian army and the SDF are making a play for the Euphrates Valley, where a great deal of Syria’s oil is situated,” he told The New Arab.

“Most wells are just north of the Euphrates. It now seems that the SDF, with US backing, wants that oil.”Control over this oil gives the SDF a source of revenue for its semi-autonomous – and unrecognised – federal democratic polity in the Syrian Kurdish territories, and other territories they’ve captured from IS where they have established military councils, such as Manbij.”

Eurasiareview
Iraqi Minorities Face Dilemma In Kurdish Independence – Analysis
Sep 25, 2017

After gaining control of much of Iraq and Syria, the Islamic State jihadist movement (IS) and other Sunni extremists committed grave atrocities and international human rights violations against non-Sunni minorities, including perhaps the most extreme crime of all, the genocide that was perpetrated against Yazidis, Christians, and Shia Muslims. As IS is gradually defeated on the battlefield, another fear looms ahead for these persecuted groups.
This article was published at Syria Comment

Ahram.org
Sep 13, 2017

L’Orient Le Jour
Axe iranien vs Israël en Syrie : des paroles… sans les actes
Sep 13, 2017

Le numéro 2 du Hezbollah, le cheikh Naïm Qassem, n’est pas entré dans la surenchère dimanche soir lors d’une interview télévisée, déclarant que l’attaque israélienne sur un dépôt d’armes du régime n’était pas une raison de déclencher une guerre contre Israël, et qu’il y avait d’autres moyens de répondre à cette attaque. Il a notamment précisé que la décision d’intervenir était entre les mains du régime et pas entre celles du Hezbollah. Si Damas a, immédiatement après l’attaque, accusé Israël d’en être l’auteur, il s’est toutefois retenu, cette fois-ci, de le menacer sérieusement de représailles. C’est d’ailleurs, là aussi, une constante depuis le désengagement sur le Golan, en 1974. « Damas n’a jamais riposté pour toutes les attaques précédentes perpétrées par Israël, pourquoi le ferait-il aujourd’hui ? » rappelle Joshua Landis, directeur du Centre d’études sur le Moyen-Orient à l’Université d’Oklahoma. « Depuis la guerre de 73, les Syriens ont toujours adopté grosso modo la même attitude qui consiste à riposter verbalement, à dire qu’ils se réservaient le choix de la date et de l’heure de la riposte », rappelle de son côté Karim Émile Bitar, directeur de recherche à l’IRIS et spécialiste du Moyen-Orient. Le régime et ses alliés ne semblent en effet pas prêts à entrer en confrontation directe avec l’armée israélienne. « S’ils ne ripostaient pas dans les années où ils étaient en position de force, ce n’est pas aujourd’hui, où ils sont véritablement affaiblis et dépendants de leurs alliés iranien et russe, qu’ils vont le faire », poursuit M. Bitar.

Rudaw
Concurrent Syrian Army and SDF offensives could destroy ISIS in Syria
Sep 7, 2017

“The SAA has broken through to its enclave, but the real fighting for the ISIS controlled part of the city of Deir has yet to begin,” Professor Joshua Landis, a Syrian expert and head of Middle East Studies at Oklahoma University, told Rudaw English.

“The SAA’s achievement is important,” Landis went on to clarify. “It means that the enclave that has been besieged for almost three years is now relieved. It is also a major sign that ISIS is on the way out and that the Syrian government under President Assad will conquer the remaining Euphrates Valley.”

Rudaw
No force yet poses major threat to ISIS in Deir ez-Zor: analyst
Sep 4, 2017

With ISIS essentially forced from its major strongholds in Iraq and losing its primary stronghold of Raqqa in Syria, the remnants of the group may well make its last stand in eastern Syria’s Deir ez-Zor region.

“I don’t believe ISIS will be able to hold out for another year,” Professor Joshua Landis, a frequently cited expert on Syria and the head of Middle East Studies at Oklahoma University, told Rudaw English. “However it is possible that ISIS leaders may be eyeing Deir ez-Zor as their last major redoubt.”

ABC Radio National
A US-Iran alliance?
Aug 27, 2017

The fight to liberate Sunni regions of Iraq held by Islamic State have brought together the US-backed Iraqi army and Iranian-backed Shia militias, solidifying a de-facto ‘alliance’ between the long-hostile nations.
Across the border in Syria, it is a very different picture, US special forces and their moderate rebel allies have clashed with Iran-backed militias.
How does the US navigate these competing priorities and what happens to the ‘alliance’ when the enemy is defeated?
GUESTS: Professor Joshua Landis, Director of the Center for Middle East Studies and Professor at the University of Oklahoma’s College of International Studies.

Who.What.Why.
Is Turkey about to Test Trump with New Syria Attack?
Aug 21, 2017

“Everybody is testing Trump, everybody is trying to figure out what his real policy is because nobody believes anything he says,” Joshua Landis, a prominent Syria expert at the University of Oklahoma, told WhoWhatWhy. The US president is caught between contradictory goals and promises at home and abroad, Landis and others added, and rival powers are positioning to take advantage of this in order to gain leverage against him.

TheNewArab
Aleppo to Mosul: The destruction of cities in Iraq and Syria
July 27, 2017

“The destruction of the Sunni cities of Iraq and Syria underlines the terrible price imposed on the Sunni revolt,” said Joshua Landis, a Syria expert and head of the Middle East Studies department in the University of Oklahoma.

In both Iraq and Syria, disenfranchised Sunnis protested against their respective countries.

In Syria, where the Sunnis are in the majority, it sparked the regime’s infamous crackdown in 2011, resulting in the ongoing war. In Iraq, a general protest movement among Sunnis in 2013 gathered momentum only to be forcibly suppressed by Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki’s security forces.

FAIR
Media Mourn End of CIA Killing Syrians and Strengthening Al Qaeda
Jul 27, 2017

Scholars like Joshua Landis, a leading academic expert on Syria with moderate, middle-of-the-road politics, also welcomed the end to the CIA program, which he uncontroversially noted “benefited spread of radicals like Al Qaeda and ISIS.”
Landis pointed to a largely forgotten 2012 New York Times report (10/14/12) that revealed that “most of the arms shipped” to Syrian rebels by US allies were “going to hard-line Islamic jihadists.” “Washington knew this by mid-2012. Took five more years to shut down flow,” commented Landis, who directs the Center for Middle East Studies at the University of Oklahoma.

The Tribune
US’ Afghanistan strategy
Jul 24, 2017

Trump’s decision was first reported last week by The Washington Post, but it is more than a month old and kept confidential presumably because of its sensitivity. Indeed, the decision signifies a parting of ways between the US and its regional allies, especially Israel and Saudi Arabia. More importantly, it “signals the death knell for Western efforts to roll back Iranian and Russian power in the Levant,” to quote Prof Joshua Landis who heads the Centre for Middle East Studies at the University of Oklahoma and is one of America’s highly regarded authorities on the Syrian question.
As Landis put it, “The cut-off of CIA funding for Syria’s rebels is the raggedy ending of America’s failed regime change policy in Syria and the region at large…

LI
NATO Ally Turkey Strains Ties With The U. S., Germany, and the UK
Jul 23, 2017

“Erdogan has declared many times that he views the US arming of the YPG a hostile act by the United States. This is one more indication that he opposes US policy,” Joshua Landis, Director of the Center for Middle East Studies at the University of Oklahoma, told The Globe Post.

Antiwar.com
Trump Ends Syrian Regime Change Campaign
July 21, 2017

The headline in the Washington Post said it all: “Trump ends covert CIA program to arm anti-Assad rebels in Syria, a move sought by Moscow.” The madness that has infected what passes for journalism today could not be more starkly dramatized: everything is seen through the distorting lens of Russophobia. It doesn’t matter that that the program had failed to achieve its ostensible goal, and that the US-vetted rebels had for the most part defected to al-Qaeda, al-Nusra, and ISIS. Atrocities committed by the “moderate” rebels go unmentioned. That real experts on the region like Joshua Landis hailed the move as a step toward a peaceful settlement is ignored. The only thing that matters is that, as one unnamed “current official” cited in the article puts it, “Putin won in Syria.”

Voice of America
Syrian Rebels Say Jihadists Likely Beneficiaries of US Halt to Arms Supply
July 20, 2017

Joshua Landis, director of the Center for Middle East Studies at the University of Oklahoma, agrees the move may well mark the end of the rebellion. “The cutoff of CIA funding for Syria’s rebels is the raggedy ending of America’s failed regime-change policy in Syria and the region at large,” he told VOA.

