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December 1, 2015 / 19 Kislev, 5776
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘rebels’

Exclusive: Syrian Activist Blasts Foreign Deal to Train, Arm & Equip Syrian ‘Moderate’ Forces

Friday, February 20th, 2015

A new U.S. agreement with Turkey to train and equip five thousand moderate Syrian opposition forces “is not a serious effort at all to win a war,” a displaced Syrian activist refugee says. Aboud Dandachi, who now lives in Istanbul, Turkey says a plan to train and arm 5,000 moderate Syrian opposition forces is “not serious at all.”

The plan signed by the United States at the U.S. Embassy in Ankara is intended to train, equip and arm 5,000 troops. Congress has already allocated half a billion dollars for the project, but according to a Pentagon spokesperson, only 1,200 “moderates” have been “identified” for the program slated to begin in mid-March. How long will it take U.S. military specialists to train, equip and arm 5,000 Syrian rebels? How effective will this program be? Will it help change the picture with Daesh, the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria terrorist group? Will anything be resolved in Syria by this?

Dandachi has had first-hand experience observing the factors that led to the nightmare that once was his homeland. A business person, he became a refugee within his own country after being forced to leave his home in Homs when the Syrian Army launched an artillery and tank assault on his neighborhood. After moving from one place to the next and following the Assad regime’s use of chemical weapons against two Damascus neighborhoods, Dandachi made the painful decision to leave his homeland and traveled to Istanbul, arriving in September 2013.  He has a rather sardonic view of President Barack Obama’s new plan to help Syrian rebel forces. As to the American president’s international credibility …. well …

“Where do I begin with the problem with this approach,” Dandachi replied in an exclusive interview conducted via the Internet with JewishPress.com on Thursday. “If an Israeli wants a career in the IDF, he or she knows where to sign up. If any Jew anywhere in the world wants to dedicate a few years of their lives to serving Israel, they know the address.

“You can’t build a military by “scouting” soldiers; you need people to know where to come forward,” Dandachi said. “As a Syrian I can’t very well sit around and hope to be ‘discovered’ by Obama,” he continued. “And then if I were, it will be a cold day in hell before I trust him to sell me a used car, much less supply me with weapons.

“War is a potentially long term affair; will Obama keep this force supplied for the years it may take to have any effect? The Americans have proven notoriously fickle in the past,” he observed. (Ed. – More than one news commentator has made similar remarks, referencing America’s behavior in Iraq and Afghanistan, for starters.)

Somewhat taken aback by his candor, this writer asked a second time about the advisability of revealing his identity – but was told “by all means” to go ahead.

“I was never a fighter and I will never be one, I’ve never held a gun in my life, but I’m sure that’s what many potential fighters could be thinking right now,” Dandachi wrote. “When the U.S. went to war in WWII and Vietnam, it didn’t want to “vet” its potential pool of recruits – it drafted anyone above a certain age. When you wage all-out war you can’t hand-pick your fighters; you need to make sure of the widest possible amount of potential manpower available.

“Training” several thousand soldiers is not a serious effort at all to win a war,” he contended.

By the way — Dandachi’s point has some merit: how effective can 5,000 U.S.-trained troops be against the combined forces of Syrian military forces, backed and equipped by Russia and Iran, fighting side by side with the elite Iranian Revolutionary Guards force and the Lebanon-based Hezbollah guerrilla fighters?

Syrian “moderate” forces will also be facing the “other” Syrian rebel faction — that of the radical Islamist rebels linked to Al Qaeda (Jabhat al Nusra, for instance) and now also Daesh, the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS). That force alone numbers in the tens of thousands: the most recent estimates place the total number of “moderate” Syrian rebel fighters at best at 20,000.

Can this cause be saved?

104 Syrians Killed on Friday

Sunday, November 16th, 2014

The dead : 13 civilians, 12 rebels, 14 Non-Syrian Islamic fighters, 17 NDF, 24 Regular forces, 8 unknown rebels, 15 ISIS, 1 Non-Syrian fighter allied to regime forces .

