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Syria activists: Government attacks outside Damascus kill 22

BEIRUT — Government airstrikes and shelling outside the Syrian capital killed at least 22 civilians, activists reported yesterday, as the fighting showed no.....»»

Category: newsSource: philstar philstarNov 26th, 2017

US warns it would be ‘unwise’ for Syria to use weaponized gas, slams Russia

US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis warned Syria on Sunday it would be ‘very unwise’ for government forces to use weaponized gas, as he cited unconfirmed reports of chlorine attacks in eastern Ghouta and slammed Russian support for Damascus. Source link link: US warns it would be ‘unwise’ for Syria to use weaponized gas, slams Russia.....»»

Category: newsSource:  manilainformerRelated NewsMar 11th, 2018

Duterte Order: ‘Shoot to Kill’

DAVAO CITY – President Rodrigo Duterte has ordered soldiers to shoot and kill armed communist rebels as security forces are readying to fight the New People’s Army following the total collapse of the peace talks. Duterte, who previously supported the rebel group when he was mayor of Davao City, gave the order recently and assured members of the armed forces that he shall take sole responsibility for it. He tagged the NPA as a terrorist group and vows to finish off the rebels who are fighting to overthrow the democratic government and install its own. “So what will be my orders to the? Shoot them, they will kill you anyway. So if there is an armed NPA there or terrorists, if he’s holding any firearms, shoot and tell any…ako na ang magsagot, you just shut up. Do not answer if that issue of human rights, you say, go to Duterte. It is and was his order para tumahimik ka, sabihin mo. And so? You are destroying my country, you expect me to pat you in the back and say, dahan-dahan ka lang,” Duterte told soldiers. He said an executive order declaring the NPA as terrorist group would be out soon. He said human rights organizations and fronts allied with the communist rebels would also be branded as terrorists. “I am preparing now. They are preparing the executive order declaring them to be terrorists and they will be afforded the treatment of being criminals. There will be no filing of cases under the public security like rebellion because rebellion is considered sometimes a noble undertaking, it’s only because you want your country to do better,” the tough-talking President said. Duterte said he would no longer negotiate peace the communist rebels, who also vowed to intensify their attacks on government and military targets. No. 1 Terrorist Communist rebel chieftain Jose Maria Sison also branded Duterte as the “No. 1 terrorist” in the country and accused him of mass murder after the President scrapped the peace talks. “Duterte is the No. 1 terrorist in the Philippines. He is culpable for the abduction, torture and mass murder of an increasing large number of poor people suspected drug users and pushers, peasants and indigenous people in suspected guerrilla fronts and Moro people suspected of aiding the Dawlah Islamiyah from the time of the indiscriminate bombing of Marawi City to the present in several Bangsamoro areas,” Sison, who is self-exile in The Netherlands since 1987, said in a statement sent to the regional newspaper Mindanao Examiner. Duterte has threatened to outlaw the Communist Party of the Philippines, which Sison founded; and its political wing, the National Democratic Front of the Philippines and jail its leaders, including leftist and human rights organizations conniving with them. He scrapped the peace talks after rebels declined to sign a ceasefire accord and continue attacking government and civilian targets despite on-going negotiations. Sison called Duterte as a “bloodlust” politician whose mania for mass murder are boundless. “Duterte´s blood lust and mania for mass murder are boundless. He expects to wipe out through arbitrary arrests, torture, indefinite detention and massacre of suspected revolutionaries and legal social activists both the armed revolutionary movement and the legal democratic movement in order to set up a fascist dictatorship in the service of US imperialism and his fellow oligarchs among the big compradors, landlords and corrupt bureaucrats,” he said. “And yet Duterte is utterly malicious and shameless in threatening and scheming to label and outlaw as terrorists the suspected members and entireties of such revolutionary organizations as the National Democratic Front of the Philippines, the Communist Party of the Philippines and the New People´s Army and even such legal patriotic and progressive organizations as BAYAN and its affiliates,” added Sison, a former university professor. He said the Duterte administration, backed by the United States, is hell-bent on frustrating the people´s clamor for peace negotiations to address the roots of the civil war through the adoption and implementation of social, economic, political and constitutional reforms as the basis of a just and lasting peace. Sison said the Duterte government is striving to intimidate the people with its own terrorist scheme and crimes in order to seize absolute autocratic power for the President and limitless opportunity for the bureaucratic corruption of his family and ruling clique. He said the rebel forces now have no choice, but to wage all forms of resistance and fight for national sovereignty, democracy, economic development, social and cultural progress and independent foreign policy. “The Filipino people and revolutionary forces waging the people´s democratic revolution have no choice but to intensify the people´s war through an extensive and intensive guerrilla warfare in rural areas and partisan or commando operations in urban areas. The legal democratic forces and broad opposition have no choice but to develop the underground and encourage endangered activists to become fighters in the people´s army.” “Duterte is already discredited as a mass murderer, political swindler, a sycophant to foreign powers and a corrupt bureaucrat. These characteristics of his and the ever worsening chronic crisis of the semi-colonial and semi-feudal ruling system will surely limit his ability to stay in power and accelerate the growth and rise of a revolutionary united front against his rule of greed and terror,” Sison said. He said even within the armed forces and police, there are already rumblings against the “despotic, criminal and corrupt character of […].....»»

