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Index » Regional/Local » Africa/Middle East » Syria Page: 1, 2, 3 ... 18, 19, 20  Next
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RichardPrins
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Posted: Sep 30, 2014 - 1:45pm

White House exempts Syria airstrikes from tight standards on civilian deaths
Amid reports of women and children killed in U.S. air offensive, official says the 'near certainty' policy doesn’t apply
The White House has acknowledged for the first time that strict standards President Obama imposed last year to prevent civilian deaths from U.S. drone strikes will not apply to U.S. military operations in Syria and Iraq.

A White House statement to Yahoo News confirming the looser policy came in response to questions about reports that as many as a dozen civilians, including women and young children, were killed when a Tomahawk missile struck the village of Kafr Daryan in Syria's Idlib province on the morning of Sept. 23.

The village has been described by Syrian rebel commanders as a reported stronghold of the al-Qaida-linked Nusra Front where U.S officials believed members of the so-called Khorasan group were plotting attacks against international aircraft.

But at a briefing for members and staffers of the House Foreign Affairs Committee late last week, Syrian rebel commanders described women and children being hauled from the rubble after an errant cruise missile destroyed a home for displaced civilians. Images of badly injured children also appeared on YouTube, helping to fuel anti-U.S. protests in a number of Syrian villages last week.

“They were carrying bodies out of the rubble. … I saw seven or eight ambulances coming out of there,” said Abu Abdo Salabman, a political member of one of the Free Syria Army factions, who attended the briefing for Foreign Affairs Committee members and staff. “We believe this was a big mistake.” (...)


RichardPrins
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Posted: Sep 29, 2014 - 1:35pm

U.S.-led air strikes hit grain silos and other targets in Islamic State-controlled territory in northern and eastern Syria overnight, killing civilians and wounding militants, a group monitoring the war said on Monday.

The aircraft may have mistaken the mills and grain storage areas in the northern Syrian town of Manbij for an Islamic State base, said the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. There was no immediate comment from Washington.

The United States has targeted Islamic State and other fighters in Syria since last week with the help of Arab allies, and in Iraq since last month. It aims to damage and destroy the bases, forces and supply lines of the al Qaeda offshoot which has captured large areas of both countries.

The strikes in Manbij appeared to have killed only civilians, not fighters, said Rami Abdulrahman, who runs the Observatory which gathers information from sources in Syria. (...)


sirdroseph
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Posted: Sep 18, 2014 - 4:05am

 RichardPrins wrote:
House Votes to Arm Syrian Rebels, But Not to Pay For It - Truthdig

With the help primarily of Republicans, President Obama’s plan to arm Syrian rebels won approval in the House on Wednesday.

Passed as a budget amendment by a vote of 273 to 156, the measure is controversial if only that it reminds one of the United States’ covert war in Afghanistan a few decades ago. In that conflict, the U.S. funded and supported Afghan rebels and foreign holy warriors, some of whom turned out to be the Taliban and al-Qaida. Then as now, Saudi Arabia played a major role.

Raising an alternative example of American adventurism gone awry, California Democrat Barbara Lee, a steadfast dove, was quoted by Reuters as saying, “How will we ensure that the United States weapons we are providing to Syrian rebels will not get into the wrong hands, as they did with the rebels we supported in Libya?”

The bill would supply weapons to the rebels, but not the funds to buy them. That money, which the administration estimated at $500 million, would have to be plucked from elsewhere in the budget.

The Islamic State draws much of its support from Syria, where it is in open conflict with President Bashar al-Assad. President Obama, a fan neither of Assad nor the IS, hopes he can strengthen moderates to fight a ground war with U.S. air support. But moderates may be hard to find.

This is what Dennis Kucinich had to say about it Wednesday:

Historian Alastair Crooke, writing about the connection between Saudi Arabia and ISIS, recently described “moderate” insurgents in Syria as being “rarer than a mythical unicorn.” “Moderates” have a non-aggression pact with ISIS. “Moderates” captured an American journalist and sold him to ISIS, who beheaded him. Saudi Arabia, which, with Qatar funded the jihadists in Syria, is now offering to “train” the rebels. Congress is being asked to swallow this concoction: the sponsors of radical jihadists are going to train “moderate” jihadists.



 

Yep, thats it.{#Yes}


RichardPrins
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Posted: Sep 17, 2014 - 6:36pm

House Votes to Arm Syrian Rebels, But Not to Pay For It - Truthdig

With the help primarily of Republicans, President Obama’s plan to arm Syrian rebels won approval in the House on Wednesday.

