Powered by Blogger.
  • Home
  • Showing posts with label Syria. Show all posts
    Showing posts with label Syria. Show all posts

    Islamic State: Kurds issue new call to arms against advancing militants in Syria

    Kurdish militants in Turkey have issued a new call to arms to defend a border town in northern Syria from advancing Islamic State (IS) fighters, and the Turkish authorities and United Nations prepared for a surge in refugees.

    About 70,000 Syrian Kurds have fled into Turkey since Friday as IS militants seized dozens of villages close to the border and advanced on the frontier town of Ayn al-Arab, known as Kobani in Kurdish.

    Carol Batchelor, the United Nations refugee agency's (UNHCR) representative in Turkey said the real figure may be more than 100,000 as Turkey faces one of the biggest influxes of refugees from Syria since the war there began more than three years ago.

    "I don't think in the last three-and-a-half years we have seen 100,000 cross in two days," she said.

    "So this is a bit of a measure of how this situation is unfolding and the very deep fear people have about the circumstances inside Syria, and for that matter Iraq."

    A Kurdish commander on the ground said IS militants had advanced to within 15 kilometres of Kobani, whose strategic location has been blocking the radical Sunni Muslim militants from consolidating their gains across northern Syria.

    A Kurdish politician from Turkey who visited Kobani on Saturday said locals had told him IS fighters were beheading people as they went from village to village.
    Video: Syrian Kurds cross the border into Turkey as Islamic State sweeps over northern Syria. (ABC News)

    "Rather than a war this is a genocide operation ... They are going into the villages and cutting the heads of one or two people and showing them to the villagers," Ibrahim Binici, a deputy for Turkey's pro-Kurdish HDP, told Reuters.

    "It is truly a shameful situation for humanity," he said, calling for international intervention.
    Five of his fellow MPs planned a hunger strike outside UN offices in Geneva to press for action, he said.

    The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which monitors Syria's civil war, said clashes overnight killed 10 insurgents, bringing the number of IS fighters killed to at least 39. At least 27 Kurdish fighters have died.

    IS has seized at least 64 villages around Kobani since Tuesday, using heavy arms and thousands of fighters.

    It executed at least 11 civilians on Saturday, including at least two boys, the Observatory said.

    "We now urgently need medicines and equipment for operations. We have many casualties," Welat Avar, a doctor in Kobani told Reuters.

    "ISIL (IS) killed many people in the villages. They cut off the heads of two people, I saw it with my own eyes," he said, referring to an incident in the village of Chelebi, near Kobani.

    The Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), a rebel group which has spent three decades fighting for autonomy for Turkey's Kurds, renewed a call for the youth of Turkey's mostly Kurdish south-east to rise up and rush to save Kobani.

    "Supporting this heroic resistance is not just a debt of honour of the Kurds but all Middle East people. Just giving support is not enough, the criterion must be taking part in the resistance," it said in a statement on its website.

    "ISIL fascism must drown in the blood it spills ... The youth of North Kurdistan (south-east Turkey) must flow in waves to Kobani," it said.

    Hundreds of security forces cleared the border area south of Suruc of a couple of thousand people who had gathered in solidarity with Kobani for a third day on the Turkish side of the barbed wire fence, where many of the refugees have crossed.

    Constitution Referendum Dismissed As Farce By International Community

    Syrian artillery pounded rebel-held areas of Homs on Monday as President Bashar al-Assad's government announced that voters had overwhelmingly approved a new constitution in a referendum derided as a sham by his critics at home and abroad.

    The outside world has proved powerless to halt the killing in Syria, where repression of initially peaceful protests has spawned an armed insurrection by army deserters and others.

    However, the Syrian Arab Red Crescent entered the besieged Baba Amro district of Homs and evacuated three people on Monday, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) said. Foreign reporters in the area were not evacuated and the bodies of two journalists killed there had not been recovered, it said.

    While foreign powers argued over whether to arm the rebels, the Syrian Interior Ministry said the reformed constitution, which could keep Assad in power until 2028, had received 89.4 percent approval from more than 8 million voters.

    Syrian dissidents and Western leaders dismissed as a farce Sunday's vote, conducted in the midst of the country's bloodiest turmoil in decades, although Assad says the new constitution will lead to multi-party elections within three months.