Category: newsSource:  mindanaoexaminerRelated NewsDec 2nd, 2017

White House blames Obama admin for suspected Syria chemical attack – ABC News

White House press secretary Sean Spicer said on Tuesday that a suspected chemical attack in a Syrian town was a &'8220;consequence of the past administration's weakness and irresolution.&'8221; &'8220;Today's attack is reprehensible and cannot be ignored by the civilized world,&'8221; Spicer told reporters. &'8220;These heinous actions by the Bashar al-Assad regime are a consequence of the past administration's weakness and irresolution. President Obama said in 2012 that he'd establish a red line against the use of chemical weapons and then did nothing. The U.S. stands with our allies across the globe to condemn this intolerable act.&'8221; U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, who was meeting with King Abdullah II of Jordan at the State Department in Washington, ignored questions from reporters about the chemical weapons attack. The Department of State later released an official statement condemning it. &'8220;While we continue to monitor the terrible situation, it is clear that this is how Bashar al-Assad operates: with brutal, unabashed barbarism,&'8221; Tillerson said in the statement. &'8220;Those who defend and support him, including Russia and Iran, should have no illusions about Assad or his intentions. Anyone who uses chemical weapons to attack his own people shows a fundamental disregard for human decency and must be held accountable.&'8221; Tillerson also called upon Russia and Iran to &'8220;exercise their influence over the Syrian regime and to guarantee that this sort of horrific attack never happens again.&'8221; And Nikki Haley, the U.S. ambassador to the U.N., tweeted that the Security Council will hold an emergency meeting Wednesday morning. &'8220;Assad must be held accountable for these barbaric attacks against his own people,&'8221; she wrote. The alleged Syrian government airstrike, in the town of Khan Sheikhoun in northern Syria, killed at least 58 civilians, including 19 children, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a U.K.-based monitoring group. The Syria Civil Defense and the Health Directorate in Idlib said that more than 50 people were killed and 300 injured. Syria's military denied using chemical weapons against civilians, saying it is too &'8220;honorable&'8221; to carry out such &'8220;heinous&'8221; crimes while the Syrian Foreign Ministry said Damascus is committed to its obligations under the Chemical Weapons Convention it joined in 2013, denying its military has used such agents in today’s attack. If confirmed the incident would be the deadliest chemical attack in Syria since sarin gas killed hundreds of civilians in the Damascus suburb of East Ghouta in August 2013. Today's attack appeared to involve a gas that caused victims to choke and faint, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, Syria Civil Defense, medics and residents. Warplanes later struck the town again, hitting a hospital where some of the victims were being treated and a Syria Civil Defense center. &'8220;What moved us most was when we entered a house and saw a whole family — a father, a mother and four children — killed because of the chemical attack,&'8221; Abdullah al-Hussein, a Syria Civil Defense volunteer who was at the scene, told ABC News in a voice recording in Arabic. &'8220;They had been asleep. They were in their beds. The truth is that what happened today was painful in all meanings of the word.&'8221; He said that many residents were still asleep when the attack happened in the early morning. He saw more than 100 injured people and at least 20 bodies of children, women and men at one of the hospitals tasked with treating victims, he said. US reviewing airstrikes in Iraq and Syria that may have killed 100s of civilians Syria struggles with shortage of drugs for young cancer patients Muneer, a schoolteacher who lives in Khan Sheikhoun, said he was alone at home when he heard the attack. &'8220;I hid in the corner of the room,&'8221; Muneer, who asked that his last name not be published, out of security concerns, told ABC News via a messaging app in Arabic. He said he lives in the center of the town and the attack took place in the northern part. When he later tried to approach the area that was struck, people told him not to go any farther. &'8220;They warned me that I would faint if I came close,&'8221; he said, &'8220;so I stopped walking.&'8221; He said schools were closed today. Doctors in Syria who treated some of the victims told ABC News that they saw patients with pinpoint pupils, foaming at the mouth, loss of consciousness, slow breathing, running noses and other neurological symptoms consistent with chemical weapons. &'8220;The hospital in Khan Sheikhoun was filled with injured children, women and men, and a smell of chlorine was filling the place,&'8221; Mohammad Alshagel, a media activist with the Aleppo Media Center who visited the hospital, told ABC News. &'8220;The injured had heavy choking symptoms, and some of them died five minutes after arriving, even though medical staff tried to help them.&'8221; He said the hospital was attacked after he left. He has witnessed the aftermath of several chemical attacks in Aleppo and they were not as bad as this one, he said. &'8220;It was a horrible scene. Children were crying, asking for their parents who had died, and women were screaming,&'8221; he said. Raed al-Saleh, the head of the volunteer Syria Civil Defense, or White Helmets, told ABC News that five rockets hit the group's center in the town, destroying equipment. The attack comes as world leaders and diplomats gather in Brussels for talks [&'].....»»

