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November 08 2013

al-Qaeda chief orders dismantling of ISIL faction in syria

#al-Qaeda chief orders dismantling of ISIL faction in #syria

This still image from video obtained on October 26, 2012 courtesy of the Site Intelligence Group shows al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri speaking in a video, from an undisclosed location, released by al-Qaeda’s media arm. (Photo: AFP / Site Intelligence Group)

Al-Qaeda chief Ayman al-Zawahiri has ordered the disbanding of the main jihadi faction in Syria, the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, in an audio message aired on al-Jazeera Friday. The tape appears to (...)


November 04 2013

The Swedish Institute Study Scholarships (Syria)

The Swedish Institute Study Scholarships (Syria)

Due to the difficult situation in Syria, The Swedish Institute has decided to allocate up to 15 scholarships for Syrian students on an annual basis for two years.

Sponsored post



Almost one third of Syria’s population have fled their homes. More than 2 million are refugees living outside Syria – mostly in Lebanon, Jordan, Turkey, Iraq and Egypt – and 4.25 million individuals are displaced internally in Syria. They have fled widespread violence and human rights abuses, including war crimes and crimes against humanity. Amnesty International is publishing this report to draw attention to the difficulties faced by people from Syria as they flee their country in search of safety.

#Syrie #réfugié #asile #migration #Jordanie #Amnesty

November 03 2013

Why is Saudi Arabia changing its foreign policy ? Interview with Toby Craig Jones

Why is Saudi Arabia changing its foreign policy ?
Interview with Toby Craig Jones

Since the beginning of the Arab Spring, the Saudis have become much more active regionally. Not just in Syria, but also in Yemen and Bahrain. According to Saudi insider and royal adviser Nawaf Obaid, the Saudis are embarking on a doctrinal shift towards a more “activist foreign policy”. Is this because the Saudis are reacting to a vacuum in U.S. leadership in the region?

JONES : It’s an interesting question, whether or not the Saudis are acting in an American vacuum. But I actually think the U.S. has more consistently supported the Saudi position than they’ve opposed it, most visibly in Bahrain and in Yemen. And also in Egypt where the United States now supports the military regime and has not really had any problems with the coup there this past summer which was certainly delightful to the Saudis.

To answer your original question, yes, the Saudis have become more active in the region, (...)

Overall, the Saudi concerns and reasons for the recent increase in foreign political activity comes down to three issues:

First, there’s Syria, Bahrain and the fear of Iranian regional hegemony. The increase in Saudi activity here is best seen through the lens of a balance of power consideration: They want to check Iranian ambitions in the region. (...)

The second issue has to do with fears about democratic transition and change. The Saudis are simply fearful that there could be more support in the region for democratic politics. They want to support the status quo, the old autocrats and all the perquisites that follow from that.

The third thing is connected to the second issue. If there is a popular change in government and more people have a say in the workings of domestic political economy, decision making could shift to more populist kinds of politics. The consequences of that for the Saudis in particular of course would be, that they would lose their grip over the ability to generate massive wealth for themselves and to live their lives of considerable privilege. Being a Saudi not only means that you have power over the Arabian peninsula, it also means that you have fantastic wealth, you know, gold plated 747′s [Boeing airliners], multiple palaces, the ability to travel and so on. It’s a business as much as it is a country, and the Saudis fear the possible passing of their ability to control that.

Autre question abordée : les dirigeants de l’Arabie ont-ils vraiment les moyens et le désir de rompre avec les Etats-Unis ?

October 21 2013

Syria : Battle for Qalamoun May Be Felt in Lebanon

Syria: Battle for Qalamoun May Be Felt in Lebanon

The Qalamoun battle may have repercussions on the Lebanese interior because Liwa al-Islam, which is led by Zahran Alloush, has become the main opposition force on Lebanon’s eastern slopes in Arsal al-Ward, the Rankous Plain, and Hawsh al-Arab. That threat is serious because Alloush, who has set up his base of operations in the area, has returned from a visit to Saudi Arabia last week, where he met his financial and military authority, the director of Saudi intelligence Prince Bandar bin Sultan.

