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    U.S. Syrian War Propaganda Debunked And Destroyed

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    Watch LIVE, SHARE AND DONATE for the needy in Syria.

    Watch: http://www.helpsyriedewinterdoor.nl/ HELP SYRIA THROUGH THE WINTER!!!

    Working on getting an English segment for our international views, in'shaAllah!

    For all the latest campaign details please visit:
    FB Help Syria Through The Winter, Help Syrië De Winter Door & Help Syria Through The Winter - BELUX
    Website: www.helpsyriathroughthewinter.com
    Campaign video: www.youtube.com/watch?v=P8ktuXhePto
    Live stream: http://www.helpsyriedewinterdoor.nl/

    Make a difference by donating today:

    Donations within Australia:
    BSB: 063 172
    ACC: 1108 6727

    Donations across Europe:
    Name of; Stg Help Syrie de Winter Door
    IBAN; NL93SNSB0866526838

    Donations across Maldives ( Our new campaign partners)
    EHEE Jamiyya Bank Details:
    Maldives Islamic Bank
    9901 01 55500025 100

    A Tear for the Ummah - Sheikh Adam Shameem from Maldives shares an inspirational message to the Ummah.



    Have you heard the name "Alexa" recently?

    That's the name of a severe winter storm that has pummeled the Middle East. It is reportedly one of the worst to hit the region in a very long time, and it's making life exceptionally hard for so many, like our Syrian brothers and sisters:

    More than 2.2 Million Syrians are now living as refugees outside of Syria, and 6.5 Million are internally displaced—they all have suffered immensely from almost of three years of violence and conflict. Now, they are struggling to survive Alexa's brutal wrath: biting cold, heavy snow and freezing rain. According to a recent news report, as many as 16 children have frozen to death in Syria, and tens of thousands more are in danger. Please keep them in your dua.

    Let those struggling to survive know they have your support. Donate to help provide vital aid.

    Islamic Relief has been working to support Syrian refugees in Jordan, Lebanon and those still in Syria, since the conflict began in 2011. And since then, YOU'VE been helping give food, hygiene kits, mattresses, blankets, and so much more through ongoing projects we've implemented in the region. We need your continued support to keep these programs going and to expand them so that we can give more during especially hard times like these. Please give.

    Many others across the Middle East are struggling too, and we are looking into the best ways to help as many of them as we can. If you dedicate today's donation to our Middle East Humanitarian Aid fund, you say, "I want to help where it is needed most in the region!" masha'Allah.
    Support these relief efforts.

    And please keep our brothers and sisters across the Middle East and around the world in your prayers.



    With the winter months upon us HHRD’s “Year End Winter Campaign” focuses on providing winter essentials to those in need. News of record-breaking snowfall in the Middle East as well as, continuous below freezing temperatures around Asia have led to heartbreaking circumstances. Currently, we are collecting funds for two campaigns:

    Middle East Winter Assistance Package

    Men, women and children are suffering from brutal below freezing temperatures in Syria, Jordan and Palestine. Without the proper means to remain warm and safe many are dying.
    HHRD’s Winter Package includes: Blankets; Woolen Caps, Sweaters, Gloves, Socks, Scarfs, Shoes. Donors can choose from sponsoring an individual for $50 or a family for $200.

    General Winter Package

    Focusing primarily in Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, and Burma HHRD hopes to provide winter essentials to those in need. For $50 a package containing blanket, sweater, woolen cap, gloves, socks, scarves will help keep a person warm and safe this winter season.

    Most recently, HHRD team led by Imam Yaser Mustafa Al Khooly and Nasser Asmadi from Amman Jordan distributed relief goods including 3,000 hot meals and other winter essentials in Ersal, located in the Baalbek District, Governate of Beqaa, Lebanon. The crisis in Syria has led to thousands of refugees entering this area and living in poor conditions.

    Donate: https://www.hhrd.org/Donate.aspx?proid=81


    Children Burning Their Shoes to Stay Warm...


    Historic Harsh Cold & Snowy Weather has hit the Middle East.

    Children are burning shoes to stay warm. Syrian, Palestinian, and Jordanian families are now bearing the cold weather unprepared.

    As you are reading this Newsletter, Helping Hand for Relief and Development (HHRD) team of Imam Yaser Mustafa ALKhooly and Nasser ASmadi, is in Lebanon from Mon, Dec 16th till Wed, Dec 18th, providing Hot Meals & Warm Winter Packages to the most vulnerable families in Bekaa Valley.

    And with continuous support coming from patrons, HHRD team will continue to provide more & more families assistance throughout Winter:
    Gifts to Keep Warm for One Person = $50

    (Includes Blanket, Long Shoes, and Woolen Sweater, Scarf, Cap, Socks, & Gloves)

    To Donate - Click here: https://www.hhrd.org/donate.aspx?proid=122 NOTE: Please mention in Comment Section: "Mid East - Winter Drive”


    At the onset of any disaster relief effort, HHRD regional In-Kind Gift Centers in nine states initiate In-kind Gift campaigns and drives for the specific needs of the affected countries. In-Kind Gifts are donated goods and services rather than monetary donations. After the relief phase is over, In-Kind team coordinates with local teams to generate wish lists for Rehabilitation and Reconstruction phase.

    HHRD’s current "Winter In-Kind Drive 2013” is for Syrian Refugees".

    Donations of clothes, jackets, sweaters, gloves, caps, scarves, and shoes will be sent to Syrian refugees in Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey. HHRD regional offices in California, New York, Illinois, Texas, Maryland, Florida, and Atlanta are running this drive.

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    Now on Facebook: Syrian refugee brides

    Maya Gebeily - May 21, 2014

    We all know it happens in real life, and now it’s up on Facebook: “Syrian refugees for marriage.” The page has been live for five days, posting photos and statuses about Syrian refugee women “across the Arab world, of all ages and religions – share this page!”

    If this is the first time you’ve been exposed to marital exploitation of refugees, then you need to read up. NOW’s Ana Maria Luca has covered the issue for months. Other publications and human rights groups have sounded the alarm. The Facebook page, however sickening, is a mere extension of the realities on the ground.

    Fortunately, netizens have started to speak up. Comments on the page frequently voice disapproval and disgust. Women’s rights NGO KAFA was circulating the page today in an effort to get it shut down, encouraging its followers to report it to Facebook’s administrators. As of 1:00 PM today, it’s still up. I encourage everyone to report the page, get it shut down, and demonstrate to whatever sick agency or organization was behind it that this is absolutely socially unacceptable.

    But remember – even after the page gets shut down, young Syrian girls will still be sold into marriages. “Survival sex” and child marriages continue throughout Lebanon and the Arab world. Getting the page shut down is a small victory in the face of a much more devastating issue: the widespread cases of marital and sexual exploitation of Syria’s refugees.



    The page has since been removed but it only shows the level of corruption and pimping is going on among the Gulf Arabs, taking advantage of the disadvantaged refugees.

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    This Was the Syrian Civil War's Bloodiest Week Yet — And You Probably Heard Nothing About It

    By Eleanor Stanford July 25, 2014

    In the last week, 1,700 people died in Syria, making it the deadliest seven days since the conflict started three years ago. Of those casualties, 700 died in two days. Experts say this week marks a shift in the pattern of fighting, as opposition groups increasingly fight each other, leading to higher death tolls.

    And yet, when you think of the heartbreaking and significant news reported in the last week, the death toll in Syria doesn't spring to mind. But this week has left civilians even more vulnerable, and the world should be paying attention.

    Speaking on his election day from the presidential palace in Damascus, Assad claimed victory over the rebels. "Syrians, three years and four months … have passed since some cried 'freedom,'" he said. "They wanted a revolution, but you have been the real revolutionaries. I congratulate you for your revolution and for your victory."