By province : Aleppo ( 1 civilian, 10 rebels ), Idlib ( 1 civilian ) Damascus ( 1 rebel ) ,Hama ( 1 civilian ), Dar’a ( 2 rebels, 7 civilians ), Homs ( 2 civilians )

Source: SOHR

Syrian Death Count for Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Thursday, October 16th, 2014

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reports the following casualties for Tuesday, October 14, 2014:

244 people were killed in Syria on Tuesday.

The dead : 40 civilians, 39 rebels, 23 Non-Syrian Islamic fighters, 28 NDF, 47 Regular forces, 18 unknown rebels, 39 ISIS, 5 YPG, 5 non-Syrian fighters allied to regime forces.

By province : Aleppo (7 rebels, 2 civilians), Reef Dimashq (5 rebels, 27 civilians), Damascus (1 civilian, 5 rebels), Idlib (3 rebels, 2 civilians), Homs (6 civilians), Hama (4 rebels, 1 civilian), Dar’a (2 rebels), Quneitra (7 rebels), Der-Ezzor (1 civilian).

The combatant breakdown is as follows:

– an Islamic fighter killed by an IED exploded in his car in Idlib countryside. – 5 Islamic fighters allied to ISIS killed by clashes against regime forces in Hweja Saqir in Der-Ezzor, in addition to an Islamic fighter killed by an explosion in his car in al-Huwayqa. – 32 ISIS killed by coalition air strikes around Ein al-Arab “Kobane”. – 7 ISIS and 5 YPG killed by clashes between the two sides in Ein al-Arab ” Kobane” . – 18 Unknown rebels killed by clashes against regime forces, bombardment, and targeting their checkpoints . – 28 National Defense Forces militiamen were killed by clashes and attacks on their checkpoints around Syria. – 47 Regular forces were killed by clashes, snipers, IEDs, and attacks on their checkpoints and vehicles: Damascus and Reef Dimashq 7, Aleppo 6, Daraa 2, Quneitra 4, Hama 8, Der-Ezzor 12, Lattakia 1, Homs 1, Idlib 8. – 23 Non-Syrian fighters from ISIS, Jund Al-Sham and Jabhat Al-Nusra were killed by clashes and targeted bombardment. – 5 Non-Syrian fighters allied to the regular forces, killed by clashes against Islamic battalions and Jabhat al-Nusra in Reef Dimashq and Aleppo.

207 people were killed in fighting in Syria on Wednesday, October 15, 2014

268 Arabs Killed in Syria on Sunday

Monday, October 6th, 2014

In Syria, 268 Arabs were killed on Sunday.

Among them were 168 fighters from the Syrian Opposition side, including Kurdish forces, ISIS, and the Islamic front.

From Assad’s side, 89 combatants were killed mostly in fighting in Damascus and Haleb, among them members of Hezbollah, .

18 civilians were also killed.

Does the world actually care?

Source: Syrian Observatory for Human Rights

Chabad Rabbi Remains with Trapped Jews as Ukraine Troops, Rebels, and Russians Fight for Mariupol

Thursday, August 28th, 2014

Jews in Mariupol, Ukraine are caught between the proverbial ‘rock and a hard place’ with nowhere to run as the winds of war whirl into their community. Chabad-Lubavitch emissary and rabbi of the city, Rabbi Mendel Cohen, has remained to serve his brethren in what has become one of the greatest challenges of his life.

Pro-Russian separatists, Russian tanks and Ukraine forces are all rapidly converging on the key southeastern port city to fight for control.

The nearby town of Novoazovsk reportedly has fallen to the rebels over the past 24 hours, according to a report by the BBC which quoted Russian TV. The Ukraine government told media that Russian forces have crossed the border in support of the rebel advance — a charge denied by Moscow.