Bandar holds a strong military card with which to pressure the Lebanese interior: the deployment on the outskirts of the Bekaa of 3,000 to 5,000 Liwa al-Islam fighters and an armed battalion having 23 T-72 tanks.

October 18 2013

*The Historic Scale of Syria's Refugee Crisis* ❝The Syrian refugee crisis has exploded from about…

The Historic Scale of Syria’s Refugee Crisis

The Syrian refugee crisis has exploded from about 270,000 people a year ago to today’s tally of more than two million who have fled the country. The pace of the diaspora has been characterized by the United Nations as the worst since the Rwandan genocide in 1994. In addition, an estimated 4.25 million Syrians have been displaced within their country, bringing the total number forced into flight to more than six million.

#Syrie #réfugié #photo #photographie #photoreportage #asile #carte #cartographie #visualisation

October 16 2013

Why the West is Wrong on Syria

Why the West is Wrong on Syria

Why does the West insist on dealing with our dead and injured as if they were less valuable than a Westerner – and as if our casualties don’t even deserve respect or compassion?

After the chemical massacre in Syria’s two Ghoutas, we believed that the world would, at last, take our interests into account in one way or another. We did not believe that, upon seeing hundreds of dead children, the international community would act only in favour of its narrow interests.


October 04 2013

Lebanese Jihadis and syria : Waiting For a Victor

Lebanese #Jihadis and #syria: Waiting For a Victor

A picture dated 18 September 2013 shows Abu Mohammed, an imam from the Liwa al-Tawhid rebel group, leading a prayer with his comrades in the Old city of Aleppo on 18 September 2013. (Photo: AFP - Jm Lopez) A picture dated 18 September 2013 shows Abu Mohammed, an imam from the Liwa al-Tawhid rebel group, leading a prayer with his comrades in the Old city of Aleppo on 18 September 2013. (Photo: AFP - Jm Lopez)

The differences (...)

#Lebanon #Articles #ISIS #Jabhat_al-Nusra

October 01 2013

Turkish Court Investigates Syrian Jihadist Use of Chemicals - Al-Monitor : the Pulse of the Middle…

Turkish Court Investigates Syrian Jihadist Use of Chemicals - Al-Monitor: the Pulse of the Middle East

An investigation in progress in Turkey and a court case brought by prosecutors in Adana province in south Turkey also indicate that the Syrian opposition was making efforts to produce chemical weapons. According to an indictment by an Adana prosecutor dated July 22, Syrian national Haytham Qassab — who has connections with Ahrar-i Sham and Jabhat al-Nusra in Syria — along with four Turkish citizens he was working with, tried to obtain the elements needed for production of chemical weapons from a variety of sources.

The 130-page indictment prepared by the prosecutor mainly lists telephone contacts between the accused and with sources of chemical supplies. The indictment says the accused were trying to procure fuses, chrome piping to build mortar tubes and certain chemicals. The chemicals they were looking for were thionyl chloride [SOC12], potassium fluoride [KF], methanol [CH3OH], isopropanol [C3H8O], isopropanolamine [C3H9NO], white phosphorus [P4], medical glucose and buoxite. The prosecutor charges that when these elements are combined, sarin gas can be produced and that was the aim of the accused.

#false_flag, #golfe_du_Tonkin

Chemical experts to begin destroying syria's arsenal

Chemical experts to begin destroying #syria's arsenal

A rebel fighter prepares homemade mortar rounds on September 3, 2013 in the northern Syrian city of Raqqa. (Photo: AFP - Mezar Matar)

A disarmament team is to arrive Tuesday in Damascus on a mission to destroy Syria’s chemical arsenal, a day after UN experts wrapped up their investigation of alleged gas attacks. The team of 20 inspectors from The Hague-based Organization for the Prohibition of #chemical_weapons (OPCW) is implementing a UN resolution that ordered the (...)


September 29 2013

UN_inspectors back in syria for new chemical probes

#UN_inspectors back in #syria for new chemical probes

A UN convoy of vehicles carrying inspectors investigating a chemical weapons attack in Syria, drives through the Lebanese village of Taanayel after crossing into Lebanon from Syria on 31 August 2013. (Photo: AFP - Anwar Amro)

UN chemical weapons experts, in Syria to investigate alleged use of the banned arms, on Sunday left their Damascus hotel to carry out a new mission, an AFP photographer said. The experts, who arrived in the Syrian capital last Wednesday on (...)