    What followed his "victory speech" was the most intensive fighting on the streets of Damascus for many months.

    Outside the capital, the biggest blow to the government was the capture of the large Shaar gas field, east of Homs by IS (Islamic State) fighters following two days of heavy fighting. A clip in a BBC report containing images "too graphic to be shown uncensored" shows the bodies of 250 government soldier killed by rebel fighters in this battle alone.

    In several areas this week, rebel groups have fought each other, which leads to further vulnerability for Syria's civilian population. IS is expanding and continues to claim religious authority over all Muslims. In so doing and as it works to consolidate its territory in the east, it comes up against rebel factions like Jabhat al-Nusra.

    IS is "on a real tear," according to Joshua Landis, Middle Eastern expert on Syria Deeply. "There's also been a lot of fighting among the more moderate militias, because everyone is jockeying for territory — they want to get their own states."

    When Islamic State in Syria and the Levant (ISIL) announced the creation of a formal Islamic state at the end of June, in the process changing its name to IS, it created a domino effect for other rebel groups to scramble for territory in northern Syria, Landis said.

    All of this is terrible news for civilians. The BBC reported 230 civilian deaths in shelling by the regime this week. Where once they were fleeing fighting between Assad's regime and jihadist groups, the violence between the various rebel groups means the danger is now more widespread.

    "Civilians have increasingly limited prospects between leaving the country or being caught in the crossfire," Middle East scholar Andrew Bowen told Syria Deeply.

    The UN recently appointed Italian diplomat Staffan de Mistura as a new mediator for Syria, after his predecessor resigned in frustration over the ineffectiveness of international attempts to resolve the conflict. As fighting between disparate groups, as well as rebel and government forces, intensifies, to say de Mistura has his work cut would be an understatement.

    So this week was marked by not only violence, but also increased fragmentation and complication in Syria's civil war. This is the time for the international community to increase, rather than decrease, focus on Syria. This civil war is only intensifying, and with it uncertainty over the future of the Middle East.


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    With Syria buried in the news, hopes fade for ending world’s bloodiest war

    Syria’s violence is setting tragic records as the world’s attention shifts focus to Gaza, Iraq, Ukraine and even Libya

    August 1, 2014

    Syria’s civil war is buried beneath the headlines these days, as Israeli forces pound the Gaza Strip, Ukraine struggles with the downing of a commercial jet with 298 people on board and much of Iraq has been taken over by Al-Qaeda-inspired extremists. Libya, meanwhile, is literally going up in flames.

    Even with 1,400 Gazans killed over the past few weeks, Syria has not lost its title as home to the world’s deadliest conflict. During a 10-day stretch in mid-July, a record 1,800 people were killed, as the death toll from three years of fighting climbs past 170,000. And as the United States wrangles for a cease-fire to stem the latest violence in Gaza, there seems less hope than ever for a diplomatic solution to Syria’s bloodshed.

    The difficulty with Syria is not just that international diplomacy is bogged down elsewhere, working to stave off violence that is viewed as more solvable than the Syrian stalemate. The problem, analysts say, is that for quite a while now, Western resolve to pressure the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has all but dissolved.

    Washington and its allies are unwilling to front the tens of billions of dollars or decades of commitment that would be required to guarantee a rebel victory. After three disastrous rounds of peace talks and the resignation of a frustrated United Nations mediator, many in the rebel camp feel their most important backers are ready to let the chips fall where they may.

    “The international community knows very well that there is nothing called a diplomatic solution to the Syrian war,” said Ali al-Amin al-Suweid, a political officer with the Syrian Revolution General Commission, an opposition group. “They just use this refrain to justify delaying any action in Syria.”

    In part, the problem is one of geopolitical priorities. While Assad has enjoyed the unwavering support of Iran and Russia, Washington and its allies have been unable to muster comparable will power to keep Syria’s floundering opposition alive. In Israel, Washington has no choice but to back its staunchest ally in the region. In Ukraine the West wants to combat Russian aggression by backing the pro-European government in Kiev.

    Washington even has a reluctant ally in Baghdad and is deeply committed to keeping oil-rich Iraq together, given U.S. complicity in the current turmoil.

    In Syria, however, “there’s no good choice,” according to Joshua Landis, a Syria expert and the director of the Center for Middle East Studies at the University of Oklahoma. “Its a broken country with no future, no resources and a lot of militias that are diametrically opposed to American values,” he said.

    “We armed the mujahedeen [against the Soviets] in Afghanistan in the ’80s and lived to regret that decision. We should’ve let Russia keep it. Now we look at Syria and say, ‘Why take that away too?’”

    Washington has long struggled to defend its endorsement of Syria’s moderate rebels, an ill-defined sector of the vast and disjointed anti-Assad movement that is dwindling in numbers as funding dries up — not just from Washington but from Saudi Arabia and other Gulf backers too. Those groups are increasingly edged out by better-funded extremist groups on one front and the Assad regime on the other.

    Barack Obama’s administration recently announced a program to arm vetted Syrian rebels, but that is seen as a halfhearted effort to combat both the regime and Al-Qaeda-inspired rebel factions. In line with the White House’s calculus that a better-armed opposition would force the Assad regime to the bargaining table, a U.S.-backed covert support program has recently delivered a fresh round of arms and ammunition to moderate factions in the north. Another $500 million could be on its way if Congress approves, but that might not happen until mid-2015. As The Washington Post’s Liz Sly points out, “By then, there may be few if any moderate rebels left to aid.”

    Obama’s boosted aid to Syria is widely considered too little, too late. Many feel the U.S. is merely trying to dodge accusations it has abandoned Syria’s rebels after egging them on for years.

    Separate the bleak outlook on the ground, there is rising skepticism that the West would even have anything to gain by facilitating a rebel victory. Though there is disagreement on this, many doubt any group fighting Syria’s war would do Washington and its allies much good in a post-Assad Syria.

    “Nobody in Syria wants what we want — liberal democracy. Not one militia,” Landis said. “There’s no champion there that any U.S. politician can wrap his arms around and say, ‘This is our guy.’”

    At the same time, the Assad regime presses on with its brutal offensive. In the coming weeks, everyone’s eyes will be on Syria’s commercial capital and largest city, Aleppo, the last major city where Syria’s opposition holds significant ground. Despite a trickle of U.S. and Gulf aid, the rebels were driven out of Homs earlier this year by the Syrian Army, and they have lost other territory to an emboldened Islamic State. Losing the northern city of Aleppo would be a crushing blow for Syria’s revolution.

    In a cruel twist of fate, the Assad regime’s use of internationally prohibited barrel bombs to ruthlessly slaughter rebels and civilians alike has had the effect of pulling many beleaguered Syrians back from the revolution’s grip. Defying a February U.N. resolution, Syrian forces have actually made more frequent use of the devastating weapons, according to a Human Rights Watch report released this week.

    This so-called barrel diplomacy, Hassan Hassan wrote in Foreign Policy this week, “has pushed some people to welcome peace deals with the regime.” Despite — or perhaps because of — the regime’s use of barrel bombs, “the prospect of an end to the violence is tempting for civilians who have spent the past months coping not only with fighting between the rebels and the regime but also with robbery and looting from rebel subfactions.”

    The potential shift in momentum will not happen all at once, and the death toll will rise as the world watches. But regime airstrikes and lukewarm support have not pierced the resolve of those Syrians who launched the revolution as a peaceful movement back in 2011, Suweid said. After more than three years, the rebels are not ready to lay down their arms. “We started our revolution for dignity and peace,” he said. “Nothing has changed.”


