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Displaying items by tag: syria

russian img


No fewer than 44 people had been killed with many left injured on Sunday in a suspected Russian air strike on a crowded marketplace in Idlib province, Syria.


A UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights disclosed that the strikes hit the town of Ariha, which is controlled by the Army of Conquest, a rebel alliance which includes the Nusra Front, adding that other areas of the town were also hit.


The Director of the Observatory, Rami Abdulrahman, placed the death toll at a minimum of 60 people being killed in the attack.


 By Temitope Bamidele


Russia deploys img


Following the shooting down of a Russian war plane by Turkey at the Syria-Turkey border, the Russian government has announced that it would deploy anti-aircraft missiles to Syria.


The Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoygu added via Twitter that it would deploy S-400 defense missile systems which have a range of 250 kilometers (155 miles) to its Hmeymim air base, on Syria's Mediterranean coast. Meanwhile, the Turkish border is less than 30 miles away.


Also, the Russian Foreign Minister, Lavrov described Turkish act as "an unpremeditated act", adding that "It looks very much like a planned provocation."


By Temitope Bamidele

US air strike


Following last week's destruction of 116 tankers controlled Islamic State (IS) by the US military, the US forces had again disclosed that its air strike has destroyed over 238 fuel trucks controlled by the Islamic State (IS) in the North-East of Syria last weekend.

The Pentagon spokesman, Capt Jeff Davis, said: "This was conducted in many ways identical to our last. It was proceeded with a leaflet drop to warn drivers out of their trucks as well as a show of force".

He added that there was no civilian casualties after the destruction. A coalition of air strikes against the IS led by the US began in both Syria and Iraq in 2014, after IS militant took control of large areas of both countries.
By Temitope Bamidele



US air strike


Following last week destruction of 116 tankers controlled Islamic State (IS) by the US military, the US forces had again disclosed that its air strike has destroyed over 238 fuel trucks controlled by the Islamic State (IS) in the North-east of Syria last weekend.

The Pentagon spokesman, Capt Jeff Davis, said: "This was conducted in many ways identical to our last. It was proceeded with a leaflet drop to warn drivers out of their trucks as well as a show of force".

He added that there was no civilian casualties after the destruction. A coalition of air strike against the IS led by the US began in both Syria and Iraq in 2014, after IS militant took control of large area of both countries.
By Temitope Bamidele






Ahead of Saturday's peace talks in Vienna, Russia has unveiled a document containing its peace plan for Syria. The document which is circulating at the United Nations has proposed a constitutional reform process in Syria, lasting 18 months, to be followed by presidential elections.


 According to reports, here is a summary of the peace plan's key points:

The eight-point proposal drawn up by Russia is reported not to rule out President Bashar al-Assad's participation in the elections - something his enemies say is impossible if there is to be peace.


The popularly elected president of Syria will have the functions of Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, control of special services and foreign policy," the document is quoted by Reuters as saying.



It says that the reform process should not be chaired by President Assad, but by a candidate agreed upon by all sides. It also calls for UN Special Envoy Staffan de Mistura to launch a political process between the Syrian government and "A united delegation of opposition groups" on the basis of the June 2012 agreement between major powers in Geneva, which calls for the formation of a transitional government for Syria.



By Chika Jones


France is sending its largest warship to Syria and Iraq to join in the battle against Islamic State (IS).

The ship is an aircraft carrier which can hold up to 40 aircraft and supports 100 flights per day.

France's involvement in the campaign will hasten the time it will take for French jets to carry out their air-strikes.

In September, 2015, French began air-strikes forces in Syria, as part of the US-led coalition since September 2014.

The Charles de Gaulle aircraft carrier has already been deployed against IS.


Credit: BBC

By: Temitope Bamidele

syrian flag


Despite the Jaish al-Islam opposition group use of dozens of prisoners from Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's Alawite sect as human shields, the Syrian government still continued its air strikes on Douma, a suburb of Damascus.
This has resulted into the death of 250 civilians during the past three days alone, including 50 children and 20 women, killed by the government forces during the attacks.

