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[Resuelto]El Asunto Siria

Mensaje por Lanceros de Toluca el Marzo 1st 2012, 23:17

Recuerdo del primer mensaje :

Aqui iremos colocando todo lo relacaionado a la insurrecion en este episodio de la Primavera Arabe

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Re: [Resuelto]El Asunto Siria

Mensaje por szasi el Noviembre 15th 2015, 21:29

SYRIAN OPPOSITION GUIDE
Oct 7, 2015 - Jennifer Cafarella

Download the PDF
http://understandingwar.org/sites/default/files/Syrian%20Opposition%20Guide_0.pdf

This reference guide provides a baseline for identifying Syrian opposition groups. The guide aims to permit researchers to track how groups realign as the Russians commence operations. It seeks to inform the development of policies that aim to protect Syrian rebels willing to cooperate with the U.S. in order to defeat ISIS and marginalize al-Qaeda affiliate Jabhat al-Nusra.

The chart characterizes each group’s relative strength, its areas of operation, its participation in multi-group operations, and its sources of external financing (derived from other experts’ studies). The document carefully identifies those groups that are separable from Jabhat al-Nusra, drawing a sharp distinction between the al-Qaeda affiliate’s subcomponents and those groups that have a more transactional relationship. Whereas the Russian military actions will likely drive these groups together, diminishing the influence of al-Qaeda actually requires breaking the groups apart. Targeting rebel groups writ large through military strikes is therefore counterproductive and will lead to entrenchment of al-Qaeda in Syria.

Russia's Impact on the Opposition

Russian air operations in Syria impose new pressures on Syrian rebel groups on the ground. Although the Russian Ministry of Defense (MoD) claimed that Russian airstrikes focused on ISIS, local reports and the U.S. official statement indicate that the strikes have primarily targeted Syrian opposition groups in areas far from core ISIS-held terrain. Free Syrian Army (FSA)-affiliated rebel groups that receive support from the U.S. are among those that Russian warplanes have hit.

As Russian airstrikes intensify, Syrian opposition factions will likely seek the protection of a strong partner in the fight against the regime and its allies. The majority of the groups that may seek protection already cooperate militarily with Syrian al-Qaeda affiliate Jabhat al-Nusra out of necessity, and this trend is likely to increase as rebels come under greater duress. The pressure of a reinvigorated air campaign in support of the Syrian regime may drive these groups closer to Jabhat al-Nusra and potentially hardline Islamist Ahrar al-Sham in the absence of alternative sources of robust military assistance from countries opposed to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. In fact, between October 2 and October 4, two rebel groups merged separately under Jabhat al-Nusra and Ahrar al-Sham in Hama and Aleppo provinces respectively. This trend damages not only the U.S. anti-ISIS mission, but also the implicit mission to counter al-Qaeda’s influence in Syria. It is therefore vital to observe changes in the behaviors and affiliations of Syrian rebels in response to ground events.

http://understandingwar.org/backgrounder/syrian-opposition-guide
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Re: [Resuelto]El Asunto Siria

Mensaje por szasi el Noviembre 15th 2015, 21:35

THE CAMPAIGN FOR HOMS AND ALEPPO

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http://www.understandingwar.org/sites/default/files/Nassief-BattleforHomsAleppo-web.pdf
by Isabel Nassief

Executive Summary

The Assad regime’s military position is stronger in January 2014 than it was a year ago and remains committed to fighting for Damascus, Homs, and Aleppo. Nonetheless, the conflict remains at a military and political deadlock.

In the spring of 2013 the regime lacked the necessary manpower to conduct simultaneous operations on multiple fronts against rebel groups that were quickly making gains throughout the north, south, and Damascus countryside. The Syrian Arab Army (SAA) had sustained more losses than it could replenish. It relied on air assets to resupply besieged troops in its Aleppo and Idlib outposts because it lacked overland logistical lines connecting those outposts. The regime had contracted its military footprint to Damascus and Homs in order to its secure supply lines while rebels contested Homs, the lynchpin of the regime’s logistics system that connected Damascus to Aleppo and to the coast.

The Syrian regime has since been resuscitated by infusions of men and materiel from Iran, Hezbollah, and Russia and from the formalization of pro-regime militias under the National Defense Forces. This report will lay out the changes in the regime’s strategy and conduct of the campaign that allowed it to regain some of its strength. It will also lay out how opposition movements have attempted to conduct multiple, sometimes competing campaigns of their own against the regime.

Beginning with the al-Qusayr offensive in 2013, the regime demonstrated the capacity to overcome its manpower deficit and inability to fight simultaneously on multiple fronts. It also illustrated the regime’s strategy to defeat the opposition by isolating rebel systems from their supply lines, attacking by fire, then clearing and holding terrain. The government offensive at al-Qusayr in April 2013 highlights these principal characteristics of the regime’s new campaign with the clear orientation of regime assets to support a decisive battle at al-Qusayr.