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    Starved, tortured then throttled by Assad’s soldiers

    • A second cache of photos of victims of torture has been released
    • Taken by man tasked with 'recording deaths in custody' by Syrian regime
    • Total of 55,000 photos which lawyers say are evidence of extreme torture
    • Could be used to bring charges of war crimes against Bashar al-Assad

    Images available here: http://postimg.org/gallery/2ia906wzk/

    More photographs showing the maimed bodies of alleged victims of ‘systematic killings’ in Syrian prisons
    have been released today.

    The second cache of photos paints an even clearer image of the horrendous conditions and gruesome torture in government-run jails in Syria.

    The images, some of the 55,000 leaked by a witness ‘tasked with recording deaths in custody’, were taken between 2011 and 2013.

    The second release echoes warnings from human right's experts earlier this week that the first set of images only showed the tip of the iceberg.

    The pictures were smuggled out of Syria by a military police photographer, who has been saving the files over two years, and handed to the opposition.

    When the first photographs were released earlier this week, they were described as 'clear evidence' of crimes against humanity by a team of war crimes prosecutors.

    They show emaciated corpses with strangulation marks, cuts, bruising and signs of electrocution – evidence of extreme torture, claim investigators. Some victims are shown to have had their eyes removed.

    The photographer served as a military police officer for 13 years, and was assigned the duty of documenting the dead bodies brought to the military hospitals controlled by the Syrian regime during the civil war.

    The bodies depicted in the photographs are all said to be members of rebel groups killed in detention under torture and starvation.

    They show handwritten notes by on the faces and the bodies of the corpses, and allegedly used by the Syrian army as the records of death sentence enforcements, carried out systematically in government-run prisons.

    On Tuesday Foreign Secretary William Hague, as well as the U.S. government, condemned the crimes shown in the photographs, and demanded that the perpetrators be brought to justice.

    Mr Hague described the images as 'compelling and horrific', and said: 'It is important those who have perpetrated these crimes are one day held to account.'

    A spokesman from the U.S. State Department said: 'These reports suggest widespread and apparently systematic violations by the regime. These most recent images ... are extremely disturbing. They're horrible to look at.'

    The initial 31-page report was commissioned by Carter-Ruck solicitors in London on behalf of the Qatari government, which supports the Syrian uprising.

    It was released as peace talks began in Switzerland on Wednesday to try to end the three-year conflict.

    Sir Desmond de Silva, one of the Carter-Ruck lawyers who compiled a report on the credibility of the images, said that the evidence 'documented industrial-scale killing.' He pointed out that because the images purport to come from just one part of Syria, the human rights abuses could be much more widespread.

    ‘This is a smoking gun of a kind we didn’t have before. It makes a very strong case indeed,’ he said.

    ‘It is the tip of the iceberg because this is 11,000 in just one area.'

    About 130,000 people have been killed and a quarter of Syrians driven from their homes in the civil war, which began with peaceful protests against 40 years of Assad family rule and has descended into a sectarian conflict, with the opposing sides armed and funded by Sunni Arab states and Shi'ite Iran.

    High-level mediating has yielded little so far, but Lakhdar Brahimi, the UN mediator who is meeting separately today with each Syrian delegation, said there are signs they might be willing to bend on humanitarian aid, ceasefires and prisoner exchanges.

    Amid hostile exchanges at the peace talks in Switzerland, Syria’s government ridiculed demands by opposition leaders and their Western backers including Britain for Assad to stand down, saying it would never happen.



    May Allah help the oppressed and free them from the hands of these barbaric terrorists, and give them justice soon inshallah.

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    10,000 Syrian children killed in civil war, others raped, tortured and maimed: United Nations

    More than 10,000 children have been killed in the Syrian civil war, the United Nations says, while many more are subjected to "unspeakable" suffering, including rape, torture and recruitment for combat.

    Thousands more have also been forced to flee their homes during the three-year conflict, according to a report released this week to the Security Council and posted on the UN website.

    Many more are the victims of the use of heavy weapons by government forces and allied militias in their fight with rebels who oppose the regime of president Bashar al-Assad, the report says.

    However, it adds, both sides in the conflict are guilty of abusing and misusing children, with even the Free Syrian Army - the so-called moderate opposition - recruiting them for combat roles.

    The report says methods of torture inflicted on children include beatings with metal cables, whips and metal batons; electric shock, including to the genitals; the ripping out of fingernails and toenails; sexual violence, including rape or threats of rape; mock executions; cigarette burns; sleep deprivation; solitary confinement; and exposure to the torture of relatives.

    It cites a 16-year-old boy as saying he witnessed his 14-year-old male friend being sexually assaulted and then killed.

    During the first two years of the conflict, most killings and maiming of children were attributed to government forces, the report says.

    However, opposition groups had increasingly engaged in such acts in 2013 owing to increased "access to heavy weapons and the use of terror tactics".

    On receiving the document, UN secretary-general Ban Ki-moon urged "all parties to the conflict to take, without delay, all measures to protect and uphold the rights of all children in Syria".

    "The present report highlights that use of weaponry and military tactics that are disproportionate and indiscriminate by government forces and associated militias has resulted in countless killings and the maiming of children, and has obstructed children’s access to education and health services," he said.

    "Government forces have also been responsible for the arrest, arbitrary detention, ill treatment and torture of children.


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    Haunting Photos Reveal What Life Is Like For Syria’s Refugees

    Photojournalist Ben Taub has spent the last two summers on the Turkish-Syrian border, recording the lives of civilians caught up in the conflict in Syria. Contains graphic images.


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    Syria war refugees allowed in Jordan, except if they’re Palestinian

    Maureen Clare Murphy | 08/08/2014

    Yarmouk Camp

    Even though they are fleeing the same violence, Jordan is discriminating in its treatment of people escaping the Syria war depending on their nationality.

    A report by Human Rights Watch released this week finds that Jordan’s practices of refusing entry and forcibly deporting Palestinian refugees fleeing Syria constitutes a “clear breach of its international obligations.”

    This is in contrast to its treatment of Syrian nationals, “upon whom Jordan has not placed any formal entry restrictions,” according to the report, titled “Not Welcome: Jordan’s Treatment of Palestinians Escaping Syria.”

    More than half a million Syrians have fled to Jordan since the beginning of the crisis in 2011.

    There were approximately 520,000 Palestinian refugees living in Syria before the outbreak of the violence, “some living in refugee camps and others in Syrian towns and cities, where they enjoyed many of the same rights as Syrian citizens, including access to government services,” Human Rights Watch observes.

    Most Palestinians in Syria are refugees from the 1948 ethnic cleansing of Palestine and their descendants.

    Israel refuses to respect the right of Palestinian refugees to return to their land and property.

    Banning and deportation

    “Jordan has officially banned entry to Palestinians from Syria since January 2013 and has forcibly deported over 100 who managed to enter the country since mid-2012, including women and children,” Human Rights Watch states.

    “Jordan’s uncompromising treatment of Palestinians fleeing Syria contrasts with its treatment of Syrian nationals,”
    Human Rights Watch adds, “at least 607,000 of whom have been accepted into the country since the beginning of the Syrian conflict.”

    A Jordanian official admitted to Human Rights Watch that the discriminatory non-admittance policy imposed on Palestinians fleeing Syria is aimed to maintain the demographic balance of the kingdom, half the population of which is believed to be of Palestinian origin.

    Fayez Tarawneh, head of the royal court and former prime minister, told Human Rights Watch that “he doubted that Jordan would be able legally to deport the Palestinians — a stateless group — to Syria once the conflict there has concluded if they were allowed refuge in Jordan.”

    Human Rights Watch’s report states that in declaring the non-admittance policy:

    “Jordanian Prime Minister Abdullah Ensour argued that Palestinians from Syria should be allowed to return to their places of origin in Israel and Palestine, and that ‘Jordan is not a place to solve Israel’s problems.’ He said, ‘Jordan has made a clear and explicit sovereign decision to not allow the crossing to Jordan by our Palestinian brothers who hold Syrian documents … They should stay in Syria until the end of the crisis.

