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Tag Archives: Syria

Syria war, Sochi peace

The main take-away of the trilateral, two hour-long Russia-Iran-Turkey summit in Sochi on the future of Syria was expressed by Russian President Vladimir Putin:

“The presidents of Iran and Turkey supported the initiative to convene an All-Syrian Congress for national dialogue in Syria. We agreed to hold this important event at the proper level and ensure the participation of representatives of different sectors of Syrian society.”

In practice, that means Russian, Iranian and Turkish foreign ministries and defense departments are tasked to “gather delegates from various political parties, internal and external opposition, ethnic and confessional groups at the negotiating table.”

Putin stressed that “in our common opinion, the success on the battlefield that brings closer the liberation of the whole of Syrian territory from the militants paves the way for a qualitatively new stage in the settlement of the crisis. I’m talking about the real prospects of achieving a long-term, comprehensive normalization in Syria, political adjustment in the post-conflict period.”

https://www.opednews.com/articles/Syria-war-Sochi-peace-by-Pepe-Escobar-Assad_Daesh_Negotiation_Peace-171124-877.html

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Posted by on November 24, 2017 in Middle East

 

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Syria, ‘Experts’ and George Monbiot

Investigative journalist Gareth Porter has published two exclusives whose import is far greater than may be immediately apparent. They concern Israel’s bombing in 2007 of a supposed nuclear plant secretly built, according to a self-serving US and Israeli narrative, by Syrian leader Bashar Assad.

Although the attack on the “nuclear reactor” occurred a decade ago, there are pressing lessons to be learnt for those analysing current events in Syria.

Porter’s research indicates very strongly that the building that was bombed could not have been a nuclear reactor – and that was clear to experts at the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) even as the story was being promoted uncritically across the western media.

But – and this is the critical information Porter conveys – the IAEA failed to disclose the fact that it was certain the building was not a nuclear plant, allowing the fabricated narrative to be spread unchallenged. It abandoned science to bow instead to political expediency.

https://www.counterpunch.org/2017/11/22/syria-experts-and-george-monbiot/

 
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Posted by on November 24, 2017 in Middle East

 

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A lesson from Syria: it’s crucial not to fuel far-right conspiracy theories

What do we believe? This is the crucial democratic question. Without informed choice, democracy is meaningless. This is why dictators and billionaires invest so heavily in fake news. Our only defence is constant vigilance, rigour and scepticism. But when some of the world’s most famous crusaders against propaganda appear to give credence to conspiracy theories, you wonder where to turn.

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/nov/15/lesson-from-syria-chemical-weapons-conspiracy-theories-alt-right

 
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Posted by on November 23, 2017 in Middle East

 

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Scorned and stateless: children of Isis fighters face an uncertain future

In a corner of a teeming refugee camp, 40 miles north of Raqqa, a small group of women and children are kept alone. They mill together at the back of a blue building; blond and brown haired children darting in between blankets that their mothers have hung as doors across small, dank rooms. Others in the Ain Issa camp call them “the Daeshis”, meaning Islamic State families. No one wants to know them.

The women are widows of dead Isis fighters. All are foreigners, with futures more bleak than the 12,000 or so newly displaced of Syria and Iraq in the camp, or the many millions more victims of war and insurgency now living in tents across the Middle East.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/oct/07/children-isis-fighters-syria-raqqa-orphans-uncertain-future

 
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Posted by on November 5, 2017 in Middle East

 

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ISIS: Islamic State Days in Raqqa Are Numbered

Everywhere in the sun-drenched villages and towns of northern Syria, in the camps and the ruins where they have been living for months, or even years, the refugees from Raqqa are eagerly awaiting the chance to return. They gush about evenings spent in the “Casino,” as they call the bars along the banks of the Euphrates. They speak longingly of their homes and their gardens, as though they had once lived in the Garden of Eden. It’s a lot of longing for a relatively unspectacular place.

