Syria

Yarmouk: from refugee to “death” camp

Submitted by SJW on 6 June, 2018 - 12:09 Author: Simon Nelson
Yarmouk

Before the Syrian civil war the Yarmouk district on the outskirts of Damascus was home to almost 150,000 registered Palestinian refugees. It was probably the largest and most well-developed refugee settlement in the world; it was certainly the biggest in Syria.

In May 2018 the last Daesh fighters who had occupied the camp, along with other Syrian rebels, were driven out. The area now stands in ruins and is completely uninhabitable. There are plans for the complete redevelopment of southern Damascus, and the former camp residents may find themselves excluded.

Comments

Submitted by Jams O'Donnell on Sun, 10/06/2018 - 18:39

"The livelihoods and rights the Palestinians once had in Yarmouk have been annihilated" and "Suggestions that Palestinians might be moved out to scrubland rather than returned to the area are clearly not unfounded" - clearly they are as yet "unfounded" unless there is further information which you have not included here.

Are you trying to suggest that this was Assad's fault? If so you don't explain why Assad would change from being "one of the most pro- Palestinian of regional leaders" to something else.

Submitted by Jason Schulman on Tue, 12/06/2018 - 16:29

Assad has a hell of a lot of Palestinian blood on his hands. See:

Victims Table

Special Reports

and

Press Releases

Submitted by Michael Karadjis (not verified) on Wed, 13/06/2018 - 07:47

The article is completely weird. The claim that most Palestinians in Yarmouk supported the regime is false; obviously, like any other group, they were divided, but the general sympathies of Yarmouk Palestinians to the people in revolt all around them (who often enough were relatives and friends) has abundant evident evidence. Most of the
Palestinian armed groups are pro-regime, because obviously they were the one's allowed to operate - a list is little more than the same list of organisations that Assad father spawned to split the PLO in the 1980s in Lebanon (PFLP-GC etc). The exception was the local cadres of Hamas who have been pro-opposition all along. The article also dishonestly conflates ISIS (which seized the camp in 2015, years after Assad's siege began) with the rebels. That is not to say all rebels acted well, as some didn't; or that Palestinians were thrilled with the FSA entering the camp, knowing it would result in Assad destroying them; but the regime's repression in the camp began before the rebels
entered, due to the activities of Yarmouk Palestinians as part of the civil uprising in solidarity with their Syrian brothers and sisters. And Assad was anything but one of the most pro-Palestinian leaders in the region: no other Arab leader has so much Palestinian blood on its hands, and that is long before 2011 and the siege and destruction of Palestinian camps in Syria.

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Syria, Chemical weapons, and bombing

Submitted by SJW on 25 April, 2018 - 11:26 Author: Colin Foster
syria solidarity campaign

On 14 April the USA, Britain, and France made air-strikes which, so the US says, disabled some of the Syrian government’s chemical-weapons sites.

US Defence Secretary James Mattis described the operation as a “one-off”, and in fact further substantial military action by the USA and its allies seems unlikely in the near future in Syria, where Russia, Iran, the Assad government which Russia and Iran support, and Turkey in some areas, control most of the territory (bit.ly/syria-t).

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Douma atrocity is a sign of Assad's victory

Submitted by SJW on 10 April, 2018 - 8:36 Author: Simon Nelson
Victim of the chemical attack

After nearly seven years of unrest and civil war in Syria, Assad’s chemical attack on the civilian population trapped in Douma, a city near the capital Damascus, no longer seems shocking; it was the action of a regime that is able to kill and maim with impunity.

Comments

Submitted by Jason Schulman on Thu, 12/04/2018 - 20:16

First, it should be noted that the US has bombed Syrians -- ISIS, other groups, AND civilians -- 13,000+ times in the past 3 1/2 years, and also deployed 2,000+ troops. The Assad Squad seems to not know of this.

Secondly, the idea that the only choices available in Syria are Assad or the "rebels" is not true. We should be aware of Syrian democratic local councils, however beleaguered they are:

Syrian Local Councils

Submitted by SJW on Sun, 22/04/2018 - 18:16

In reply to by Jason Schulman

What are the chances of those councils playing any decisive role in the current situation?