    Jordan’s non-entry policy for Palestinians may also be tied to the 1970-71 Black September confrontation between Palestinian guerrilla fighters and the Jordanian army, Human Rights Watch’s report suggests.

    “Jordan’s harsh treatment of Palestinians fleeing Syria also extends to Palestinian residents of Syria who are actually Jordanian citizens or descendants of Jordanian citizens of Palestinian origin,” the report notes.

    “Those who were involved in Black September would now be at least in their 60s, if not older, and their children and grandchildren should not be held accountable for acts that may have been committed by their parents or grandparents more than forty years ago,” Human Rights Watch states.

    Citizenship revoked

    Human Rights Watch has documented the stripping of ten Palestinians from Syria of their Jordanian citizenship: “Jordanian citizens affected by withdrawal of citizenship have learned they had been stripped of their citizenship not from any official notice, but during routine procedures such as renewing a passport or an ID card, or registering a marriage or the birth of a child at Jordan’s Civil Status Department.”

    The group adds:

    Some Palestinians deported to Syria, especially those stripped of their Jordanian citizenship, return to Syria without any form of valid identification, which renders them unable to cross government or opposition checkpoints, forcing them to remain indefinitely in small border villages without access to humanitarian assistance. Human Rights Watch spoke with two deported Palestinians with no identification currently living in a mosque in a Syrian border town.

    Despite Jordan’s restrictions, more than 14,000 Palestinians from Syria have sought services from UNRWA, the United Nations agency for Palestine refugees, in the country since the beginning of the Syrian conflict, Human Rights Watch notes.

    “Only 1,300 of them had entered Jordan lawfully before authorities began the pushbacks of Palestinians at the border,” Human Rights Watch states.

    Lacking ability to enter through official border crossings, Palestinians fleeing Syria, some of whom say they endured torture in Syrian government prisons, described to Human Rights Watch the peril they endured circumventing Jordan’s ban on entry.

    Shot by soldiers

    A 47-year-old Palestinian from Damascus who said he entered Jordan in May 2013 recounted paying a smuggler a fee of $1,060 and was shot in the leg by Jordanian soldiers while attempting to cross the border.

    A Palestinian woman from Yarmouk camp near the Syrian capital said that in July 2013, five months after her family entered the country using a smuggler, Jordanian police and plainclothes intelligence stormed their Amman home. Her husband was arrested and deported to Syria after two weeks in detention. He has since claimed asylum in a third country, and the family remains separated.

    The family of other Palestinians who were deported from Jordan reported that their relatives were beaten by Jordanian police while in custody.

    “In all cases of deportation documented by Human Rights Watch,” the report states, “Jordanian authorities separated Palestinian men from children, wives, parents, or other family members left behind in Jordan, depriving family members of a primary source of income in some cases.”

    International aid workers told Human Rights Watch “that they feared an increase in discovery, arrest and deportation of Palestinians, particularly Palestinians posing as Syrians, as a result of Jordan’s introduction of a biometric verification procedure for new refugees arriving from Syria, and reverification of Syrians living in Zaatari camp and in urban communities.”


    “As a result of the Jordanian government’s policy, many Palestinians from Syria do not have proper residency papers in Jordan, making them vulnerable to exploitation, arrest, and deportation,” the group adds.

    “Undocumented Palestinians from Syria dare not seek protection or redress from the Jordanian government against exploitation or other abuses. They cannot legally live in the official refugee camps established for Syrians, but cannot legally work to earn money for renting housing outside the camps,” the report states.

    Approximately 180 Palestinians and 200 Syrians are held in the fenced-off Cyber City facility for refugees, in a remote area of northern Jordan, according to Human Rights Watch. “Other than short periods of leave granted to some Cyber City residents every two to three weeks to visit their family members in Jordanian cities, Palestinians living in Cyber City can only leave the camp to return to Syria,” the group adds.

    Human Rights Watch’s 44-page report is based on interviews conducted with members of twelve Palestinian families, more than thirty individuals, who fled Syria for various Jordanian cities, all of whom were affected by Jordan’s restrictions targeting Palestinians.

    Staff of humanitarian organizations were also interviewed and their reports surveyed. Interior Minister Hussein al-Majali did not reply to the group’s requests for information on Jordan’s treatment of Palestinians from Syria.

    Human Rights Watch calls on Jordanian authorities to “rescind the non-admittance policy for Palestinians refugees from Syria and cease all deportations of Palestinian refugees back to Syria.”

    The group adds:

    The Jordanian authorities should admit Palestinians from Syria seeking refuge in Jordan at least on a temporary basis and allow them to remain and move freely in Jordan after passing security screening and finding a sponsor. Authorities should also halt arbitrary removal of citizenship from Jordanian citizens or descendants of Jordanian citizens who were living in Syria prior to 2011.

    International donors and aid agencies should ensure that relevant agencies provide humanitarian and protection support to Palestinians from Syria on par with services offered to Syrian nationals in Jordan.

    Stateless and unwanted

    Human Rights Watch remarks in its report that Jordan is, unfortunately, not the only country imposing restrictions on Palestinians from Syria which put them at grave risk.

    Earlier this year, the group reported that the Lebanese government had denied dozens of Palestinian refugees entry from Syria, deporting them back to the war-torn country.

    Lebanon hosts approximately one million Syrian refugees, according the UN refugee agency UNHCR. As of July, there were approximately 50,000 Palestinian refugees from Syria in Lebanon.

    Lebanon has broken promises to not deport Palestinians fleeing Syria.

    Research by Amnesty International indicates “evidence of a policy to deny Palestinian refugees from Syria entry into Lebanon altogether — regardless of whether they meet the new conditions of entry,” according to Mutawalli Abou Nasser reporting for the Inter Press Service.

    The stateless Palestinians of Syria find few doors open to them.

    The new Human Rights Watch report states: “Of Syria’s neighbors, only Turkey allows Palestinians to freely enter and has reportedly agreed to issue residency permits that will allow them to live, work and study legally in the country. By April 2014 at least 1,600 Palestinians had entered Turkey and registered with UNHCR.”

    The group adds:

    Due to regional pushbacks and inability to legally reside in most surrounding countries, many Palestinians from Syria are taking risks to escape the violence, including by attempting to smuggle themselves to Europe by land or sea. In Egypt, where an estimated 6,000 Palestinians from Syria have sought refuge, Palestinians and Syrians must acquire a pre-approved visa to enter the country.

    By late 2013 the government had detained at least 400 Palestinians from Syria caught trying to migrate to Europe on smugglers’ boats. Palestinians interviewed by Human Rights Watch at police stations said that Egyptian authorities told them that their only alternative to indefinite detention in Egypt was to go to Lebanon or return to war-torn Syria.

    Palestinians in Egypt are especially vulnerable because Egyptian policy prevents them from seeking protection from UNHCR, and Egypt is outside UNRWA’s fields of operation.

    Overshadowed this summer by Israel’s military onslaught on Gaza, the humanitarian crisis in Yarmouk refugee camp near Damascus is ongoing as armed fighting interrupts aid operations there. More than 18,000 civilians remain trapped in Yarmouk, the largest Palestinian population center in Syria, according to UNRWA.

    Before the armed conflict, nearly 150,000 Palestinian refugees registered with UNRWA resided in Yarmouk, as well as thousands of Syrian nationals.

    Dozens died of starvation in the camp after Syrian government forces tightened the siege on Yarmouk in July 2013.

    Approximately 270,000 Palestinian refugees in Syria have been displaced by the ongoing violence, says UNRWA.


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    Syrian refugees top 3 million, half of all Syrians displaced - U.N.

