Deborah Amos http://blog.wlrn.org en Syrian Babies Born To Refugees Face A Future In Limbo http://blog.wlrn.org/post/syrian-babies-born-refugees-face-future-limbo Thousands of Syrian infants born to refugee parents are now stateless. Their births are unregistered and will pose many difficult challenges in this long-term conflict.<p>The exact numbers are far from certain. A recent report by the United Nations refugee agency, UNHCR, suggests that 75 percent of Syrians born in Lebanon since 2011 have not been properly registered. Thu, 24 Jul 2014 11:08:00 +0000 Deborah Amos 36070 at http://blog.wlrn.org Syrian Babies Born To Refugees Face A Future In Limbo Syria's Army On The Verge Of Retaking The Country's Largest City http://blog.wlrn.org/post/syrias-army-verge-retaking-countrys-largest-city When Syria's rebels were on the offensive in 2012, they captured the eastern half of Aleppo and the surrounding countryside. But now President Bashar Assad's troops are poised to retake all of the city that is the largest in Syria and served as the prewar financial capital.<p>A new military campaign is heating up as Assad, who assumed power when his father, Hafez Assad, died in 2000, was sworn in Wednesday for his third term as president. Wed, 16 Jul 2014 19:06:00 +0000 Deborah Amos 35671 at http://blog.wlrn.org Syria's Army On The Verge Of Retaking The Country's Largest City In Defiance of Damascus, Aid Goes Cross-Border To Rebel-Held Areas http://blog.wlrn.org/post/defiance-damascus-aid-goes-cross-border-rebel-held-areas The warehouse off a dusty back road near the Turkish frontier is vast. Large wooden crates are stacked and ready for delivery to the desperate and displaced inside Syria.<p>This is the operations hub for Mercy Corps, a U.S.-based charity, and one of the largest aid providers to civilians in rebel-held areas in northern Syria. Mon, 14 Jul 2014 18:31:00 +0000 Deborah Amos 35522 at http://blog.wlrn.org In Defiance of Damascus, Aid Goes Cross-Border To Rebel-Held Areas Have The Islamist Militants Overreached In Iraq And Syria? http://blog.wlrn.org/post/have-islamist-militants-overreached-iraq-and-syria The Islamist radicals who have declared an Islamic caliphate on land they control straddling Iraq and Syria are waging an audacious publicity stunt, according to some analysts.<p>While it may bring them even greater attention, it's also likely to be an overreach that will open rifts with its current partners, the Sunni Muslims in Iraq who welcomed the militant group in early June. Sat, 05 Jul 2014 09:14:00 +0000 Deborah Amos 35043 at http://blog.wlrn.org Have The Islamist Militants Overreached In Iraq And Syria? Emerging Alliances In Mosul Raise Tensions And Complications http://blog.wlrn.org/post/secular-and-socialist-sunnis-ally-extremists-mosul Sunni militants were originally welcomed when they rolled into the Iraqi city of Mosul, but now there's a power struggle between the local tribes, Sunnis and Saddam Hussein's former Baathist party. Sun, 29 Jun 2014 12:12:00 +0000 Deborah Amos 34726 at http://blog.wlrn.org For Iraqi Christians, Return To Captured City Is A Fraught Mandate http://blog.wlrn.org/post/iraqi-christians-return-captured-city-fraught-mandate Transcript <p>AUDIE CORNISH, HOST: <p>Mosul is northern Iraq's largest city and the takeover by ISIS has prompted an exodus of the last remaining Iraqi Christians there. The seizure raised fears that a thousand years of Christian culture would vanish. But in recent days, some Christian families have returned to Mosul and surrounding villages. And soon they'll be joined by the Archbishop of the Chaldean Church. NPR's Deborah Amos caught up with him in nearby Erbil.<p>DEBORAH AMOS, BYLINE: The Christian exodus from Mosul weighs heavily on Archbishop Amil Nona. Fri, 27 Jun 2014 20:07:00 +0000 Deborah Amos 34671 at http://blog.wlrn.org Iraq's Ethnic Kurds See Opportunity In Nation's Chaos http://blog.wlrn.org/post/iraqs-ethnic-kurds-see-opportunity-nations-chaos Iraq is in chaos, but the country's ethnic Kurds might come out ahead.<p>They rule a semi-autonomous area in the north that is fairly prosperous and safe, and as the Iraqi army crumbled before militants this month, Kurdish forces moved in to take long-sought areas that had been under the central government in Baghdad.<p>The Kurds are now talking about their generations-old dream of independence, but they still face many dangers.<p>On a recent hot summer night in Erbil, Iraq's fourth largest city, many Kurds were more focused on the World Cup, the new Miss Kurdistan named this week and the fina Fri, 27 Jun 2014 07:36:00 +0000 Deborah Amos 34641 at http://blog.wlrn.org Iraq's Ethnic Kurds See Opportunity In Nation's Chaos At Iraq's Largest Oil Refinery, Siege Nears A Complicated Conclusion http://blog.wlrn.org/post/iraqs-largest-oil-refinery-siege-nears-complicated-conclusion Transcript <p>AUDIE CORNISH, HOST: <p>This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Audie Cornish. The U.N. says today that at least 1,000 people - mostly civilians - have died this month in Iraq as the fighting there goes on. A key battle is centered on the country's largest oil refinery, located in the town of Baiji. It's been under siege by the Islamist militant group known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria or ISIS. ISIS now claims to have captured the refinery. The government denies that, saying reinforcements are on the way. The truth is more complicated. Tue, 24 Jun 2014 20:15:00 +0000 Deborah Amos 34478 at http://blog.wlrn.org After Mosul's Fall, Iraqis Adjust To New Normal Under ISIS http://blog.wlrn.org/post/after-mosuls-fall-iraqis-adjust-new-normal-under-isis Not all Sunnis are on board with the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, even if they oppose the Iraqi government. One ranking Sunni cleric in northern Iraq calls ISIS "scum" and hints at limits to the group's influence. <div class="fullattribution">Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.