Meanwhile, the opposition did not unite under the direction of the Supreme Military Council (SMC) of the Free Syrian Army (FSA). The SMC struggled to maintain authority over a host of rebel groups, to direct the allocation of resources to strategic priorities, and to orient the opposition to achieve operational goals. After the United States decided not to intervene in the wake of the chemical weapons strike in Damascus, many powerful groups denounced the SMC and formed new alliances.

Despite a lack of national-level command and control on the part of the rebels, the resilience of rebel systems, guerilla tactics, and effective attacks by groups such as ISIS have prevented the regime from uprooting the armed opposition from the country or even from major cities, including Damascus and Aleppo. The resiliency of the opposition stems largely from its decentralization. Rebel support and attack zones have created multiple centers of gravity for the opposition, thus diversifying the risk of systemic collapse faced by rebel groups when the regime attacks on any given front. Rebel infighting, which escalated in January 2014, diminishes the advantages gained from this dispersion.

The regime’s growing strength and the growing extremism of the al-Qaeda affiliates has pushed the Syrian opposition to evolve, leading to a drive for unification among the internal fighting forces, independent of the political leadership-in-exile, which has failed to provide the amount of support that the fighting groups have needed. Smaller, scattered, local rebel brigades have continued to announce mergers throughout 2013, particularly in the months since the August 21st chemical weapons attack – most notably the formation of the Islamic Front was announced on November 22. By promising to pull together some of Syria’s most effective fighting forces under one banner, the new Islamic Front has the potential to effectively coordinate rebel groups on the ground.

In 2014 the regime has the ability to wage campaigns on multiple fronts nearly simultaneously or in quick succession. This capacity is first and foremost the result of additional manpower from Hezbollah and National Defense Forces. In addition, the regime has gained the ability to design as well as execute multiple, sequential and simultaneous operations, aided perhaps by the increase in reliable command and control elements including advisors. This requires the regime to consider the priorities of its coalition partners in designating priority efforts.

Despite the regime’s apparent resurgence and the opposition’s enduring challenges, the Assad Regime is not winning the Syrian civil war, and it does not have the strength to win decisively in 2014. Lacking that ability, the regime continues to use tactics that contravene the law of armed conflict, such as the deliberate mass killing of civilians in the August chemical weapons strike; the use of barrel bombs to kill civilians in December in Aleppo; and the deliberate starvation of populations in Damascus.

http://www.understandingwar.org/report/campaign-homs-and-aleppo
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Re: [Resuelto]El Asunto Siria

Mensaje por szasi el Noviembre 15th 2015, 21:36

ASSAD STRIKES DAMASCUS

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http://www.understandingwar.org/sites/default/files/ISWAssadStrikesDamascus_26JAN.pdf
by Valerie Szybala

Executive Summary

Damascus is the Syrian regime’s center of gravity. The capital of Syria has long been viewed by the rebel forces as the key to winning the war in Syria, and its loss is unthinkable for Bashar al-Assad. Thus the struggle for Damascus is existential for the regime as well as the opposition. An operational understanding of the battle for Damascus is critical to understanding the imminent trajectory of the war. This report details the course of the conflict as it engulfed Damascus in 2013; laying out the regime’s strategy and describing the political and military factors that shaped its decisions on the battlefield.

As the seat of power for the Assad regime, Damascus has always been heavily militarized and has hosted a high proportion of the Syrian armed forces throughout the war. It became a battleground relatively late in the conflict. In July 2012, rebels advanced into areas of the capital previously thought to be impenetrable. In response, the regime escalated operations in the capital in late 2012 and consolidated forces from other parts of the country. Meanwhile, rebels in Damascus worked to improve their organizational structure, and implemented a shift towards targeted attacks on infrastructure and strategic assets. In addition to redistributing forces, the regime in late 2012 began augmenting its forces with foreign fighters, namely Hezbollah and Iraqi Shi‘a militias, and professionalizing pro-regime militias. This influx of manpower, in addition to increased levels of support from Iran and Russia, has been critical to the regime’s military strategy in 2013.

In early 2013, the Syrian regime set conditions for future operations in Damascus by seizing key terrain to open its own supply lines, cut opposition supply lines, and isolate rebel support zones. In April, the regime also escalated sieges of key neighborhoods. The regime’s use of blockades to restrict the flow of food, medicine, and people into and out of neighborhoods with a rebel presence was an increasingly important component of its military operations throughout 2013.

Rebel forces in Damascus fought back with a series of offensives throughout the summer. A counteroffensive named “al-Furqan” led by a coalition of rebel brigades worked to re-establish supply lines in eastern Ghouta. Another rebel coalition named “Jabhat Fatah al-Asima,” made advances near the inner suburb of Jobar, bringing them close to the edge of the central al-Abbasiyyeen Square. These rebel advances, along with the use of increasingly sophisticated weaponry, presented an ever-growing threat the regime.

