Program #HADB001. Recorded in Denver on November 19, 2012.
Syria is a mosaic of ethnic and religious groups. The minority Alawites, an offshoot of Shiite Islam, constitute about 12 percent of Syria’s 23 million people. They have controlled the government since 1970 when Hafez al-Assad seized power. Upon his death in 2000, his son Bashar al-Assad took over. Peaceful protests against his regime, which began in March 2011, following uprisings in Tunisia and Egypt, were crushed by the military. Opposition grew. The consequences have been catastrophic. Tens of thousands dead, hundreds of thousands have fled the country, and more than 2 million are internal refugees. The Assad regime is under siege and is bound to fall. But what will take its place? There are multiple factions within the umbrella resistance group, the National Coalition of Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces. The violence and suffering are escalating. Whither Syria? Interviewed by David Barsamian.
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