    Fri Aug 29, 2014

    By Stephanie Nebehay

    GENEVA (Reuters) - Three million Syrian refugees will have registered in neighbouring countries as of Friday, but many remain trapped by the advance of Islamist militants or are having difficulty in reaching open border crossings, the United Nations said.

    Syrians desperate to leave their war-engulfed homeland are forced to pay hefty bribes at armed checkpoints proliferating along Syria's borders, or to smugglers, the U.N. refugee agency said.

    The record figure is one million refugees more than a year ago, while a further 6.5 million are displaced within Syria, meaning that "almost half of all Syrians have now been forced to abandon their homes and flee for their lives," it said.

    "The Syrian crisis has become the biggest humanitarian emergency of our era, yet the world is failing to meet the needs of refugees and the countries hosting them," Antonio Guterres, U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees, said in a statement.

    Hollywood actress Angelina Jolie, who serves as UNHCR special envoy, said in a separate statement: "Three million refugees is not just another statistic. It is a searing indictment of our collective failure to end the war in Syria."

    The vast majority of Syrian refugees remain in neighbouring countries, with the highest concentrations in Lebanon (1.17 million), Turkey (830,000) and Jordan (613,000), the UNHCR said.

    Some 215,000 refugees are in Iraq with the rest in Egypt and other countries. Syrians have also been among migrants who have drowned in the Mediterranean trying to reach Europe, Jolie said.

    In addition, the host governments estimate that hundreds of thousands more Syrians have sought sanctuary in their countries without formally registering, the agency said.


    But there are worrying signs that the journey out of Syria is becoming tougher for desperate families, it said.

    Some areas of Syria are emptying out as the front lines in the conflict shift. "Recent arrivals to Jordan, for example, are running from attacks in the areas of al-Raqqa and Aleppo," the UNHCR said, referring to northern areas of Syria controlled by Islamic State forces.

    "The borders are open in Lebanon. They're managed in Jordan and Turkey, that is in those countries feeling very legitimate security concerns, they are screening people who are coming in," UNHCR chief spokeswoman Melissa Fleming told a news briefing.

    "In Iraq, the border is closed, it was closed some time ago in Anbar province and actually now it's no longer controlled by the government of Iraq," she said.

    The border in Iraq's northern Kurdistan region has been closed also for some time except for Syrians returning to Syria, Fleming said.
    "And in fact about 300 Syrians are actually returning to Syria every day. So this gives you a picture of the situation when you actually decide to return to Syria, or to flee to Syria as some Iraqis have, things must be pretty bad in Iraq."

    Islamic State forces have swept through western and northern Iraq this year, causing alarm in Baghdad and drawing the first U.S. military air strikes since U.S. forces withdrew in 2011. The United States is pushing to build an international campaign against Islamic State jihadist fighters in Iraq and Syria, including partners for potential joint military action, Obama administration officials said on Thursday [They invent and train terrorists like ISIS and then make excuses to invade Iraq and Syria with a new coalition of their axis of evil ]

    Increasing numbers of Syrian families arrive in neighbouring countries in a shocking state, exhausted, scared and with their savings depleted, Fleming said.

    "Many have been on the run for a year or more," she said.

    "There have been cases of people who have been internally displaced inside the country moving from village to village, up to as many as 20 times, before they finally made it across an international border."


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    42 children killed in string of Syria attacks — NGO

    AFP | Aug 31, 2014

    BEIRUT — At least 42 children have been killed in government air strikes and shelling across Syria in the last 36 hours, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitoring group said Sunday.

    The Britain-based Observatory said 25 children had been killed between midnight on Saturday and Sunday afternoon, with 17 more killed between Friday and Saturday night.

    The deaths came in regime shelling and air strikes across the country, though most took place in the northern province of Aleppo and northwestern Idlib, Observatory director Rami Abdul Rahman said.

    Many of the deaths came in raids involving the use of explosive-packed barrel-bombs, a weapon that has been criticised by rights groups as indiscriminate.

    Among the dead on Sunday were at least five children killed along with five adults in a barrel bomb attack on the town of Hobait in Idlib province, said the monitor.

    In northern Aleppo province, another five children and three adults were killed in an air raid in the west of the province, it added.

    In the capital Damascus, meanwhile, regime planes continued to pound the eastern resistance-held district of Jubar, where the government began a fierce offensive earlier this week to wrest back control.

    The observatory said at least 15 air raids hit the district on Sunday, but there were no immediate details about casualties.

    Jubar has been in resistance hands for a year, and is considered strategic because it provides a gateway to the centre of the capital and opens onto the key rebel stronghold of Eastern Ghouta.

    In mid-August, the army took Mleiha some 10 kilometres southeast of Damascus, and capturing Jubar would allow a two-pronged advance on Eastern Ghouta.

    Resistance fighters arrayed around the capital regularly fire mortar and rockets into Damascus.

    In northern Syria, meanwhile, the observatory said it had documented the executions of 31 rebel fighters and civilians by Islamic State jihadists in the last 10 days of August.

    Among those killed were resistance fighters, from the rival group Al Nusra Front and civilians, including a university professor executed on allegations including membership in Syria's ruling Baath Party, said the monitor.

    The figure does not include hundreds of regime forces and members of the Sunni Shaitat tribe who were executed after battles with ISIS in Raqa and Deir Ezzor provinces.

    It also does not include resistance fighters killed in clashes with IS, which has been battling rival opposition fighters since early this year.

    More than 191,000 people have been killed in Syria since the conflict began there in March 2011, the UN says.


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    On Golan, Israelis grab a front-row seat to the war in Syria

    QUNEITRA OVERLOOK, Golan Heights – The beginning of the school year is usually a dead time for local tourism up on this rocky plateau. But in recent days, steady trickles of Israeli visitors have been turning up to engage in a rather unconventional pastime.

    It’s not the fruit picking or nature reserves, for which this north-easternmost part of the country is known, that beckon them these days. Rather, these folks have come to get front-row seats to the war waging in their backyard – for a change, one in which Israel is not directly involved. Armed with binoculars and cameras, they search for those locations overlooking the Quneitra valley that provide the best possible views of battles between Syrian government troops and rebel forces, as the action shifts from day to day, and lately, even hour to hour.

    Civil war broke out in Syria two-and-a-half years ago, but recent days have seen quite a bit of action right below this spot, with rebel forces seizing control of the strategic border crossing with Israel and progressing northward from there.

    Some of the Israeli voyeurs stop for just a few minutes, during their breaks from work or other activities, to get a quick look. They make use of the coin-operated binoculars already available at some of these overlooks, though originally installed for very different purposes. For others, who lug along folding chairs, coffee and even water pipes, it can become a full-day activity.

    They wait for signs of the rebel forces darting in and out of abandoned buildings below. When gunshots are fired, they search for the direction they came from in order to figure out whether the attackers were government troops or rebel forces. They look to see which flags are hoisted on the poles near certain buildings – a key indication of which side has prevailed that day or hour. They watch to see where mortar shells and rockets land and where sniper fire hits. They point out plumes of smoke from recent hits, and when a particularly loud explosion is heard, they sometimes burst into applause.

    For some, with no vested interest, it’s become a sort of spectator sport. Others – and these clearly represent the majority – are deeply concerned that the radical Islamic rebel forces will topple the Syrian government, threatening what has long been Israel’s safest border. A day of scouting on the Israeli side of the Golan Heights revealed three of the most popular spots among Israelis to watch the war in Syria:

    Quneitra Overlook – Located just a bit north of Kibbutz Ein Zivan on the main road, this overlook is known by the regulars as the “mirpeset,” or veranda. The UNDOF (United Nations Disengagement Observer Force) base, which was overrun by Al-Qaida-affiliated rebels last week, is in full view from here. Just left of the UN base are the ruins of the old town of Quneitra, mostly deserted since the 1973 Yom Kippur War, and north of there, farther out in the distance, is the new and much larger town of Quneitra.