International developments in the summer of 2013 also heightened the regime’s threat perception. In June 2013, the White House acknowledged Assad’s use of chemical weapons, and announced an increase in the scope and scale of assistance to the armed opposition. Shortly thereafter, a meeting by the Friends of Syria group in Doha hinted at even greater increases in rebel support. Then in July 2013, Jordan announced it was hosting 900 U.S. military personnel. These events added to the growing fear of the regime as rumors of an imminent large-scale rebel offensive in Damascus grew.

The regime escalated. In the evening of August 20, 2013, the Syrian regime began Operation Capital Shield, its largest-ever Damascus offensive, aimed at preempting a rebel attack on the capital and decisively ending the deadlock in key contested terrain around the city. The regime launched a spectacular chemical attack on contested rebel support zones previously weakened through siege. The chemical volley was followed by ground and artillery advances on multiple fronts across the Damascus area, capitalizing on the pandemonium and disorder caused by the initial attack.

While the Syrian regime continued its military operations, it also contended with the threat of what seemed like an imminent U.S. strike. This threat prompted a reconfiguration of military assets that the regime feared might be targeted by the U.S. Between August 31 and September 9, the U.S. decided not to strike, instead opting for the diplomatic solution offered by Russia for the Syrian government to give up its chemical weapons.

For the rebel fighters affiliated with the Free Syrian Army (FSA), who had pinned their hopes on western support and U.S. intervention, the delay and eventual cancellation of a military strike was devastating. In the following months, rebel groups in Syria increasingly distanced themselves from the Western-backed National Coalition and the FSA’s Supreme Military Council. Saudi Arabia too, expressed frustration with Western inaction, and, along with other Gulf states, is playing a significant role in the formation and realignment of rebels in Syria.

As the threat of Western intervention diminished, the Syrian regime gained renewed confidence and continued with offensive military actions and crippling neighborhood sieges into the winter months. September and October saw the continuation of Operation Capital Shield in addition to a series of complementary operations across multiple Damascus fronts.

Despite appearing to have the momentum in Damascus in early 2014, the regime is running out of options for a decisive victory. With its freedom to use chemical weapons currently curtailed, the regime has expanded the use of other methods to target civilians indiscriminately, including the use of improvised barrel bombs. Additionally, the regime’s reliance on foreign and irregular forces leaves its military capacity vulnerable to events beyond its control.

Rebel forces have continued to reorganize in late 2013 and early 2014 with renewed Gulf support, and the newest wave of rebel coalitions has thus far proved more successful than previous incarnations. Renewed rebel campaigns in Damascus suggest that they will survive the winter months, and once the spring comes and the regime’s sieges lose their harsh edge, may once again challenge Assad’s grip on the fortress of Damascus.

Without a foreseeable end to the armed uprising, Bashar al-Assad will leverage the politics surrounding the Geneva II conference to legitimize and extend his rule. The regime intends to use Geneva II to buy time while it increases military operations in Syria and shapes conditions for summer presidential elections, which are the focus of Assad’s longer-term strategy for retaining power.

Elections in Syria have never been free and fair. In the 2000 and 2007 presidential referendums, Bashar al-Assad was the only candidate and received more than 97% of the vote. Assad is already taking aggressive steps to ensure his victory in 2014 by changing laws and procedures to disenfranchise potential anti-Assad voters, pre-emptively subverting potential international attempts to enforce free elections in Syria. As the regime and its allies continue to push their intensive messaging strategy, the international community is increasingly at risk of agreeing to elections rather than a transitional government as the path to peace in Syria.

http://www.understandingwar.org/report/assad-strikes-damascus
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Re: [Resuelto]El Asunto Siria

Mensaje por ivan_077 el Febrero 14th 2016, 00:23


https://youtu.be/MAG4HrAmdEg

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Re: [Resuelto]El Asunto Siria

Mensaje por ivan_077 el Febrero 14th 2016, 00:26

https://youtu.be/LuWWZUSYlZg



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"No hay mas diferencia entre los hombres que el vicio o la virtud" Jose Maria Morelos y Pavon.

No hay raza inferior; solo hay sujetos inferiores
Bendita se la muerte, porque a nadie le concede lo que no les da a todos los demas;alabada sea la muerte que se yergue piadosa ante el hombre que ha cumplido su deber.
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Re: [Resuelto]El Asunto Siria

