Bracing for Instability in Syria

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Syrian President Bashar al-Assad may appear increasingly embattled but he is showing defiance of the Arab League and the international community, says Robert M. Danin, a CFR Middle East expert. Danin says Assad's major televised address this week, in which he pinned blame for the unrest on foreign sources and terrorism, "signaled he is in for the fight." He says that the United States, which has called for Assad to step down, has not done much to prepare for an orderly transition in the country. A major problem, he says, is that the Syrian opposition is sharply divided, and this is contributing to the difficulty in removing Assad.

Interviewee: Robert M. Danin, Eni Enrico Mattei Senior Fellow for Middle East and Africa Studies, Council on Foreign Relations

Interviewer: Bernard Gwertzman, Consulting Editor,

Read the full interview.