    Four men from the Druze village of Bukata in the Golan Heights have set up camp here on folding chairs under a tree. They serve each other black coffee in paper cups and share a pack of Time cigarettes. “We come every day,” says one member of the group, who asks not to be identified. “It’s like watching a movie. We’re just waiting for the Syrian army to recapture the border crossing.”

    Eli, from the northern town of Kiryat Shmona, is one of the regulars here. “I come every other day,” he says, introducing his wife, who looks a bit bored. On medical leave following surgery, he says he finds war-watching an interesting way to fill his free time. “The other day I saw lots of rebels hiding out over there,” he says, pointing to the left. “It’s like watching a game. One side shoots at the other.”

    Ziad, a lawyer from Majdal Shams, the largest Druze town in the Golan, has just arrived from the courthouse, still wearing the compulsory white shirt and black tie. “I came because I’m very worried the rebels will maintain control of the border crossing,” he says. “If they do, that’ll be a danger for the whole area, and that’s why our hearts are with [Syrian President Bashir] Assad.”

    The border crossing, manned by the UN peacekeeping forces, is the only means of passage for Druze residents of Israel into Syria, where many study.

    Jojo, another Druze from the area, has arrived with a Jewish friend who lives about an hour away, near Tiberias. The two work together at one of the local kibbutzim and have taken advantage of their afternoon break to see what’s going on across the border. “I’m most concerned about the Druze in Syria,” says Jojo. “I have lots of family there, so it’s important for me to be able to see what’s going on with my own eyes.”

    * Mount Bental Overview – A short drive to the north is the Mount Bental Overview, which provides war-watchers a much higher vantage point for the action. Because it is 1,160 meters above sea level, it also provides a panoramic view of a much larger area that also includes the Galilee. Managed by Merom Golan, the first kibbutz established after Israel captured the territory from Syrian in the 1967 Six-Day War, the overview is right near a popular café with spectacular views known as “Coffee Anan” (“anan” is Hebrew for “cloud,” and a cashier explains that the name was inspired by the heavy clouds that usually cover the mountain in the morning, and not by the former UN secretary general).

    Unlike the Galilee and other areas of Israel where Jesus once roamed, the Golan doesn’t usually attract many pilgrimage groups. But this particular afternoon, two large ones are here at Mount Bental, one from the United States and one from the Czech Republic. Betsey and Henry Jacquez, from Ohio, seem a bit shaken up as they walk back to their bus. “I didn’t know I would hear bombs, and you can hear them very clearly from here,” says Betsey. “It made me sick to my stomach, to be honest.”

    In a relatively concealed corner, two Canadian members of the UN peacekeeping forces are observing developments below through big binoculars, as an American couple and their Israeli guide walk by. “What’s to stop us from going into Syria?” the woman asks the guide, clearly impressed by the almost seamless way the two countries seem joined. “Nothing,” responds her guide. “It’s getting back that’s the problem.”

    * Oz 77 Military Outpost – Not far from Emek Habakha, the area of the Golan where major tank battles were fought during the 1973 Yom Kippur War, this old IDF outpost is known among locals as having some of the best views of the territory north of Quneitra.

    Dudu, a ginger-haired kibbutznik from nearby El-Rom, knows by heart the names of each and every village and hill on the other side of the border. A regular at this spot, where the winds are exceptionally strong, he maintains it’s the best place to see the action. “See that town over there,” he points toward the horizon. “It’s been a ghost town for a year. And that over there,” he moves his finger to the left, “that’s a Syrian quarry. That over there is a Syrian outpost, and there you have an Israeli outpost.”

    Just as a swirl of black smoke rises from a patch of earth below, where a mortar shell has just hit, two men park their car and join the kibbutnik at the top of the hill. Shaul, who lives in England, says he’s here visiting with his friend Avi from Jerusalem, and they’ve decided to spend a day up north.

    Shaul tells Dudu it’s important to look at the bright side of things. “With all that fighting going on down there below, you can rest assured no one will ever ask you to leave this place,” he says. “Israel will never return the Golan Heights to Syria now.”


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    Saudi Arabia urges U.S. to stop its air-strikes targeting ISIS in eastern Syria

    23 September 2014

    The Saudi foreign Minster called his American counterpart, demanding him to end “the devastating campaign” against the Muslim population in eastern Syrian territories ,occupied by the so-called Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, reported RT.

    During his phone –call, Saud bin Faisal Al Saud, importuned Mr. John Kerry to persuade U.S. president to end all hostilities with the hardline Islamist organization to save tens of thousands of innocent Syrian entrapped civilians and to continue preventing Iran from achieving its goals , RT quoted the Saudi Daily Al-Okaz as saying.

    The American senior official in his part , told the Saudi foreign minister to convey president Obama’s message to Saudi monarch , asking him to prevent factions inside the Saudi regime from financing the notorious ISIS terrorists group in Syria and join western alliance against the Al- Qaeda inspired organization.

    Today, at around 9:00 GMT, American jet fighters pounded several ISIS targets inside the Syria territory, especially in the remote eastern Al-Riqqa province. The Syrian foreign minister in a press conference declared that he was aware in advance of an imminent American strike.

    U.S. intensive aerial bombardment followed the decapitation of an American photojournalist and a British contractor by ISIS militants.

    Since the start of Syrian crisis in 2011, Saudi Arabia sough to exploit the unrests to overthrow the Syrian government of President Assad, a Britain–educated ophthalmologist, by unleashing many infamous prisoners indicted for terrorist activities but it seems that the same monster ,created by Saudis and CIA now is posing serious threat to their vital interests.

    Saudi Arabia has denied giving any support to ISIS, the jihadi group that has captured swaths of territory across northern and central Iraq, as well as controlling large parts of northern Syria.

    Earlier Mr. Kerry accused The Saudi monarchy to funnel money and weapons to rebel groups fighting against President Assad from early on in the Syrian uprising. Wealthy individuals and religious foundations in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar and elsewhere in the Persian Gulf have channeled millions of dollars to the anti-Assad opposition.

    American secretary of state demanded the Saudi official to restrict state connivance regarding sending of financial contributions to ISIS and other terrorist organizations from that ilk.



    SEPTEMBER 23, 2014

    The US military and partner nations from the anti-ISIS coalition have launched the first attacks on Islamic State targets in Syria, the Pentagon has confirmed.

    The airstrikes against the Islamic State targets are currently underway in Syria, according to a Pentagon official.The strikes on targets in Syria reportedly involve a mix of fighter, bomber, and tomahawk land attack missiles.

    “I can confirm that US military and partner nation forces are undertaking military action against ISIL (ISIS/IS) terrorists in Syria using a mix of fighter, bomber and Tomahawk Land Attack Missiles,” Pentagon Press Secretary Rear Admiral John Kirby said in a statement.

    “The decision to conduct theses strikes was made earlier today by the US Central Command commander under authorization granted him by the commander in chief. We will provide more details later as operationally appropriate,” he added. According to NBC News, the US military is planning to attack up to 20 targets in Syria, including “training sites, headquarters of Sunni fighters and troop encampments.” A US official told ABC News that up to 20 locations have been targeted in the airstrikes in and around Raqqa. Tomahawk missiles have been fired from at least one ship in the Red Sea. The source also said that Arab nations participating in the airstrikes will be dropping bombs.

    According to Jonathan Karl, chief White House correspondent for ABC News, five Arab nations are taking part in the first round of airstrikes in Syria: Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates. In the meantime, a US official speaking to Reuters confirmed the participation of Arab partners in the attack, but refused to specify who those partners are. CENTCOM says the decision to conduct airstrikes was made under authorization granted by the US president.

    The Pentagon will not provide further details on the operation “until later,” according to Reuters. The strikes are believed to be carried out without the consent of Damascus.

