Thursday, 7 January 2016
'When Syria rose against the violence authoritarianism of the Assad regime, the citizens of Madaya hid the award-winning writer and film maker Ramita Navai. As Assad's forces dragged activists away and hunted for opposition figures from house to house in the mountain paradise, Ms Navai was kept safe in the bosom of a town that fervently believed that the West would join them in their battle for democracy.
"These people saved our lives while we were making a film*. They gave us a safe house and believed with all their hearts that the world would come to their aid," she said.
That was four years ago. The Syrian revolution was forsaken by the West back then. And its people are now dying over that misplaced faith.'
*[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OwjVyk59fEM] See also her interview with Anderson Cooper. "The Syrian régime, which has been lying about an awful lot, and lying for months, say that these are all terrorists, say that these are armed groups." "Well that's rubbish. We didn't meet any terrorists, none of the protesters we met were armed. We saw thousands protesting, men, women, and children, These are ordinary people. So the guys that we were with in the safe house, two of them were college graduates."
Tuesday, 5 January 2016
'British-born and raised in the UK, Rose visited Syria every year, and her family and Ahmad’s were close. In 2009, they became a couple and he asked her to marry him but she turned him down. “My education was my priority, not marriage,” she explained. “He also lived in Syria, and I still had the whole ‘no way will I marry someone living in Syria’ mentality!”
'The Syrian Network for Human Rights, which has been tracking casualties and human-rights abuses in the Syrian revolution since 2011, said the regime of Bashar al-Assad killed nearly nine times as many people as ISIS in the country during 2015.'
'In the past month alone, 31 residents have died from starvation, or in attempts to run the Hezbollah-manned blockade that encircles the town. As the death toll mounted in December, residents of Madaya began posting desperate pleas on social media, along with disturbing images, reminiscent of Nazi concentration camps.
Sunday, 3 January 2016
01-01-2016: "Footage of the operation last night by the Free Syrian Army's Southern Front in Daraa province which blew up the the regime’s local military headquarters near the village of Atman in the north of the region A senior officer with the Southern Front forces accompanied by a number of other fighters was able to infiltrate behind regime lines late last night, booby-trapping the crowded regime headquarters building before detonating the explosives once the rebels were safely out of range. Sources within the Southern Front’s command said that the brigade’s operation led to the total destruction of the headquarters building, killing all the troops and militia members in the building."
"Russia is ostensibly pushing for a political settlement between the Assad government and the non-ISIS opposition. On the ground, Russia is assassinating the leaders of the non-ISIS opposition and working to dismantle their militias. In other words, Putin is not only looking to torpedo the Vienna process, but also trying to change the facts on the ground so Assad is the only show in town so when it comes to any ceasefire or peace deal. And the only thing that could stand against ISIS in the final instance. That way, Putin will leave the West no option but to come on board with him and Assad if they want to fight ISIS.
The de facto military détente between Assad and ISIS continues, the trade in oil and gas continues (despite heavy American bombardment of the transport convoys), and all under the watch of Putin’s “fight against terrorists”. There should be no doubt, however, as to what Putin’s priorities are: to keep a genocidal maniac in power by using the pretext of fighting against terrorism to target any opposition to Assad except for the terrorists themselves. And once again, our Western leaders have no strategic response to this, and no real desire to do anything other than throw bombs at the problem and hope for the best."