The Guardian
Donald Trump drops CIA programme in Syria ‘in bid to improve Russia ties’
Jul 19, 2017

Joshua Landis, director of the Center for Middle East Studies at the University of Oklahoma, said: “It’s a victory for Assad, Iran and Putin, all of which carried the day. But it’s also a victory for America: in this case I do believe Trump is pursuing the correct policy.
“Trying to destroy Russia in Syria is a fool’s errand because Russia is helping to pursue al-Qaida and Isis there. Since when is destroying extremism a bad thing? Just because Russia is for it doesn’t automatically make it bad.”
Landis said that it had become clear that the rebels will not win, the US has no leverage over Assad – and a large percentage of the arms are falling into the hands of extremists.

Albawaba News
Analysis: What Does the Future Hold For Syria’s Kurds?
July 12, 2017

The question many analysts assessing Rojava’s prospects for meaningful autonomy invariably come to is the ability of the Syrian Kurds to defend and consolidate their territory.

“An autonomous Rojava seems quite probable if the US continues to arm and back its Kurdish allies in Syria,” said Professor Joshua Landis, the head of Middle East Studies at Oklahoma University.

“Much depends on the United States,” he told The New Arab. “The Syrian Kurds are plucky fighters who have made the most of their situation and won the hearts and minds of the West. All the same, they do not have an air force and are surrounded by powerful enemies. Should America’s support falter, the military balance of power would reverse itself quickly.”
Landis points out that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan “has stated many times that he will not allow an autonomous Kurdish state to emerge along its southern border”.

“Assad has also told the Kurds of Syria to ‘forget’ about autonomy, not to mention independence,” Landis concluded.

Radio Free Europe
Interview: Its ‘Aura’ Dented By Lost Foothold, Islamic State Still Poses Threat
July 10, 2017

In an interview with RFE/RL, Joshua Landis, a professor of Middle Eastern studies at the University of Oklahoma and author of the widely read blog Syria Comment, talks about how the loss of Raqqa and Mosul might transform IS. But Landis says it would be folly to assume this is the end of the militant group.

Business Mirror
Putin’s endgame in Syria gains traction after deal with Trump
Jul 9, 2017

They also show how the situation on the ground has transformed over the last year. Syria’s second city, Aleppo, fell back under regime control and the US-led campaign to drive Islamic State (IS) from its self-declared caliphate advanced dramatically.
That has left the US with a decision to make on what to do once IS is defeated. It can wrestle with Iran, Russia and Syrian President Bashar al-Assad for control of recaptured areas of Syria. Or it can declare mission accomplished, agree to oversee the security of zones near the borders with its core allies, Israel and Jordan, and leave most of Syria to Assad, said Joshua Landis, director of the Center for Middle East Studies at the University of Oklahoma.

Vox
With a new banknote, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad tells everyone he’s here to stay
Jul 3, 2017

Syria released a new banknote featuring Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s portrait over the weekend, and there are already several theories as to what this might mean for the ongoing civil war between Assad’s government and domestic opposition forces.
Some experts, such as Joshua Landis, a Syria scholar from the University of Oklahoma, believe the introduction of Assad’s face on Syrian currency for the first time in his 17-year rule is a not-so-subtle assertion of his strength over the country.

EL PAIS
La derrota del ISIS desata una carrera por sus feudos
Jul 1, 2017

La caída del califato suní fundado hace ahora tres años a caballo entre Irak y Siria se aproxima. Eso no significa que el ISIS vaya a desaparecer de la noche a la mañana, pero difícilmente esas siglas servirán ya para denominar a un Estado Islámico sin territorio ni súbditos.
“Mosul ha sido mucho más importante que Raqa para el ISIS, lo que explica que haya convertido su defensa [desde octubre de 2016] en la batalla central”, destaca el profesor estadounidense Joshua Landis, analista experto en Oriente Próximo. “Es improbable que el asedio de Raqa dure tanto tiempo. El Estado Islámico está agotado y ha perdido a sus mejores combatientes en el frente de Mosul”.

The New Yorker
Trump Doubles Down in Syria’s Intensifying Proxy War
Jun 28, 2017

“We’re lost,” Joshua Landis, a Syria expert at the University of Oklahoma, told me. “We don’t know what we’re doing.”
For six years, the Obama Administration deliberately limited U.S. intervention in the multiple conflicts playing out on Syrian battlefields. It stayed on the sidelines of the bigger civil war between dissident militias and the Assad regime, providing small-scale arms and training to the few pro-Western rebels—an initiative that has since atrophied. U.S. intervention expanded with the rise of ISIS, in 2014, but again with a limited mandate: defeating the extremist movement. Thousands of air strikes and the hundreds of Special Forces soldiers on the ground avoided engagement with the forces of Assad or those of his allies, namely Russia and Iran.

Stars and Stripes
As Russia launches missiles into Syria, US faces strategic dilemma
Jun 23, 2017

“The U.S. must decide how much of east Syria it wants to protect for its proxies,” said Joshua Landis, a Syria expert at the University of Oklahoma. “The U.S. will be stuck defending its new territory for some time because the Kurds do not have an air force and cannot hope to defend their burgeoning state against the Syrian government and its allies without American muscle.”

QUARTZ
What’s really going on in America’s confrontation with Russia in Syria
Jun 20, 2017

While this is a ratcheting up of US-Russia tensions over Syria, this is not likely to turn into a war, says Joshua Landis, head of the Middle Eastern Studies Center at the University of Oklahoma.
Key to the dispute is the fact that ISIL has seen its Syrian territory shrink from around 40% to 50% of the country to roughly 20% in recent months, Landis says. This is really a “negotiation,” he says, over which of the superpowers’ allies—for Russia, the government of Bashar al-Assad; for the US, the Syrian Kurds—will take crucial territory that ISIL is going to leave behind as its forces retreat from its would-be caliphate.

Independent
Syria war: Tensions between America and Russia escalate as countries clash over drones and airspace
Jun 20, 2017

The most recent war of words began when a US Navy fighter jet shot down a Syrian war plane without communicating with Russian forces about it ahead of time per normal procedure.

Russia, which has been an ally of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, responded by saying that any US war planes in the vicinity of the incident would be treated as “targets”.

Russia to treat US jets in Syria as ‘targets’
As Joshua Landis, Director of the Center for Middle East Studies at the University of Oklahoma, told The Independent the Syrian war plane was likely done bombing and the US “had to make a snap decision”.

Buzzfeed News
Infighting Is Plaguing The Anti-ISIS Coalition
Jun 5, 2017

The United States steadfastly resists taking sides in the disputes among its partners, but has been compelled to smooth things over for the sake of the anti-ISIS coalition.
“Both the deteriorating relations between Turkey and Germany and the internecine fighting among our allies in the Gulf make the fight against [ISIS] increasingly difficult,” Joshua Landis, a Syria expert at Oklahoma University, said.

RT CrossTalk
Now, Manchester
May 24, 2017

Discussion on Manchester that include Joshua Landis, Director of Center for Middle East Studies at the University of Oklahoma.

QUARTZ
The enigma of Assad: How a painfully shy eye doctor turned into a murderous tyran
Apr 21, 2017

The inauguration was followed by a period of relative openness, known as the “Damascus Spring.” Some opposition parties were allowed, the press got a little bit freer, and hundreds of political prisoners were released. Liberal intellectuals founded discussion salons across the Syrian capital and put together political pamphlets and petitions for reform.
His inauguration was followed by a period of relative openness. It didnt last long.
But this openness didn’t last long. “Of course, it didn’t take more than a few weeks before people were demanding regime change because the regime was so corrupt,” says Joshua Landis, director of the University of Oklahoma’s Middle East Studies Center and author of the Syria Comment blog. “It stunk. The whole thing stunk—so, any kind of critique had to lead to regime change.” Within months, Assad was warning (pdf, p. 5) that civil society groups criticizing the government were, consciously or unconsciously, helping “the country’s enemies” and, ominously, would be “dealt with.” A few months later, 10 opposition leaders were imprisoned.

The Intercept
Trump’s Abrupt Regime-Change Pivot Raises Concerns About a “Mad Max Syria” Should Assad Fall
Apr 17, 2017

“Once the policy people look at what the day after would be — they don’t see any options,” said Josh Landis, the director of the Center For Middle East Studies at the University of Oklahoma. “The two strongest militias in Syria are Al Qaeda and ISIS, which would undoubtedly profit and would move into Damascus, were the Assad regime to be destroyed.”
Landis said that any gains made by rebel groups would inevitably lead to sectarian violence against minorities, and would have dire humanitarian consequences for the 15 million people who currently live in Assad-controlled territory.