Mensaje por szasi el Febrero 15th 2016, 23:53

Lebanon doesn't want Syrian refugees getting too comfortable, even in winter


An informal settlement for Syrian refugees in the Bekaa Valley, eastern Lebanon.
Richard HallGlobalPost
ZAHLE, Lebanon — In the winter months, snow covers the mountains and blankets the valley floors in Lebanon. Heavy storms shake or blow away anything that is not nailed down, and even some of what is.
For the hundreds of thousands of Syrian refugees living in Lebanon in makeshift shelters and empty or unfinished buildings, this time of year is particularly miserable.
“When there is a storm, the water leaks in the walls and the whole tent shakes. The children get scared because of the noise,” says Minwar Khaled Abu Sultan, 43, from Hama, who lives with his wife and seven children at an informal settlement for Syrian refugees in Zahle, eastern Lebanon.
“If another storm comes the roof might fall in. The snow piles on the roof, and the wood I’m using is very old. You can hear it cracking.”
More than 200,000 Syrians live in informal settlements like the one Abu Sultan lives in with his family. The vast majority stay in rudimentary shelters made of wood, plastic sheets and corrugated iron.
For several winters, since refugees began fleeing the civil war next door, the shelters have endured flooding, bitter cold and collapse.
If they could build better shelters, or be provided with them by NGOs working in the country, their suffering would be alleviated. But due to Lebanon’s limited capacity and a fear among the population that refugees will never leave, they are forced to live in the cold.

Khaled Abu Sultan, 43, sits with his wife and children inside his shelter at an informal camp for Syrian refugees in Zahle, Lebanon.
Richard Hall/GlobalPost
The scale of the refugee crisis facing Lebanon is severe. With a population of four million, the country is now hosting more than one million Syrian refugees. The influx has put a huge strain on the economy. Partly as a result of its limited means, Lebanon is not a signatory to the 1951 Refugee Convention, which designates certain rights for refugees and responsibilities for host countries. The government has refused to allow the UN to set up permanent camps, so hundreds of thousands of refugees build their own shelters or find accommodation where they can.
The winter can be deadly in these makeshift homes. In January last year, a mother of three froze to death on the outskirts of Baalbek, in eastern Lebanon. A 10-year-old girl died the same month in a refugee camp, also in the east of the country. In 2014, two newborn babies were among those who succumbed to the cold. One of them was born in a freezing tent near the border town of Arsal, contracted pneumonia and died within three days.
More from GlobalPost: 'I would prefer to live in Syria with the bombs than in conditions like this'
“We are only allowed to help to a certain point,” says Ahmad Kassen, shelter coordinator for Lebanon’s Ministry of Social Affairs. “We are only allowed to support the distribution of temporary construction material. No concrete construction is allowed in informal settlements, we are not allowed to distribute concrete blocks on a big scale.”
Kassen adds that this rule applies to anyone working with refugee shelters in Lebanon, including NGOs, UN agencies and Lebanese civil society.
In 2013, the Danish Refugee Council, which has been present in Lebanon since before the Syrian crisis, designed an easy-to-build structure that would provide slightly more comfort than the plywood and plastic shelters that were springing up across the country.
The so-called “box shelters,” with a concrete base and wooden walls, were banned by the Lebanese government. They were deemed too permanent.
Even minor infractions against this policy can attract attention from the authorities, as 67-year-old grandmother Fatima found out. She fled her home city of Homs in Syria three and a half years ago and came to Lebanon with her family.
“We put concrete blocks around the edge of our shelter to stop water coming in. But last year there was a flood and it came in above the stones,” she says. Her last name is not being printed to protect her identity.
When she put another layer of concrete blocks on top of the first to better protect her shelter from flooding, she received a visit from the army.
“They asked us: ‘Who told you you could put more stones down?’ and threatened to fine us.”
The blocks were removed. Now, when it rains, she fills cotton bags with smaller stones and places them against the walls of her shelter.

An informal settlement in Zahle, eastern Lebanon. A nearby garbage dump looms in the distance.
Richard Hall/GlobalPost
The IKEA test
Objections over refugee shelters come from the local population, too.
Efforts have been made to provide better shelters in the past. In 2013, the United Nations refugee agency (UNHCR) collaborated with flat-pack furniture giant IKEA to design a shelter that would provide comfort, dignity and protection against the elements for refugee families. The shelters were easily transportable, could be put up in four hours and had solar panels on the roof.
The project was paid for by the IKEA Foundation, and the structures were designed by a social enterprise company called Better Shelter.
“The aim was to create a semi-long term shelters response that would last longer than tents, which last around a year max and ... are not adequate when you have snow,” says Johan Karlsson, who led the design team for the project at Better Shelter.
Lebanese winters are particularly cruel. Last year, temperatures dropped to -15 degrees Celcius in the Bekaa valley.
The shelters were designed to deal with the hot weather and the cold. They had locks on the doors, which provided added security for vulnerable women.
In February 2014, the Lebanese government agreed to let the UNHCR test the shelters in Lebanon — which, of all the countries surrounding Syria that had taken in refugees, needed them the most.
The UNHCR chose Halba, in the far north, to try the IKEA shelters out. But as soon as the project got underway, locals protested against the structures.
“We were implementing the project in coordination with a local NGO, so they went to the local NGO and expressed concern,” says Dana Sleiman, a spokeswoman for the UNHCR.
The trial was halted. Undeterred, the UNHCR tried again in another community.
“As a plan B, we tried to set one up in Mount Lebanon but were faced with the same problem. We later decided jointly with the Ministry of Social Affairs to put the project to a halt,” Sleiman says.
The locals thought the IKEA shelters were too permanent, according to Sleiman. They worried that they might encourage Syrians to settle in the area.
The seven shelters were packed into storage at the UNHCR building in Beirut. Later they were sent back to Sweden.