By Temitope Bamidele

us army


The White House  announced on Friday that a small number of U.S. Special operations forces will be sent into Syria. 


According to the senior U.S. official, the forces will be stationed in northern Syria and work alongside groups with a proven track record of fighting ISIS. The move will be described as a "shift" but not a "change" in U.S. strategy against ISIS. 


The special operation forces will work together with Kurdish. The chair of the House Armed Services Committee, Mac Thornberry said the White House was feeling the pressure of a "failed policy" against ISIS. In his words he said "I'm concerned that the administration is trying to put in place limited measures — too late — thay are not going to make a difference."  "I don't see a strategy towards accomplishing a goal, I see an effort to run out the clock without disaster."


Obama and his administration have come under mounting pressure amid signs the anti-ISIS coalition has stalled or at least failed to turn the tide against the militants — including the recent Pentagon decision to abandon a failed program to train and equip Syrian rebels.


The U.S. currently has about 3,300 troops in Iraq to train. It has advised Iraqi forces to protect U.S. facilities.


By Kindness Okoli




Turkey country’s military has attacked fighters from the main Kurdish force in Northern Syria. The Democratic Union Party has accused the Turkish military of opening fire at its forces in Tal Abyad.

Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said in an interview that the Democratic Union Party were warned not to cross the West of the Euphrates and that if they did they would strike.

Turkey sees the Democratic Union Party as the Syrian offshoot of the outlawed Kurdish worker's party that has been fighting for more Kurdish autonomy in the Southern area of the country since 1984. The Kurds in Syria have incorporated Tal Abyad  into their autonomous administration in the North of the country.

Turkey now fears the expansion of the Kurds who represent about 20% of the country’s population. The Kurds have been warned to stay away from any attempts to create a defacto situation in Syria.
By Kindness Okoli



Britain urges Russia to protect civilians

British Defence Minister Micheal Fallon says that the involvement of Russia, in the Syrian conflict has made it more dangerous. He therefore urged Russia to use its influence on the Assad regime of Syria to protect civilians.

He also said Britain would send a small number of troops to NATO's eastern borders to deter any potential Russian aggression there.

The troops would go "for our allies on the eastern flank of NATO, for the Baltic states and for Poland".

"That is part of our policy of more persistent presence on the eastern side of NATO to respond to any further Russian provocation and aggression."




By: Chika Onwuasoanya

The North Atlantic Treaty Organization has warned the Russians over their intrusion into Turkish airspace.
The alliance summoned the ambassadors of its 28 member states on Monday for an emergency meeting to respond to what Secretary-General, Jens Stoltenberg called “unacceptable violations of Turkish airspace”.

“[We] strongly protest these violations of Turkish sovereign airspace and condemn these incursions into and violations of NATO airspace. [We] also note the extreme danger of such irresponsible behaviour,” NATO said after the emergency meeting.

NATO also called for Russia to stop its airstrikes in Syria, the US Secretary of State, John Kerry said:

"We are greatly concerned about it because it is precisely the kind of thing that, had Turkey responded, it could have resulted in a shootdown, and it is precisely the kind of thing we warned against.”




By: Chika Onwuasoanya


The Islamic state militants have destroyed the Arch of Triumph, a major monument in the 2,000-year-old Roman city of Palmyra,Syria.

Mahmoud Abdulkarim a historian had this to say:

"It's as though there is a curse that has befallen this city and I expect only news that will shock us. If the city remains in their hands the city is doomed.

"It is now wanton destruction ... their acts of vengeance are no longer ideologically driven because they are now blowing up buildings with no religious meaning," he added.