AP
Syria’s divisions crystallize with latest evacuations
Apr 14, 2017

Playing on fears of al-Qaida rule, Assad’s government showed leniency to the country’s Christian, Shiite and Alawite minorities while bringing the weight of its military against majority Sunni areas — especially Sunni pockets in demographically mixed areas, such as along the Lebanese border, where Madaya and Zabadani lie, and along the Mediterranean coast.
“They of course wanted to beat the Sunni rebels into submission,” said Joshua Landis, director of the Center for Middle East Studies at the University of Oklahoma. “This has had the effect of driving them out.”

ABC Radio National
Syria
Apr 13, 2017

What does last week’s US missile strike on a Syrian airbase mean for US policy in Syria?
It was in response to the Assad regimes alleged chemical weapons attack that killed 80 civilians but even so the Syrian civil war has claimed 400,000 people with millions more displaced which has created a tidal wave of refugees across the Middle East and Europe.
Joshua Landis is one of the world’s leading experts in Syria and he explains what happened and what might happen next.

Time
The U.S. Intervened in Syria in 1949. Here’s What Happened
Apr 13, 2017

Part of the U.S. interest in Syria involved setting up a training mission to reshape the fledgling Syrian army and provide it with arms. Quwatli was eager to see this idea through, as the core of the military had been put together by the French and had previously shown themselves to be willing to fight against the nationalists. Many drawn to military service were also part of the Alawite minority, which was generally worse off socioeconomically than the land-owning merchant class of Sunni urban notables who dominated politics. “Quwatli thought the training mission would be the perfect pretext to purge the military of many of the officers recruited from the ‘minority communities’ by the French, officers whose loyalty he distrusted,” says Joshua Landis, Director of the Center for Middle East Studies at the University of Oklahoma. “He hoped to use the American training mission as cover for this purge and to build up the morale and loyalty of the officer corps more generally.”

Udland-PDF
Verden kalder
Apr 12, 2017

En øget amerikansk indsats vil dog medføre betydelige risici, selv hvis der kun er tale om nålestiksoperationer. Nicholas Heras påpeger, at USA-støttede styrker – navnlig de såkaldte Syrian Democratic Forces – i høj grad har kunnet operere i det østlige Syrien, fordi Rusland lader dem gøre det: Deres kamp mod Islamisk Stat tjener også Moskvas interesser og gør det muligt for Assad at koncentrere sine tropper i landets vestlige del. Men hvis USA for alvor bliver en sten i skoen, kan russerne og regimet vælge at gå efter Washingtons allierede og spænde ben for indsatsen mod IS, som er Trumps hovedprioritet: »Fordi USAs strategi er så afhængig af samarbejde med lokale partnere – for at holde antallet af amerikanske tropper nede, så vi ikke behøver en besættelsesstyrke med titusindvis af soldater – vil Rusland og Assad kunne lægge et ekstremt pres på USAs kampagne mod Islamisk Stat, eller endda langsomt få den til at gå i stå, ved at angribe disse lokale partnere,« siger Heras. Tilbage står også spørgsmålet om, hvad det er for et Syrien, USA vil arbejde hen imod. »Vi har ikke nogen idé om, hvad Trump ønsker efter afslutningen på denne konflikt,« konstaterer Joshua Landis.

The Inquirer Philly.com
Worldview: Trump did the right thing in striking Syria
Apr 9, 2017

The repeated Russian denials that Assad was responsible continue the pattern of lies about their actions from the invasion of Ukraine to the hack of the U.S. election. The United States has clear evidence that the attack was launched from Shayrat – U.S. radar spotted the Syrian aircraft that dropped the gas bombs. This is why the American strike has broad backing from U.S. allies around the world.
So Trump had to make clear to the Kremlin that the United States would not tolerate this brazen breach of the 2013 pact. “Trump has to read the Russians the riot act,” says Josh Landis, a noted Syria expert at the University of Oklahoma. “He has to get the Russians involved, to ask them what the hell happened.”

LA STAMPA
LA Guerra IN SIRIA-PDF
Apr 8, 2017

L’INTERVISTA Il Raiss potrebbe aver usato le armi chimiche perché vuole vincere il conflitto, perché il suo esercito è esausto e al posto dei soldati uccisi sono costretti ad arruolare i ragazzini Vuole finire in fretta
Joshua Landis Direttore del Centro per gli studi sul Medio Oriente
Landis: “A Trump interessa l’Isis non battere Assad”

The Guardian
Syria nerve agent attack: why it made sense to Assad
Apr 7, 2017

Joshua Landis, a long-time Syria observer and director of the Center for Middle East Studies at the University of Oklahoma, said chemical weapons could be attractive to a leader running low on military alternatives.
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“I think Assad and his generals want to win and have a depleted and exhausted army,” Joshua Landis said, when asked on Twitter if he thought the Syrian leader would have used chemical weapons.

PRI
A suspected chemical attack in Syria, grandpa’s nuclear secrets, Calais on edge again
Apr 4, 2017

A suspected poison gas attack in Syria leaves dozens dead. Also, a personal journey through the once-secret nuclear research facility in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. Plus, the music of Venezuela’s La Vida Boheme

ShadowProof
Around The Empire – Episode 12: The Battle For Raqqa And Future Of Syria Feat. Joshua Landis
Apr 3, 2017

On this episode of Around The Empire, Dan and Joanne interview Syria expert Professor Joshua Landis on the battle for the Syrian city of Raqqa and the various competing forces in the Syrian Civil War.
Professor Landis discusses the difficulty the United States has in deciding who to work with once ISIS is driven out of its claimed capital of Raqqa. While, in theory, the Assad government is the only government recognized under international law, it appears unlikely that the U.S. will assist that government in reasserting jurisdiction.

Verden
Slag om siste IS-PDF
Mar 31, 2017

Professor Landis, som leder senteret for Midtøsten-studier ved universitetet i Oklahoma, har selv vokst opp i SaudiArabia og Libanon, og bodde også fire år i Syria. Han var i Syria under opprøret i Hama i 1982, da president Hafez Assad, faren til dagens president Bashar Assad, slo ned på et tidligere islamistisk opprør i Hama, der opp til 20.000 mennesker ble drept.
Landis er sterkt kritisk til det han kaller en inkonsekvent amerikansk utenrikspolitikk vis-avis Iran, som i dag dominerer Syria, Irak, Libanon og Jemen.

Verden
-bastion-PDF
Mar 31, 2017

Professor Landis tror derimot at borgerkrigen i Syria går inn i sin siste fase. Men han er ikke optimistisk av den grunn.

Rudaw
The geopolitical significance of the Russian deployment to Afrin
Mar 29, 2017

“Russian-Turkish relations are extremely strained right now,” noted Syria analyst Professor Joshua Landis told Rudaw English. “Turkey has been helping al-Qaeda get arms. Russia and Assad blame Turkey for the recent Hama offensive as well as the Ghoutta/Joubar offensive in Damascus.”

“Russia’s move to help the Kurds build military capacity is an escalation meant to punish Turkey for refusing to stop its support to Tahrir al-Sham and anti-Assad militias,” he concluded.

Afrin would be an ideal launchpad for any future military campaign against militants, like the al-Qaeda-affiliated Tahrir al-Sham, in the nearby Idlib province.

The algemeiner
Are Syrian Kurds the Key to Defeating ISIS?
Mar 27, 2017

“The US and Israel could win Rojava [the Kurdish region of Syria] as a loyal Western satellite if they are willing to guarantee its sovereignty and sign a defense agreement,” said Joshua Landis, a Syria expert and director of the Center for Middle East Studies at the University of Oklahoma. Rojava is also commonly known as Western Kurdistan or Syrian Kurdistan.

LobeLog
US: Team Up with Kurds Not Turkey to Destroy Islamic State
By Joshua Landis
Mar 18, 2017

The problem with letting the Turks hold Raqqa and presumably the entire Euphrates Valley that is now held by ISIS is that the Turks are endeavoring to hem in the Kurds. To do this, Turkey hopes to establish its Arab proxies in a new “Euphrates state” in eastern Syria. This would partition Syria into three states: a western Asad-ruled state; an eastern Turkish and Sunni Arab rebel-ruled state, and a northern Kurdish state.

BBC News
Syria conflict: Unravelling the puzzle
Mar 16, 2017

Joshua Landis, director of the Centre for Middle Eastern Politics at Oklahoma University and a close watcher of Syria, says it will be very difficult for Washington to allay Turkish President Recep Tayip Erdogan’s fears about the Kurds.
“President Erdogan,” Prof Landis told me, “is convinced that if ‘Rojava’ [the term Kurds use to refer to western or Syrian Kurdistan, and the name of a new federal region they want to create] comes into being, Turkey’s Kurds will have a rear base from which to make a drive for their own independence.
“Mr Erdogan,” he adds, “fears losing eastern Anatolia.”