Category: newsSource:  mindanaoexaminerRelated NewsApr 5th, 2017

Syrian government intensifies attacks around Damascus, Hama

BEIRUT — Syrian government forces intensified their bombardment of opposition-held areas around Damascus and the central city of Hama, activists reported yes.....»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsApr 3rd, 2017

Clashes in Syria’s Damascus after surprise rebel attack – Al Jazeera

Heavy clashes rocked eastern districts of the Syrian capital on Sunday after rebel fighters launched a surprise assault on government forces, a monitor and state television said. Steady shelling and sniper fire could be heard across Damascus on Sunday as rebel factions allied with former al-Qaeda affiliate Jabhat Fateh al-Sham launched an attack on government positions in the city's east. The clashes centered on a government-held gap between two besieged opposition enclaves, the Jobar and Qaboun neighborhoods. The Ahrar al-Sham rebel group said fighters had &'8220;liberated&'8221; the area. Tahrir al-Sham &'' a umbrella group of rebels formed by Jabhat Fateh al-Sham last month &'' and the independent Failaq al-Rahman group also participated in the attack. Syrian state media said the military had repelled an attack by one group after &'8220;terrorists&'8221; infiltrated through tunnels in the middle of the night. Rebels detonated two large car bombs at 5:20am on Sunday close to the Jobar neighborhood. Tahrir al-Sham claimed responsibility for the attack. Rebels then advanced into the nearby Abbasiyn Square area, seizing several buildings and firing a barrage of rockets into multiple Damascus neighbourhoods, according to Rami Abdelrahman of the UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. Government forces responded with nearly a dozen air strikes on Jobar, he added. Al Jazeera's Mohamed Al Jazaeri, reporting from near Damascus, said that at least 15 civilians had been killed after government forces shelled residential neighborhoods in Eastern Ghouta, but that the fighting had since become less intense. &'8220;This advance is the largest for opposition groups in over a year and a half,&'8221; Al Jazaeri said. &'8220;Military operations have not stopped in the area but it has calmed down. There remains sniper shooting from both sides and regime forces are shelling Jobar neighborhood, as well as other areas controlled recently by the opposition.&'8221; Control of Jobar &'' which has been a battleground district for more than two years &'' is divided between rebels and allied fighters on one side, and government forces on the other. It is one of three pockets in the Syrian capital still in opposition hands. The recent fighting has resulted in rebel control of industrial areas in Al-Qaboun in addition to parts of Abbasiyn breaking a siege on the area and linking it to Jobar neighborhood, which is connected to Eastern Ghouta, Al Jazaeri said. Joshua Landis, an expert on Syria at the University of Oklahoma, told Al Jazeera that the offensive had taken the government by surprise and that its response was likely to be very significant. &'8220;I don't think it's going to change the trajectory of the war, which has been seeing the regime make important gains and the opposition getting increasingly restricted. But it shows the opposition is far from dead. It shows also that this new combination led by [Tahrir al-Sham] is very potent,&'8221; Landis said. &'8220;The regime is going to realise that it cannot allow these two areas to linger there because they are beachheads for this Tahrir a-Sham group to make inroads into the Damascus area,&'8221; he said, adding the government would likely withdraw some forces from areas such as Homs and Hama to refocus on Damascus. &'8220;It means that the fight is still on, there are many fronts to this war, and the opposition remains powerful.&'8221; Syrian state TV aired footage from Abbasiyn Square, typically buzzing with activity but now empty except for the sound of shelling. Residents said artillery shells and rockets were landing in the heart of the city. The Observatory said rebel shells hit several nearby districts in Damascus, including Bab Touma, Rukn al-Din and the Abbasiyin area. Several schools announced they would close through Monday, and many civilians cowered inside in fear of stray bullets and shelling. According to the Observatory, the Faylaq al-Rahman group and the Fateh al-Sham Front &'' known as al-Nusra Front before it broke ties with al-Qaeda &'' were present in Jobar. &'8220;This neighbourhood is the most important front line because it's the closest rebel position to the heart of the capital,&'8221; said Abdel Rahman. Government forces have long sought to push the rebels out of the district because of its proximity to the city centre in Damascus. But with Sunday's attack, Abdel Rahman said, &'8220;rebels have shifted from a defensive position in Jobar to an offensive one&'8221;. &'8220;These are not intermittent clashes &'' these are ongoing attempts to advance,&'8221; he said. One rebel commander told the Associated Press news agency they launched the assualt from Jobar as a way to relieve allied fighters in the nearby districts of Barzeh, Tishreen, and Qabun from government attacks. &'8220;This is to relieve the pressure on rebels with the regime not stopping its bombardment and artillery shelling,&'8221; said Abu Abdo, a commander from Failaq al Rahman. The attack on Damascus comes just days before a fresh round of UN-brokered peace talks in Geneva aiming to put an end to Syria's six-year war. Rebels and government troops agreed to a nationwide cessation of hostilities in December, but fighting has continued across much of the country, including in the capital. Rebels said the army had advanced in the last two days after weeks of bombardment and aerial strikes aimed at regaining control of strategic areas inside the capital, a few kms away from President Bashar al Assad's seat of power. The army had advanced towards a road between Qaboun and Barza, whose capture severed the links between the two besieged rebel districts where tens of thousands of [&'].....»»

