Connect with us

Latest

Analysis

News

Restoration work in Syria

The Syrians are patriotic and idealistic people, not giving up but fighting for the survival of their nation and state.

Published

on

579 Views

With the war in Syria going on for seven years, since 2011, a silver streak has appeared on the horizon as Syria’s damaged infrastructure is being restored with Russian help. Schools and factories have been built up again, school children and factory workers are gradually returning. Furthermore, thousands of Syrian volunteer organizations provide help and assistance to their countrymen in need. President Assad is still ruling, although he should have gone a long time ago, if so-called “western powers” could have imposed their will. Are these western powers waning? Maybe they are, or rather, Russia’s powers are getting stronger. Russia, Iran and Turkey want to make sure that Bashar Al Assad will remain where he is, and they have no intention of letting Syria being split into “zones of interest”. The country will not be wiped out, as was the case with Libya, bombed to rubble and ashes by Nato.

The Indian analyst M.K. Bhadrakumar thinks that “paradoxically, while Middle Eastern politics is in turmoil, the prospects for peace in Syria may have improved. (…) Russia and Iran intend to retain their military footprints in Syria for a foreseable future” (Indian Punchline, 20.11.2018). Russian military is present in the Syrian port of Tartous as well as in the airbase of Hmeimim.

Furthermore, the Russian Federation operates a reconciliation centre for humanitarian aid in Syria. It gives medical assistance at border crossings because the main efforts of the Russian military are now focused on assistance to the refugees returning to their homes. With Russian help, more than 30.000 refugees were able to return to their homes in Syria from the Idlib de-escalation zone since March this year. At the checkpoints in Abu al-Duhur, they received meals, warm clothing and medical attention by Russian doctors. The refugees returned through the human corridor to the territory controlled by the Syrian Government (TASS, 30.11.2018).

The Russian reconciliation centre also sends clothing and food to people in need, for example in the city of Aleppo. In November 2018, “humanitarian operations were conducted in the city of Aleppo. A total of 150 school backpacks with school kits were handed out to pupils in the Fatih Marashi school in the Ashaar neighborhood. As many as 150 outfits and 150 blankets were distributed among civilians in the Julub neighborhood. Apart from that, one tonne of fresh bread was handed out” (TASS, 13.11.2018).

Another humanitarian operation was conducted in the first week of December 2018. Sergei Solomatin, Head of the Russian reconciliation centre, reported that 500 bags of food were handed out to residents of Skalbiya in the Hama governorate. Apart from that, Russian military is joining Syrians in their efforts to restore infrastructure facilities in Syria. More than 30.000 residential houses, 709 educational and 117 medical facilities have been restored. A total of 927 kilometers of motorways have been repaired in Syria up to now (TASS, 08.12.2018).

Especially in the city of Aleppo, 130 damaged schools were repaired by the Syrian authorities, and 340 more schools in the eastern part of Aleppo province. Despite the ongoing war, young people need to receive education because they are important for the future of the country and will ensure its survival. A total of 1.349 schools are currently open in Aleppo. Some school buildings were almost completely destroyed during the war. Engineer Bassam Makhshur, who works on restoring schools, said that the most difficult part is clearing out debris: “The most difficult stage is the first stage – clearing out debris. Works were often halted, as we found mines under every collapsed wall, and we had to call in sappers” (TASS, 06.12.2018).

In addition, Syrian children will be able to study at cadet schools of the Russian Defence Ministry for free. The document was signed in Moscow on the 20th of September 2018. It entered into force on the 20th of October 2018. The Syrian children will pursue curricula developed for Russian cadets and receive instruction in the Russian language on a gratuitous basis. Expenses will be paid by the Russian side (TASS, 30.10.2018). In this way, the Russian Federation wants to help build up the Syrian Armed Forces so they can operate on their own in the future.

The Syrian Arab News Agency reported that hundreds of factories have returned to work in Damascus and its countryside. According to Samer Al Debs, Head of the Chamber of Industry in Damascus, 710 factories in Damascus and 90 factories in Tal Kurdi are functioning again, along with a number of small handicraft workshops in Al Sbeine and Al Qadam near Damascus. He explained that the Syrian industry faces great challenges. Laws and regulations are needed, as well as a strategic vision to promote and market Syrian industrial products. Samer Al-Debs pointed out that the situation is getting better as more areas are being restored, not to mention the re-opening of the Nassib border crossing center and starting exports (SANA, 04.12.2018).