Reuters
After six years, Assad now secure but his country carved up as war thunders on
Mar 15, 2017

Joshua Landis, director of the Center for Middle East Studies at the University of Oklahoma, said Assad’s continued rule was increasingly – if tacitly – accepted by the forces that have called for his downfall.

But Landis and others conclude that even if the West and Syria’s neighbors accepted Assad’s partial reoccupation of the country, it would not mean the international community would embrace him, much less help pay for Syria’s reconstruction.
“The entire western world hates Assad and they’re going to squeeze him economically,” Landis said. “He’s not going to be reintegrated, he’s going to be like Iraq used to be under Saddam Hussein.”

Danish Newsstory
Efter seks års krig ligner Assads sejr det eneste realistiske scenario for Syrien
Mar 14, 2017

Men fra sin udsigtspost som leder af centeret for mellemøststudier ved universitetet i Oklahoma er Syrien-eksperten professor Joshua Landis ikke i tvivl om, hvad de tre generaler taler om:
”Siden Aleppo faldt i december, er drømmen om at tilintetgøre Bashar al-Assad, smadre hans regime og opbygge et nyt Syrien forbi. Den sidste rest af revolutionen er i dag domineret af salafisterne i de ekstremistiske sunni-grupper. Det eneste realistiske projekt, der er tilbage i Syrien, er Assads projekt: at generobre hele Syrien. Og russerne står bag ham,” siger Joshua Landis.

GX-7
La guerra de Trump en Siria
Mar 10, 2017

“El EI está al borde de derrumbarse”, opina Landis en una entrevista telefónica. “Últimamente, el Ejército de Assad, al que no le quedan muchas tropas adicionales, ha avanzado por el norte de Siria hacia el Éufrates tomando docenas de aldeas controladas por el ISIS sin apenas resistencia, lo que sugiere que tienen serios problemas”, dice utilizando otro de los acrónimos del Estado Islámico.

Gulan-media
Mar 7, 2017

Aljazeeraa Arabic- Beyond the News Show
Mar 7, 2017

NPR Los Angeles SCPR- “AirTalk” hosted by Larry Mantle show with Jessica AShou
Mar 7, 2017

BBC News Hour
Mar 7, 2017

Aljazeera English-new TV
Mar 6, 2017

The Hill
How will history judge Obama’s actions in Syria?
Feb 21, 2017

According to Josh Landis, one of the foremost Syria analysts in the U.S., “There is no way that the United States was going to solve the Syria Problem in any constructive way – and just keeping us out of it to the extent he [Obama] did was a boon.”

EL PAIS
Al Bab: la nueva madre de todas las batallas en Siria
Feb 19, 2017

El pasado viernes, el Estado Mayor de las Fuerzas Armadas turcas anunciaba que habían roto la resistencia del ISIS y que “la operación [Escudo del Éufrates] había conseguido controlar casi por completo Al Bab”. Sin embargo, el Observatorio Sirio de Derechos Humanos, con sede en Londres, lo desmentía asegurando que el ISIS aún controla el 90% de la localidad y que los bombardeos turcos habían provocado la muerte de 45 civiles en dos días (según las estimaciones turcas, 10.000 civiles aún residen en Al Bab y el grupo yihadista los utiliza como escudos humanos). “El ISIS se ha mostrado un duro contendiente al que llevará mucho tiempo derrotar. Vencerlo no va a salir gratis, habrá que sacrificar soldados para ello y también morirán civiles”, sostiene Joshua Landis, experto en Siria y profesor en la Universidad de Oklahoma.

L’Orient le Jour
Pour l’heure, Trump est sur la même ligne qu’Obama sur la Syrie
Feb 18, 2017

Selon la presse américaine, des militaires pourraient ainsi être appelés en renfort aux côtés des forces qui prendront part à l’assaut contre la capitale autoproclamée de l’EI, Raqqa. « Je pense que l’administration Trump songe à envoyer davantage de soldats, mais ce serait une action désastreuse », estime Joshua Landis, directeur du Center for Middle East Studies et professeur à l’Université de l’Oklahoma. Pour l’heure, quelque 500 soldats des forces spéciales américaines sont déployés en Syrie, essentiellement auprès des Forces démocratiques syriennes (FDS), une coalition arabo-kurde. Ces dernières ont lancé le 5 novembre dernier une opération militaire confirmée par Washington et baptisée « Colère de l’Euphrate », dans le but d’isoler Raqqa. Moscou, Téhéran, mais, bien plus encore, Ankara ont été écartés de l’opération, arrivée à sa troisième phase, à laquelle participent les Kurdes du Parti de l’union démocratique (PYD) – branche syrienne du Parti des travailleurs du Kurdistan (PKK) –, considéré par la Turquie comme un groupe terroriste.

PolitiFact
Did Donald Trump inherit ‘a mess’ from Barack Obama?
Feb 17, 2017

We found broad agreement that certain areas of the world are more unstable today than when Obama took office. The biggest one is probably the Middle East.
“Obama presided over the period of the Arab Spring, in which many Middle Eastern states witnessed large-scale uprisings and the complete failure of several states,” said Joshua Landis, director of the Center for Middle East Studies at the University of Oklahoma.
“In some places such as Libya, Syria and Yemen, Obama’s diplomacy and military actions made the situation worse,” he added. “More aggressive action would probably have backfired, but liberal interventionism did not help.”

Okcfox.com
Assad agrees with Trump on threat of Syrian refugees, won’t comment on ban
Feb 10, 2017

The potential threat extends beyond ISIS. Members of rebel groups that have allied with the coalition against ISIS and Assad may have radical beliefs too. Joshua Landis, director of the Center for Middle East Studies at the University of Oklahoma, said there are more than 2,000 rebel groups in Syria with different goals, motives, and methods.
“[Assad] is obviously killing a lot of these people because he thinks they’re dangerous,” said Landis, who writes a daily newsletter on Syrian politics called Syria Comment. “He views them as terrorists. America sees them as freedom fighters, but whether America would want these freedom fighters in our country is a different question.”

The Washington Times
Turkish, Syrian moves could transform fight against Islamic State
Feb 8, 2017

“The U.S. has always had three offers to take Raqqa, [and] it does not like any of them,” said Joshua Landis, who heads the Center for Middle East Studies at the University of Oklahoma, regarding cooperation with Turkish, Syrian or Kurdish forces.

Red Dirt Report
Expert says the US is playing with fire in the Middle East
Feb 6, 2017

As the situation in Syria grows ever more complex, Joshua Landis, head of the Center for Middle East Studies at the University of Oklahoma explained the intricacies Syrian situation to a crowded house at the Tyner Cornbread and Beans on Feb. 3
Landis said the balance of power changed from Sunni to Shi’a (60 percent of the Iraqi population) when the US invaded Iraq in 2003, which led to a civil war that is still in process. At the opposite, the Sunni represented 70 percent of the Syrian population before the civil war and should have won against Assad, but it didn’t happen.
“The Shi’a had better friends,” Landis said, adding Shi’a are now dominant in Iraq, Syria and Lebanon (through Hezbollah).
Landis said Iran is financing and arming the Hezbollah to use them as a counter power against Israel and therefore dissuade Israel to bomb Iranian nuclear facilities. He added it is why Syria is important for Iran, because it allows the transit of weapons from Iran to Hezbollah in Lebanon, without being intercepted by Americans.

The Morning Call
In Allentown’s Syrian community, a divide over Trump’s travel ban
Jan 30, 2017

Syrian Christians’ distrust of Muslims goes back a long way, said Joshua Landis, an expert on the Middle East at the University of Oklahoma. Many came to Syria after fleeing persecution in Turkey and found relative safety under the dictatorial rule of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. Under his regime, Muslims and Christians had managed to coexist until the 2011 uprisings that led to civil war.

“The Christian community in Syria [broadly speaking] has been supportive of Assad because they fear Islamic fundamentalists taking over the country,” he said. And they see the opposition forces being dominated by Islamic extremists.
The country’s disastrous civil war has widened the rift between Syria’s Christian and Muslim communities, Landis said.

The Norman Transcript
Joshua Landis to speak at Tyner Cornbread and Beans
Jan 30, 2017

Joshua Landis, Ph.D. will speak on “US Foreign Policy toward ISIS and the Middle East Crisis: Where is it headed?” at noon at the Democratic Tyner Cornbread and Beans lunch, West Wind Unitarian Universalist Congregation, 1309 West Boyd in Norman, Friday, Feb. 3. Cafeteria style cornbread and beans service is available at 11:30 a.m.