    The attack follows President Obama’s speech earlier this month, during which he said that the US was prepared to “conduct a systematic campaign of airstrikes” against Islamic State terrorists “wherever they are.”

    “That means I will not hesitate to take action against ISIL (ISIS/IS) in Syria as well as Iraq,” Obama said on September 10. The US military has already carried out over 200 strikes on Islamic State targets in Iraq.

    Last Tuesday, US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel confirmed that the US Central Command has a plan to take “targeted actions against ISIS safe havens in Syria,” including striking infrastructure. The US will also train and equip 5,000 members of the Syrian opposition to fight militants from IS. The so-called ‘moderate’ opposition is seen by the US as a legitimate power in Syria since the Assad government has long lost all its legitimacy, according to US officials.

    More than 40 nations have said they will participate in the anti-Islamic State crusade, with more than 30 nations offering military support, according to Hagel.



    September 25, 2014

    Residents of a village in northwestern Syria are in shock after U.S. air strikes demolished two neighborhoods
    , despite there being no ISIS militants in the area, killing 27 people including six children.

    According to a report by Al-Jazeera, which is aligned with Qatar, a vehement supporter of the U.S. military campaign against ISIS, missiles targeting the town of Kafr Diryan destroyed two residential areas, killing 27 people, most of whom were civilians.

    “The locals say that this is the first time that they were attacked by missiles since the outbreak of Syrian revolution. The paradox, they say, is they were bombed not by the Syrian regime, but by an international coalition which killed and wounded many of them under the pretext of fighting terrorism,” states the report.

    One of the locals interviewed for the report asserted that no ISIS militants were even active in the area.

    “This coalition is not against terrorism. It is against civilians, as you can see. The revolution has been going on for four years now, and not a single missile was shot at us by Bashar Al-Assad and his gang. The coalition fired two missiles, supposedly targeting ISIS, but there are no ISIS members here, not even ISIS children.”

    While the U.S. air strike on Kafr Diryan failed to eliminate any ISIS targets, the overall bombing campaign has had the opposite effect, with 6,000 new ISIS members being recruited since the United States’ military campaign against Islamic State began last month.

    Having flooded the region with weapons by arming both the Iraqi military and jihadists in Libya and Syria, arms which were subsequently acquired by ISIS, air strikes will have the inevitable effect of radicalizing more people to join the fight on the side of Islamic State.

    Since ISIS is run by Iraqi generals who were former members of Saddam Hussein’s Baath Party before being radicalized in American prisons, a direct connection between the 2003 invasion of Iraq and the emergence of ISIS can also be drawn.

    As Congressman Dennis Kucinich points out in an article today, “This Frankenstein-like experiment of arming the alleged freedom-seeking Syrian opposition created the monster that roams the region. ISIS and the US have a curious relationship — mortal enemies that, at the same time, benefit from some of the same events.”

    Kucinich notes that the U.S. and ISIS both share the same goals in the region. Having ousted the non-compliant Iraqi President Nouri al Maliki, who bitterly complained that the United States’ allies were funding ISIS, Iraq is set to be partitioned, while regime change in Syria remains a dual objective of both the U.S. and ISIS.

    As a deluge of evidence clearly confirmsbombing the middle east only radicalizes populations and creates more terrorists. The United States’ foreign policy has created more terrorists than it has killed, a consequence that will almost certainly be replicated in the aftermath of the campaign against ISIS.


    Congratulations, Assad: You successfully got the US to bomb your enemies instead of you

    September 24, 2014

    Almost precisely one year ago, the Obama administration was so enraged with Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad, whose campaign of terror in the Syrian civil war had killed thousands of civilians, including with chemical weapons, that President Obama was personally making the case for launching off-shore strikes against Assad.

    Not only did Obama never attack Assad, but he is now sending the American military and America's allies to bomb Assad's most powerful enemy, ISIS. The United States has completely switched sides in the Syrian civil war and is now indirectly aiding the Syrian government it was plotting to strike just a year ago.

    That is a stunning reversal. And Assad can take full credit for it: this is a situation he has cultivated from the beginning. He has successfully manipulated the world's most powerful country, which was bent on his destruction, into attacking his enemies instead.

    The fact that America's strikes against ISIS are good news for Assad has played out in the open in the awkward statements from American government officials insisting that they did not coordinate with Assad on the strikes. Indeed, there is no evidence that they did coordinate, but they wouldn't have to: the US was very clear it would be flying missions against Assad's enemies, so naturally Assad has allowed them to move over his airspace totally undisturbed. His government has even bragged (probably falsely, not that it matters) that Secretary of State John Kerry sent Assad a secret letter notifying him of the strikes, as if by way of asking permission.

    Assad estimated, correctly, that the Americans would care far more about defeating potential terrorist threats to the United States than about stopping Assad from his slaughter of Syrian civilians. In the last two years, the Syrian government has focused on defeating the US-backed "moderate" rebels, while simultaneously ceding large stretches of the battlefield to jihadist groups, especially ISIS. The Syrian government largely refrained from bombing Raqqa, the province ISIS holds and where it has built its headquarters. ISIS seemed to understand the bargain and reciprocate, not fighting alongside Assad's forces but also not challenging them too directly, focusing rather on seizing territory from other rebel groups.

    At first, the war was not a war at all, but a one-sided slaughter by Assad's troops against unarmed civilian protesters, a dynamic that Assad knew invited American-led intervention against him. Then it was a war between Assad's loyalists and home-grown Syrian rebels, which posed the same risk. But by allowing extremist groups like ISIS to grow, as he focused on weakening moderate rebels, Assad created a conflict in which he was the lesser of two evils.

    This strategy was not a secret; it was carried out in the open, as we all watched, and there is no mystery that Assad hoped to cultivate ISIS's growth. This cartoon, by prominent Iranian artist Mana Neyestani, perfectly captures what Assad was trying to do:


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    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.”

    Asked about the strike at Kafr Daryan, a U.S. Central Command spokesman said Tuesday that U.S. military “did target a Khorasan group compound near this location. However, we have seen no evidence at this time to corroborate claims of civilian casualties.” But Caitlin Hayden, a spokesperson for the National Security Council, told Yahoo News that Pentagon officials “take all credible allegations seriously and will investigate” the reports.

    At the same time, however, Hayden said that a much-publicized White House policy that President Obama announced last year barring U.S. drone strikes unless there is a “near certainty” there will be no civilian casualties — "the highest standard we can meet," he said at the time — does not cover the current U.S. airstrikes in Syria and Iraq.

    The “near certainty” standard was intended to apply “only when we take direct action ‘outside areas of active hostilities,’ as we noted at the time,” Hayden said in an email. “That description — outside areas of active hostilities — simply does not fit what we are seeing on the ground in Iraq and Syria right now.”

    Hayden added that U.S. military operations against the Islamic State (also known as ISIS or ISIL) in Syria, "like all U.S. military operations, are being conducted consistently with the laws of armed conflict, proportionality and distinction."

    The laws of armed conflict prohibit the deliberate targeting of civilian areas and require armed forces to take precautions to prevent inadvertent civilian deaths as much as possible.

    But one former Obama administration official said the new White House statement raises questions about how the U.S. intends to proceed in the conflict in Syria and Iraq, and under what legal authorities.

    Asked about the strike at Kafr Daryan, a U.S. Central Command spokesman said Tuesday that U.S. military “did target a Khorasan group compound near this location. However, we have seen no evidence at this time to corroborate claims of civilian casualties.” But Caitlin Hayden, a spokesperson for the National Security Council, told Yahoo News that Pentagon officials “take all credible allegations seriously and will investigate” the reports.

