"And I have found both freedom and safety in my madness, the freedom of loneliness and the safety from being understood, for those who understand us enslave something in us. But let me not be too proud of my safety. Even a Thief in a jail is safe from another thief. "
Khalil Gibran (How I Became a Madman)
Khalil Gibran (How I Became a Madman)
Saturday, June 30, 2018
Friday, June 29, 2018
A secret meeting that is alleged to have taken place between a senior military adviser to Syria’s president, Bashar al-Assad, and top Italian officials has come under scrutiny from human rights organisations.
Italy’s decision to host the clandestine meeting violated EU rules, the European Centre for Constitutional and Human Rights (ECCHR) has claimed.
In its legal complaint, filed against Italy at the European commission, the ECCHR has alleged a meeting took place in early 2018 between Ali Mamlouk, the head of Syria’s national security bureau, and Marco Minniti, a former intelligence chief who was serving as Italy’s interior minister at the time. It claimed the meeting violated an EU travel ban that was put in place against Mamlouk in 2011. Italy’s head of intelligence, Alberto Manenti, also allegedly attended.
Initial unconfirmed reports in February stated that Italy had provided Mamlouk with a private jet to fly to Rome, but the alleged meeting was not officially recognised or announced. The ECCHR stated in its complaint that it had “received confirmation about the visit and the meetings by several government officials as well as journalistic sources”.
Thursday, June 28, 2018
Four Fronts in the De-Escalation Zone: Who Fights with Whom in Syria at the Present Time- South Front
Who to be Friends with, Who to Kill
İnşaat devi Lafarge'a 'IŞİD'e ödeme yaptığı' gerekçesiyle 'insanlığa karşı suça ortaklıktan' dava- Sputnik News
Suriye'deki faaliyetlerini sürdürebilmek için aralarında IŞİD'in de bulunduğu terör gruplarına haraç verdiği ileri sürülen Fransız çimento devi Lafarge hakkında soruşturma açıldı.
French cement giant Lafarge was charged Thursday with complicity in crimes against humanity and financing terrorists for paying millions to jihadists, including the Islamic State group, to keep a factory open in war-torn Syria.
The company, whose Syrian subsidiary paid the armed groups through middlemen, has also been charged with endangering the lives of former employees at the cement plant in Jalabiya, northern Syria.
Lafarge, which has since merged with Swiss firm Holcim, immediately said it would appeal the charges.
French rights group Sherpa, one of the plaintiffs in the case, said it was the first time that a parent company anywhere in the world had been charged with complicity in crimes against humanity.
The allegations are the most serious against a French company in years.
A panel of three judges in Paris ordered Lafarge to hand over 30 million euros ($35 million) to authorities as a security deposit ahead of the trial.
Eight former executives, including ex-CEO Bruno Laffont, have already been charged with financing a terrorist group and/or endangering the lives of others over Lafarge's activities in Syria between 2011 and 2015.
Several hundred Syrian refugees who fled the war ravaging their country and took refuge in the border town of Arsal are expected to return back to their hometowns in the Qalamoun Mountains located northeast of the Syrian capital Damascus.
A number of Syrian vehicles and pickup trucks had transported around 400 refugees from Wadi Hmayyed in Arsal --reportedly hosting around 61,000 displaced Syrians-- after having requested permission from the Lebanese and Syrian governments.
It's the first batch of refugees to return to Syria from Arsal.
A refugee managing the return of the refugees has registered the names of those willing to go home and delivered them to Lebanon’s General Security forces which in return completed the preparations,
He said only a few hundred have voiced the desire to go back to their hometowns, explaining that living in refugee tents and sheltering from the searing sun in summer and cold weather conditions in winter was difficult.
The repatriation comes amid a row between the Lebanese government and the U.N. refugee agency. Beirut accuses the agency of trying to discourage refugees from returning home, accusations the UNHCR rejects.
Prime Minister-designate Saad Hariri reassured Thursday that the cabinet formation process is “inching closer to a solution” and that “every party will get the right share.”
“We will soon reach a solution regarding the government and I'm still optimistic. All parties want the government to be formed. There are things that we haven't managed to resolve but we are inching closer to a solution and every party will get the right share,” Hariri said after pre-scheduled talks with President Michel Aoun in Baabda.
He also denied reports that a 24-minister Cabinet is being mulled as a possible solution.
As for his relation with Aoun, Hariri noted that “the Constitution is clear regarding government formation as well as the powers of the prime minister.”
“President Aoun and I are in agreement on all minor and major issues,” Hariri emphasized, dismissing recent media reports.
“The settlement with President Aoun is still ongoing and I will do everything needed to protect it for the sake of the country. Whoever tries to manipulate this settlement will be in a confrontation with the president and the premier-designate,” Hariri warned.
Wednesday, June 27, 2018
Progressive Socialist Party leader Walid Jumblat on Wednesday accused the international community and the Arab League of “handing over” the southern Syrian province of Daraa to the Syrian regime.
“What a sad and tragic coincidence. After the peaceful uprising that Daraa's children staged seven years ago, and after legendary resilience in the face of the regime of brutality, the so-called international community and the futile Arab League are handing over Daraa to the jailer of torture, arrests, disappearances and murder,” Jumblat tweeted.
“Long live the resilience of Daraa's children,” he added.
Deadly air strikes pounded rebel-held towns across southern Syria on Wednesday, as relief groups sounded the alarm over a Russian-backed push for the region and its main city Daraa.
The south is meant to be protected by a ceasefire put in place last year by Russia, Jordan, and the United States, but Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has set his sights on retaking the area.
Tuesday, June 05, 2018
A Russian force that deployed on Syria's border with Lebanon has reportedly withdrawn and been replaced by Syrian troops.
The Lebanon-based Al-Mayadeen TV, which has reporters throughout Syria, says the Russian force withdrew Tuesday from the border area on the outskirts of the town of Qusair, a stronghold of the Lebanese Hibzullah group. Russia and the Iran-backed Hizbullah are both fighting alongside Syrian President Bashar Assad's forces.
Al-Mayadeen and the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said Russian troops had deployed to the area on Monday. Neither provided details as to why they left.
As part of coordinating efforts to counter a controversial naturalization decree granting Lebanese citizenship to foreigners, lawyers of three political parties met on Tuesday at the Kataeb headquarters in al-Saifi, the National News Agency said on Tuesday.
Lawyers from the Kataeb party, Lebanese Forces and Progressive Socialist Party held talks to discuss the law that is yet to be disclosed.
Kataeb chief MP Sami Gemayel headed the meeting.
It comes one day after the same parties dispatched delegations to the interior ministry asking for a copy of the decree which raised criticism.
After the meeting Gemayel said: “Kataeb MPs have met with Interior Minister Nouhad al-Mashnouq yesterday who issued a statement saying the decree will be announced in 48 hours and the names to be granted the citizenship will be disclosed. We hope to get an answer tomorrow.”
Gemayel said getting a copy of the decree is a “priority so that we can study it and give an opinion about it. In order to take any legal or constitutional step we need to have the full text and names.”