Richard Hall / GlobalPost
Going nowhere fast
The issue of permanence for refugees is one that weighs heavy on Lebanon’s conscience, a product of its troubled history. When the state of Israel was created in 1948, close to 100,000 Palestinians who were expelled or fled the fighting came to Lebanon, setting up home in hastily constructed refugee camps across the country.
In the decades that followed, tensions between heavily armed Palestinian militant groups in the country, many of whom were using Lebanon as a base to launch attacks against Israel, and predominantly Christian groups opposed to their presence grew steadily.
Palestinian groups played a key role in Lebanon’s 1975-1990 civil war. Today, more than 500,000 Palestinians live in refugee camps here — camps made of concrete and stone, which are for all intents and purposes as permanent as any other neighborhood.
“These camps started as tents and then they developed into neighborhoods. We still call them camps, but that’s not what they are now,” says Kassen. He notes that as recently as 2007, major fighting erupted between the Lebanese army and members of the Fatah al-Islam militant group in the Nahr el-Bared Palestinian camp near Tripoli. Much of the camp was destroyed after a months-long battle.
“The people still have this in mind. This is why it is very hard for them to accept [the government building permanent shelters].”
“Lebanon was only five years old as a country when it absorbed Palestinian refugees in 1948, and the Lebanese Civil War was partly a legacy of that tragedy of displacement," says Elias Muhanna, an Assistant Professor of Comparative Literature and Middle East Studies at Brown University and the author of Qifa Nabki, a blog about Lebanese politics. "Yes, there are real concerns about Lebanon's ability to manage its population density, which is among the highest in the world. But there's also an emotional anxiety about the presence of communities that the state is unable to accommodate and absorb.”
There is an added political context behind this fear: Lebanon’s political system is based on a delicate balance of power — often skewed — between the country’s many sectarian groups. Some fear that the absorption of more than a million Sunni Syrians would dramatically alter the makeup of the country’s demographics, to the detriment of other groups.
In a country where all politics is sectarian, this anxiety is a powerful motivator.
http://www.globalpost.com/article/6729981/2016/02/06/dont-get-too-comfortable-why-syrian-refugees-lebanon-are-forced-endure
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Re: [Resuelto]El Asunto Siria

Mensaje por ivan_077 el Abril 13th 2016, 02:02


Assad has taken Russia 'hostage,' and what comes next could be 'the worst this war has seen'

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Apr. 11, 2016, 3:08 PM 37,300  35
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Al Qaeda Nusra FrontREUTERS/Khalil Ashawi
Members of Al Qaeda's Nusra Front in a convoy touring villages, which they said they have seized control of from Syrian rebel factions, in the southern countryside of Idlib, on December 2, 2014.
See Also


'Al Qaeda has sealed its future': Syria's jihadists may be the biggest winners of Assad's 'victory' at Palmyra

Putin left important military tasks 'unfinished' in Syria, and it shows that he is 'at the top of his game'

Something very worrying happened when a Syrian journalist called the State Department’s ceasefire hotline
Syrian President Bashar Assad is growing only more defiant as negotiators prepare to descend on Geneva once again in an attempt to broker the terms of a political transition and end the five-year civil war.

The opposition's central demand heading into the negotiations is that the embattled Assad relinquish his hold on power and cease bombing rebel-held territory.

On the contrary, the regime will hold parliamentary elections on Wednesday and is evidently preparing a major new offensive to retake Syria's largest city, Aleppo, from opposition forces.

As such, it appears that Russia's attempt last month to force Assad into a corner — by announcing a partial withdrawal of advisers and warplanes — has backfired. Assad appears to have realized that Russia's reputation as a leader in the Middle East depends, at least for now, on maintaining the status quo and keeping the regime intact.

Russia's intervention in the war on Assad's behalf in late September was followed by a regime offensive to recapture Aleppo from the rebels throughout the end of 2015. But that task was largely left unfinished by the time Russia decided to "withdraw" last month, even after pro-government forces won a major victory in January by breaking a rebel siege on two villages northwest of Aleppo that served as Turkey's supply line to rebels there.

The fact that Putin ordered Russia to de-escalate at such a pivotal moment for Assad may have been part of a broader Russian strategy to maintain Moscow's leverage at the forthcoming peace talks in Geneva — over Assad as much as over the US. But the embattled president now seems prepared to call Russian President Vladimir Putin's bluff.

Russia is "afraid if somebody else removes him or they remove him, the whole state will collapse," Paul Salem, the vice president of policy and research at the Washington-based Middle East Institute, told The Wall Street Journal last weekend.