Category: newsSource:  mindanaoexaminerRelated NewsMar 20th, 2017

The World: Airstrikes kill scores in Syria after new US-Russia truce deal

BEIRUT, LEBANON -- A barrage of airstrikes on rebel-held areas in Syria have killed scores of people, just hours after the government in Damascus approved a US-Russian plan to halt fighting in the country's suppurating civil war......»»

Category: financeSource:  bworldonlineRelated NewsSep 11th, 2016

UN fears 800,000 people could be displaced in Syria’s rebel-held province

An expected government assault on Syria's last rebel-held province, Idlib, and surrounding areas could displace as many as 800,000 people already in a dire humanitarian situation, the UN warned Wednesday. In an interview with AFP, a representative of the United Nations Humanitarian Coordination Office (OCHA) in Damascus said an attack could be catastrophic. "We fear that -- should there be an increased escalation of hostilities in that area -- up to 800,000 people could be displaced and that the number of people who are in need of humanitarian assistance, which is already high, could increase dramatically," said Linda Tom. Idlib in northwest Syria along the border with Turkey is...Keep on reading: UN fears 800,000 people could be displaced in Syria’s rebel-held province.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsAug 29th, 2018

Kurds eye decentralized Syria in talks with government

QAMISHLI, Syria (UPDATED) – A US-backed Kurdish-led alliance said on Saturday, July 28 that it is seeking a roadmap for a decentralized Syria in talks with the government which opened in Damascus this week. The Syrian Democratic Forces alliance, which controls a swathe of the north and northeast, said it ........»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated NewsJul 28th, 2018

No Pinoy casualty in IS Syria attacks

No Filipino was harmed in a series of Islamic State attacks in southern Syria on Wednesday that killed 252 people, according to the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA). Reports from the Philippine Embassy in Damascus said that at least 150 people were also wounded in the attacks. Two Filipinas in Sweida married to Syrian nationals […].....»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsJul 27th, 2018