The Syrians are very patriotic people. Many civilians are helping the Syrian and the Russian military to restore damaged facilities in Syria. As the Syrian Arab News Agency reported, they are the “very core of civil society and have an integral role as key partner in community development in the pre-and post-war periods. The concept of voluntary work in Syria has changed in order to alleviate the negative repercussions of the terrorist war waged against the country. Thus, the majority of charity events and societal activities aim to provide support and help to the martyrs’ families, the wounded army personnel, women, children, persons with disabilities, the elderlies and displaced families” (SANA, 05.12.2018).

Volunteering activities include the campaign “Together it Will Return More Beautiful” which was organized jointly by the Syria Trust for Development, the Revolutionary Youth Union, the association “Basmet Shabab Syria”, the Syrian Arab Red Crescent and the Syriac Orthodox Patriarchate of Antioch and All East. This six-month campaign helped to rehabilitate schools, health centres, public squares and streets in terror-affected areas in the countryside of Damascus and in the city of Aleppo.

Thousands of Syrian youths took part in different volunteering activities to convey a message that Syria is not giving up. The initiative “Imaar” targets youth, based on the idea of humanitarian volunteer work. Up to 600 university students benefited from 60 free training hours offered as part of the initiative. Mohammed Zafer Zanzoul, the founder of the initiative “Imaar” initiative, stressed the fact that volunteer work has been essential to support Syrian steadfastness against terrorism and war.

In the same context, Kholoud Rajab, chairwomen of the association “Jouzor” (Roots), told the press that the war waged on Syria necessitated great efforts to provide support to all Syrians confronted with difficult circumstances. She explained that her association focused on sustainable and developmental projects: providing social and psychological support; protecting children from violence, exploitation and abuse; empowering the youth; offering health services and launching a special programme to care for persons with disabilities.

According to a survey conducted by the Ministry of Social Affairs, there are 1.500 civil and non-governmental volunteer organizations operating in different Syrian provinces. This shows that the Syrians are patriotic and idealistic people, not giving up but fighting for the survival of their nation and state.

Meanwhile, on an international level, Russia, Iran and Turkey have reiterated the need to maintain Syria’s independence. They reaffirmed their strong commitment to the sovereignty, unity and territorial integrity of the Syrian Arab Republic. The joint statement was adopted at the Astana meeting on Syria and read out by the Kazakh Foreign Minister Kairat Abdrakhmanov. The guarantor countries “reaffirmed their determination to continue cooperation in order to ultimately eliminate DAESH/ISIL, Nusra Front and all other individuals, groups, undertakings and entities associated with Al-Qaeda and DAESH/ISIL as designated by the UN Security Council” (TASS, 29.11.2018).

It might still be a long and rocky road to achieve peace in Syria, but the country will not be wiped out for sure. Syria will not meet the same fate as Libya, which was heavily bombarded by Nato and the leader Muammar Gaddafi murdered in a brutal way. Bashar Al Assad, President of the Syrian Arab Republic, has a good chance of surviving the war, with Russian and Iranian help.


Olivia Kroth: The journalist and author of four books lives in Moscow.

Her blog: https://olivia2010kroth.wordpress.com

Liked it? Take a second to support The Duran on Patreon!
Advertisement
2 Comments

2
Leave a Reply

avatar
1 Comment threads
1 Thread replies
0 Followers
 
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
2 Comment authors
Olivia KrothShaun Ramewe Recent comment authors
  Subscribe  
newest oldest most voted
Notify of
Shaun Ramewe
Guest
Shaun Ramewe

The best thing is that none of the sicko ZioUS-led all-lied co-illusion false-flagging terrorist-abetting war criminals are getting a piece of it!!

Olivia Kroth, author and journalist
Member

Yes, Shaun, that is the aim. The USA should get no stronghold in Syria. They are already “present” worldwide. Enough is enough.

Latest

EXPLOSIVE: Michael Cohen sentencing memo exposes serial liar with nothing to offer Mueller (Video)

The Duran Quick Take: Episode 38.

Alex Christoforou

Published

on

The Duran’s Alex Christoforou and Editor-in-Chief Alexander Mercouris take a quick look at the Michael Cohen sentencing memo which paints the picture of a man who was not as close to Trump as he made it out to be…a serial liar and cheat who leveraged his thin connections to the Trump organization for money and fame.

It was Cohen himself who proudly labelled himself as Trump’s “fixer”. The sentencing memo hints at the fact that even Mueller finds no value to Cohen in relation to the ongoing Trump-Russia witch hunt investigation.

Remember to Please Subscribe to The Duran’s YouTube Channel.

Follow The Duran Audio Podcast on Soundcloud.

