Tag Archives: Syria

Pentagon may recommend deployment of US regulars in Syria

Source: Aol News

"The U.S. Defense Department may recommend that the United States deploy regular combat troops to Syria for the first time to fight Islamic State militants, CNN reported on Wednesday. The idea is one of several ideas the Pentagon is considering after President Donald Trump gave defense officials until the end of the month to come up with proposals to speed up the war against Islamic State." (02/15/17)


How the travel ban helps terrorists

Source: Reason
by Steve Chapman

"If you're afraid that terrorists from a particular country will come to kill your citizens, it makes sense to ban anyone from that place. So brace yourselves, Americans. Any day now, the Syrian government may impose a complete and total shutdown on travelers from the United States. Donald Trump thinks there is a pipeline of violent extremists from Syria and other predominantly Muslim countries. He's right, but he's wrong about the direction of the flow. Islamic State recruits aren't coming from Syria to the United States. They are going from the United States to Syria." (02/13/17)


Syria: Russian airstrike kills Turkish troops

Source: Guardian [UK]

"Three Turkish soldiers have been killed and 11 injured after a Russian fighter jet accidentally bombed their location outside an Islamic State-held town in northern Syria. … The Turkish military said in a statement that a Russian warplane struck a building where Turkish personnel were present at 8.40am on Thursday as it was targeting Isis. It said the Russian president, Vladimir Putin, called his Turkish counterpart, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, to express his condolences." (02/09/17)


Syria: Turkish forces "targeting Islamic State-held Raqa" as fighting rages for al-Bab

Source: Yahoo! News

"Turkey said Wednesday it was looking to push towards the Islamic State stronghold of Raqa in northern Syria in the next stage of its nearly half-year military operation, as fighting raged for the town of Al-Bab. Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu suggested Turkey and its allies could send special forces to take Raqa, the de-facto capital for the Islamic State (IS) group, despite being mired in intense fighting against jihadists in Al-Bab to the west." (02/08/17)


Syria: 13,000 people hanged in secret at prison, Amnesty says

Source: CNN

"Thousands of people have been hanged at a Syrian prison in a secret crackdown on dissent by the regime of Bashar al-Assad, a report by Amnesty International has alleged. The human rights group says up to 13,000 people have been executed at Saydnaya prison north of the capital Damascus in a 'hidden' campaign authorized by senior regime figures. … Most of those hanged were civilians 'believed to be opposed to the government,' the report found." (02/07/17)


Syrian "safe zones" as the worst of all worlds

Source: Niskanen Center
by Matthew Fay

"In his first week in office, President Donald Trump seems intent on fulfilling his campaign promises regarding immigration and refugees. President Trump signed an executive order calling for a wall on the Mexican border, and a draft executive order is also apparently awaiting his signature that would halt immigration and resettlement of refugees from certain Muslim majority countries. My colleagues Kristie De Pena and Matthew La Corte have already explained why the refugee ban is both counterproductive and morally obtuse. However, the Trump administration seems to want to compound the problems caused by its refugee ban through greater military involvement in Syrian." (01/27/17)


How the Syrian civil war is creating a nation of exiles

Source: In These Times
by Leila Al Shami

"The world watched, throughout November and December 2016, as conditions in the rebel-held area of Aleppo became unbearable. There, amid heavy snowfall, thousands of residents were forcibly displaced from their homes. Most were sent to rebel-held Idlib, where the regime is concentrating its opponents and may soon concentrate its military might. Some of those sent to regime-held west Aleppo were reportedly arrested, including Ahmad Mustafa, a journalist with Halab Today, and Abdulhadi Kamel, a volunteer with the Syria Civil Defense. Others were forcibly conscripted by the regime army. Aleppo is only the latest opposition stronghold to follow a now-familiar pattern." (01/23/17)


Kazakhstan: Astana talks close with pledge to safeguard Syria truce

Source: Yahoo! News

"Russia, Iran and Turkey — sponsors of talks in Kazakhstan between Syria and rebel factions — pledged Tuesday to consolidate the country's nearly month-old cease-fire and set up a three-way mechanism to ensure compliance of all sides. At the conclusion of the two-day conference on Syria's nearly six-year war in Astana, the three countries said they will use their 'influence' to strengthen the truce, without specifying how that would work. The statement signed by the three sponsors also says the agreement in Astana paves the way for political talks to be held in Geneva on Feb. 8, and welcomed the rebel groups' participation in the U.N. sponsored talks." (01/24/17)


US military denies coordinating Syria air strikes with Russia

Source: Yahoo! News

"The Pentagon on Monday denied that it had coordinated air strikes with Russia in Syria, after Russia's defense ministry said the United States had provided coordinates for Islamic State militants. The Russian defense ministry said the Russian military had received coordinates of Islamic State targets near al-Bab, Syria from the 'American side' of the U.S.-led coalition fighting the militant group on Jan. 22." (01/23/17)


No sign of breakthrough on first day of Syria talks

Source: Yahoo! News

"Peace talks with Syrian rebels and the war-torn country's government got off to a rocky start Monday, while Washington said President Donald Trump was open to joint operations with Russia against Islamic State jihadists in Syria. The Syrian rebels' representatives vowed to keep fighting if peace negotiations with the government of President Bashar al-Assad fail, as the first day of talks in the Kazakh capital Astana ended with no apparent breakthrough. Monday's meetings, organised by key players Russia, Turkey and Iran, could have marked the first time armed rebel groups negotiated directly with the Assad regime since the conflict erupted in 2011. But the rebels backed out of direct talks because of the regime's continued bombardment and attacks on a flashpoint area near Damascus." (01/23/17)