MESOPOTAMIA NEWS “GREAT REUTERS INVESTIGATION”: How Russia allowed homegrown radicals to go & fight in Syria
By Maria Tsvetkova – REUTERS – May 13, 2016, 1:15 p.m. GMT
For years Islamic militants in Russia were hunted by police. But then the authorities changed tack and allowed some to travel to the Middle East, sources say.
NOVOSASITLI, Russia – Four years ago, Saadu Sharapudinov was a wanted man in Russia. A member of an outlawed Islamist group, he was hiding in the forests of the North Caucasus, dodging patrols by paramilitary police and plotting a holy war against Moscow.Then his fortunes took a dramatic turn. Sharapudinov, 38, told Reuters that in December 2012 Russian intelligence officers presented him with an unexpected offer. If he agreed to leave Russia, the authorities would not arrest him. In fact, they would facilitate his departure.
“I was in hiding, I was part of an illegal armed group, I was armed,” said Sharapudinov during an interview in a country outside Russia. Yet he says the authorities cut him a deal. “They said: ‘We want you to leave.’”
Untersuchungen beweisen : 2017 haben Putin und Assad 252 medizinische Einrichtungen in Syrien absichtlich angegriffen. Werden sie dafür zur Verantwortung gezogen @HeikoMaas? Oder brauchen wir einfach nur „mehr Dialog“ mit Russland?! ...
Attacks on medical facilities by Assad and Russia were deliberate. Even as medical facilities created more barriers to defend the interior, Syrian bombs were designed to penetrate the defenses, says @1612Watchlist officer…
MESOPOTAMIA NEWS : CALL FOR INTERNATIONAL INVESTIGATION – TERRA INCOGNITA: An international investigation for Afrin
To understand the complex dynamics of what happened in Afrin we have to understand the larger picture of Syria.
By Seth J. Frantzman – JERUSALEM POST – May 21, 2018 21:10
In mid-March, after two months of fighting, the Turkish army and Syrian rebel allies captured the center of Afrin city in the mostly Kurdish region of northwestern Syria. Since then there have been widespread claims that the area is being subjected to demographic change, with mostly Syrian Arab refugees fleeing other parts of Syria and being resettled in areas Kurds fled during the fighting. However the complete picture from Afrin, two months after fighting ended, is unclear because international organizations and human rights groups have not carried out their obligations to request access to the area and seek answers.
Catastrophic destruction as Syrian regime pounds Palestinian refugee camp /JERUSALEM POST
There have been intermittent attempts to get the ISIS fighters to leave, but it’s not entirely clear where they would go. By Seth J. Frantzman May 20, 2018 19:14
The aftermath of a Syrian forces attack on the Islamic State-held enclave of Yarmouk Palestinian refugee camp, May 5, 2018
WEST KURDISTAN (SYRIA) – May 21, 2018 – SPECIAL DISPATCH – No. 7478 – MEMRI
Russian Military Analyst: A Conflict Is Brewing Between The Syrian Special Services & The Russian Military Police
Russian former military officer Yevgeny Krutikov, columnist for Vzglyad, wrote that a conflict is brewing between the Syrian special services and the Russian military police. A situation has arisen where some localities are already free from militants but have not returned to the control of Damascus: Russian experts prevent the clean-up of the local population. Krutikov said that this problem should be solved immediately; otherwise, the country is in for a severe crisis.
Below are excerpts of Krutikov’s article, titled “Overly liberal treatment of militants may lead to Syria’s disintegration”:
Charles ListerVerified account @Charles_Lister 21 May 2018 2 hours ago
Afrin: A landscape of unprecedented Arabization – By Hussein Omar (RUDAW)
14/5/2018 – AFRIN, Rojava-Syria — A wave of Arabization started in the Kurdish city of Afrin in northwest Syria soon after its takeover by Arab rebel groups and Turkish forces, a process that continues to this day, according to evidence on the ground and statements from international organizations, including the United Nations.
Kurds made up 95 percent of Afrin’s population before operation Olive Branch was launched by Turkish troops against the Kurdish Peoples Protection Units (YPG). Arab families from other parts of Syria have been since pouring into the city and replacing many Kurds who fled during the clashes.Families from the province of Idlib were the first to turn up and settle in the surrounding villages. Idlib is under the control of extreme groups like the Tahrir al-Sham, which adopted its new name from the former al-Nusra Front to escape the UN terror list.
BasNews – 20/05/2018 – Middle East – ERBIL – French special forces have stationed six artillery batteries in a US-led Kurdish forces-held area near border areas between Iraq and Syria, said a report on Sunday.
Trump pulling assistance from northwest Syria to focus on supporting SDF in northeast: report
COMPILED FROM WIRE SERVICES – SABAH – ISTANBUL – 19. May 2018
The Trump administration will withdraw assistance from northwest Syria and focus recovery efforts on areas where U.S.-led forces have retaken territory from Daesh in the northeast, U.S. officials with knowledge of the decision said on Friday. – CBS, which first reported the story, said tens of millions of dollars will be cut from previous U.S.-backed efforts in the northwest, including projects for “countering violent extremism, supporting independent society and independent media, strengthening education, and advocating for community policing.”
By Scott Lucas – 19 May 2018 – Syria’s leader Bashar al-Assad has appealed to Iran for economic assistance, in a meeting with a visiting Iranian minister on Friday.Assad framed the request to Road and Urban Development Minister Abbas Akhoundi as “the development of economic cooperation with Iran and all the countries that insist on defending their sovereignty and independence” — “one of the most important ways to confront Western plots”.
Syria’s GDP has fallen about 80% during the seven-year conflict. The UN estimates that more than $250 billion is needed for reconstruction. Western countries are unlikely to provide assistance directly to the regime, and Russia — Assad’s other key backer — faces its own economic constraints.