Two brothers have brought grapes from their garden in al-Meshlab, the first Raqqa neighborhood to be liberated, all the way to Tal Abyad, located 100 kilometers away. “We can’t return yet, but we were able to check if the house is still standing,” one of them explains. The grapes taste like — grapes. But they are served as though they were a rare delicacy.

http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/isis-islamic-state-days-in-raqqa-are-numbered-a-1168658.html

 
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Posted by on November 5, 2017 in Middle East

 

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By killing Isis fighters instead of bringing them to justice, we become as guilty as our enemies

A profoundly important, unprecedented and dangerous decision has been taken by European leaders in the past few days. It’s not made as explicit as it should be – because our leaders are always careful to erect a bodyguard of verbiage and lies to protect them if something goes wrong – but it’s perfectly clear that they want any foreign fighters in Isis to be killed when they are found. It’s not a question of whether they deserve to live or die – they have cut the throats of innocents, including my journalist colleagues, and they have raped women and enslaved children. We know that, and we are aware that their vicious cult has not yet ended. Isis is still alive.

https://www.independent.co.uk/voices/isis-fighters-british-citizens-rory-stewart-bad-as-our-enemies-a8020816.html

 
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Posted by on October 31, 2017 in Middle East

 

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Democracy Is Possible in Syria. My Friend Knew How.

“The Kurds have no friends but the mountains” — that’s what Mehmet Aksoy used to say. But Mehmet, who was killed Sept. 26 during an attack by the Islamic State in northern Syria, was my friend, and a tireless advocate of the Kurdish freedom movement.

He was working on an essay that began with those words when he died. He often used that adage to explain the plight of his people, who have long been used or mistreated by the very powers that claim to spread democracy and freedom through the world.

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/10/16/opinion/syria-isis-kurds.html

 
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Posted by on October 31, 2017 in Middle East

 

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Raqqa: Isis ‘capital’ liberated by US-backed forces – but civilians face months of hardship with city left devastated

Kurdish and Arab fighters have raised their flag over the last Isis stronghold in Raqqa, bringing to an end the four-month siege of the city which has served as the de facto Isis capital and headquarters in Syria. A small number of Isis fighters holding out in the sports stadium were overrun by the Syrian Democratic Forces and fighting has ceased everywhere according to a spokesman for the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) which is backed by the devastating airpower of the US-led coalition.

The capture of Raqqa, despite the US coalition claiming the SDF will still face pockets of resistance, is the latest in a string of defeats suffered by Isis over the last two years which have destroyed the “Caliphate” declared by the Isis leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi after the fall of Mosul in 2014. Isis once ruled territories the size of Great Britain, but has lost almost all of them and is confined to desert and semi-desert areas where it is likely to have prepared hideouts, arms caches and food supplies. It will seek to remain in being, using guerrilla and terrorist tactics and hoping to regenerate itself in future.

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/raqqa-liberated-isis-defeat-latest-mine-clearance-sdf-camp-residents-medicine-aid-a8005881.html

 
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Posted by on October 18, 2017 in Middle East

 

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The defeat of Isis in Raqqa will bring problems for the victorious Syrian Kurds

The expected fall of Raqqa will mark the latest defeat for Isis as it loses its last urban strongholds in Syria and Iraq and reverts to being a guerrilla movement launching raids from hideouts in the desert. The siege of Raqqa started on 6 June and Isis fought skilfully against overwhelming odds until it now holds only a small enclave amid the ruins.

Success will bring problems for the victors as well as the defeated. The attackers in Raqqa are the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) , a mixed Kurdish-Arab force, but its military punching power comes from the YPG, the committed, well-organised and experienced Syrian Kurdish fighters linked to Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) in Turkey. The SDF have shown that they are excellent ground troops, but they owe their sweeping successes not only to their undoubted military prowess but also the devastating firepower of the US-led coalition using bombs, missiles and drones.

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/isis-raqqa-defeat-latest-sdf-kyrds-syrian-civil-war-turkey-a8004021.html

 
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Posted by on October 18, 2017 in Middle East

 

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Isis has lost Raqqa – so where will its fighters head to next?

Raqqa is about to fall – and once more, its imminent collapse has been brought about by Isis fighters who chose not to fight to the death. The Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) – which is mostly Kurdish, is definitely not democratic and would have no force without US airpower – believe that they might hold the entire city within 24 hours and would thus erase the Isis ‘capital’ in Syria.But the reports of more than at least 275 Isis fighters who are said to be Syrian and who have apparently been freed will greatly concern the Syrian government and army. Will they be allowed to wander into the Syrian desert and stage attacks on the Syrian army? Or go to join their comrades in Deir Ezzor, the government-held city which has still not been taken in its entirety by Syrian troops?

Source: Isis has lost Raqqa – so where will its fighters head to next? | The Independent

 
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Posted by on October 18, 2017 in Middle East

 

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