Passed as a budget amendment by a vote of 273 to 156, the measure is controversial if only that it reminds one of the United States’ covert war in Afghanistan a few decades ago. In that conflict, the U.S. funded and supported Afghan rebels and foreign holy warriors, some of whom turned out to be the Taliban and al-Qaida. Then as now, Saudi Arabia played a major role.

Raising an alternative example of American adventurism gone awry, California Democrat Barbara Lee, a steadfast dove, was quoted by Reuters as saying, “How will we ensure that the United States weapons we are providing to Syrian rebels will not get into the wrong hands, as they did with the rebels we supported in Libya?”

The bill would supply weapons to the rebels, but not the funds to buy them. That money, which the administration estimated at $500 million, would have to be plucked from elsewhere in the budget.

The Islamic State draws much of its support from Syria, where it is in open conflict with President Bashar al-Assad. President Obama, a fan neither of Assad nor the IS, hopes he can strengthen moderates to fight a ground war with U.S. air support. But moderates may be hard to find.

This is what Dennis Kucinich had to say about it Wednesday:

Historian Alastair Crooke, writing about the connection between Saudi Arabia and ISIS, recently described “moderate” insurgents in Syria as being “rarer than a mythical unicorn.” “Moderates” have a non-aggression pact with ISIS. “Moderates” captured an American journalist and sold him to ISIS, who beheaded him. Saudi Arabia, which, with Qatar funded the jihadists in Syria, is now offering to “train” the rebels. Congress is being asked to swallow this concoction: the sponsors of radical jihadists are going to train “moderate” jihadists.


sirdroseph
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Posted: Sep 17, 2014 - 9:05am

There has been nothing I have seen to make military invervention in Syria a better idea than it was a year ago.  We have absolutely no allies and no place there and will accomplish nothing but more killling. {#Snooty}  We should let Iran, Russia and Assad deal with IS and then go from there.   Iraq on the other hand, we actually have an obligation to clean up the mess we made and help those poor people on the ground with the assistance of the Shia Iraqi forces, Kurds, Christians and Sunnis who reject the wanton violence of IS.  It really disturbs me that our government refuses to see the distinct differences between these 2 countries and wants to roll this up into another round of the utterly failed war on terror.
sirdroseph
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Posted: Jul 24, 2014 - 6:04am

Life in a Jihadist Capital: Order With a Darker Side

In a Syrian City, ISIS Puts Its Vision Into Practice


black321
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Posted: Jun 20, 2014 - 9:20am

Andrew McConnell, who photographed 102-year-old Syrian refugee Saada, says: "Saada is a resilient woman. She lost seven of her 10 children at a young age, her husband 13 years ago and now, her country. Even when the bombing started in her home region, she just continued with her daily routine. 'I was sitting outside, sorting the olives and the plane was above me. They called and yelled from the house for me to come inside, but I told them, ‘Why? The plane doesn’t want anything from me. I am not going to fight it with olives.''"

Saada

http://www.bbc.com/news/in-pictures-27925660


lily34
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Posted: Jun 4, 2014 - 5:55am

 meower wrote:

Syrian artist Tammam Azzam and his personal Gustav Klimt's "The Kiss" on war-torn building in Syria >>> http://loves.domusweb.it/freedom-graffiti/


 
wow. i love that.
meower

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Posted: Jun 4, 2014 - 4:52am


Syrian artist Tammam Azzam and his personal Gustav Klimt's "The Kiss" on war-torn building in Syria >>> http://loves.domusweb.it/freedom-graffiti/



sirdroseph
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Posted: May 14, 2014 - 4:27am


sirdroseph
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Posted: May 6, 2014 - 4:49am

Oh yea this is going to help the Syrian refugees and innocent men, women and children who lives are being destroyed by this conflict.  I suppose all of this money will go to relief for the suffering Syrian non combatants and not weapons for Al Qaeda.{#Rolleyes}

Obama administration offers $27 million in additional help for Syrian rebels




meower

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Posted: Apr 29, 2014 - 4:39am

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/apr/28/no-legal-barrier-un-cross-border-syria

There is no legal barrier to UN cross-border operations in Syria
   
More than three years into the Syrian conflict, 9.3 million people are in urgent need of humanitarian assistance; 3.5 million are in so called "hard to reach" areas. The UN and other humanitarian agencies have long argued that many hundreds of thousands can only be reached effectively from neighbouring countries such as Turkey and Jordan. But the Syrian government continues to refuse consent for "cross-border" operations of this kind despite a clear UN security council demand that it do so. Blatant disregard for the most basic rules of international humanitarian law by the Syrian government and elements of the opposition is causing millions to suffer. But this appalling situation has been compounded by what we deem to be an overly cautious interpretation of international humanitarian law, which has held UN agencies back from delivering humanitarian aid across borders for fear that some member states will find them unlawful.

