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Syrian Troops, Tanks Crush Protesters' Uprising


It's MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.




MONTAGNE: So, you managed, I gather, to speak to a top advisor to President Bashar al-Assad. Tell us about her and what she had to say.

SHADID: But where the government goes from here, I think, is still - it's a big question. It's not very clear at this point.

MONTAGNE: Well, the government may say that it's turned a corner, that the end is in sight. What evidence is there that that's the case?

SHADID: So even if we do see - even if the government is able to stop these protests, at least in the short term, I think the long term, it's going pose a real challenge to the viability of that government.

MONTAGNE: You've said that the government is reaching out to the traditional opposition. Does that opposition in Syria have any credibility with the protestors?

SHADID: So it's hard to see a transition emerging at this point. That doesn't mean it's not going to happen. I mean, this opposition has made efforts to broaden its ranks, to increase the organization. But I don't think you're seeing that resembles what you had in Egypt or Tunisia, for instance.

MONTAGNE: Thanks very much for talking with us.

SHADID: My pleasure.

MONTAGNE: The New York Times' Anthony Shadid. He's one of the few journalists allowed into Syria. He went there for a brief visit yesterday. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.