29 February 2016

Featured

The so-called ‘Islamic rape of Europe’ is part of a long and racist history

By Ishaan Tharoor via The Washington Post

Very few of the identified culprits in the Cologne attacks were themselves refugees. And countries like Poland and Hungary, while leading the conservative charge against E.U. policies that would allow in desperate Middle Eastern asylum seekers, still have minuscule Muslim populations of their own. The risk of a cultural invasion somehow contaminating their societies is, frankly, a phantasm conjured by fear-mongers.

Arab Winter: Syrian Refugees in Lebanon’s Bekaa Valley (Trailer)

via VICE News

VICE News returns to a refugee camp in the eastern Lebanese city of Al Marj, where refugees are struggling to meet their own basic needs.

Inside Syria

How the Kurds Became Syria’s New Power Brokers

By Amberin Zaman via Foreign Policy

And why Erdogan's war against them threatens to undermine his relationship with the United States and spark a civil war in Turkey.

Syria Rebels Slam Russia, Say Ready for Provisional Truce

By Associated Press via The New York Times

The main Syrian opposition group said Saturday it is ready "in principle" to implement a provisional truce, slamming Russia and the Syrian government after a deadline set for a temporary cessation of hostilities passed.

Bashar al-Assad: remember me as the man who saved Syria

By Agence France-Presse via The Guardian

President Bashar al-Assad says he wants to be remembered 10 years from now as the person who saved Syria, according to an interview with Spanish newspaper El Pais.

Nearly 130 people killed in series of bombings in Syria

By Elizabeth Palmer via CBS News

"Ceasefire Plan for Syria" by Emad Hajjaj

Nearly 130 people were killed on Sunday in a series of bombings in Syria. The attacks hit neighborhoods in cities of Damascus and Homs -- and they came as Secretary of State John Kerry announced a preliminary ceasefire.

Proxy Politics

Russia warns Assad not to snub Syria ceasefire plan

By Alexander Winning and Christain Lowe via Reuters

Asked in an interview with Kommersant newspaper about Assad's comments that he would keep fighting until all rebels were defeated, Churkin said: "Russia has invested very seriously in this crisis, politically, diplomatically, and now also in the military sense. Therefore we of course would like that Bashar al Assad should take account of that." "I heard President Assad's remarks on television... Of course they do not chime with the diplomatic efforts that Russia is undertaking.... The discussions are about a ceasefire, a cessation of hostilities in the foreseeable future. Work is underway on this."

U.S. quietly tells Russia where American troops are located inside Syria

By Andrew Tilghman via Military Times

The Pentagon told the Russian military where U.S. Special Forces are located in Syria with the hopes that Russian aircraft will steer clear of that area and not risk bombing American service members, top military officials said Thursday.

US-led strikes kill 15 civilians in northeast Syria: monitor

By AFP via Yahoo News

Strikes by a US-led coalition against the Islamic State group killed at least 15 civilians, including three children, in northeastern Syria on Thursday, a monitor said.

US Airstrikes Destroy More Than $500 Million in ISIS Cash Reserves

By Luis Martinez via ABC News

The U.S. believes that airstrikes in Iraq and Syria have destroyed more than $500 million in cash that ISIS used to pay its fighters and fund its terror and military operations.

MSF stops sharing Syria hospital locations after 'deliberate' attacks

By Kareem Shaheen via The Guardian

Hospitals in opposition-held parts of Syria are refusing to share GPS coordinates with Russian and Syrian authorities because of repeated attacks on medical facilities and workers, Médecins Sans Frontières and humanitarian workers on the ground have said.

Regional Refugees

Fridges and flour: Syrian refugees boost Turkish economy

By Nevzat Devranoglu via Reuters

Turkey's 2.6 million Syrian refugees may be straining the housing and jobs systems, but they're also fuelling economic growth. The world's largest refugee population has had a positive impact on Turkish output, economists and government officials say. It may be partly responsible for an unexpected rise in third-quarter growth and stronger forecasts for 2016 output.

How Events in Turkey Could Doom the Syrian Cease-Fire

By Teresa Welsh via US News

"Direcction Changes" by Petar Pismestrovic

Conflict with the Kurds could escalate an already tangled situation.

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