By: Chika Onwuasoanya

The Russian Kremlin has issued a statement that its airstrikes against Syria were aimed at a list of well-known terrorists groups.
Dmitry Peskov the spokesman for Vladmir Putin, the Russian president has stated, "These organisations (on the target list) are well-known and the targets are chosen in coordination with the armed forces of Syria."
It was not clear if Putin was happy with the operation thus far.
By: Kindness Okoli





Press Release FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE        

                                       Academics Stand Against Poverty



London 17 September 2015: Open Letter on Migration


[available in English, French, German, Spanish]


We are a global community of scholars from a range of disciplinary and geographic perspectives. We are concerned about the refugee crisis that is presently unfolding in the wider Mediterranean region, and distressed by the inadequacy of official responses thus far.


We face two urgent moral tasks: (1) to ensure the safety and well-being of those who have been forced to move; and (2) to address the systemic problems that are forcing people to migrate in the first place, so that migration will always be a choice and not a necessity.  The first is most immediate, but ultimately the second is most important.


The global communitys long-term aim should be to address the patterns of violence, poverty, and uneven development that force people to leave their homes.  Context matters.  We must recognize that these patterns are features of an international system of geopolitical maneuvering, resource extraction, trade and finance largely designed by a small number of rich countries that derive great material advantage from it. It is crucial to protect the victims of this system and to work for its reform. This includes working to end resource wars, stemming illicit flows of capital out of developing countries, making trade regimes fairer, respecting national sovereignty, and responding to climate change.


The present crisis offers a monumental opportunity to turn tragedy into a positive global legacy. It was out of the chaos and mass displacement of the early 20th century that, as a global community, we created the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the Refugee Convention with its Protocol, and a variety of structures to ensure peace, security and justice for all.  Yet today, with the UN High Commissioner for Refugees estimating that the number of displaced people worldwide is at an all-time high, those structures are being tested.


Now is the moment to re-assert our global commitment to peace, security and justice. This is a collective and ongoing endeavour that goes beyond the narrow territorial concerns reflected in the focus on border control. As an international community, we must find new ways to work together.


At the same time, we must uphold more immediate responsibilities.  The responses of citizens and communities globally to the current mass movement have far outstripped in human compassion the responses of most governments. We call upon all governments, including European and Gulf States, but also those further afield, to offer sanctuary to those who need it. This includes swift access to humanitarian protection (including support to those crossing the Mediterranean); opportunities for work and livelihood; and the registration of children born to displaced families. We urge national and international bodies to prioritise additional funding for refugees (that does not deplete existing aid or climate change commitments); and to ensure that efforts to fight traffickingdo not become an attempt to prevent migration. 


Closing borders to stop people moving is not a solution. Research shows clearly that blocking individuals at points along their journey pushes them to find new migration strategies, which only makes their situation more precarious.


We need a political commitment from regional and international entities to work together. For example, we urge European states to redouble efforts to build a genuinely humanitarian European-wide response, and to provide resources and mandate to EU institutions to coordinate a truly effective response: to both protect those migrating today and to stop the likelihood of such movement in the future. A global response that addresses the systemic drivers of mass displacement (including conflict, uneven development, generalised violence and persecution of minorities) has the potential to create a positive global legacy in response to the biggest migration challenge of the twenty-first century.


We invite you to sign on to the letter here, calling for a global response to the refugee crisis, that respects the rights of displaced people and confronts the root causes of displacement, including violence, poverty, inequality, and persecution.





This letter has been signed by the ASAP Global Board, the heads of chapters/associate chapters in Austria, Canada, Chile, Germany, Greece, India, Ireland, Oceania, Portugal, Romania, Spain, United Kingdom and West Africa, and the members of the ASAP Global Colleagues Programme.  The long list of signatories and translated versions of the letter will be available at: http://academicsstand.org/2015/09/asap-writes-open-letter-on-migration/