"They are hostage to his continued survival," Salem added. "He [Assad] can withstand Russian displeasure and irritation. He feels under no compulsion to make major concessions."

'Some of the worst this war has seen'
Russia denied reports on Monday that it was planning any kind of joint operation with regime forces to retake Aleppo. Ultimately, however, "Moscow is unlikely to forgo its interests in Syria," Charles Lister, a resident fellow at the Middle East Institute, tweeted.

It may force Russia to reescalate its presence in the northeast to help Assad, Lister said.
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Boris Zilberman, a Russia expert at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD), told Business Insider that "if an offensive on Aleppo is in the works, there is no reason to believe that Russia could not add the man- and air-power to help conduct such an operation."

He continued:

It was clear, at least to me, that Russia was scaling down but maintaining the capabilities to keep the status quo and pivot to a higher-tempo operation. The Russians have shown time and again complete and utter disregard for mass civilian casualties and collateral damage as part of their aerial operations. I expect that if Putin and Assad do as they say, those in Aleppo might yet experience some of the worst this war has seen.

Mark Galeotti, an expert on Russian security affairs and professor of global affairs at New York University, told Business Insider that "if the Russians and Syrians do commit themselves to retaking Aleppo, they will prioritize military expediency over civilian safety."

He added, however, that "there is no evidence that Russia would seek to be destructive for its own sake," and that it remains unclear whether Russia will partake in a new offensive.
Even if Russia doesn't participate in a "pitched battle" for Aleppo, however, "helping the regime complete the isolation of the city is something else," said Jeff White, a military analyst at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy.

"The Russians may take advantage of a crumbling CoH [cessation of hostilities] to do this, blaming everything on 'Nusra' and terrorists," White told Business Insider in an email, referring to Jabhat al-Nusra, the Al Qaeda affiliate in Syria.

Russia already seems to be making that case. The Russian military said on Monday that 8,000 Nusra militants were amassing around the city and preparing to cut off the main road from Aleppo to Syria's capital, Damascus.

If true, that would mark a dramatic escalation of Nusra's activities in southern Aleppo. And it would give Russia an excuse to help the regime isolate the city from the rebels while maintaining — at least on paper — the "cessation of hostilities" agreement, to which Nusra is not a party.

"If Russia is signaling an offensive against Nusra, you can be sure other rebel groups will be targeted," Nadav Pollak, a senior fellow at the Washington Institute, tweeted on Monday.

Zilberman, of the FDD, added that the threat of an impending offensive also gives Assad and Putin valuable leverage over the US at Geneva, where a new round of peace talks is set to begin on Friday.

Lister, of the Middle East Institute, noted that while Assad "is playing games with Geneva, Russia, and the UN, Putin is ultimately unlikely to abandon Assad and thus lose [Russia's] influence in Syria."

To that extent, Putin remains a "hostage" of the regime — even if it means getting sucked back into the war at its most brutal, and critical, stage.

"If Russia joins a major regime offensive on Aleppo, there'll be little going back," Lister wrote. "The city will be besieged, and only death and destruction will result."
http://www.businessinsider.com/syria-assad-russia-aleppo-offensive-2016-4?nr_email_referer=1&utm_content=PoliticsSelect&utm_medium=email&utm_source=Sailthru&utm_campaign=BI%20Politics%202016-04-12&utm_term=Politics%20Select

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"No hay mas diferencia entre los hombres que el vicio o la virtud" Jose Maria Morelos y Pavon.

No hay raza inferior; solo hay sujetos inferiores
Bendita se la muerte, porque a nadie le concede lo que no les da a todos los demas;alabada sea la muerte que se yergue piadosa ante el hombre que ha cumplido su deber.
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Re: [Resuelto]El Asunto Siria

Mensaje por ivan_077 el Abril 13th 2016, 02:04


A refugee describes being persecuted by ISIS and Al Qaeda — and what it was like 'to go behind the sun' in Assad's Syria

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Apr. 11, 2016, 7:08 AM 4,227
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hassan alkhdar pharmacy
Courtesy Rabe Alkhdar
A doctor in front of Rabe's family's pharmacy after it was destroyed in the war.

Only one of Rabe Alkhdar's brothers came back alive from a Syrian prison.

"My mother was wailing by that time," Rabe, a Syrian refugee now living in the US, recalled in an interview with Business Insider late last month.

"She asked Hassan how he could be sure that his brother had died."

He was describing the moment he said his brother Hassan emerged from one of Syrian President Bashar Assad's most infamous prisons, Tadmor, and told his mother that his brother Hameed had been killed inside.

"He told her that after he was beaten and hung, the guards returned the body and threw it on top of Yunus," Rabe continued. "They left both bodies there for two days. Hassan had to watch his brother lay there dead for two days. We only got Hassan back, and Hameed's death certificate. It's now been three years since we lost him."

