Syria

1:28am

Mon September 9, 2013
Politics

Obama Presses Lawmakers For Authorization On Syria

Originally published on Mon September 9, 2013 10:02 am

Vice President Joe Biden stands in front of his residence at the Naval Observatory in Washington, D.C., on Sunday, as President Obama arrives at a dinner Biden is hosting for Republican senators.
Charles Dharapak AP

President Obama is ratcheting up pressure on lawmakers to support his request for limited U.S. military strikes in Syria. The White House says the Syrian government is responsible for a chemical weapons attack last month near the capital, Damascus.

On Sunday night, the president stopped by a dinner Vice President Joe Biden was holding for Republican senators.

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4:32pm

Sun September 8, 2013
The U.S. Response To Syria

How Could A Drought Spark A Civil War?

Farmers ride in their tractor in the drought-hit region of Hasaka in northeastern Syria on June 17, 2010.
Louai Beshara AFP/Getty Images

The background of the Syrian conflict can seem obscure to outsiders, but the spark that started it all is often traced back to the city of Dara'a, in February of 2011.

A group of young people writing Arab Spring protest slogans on a wall are arrested and beaten.

"When that news broke there was a massive demonstration on the street, and that was the first spark one can call of the Syrian uprising," Nayan Chanda tells NPR's Jacki Lyden.

But long before a single shot was fired in Syria, there was drought in Dara'a, laying the groundwork for social unrest.

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9:13am

Sun September 8, 2013
World

Syria Developments: Debate In Washington; Assad Speaks To Rose

Originally published on Sun September 8, 2013 3:05 pm

The Greek Orthodox monastery of Mar Takla in the Syrian Christian town of Maaloula is seen on Sept. 7. The town is now controlled by a rebel group with al-Qaida ties.
AFP/Getty Images

We're following several stories regarding Syria Sunday, including new comments from Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. There are also reports that an Islamist group with ties to al-Qaida has seized a town with a large Christian population. Elsewhere, officials in the U.S. and its allies are debating how to respond to the conflict that began in 2011, as President Obama's administration tries to shore up support for military action.

We'll update this post with news as it emerges today.

Update at 5 p.m. ET: Sampling Of Political Debate

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6:45am

Sun September 8, 2013
The Sunday Conversation

Nuremberg Prosecutor Makes The Case For Trying Assad

Originally published on Sun September 8, 2013 11:40 am

Benjamin Ferencz speaks at the inauguration of the "Memorial Nuremberg Trials" information and documentation center in Nuremberg, Germany, on Nov. 21, 2010. After World War II, Ferencz served as a chief prosecutor in the Nuremberg trials of Nazi war criminals.
AFP AFP/Getty Images

Each week, Weekend Edition Sunday brings listeners an unexpected side of the news by talking with someone personally affected by the stories making headlines.

When he was just 27 years old, Benjamin Ferencz helped prosecute Nazi leaders in the Nuremburg war crimes trial after World War II. In the years since, the Harvard-educated lawyer has continued to focus on issues of international criminal justice.

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1:40pm

Sat September 7, 2013
The U.S. Response To Syria

Syria Puts Obama's Multilateralist Philosophy To The Test

Originally published on Sat September 7, 2013 11:11 pm

President Obama holds a press conference in St. Petersburg, Russia, on Friday on the sideline of the G-20 summit.
Jewel Samad AFP/Getty Images

President Obama has come home from the Group of 20 summit with essentially no more international support for a strike on Syria than when he left the U.S.

He spent the last three days in Sweden and Russia, lobbying U.S. allies on the sidelines and on the public stage, with little movement.

The conflict has presented perhaps the biggest challenge yet to Obama's multilateralist inclinations.

'A Hard Sell'

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