AND A PETITION:

    https://thesyriacampaign.org/en/actions/undelivered?utm_source=TAF&utm_medium=Platform&utm_content=english&utm_campaign=undelivered

Tell the UN to drive the world's aid into Syria

To Anthony Lake (Unicef), Valerie Amos (OCHA), Ertharin Cousin (WFP), Antonio Guterres (UNHCR), and Margaret Chan (WHO):
Drive the aid trucks across the border and reach over 3 million Syrians who need that food and medicine. Top legal experts say because the Syrian government is arbitrarily denying you access, you can cross the borders without their consent.



RichardPrins
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Posted: Apr 24, 2014 - 12:25pm

Anna-Marie Slaughter demonstrates that you need not scratch a “humanitarian interventionist” much to uncover the warmongering neoconservative just below the surface.

In an essay today, titled, “Stopping Russia Starts in Syria,” she argues that “the solution to the crisis in Ukraine lies in part in Syria.” President Obama must “demonstrate that he can order the offensive use of force in circumstances other than secret drone attacks or covert operations,” she writes.

Translation: to get Putin back for his supposed actions in Ukraine, Slaughter calls for President Obama to bomb Syria.

Slaughter recognizes the view of “Assad as the lesser evil compared to the Al Qaeda-affiliated members of the opposition” and admits that “the Syrian government does appear to be slowly giving up its chemical weapons, as it agreed last September to do.”

Nevertheless, she writes, ”it is time to change Putin’s calculations, and Syria is the place to do it.”

“It is impossible to strike Syria legally so long as Russia sits on the United Nations Security Council,” she writes, so her solution is simply to do it illegally. She suggests that the US should begin bombing Syria to enforce UN Security Council Resolution 2139, even though that is not a “Chapter VII” resolution authorizing force.

It is ironic and highlights the cruel depravity of Slaughter that she suggests the bombing of Syria to enforce UNSC 2139, which was drawn up to facilitate the delivery of humanitarian relief to the war-ravaged Syrian people.

Using a humanitarian relief UN resolution as a cover for the most anti-humanitarian of all acts — dropping bombs — reveals the true colors of the “humanitarian interventionist” and “responsibility to protect” crowd.

Anne-Marie Slaughter embodies the disturbing trend of US government operatives (she was Director of Policy Planning for the U.S. State Department from January 2009 until February 2011) who move into the “non-governmental” sector while directing public-private “non-profit” resources toward the promotion of US government foreign policy.

In her current position as president of the New America Foundation, she is in active partnership with the US government to develop new tools to help promote regime-change overseas. According to the New York Times, the New America Foundation has been awarded a three year contract by the US Agency for International Development (USAID) to develop a kind of underground Internet system for Cuba.

Readers recall that USAID was recently embroiled in controversy when it covertly developed a “Cuban Twitter” platform whose purpose was to foment regime change in the Caribbean island nation.

Does anyone doubt that Slaughter’s New America Foundation is developing USAID’s “Cuban Internet” program for any reason other than to use it to further US regime change policy?

Anne-Marie Slaughter ends her preposterous “bomb Syria” essay with a phrase that could have been — and perhaps was — uttered by the likes of Sens. John McCain and Lindsay Graham:

Obama took office with the aim of ending wars, not starting them. But if the US meets bullets with words, tyrants will draw their own conclusions.

Bombs for peace. That is the neocon/humanitarian-interventionist war cry.


2cats

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Posted: Apr 8, 2014 - 5:44am

Thanks for the article, meower.  This situation is horrible.
meower

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Posted: Apr 8, 2014 - 4:58am

http://www.aawsat.net/2014/04/article55330826
Aleppo: What’s Left Behind
All but the poorest and most dedicated Aleppines have fled the city after three years of war. This is the story of those who stayed.