Media Contact: Rachel Payne; +1 413 884 5469; rachel.r.payne (at) gmail.com


Academics Stand Against Poverty (ASAP) is an international association focused on helping researchers and teachers enhance their impact on poverty. ASAPs overarching aims are to contribute to the eradication of severe poverty worldwide and to help ensure that poverty policy and development efforts are guided by rigorous empirical and normative scholarship. ASAP recognises that poverty is a process, not a static given. It seeks to address the root drivers of impoverishment in both the global and domestic spheres and to highlight how some of the factors can worsen poverty in both affluent and less-affluent countries. ASAPs theory of social change focuses on both institutions and norms. Inspired by how engaged academics helped transform views on civil rights, the US war in Vietnam, apartheid and lately gender inequality and violence, ASAP holds that we can help achieve a decisive shift of views on poverty and poor people worldwide.


Sign up to join ASAP’s network here and follow us on twitter.


Courtesy of: 'Seun Olanrewaju  (from ASAP)


Confusion In Germany As Refugees Arrive


(Photo Credit: Getty Images)


The European Union's foreign ministers who have been holding a meeting in Luxembourg have struggled to identify a unified response to the refugee crisis as thousands of people from war-torn countries continue to stream into Germany via Austria.


Thousands of refugees have arrived Germany with the last train carrying an estimated 1,000 refugees pulled into Munich from Austria at 1:30am local time on Sunday, bringing the total number to have arrived in the Bavarian capital to about 8,000 in just less than two days.


However, reports have it that protests began after about 20 refugees in the overcrowded shelter went in pursuit of another resident late Wednesday, accusing him of ripping pages out of a copy of the Muslim holy book. Police intervention prompted the protesters to turn their anger on the security forces, the Daily Star  has reported. About 50 people began throwing stones at the officers, leaving at least 10 people injured, including three police men.


Germany is struggling to accommodate a wave of asylum-seekers from war zones such as Syria but also migrants from countries that are not at war like Albania and Kosovo. The sudden surge in asylum demands this year has left authorities scrambling to house the migrants, with schools and tents used as temporary shelter.

Local officials have repeatedly raised concerns of overcrowding, saying that they are unable to cope with the accelerating demand.


By: Chika Onwuasoanya


 (Photo Credit: migrantsrights.org.uk )


As thousands of immigrants, especially from war-ravaged countries like Syria, continue to brave the deadly seas to reach Europe for pastures new, there has been growing international outrage as pictures of a young lady who died at sea washed ashore were flashed, again, millions of times across TV sets & on social media. This follows that of 3-year old Syrian toddler, Aylan, whose death made the world stand still a couple of days ago.  The international community has called for plans to be made to accommodate the immigrants.




(Photo Credit: Getty Images)



(Photo Credit: dehai.org) 


On Facebook, a person shared the last words of some dying immigrants:


dying words 1





dying words 2




By: Chika Onwuasoanya




Aylan Buried


Shock waves were sent around the world when photos of the the lifeless body of 3-year old Syrian toddler, Aylan Al-Kurdi, were flashed millions of times on TV & on social media. Aylan was shockingly found dead, lying face down on a prime beach at Bodrum, off the coast of Turkey after the boat he & his family were sailing in capsized while trying to flee their war-ravaged country for sanctuary in Europe.


Aylan, his mother & brother died in that tragedy. His father, Abdullah, was the only survivor from the family of four. Aylan has now been laid to rest alongside his brother and mother at Martyrs Cemetery in the family's hometown of Kobani in war-torn northern Syria on Friday. 






Abdullah wept helplessly as the bodies of 3-year-old Aylan, 5-year-old Galip and wife Rehan, 35, were frantically buried next to one another in dry, red earth in the predominantly Kurdish city of Kobani in northern Syria. After the burial, Abdullah described the moments leading up to his family's death when large waves rocked the smuggler's boat they were travelling on: 

"I then tried to give breath to my kids and my wife Rehan, God bless their souls, but could not," he said. "First Galip died, then Aylan, then their mother."


 By: Isaac Audu-Usman


(Photo Credit: The Independent, NBC News).







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