Civil War

Isis kidnaps dozens of women and children as it makes desperate last stand in Syria

Around 90 women and their children were among the hundreds of civilians captured from a camp for displaced people in the eastern Syrian province of Deir ez-Zor, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. Richard Hall Independent Isis fighters have kidnapped dozens of women and children in the eastern Syrianprovince of Deir ez-Zor, where the group is making a desperate last stand. The captives were among some 250 civilians taken from the al-Bahra displacement camp, near the town of Hajin, after Isis fighters stormed the area on ... Read More »

World has been slow to wake up to Saudi depravity

It’s reassuring to see that the Western world still has the capacity to be outraged at the abuse of human rights. Specifically, a government that appears to have murdered a journalist. Peter Hartcher Brisbane Times The Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi walked into a Saudi consulate in Turkey two weeks ago. He was a critic of the Saudi dictator and living outside his home country for his safety. By setting foot in a Saudi diplomatic property to pick up marriage papers ... Read More »

Russia and Turkey Will Collide Over End of Syrian Civil War

This is Washington’s chance to repair ties with Ankara to counter Moscow and Damascus. Gabriel White and Bogdan Belei The National Interest At the beginning of August, the Syrian military planes flew over the northwestern province of Idlib and dropped leaflets urging residents to surrender and threatening military action. It was the latest example of how Bashar al-Assad and his forces have ignored de-escalation agreements and continue a full-scale offensive against their opposition. The city of Idlib—the only majoropposition-held territory left ... Read More »

Prospects for a Deal to Stabilise Syria’s North East

Much of north-eastern Syria has been safe during the civil war. ICG But in the event of U.S. military withdrawal, a mad scramble for control could be unleashed. Washington and Moscow should help their respective allies in Syria reach a decentralisation deal for the area. What’s new?  In March 2018, President Donald Trump announced his intention to withdraw U.S. forces from north-eastern Syria and suspended stabilisation funding for the area. His senior foreign policy advisers provided somewhat discordant views. These ... Read More »

Saving Idlib from Destruction

Numerous signs point to an imminent Syrian regime offensive to recapture Idlib, the largest remaining rebel-held area. ICG To ward off another humanitarian calamity, Russia, Iran and Turkey should immediately convene talks to extend the truce and seek other ways of removing Idlib’s jihadist hard core. What’s new?  The Syrian regime and its allies look on the verge of attacking the country’s north-western governorate of Idlib, the last remaining stronghold of the armed rebellion, saying they must root out the ... Read More »

South Sudanese rebels ‘approve’ peace deal with government

The final peace agreement between the government and rebels will be formally signed at a summit of regional leaders. AlJazeera South Sudanese rebels have approved a peace deal with Juba that is expected to be formally signed at a summit of regional leaders. Sudan’s Foreign Minister Al-Dirdiri Mohamed Ahmed, who is mediating the negotiations, said rebels had signed a key document aimed at ending the country’s devastating five-year civil war on Thursday. “By signing this document today, we have reached ... Read More »

Russia Considers Its Next Moves in Syria

The Syrian civil war has entered a new phase since the government takeover of Daraa and Quneitra in the country’s southwest. Stratfor Now, for the first time in the conflict’s seven-year history, all meaningful territory in Syria is either under the direct control of loyalist forces or subject to a significant foreign presence. The Syrian Democratic Forces and allied U.S. troops control the northeastern portion of the country, while Turkish troops are embedded in northern Aleppo province and Idlib province, ... Read More »

Burning Cameroon: Images you’re not meant to see

A man calmly sets fire to a house, watched by a group of at least 12 men dressed in fatigues, helmets, and black webbing consistent with those worn by an elite army unit in Cameroon. BBC “I want to die,” a village chief tells his tormentors as they beat and threaten to kill him. They appear to be members of a separatist militia. Captured on video and shared widely on social media, these are among dozens of clips that have ... Read More »

