Saturday, 8 November 2014

Eamon Bradley in court to face weapons charges in Syria inquiry

Eamon Bradley

Not a terrorist.
"Mr Bradley spent two months attending camp run by the Army of Islam group, learning to use various guns, mortars and explosives.
He claimed he was involved in battles against ISIS forces and the army of the Assad regime, however, he added he did not use his weapons during the fighting."

The Boy from Aleppo Who Painted the War" 'The Boy from Aleppo who Painted the War' presents the Syrian conflict through the eyes of Adam, a teenage boy with Asperger's syndrome, who can only speak the truth. As the war creeps ever closer to home, it devastates and disrupts the life of his family. Struggling to make sense of the conflict, as he and his family try to survive in an impossibly brutal world, Adam paints as a way to record and cope with the horrors he witnesses."

Friday, 7 November 2014

Towards Syrian safe havens?

Towards Syrian safe havens?
"The regime has gone on besieging villages and towns, firing powerful but imprecise rockets at residential areas and using artillery to pulverise any area suspected of sympathising with the revolution. Hospitals and marketplaces have not been spared, and in some cases have been bombed during the medical evacuation of the victims of earlier raids.
Before the conflict in Syria started, the Syrian army was one of the strongest in the region, with over 320,000 men under arms and an air force of 450 planes. Now it is down to perhaps one fourth of its personnel and one fifth of its planes.
The Syrian regime is now left only with the crude power of missiles and barrel bombs, which it is using to kill innocent people in an attempt to hold on to power.
Without safe havens to tip the balance in favour of the opposition, it is unlikely that the regime will be forced out of power, that the revolutionary combatants will win, or that an interim government will be able to put the country back together."

Thursday, 6 November 2014

Fighters against ISIS in Kobanê

What led to the battle for Kobanê?

There's stuff in here the emphasis of which I don't agree with - I don't think that seeing Assad as the major evil in Syria means desiring US intervention - but mostly I agree with it.
"Faced with the heavy-handed military response of the Assad regime, the Syrian revolution was forced to arm itself. The regime's militarization of the conflict is what invited international intervention--not just by the U.S. and Gulf monarchies, who were looking for a way to interfere with the revolutionary wave, but Russia and Iran, which provided Assad with weapons, ammunition and boots on the ground.
In this context, the U.S. attempted to strike a delicate balance. It didn't want the Syrian regime to win because that would strengthen Russia and Iran, but it also didn't want the Syrian Revolution to wipe out the regime and inspire similar uprisings in other countries, especially the oil-rich monarchies of the Gulf.
So the U.S. limited the kinds of weapons it allowed to into Syria from Turkey. It interfered with arms supplies to the Free Syrian Army, blocking heavy weapons like anti-aircraft missiles and heavy guns."

What Went Wrong in Idlib?

"For weeks, US actions and statements telegraphed to JAN that its best interests lie in moving quickly against its moderate rivals, before they received enough US support to pose an actual threat. In addition to ISIS and the regime, our ostensible allies can now count among their rivals one of Syria’s most formidable militant groups. Had the United States seriously and meaningfully supported the mainstream rebels, this would not necessarily be a bad thing. As it stands, the United States appears to have done everything in its power to condemn Syria’s moderate opposition to failure, while ensuring its jihadist opponents succeed."

Hearts, Minds, and Missiles: The US-Led Coalition's Crisis for Support in Syria

"Coalition airstrikes in Syria, though temporarily offsetting groups like IS and JN, come at a high price. As airstrikes have evidently come with little to no coordination with rebel groups, US and coalition governments appear not so much as saviors, but as self-interested Assad allies weakening the Syrians' revolution."

Wednesday, 5 November 2014

Social media did not create ISIS, nor did it spark revolutions
"Whilst the U.S. is bombing ISIS, Assad’s warplanes are still barrel bombing Aleppo and other cities. The English-speaking media went into overdrive in covering the executions of American and British hostages held by ISIS but all too frequently Iraqi, Syrian and Lebanese victims were just footnotes. For Arabs, Muslims and indeed many others across the globe the contradictions are massive."

Tuesday, 4 November 2014

Life in Raqqa under IS
“The first battle against IS was on Aug. 1, 2013. The Free Syrian Army [FSA] felt the danger of IS and tried to throw them out of the city, but it didn’t have enough weapons and the international community didn’t care. The FSA lost after 13 days of fighting, and then on Jan. 4, 2014, it tried once again. But this time, IS won full control over the city. Today, it enjoys the support of only 10% of the population, along with chiefs of some clans who are benefiting from the current situation.”

Syria video dispatch: inside al-Waer, safe haven under siegeWhile Fisk is using the Independent to give Assad's story (with a thin cover of putting the other point of view, and listening sagely while Assad's propagandists tell their lies), it's down to the right-wing press to report the actual savagery.
'In al-Waer, a satellite town on the periphery of Homs city, thousands who fled the earlier violence are once again trapped, with little food and under constant shellfire.
For the past eight months government forces have blocked the entrances to the district, limiting the entry of food and medical supplies.
"There is some food but not enough to eat every day," Waleed al-Fares, an activist speaking from inside the besieged district told the Telegraph. "The soldiers have stopped the food lorries."
There is electricity for only a few hours every day. Winter is closing in and there is no heating, residents said.
Video footage, filmed this week, shows the scale of damage in the district that had until recently had a newly built feel. Every window of every apartment in the high rise blocks is shattered from shell blasts. Fire rages through apartments hit by the artillery strikes. There are so many that no one bothers trying to put them out.'

Monday, 3 November 2014

USS Sterett

US plan for proxy army to fight Isis in Syria suffers attack

Sad that it has come to this.
“It is obvious that the US is supporting Assad,” he said. “Don’t bother trying to argue with me or anyone else about it. They are aiding the war against us. Their leaders are weak and they are liars.”

Sunday, 2 November 2014

From Sheikh Miskeen today, shows civilians been shot at by regime snipers as they try to flee the town

Western fascination with 'badass' Kurdish womenI've seen this posted a few times. One of the idiot parties is Flying Rodent on his blog. More the problem seems to be that it is OK for Kurds to defend themselves, but if Syrian Arabs do it, they are jihadis and/or proxies for America and Saudi Arabia. See past articles by David Wearing in the Guardian culminating in the conclusion that all the opposition are no better than ISIS, so we have to ally with Assad. Whether this is due to racism against Arabs isn't the way I tend to think of things, but there are people who logically put it together that way.