Years later, Rabe finds himself 6,000 miles away. After months of harrowing experiences, he sought and found refuge. But in a story typical of the destruction and displacement of the Syrian civil war, Rabe is still waiting to be reunited with his family.

'His name was Yunus'
Two of Rabe's brothers, Hassan and Hameed, were arrested in 2012 for helping to treat protesters injured while demonstrating against the Assad regime, Rabe said. Both had gone to pharmacy school, and they had their own shop in Aleppo where they sold medicine.

Rabe said they were detained for two months in the regime's notorious Tadmor prison in Palmyra, the city that was recently retaken from the Islamic State by Assad's Syrian Arab Army.

Tadmor
Wikimedia Commons
Tadmor prison was located in the deserts of eastern Syria, about 124 miles northeast of Damascus (Tadmor, or Tadmur, is the Arabic name for Palmyra). Tadmor prison was known for its harsh conditions, extensive human-rights abuse, torture, and summary executions. It was captured and destroyed by ISIS in May.

"One day my brothers were called to treat a victim at his home," Rabe said. "They went to the given address and were trying to do it quietly. They knocked on the door but nobody answered, and they felt that something was wrong. Suddenly they were surrounded by Assad's intelligence forces and were captured."

He continued: "As detainees, they were beaten with batons and cables. The interrogators used braided electrical cords to beat them across their backs and neck, and batons to beat them on the bottom of their feet in Tadmor. The agents promised to release them if my family paid them a ransom, so we paid $9,000 to get both of them back. But Hassan was also forced to make a deal. He had to promise to collect information for the regime about doctors and pharmacists working in Syria's medical aid networks."

Hassan betrayed his captors and fled to Turkey after he was released, Rabe said. But his brother Hameed was killed inside the prison.

"We gave them all the money, and only one of my brothers walked out of Tadmor," Rabe said. "We waited and waited for my other brother. No one came. We looked at Hassan and he could not speak. My mom hurried to hug him, and she begged him to tell her about her other son. Hassan just cried uncontrollably. She insisted for him to tell her right then."

tadmor
Militant website via AP, File
This photo released May 30 by a militant website, which has been verified and is consistent with other AP reporting, shows Tadmur prison, destroyed by the ISIS in Palmyra (Tadmur in Arabic), Homs province, Syria.

He began to explain.

"He told us that while he was in prison, there was a young boy being detained in their cell along with six others. His name was Yunus. Yunus was sick all the time. One day, he suddenly fell to the ground. He got up and stumbled across the cell and fell to the floor again. He lay there on the ground curled in a ball. Yunus seem epileptic."

Hassan said Yunus had been in the prison for a month because his family was poor and couldn't pay for his release. He was not allowed any medication for his condition, and, Hassan recalled, "on that day his health seemed to fail him all together."

"Hassan ran over to the boy. He found him huddled against a stone wall. His face was buried in his arms, which were resting on drawn-up knees. Hameed tried to hold Yunus' head up because he knew that he was about to have another seizure. At first he did not understand anything Yunus was saying. It was as if he were speaking some unknown language. Yunus continued to make his plea, but nothing but gibberish came out."

palmyra recapture
SANA/Handout via Reuters
A flag belonging to ISIS fighters seen on a motorbike after forces loyal to Assad recaptured Palmyra.

By Hassan's recollection, Hameed sat down on the cement floor with Yunus and held him while he had a seizure.

"Yunus shook so violently that my brother was barely able to protect his body from banging into the cement wall," he said. "His eyes rolled back into his head. Then the guards came."

The guards, Hassan recalled, demanded that Hameed let Yunus go and leave him on the ground. But Hameed refused to leave him by himself. A few moments later Yunus collapsed and lost consciousness.

"The guards grabbed my brother and left this child to suffer alone from his seizure. Within a few long moments Yunus was dead."

Not long after, Hameed was dead, too. After trying to get out of the guards' grip to reach Yunus after he collapsed, Hameed was dragged out of the cell and hanged.

'You will go behind the sun'
"There's a saying in Syria that if you do something wrong, if you defy the government, you will 'go behind the sun,'" Rabe said. "In other words, you will be arrested and then just disappear. No one goes to Assad's prisons without being tortured."

More than half of Syria's population has fled or been killed since the war erupted in March 2011. The vast majority have died simply for being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Barrel bombs dropped by regime helicopters on civilian targets in rebel-held areas have killed more than 20,000 people, mostly civilians, in five years.

Thousands more have been tortured and killed in the regime's prisons, a practice the United Nations deemed "extermination as a crime against humanity."

The Islamic State, also known as ISIS, ISIL, or Daesh, and Al Qaeda's affiliate group in Syria, known as Jabhat al-Nusra, have also ruled parts of Syria with an iron fist, but far fewer Syrians have been killed by the jihadist groups than by the government and its allies.

Members of Rabe's family, scattered across Syria, often found themselves in the crosshairs of the militant groups. His father and his brother Mazen were captured and detained by al-Nusra in November 2013 and released unharmed shortly thereafter, he said. They now live in a village on the Turkish-Syrian border.

