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Thread: Thousands of Syrian Civilians Are Being Killed in Deliberate Air Strikes

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    Elite Member witchcurlgirl's Avatar
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    Default Thousands of Syrian Civilians Are Being Killed in Deliberate Air Strikes

    Thousands of Syrian Civilians Are Being Killed in Deliberate Air Strikes by the Government


    Bakeries. Bread lines. Hospitals. These are the targets against which the Syrian government is said to have been conducting "indiscriminate and in some cases deliberate" air strikes—killing more than 4,300 civilians since July of last year, according to a new report by the New York-based human rights group Human Rights Watch.

    "In village after village, we found a civilian population terrified by their country's own air force," Ole Solvang, an HRW researcher said. The 80-page report, written by human-rights workers who visited dozens of sites of attacks in Aleppo, Idlib and Latakia, found strong indications that the government was deliberately and repeatedly targeting hospitals, and using ballistic missiles and cluster bombs that "should, at a minimum, be banned in populated areas." Syrian rebels were not exempt from criticism—they "did not take all feasible measures to avoid deploying forces and structures such as headquarters in or near densely populated areas"—but "an attacking party is not relieved from the obligation to take into account the risk to civilians."

    The toll on civilian life in Syria after two years of civil war has been immense. "I buried 12 of my family members... including my father, my mother, and my sister; my brother's wife as well," a man named Ahmed told HRW. "Walid, my brother, was cut into pieces. We didn't recognise him at first. We buried my brothers' children also. The youngest was 40 days old."
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    Elite Member witchcurlgirl's Avatar
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    Al Qaeda in Iraq and Syrian rebel group Jabhat al-Nusra make it official


    The leader of Iraq's local Al Qaeda affiliate has claimed sponsorship of Jabhat al-Nusra, a militant group fighting alongside the Syrian rebels – confirming what everyone long suspected.

    In an announcement that surprised few, Al Qaeda in Iraq has officially incorporated the Syrian militant group Jabhat al-Nusra. With the merger, the two groups will know be known as the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant.

    News of the merger first appeared yesterday, when Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, head of the Islamic State in Iraq, the local Al Qaeda affiliate there, released a statement about the joining of forces.


    Today Jabhat al-Nusra’s leader, Abu Mohammed al-Jawalani, released a statement saying that he had not been informed of the union prior to Mr. Baghdadi’s announcement. Mr. Jawalani added that the group’s conduct in Syria would not change, regardless of Mr. Baghdadi's remarks, or Jabhat al-Nusra's pledge of loyalty to Ayman al-Zawahiri, the leader of Al Qaeda, that same day.


    Official remarks from either leader are unlikely to have a significant impact on the situation inside Syria or affect the position of international policymakers, who have opposed arming rebel groups like Jabhat al-Nusra because of suspected ties to Al Qaeda. The remarks only confirm what many people have long suspected.


    The US State Department classified Jabhat al-Nusra as a terrorist organization in December, largely because of its alleged ties to Al Qaeda in Iraq. At the time, US officials already accused the Iraqi organization of controlling Jabhat al-Nusra, saying in an official statement that, “al-Nusrah has sought to portray itself as part of the legitimate Syrian opposition while it is, in fact, an attempt by AQI to hijack the struggles of the Syrian people for its own malign purposes.”


    Jabhat al-Nusra is widely seen as one of the best supplied militant groups fighting on behalf of the Syrian opposition, with much of its support believed to come from the Gulf countries. The group's access to supplies and resources, in addition to its reputation as an honest broker, have helped it become one of the fastest growing opposition groups.


    Despite the group’s classification as a terrorist organization, it has grown substantially in popularity among Syrians. It is viewed as one of the most effective fighting groups among the opposition and has developed a reputation as one of the most honest organizations when it comes to providing government services in opposition-controlled areas.


    “Many Syrians are aware of Jabhat al-Nusra’s ideology, but because they’re providing these basic needs they’re essentially okay with it for right now,” says Aaron Zelin, a fellow at The Washington Institute for Near East Policy.


    He adds that with the link between Jabhat al-Nusra and Al Qaeda now official, however, Syrian civilians' opinions could change. “One could see a potential scenario where people see this as now being some kind of outside imperialism from jihadists," Mr. Zelin says.


    Syria has traditionally been a moderate country and home to some of the region's most secular thinking. As the revolution has unfolded, however, conservative ideologies have grown in popularity. Now an estimated one in five fighters are jihadis. The growing embrace of conservative thinking concerns a number of Syria watchers because of its implications for the future of the traditionally moderate country.


    Still some analysts say that the popularity of such groups may be more the result of their ability to get resources than a widespread ideological shift.

    “The groups that have joined with more conservative groups are still made up of people who are not Islamists or Salafists. They’ve joined Salafist groups because it’s the best way to get resources, but that does not mean they’re Salafists,” says Joseph Holliday, a senior research analyst at the Institute for the Study of War who specializes in Syria. “The vast majority of these Islamist groups are fundamentally Syrian nationalists.”


    http://www.csmonitor.com/World/Middl...ke-it-official
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    Elite Member sputnik's Avatar
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    Syria is such a massive clusterfuck. Assad and the government are assholes but so is a good chunk of the opposition that Americans and Europeans have recognised and armed and built up. The US says it won't negotiate with terrorists and yet these terrorists are sitting at the negotiating table with the Europeans and Americans to draft a General Assembly resolution on behalf of the 'friends of Syria'. Also, the article downplays the role jabhat al-nusra plays in the opposition. They may not be an 'official' member but they are very much a part of the opposition and especially militarily they have played a key role in the opposition's gains.
    So really it's like Afghanistan all over again with Russia supporting the official government and the US and Europe funding and arming the Islamist terrorist 'freedom fighters'/opposition. People don't like to remember that Osama bin-laden was once considered an 'ally' by the US...
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    Elite Member sluce's Avatar
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    My step-DIL has been going crazy over this. Long story short - her parents are from Egypt but met and married in the US and had 2 kids. They then divorced. He remarried a woman from Syria and had 3 more kids in the US. Then he, new wife and their 3 kids moved to Syria. My DIL has not seen or heard from her father since she was 3. The 2 oldest from his 2nd marriage have moved from Syria. He, new wife and youngest son were still there. He called my DIL and announced that he was getting youngest out of the countty before he was killed and he sent him here to Philly to live with my stepson and DIL. My stepson was pissed that his wife said ok for several reasons. 1. Stepson in Jewish and his wife's fam is Muslim and that has already caused problems on her family's side. 2. Her father abandoned her and now she is taking in a brother she has never met with no understanding of how long he will stay, etc. Meanwhile her father and his wife are refusing to leave Syria because they fear their property will be taken and they will lose everything. It's a mess.
    You don't engage with crazies. Because they're, you know, fucking crazy. - WitchCurlGirl

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