A bombed-out street in Aleppo. (Asharq Al-Awsat/Hannah Lucinda Smith)

Aleppo, Asharq Al-Awsat—There were so many things that felt wrong on the road into Aleppo. We sped along the highway, swerving to avoid the potholes and then swerving again to avoid the oncoming cars, past the scorched date palms and the vehicle carcasses that were a reminder of what might happen if you didn’t go fast enough, or if it was just your unlucky day. Past the underfed cats that picked through the rubble of apartment blocks that had had their facades blasted off and now spilled their innards onto the streets, showing patches of gaudy wallpaper and the remnants of tea sets and furniture. Past the street stalls that had been blasted into bizarre twisted skeletons, and past the piles of garbage that smoldered in the weak afternoon sunshine. But when, finally, we spotted a few scattered groups of people on the streets, that was the most disturbing sight of all. All of them tilted their heads upwards and shielded their eyes from the glare of the sun, helplessly watching the path of the helicopters and the fluffy trails of the MiG jets tracing across the sky.

Foreign journalists and opposition activists have been unable to enter Aleppo since last autumn due to a campaign of kidnapping and intimidation by a hardline Al-Qaeda-inspired group called the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS). But in recent weeks the group has been pushed out of the city and the area of countryside that stretches west to the Turkish border by a new rebel alliance called the Islamic Front. We were among the first journalists to re-enter Aleppo.

A bombed-out street in Aleppo. (Asharq Al-Awsat/Hannah Lucinda Smith)

The people who had been terrorizing the city have gone, but there is barely a city left to terrorize any more. Since December, President Bashar Al-Assad’s forces have littered the city with barrel bombs—crude incendiaries filled with TNT and shrapnel. They fall daily and indiscriminately from the helicopters that hover above the city on civilian areas held by the rebels. Most of the people have now fled Aleppo, and many of those who have stayed have moved to the neighborhoods nearest the frontlines. Those districts have now, ironically, become the safest places in the city, because the barrel bombs are so inaccurate that the frontline areas are rarely targeted for fear that one should land on the regime-held side.

 

At the height of the bombardment, as representatives from Assad’s regime attended the Geneva II peace talks, around 30 barrel bombs were dropping on Aleppo every single day. “If one falls on an area that has one- or two-story buildings, it will destroy the whole street. If the buildings are high, eight floors for example, it can destroy two buildings, completely,” said Khaled Hajou. He is one of thirty volunteers in the city’s Civilian Defense Team, the only people in Aleppo on hand to attend the scenes of the bombings and dig the wounded out of the rubble.

The sum of their meager equipment fits onto a sofa. The team has no heavy diggers, and no communications equipment. When the bombs fall they have to find their way to the scene by following the sound and the column of smoke, and once they get there they have to dig with their hands. It can take up to a week just to search through the rubble of a single building. “There are a lot of people who are just missing. We have never been able to find them,” said Khaled.

As the city has emptied out the bombing has become less frequent, but up to 20 barrel bombs a day are still being dropped on Aleppo. Meanwhile, the jet attacks and shelling that have haunted the embattled residents of this city for the past 18 months are continuing unabated.

The people who have stayed in the rebel-controlled areas of the city are the very poorest: the people who have no money to get out and no other places to go. The Aleppo Local Council estimates that around 20,000 families have lost their homes since the start of the barrel-bombing campaign. Some have escaped to regime-held areas of the city, but it is thought that around 7,500 families are still living under bombardment in the rebel-held districts. “They are completely poor,” a volunteer at a clothing handout told us. “We have around 500 families coming here every day to get new clothes. Most of them escaped from their homes without anything, just the clothes they were wearing.”

Um Mustafa, a mother of three who is living in the Fakdous neighborhood, explained why her family had stayed. “There are no other places to go to,” she said. “All the schools were closed two months ago because the regime started targeting them. The electricity is off and we can’t afford fuel for the generators.”

A Syrian refugee in Marea, on the road between Aleppo and the Turkish border. (Asharq Al-Awsat/Hannah Lucinda Smith)

At the Bustan Al-Qasr crossing point, once a busy marketplace and the only place where families could cross between the rebel- and regime-held sides of the city, the street is deserted and echoing. The rebels controlling the area stopped letting people over the crossing point one month ago. “We banned people from crossing because of the snipers,” said Abu Yakoub, an 18-year-old rebel who works at a medical point near the crossing. “The regime allows people to cross here, but when they do they target them directly.” Just a few hours before we visited, a mother had ignored the rebels and tried to cross Bustan Al-Qasr with her young child. She was shot in her hip and her hand.