Landis is Director of the Center for Middle East Studies and Professor at the University of Oklahoma. He writes “SyriaComment.com,” a daily newsletter on Syrian politics that attracts some 100,000 page-reads a month. Dr. Landis publishes frequently in policy journals such as Foreign Policy and Foreign Affairs. He speaks regularly at think tanks in Washington and is a frequent analyst on TV, radio, and in print. He has appeared recently on the PBS News Hour, the Charlie Rose Show, and Front Line. He is a regular on NPR and the BBC.

Al Jazeera English
Inside Story – What triggered the infighting among Syrian rebels?
Jan 29, 2017

Presenter: Hashem Ahelbarra

Guests: Louay Safi, Syrian National Council former spokesman.

Can Kasapoglu, Defence analyst, Center for Economic and Foreign Policy Studies in Turkey.

Joshua Landis, Director of the Center for Middle East Studies, University of Oklahoma.

AP
Syria talks may signal shift in conflict dynamics
Jan 23, 2017

Joshua Landis, director of the Center for Middle East Studies at the University of Oklahoma, said Assad is unlikely to depart from this policy at Astana.
“By now, it has become clear that Assad cannot offer major political reform without jeopardizing his regime security,” he said.

AP
With little room to maneuver, Syria’s rebels head for talks
Jan 20, 2017

Syrian rebels are sending more than a dozen representatives next week to the capital of Kazakhstan for talks with government representatives, the first such negotiations between the two sides in a year.
But the loss of Aleppo, the election of Donald Trump and the pivot of Turkey toward Russia has left the opposition with very little room to maneuver.
Without much foreign support and with Syria’s wider rebellion in crisis, the opposition will be negotiating for scraps, having been forced to take part in a Russia-led initiative that won’t challenge President Bashar Assad’s hold on power.
“They have no choice. With Trump’s win, any lingering hope to push the West into increasing its rebel support is lost,” said Joshua Landis, director of the Center for Middle East Studies at the University of Oklahoma.

Turkish TV
Jan 20, 2017

TRT World
Joshua Landis on why hard line rebel groups won’t join the Astana talks on Syria
Jan 19, 2017

Russian TV-RTV
Jan 19, 2017

Foreign Policy.com
Barack Obama Was a Foreign-Policy Failure
Jan 18, 2017

Obama and his team misread and mishandled the Arab Spring. As Joshua Landis explains in a remarkable, must-read interview, the U.S. response to these events — and especially Syria — was ill-conceived from the very start. In particular, Obama and his team mistakenly viewed the Arab Spring as a large-scale, grass-roots uprising clamoring for liberal democracy and embraced it too quickly. They also underestimated the ability of violent extremists to exploit power vacuums in failed states and the resilience of authoritarian regimes in places like Syria or Egypt. These misunderstandings led to Obama’s disastrous intervention in Libya, his inept diplomatic interference in Yemen, and the premature demand that “Assad must go” in Syria.

RT
US establishment ‘sticking it to Trump’ because he seeks cooperation with Russia
Jan 9, 2017

Washington is undertaking a demonizing campaign against Russia right now, but in reality, it is less about Russia than it is about Donald Trump, says Joshua Landis from the Center for Middle East Studies.

El PAIS
La legión extranjera que lucha con El Asad
Jan 7, 2017

Mientras que la mayoría de los expertos coinciden en el papel clave que desempeñan las milicias chiíes en el campo de batalla sirio, el norteamericano Joshua Landis relativiza su impacto. “El ratio de muertos es esclarecedor. El ejército sirio ha perdido más de 100.000 hombres, mientras que Hezbolá e Irán unos 1.000 cada uno. Queda claro que quien encaja las pérdidas en el campo de batalla son los soldados y los paramilitares sirios”. Para Landis, la potencia chií sigue siendo un actor clave en el respaldo de El Asad, cuyo refuerzo le ha permitido anotarse un tanto en la lucha regional contra el archienemigo suní Arabia Saudí. Una victoria que no solo se debe a la eficiencia de las milicias chiíes en Siria, sino que se extiende a los rápidos avances de éstas en Irak en la lucha contra el ISIS: “Al fin y al cabo, las milicias chiíes apadrinadas por Irán cuentan con el apoyo de las dos principales potencias aéreas mundiales: la estadounidense en Iraq, y la rusa en Siria”.

AL-Hurra TV
Jan 5, 2017

The New Yorker
The Winners and Losers in the New Syrian Ceasefire
Dec 30, 2016

“The importance of this is not whether it’s a ceasefire that holds. It’s that Turkey has signed on with Russia, and ultimately Assad, to close the door on the rebellion,” Joshua Landis, a Syria expert at the University of Oklahoma, told me on Friday. “Turkey is trying to get back to normal. It wants a way out of its downward spiral. It’s a brutal world out there and Turkey is saying, ‘I can’t do this anymore. I gave you six years. It’s too much of a load to carry.’ ” Turkey has absorbed almost three million Syrian refugees.

Canadian TV
Dec 29, 2016

BBC 4 World News program
Dec 29, 2016

CBS National Radio news
Dec 29, 2016

PBS
Dec 29, 2016

Soldier of Fortune
“Turkey’s Syria Intervention,”
Dec 26, 2016

“Turkey’s Syria Intervention,” by Joshua Landis Professor, IAS
Director of the Center of Middle East Studies

PRI
Aleppo’s propaganda battle wages on
Dec 21, 2016

The US Ambassador to the UN, Samantha Power, said Aleppo joins the ranks of Srebrenica and Rwanda as emblematic of evil.

But the government of Bashar al-Assad, together with its Russian and Iranian allies, tells a very different story. Of a battle of liberation against Islamic “terrorists.”
They argue that the world has been played by a slick rebel PR machine, controlled by jihadis.
There are elements of truth in both narratives.
“It’s a very complex picture,” says Joshua Landis, director of Middle East Studies at the University of Oklahoma. There is no black and white.
There were about 10,000 armed rebels in Aleppo, according to the UN special envoy for Syria, Staffan de Mistura, and about one-third of them were jihadis, close to al-Qaeda.

KPCC AirTalk
Debating President Obama’s Syria policy and how it might change under Trump
Dec 20, 2016

What does the future of U.S. policy in Syria look like under a President Trump? What have we learned about the efficacy of the Obama Administration’s policy? Should the U.S. intervene in Syria or would that create more problems than it would solve?
Guests:
Phil Ewing, national security editor, NPR; he tweets @philewing
Joshua Landis, professor of international and area studies and director of the Center for Middle East Studies at the University of Oklahoma; Landis’ blog is SyriaComment.com
Jessica Ashooh, deputy director of the Atlantic Council’s Middle East Strategy Task Force; she was a senior policy planning analyst in the United Arab Emirates Ministry of Foreign Affairs and a participant in the Geneva II peace talks

Les Crises
L’Amérique n’a fait que prolonger la guerre civile en Syrie et déstabiliser la région, par Joshua Landis
Dec 19, 2016

Joshua Landis est un universitaire américain, expert de la Syrie, intervenant sur CNN, BBC, Charlie Rose…
Il défend plutôt la vision du gouvernement syrien. Donc à prendre comme toujours avec recul.

wbur NPR
Assessing The Successes And Failures Of Obama’s Approach To Syria
Dec 19, 2016

Here & Now’s Robin Young looks back at Obama’s Syria policy — and what might have been done differently — with Joshua Landis (@joshua_landis), director of the Center for Middle East Studies at the University of Oklahoma.

Huffington Post
As He Slaughters Civilians In Aleppo, Bashar Assad Prepares To Make Nice With Donald Trump
Dec 14, 2016

Combined with the president-elect’s talk of strengthened ties with Moscow, his criticism of the humanitarian norms the Syrian regime regularly violates and his fascination with undemocratic strongmen, this kind of thinking suggests a rosier future for Assad. The Syrian ruler has long disliked Washington’s talk of promoting democracy and human rights abroad, noted Joshua Landis, a Syria expert at the University of Oklahoma. With Trump’s election, “Assad is hopeful, more hopeful than he has been in the past, because he can see that that ideology … its due date seems to be arriving,” Landis said.

