Two North Korean shipments to a Syrian government agency responsible for the country’s chemical weapons program were intercepted in the past six months. A confidential report by a panel of independent UN experts, which was submitted to the Security Council earlier this month and seen by Reuters on Monday, gave no details on when or where the interdictions occurred or what the shipments contained.
Tag Archive: Syria
RUSSIA, IRAN AND TURKEY have agreed to a memorandum establishing four safe zones across the north, central, and southern parts of Syria. This plan took effect on 05 May at 21:00 GMT. Consequently fighting has eased in parts of Syria as the Russian-led initiative to halt the country’s six-year war has come into force. Russia, backed by Iran and Turkey, unveiled the deal of setting up four “de-escalation zones” on 01 May. Russian Deputy Defence Minister Alexander Fomin said that there had been no bombing raids by Russian aviation in the four zones since 01 May.
Perhaps the loudest sound in the language of war is the one of bullets and guns, but sometimes it might be the sound of a piano.
While victims of chemical weapons in Syria are still suffering to cope with what has happened, the world has moved on to focus on the repercussions of American airstrikes against Syrian Army airbase. A message by Raed Al-Saleh, Head of the Syrian Civil Defence (White Helmets). When the first volunteer team responded to the airstrike in Khan Shaykhun in Syria, they had no idea it was a chemical attack. They were all poisoned. Then the second team arrived, and we started to rescue the wounded and injured. There were so many affected.
More on the Levant
While the danger posed by foreign fighters flooding into Syria has become a central point in world media and research, this focus was more likely to concentrate on Islamically-flavoured extremists and their globally Jihadist ideology. Much less attention was given to those who fight beside Assad regime, who indeed espouse an extremist ideology but with a different flavor. As much as Assad relies on Russian fighters, warplanes and destructive force, he also relies on Iran’s money and Shiite foreign fighters from a variety of countries.
A link between Bashar Assad regime and the rise of the so-called Islamic State does not come as a surprise to many Syrians. Unlike the image the regime has been trying to sell to world media that Assad is fighting ISIS, there is well-documented evidence of the Assad dictatorship’s contributions to the ISIS tale of terror. Both former Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki and Assad released al-Qaeda-affiliated prisoners in 2011 in their respective countries, which was instrumental to the rise of ISIS. So far, research has shown that releasing Jihadist extremists correlates with the increase of the number of arrests…
In a remarkably under-reported series of events in northern Syria, the success of the joint Turkish – Free Syrian Army (FSA) Operation Euphrates Shield (Turkish: Fırat Kalkanı Harekâtı, Arabic dara’ al-furat) is now more uncertain than ever. The goal of the military campaign is to defeat the forces of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS). FSA forces supported by Turkish air power, armour, artillery, intelligence and special forces were moving slowly but steadily on their way from the Turkish border towards what is regarded as ISIS’s centre of gravity – its self-proclaimed capital in the city of Al-Raqqah. Just…
Evacuations from besieged Aleppo are in progress right now and thousands of wounded people, elderly civilians and children have already made it out with the help of the Red Cross and the Red Crescent. Many of us have been waiting for this moment and have campaigned for safe passage for civilians and humanitarians who were being bombed in their crowded neighbourhoods. It’s a bittersweet moment. At the arrival point in the Aleppo countryside many were in tears. Some of relief to have survived the siege, others because they had to leave their homes and the graves of their family members…
The short answer to the question: Where does one start? If things in the Middle East and North Africa were not complicated enough, answering the question has been made even more difficult by the rise of Donald Trump, and the fact that no one, maybe not even he, has an idea about what his policy towards the various crises in the Middle East and North Africa will be, or what his attitude might be towards individual countries in the region.