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Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Casualties of War: Syrians driven from their homes into seeking refugee status in Turkey and other neighboring countries

Thousands of Syrians on Turkish border

More than 80,000 of those fleeing Syria have found asylum in Turkish camps. Last week it was reported that the influx of displaced Syrians prompted Turkey to close its borders to those without passports. However, Monday Turkey assured the UNHCR that the borders remain open.
Nevertheless, Syrian refugee camps in Turkey are simply overloaded. Ankara has announced plans to erect four new camps to house 40,000 more refugees, but fears are that over 400,000 spaces may be needed. The border posts already face a backlog of some 8,000 Syrian refugees.
"All the children have diarrhoea and there is very little medicine. Only one doctor for over 5,000 people," Syrian refugee Hassan Leali told Reuters Thursday. Leali and his 13-member family fled violence in Aleppo to get stuck at the border. But there is no thought of going back.
Last week, Turkey put forward a suggestion to create a 20km wide buffer zone in Syria for humanitarian reasons.  The offer received sharp criticism internationally and from Syrian authorities.
A buffer zone is definitely something Turkey needs to establish to avoid major problems at its border,” political analyst Paolo Raffone explained to RT. “This will be a way to establish a limited no-fly zone on the area necessary to protect refugees. At the same time we will be at the beginning of an intervention which would be masked under this humanitarian emergency.”
Despite the negative international reaction, Ankara is still expected to raise the plan at the UN Security Council.
Russia's Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov (R) shakes hands with prominent Syrian opposition leader  Michel Kilo (L) as they meet in Moscow.(AFP Photo /  Alexander Zemlianichenko)04.09, 19:4419 comments

Quest for peace: Russia continues contacts with Syrian opposition

Moscow said on Tuesday that it is willing to continue contacts with influential figures in the Syrian opposition in an effort to quell violence in the Arab Republic.
Syria unrest
Syria's army tank (AFP Photo / STR)03.09, 19:41128 comments

France warns of 'massive' response if Syria uses chemical weapons

The West will retaliate harshly if the Syrian army deploys chemical weapons, France’s foreign minister said Monday. Damascus vowed not to use its chemical arsenal against its own people, but left the option open in the event of a foreign invasion.
Syria unrest
Abdulbaset Sieda, far left, and an unidentified member of the oppositional Syrian National Council (SNC) attend a meeting of the board of the council in the Stockholm suburb Hasselby, on August 31, 2012. (AFP Photo/Leif R Jansson)03.09, 01:2624 comments

Syria’s opposition SNC to reform, expand

The Syrian National Council, an umbrella organization bringing together a diverse group of opponents to the Assad government both inside and outside Syria, has announced that it is to expand and become more representative.
Syria unrest
Blast in Damascus on September 2, 2012 (image from Twitter/@KKSyria). Video courtesy of Alikhbaria Syria02.09, 15:209 comments

Twin bombings targeting security service buildings rock central Damascus

Twin blasts have rocked the Abu Rummaneh district in central Damascus. The explosions targeted the offices of the Syrian military's joint chiefs of staff.
Syria unrest
British Foreign Secretary William Hague speaks at a press conference on the situation in Syria on August 30, 2012 at United Nations Headquarters in New York. The Fabius and Hague urged for more UN resources to be allocated to the Syrian refugees currently displaced by the civil war. (AFP Photo/Stephen Chernin)31.08, 02:5653 comments

France and UK ‘not ruling out’ Syrian no-fly zone

Britain and France are "not ruling out" the possibility of enforcing a no-fly zone over Syria. However, UK Foreign Secretary William Hague says such a move would require military intervention, and is unlikely to get past the UN Security Council.
Syria unrest
(AFP Photo / HO / LCC Syria). Video courtesy: Dunya TV28.08, 05:5146 comments

Ban Ki-moon urges immediate investigation into 'Daraya massacre' (GRAPHIC VIDEO)

The UN Secretary General has condemned “the appalling and brutal crime” in the town of Daraya, calling for an inquest into the reported killing of more than 300 people over the weekend. Neither side fighting in Syria has claimed responsibility.
Syria unrest
Workers dressed in protective gear prepare a chemical bomb for destruction at a special facility in Russia's Urals town of Shchuchye.(REUTERS / Handout)21.08, 15:2018 comments

Syria has no Russian-made chemical weapons

Russia has never supplied chemical weapons to Syria, a senior Russian official in charge of chemical weapons safety stated on Tuesday.

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