    Officials put national voter turnout at close to 60 percent, but diplomats who toured polling stations in Damascus saw only a handful of voters at each location. On the same day, at least 59 people were killed in violence around the country.


    Qatar joined Saudi Arabia in advocating arming the Syrian rebels, given that Russia and China have twice used their vetoes to block any action by the U.N. Security Council.

    "I think we should do whatever is necessary to help them, including giving them weapons to defend themselves," Qatari Prime Minister Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim al-Thani said in Oslo.

    Arab countries should help lead a military force to provide a safe haven for anti-Assad forces inside Syria, he added.

    Assad says he is fighting foreign-backed "armed terrorist groups" and his main allies - Russia, China and Iran - fiercely oppose any outside intervention intended to add him to the list of Arab autocrats unseated by popular revolts in the past year.
    <<<<<Read More>>>>>

    Tamer Mohammed al-Sharei Beating Described By Fellow Protester

    Inside a filthy detention center in Damascus, eight or nine interrogators repeatedly bludgeoned a skinny teenager whose hands were bound and who bore a bullet wound on the left side of his chest. They struck his head, back, feet and genitals until he was left on the floor of a cell, bleeding from his ears and crying out for his mother and father to help him.
    Ibrahim Jamal al-Jahamani, a fellow prisoner who said he witnessed the brutal scene in Syria in May, heard the interrogators demand that the 15-year-old proclaim strongman Bashar Assad as his "beloved" president.
    The youth, later identified as Tamer Mohammed al-Sharei, refused. Instead, he chanted an often-heard slogan from anti-regime street protests calling for "freedom and the love of God and our country."
    Tamer's refusal apparently was the final straw for the interrogators.
    "Guards broke his right wrist, beating him with clubs on his hands, which were tied behind his back," al-Jahamani told The Associated Press after his release from detention, referring to the beatings as torture.
    "They also beat him on the face, head, back, feet and genitals until he bled from the nose, mouth and ears and fell unconscious," he recalled.
    "He pleaded for mercy and yelled: 'Mom, dad, come rescue me!'" al-Jahamani said. "He was lying like a dog on the floor in his underwear, with blood covering his body. But his interrogators had no compassion that they were savagely beating a boy," al-Jahamani added, his voice breaking with emotion.
    Tamer and al-Jahamani were two of thousands of Syrians caught up in mass arrests of those suspected of opposing Assad during an uprising that began in March.
    Al-Jahamani witnessed the beating from a corridor lined with cells while he was waiting for two hours for the prison guards to take him to his cell. He said the corridor reeked from the stench of blood and dirty toilets and the cell beds were covered in dirty sheets.
    Advertisement

    Syrian Army Attacks Village Near Turkish Border

    Syrian troops backed by tanks and firing heavy machine guns swept into a village near the Turkish border Saturday, cutting food supplies for nearly 2,000 refugees who have so far refused to leave their country. Many of those men, women and children will have no choice but to flee across the frontier if troops descend on them.
    The Local Coordination Committees, a group that documents anti-government protests, said troops backed by six tanks and several armored personnel carriers, entered Bdama in the morning. The village, about 12 miles (20 kilometers) from the Turkish border, had a bakery that was the sole source of bread to the refugees crowded near the Turkish border. The town was also supplying medicine and other foodstuffs to the 2,000 Syrians who had hoped not to have to flee to the Turkish tent-city sanctuary.
    "We still have some potatoes, rice and powder milk but they will run out soon," said Jamil Saeb, one of the Syrians who had so far decided to stay in Syria. "This is our first day without bread."
    Saeb said there are children who are sick and there is no medicine. Others are picking apples for lack of other food.
    "we are living in catastrophic conditions," he said. Some women and children were already crossing into Turkey Saturday afternoon.
    "We are besieged by the border fence from one side and the Syrian army from the other," Saeb said by telephone. "We are expecting a humanitarian crisis within hours if Turkey does not send aid to us."
    The British Foreign office, meanwhile, urged Britons in Syria to leave the country "immediately." In a statement posted on the website of the British Embassy in Syria, the Foreign Office said Britons should leave "now by commercial means while these are still operating."
    The statement said those who stay should understand it would be unlikely the British Embassy in Damascus could provide a normal consular service if there was a "further breakdown in law and order."
    Britain, France, Germany and Portugal will be sponsoring a draft resolution at the U.N. Security Council to condemn Syria.

    Total Pageviews