PBS News Hour
The fall of Aleppo is a turning point. What’s next for Syria’s war?
Dec 13, 2016

HARI SREENIVASAN:
Joshua Landis, what about ISIS and al-Qaida that almost seem forgotten in this giant proxy war? What happens? Is ISIS taking advantage of this opportunity, as Margaret Warner reported?
JOSHUA LANDIS:
Yes, ISIS did.
We saw that, as Syrian troops went to Aleppo, ISIS took Palmyra. But ISIS’ days are numbered. The Trump administration has said that they’re going to concentrate on ISIS and they’re going to work with Russia. Now, we don’t know whether they really will work with Russia or not, but it’s clear that ISIS is going to be pounded.

Middle East Eye
New UN chief says Syria peace is top concern
Dec 12, 2016

Joshua Landis, a University of Oklahoma scholar, said Guterres’s appointment comes at a turning point in the six-year-old conflict that has claimed more than 400,000 lives and uprooted more than half of Syria’s 22 million people.
“It’s a good time to have a new director in the UN, because the world is coming around to the idea that al-Assad will win this battle, either imminently or in one or two years’ time,” Landis, an expert on Syria, told Middle East Eye.

wbur On Point
The Future Of Assad, Syria And The Region
Dec 8, 2016

The suffering in Syria has been deep and long. Rebels and civilians dug in in Aleppo have captured the horrified attention of the world. But Bashar al-Assad, the ruler whose excesses sparked the rebellion, appears to be on the verge of retaking Aleppo and maybe on his way to winning – if you can say that – the civil war. This was not Washington’s plan. Or the rebels’. It is Russia’s. And Iran’s. This hour On Point, if Assad wins. We’re looking at Syria, the region, the big powers, the people. — Tom Ashbrook
Joshua Landis was a guest on this show.

PRI
Can the rebellion in Syria survive?
Nov 28, 2016

Aleppo is the last major urban center with a significant rebel presence. The rebel-held portion of the city has been isolated and cut off from outside help since summer. Affairs there now seem to have come to a crisis.

The rebels are short of ammunition and men. Civilians are desperately short of food and fuel. Attempts to relieve the city from outside have all failed.
Many fear Aleppo could soon fall.
“Yes, I believe [it could fall] in the next month or two.” says Josh Landis, director of Middle East Studies at the University of Oklahoma.
“The Syrian regime says by New Year,” says Landis. “Perhaps that’s optimistic. But it’s surrounded. They can’t get reinforcements. They can’t get new arms. It’s only a matter of time.”

Al-Jazeera
Nov 28, 2016

Army.mil
Azerbaijan ambassador visits Oklahoma, looks to strengthen partnerships
Nov 18, 2016

OKLAHOMA CITY, Ok. — Ambassador of the Republic of Azerbaijan to the United States, Elin Suleymanov, and his team made their way through the Oklahoma City this week, visiting with top Oklahoma leaders and energy research engineers in order to establish relationships and strengthen partnerships that mutually benefit both nations.

Suleymanov met with Dr. Carol Jones, Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering professor with Oklahoma State University, Maj. Gen. Robbie Asher, adjutant general for Oklahoma, Todd Lamb, lieutenant governor for Oklahoma, professors from the University of Oklahoma’s energy department, Senator James Lankford and research engineers with General Electric’s (GE) Global Research as part of the State Partnership Program (SPP). The visit focused primarily on issues each face, ways to strengthen relationships and their hopes for the future.

SYRIA:direct
Joshua Landis on Syria and Trump’s election: ‘America has prolonged the civil war, only destabilized the region’
Nov 14, 2016

With two months left in Obama’s presidency, Syria Direct turned to Joshua Landis, Director of the University of Oklahoma’s Center of Middle Eastern Studies and author of the blog Syria Comment, to make sense of it all.
Here, the lightly edited conversation is the first installment in a series of reaction interviews with analysts, academics, and diplomats around the implications of a Trump presidency for US-Syria policy. Can Trump really be worse than the current administration on Syria? Will Trump hand Syria over to Putin? Does he even have that power, or is it already done? Landis, for one, offers a sharp, candid assessment of America’s unyielding and unrealistic vision in Syria and the Middle East writ large.
“President Obama and Hillary Clinton decided that Assad was going to fall and that they could carry out regime change smoothly in Syria without too much damage,” Landis tells Syria Direct’s Justin Schuster. “This was a terrible mistake.”

Rudaw
US balancing act between Syrian Kurds and Turkey cannot last
Nov 11, 2016

The US is delicately trying to balance its long-term strategic relationship with Turkey and its current ad-hoc relationship against ISIS with Syrian Kurdish forces opposed by Ankara as the US-backed Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) launch their offensive against the extremist group in Raqqa, according to observations from analysts.

“The United States needs Turkey as an ally and does not want to force it into Russian President Vladimir Putin’s embrace by supporting the [Syrian Kurdish Democratic Union Party, PYD] too aggressively,” Professor Joshua Landis, a Syria expert at the University of Oklahoma, told Rudaw English.

This, Landis explained, has seen the US devise a plan to capture Raqqa in two phases.

Ενα βήμα πριν την κατάρρευση του χαλιφάτου-PDF
Nov 6, 2016

CNN
The next US president faces a world of trouble
Nov 5, 2016

Josh Landis, who heads the Center for Middle East Studies at the University of Oklahoma, said Syria will be a difficult test for the incoming president.
“We have to make some hard choices about who we are going to support in Syria,” he said. “If we support the Kurds, we alienate the Turks. If we support the Turks and rebels, we have to escalate with Russia and pull the rug out underneath the Kurds.”

FP
The Blob Is Back: The Revenge of the Syria Hawks
Nov 1, 2016

Some critics of a military solution in Syria see the crisis from an entirely different perspective: They believe the Obama administration did not move fast enough to cut off allied support for the rebels who are linked to extremists — including the Islamic State and Jabhat Fateh al-Sham — a dynamic that prolonged the war in Syria.
“Escalation has failed to win this proxy war. It has only prolonged it and increased the death toll,” said Joshua Landis, the director of the Center for Middle East Studies at the University of Oklahoma.

Red Dirt Report
Yemen’s civil war another Syria-style conflict in gestation
Oct 21, 2016

NORMAN, Okla. – At the time where the civil wars in Syria and Iraq are at the forefront of the international scene, Waleed F. Mahdi, a native of Yemen and assistant professor at the University of Oklahoma, talked on Yemen’s own civil conflict at the Sam Noble Museum this past Monday along with the Director of the Center for Middle East Studies and OU Prof. Joshua Landis.

Klassekampen
– USA bør la Assad vinne
Oct 19, 2016

– Hvis du ser på det kaldhjertet, så ser du etableringen av en russisk interessesfære som går sammen med en sjia-akse av iransk innflytelse som går gjennom Irak og Syria til Libanon. Opprettelsen av den sekteriske sjia-regjeringen i Bagdad har skapt denne sjia-aksen. Iran ser overlevelsen av et sjia-regime i Damaskus som avgjørende, for uten en sjia-makt i Damaskus vil ikke Hizbollah klare å få inn forsyninger, som de nå får landveien fra Damaskus. Så iranerne er fast bestemt på å vinne denne krigen. Det blir en ny sikkerhetsarkitektur i regionen, der Iran og Russland får mer innflytelse over den nordre aksen, fra Iran via Irak og Syria til Libanon. Og det er veldig lite USA kan gjøre med det, sier Landis.

Wilson Center
The United States, Russia and Syria: What Comes Next After Ceasefire Talk Suspension
Oct 11, 2016

Joshua Landis: On the Humanitarian Catastrophe (Listen to this clip)
Jane Harman: Are these people [in Aleppo] in their basements just pawns in a geopolitical play, or does anybody or should anybody really care about them and if somebody really cares about them, in the short term, before they starve, what are some options, meaningful options, other than just talking about it to get some medical and food relief to them?
Josh Landis: You know there are two ways to do that. One is to, the Assad regime way, which is to say: the rebels have to leave and we will let those people out.

Who. What. Why.
Experts: Syrian ‘Black Hole’ Deepens As US Election Approaches
Oct 8, 2016

Joshua Landis, a prominent Syria expert in the US (a professor at the University of Oklahoma and the administrator of the Syria Comment blog), echoed Mizin’s caution, but said the West may be slowly coming to terms with a possible Assad victory, at least in the major Syrian urban centers. Here is a transcript of his comments

Aljazeera
Why Bashar al-Assad is still in power
Oct 4, 2016

As Joshua Landis, head of Middle Eastern studies at Oklahoma University, noted: “The poor and rural people were being cut off. Their standards of living collapsed … We can see the results of this because the 2011 uprising had really been an uprising of the rural areas, which had been shunted aside.”