<img src="http://www.google-analytics.com/__utm.gif?utmac=UA-5828686-4&utmdt=After+Mosul%27s+Fall%2C+Iraqis+Adjust+To+New+Normal+Under+ISIS&utme=8(APIKey)9(MDEwNzczMDA2MDEzNTg3ODA1MTAzZjYxNg004)"/></div><p>Transcript <p>ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST: <p>This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. Fri, 20 Jun 2014 21:44:00 +0000 Deborah Amos 34302 at http://blog.wlrn.org ISIS Presses Its Advance, Attacking Iraq's Largest Oil Refinery http://blog.wlrn.org/post/isis-presses-its-advance-attacking-iraqs-largest-oil-refinery Transcript <p>ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST: <p>This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Robert Siegel.<p>MELISSA BLOCK, HOST: <p>And I'm Melissa Block. Iraq's largest oil refinery is under attack today by Islamist militants, and the Iraqi capital continues to brace for an assault. The militants, led by ISIS, the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, have already taken over major cities in the north and west. Iraq's prime minister has appealed for national unity, and he's vowed that government forces will turn the insurgents back. Wed, 18 Jun 2014 20:32:00 +0000 Deborah Amos 34159 at http://blog.wlrn.org Like 'Doctor Who,' Syrian Activists Hang In Limbo Post-Election http://blog.wlrn.org/post/doctor-who-syrian-activists-hang-limbo-post-election A popular, British science-fiction TV show about a time-traveler would seem to have few parallels with the Syrian civil war. Sat, 07 Jun 2014 11:54:00 +0000 Deborah Amos 33579 at http://blog.wlrn.org Like 'Doctor Who,' Syrian Activists Hang In Limbo Post-Election U.S. Policy In Syria Could No Longer Be Defended, Ex-Ambassador Says http://blog.wlrn.org/post/us-policy-syria-could-no-longer-be-defended-ex-ambassador-says Transcript <p>DAVID GREENE, HOST: <p>It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. Good morning, I'm David Greene.<p>STEVE INSKEEP, HOST: <p>And I'm Steve Inskeep. President Obama's former point man on Syria resigned because he can no longer defend U.S. policy there. Ambassador Robert Ford was once known for dramatic gestures supporting Syria's opposition. But Ford says, as the uprising became a civil war he was frustrated by limited U.S. support for rebels. Wed, 04 Jun 2014 11:38:00 +0000 Deborah Amos 33395 at http://blog.wlrn.org What Syria's President Seeks From A Not-So-Democratic Election http://blog.wlrn.org/post/what-syrias-president-seeks-not-so-democratic-election The Turkish border city of Gaziantep becomes more Syrian by the day. New waves of refugees have arrived since January. In the market, Syrian craftsmen hammer out copper pots and plates, as they did back home in Aleppo.<p>"We left to save our children," says Ali Abu Hassan. "The bombs come every day."<p>Back in Syria, President Bashar Assad is universally expected to win in Tuesday's election, a sign to Hassan and his family that they should expect an indefinite stay in Turkey alongside the swelling ranks of refugees. Mon, 02 Jun 2014 19:29:00 +0000 Deborah Amos 33312 at http://blog.wlrn.org What Syria's President Seeks From A Not-So-Democratic Election Iranian Activist Says Her Release Is A Gesture, Not A New Era http://blog.wlrn.org/post/iranian-activist-says-her-release-gesture-not-new-era When Nasrin Sotoudeh, a prominent Iranian human rights lawyer, was <a href="http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2013/09/18/223792619/iran-frees-political-prisoners">released in September 2013</a> — along with 11 other high-profile political prisoners — many Iranians saw the move as opening a new era following the election of centrist President Hassan Rouhani.<p>He had promised to release political prisoners rounded up after the contested 2009 elections, when thousands of protesters, known as the Green Movement, were tried and jailed.<p>The high-profile gesture came less than a week before Rouh Mon, 05 May 2014 19:44:00 +0000 Deborah Amos 31846 at http://blog.wlrn.org Iranian Activist Says Her Release Is A Gesture, Not A New Era Iran's Culture Wars: Who's Winning These Days? http://blog.wlrn.org/post/irans-culture-wars-whos-winning-these-days In Iran, hardline critics are waging a campaign against President Hassan Rouhani to limit his campaign pledge of opening Iran to more social and cultural freedoms.<p>The "culture wars" are as old as the Islamic revolution that swept conservative clerics to power more than three decades ago. The latest chapter comes as Rouhani is negotiating a nuclear deal with six world powers. Sat, 12 Apr 2014 13:04:00 +0000 Deborah Amos 30690 at http://blog.wlrn.org Iran's Culture Wars: Who's Winning These Days?