UH Experts Available to Discuss Impact of Syria Air Strikes

As you produce stories looking at the fallout from the U.S. assault on a Syrian air base, please consider the following experts from the University of Houston. For assistance in scheduling an interview, contact Jeannie Kever in media relations, 713-743-0778 or jekever@uh.edu.


U.S.-Russia-Iran dynamic:

Emran El-Badawi, associate professor and director of the UH Middle Eastern Studies program. He notes several major concerns, including questions about how Russia and Iran will react, and whether this will lead to a direct confrontation with Russia. The Syrian people have few good options, he says. “After six years of carnage, the Syrian people are increasingly the target of local and foreign governments in their own country. There seems to be no diplomatic or military solution that favors the Syrian people.” eelbadaw@central.uh.edu

Video of El-Badawi


Impact on oil prices:

Craig Pirrong, professor of finance at the UH Bauer College of Business and director of energy markets for the Gutierrez Energy Management Institute. Oil prices rose on news of the attacks, but he says the impact will be sustained only if the conflict spreads. “The greatest risk is that Iran is Syria’s main backer and ally, and this raises the risk of conflict between the U.S. and Iran and/or between Iran and the anti-Assad regimes of the Gulf.” cpirrong@uh.edu


Ed Hirs, economics lecturer and managing director of Hillhouse Resources LLC. Hirs says any long-term impact on oil prices will depend on what happens next. “We may see some price spikes in refined products. Syria is not a significant oil producer. Only if this spreads to Iran or to the Persian Gulf will we see a price move.” ehirs@uh.edu

Video of Hirs