Via Axios

Special counsel Robert Mueller and federal prosecutors in New York have each submitted sentencing memos for President Trump’s former personal attorney Michael Cohen, after Cohen pleaded guilty in two different cases related to his work for Trump and the Trump Organization.

The big picture: The Southern District of New York recommended Cohen serve a range of 51 to 63 months for four crimes — “willful tax evasion, making false statements to a financial institution, illegal campaign contributions, and making false statements to Congress.” Mueller, meanwhile, did not take a position on the length of Cohen’s statement, but said he has made substantial efforts to assist the investigation.

Southern District of New York

Mueller investigation

Michael J. Stern, a federal prosecutor with the Justice Department for 25 years in Detroit and Los Angeles noted via USA Today

In support of their request that he serve no time in prison, Cohen’s attorneys offered a series of testimonials from friends who described the private Michael Cohen as a “truly caring” man with a “huge heart” who is not only “an upstanding, honorable, salt of the earth man” but also a “selfless caretaker.”

The choirboy portrayed by Cohen’s lawyers stands in sharp opposition to Cohen’s public persona as Trump’s legal bulldog, who once threatened a reporter with: “What I’m going to do to you is going to be f—ing disgusting. Do you understand me?”

Prosecutors focused their sentencing memo on Cohen as Mr. Hyde. Not only did they detail Cohen’s illegal activities, which include millions of dollars of fraud, they also recognized the public damage that stemmed from his political crimes — describing Cohen as “a man who knowingly sought to undermine core institutions of our democracy.”

Rebuffing efforts by Cohen’s attorneys to recast him as a good guy who made a few small mistakes, prosecutors cited texts, statements of witnesses, recordings, documents and other evidence that proved Cohen got ahead by employing a “pattern of deception that permeated his professional life.” The prosecutors attributed Cohen’s crimes to “personal greed,” an effort to “increase his power and influence,” and a desire to maintain his “opulent lifestyle.”

Perhaps the most damning reveal in the U.S. Attorney’s sentencing memo is that Cohen refused to fully cooperate. That’s despite his public relations campaign to convince us that he is a new man who will cooperate with any law enforcement authority, at any time, at any place.

As a former federal prosecutor who handled hundreds of plea deals like Cohen’s, I can say it is extremely rare for any credit to be recommended when a defendant decides not to sign a full cooperation deal. The only reason for a refusal would be to hide information. The prosecutors said as much in their sentencing memo: Cohen refused “to be debriefed on other uncharged criminal conduct, if any, in his past,” and “further declined” to discuss “other areas of investigative interest.”

 

Liked it? Take a second to support The Duran on Patreon!
Continue Reading

Latest

Canada to Pay Heavy Price for Trudeau’s Groupie Role in US Banditry Against China

Trudeau would had to have known about the impending plot to snatch Huawei CFO Wanzhou and moreover that he personally signed off on it.

Published

on

Authored by Finian Cunningham via The Strategic Culture Foundation:


You do have to wonder about the political savvy of Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his government. The furious fallout from China over the arrest of a senior telecoms executive is going to do severe damage to Canadian national interests.

Trudeau’s fawning over American demands is already rebounding very badly for Canada’s economy and its international image.

The Canadian arrest – on behalf of Washington – of Meng Wanzhou, chief financial officer of Chinese telecom giant Huawei, seems a blatant case of the Americans acting politically and vindictively. If the Americans are seen to be acting like bandits, then the Canadians are their flunkies.

Wanzhou was detained on December 1 by Canadian federal police as she was boarding a commercial airliner in Vancouver. She was reportedly handcuffed and led away in a humiliating manner which has shocked the Chinese government, media and public.

The business executive has since been released on a $7.4 million bail bond, pending further legal proceedings. She is effectively being kept under house arrest in Canada with electronic ankle tagging.

To add insult to injury, it is not even clear what Wanzhou is being prosecuted for. The US authorities have claimed that she is guilty of breaching American sanctions against Iran by conducting telecoms business with Tehran. It is presumed that the Canadians arrested Wanzhou at the request of the Americans. But so far a US extradition warrant has not been filed. That could take months. In the meantime, the Chinese businesswoman will be living under curfew, her freedom denied.

Canadian legal expert Christopher Black says there is no juridical case for Wanzhou’s detention. The issue of US sanctions on Iran is irrelevant and has no grounds in international law. It is simply the Americans applying their questionable national laws on a third party. Black contends that Canada has therefore no obligation whatsoever to impose those US laws regarding Iran in its territory, especially given that Ottawa and Beijing have their own separate bilateral diplomatic relations.

