RSS

Tag Archives: Syria

Ghouta : chronique d’une révolution écrasée

C’est une histoire dont on connaît déjà la fin. À moins d’un revirement majeur, la Ghouta orientale, assiégée depuis cinq ans par Damas, devrait tomber prochainement. Le régime, qui cherche à faire plier l’enclave une fois pour toutes, a lancé une campagne de bombardements intenses début février, avant d’entamer un assaut terrestre la semaine dernière.

La moitié de l’enclave rebelle a déjà été reprise par les forces loyalistes. Siège prolongé, pilonnage, ersatz de négociations politiques et enfin offensive terrestre : la tactique, utilisée par Damas à plusieurs reprises pour mater les fiefs insurrectionnels, a déjà fait ses preuves, comme à Daraya, à Alep-Est ou encore à Wadi Barada.

L’heure n’est pas encore aux baluchons préparés à la hâte et aux bus verts. Ces fameux bus qui déracinent pour de bon ceux qui ont osé tenir tête à Damas. Mais le compte à rebours a déjà commencé, malgré les 30 000 combattants rebelles originaires de la région qui disent vouloir la défendre jusqu’à la mort.

https://www.lorientlejour.com/article/1103822/ghouta-chronique-dune-revolution-ecrasee.html

Advertisements
 
Leave a comment

Posted by on April 7, 2018 in Middle East

 

Tags:

In the small city of Manbij in Syria, we could see US and Turkish troops shooting at each other if tensions continue

Manbij is a good place to understand the jigsaw puzzle of competing fiefdoms into which Syria is now divided and the reasons why the multiple wars that have torn the country apart will go on for several more years. A largely Arab city with a population of 300,000, it is situated east of Aleppo and west of the Euphrates river, but has been effectively controlled by the Kurds since they captured it from Isis after a long siege in 2016.

Turkey has been repeatedly threatening to attack Manbij to end the Kurdish presence, though the Kurds, for their part, say they are no longer in control but have handed over power to a local body called the Manbij Military Council. The Turks claim that this just means that the Kurds have changed their uniforms, but the council, which has about 5,000 fighters, acts in concert with US troops, so, if Turkish troops and the local militias they work with do advance, it will be at the risk of a shooting war with the US.

http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/syria-us-turkey-troops-fighting-manbij-kurdish-assad-civil-war-a8236201.html

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on March 6, 2018 in Middle East

 

Tags:

Le stragi in Siria segnano la fine del diritto umanitario

L’assedio di Aleppo è finito in un bagno di sangue solo un anno fa, nel dicembre del 2016. Oggi assistiamo nella Ghuta orientale al lancio delle stesse bombe per mano dal regime e del suo alleato, la Russia. Si tratta delle barrel bombs, che vengono lanciate dagli aerei sulle città causando danni inimmaginabili.

“Assistiamo sempre alla solita storia”, scrive il quotidiano panarabo Al Araby. “Decine di testimoni rischiano la vita per mostrarci le immagini sconvolgenti dei corpi tra le macerie, le urla delle donne e degli uomini feriti, i bambini terrorizzati in mezzo alle rovine. La stessa scena si ripete, cambia solo la data”.

“Sterminio”, “genocidio”, gli osservatori sul campo sono unanimi: oltre 400mila persone sono intrappolate alla periferia di Damasco e vengono bombardate senza via di uscita. Il regime di Assad prima ha affamato la popolazione della Ghuta orientale: in una delle zone più agricole della Siria, gli abitanti erano finiti a mangiare erba. Già nel 2013 aveva ucciso circa 1.700 persone lanciando gas sarin sulla regione, fatto così sconvolgente che aveva quasi spinto l’allora presidente statunitense Barack Obama a intervenire. Ora il regime sta prendendo di mira, come già in precedenza, gli ospedali della zona.

https://www.internazionale.it/bloc-notes/catherine-cornet/2018/02/23/stragi-siria-diritto-umanitario

 

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on March 2, 2018 in Middle East

 

Tags:

Trapped in eastern Ghouta: How both sides are preventing civilians escaping the horror in Syria siege

Syrian rebels and government forces are both preventing civilians fleeing the bombardment of Eastern Ghouta, according to a teacher who has been trying to get his family out.

In an exclusive interview with The Independent, Ghafour, 43, a teacher of Arabic, spoke of their abortive attempt to escape.

“I live in Douma [in the north of Eastern Ghouta] and have three children who are all under 15,” he says. “I tried to send my family out, but the opposition militants prevent all families leaving.” He adds that even the extensive networks of independent smugglers, who used to bring goods secretly into Eastern Ghouta and sometimes smuggle people out, would not help him because they work with the rebel movements in control of Eastern Ghouta.

“I tried but in vain,” he recalls, describing how one of the rebel local commanders, probably from the Army of Islam that controls this part of the besieged enclave, caught Ghafour and his family last Thursday when they were trying to move from Douma to another opposition held-district further west called Harasta. “He shouted at me and said, ‘You should stay here and support our fight against the regime, and you should not even send your wife and children away. If we send our families out, our morale will go down and we will lose.”’

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/eastern-ghouta-syria-civilians-deaths-trapped-damascus-siege-assad-regime-rebels-killed-a8229211.html

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on March 2, 2018 in Middle East

 

Tags:

Western howls of outrage over the Ghouta siege ring hollow – we aren’t likely to do anything to save civilians

Here are some cruel facts about the siege of Ghouta. They have become buried in the real rubble and blood and the sham and apocalyptic expressions of horror from the West. The first and most important dimension to the siege was a remark by Sergey Lavrov, the Russian foreign minister, who said on Monday that Moscow and the Syrian government “could deploy [in Ghouta] our experience of freeing Aleppo”. This single phrase – otherwise translated from the Russian as “draw from the lessons of Aleppo” – was regarded, when it was heeded at all, as a warning that Ghouta would be destroyed.