The besieged cities of Donetsk and Luhansk, further north, have been embattled for months. The self-declared Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR), where the city of the same name is located, has attempted to secede from Ukraine. DPR Prime Minister Alexander Zakharchenko told Russian TV there were up to 4,000 Russian citizens within the ranks of the separatist rebel army, “former high-ranking military officers who have volunteered to join us. They are fighting with us, considering that to be their duty.

“There are also many in the current Russian military that prefer to spend their leave among us, brothers who are fighting for their freedom, rather than on a beach.”

“People are very worried right now,” Rabbi Cohen told Chabad.org. “There are lines at all of the gas stations and ATMs and people are stocking up on food, so there is nothing left in the stores. We don’t know what’s going to happen.”

Mariupol, the second-largest city in Donetsk, is only 35 miles from the Russian border and Russian is the primary language. In February, pro-Russian separatists seized the city’s administrative buildings and maintained control over the city for months.

Kiev sent troops and battled for control over the city in a fierce fight that ended at the city’s police station. At least six were killed in the offensive and it took until June 13 before the Ukraine government forces managed to secure total control over the city.

Rabbi Cohen described “armed men with masks right next to the shul,” saying it was “dangerous to walk around in the street” until June. Since then, however, “thank God it has become more stable.”

The sense of unease has returned, however.

Over the past month, more than 330,000 people have been displaced by combat in Donetsk to the north, and Lugansk to the east. Some 2,000 people have been killed so far, according to some estimates.

Many refugees have ended up in Mariupol. This week the sounds of shelling are much closer. Mariupol’s Jews so far insist on staying, fearing the dangers on the road to freedom more than the uncertainties facing them in their own homes. The Chabad emissary says he will stay as long as he can to aid the community.

“We have a minyan three times a day and Torah classes. Our day camp just ended, and we are now preparing for the school year,” Cohen said. The Jewish community has also worked to supply food packages to a growing number of people who need them.

Out of four emissaries serving southeastern Ukraine, Rabbi Cohen is the only one left. Three others were forced to re-evaluate their situations, along with the Jews of Donetsk, Lugansk and Maakeevka.

‘I hope and pray they will be able to return to their work very soon,” Rabbi Cohen said.

Malaysia Airlines Passenger Jet Crashes, Possibly Shot Down in Eastern Ukraine

Thursday, July 17th, 2014

Nearly 300 passengers were killed Thursday as their Malaysia Airlines flight crashed in eastern Ukraine near the Russian border on its way from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur.

The Boeing 777 may have been shot down, according to Ukraine President Petro O. Poroshenko, who called for an immediate probe of the tragedy, Interfax news agency reported.

Anton Gerashenko, an aide to the Ukrainian interior minister, wrote on his Facebook page that flight number MH17 was flying at an altitude of 33,000 feet over the region when it was hit by a missile, The Independent newspaper reported. Gerashenko wrote that the jet was hit by a missile fired from a Buk launcher and crashed near the city of Donetsk, a stronghold of pro-Russian rebels. The system is capable of launching missiles up to an altitude of 72,000 feet.

There has been fierce fighting between pro-Russian separatists and government forces in the eastern part of Ukraine for months.

German Gov’t Charges Local Syrian Fighter with Terrorism

Thursday, June 12th, 2014

The German government is charging a man in Berlin with membership in a terrorist organization after he returned from fighting for the opposition forces in the Syrian civil war.

The 26 year old was also charged as an accessory to manslaughter and attempted incitement to murder, international media reported.

In accordance with local privacy laws, only his first name – Harun P. – was released. The man allegedly traveled to Syria last September to join the radical Islamist group, Junud al-Sham. He is accused of participating in an operation in February to free prisoners from a government jail, leaving two Syrian soldiers dead in the process.

He is also alleged to have urged – unsuccessfully – the murder of two individuals who considered bringing a 16-year-old relative to Germany due to his fears she would inform authorities about his activities.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/german-govt-charges-local-syrian-fighter-with-terrorism/2014/06/12/

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