#chemical_attack #Top_News

September 28 2013

Syrian Jihadi groups

Syrian Jihadi groups

First, they denied that there are Jihadi groups in Syria. They said that there is a feminist-led peaceful resistance movement in Syria. Then they said, there are Jihad groups but they are very insignificant. Then they said that, yes, there are powerful Jihadi groups in Syria but that they are created by the regime to fight the regime and tarnish the image of the “revolution”. Then they said that, yes, there is a dangerous Jihadi rebellion in Syria but that an American large-scale attack would take care of it. Then they said: that with large sums of cash for the Fee Syrian Army would eliminate those Jihadi groups. Then they said that, yes, there are Jihadi groups in Syria but that they are of the moderate types. All the above have basically characterized the Western media coverage of Syria and its “revolution”. Kid you not.

September 23 2013

Warring across Syria's border with Turkey - English edition

Warring across Syria’s border with Turkey - English edition

In Oncupinar in southern #Turkey, close to the Syrian border, Ahmed sits huddled with his wife and four young children. They have been refugees for going on seven months, since a missile slammed into their Aleppo home.


Private donations give edge to Islamists in Syria, officials say

Private donations give edge to Islamists in Syria, officials say

GAZIANTEP, Turkey — The stream of U.S. weapons heading to moderate rebel groups in Syria is being offset by a fresh torrent of cash for Islamist extremists, much of it from small networks of Arab donors who see the Syrian conflict as a step toward a broader Islamist uprising across the region, U.S. and Middle Eastern officials say.

The private donors, who use Twitter and other social media to collect millions of dollars from sympathetic Muslims, are providing crucial backing for Islamist militias that appear to be gaining ground in northern and eastern Syria, even as fighting stalls elsewhere, the officials said.

Dollars raised over the Internet are wired between private banking accounts and hand-delivered by courier, often in border towns like this city of 1.4 million, about 20 miles from the Syrian frontier, according to Middle Eastern intelligence officials who monitor the activity. Some fundraising pitches ask for specific pledges to cover the cost of a weapon, for example, or to finance an operation. For $2,400, a donor can pay for the travel, training and arming of a single non-Syrian fighter.

September 22 2013

D'après la présidente du comité international de soutien à la réconsiliation en Syrie, des enfants…

D’après la présidente du comité international de soutien à la réconsiliation en Syrie, des enfants enlevés à Lataqquieh seraient apparus comme victimes de l’attaque chimique à Ghouta.

الوكالة الوطنية للإعلام - الأم اغنيس مريم الصليب : أطفال خطفوا في اللاذقية ظهروا كضحايا للكيميائي بالغوطة

وكشفت الأم اغنيس «أن مجزرة حقيقية وكبيرة حصلت في اللاذقية في 4 آب، حيث تم اجتياح 11 قرية في جبال اللاذقية ليلا وحصلت إبادة جماعية، وبين مئات الاشخاص قتلوا وذبحوا بينهم أطفال ونساء وشيوخ ، كما تم خطف بين 100 و150 إمرأة وطفل من تلك المنطقة»، لافتة الى أنه «بعد الكلام عن حصول هجوم كيميائي في الغوطة تم الاتصال بنا من الاهالي الذين تعرفوا على أولادهم الذين خطفوا من اللاذقية».

September 17 2013

Lavrov : Russia convinced syria chemical attack a « provocation »

Lavrov: #Russia convinced #syria chemical attack a “provocation”

Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov (R) speaks with his French counterpart Laurent Fabius during their meeting in Moscow on 17 September 2013. Photo: AFP - Alexander Nemenov)

Russia remains convinced that the August 21 poison gas attack in Syria was a provocation by rebel forces and says a report by UN inspectors does not answer all of its questions about the attack, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Tuesday. Speaking at a press conference alongside French (...)