I'm in favour of solidarity with democratic, secular and left wing forces in Syria but it seems to me that they are an incredibly weak part of any opposition to Assad or HTS or AQ or other Islamist rebels.

Submitted by guenter on Sun, 22/04/2018 - 12:30

it is not proofed that the assad-regime did it. u urself mention, that a Regime who has the Situation under control and won against the "rebels" (aka IS) has no reason to do so. once again, AWL did fall for the Imperialist war Propaganda and joins in.

Submitted by SJW on Sun, 22/04/2018 - 18:26

In reply to by guenter

Who did it then? Why can't the OPCW go into Douma and investigate?

Assad wants to crush dissent and let the opposition know he isn't going to tolerate them. This sends a message that he is in control and that there is no point carrying on trying to stop him. Just because it doesn't make military sense doesn't mean he didn't do it.

The AWL has no illusions in the opposition but it is very simplistic to suggest the only opposition to Assad is Daesh.

If it's anti-imperialist and therefore good to defend Assad then we've got a long way to go to explain what opposition to imperialism should look like. Do you think the US, France and the UK want to start a war in Syria? Putin has been conducting a war in Syria for some years now. Can we oppose that?

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The Morning Star on the Douma massacre, Russia, and Israel

Submitted by martin on 10 April, 2018 - 3:38 Author: Martin Thomas

The Morning Star's editorial of 10 April 2018 shows how perception of world affairs can be skewed by the Star's fixed insistence on seeing Russia (even way-post-USSR, blatantly capitalist Russia) as the good guy, and Israel as the world's prime source of evil.

Israel did a bombing raid against Assad on 8 April after the Douma massacre of 6 April, says the Star... as a ploy to divert attention from the killings in Gaza.

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Afrin cannot be ignoredSJWWed, 28/03/2018 - 17:30

Kurdish forces retreated from Afrin in northern Syria on 19 March after Turkey seized control of the centre of the city.
On 25 March Turkish state media said they had full control of the city and were now “sweeping for landmines and IEDs to allow citizens to return.”

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Turkey out of Afrin!
Kurdish protest
SJWWed, 14/03/2018 - 14:09

Lively and disruptive protests took place on Sunday 11 March at Kings Cross and Manchester Piccadilly rail stations, blocking the track in Manchester and closing King’s Cross.

They have pushed the Turkish military assault on Kurdish-held Afrin in Syria back into the headlines.
While a siege on the enclave of Eastern Ghouta has dominated much press coverage, what has happened in Afrin has been just as brutal.

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Syria: massacre in Ghouta

Submitted by Matthew on 28 February, 2018 - 10:42 Author: Simon Nelson

Almost 400,000 people are trapped in Eastern Ghouta, the last enclave on the outskirts of Damascus that is still not under the control of Bashar al-Assad’s Syrian regime.

The UN Security Council has asked for a month-long ceasefire and for a humanitarian corridor to be opened up to allow civilians to leave. Putin, on whose army and air support Assad has relied, has instead called for a daily five-hour “humanitarian pause”

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Kurdish leader arrestedMatthewWed, 28/02/2018 - 10:17

Salih Musleem was formerly the co-president of the Kurdish Democratic Union Party, the political arm of the Kurdish Peoples Protection Units (YPG), in Syria.

He was invited to take part in a conference on the Middle East, but was arrested in a hotel in Prague by Czech security forces following a request from the Turkish Government.

He has now been released.

The Turkish government accused Musleem of being a terrorist.

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Defend migrants, defend free movement, fight for socialism!MatthewWed, 14/02/2018 - 14:14

Look around the world. Look at EU migrants who have made the UK their home now wondering how long they can stay and on what terms, all under the threat of Brexit. If they want to stay, they will have to apply for “settled status”. 1.2 million UK citizens living in other EU member states face similar anxieties.

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Stop the Turkish assault on Afrin!

Submitted by SJW on 25 January, 2018 - 12:39 Author: Simon Nelson
Afrin

Turkey’s incursion and bombing campaign in Kurdish controlled area of Afrin is a worrying escalation in a prolonged stand-off on the Syrian border.

Erdogan’s hostility to the expanding territory now under the control of Kurdish forces has been held back by the support of both Russia and the US for the Kurdish forces. But as relations have thawed between Turkey and Russia, the dynamic has changed.

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