    At the same time, however, Hayden said that a much-publicized White House policy that President Obama announced last year barring U.S. drone strikes unless there is a “near certainty” there will be no civilian casualties — "the highest standard we can meet," he said at the time — does not cover the current U.S. airstrikes in Syria and Iraq.

    The “near certainty” standard was intended to apply “only when we take direct action ‘outside areas of active hostilities,’ as we noted at the time,” Hayden said in an email. “That description — outside areas of active hostilities — simply does not fit what we are seeing on the ground in Iraq and Syria right now.”

    Hayden added that U.S. military operations against the Islamic State (also known as ISIS or ISIL) in Syria, "like all U.S. military operations, are being conducted consistently with the laws of armed conflict, proportionality and distinction."

    The laws of armed conflict prohibit the deliberate targeting of civilian areas and require armed forces to take precautions to prevent inadvertent civilian deaths as much as possible.

    But one former Obama administration official said the new White House statement raises questions about how the U.S. intends to proceed in the conflict in Syria and Iraq, and under what legal authorities.


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    Saudi hero who was arrested for refusing to obey the Washington warlord's orders to conduct terror raids against Syrian citizens

    Heroic pilot officer Faisal al Ghamdi has been arrested by america's Saudi puppet forces for refusing to attack Syrian citizens.


    Fox News presenters mock female pilot who took part in campaign against Isis

    Hosts crack sexist jokes about UAE’s Major Mariam al-Mansouri, calling her ‘boobs on the ground’

    25 September 2014

    Presenters on US cable channel Fox News cracked a series of sexist jokes after reporting that a female pilot from the UAE had taken part in a bombing mission of Isis targets in Syria, describing her as “boobs on the ground”.

    One presenter, Kimberly Guilfoyle, tried to pay tribute to Major Mariam al-Mansouri, 35, one of four UAE fighter pilots to take part in the operation. “Hey, Isis, you were bombed by a woman,” she said. “Very exciting, a woman doing this … I hope that hurt extra bad because in some Arab countries women can’t even drive.”

    She continued: “Major Mariam al-Mansouri is who did this. Remarkable, very excited. I wish it was an American pilot. I’ll take a woman doing this any day to them.”

    But after the segment, co-host Greg Gutfeld interrupted Guilfoyle, mocking the pilot. “The problem is after she bombed it she couldn’t park it,” he said. Another presenter, Eric Bolling, joined in, asking: “Would that be considered boobs on the ground or no?” The conversation between panellists, which was broadcast on Wednesday, was part of discussion show The Five on Fox News.

    Embarrassed, Guilfoyle hung her head, saying: “Oh my gosh, why did they ruin my thing?” Another voice was heard afterwards saying: “Did you just say what I thought you said?”

    Mansouri, who is from Abu Dhabi, graduated from the UAE air force academy in 2008 after becoming one of the first women to join after it scrapped its ban on women.

    Speaking to the National of UAE, she said: “It was my aspiration. Ever since I finished high school, I wanted to learn flying because it was something that I liked in the first place.

    “A woman’s passion about something will lead her to achieving what she aspires and that’s why she should pursue her interests.”

    Mansouri told CNN this summer: “I put my mind to being a fighter pilot. But at that time, the doors were not open for females to be pilots, so I had to wait almost 10 years.

    “Whenever a woman enters a new male-dominated field, they find the same hesitation, the same prejudice, the same stereotype thinking.

    “And I had to prove myself by just being determined and having that skill and the knowledge enough to prove that I can perform as skilfully as the men in this field.”



    This is the respect those bigots give to those so eager to please them. One can imagine the taunting this pilot face in her community as her family is ridiculed about having their daughter referred to as "boobs on the ground" on foreign national television.

    An Open Letter To Fox News About 'Boobs On The Ground'


    Dear Mr. Bolling and Mr. Gutfeld,

    We are veterans of the United States armed forces, and we are writing to inform you that your remarks about United Arab Emirates Air Force Major Mariam Al Mansouri were unwarranted, offensive, and fundamentally opposed to what the military taught us to stand for.

    First, foremost, and most obvious to everyone other than yourselves, your remarks were immensely inappropriate. Your co-host Kimberly Guilfoyle was so right to call attention to an inspiring story of a woman shattering glass ceilings in a society where doing so is immeasurably difficult. We never heard an answer to her question: why did you feel so compelled to “ruin her thing?”

    As it turns out, women have been flying combat aircraft since before either of you were born. Over 1,000 Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASPs) flew during World War II. Seeing as U.S. Army Air Forces Commander “Hap” Arnold said “Now in 1944, it is on the record that women can fly as well as men,” we can probably guess he thought their parking was adequate. The WASP legacy reaches into the present day; on 9/11, then Lt. Heather “Lucky” Penney scrambled her F-16. Completely unarmed, she was ready to lay down her own life to prevent further devastating attacks on American soil.

    Thus the skill of women as fighter pilots is well established. And before you jump to the standby excuse that you were “just making a joke” or “having a laugh,” let the men amongst our number preemptively respond: You are not funny. You are not clever. And you are not excused. Perhaps the phrase “boys will be boys”—inevitably uttered wherever misogyny is present—is relevant. Men would never insult and demean a fellow service member; boys think saying the word ‘boobs’ is funny.

    The less obvious implication of your remarks, however, is that by offending an ally and cheapening her contribution, you are actively hurting the mission. We need to send a clear message that anyone, male or female, who will stand up to ISIS and get the job done is worthy of our respect and gratitude.

    We issue an apology on your behalf to Major Al Mansouri knowing that anything your producers force you to say will be contrived and insincere. Major, we’re sincerely sorry for the rudeness; clearly, these boys don’t take your service seriously, but we and the rest of the American public do.

    Very Respectfully,

    (list of armed forces signatures available at the link)

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  20. #60
    Member Array
    Join Date
    Jan 2007




    The U.S. today began bombing targets inside Syria, in concert with its lovely and inspiring group of five allied regimes: Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, United Arab Emirates, Qatar, and Jordan.

    That means that Syria becomes the 7th predominantly Muslim country bombed by 2009 Nobel Peace Laureate Barack Obama—after Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia, Libya and Iraq.

    The utter lack of interest in what possible legal authority Obama has to bomb Syria is telling indeed: Empires bomb who they want, when they want, for whatever reason (indeed, recall that Obama bombed Libya even after Congress explicitly voted against authorization to use force, and very few people seemed to mind that abject act of lawlessness; constitutional constraints are not for warriors and emperors).

    It was just over a year ago that Obama officials were insisting that bombing and attacking Assad was a moral and strategic imperative. Instead, Obama is now bombing Assad’s enemies while politely informing his regime of its targets in advance. It seems irrelevant on whom the U.S. wages war; what matters it that it will be at war, always and forever.

    Six weeks of bombing hasn’t budged ISIS in Iraq, but it has caused ISIS recruitment to soar. That’s all predictable: the U.S. has known for years that what fuels and strengthens anti-American sentiment (and thus anti-American extremism) is exactly what they keep doing: aggression in that region. If you know that, then they know that. At this point, it’s more rational to say they do all of this not despite triggering those outcomes, but because of it. Continuously creating and strengthening enemies is a feature, not a bug. It is what justifies the ongoing greasing of the profitable and power-vesting machine of Endless War.

    If there is anyone who actually believes that the point of all of this is a moral crusade to vanquish the evil-doers of ISIS (as the U.S. fights alongside its close Saudi friends), please read Professor As’ad AbuKhalil’s explanation today of how Syria is a multi-tiered proxy war. As the disastrous Libya “intervention” should conclusively and permanently demonstrate, the U.S. does not bomb countries for humanitarian objectives. Humanitarianism is the pretense, not the purpose.

    President Barack Obama makes a speech during the Nobel Peace Prize Concert at Oslo Spektrum on December 11, 2009 in Oslo, Norway



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