skip to main content

COVID-19 Information and Guidance


The Arab Awakening has prompted popular uprisings around the Middle East, including in Syria, where protests have turned violent as government troops quash civilian dissent.

The Syrian government has been been condemned widely by countries including the United States. Turkey and Iran have both called on the Syrian government to end its crackdown.

The Baker Institute has been providing timely analysis of the events in the Middle East and the ramifications for U.S. policy. Baker Institute founding director Edward P. Djerejian, who previously was U.S. ambassador to Syria, does not see the situation in Syria resolving any time soon.

In a Sept. 15, 2011, interview with the newspaper Al-Hayat, he is quoted as saying:

"Unless there is a catalytic event that changes the situation on the ground between the regime and the opposition forces in Syria, I fear that there will be a prolonged and tragic confrontation in the near term with no victors or vanquished. The Syrian regime has made it clear that it will implement reforms only on its own terms and on its own timetable and that it will use lethal force against its own people who, in popular uprisings and demonstrations, are demanding structural political, social and economic change akin to the Arab Awakening in the region."

  • Read Ambassador Djerejian's interview with Al-Hayat on the ongoing crisis in Syria (Sept. 15, 2011).
  • Watch an Al Jazeera interview (video) with Ambassador Djerejian on U.S. policy toward the Syrian crisis (June 28, 2011).
  • Watch a CNN interview (video) with Ambassador Djerejian, in which he comments on the latest speech by Syria's President Bashar al-Assad (June 22, 2011).
  • Watch an Al Jazeera English interview (video) with Ambassador Djerejian, who discusses the demonstrations in Syria (June 21, 2011). A news article is also available.
  • Listen to NPR Morning Edition segment "'Coordinated Response' Needed to Syria's Crackdown," an interview with Ambassador Djerejian (May 12, 2011).
  • Listen to a BBC Radio interview (mp3) with Ambassador Djerejian about the protests in Syria (April 28, 2011).
  • Read a Voice of America News story "Syria Popular Uprising Fails to Force Authentic Reform," which quotes Ambassador Djerejian (March 31, 2011).
  • Read more analysis of the Arab Awakening on the Baker Institute's Web page, "U.S. Policy in the Middle East."