Rabe
Courtesy Rabe Alkhdar
Rabe's brother Mazen with his son in Turkey.

Rabe said his uncle Ahmad was killed by the Islamic State in March 2013, along with his cousin Hasan. They were charged with treason "for helping infidels move from one area of Aleppo to another" in 2013, Rabe said.

The Free Syrian Army, an umbrella organization made up mostly of moderate rebel groups backed by Western countries, kicked ISIS out of Aleppo later that year, Rabe said. But before the jihadists fled, they killed all of their prisoners.

Still, when asked whom his own family had suffered from more, Rabe was unequivocal.

"Both [ISIS and Assad] are hideous," Rabe said. "But my family suffered most from the regime side."

'I don't know what freedom is'
Rabe's family left Syria in the revolution's earlier days, before the refugee crisis began in earnest and when it was easier to seek and be granted asylum in neighboring countries.

"By January 2014, my whole family had left Syria," Rabe recalled. "Now they are scattered across Turkey, Jordan, Germany, and the UAE."

Months after the war erupted, Rabe, his wife, and their two young boys fled to Saudi Arabia, where Rabe, a trained pharmacist, found work with a company that sent some of its employees to a conference hosted in a different country every year.

Rabe
Courtesy Rabe Alkhdar
Rabe with his sons, Majd and Baraa. Majd means "glory" in Arabic. Baraa means "innocence."

"I've been to Spain, Austria, South Africa, and Australia for this conference. Last year it was supposed to be in the US, so I got a tourist visa," Rabe said after providing Business Insider with the relevant documents as proof of his legal status.

The conference was canceled, but he kept his tourist visa — which proved useful when, in January 2015, he lost his job in Saudi Arabia and was unable to renew his pharmacy license.

"My manager in Saudi Arabia was an Assad supporter from Latakia," Rabe said, referring to the hometown of the embattled Syrian president at the center of the war. "And he knew my history — I left Syria in 2011 after participating in a demonstration against the regime, and I continued to protest in front of the Syrian consulate in Jeddah" in Saudi Arabia.

With few options, then, Rabe said he left his family in Saudi Arabia and came to the US using his tourist visa.

"I didn't have any place else to go," Rabe said. "I came here in February [2015], and my only choice was to apply or asylum and try to get my wife and kids here."

Syrian refugee children play near their families residence at Al Zaatari refugee camp, in the Jordanian city of Mafraq, near the border with Syria, November 29, 2015. REUTERS/ Muhammad Hamed
Thomson Reuters
Syrian refugee children playing near their families' residence at Al Zaatari refugee camp, in the Jordanian city of Mafraq, near the border with Syria.

In November, US President Barack Obama committed to taking in 10,000 refugees from Syria in 2016. It was five times the number permitted by the US in the five years since the war broke out, creating the biggest refugee crisis the world has seen since World War II.

Rabe moved to Washington, D.C. As of this article's publishing, he was still waiting for his and his family's asylum claims to be processed.

He keeps in touch with his family and friends via WhatsApp, Skype, and Facebook. His Facebook page offers a glimpse into his life before the war — photos of him and his brothers at soccer games, his trips to Sydney and Cape Town, his boys playing with iPads.

Now he uses it to post videos of the war's atrocities and photos of his sons draped in the revolution's flag.

rabe
Courtesy Rabe Alkhdar
Majd and Baraa, draped in the flag of Syria's revolution.

He is under no illusion that his family will ever be reunited in Aleppo. The war will rage on, he believes, as long as Assad remains in power.

"I can't see an end to this war, and no one is helping to solve the root of the problem, which is Assad," Rabe said. "Assad is the head of the snake."

The embattled president recently said in an interview that he didn't think it would be difficult to form a coalition government with members of the opposition and that he would call for new elections if that is what the Syrian people wanted.

Rabe laughed at the notion, saying he had never voted because there was no use in it.

"I don't know what voting is. I don't know what freedom is," he said.

Then, he began to cry.

"Since moving to the US, I've met many Americans who ask me what it was like growing up under that dictatorship. They then say they 'can't imagine' what it must have been like, that they were born free and will die free."

"I've never experienced that," he said, with a sad smile. "I will never experience that."
http://www.businessinsider.com/syrian-refugee-isis-al-qaeda-assad-2016-4?nr_email_referer=1&utm_content=PoliticsSelect&utm_medium=email&utm_source=Sailthru&utm_campaign=BI%20Politics%202016-04-12&utm_term=Politics%20Select

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"No hay mas diferencia entre los hombres que el vicio o la virtud" Jose Maria Morelos y Pavon.

No hay raza inferior; solo hay sujetos inferiores
Bendita se la muerte, porque a nadie le concede lo que no les da a todos los demas;alabada sea la muerte que se yergue piadosa ante el hombre que ha cumplido su deber.
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