750,000 displaced Syrians returned home in first half of 2018 — UN

An estimated 750,000 internally displaced Syrians returned to their homes through the first half of 2018, nearly equal the amount for all of last year, the United Nations said Friday. The returns have largely occurred in areas that government forces have clawed back from opposition groups including Aleppo, Homs and Rural Damascus, the UN refugee agency said in a statement. The rate of returns this year has clearly outpaced that of 2017, when an estimated 760,000 people went back to homes they had been forced to flee. UNHCR said that in 2017 it had "ramped up its capacity inside Syria" in anticipation that larger numbers of internally displaced people (IDPs) would head home to ce...Keep on reading: 750,000 displaced Syrians returned home in first half of 2018 — UN.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsJul 20th, 2018

Government bombing intense in south Syria opposition holdout

Talks to cede the largest opposition holdout in southwestern Syria to the government have failed, triggering an intense overnight bombing campaign on the densely populated town of Nawa that killed over a dozen people and injured over a hundred, activists and rescuers said Wednesday......»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsJul 19th, 2018

Syrian government targets rebels near Israel-occupied Golan

Syrian government forces unleashed hundreds of missiles on a rebel-held area near the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights on yesterday, activists said, the latest phase in an offensive to clear southern Syria of insurgents......»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsJul 16th, 2018

Rebel attack in northwest Syria triggers government response

Activists say Syrian government forces have bombed villages and towns in the northwest after a surprise attack by insurgents......»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsJul 10th, 2018

UN: State, rebels committed war crimes in Syria s Ghouta

The United Nations said Wednesday that the Syrian government and rebel forces both committed war crimes during the five-year government siege of the eastern Ghouta suburbs of Damascus and the two-month offensive to retake the area from insurgents earlier this year......»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsJun 21st, 2018

Russia forces among dozens dead in ISIS east Syria attacks

BEIRUT, Lebanon (UPDATED) – Russian fighters were among dozens of pro-government forces killed in eastern Syria this week in a deadly wave of attacks by Islamic State group jihadists, Moscow and a monitor said Sunday, May 27. After the ........»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated NewsMay 28th, 2018

ISIS begins quitting last pocket of Syria s capital

BEIRUT, Lebanon – Islamic State group fighters began evacuating their final stronghold in southern Damascus on Sunday, a monitor said, bringing Syria's government closer than ever to flushing out the last threat to the capital. Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has used a combination of military pressure and evacuation deals in recent ........»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated NewsMay 20th, 2018

Syria regime, rebels reach evacuation deal in southern Damascus – state media

DAMASCUS, Syria – The Syrian government and rebels have reached a deal to evacuate opposition fighters from an area of southern Damascus near the site of a regime offensive against jihadists, state media said Sunday, April 29. The announcement comes more than a week into a regime assault to oust Islamic ........»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated NewsApr 29th, 2018

Certain of gas attack, allies struck Syria before UN report

The United States, Britain and France opted to strike Syria for its apparent use of chemical weapons without waiting for a report from U.N. inspectors because they were convinced that the Assad government had used chlorine and sarin nerve gas against a rebel-held Damascus suburb, American officials said Saturday......»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsApr 15th, 2018

Following missile strikes, DFA tells Pinoys in Syria to stay home

        More than 1,000 Filipinos in Syria have been urged to stay at home by the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) following air strikes by the United States and its allies on key military targets in Damascus.   DFA Assistant Secretary Emil Cato said that the Philippine Embassy in Damascus has issued an advisory requesting Filipinos in Syria to stay inside their homes until further advisory.   Air and missile strikes by the United States, France and the United Kingdom began at around4:00 a.m.(Damascus local time)on Saturday. The strikes were in retaliation against the Syrian government's alleged use of chemical weapons. &nbs...Keep on reading: Following missile strikes, DFA tells Pinoys in Syria to stay home.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsApr 14th, 2018

Denounce US-led air strikes vs Syria, Bayan urges Duterte gov’t

  The militant group Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan)on Saturdayurged the Duterte administration to condemn the United States-led air and missile strikes against the Syrian capital. Bayan secretary general Renato Reyes said the United States was only advancing its "imperialist agenda" in the Middle East when it led the missile strikes on Damascus. Since4 a.m.(Damascus local time)on Saturday, the United States, France and United Kingdom have been launching rockets on Damascus in retaliation for the Syrian government's alleged use of chemical weapons. "We call on the Philippine government to condemn the air strikes on Syria and US armed aggression in the Middle East....Keep on reading: Denounce US-led air strikes vs Syria, Bayan urges Duterte gov’t.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsApr 14th, 2018