 

Food is still reaching the rebel-controlled areas of the city from the countryside to the west of the city, but medicines are in short supply. “There is nothing here, in the field hospitals or the pharmacies,” Abu Yakoub told us. “A lot of patients who need special medicines or treatments try to cross to the regime areas. But then the snipers shoot at them, and they have to come back.” The only way to cross between the two sides of this divided city is to take a bus that takes a nearby route, but it costs 2,000 pounds (around 14 US dollars) each way, making it far too expensive for most of the people here to use.

Although the frontlines in the dense residential neighborhoods in the center of the city have barely moved, Assad’s forces have retaken the Norkareen neighborhood and pushed into Sheikh Najjar, the vast industrial district on the northern outskirts of the city. That has left the rebels almost entirely encircled, with just two roads into the city—one from the west towards the Bab Al-Hawa border crossing and one to the north towards Bab As-Salaam—still under their control.

The regime forces are shelling the road daily, making the route into and out of the city deadly. Doctors at one of the city’s field clinics told us that they have no option but to move the most seriously injured patients out into Turkey, but that their ambulances often come under attack on the way. “It is not easy to get them to the border, the streets are not safe,” said one. “The road into Aleppo is always being targeted by the jet fighters.”

The city’s doctors say they have no exact figures on the number of people who have been killed and injured by barrel bombs in Aleppo over the past four months. “We have no documentation, and many people have died in the streets without coming to hospital,” one doctor told us. A recent report by Human Rights Watch estimated that 2,321 civilians have been killed in the campaign, but taking into account the people who are still missing, that figure is likely to be much higher.

Those who have escaped the city have found that most of the refugee camps that line the Turkish border are full to capacity. In Marea, a village close to Tel Rifat on the road that runs between Aleppo and the Bab As-Salaam crossing, more than a thousand people are living in a hastily constructed camp that has been funded by the local relief council and private donors. “I won’t go back to Aleppo; I have lost two children already and I won’t lose any more,” said Nesrin, a young mother of four. She said she was struggling to keep her children clean and her husband was finding it impossible to get work, but she could not foresee them moving anywhere else in the near future. There are just four bathrooms in the camp and no electricity, and the local volunteers working there told us they fear diseases could spread as the summer approaches.

Many of the people Asharq Al-Awsat spoke to in Aleppo expressed anger, not only towards the regime but also towards the Syrian National Coalition’s humanitarian wing, the Aid Co-ordination Unit, and the international aid organizations for failing to send assistance to those affected by the bombing. While the large NGOs pour money and manpower into the camps along the border, few are willing to enter into the country to help the people who are still trapped inside. The daunting task of dealing with Aleppo’s huge and continuing humanitarian crisis has largely been left to private donors and local volunteers.

“Nobody is supporting the people who are working inside Syria, they only support the people who are working in Turkey,” said Abdul Aziz, the leader of the Aleppo Local Council. “We need medicines, and equipment for the Civil Defense Team and to clean the streets, especially with the summer coming.”

 
 
 

meower

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Posted: Mar 13, 2014 - 5:50am


RichardPrins
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Posted: Mar 7, 2014 - 9:02am

Viral vid/PSA/ad...

Proclivities
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Posted: Feb 26, 2014 - 11:59am

 meower wrote:
can you see that pic?

 
No - the URL may have some odd characters in it which makes a 404 error.
sirdroseph
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Posted: Feb 25, 2014 - 7:44am

 meower wrote:



Nice try. Wasnt talking to you directly, but to the apathy that I see around the world, but you can think that it's all about me, and my moral superiority, if that works for you.

 

No, actually that doesn't.  I was just speaking to the bigger picture that there are some things that as a country we cannot fix and will make things worse if we try to on a national level particularly in the context of military action which in dealing with a government in control's opposition is usually the only way to be able to logistically make a difference unfortunately.  I just get really nervous when we want to "help" other countries when half of the country including the leader and their military explicitly do not want us to. That is all. Also I don't think the world is apathetic, just feeling useless and resigned because of this very reason.


meower

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Location: i believe, i believe, it's silly, but I believe
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Zodiac: Gemini


Posted: Feb 25, 2014 - 7:36am

 sirdroseph wrote:


I agree with the provide food though it may be logistically impossible given the on the ground situation, taking in refugees may also prove do be undoable.  At present we are supplying arms and military advice to the rebels while contemplating invasion because that is how Murica rolls.  As far as the 3rd, I am willing to be that many of us do care unless you are the only one and are just morally superior to the rest of us which is always a possibility I suppose.....

 


Nice try. Wasnt talking to you directly, but to the apathy that I see around the world, but you can think that it's all about me, and my moral superiority, if that works for you.


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