A BBC News story on the tense situation in Syria on December 7 featured a live in-studio interview with Bilal Saab, a visiting fellow in the Washington, D.C. office of the Monterey Institute’s James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies (CNS). BBC News Anchor Jane O’Brien asked Saab to comment on Syrian President Bashar Assad’s claim in a recent TV interview that he is not responsible for the brutal crackdown on popular dissent in Syria. “His story is not believable. The buck ends with him,” responded Saab, maintaining that Assad and his family are responsible for the violence taking place against protesters opposed to his regime.
Bilal Saab joined CNS after serving four years as a research analyst at the Saban Center for Middle East Policy at the Brookings Institution. Prior to joining Brookings, he held research positions at the Center for the Study of Terrorism and Political Violence (CSTPV) at the University of St Andrews in Scotland, the Lebanese Center for Policy Studies (LCPS) in Beirut and at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) and Middle East Institute (MEI) in Washington, DC. He is a sought-after commentator on Middle East security and terrorism, and has provided expert commentary in the past to CNN, NPR's All Things Considered, the Associated Press, Agence France Presse, The Washington Post, The New York Times, USA Today, The Christian Science Monitor, The Guardian and The Jerusalem Post, among others.