But the Russians spent many months, along with the Syrians, trying to arrange for the departure of Syrian civilians from eastern Aleppo before it was recaptured; after huge advances into the suburbs by Syrian troops, there was indeed an exodus of the innocent, in which armed opponents of the regime were also permitted to leave. Many were escorted by armed and uniformed Russian military police who took them to the Turkish border. Others preferred – rashly, no doubt – to move under escort to Idlib, the great provincial “dumping ground” for Islamist fighters and their families which is now, inevitably, also under siege.

http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/ghouta-siege-syria-death-toll-civilians-armed-attack-rebel-aleppo-latest-a8221086.html

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on February 27, 2018 in Middle East

 

Tags:

This could be the last siege of the Syrian war

Syrian artillery and aircraft are bombarding Eastern Ghouta, the last big rebel enclave which is just to the east of Damascus. Some 127 people were reported to have been killed on Monday alone. By Tuesday evening that figure was said to have doubled. The strength of the attack by shellfire, bombs and missiles is more intense than anything seen in the area for several years, suggesting that an all-out ground assault is in prospect or, as in East Aleppo just over a year ago, there will be a last minute attempt to negotiate a mass evacuation.

The siege of Eastern Ghouta could be the last of the big sieges that have characterised the war in Syria for the last five or six years and has made it such a destructive conflict. Early on in the war, government forces adapted the strategy of abandoning opposition strongholds, surrounding them and concentrating pro-government forces in defence of loyalist areas, essential roads and important urban areas. The rebel enclaves were sealed off with checkpoints and the people inside were subjected to regular bombardment.

http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/eastern-ghouta-syria-bashar-al-assad-air-strike-mosul-a8219926.html

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on February 27, 2018 in Middle East

 

Tags:

Negotiations continue between rebels and the Syrian Army, but the bombardment of Ghouta won’t stop any time soon

Syria continues to mass its armed forces around the east Ghouta enclave of Damascus, including army units commanded by President Bashar al-Assad’s brother Maher and by Colonel Soheil Hassan, the “Tiger” whose military victories across the country have made him legendary among Assad’s supporters.

Instead of moving by night – the traditional tactic adopted by the army in the war – vast quantities of Syrian armour have been humming along the highways to the capital in broad daylight from Aleppo and Homs in the north, from Deraa in the south, and from the countryside of Damascus itself. The Syrian authorities want them to be seen, to show the Islamist rebels of Ghouta know how their battle will end.

http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/syria-civil-war-eastern-ghouta-assad-regime-rebels-talks-artillery-air-strikes-a8224701.html

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on February 27, 2018 in Middle East

 

Tags:

As tensions rise, neither Iran nor Israel want war

The chain of events over Syria early on Saturday was the closest Israel and Iran have ever been to direct military confrontation. But the military punches between Israel-Syria-Iran also contained a few more “firsts”.

It was the first time an Iranian unmanned drone had penetrated Israeli space – in the past, Iranian-made drones that infiltrated Israel were operated by Hezbollah from Lebanon.

This time it was an all-Iranian operation led by the al Quds force: the decision, the launch and the operational control and guidance.

http://www.middleeasteye.net/columns/tensions-rise-neither-iran-nor-israel-want-war-1461986195

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on February 19, 2018 in Middle East

 

Tags: , ,

Why we should fear the ‘Washington establishment’ figures who are pulling the strings in the Trump administration

People sitting in cafes in Baghdad under the rule of Saddam Hussein used to be nervous of accidentally spilling their cup of coffee over the front page of the newspaper spread out before them. They had a good reason for their anxiety, because Iraqi newspapers at that time always carried a picture of Saddam on their front page. Defacing his features might be interpreted as an indication of disrespect or even of a critical or treasonous attitude towards the great leader.

Saddam Hussein invariably got star billing in the Iraqi press, but he would be impressed at the astonishing way in which it has become the norm in the US media for the words and doings of President Trump to monopolise the top of the news. Day after day, the three or four lead stories in The New York Times and CNN relate directly or indirectly to Trump. And, unlike Saddam, this blanket coverage is voluntary on the part of the news outlets and overwhelmingly critical.

http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/donald-trump-rex-tillerson-establishment-media-iraq-syria-iran-turkey-a8191626.html?amp

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on February 14, 2018 in Middle East

 

Tags: ,

On the front line in Syria, a confusing conversation with a doctor who may be an official of the YPG

Dr Karaman Heddo breezed into the office in surgical kit, a plastic covering for his hair, a big grin on his bearded face.

“Ask me anything about Afrin – ask me anything political,” he said.

It was an odd meeting. Dr Heddo – trained as a doctor at the Aleppo medical school, he confided –  wouldn’t exactly confirm he was an official of the YPG, the local Kurdish “protection units”, although he certainly sounded like it. He insisted we were in a medical facility. It had marble floors. It was spotless. It was guarded by two armed men. But it seemed to have no patients. It certainly had no ambulances or worried families at the door or busy nurses.

http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/syria-front-line-robert-fisk-war-ypg-kurdish-syrian-army-russia-putin-a8191381.html

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on February 14, 2018 in Middle East

 

Tags: