Uprising in Syria - the Next Domino?
Hundreds of casualties... an army taking aim at its own people, as Syria attempts to quell a growing protest movement.
Early on, the protestors demanded democratic reforms, an end to corruption and efforts to combat poverty. Now, they will settle for nothing less than the ouster of President Bashar al-Assad. He has responded with tanks and troops. Western nations including the US and Germany have condemned the spiraling violence and are demanding sanctions. But there is little stomach for military intervention.
Complicating the matter, Syria is a close ally of Iran and has traditionally played a key role in the mideast conflict. International military action against Syria would have serious consequences for the region.
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Kristin Helberg was a freelance correspondent in Syria from 2001 to 2009. She worked for various radio stations such as ARD, DRS and ORF, as well as for German newspapers such as die Tageszeitung. In 2009 she returned to Germany and lives in Berlin where she works as a freelance journalist. Her main emphasis still focuses on the Middle East and she travels and reports from there regularly. Kristin Helberg studied political science in Hamburg and Barcelona.
Charles King Mallory IV - Director of the Aspen Institute in Berlin. Born in the US, Mallory was educated in Germany and the UK. He later completed a degree in Russian literature and international relations in the US. He started his career at the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute before moving to the Ebenhausen Foundation for Science and Policy. He was the CEO of Credit Suisse Investment Funds in Moscow, and later joined Allied Capital Corporation. Between 2002 and 2007 he was a senior advisor on near Eastern affairs in the US State Department.
Maissun Melhem - was born and grew up in Syria where she studied computer science. Five years ago she moved to Germany where she then completed her studies in German and English. She then decided to stay in Germany and took on a traineeship position at the Deutsche Welle. These days she works as a freelance journalist – also for DW TV. Up until last year she presented a science program for the Arab TV Station Al Jazeera. Her main emphasis still focuses on the development in the Near East.