In any case, what the real issue is about is the Americans using legal mechanisms to intimidate and beat up commercial rivals. For months now, Washington has made it clear that it is targeting Chinese telecoms rivals as commercial competitors in a strategic sector. US claims about China using telecoms for “spying” and “infiltrating” American national security are bogus propaganda ruses to undermine these commercial rivals through foul means.

It also seems clear from US President Donald Trump’s unsubtle comments this week to Reuters, saying he would “personally intervene” in the Meng case “if it helped trade talks with China”, that the Huawei executive is being dangled like a bargaining chip. It was a tacit admission by Trump that the Americans really don’t have a legal case against her.

Canada’s foreign minister Chrystia Freeland bounced into damage limitation mode following Trump’s thuggish comments. She said that the case should not be “politicized” and that the legal proceedings should not be tampered with. How ironic is that?

The whole affair has been politicized from the very beginning. Meng’s arrest, or as Christopher Black calls it “hostage-taking”, is driven by Washington’s agenda of harassment against China for commercial reasons, under a legal pretext purportedly about Iranian sanctions.

When Trump revealed the cynical expediency of him “helping to free Wanzhou”, then the Canadians realized they were also being exposed for the flunkies that they are for American banditry. That’s why Freeland was obliged to quickly adopt the fastidious pretense of legal probity.

Canadian premier Justin Trudeau has claimed that he wasn’t aware of the American request for Wanzhou’s detention. Trudeau is being pseudo. For such a high-profile infringement against a senior Chinese business leader, Ottawa must have been fully briefed by the Americans. Christopher Black, the legal expert, believes that Trudeau would had to have known about the impending plot to snatch Wanzhou and moreover that he personally signed off on it.

What Trudeau and his government intended to get out of performing this sordid role for American thuggery is far from clear. Maybe after being verbally mauled by Trump as “weak and dishonest” at the G7 summit earlier this year, in June, Trudeau decided it was best to roll over and be a good little puppy for the Americans in their dirty deed against China.

But already it has since emerged that Canada is going to pay a very heavy price indeed for such dubious service to Washington. Beijing has warned that it will take retaliation against both Washington and Ottawa. And it is Ottawa that is more vulnerable to severe repercussions.

This week saw two Canadian citizens, one a former diplomat, detained in China on spying charges.

Canadian business analysts are also warning that Beijing can inflict harsh economic penalties on Ottawa. An incensed Chinese public have begun boycotting Canadian exports and sensitive Canadian investments in China are now at risk from being blocked by Beijing. A proposed free trade deal that was being negotiated between Ottawa and Beijing now looks dead in the water.

And if Trudeau’s government caves in to the excruciating economic pressure brought to bear by Beijing and then abides by China’s demand to immediately release Meng Wanzhou, Ottawa will look like a pathetic, gutless lackey to Washington. Canada’s reputation of being a liberal, independent state will be shredded. Even then the Chinese are unlikely to forget Trudeau’s treachery.

With comic irony, there’s a cringemaking personal dimension to this unseemly saga.

During the 197os when Trudeau’s mother Margaret was a thirty-something socialite heading for divorce from his father, then Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau, she was often in the gossip media for indiscretions at nightclubs. Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards claims in his autobiography that Margaret Trudeau was a groupie for the band, having flings with Mick Jagger and Ronnie Wood. Her racy escapades and louche lifestyle brought shame to many Canadians.

Poor Margaret Trudeau later wound up divorced, disgraced, financially broke and scraping a living from scribbling tell-all books.

Justin, her eldest son, is finding out that being a groupie for Washington’s banditry is also bringing disrepute for him and his country.

Liked it? Take a second to support The Duran on Patreon!
Continue Reading

Latest

US Commits To “Indefinite” Occupation Of Syria; Controls Region The Size Of Croatia

Raqqa is beginning to look more and more like Baghdad circa 2005.

Published

on

Via Zerohedge


“We don’t want the Americans. It’s occupation” — a Syrian resident in US-controlled Raqqa told Stars and Stripes military newspaper. This as the Washington Post noted this week that “U.S. troops will now stay in Syria indefinitely, controlling a third of the country and facing peril on many fronts.”

Like the “forever war” in Afghanistan, will we be having the same discussion over the indefinite occupation of Syria stretching two decades from now? A new unusually frank assessment in Stars and Stripes bluntly lays out the basic facts concerning the White House decision to “stay the course” until the war’s close:

That decision puts U.S. troops in overall control, perhaps indefinitely, of an area comprising nearly a third of Syria, a vast expanse of mostly desert terrain roughly the size of Louisiana.