Aljazeera English
Oct 3, 2016

RTV Russian tv
Oct 3, 2016

ABC
Syria expert Joshua Landis discusses assault on Aleppo
Sep 29, 2016

Joshua Landis, director of The Centre For Middle East Studies at The University Of Oklahoma, joins Hayden Cooper to discuss the ferocious assault by Russian and Syrian forces on the city of Aleppo.

TACC
“Вмешательство России помогло в борьбе с ИГ”: американские эксперты о роли ВКС РФ в Сирии
Sep 29, 2016

Президент Асад и (правительственная) Сирийская арабская армия восстановили контроль над большей частью Дамаскского региона, отбили Пальмиру и центральные пустынные районы Сирии, а также внесли перелом в борьбу против повстанцев в Алеппо и Латакии. Теперь, судя по всему, будет развиваться борьба за восточную часть Алеппо.

The Intercept
U.S. and EU Sanctions Are Punishing Ordinary Syrians and Crippling Aid Work, U.N. Report Reveals
Sep 28, 2016

“Sanctions have a terrible effect on the people more than the regime and Washington knows this from Iraq,” argues Joshua Landis, director of the Center for Middle East Studies at the University of Oklahoma. “But there’s pressure in Washington to do something and sanctions look like you’re doing something,” he added.

Australian Broadcasting Channel National News
Sep 27, 2016

Alhurra “Open Discussion” TV show
Sep 26, 2016

Huffington Post
Hillary Clinton Leaves Her Controversial ISIS-Fighting Strategy Out Of Monday’s Debate
Sep 26, 2016

The Obama administration has generally focused its actions in Syria on combating the threat of the so-called Islamic State, al Qaeda and other jihadist factions operating in the country. Obama officially maintains that the U.S. is seeking President Bashar Assad’s ouster, but through inaction, the U.S. is effectively allowing the Syrian government to retake the country from the rebel groups that oppose it.
“Obama has figured Syria is not in America’s main interest and he’ll let Russia have it,” said Joshua Landis, director of the University of Oklahoma’s Center for Middle East Studies.

AlAraby Channel from Qatar-TV show
Sep 25, 2016

AlArabiy TV Channel
Sep 22, 2016

Ripon Commonwealth Press
Editorial: Syria challenges Clinton, Trump and U.S.
Sep 21, 2016

Ripon residents had an opportunity last week to better understand those issues, thanks to Ripon College’s Center for Politics and the People. It hosted Professor Joshua Landis, one of the world’s leading experts on Syria and a good friend of Ripon President Zach Messitte, who moderated the event featuring his former University of Oklahoma colleague.

Pacfic Radio- “Background Briefing” with Ian Masters
Sep 20, 2016

France 24 TV show
Sep 20, 2016

BBC News Hour
Sep 20, 2016

MilitaryTimes
U.S. military commanders are ‘pissed off’ about the mission creep in Syria
Sep 18, 2016

The agreement forged by Secretary of State John Kerry and his Russian counterpart could, for the first time, broaden the American-led air campaign’s target list to include al Nusra, the notorious al Qaida-linked group that is a major actor in the multi-sided Syrian civil war. Until now, the two-year-old U.S. air campaign in Syria has been limited to ISIS.

“This could be massive mission creep,” said Josh Landis, director of the Center for Middle East Studies at the University of Oklahoma. “The military is pissed off because they’re being asked to do two jobs now. They were asked to do one job, which is kill ISIS. Now John Kerry is asking them to do another job, which is cooperate with Russia and kill al Nusra.”

CNN newshour
Sep 17, 2016

Aljazeera English
Sep 17, 2016

Russian TV
Sep 17, 2016

BBC newshour
Sep 17, 2016

MilitaryTimes
U.S. troops are now advising Turkish ground forces fighting ISIS in Syria
Sep 16, 2016

While the number of U.S. troops involved is minimal, putting American forces alongside Turkish troops on the ground may give the U.S. significantly more influence in the outcome of the 5-year-old Syrian civil war, said Josh Landis, the director of the Center for Middle East Studies at the University of Oklahoma.
“This is an opportunity to sit with important Turkish military leaders as they make decisions about which militants they are going to ally with and promote to take over regions,” Landis said in an interview Friday.

Russian TV RTV Newshour
Sep 16, 2016

Aljazeera Arabic talk show on the Syrian Ceasefire.
Sep 16, 2016

Turkey TV on the Ceasefire
Sep 16, 2016

The New Yorker
Even Peace May Not Save Syria
Sep 16, 2016

“The C.I.A. still estimates that there are fifteen hundred opposition militias,” Joshua Landis, a Syria expert at the University of Oklahoma, told me this week. “Some are part of bigger coalitions, but if they don’t like orders they just don’t obey them.”
Landis went on, “The government has the same issues. It is getting weaker. It is defaulting to strongmen in villages, who form their own militias. They are allowed to run their own roadblocks and extort money in exchange for protecting their regions. They’re like mafias. They have become their own powers.”

The Wall Street Journal
Syrian Government Sieges Drive Out Sunni Population
Sep 13, 2016

The Syrian government is pressing a systematic effort to alter the country’s demographics and tighten President Bashar al-Assad’s grip on power, United Nations officials and opposition figures said.

L’Orient Le Jour
Syrie : les tractations diplomatiques américano-russes s’accélèrent
Sep 3, 2016

Joshua Landis, directeur du Center for Middle East Studies et professeur à l’Université de l’Oklahoma, contacté par L’Orient-Le Jour, estime cette information peu crédible. « Je ne crois pas qu’Erdogan acceptera un jour de rencontrer Assad, même si on ne sait jamais ce qui peut se passer », affirme l’expert, précisant que ce sont les Russes qui jouent le rôle de messagers entre Ankara et Damas. Le régime a notamment été averti du lancement de l’opération « Bouclier de l’Euphrate » via son allié russe. En attendant, hier, le Premier ministre turc a assuré que son pays cherchait à normaliser ses relations avec l’Égypte et la Syrie. « Nous avons normalisé nos relations avec la Russie et Israël. À présent, si Dieu le veut, la Turquie a pris une initiative sérieuse pour normaliser ses relations avec l’Égypte et la Syrie », a déclaré Binali Yildirim dans un discours télévisé.

The Progressive
Yet Another Country Invades Syria—Why?
Sep 2, 2016

The United States refused to politically recognize the PYD, and earlier this year acceded to Turkey’s shelling the very YPG fighters that the U.S. was arming.
With the recent invasion, the U.S. has aligned itself even more closely with Turkey. During a visit to that country at the end of August, Vice President Joe Biden warned the Kurds to pull back their fighters east of the Euphrates, although they currently hold towns to the west. As Biden put it:
“The Kurds have been stabbed in the back,” Professor Joshua Landis told The Progressive. Landis is director of the Center for Middle East Studies at the University of Oklahoma. Kurds sacrificed hundreds of lives and worked hard to develop Syrian Arab allies, says Landis. “Then they’ve been told to get out of Dodge.”

Aljazeera English news
Aug 30, 2016

RTV Crosstalk – the leading weekly discussion of the news.
Aug 30, 2016

Vice News
The US is pissing off everyone in northern Syria
Aug 30, 2016

According to Ford, the Obama administration feared it would violate international law if it armed forces that would in turn attack the government of Syrian president Bashar al-Assad. And the Kurds didn’t want to fight Assad, they wanted to fight the Islamic State — with the understanding that they could expand their own territory in the process.
And expand they did. The Kurds grew their territory by 50 percent as they drove off IS militants with help from US air support and advisors. They also lost hundreds of fighters in the process.
So it must have come as a shock to the Kurds when, just a few weeks after they fought a bloody battle to evict IS from the town of Manbij at America’s request, Biden showed up in Turkey and said the Kurds would need to withdraw from the town in order to accommodate the Turks, says Joshua Landis, director of the Center for Middle East Studies at the University of Oklahoma.

Hurriyet
Türkiye Kaderini Eline Almalı
Aug 29, 2016

Ancak ne var ki bu cephe de çatışma riskinden azade değil. ABD’de Suriye’yi en yakından takip eden uzmanlardan, Ortadoğu Araştırmaları Merkezi Başkanı Joshua Landis’le konuşuyorum. Landis’e göre, “Türkiye ve Rusya, belli bir bölgeye girilmemesi üzerinde anlaşmış görünüyor.” Bahsettiği, Esad kontrolündeki bölgeler.

Aljazeera English
Aug 28, 2016

Aljazeera English
Aug 25, 2016

Rudaw
Would Turkey favor Assad on its borders over the PYD?
Aug 25, 2016

Professor Joshua Landis, a Syria expert and Director of the Center for Middle East Studies at the University of Oklahoma, doesn’t rule out the possibility that Turkey might be looking into transforming Turkish relations with Iran and Russia in hopes they will move against the PYD.

“Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says that he will not accept normal relations with Damascus so long as Assad is at the helm. All the same, it is clear that Erdogan and his new Prime Minister are looking for ways to transform his relations with Iran and Russia in order to place greater pressure on the Kurds and stop their advance along Syria’s border with Turkey,” Landis told Rudaw English.

Lobe Log
Does Fighting in Hasakah Signal a Diplomatic Realignment on Syria?
Aug 24, 2016

As the University of Oklahoma’s Joshua Landis, who publishes the blog Syria Comment, told me, “Assad used a minority strategy in the east of Syria in order to frustrate rebel insurgents there, helping to arm the Kurds and cooperating with them so that the Kurds would fight effectively against the rebels. This led to an alliance of convenience between the PYD and the Syrian government. Part of that alliance was the understanding that the Syrian government could remain in Hasakah and other places and retain its authority in some areas without being attacked.”

Aljazeera English
Aug 24, 2016

Bloomberg
Turkish Incursion Could Prove Game Changer in Syrian War
Aug 24, 2016

Turkey’s incursion into Syria reflects a shift away from its insistence that President Bashar al-Assad be removed from power in any settlement there and may start to close the gap between the international coalitions that have helped keep the country’s civil war raging, analysts and diplomats say.
In recent months, Turkey has indicated a readiness to accept a transitional role for Assad in any political solution, something Unal Cevikoz, a retired senior Turkish diplomat, called a major change.

The New York Times
Under Pressure Over Aleppo Siege, Russia Hints at Seeking Deal With U.S.
Aug 15, 2016

Russian news agencies also quoted Defense Minister Sergei K. Shoigu as saying that Russia and the United States were close to an agreement on a joint fight against the Islamic State in Aleppo. Such an agreement, he said, could help “bring peace to this long-suffering land and help people return to their homes.”
American officials had no immediate comment on his remarks, and it was unclear how such a joint effort could be undertaken.
Political analysts of the Syrian conflict said they were skeptical. “I cannot see where the Russians and Americans will find common ground on Aleppo,” Joshua Landis, a Syria expert at the University of Oklahoma and the author of the Syria Comment blog, wrote in an email. “Perhaps the Russians are simply playing for time and trying to deflect possible Western or regional backlash?”

Talk Media News
American anti-war group heaps praise on Assad
Aug 9, 2016

The seven-member delegation to Syria was led by the U.S. Peace Council, a group founded in 1979 as an “anti-imperialist organization committed to peace, economic and social justice.” The formerly Soviet-backed council has long called for the dismantling of the NATO alliance and condemned Ukraine’s 2014 Euromaidan revolution as a coup d’etat.
But an independent analyst warned that the group was fed a bill of goods by the Syrian regime.
“These groups that are going to go to talk to Assad, obvious Assad is trying to play them, and get some news and get his story out,” Joshua Landis, a Syria expert and the Director of the Center for Middle East Studies at the University of Oklahoma who was not affiliated with the delegation, said.

Foreign Policy
UN Nears Deal on Humanitarian Pause in Aleppo — But What Comes Next?
Aug 4, 2016

Experts said any breakthrough in the talks may be due to a cold calculation on the part of Moscow that if civilians are evacuated from the area, pro-Assad forces can ramp up their bombing campaign in Aleppo and takeover the entire city — a strategic stronghold of the opposition.
“Assad would prefer for the rebels to leave and the Syrian army to occupy east Aleppo. But if the rebels will not leave and prefer to fight on, he will want the people out so he can bomb the city at will without lots of civilian casualties,” said Joshua Landis, a Syria expert at the University of Oklahoma.

Bundeswehr
In der Falle
Aug 1, 2016

Glaubt man dem Nahost-Experten Joshua Landis von der Universität Oklahoma, steckt dahinter Kalkül: „Der syrische Machthaber Baschar al-Assad versucht, die Moral der Rebellen zu brechen. Dazu lässt er auch zivile Einrichtungen wie Krankenhäuser, Schulen oder Bäckereien bombardieren“, so Landis,
der auch die US-Regierung in Syrien-Fragen berät. Zuletzt wurden nach Angaben von UNICEF Ende Juli vier Feldkliniken und eine Blutbank im Ostteil der Stadt bombardiert. Bei weiteren Luftangriffen auf Aleppo wurden am vergangenen Montag syrischen Aktivisten zufolge zwölf Zivilisten getötet.

The National
Al Nusra receives mixed reception from Syrian rebels after split from Al Qaeda
Aug 1, 2016

“The rebels have little choice,” said Joshua Landis, a Syria expert and the director of the Center for Middle East Studies at the University of Oklahoma. “They can’t split from Nusra, because they’re not going to find an American partner if they do. Their only choice is to try to win on the battlefield. And that means Nusra is key, because Nusra is by far the most effective fighting force out there.”

PRI
Bill Clinton says Hillary can make any world problem better in 30 days. Really? What about Syria?
July 27, 2016

Joshua Landis, director of Middle East studies at the University of Oklahoma, has studied Syria for years and lived there before the civil war.
“Well,” says Landis, “it would be very hard to really effect any major change in 30 days. That, I’m afraid, any president could not do.”

OUDaily
Boren suspends study abroad programs in Turkey
Jul 27, 2016

The decision came just as 16 OU students were preparing to leave for their “Journey to Turkey” — the OU in Izmir trip, which was worth six credit hours. Joshua Landis, director of the Center for Middle East Studies, was going to be an instructor for the program

Rudaw
Dealing with ISIS after the demise of the Caliphate
Jul 17, 2016

In Syria ISIS may live to die another day after being forced from its Raqqa stronghold and other parts of northeast and east Syria.

“ISIS will probably remain a military factor in Syria and Iraq even after losing its territory. Many fighters might migrate to other Salafist militias in the region, such as Nusra, but the national idea that ISIS has mapped out of a Sunni Caliphate remains powerful. It has many sympathizers,” Syria-expert Professor Joshua Landis, of the University of Oklahoma, told Rudaw English.

Cumhuriyet
‘Siyasi çözüme karşı kimsenin kozu kalmadı
Jul 16, 2016

ABD’deki Suriye uzmanlarından, Oklahoma Üniversitesi Ortadoğu Bölümü Direktörü Joshua Landis de Cumhuriyet’e şunları söyledi: “Putin Suriye’ye girdiğinde ABD ile işbirliği yapabileceğini umdu. Bu Esad’ı savaşın galibi yapmak demekti ve ABD bu oyunu oynamak istemedi. Putin çekilme kararıyla hem Esad’a ‘her istediğini alamazsın’ hem de ABD’ye ‘bizimle ve Esad’la işbirliği yapmalısın’ dedi.”

12 News Phoenix, AZ
Turkey’s Erdogan pulls through crisis but faces more tests
Jul 16, 2016

Erdogan “comes out strong in the sense that he can purge a lot of enemies,” said Joshua Landis, who heads the Center for Middle East Studies at the University of Oklahoma. “But ultimately Turkey is very weakened. Economically, it’s going to hammer Turkey. Diplomatically, people are going to treat it with kit gloves. Mostly, foreign investment is going to flee.”

Intelligence-PDF
JUL 8, 2016

“Many minorities in Iraq are now on the verge of disappearance,” notes a new report by the Minority Rights Group NGO. “The Christian population, which before 2003 numbered as many as 1.4 million … since the [Islamic State] advance is now estimated as under 250,000,” it adds. In Syria a grim parallel process is unfolding. “In rebel controlled regions there are almost no more religious minorities,” notes Joshua Landis, who heads the University of Oklahoma’s Center of Middle East Studies.

The Herald
Rochester Hears From Middle East Expert
JUN. 30, 2016
BY BRIANNA HILLIER

American academic and Syria expert Joshua Landis visited Rochester’s Pierce Hall Sunday evening to give a sobering lecture on the effects U.S. policy has had on the Middle East, the future of Syria and Iraq, and the war against ISIS.

Landis is director of the Center for Middle East Studies and an associate professor at the University of Oklahoma. He came to make an argument Sunday evening about identity and nationalism, but more specifically, how these ideas have shaped the Middle East.

Landis began his presentation by making a connection between the conflicts in the Middle East and European history. After World War I, “Europeans went to the map to divide up the Middle East with a ruler,” said Landis, drawing borders with no regards to the people who lived there. He claimed that before these foreign borders were drawn, the Middle East, under the Ottoman Empire, was a multi-ethnic, multireligious state whose people coexisted in relative stability.

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.’