#sarin #Top_News

Selon une étude britannique, près de la moitié des rebelles syriens seraient des islamistes…

Selon une étude britannique, près de la moitié des rebelles syriens seraient des islamistes radicaux

Une étude conduite par l’institut britannique de défense IHS Jane’s, publiée lundi 16 septembre par le Daily Telegraph, estime que près de la moitié des forces rebelles qui combattent le régime de Bachar Al-Assad en Syrie est constituée de djihadistes et d’islamistes membres de groupes extrémistes.

Syria : nearly half rebel fighters are jihadists or hardline Islamists, says IHS Jane’s report

Opposition forces battling Bashar al-Assad’s regime in Syria now number around 100,000 fighters, but after more than two years of fighting they are fragmented into as many as 1,000 bands.

The new study by IHS Jane’s, a defence consultancy, estimates there are around 10,000 jihadists - who would include foreign fighters - fighting for powerful factions linked to al-Qaeda..

Another 30,000 to 35,000 are hardline Islamists who share much of the outlook of the jihadists, but are focused purely on the Syrian war rather than a wider international struggle.

There are also at least a further 30,000 moderates belonging to groups that have an Islamic character, meaning only a small minority of the rebels are linked to secular or purely nationalist groups.

September 14 2013

In Syria, Israel finds a 'blessed war'€™

In Syria, Israel finds a ’blessed war’€™

So why has the Israeli government expended so much energy pressing Washington to draw a red line on the Assad regime’s alleged use of chemical weapons, and why was the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), the key outfit of America’s pro-Israel lobby, pressing Congress to authorize military force? The answer is not just about Syria. Indeed, in a press release calling for U.S. intervention, AIPAC homed in not on Damascus but Tehran, stating, “As we witness unthinkable horror in Syria, the urgency of stopping Iran’s nuclear ambitions is paramount.”

Zalman Shoval, a former Israeli ambassador to Washington and Netanyahu confidant, put it more succinctly when he declared, “The very fact that the U.S. was getting ready to act militarily in Syria is positive with regards to the situation in Iran. Confidence in an American commitment that Iran won’t get the bomb has been strengthened.”

Since Obama’s decision to seek congressional authorization for a military strike on Syria, Israeli media have depicted him as a weak, dithering figure who has failed to demonstrate “seriousness” in the face of evil. With U.S. missile strikes on hold, and possibly off the table, the Israeli government has begun disseminating threats that it will take matters into its own hands — by bombing Iran, not Syria.

But even if the U.S. fails to intervene, the Israelis can take heart in knowing that the “blessed war” will continue well into the future.

US and Russia come to agreement on syria chemical weapons

#US and #Russia come to agreement on #syria chemical weapons

Syrians hold banners and flags during a sit-in protest against a foreign military action on Syria on 13 September 2013 in Damascus. (Photo: AFP - Anwar Amro)

Updated at 2:40pm: The United States and Russia have agreed on a proposal to eliminate Syria’s chemical weapons arsenal, Secretary of State John Kerry said on Saturday after nearly three days of talks with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov. Kerry said that, under the pact, Syria must submit a (...)


(Dis)integration : Palestinian Refugees in the Syrian Civil War

(Dis)integration: Palestinian Refugees in the Syrian Civil War

Up until 2011, the Palestinian refugees of Syria (PRS) enjoyed the highest level of socio-economic integration of any Palestinian refugee community outside of Jordan. They had achieved a high level of performance on a range of socio-economic indicators, including favorable living conditions and expansive opportunities in the domestic job market. Moreover, the early legal integration of the PRS, in combination with the regime’s attempted cooptation of the Palestinian nationalist movement, afforded the PRS a distinct social and political role in Syria, in addition to their relative economic success.

However the violence that has engulfed Syria since the advent of the Arab Uprisings has dramatically altered the position of the country’s Palestinians and demonstrates their acute vulnerability. Like most Syrians, the PRS have found much of their social and economic gains reversed as a result of the conflict. However, their status as refugees will present unique challenges for the Palestinian refugees in Syria that will undermine their position and re-integration in a post-conflict Syria. The broad national conditions that once facilitated their robust socio-economic integration into Syrian society have all but evaporated. The deterioration of the Syria economy and the increasingly polarized social and political climate will likely preclude the possibility that the PRS will be reintegrated into Syrian society at pre-conflict levels.

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