The Pentagon does not say how many troops are there. Officially, they number 503, but earlier this year an official let slip that the true number may be closer to 4,000

A prior New Yorker piece described the US-occupied area east of the Euphrates as “an area about the size of Croatia.” With no Congressional vote, no public debate, and not even so much as an official presidential address to the nation, the United States is settling in for another endless occupation of sovereign foreign soil while relying on the now very familiar post-911 AUMF fig leaf of “legality”.

Like the American public and even some Pentagon officials of late have been pointing out for years regarding Afghanistan, do US forces on the ground even know what the mission is? The mission may be undefined and remain ambiguously to “counter Iran”, yet the dangers and potential for major loss in blood and treasure loom larger than ever.

According to Stars and Stripes the dangerous cross-section of powder keg conflicts and geopolitical players means “a new war” is on the horizon:

The new mission raises new questions, about the role they will play and whether their presence will risk becoming a magnet for regional conflict and insurgency.

The area is surrounded by powers hostile both to the U.S. presence and the aspirations of the Kurds, who are governing the majority-Arab area in pursuit of a leftist ideology formulated by an imprisoned Turkish Kurdish leader. Signs that the Islamic State is starting to regroup and rumblings of discontent within the Arab community point to the threat of an insurgency.

Without the presence of U.S. troops, these dangers would almost certainly ignite a new war right away, said Ilham Ahmed, a senior official with the Self-Administration of North and East Syria, as the self-styled government of the area is called.

“They have to stay. If they leave and there isn’t a solution for Syria, it will be catastrophic,” she said.

But staying also heralds risk, and already the challenges are starting to mount.
So a US-backed local politician says the US can’t leave or there will be war, while American defense officials simultaneously recognize they are occupying the very center of an impending insurgency from hell — all of which fits the textbook definition of quagmire perfectly.

The New Yorker: “The United States has built a dozen or more bases from Manbij to Al-Hasakah, including four airfields, and American-backed forces now control all of Syria east of the Euphrates, an area about the size of Croatia.”

But in September the White House announced a realignment of its official priorities in Syria, namely to act “as a bulwark against Iran’s expanding influence.” This means the continued potential and likelihood of war with Syria, Iran, and Russia in the region is ever present, per Stripes:

Syrian government troops and Iranian proxy fighters are to the south and west. They have threatened to take the area back by force, in pursuit of President Bashar Assad’s pledge to bring all of Syria under government control.

Already signs of an Iraq-style insurgency targeting US forces in eastern Syria are beginning to emerge.

In Raqqa, the largest Syrian city at the heart of US occupation and reconstruction efforts, the Stripes report finds the following:

The anger on the streets is palpable. Some residents are openly hostile to foreign visitors, which is rare in other towns and cities freed from Islamic State control in Syria and Iraq. Even those who support the presence of the U.S. military and the SDF say they are resentful that the United States and its partners in the anti-ISIS coalition that bombed the city aren’t helping to rebuild.

And many appear not to support their new rulers.

We don’t want the Americans. It’s occupation,” said one man, a tailor, who didn’t want to give his name because he feared the consequences of speaking his mind. “I don’t know why they had to use such a huge number of weapons and destroy the city. Yes, ISIS was here, but we paid the price. They have a responsibility.”

Recent reports out of the Pentagon suggests defense officials simply want to throw more money into US efforts in Syria, which are further focused on training and supplying the so-called Syrian Democratic Forces (or Kurdish/YPG-dominated SDF), which threatens confrontation with Turkey as its forces continue making preparations for a planned attack on Kurdish enclaves in Syria this week.

Meanwhile, Raqqa is beginning to look more and more like Baghdad circa 2005:

Everyone says the streets are not safe now. Recent months have seen an uptick in assassinations and kidnappings, mostly targeting members of the security forces or people who work with the local council. But some critics of the authorities have been gunned down, too, and at night there are abductions and robberies.

As America settles in for yet another endless and “indefinite” occupation of a Middle East country, perhaps all that remains is for the president to land on an aircraft carrier with “Mission Accomplished” banners flying overhead?

Liked it? Take a second to support The Duran on Patreon!
Continue Reading

JOIN OUR YOUTUBE CHANNEL

Your donations make all the difference. Together we can expose fake news lies and deliver truth.

Amount to donate in USD$:

5 100

Validating payment information...
Waiting for PayPal...
Validating payment information...
Waiting for PayPal...
Advertisement

Advertisement

Quick Donate

The Duran
EURO
DONATE
Donate a quick 10 spot!
Advertisement
Advertisement

Advertisement

The Duran Newsletter

Trending