More time needed to achieve peace, South Sudan rebels say

JUBA (Reuters) – South Sudanese rebels said on Thursday that more time is needed to secure lasting peace in the country and it would be necessary to address the root causes of a civil war. Denis Dumo “There is no shortcut to peace,” the group said in a statement after peace talks in Ethiopia between its leader Riek Machar and President Salva Kiir, the first time the two men had met since… SPLM/SPLA (IO) said the solution to the five-year ... Read More »

Families leaving Eastern Ghouta take prize possessions

Families who have left Damascus neighbourhood for Idlib tell of taking their most precious possessions with them. Arwa Ibrahim AlJazeera Abu Jawad was among thousands of Syrians who left their homes and underground shelters in the shrinking rebel enclave of Eastern Ghouta to one of the last remaining rebel-held areas in northwest Syria. With dozens of daily convoys of buses making the 320km journey to the Idlib province since late March, families have been forced to take only the… Families leaving Eastern… Read More »

American Students Aren’t Learning The Full Truth About Slavery

Students often get only a superficial view of the atrocity that built the country, a new study finds. By Rebecca Klein HuffPost American students are being taught an inadequate and often sanitized version of history when it comes to slavery, according to a new report. The report, from the Southern Poverty Law Center, looks at how slavery is  presented in K-12 classrooms and found that students are often taught a deeply incomplete version of events. Students learn inspirational stories ― about figures ... Read More »

Turkey Starts Jihad on Syrian Kurds

In October of last year, the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), backed by the United States, liberated the city of Raqqa from the Islamic State (ISIS) in a major defeat for the collapsing jihadist army that had proclaimed it to be the capital of its caliphate. Uzay Bulut Providence Four months later, NATO member Turkey has opened a military campaign in the Syrian region Afrin against the same Kurds who led the fight against ISIS. The campaign appears to have jihadi expansionist ... Read More »

Syria war: Row over Turkey using German-made tanks

The German government is facing calls to halt arms exports to Turkey after reports emerged that German-made Leopard tanks were being used in an offensive against the Kurdish YPG. BBC Some German politicians have requested that any moves to approve a tank upgrade deal be halted. Turkish-led forces began an assault in Syria’s north-west on Saturday. The row comes just weeks after the two countries’ foreign ministers vowed to improve bilateral ties. Relations between the two Nato members have soured ... Read More »

Yemen civil war: Norway suspends arms sales to UAE as part of ‘precautionary line’

There is “great concern” over the humanitarian crisis in the Arab world’s poorest country, says Foreign Minister Ine Eriksen Soreide Jan M. Olsen Independent AP Norway has suspended exports of munitions and arms to the United Arab Emirates as a “precautionary line,” based on its assessment of the situation in Yemen. A Saudi-led coalition including the UAE has been fighting Shia rebels in the country for nearly three years. Foreign Minister Ine Eriksen Soreide said she had “no information” that any of Norway’s military exports have been used in Yemen, but that there’s ... Read More »

‘A way of healing’: Art and memory in Latin America

More than 20 years have passed since the civil war ended in Guatemala and Chile returned to democracy, but the impact of extreme state violence is still keenly felt. BBC As part of a BBC radio series on protest art in Latin America, Louise Morris travelled to both countries and asked if there was a role for art both to demand justice and collectively memorialise those lost. A woman sits centre stage reading aloud. At regular intervals a dentist enters ... Read More »

Discord in Yemen’s North Could Be a Chance for Peace

Since August, a public rift has surfaced between the two main partners on the northern front of Yemen’s war – the forces loyal to the Huthis and Ali Abdullah Saleh. ICG Rather than fostering its rivals’ discord, key powerbroker Saudi Arabia should seize this rare chance to resolve the two-and-a-half year war by championing a new regional initiative. 1. Overview A public rift between Ali Abdullah Saleh’s General People’s Congress party (GPC) and the Huthis (aka Ansar Allah) may change ... Read More »