“The commission found reasonable grounds to believe that government forces and the Shabbiha had committed the crimes against humanity of murder and of torture, war crimes and gross violations of international human rights law and international humanitarian law, including unlawful killing, torture, arbitrary arrest and detention, sexual violence, indiscriminate attack, pillaging and destruction of property,” said the 102-page report by the independent investigators led by Paulo Pinheiro.
Since the beginning of anti-government protests in March 2011, Syrian authorities have subjected tens of thousands of people to arbitrary arrests, unlawful detentions, enforced disappearances, ill-treatment, and torture using an extensive network of detention facilities, an archipelago of torture centers, scattered throughout Syria.
BackChannels experience suggests that if it’s called what it is — “war p___n” — it will attract a lot of viewers, such are the low desires of the world when it comes to deliberately seeking artless depictions of sex and violence. the above URL links to a video of a young man who wears a tire around his chest while receiving a beating.
A UN inquiry has found “massive evidence” that the Syrian president, Bashar al-Assad, is implicated in war crimes as the latest reported death toll in the country’s civil war reached 126,000.
Navi Pillay, the UN’s human rights chief, said a commission of inquiry into human rights violations in Syria “has produced massive evidence … [of] very serious crimes, war crimes, crimes against humanity” and that “the evidence indicates responsibility at the highest level of government, including the head of state.”
Omar first heard about the graffiti at morning recess. It was winter, he was 14, in the middle of 10th grade, and his friends said it was just a prank. The day before, just after school, a handful of Omar’s classmates found some red paint and scrawled, “Your turn doctor,” on the school’s wall. Under most circumstances, in most places, such behavior might provoke a slap on the wrist — perhaps a stern visit from the police. But in Daraa, Syria, in February 2011, those words could get you killed.
The local secret police soon arrested 15 boys between the ages of 10 and 15, detaining them under the control of Gen. Atef Najeeb, a cousin of President Bashar al-Assad.
In a gloomy interrogation room the children were beaten and bloodied, burned and had their fingernails pulled out by grown men working for a regime whose unchecked brutality appears increasingly to be sowing the seeds of its undoing.
(New York) – The Russian–Syrian coalition committed war crimes during a month-long aerial bombing campaign of opposition-controlled territory in Aleppo in September and October 2016.
The Violations Documentation Center, a Syrian civil monitoring organization, documented that the bombing campaign killed more than 440 civilians, including more than 90 children. Airstrikes often appeared to be recklessly indiscriminate, deliberately targeted at least one medical facility, and included the use of indiscriminate weaponssuch as cluster munitions and incendiary weapons. Satellite imagery that Human Rights Watch analyzed shows more than 950 new distinct impact sites consistent with the detonation of large high explosive bombs across the area during the month.
The good news for Moscow is that Russian operations in Syria have provided effective advertising for Russian military hardware. Back in March, Vladimir Putin boasted that Russian arms sales in 2015 had exceeded US$14 billion, and prospective foreign orders had reached US$56 billion. (As a caution, SIPRI’s arms transfer database, which measures the value of delivered goods, lists a 2015 exports figure of less than US$10 billion).
Everyday online, BackChannels swims through a kaleidoscopic assortment of news-related e-mails, Facebook posts, tweets, reports, articles, and opinions — actually, the day begins with reading out of an old fashioned hardcover book (the latest – an autobiography by Stanislav Lunev) — and over time, the particles of reality sort themselves into sensibility.
The sensibility here today: Assad incubated ISIL; Assad, unable to blackmail or goad the west through “Assad vs The Terrorists“, has long chosen to follow his own dictate: “Assad, Or We Burn It“; Putin, intent on both a KGB and Imperial Era revanche — the best of both his worlds, perhaps — has with Assad and Khamenei pursued that path that would defend and display “medieval (and totalitarian) political absolutism” and reintroduce the democratic open societies to barbarism while destabilizing the same through the encouragement of extremist (Far Right and Far Left) political discord.
On the receiving end of that murderous ambition: a mother and her seven-year-old daughter using Twitter to reach out to the world.
BackChannels often returns to check on its posts to see if new information has changed the message. In this instance, the “AlabedBana” account appears to have been suspended. Hypotheses: al-Assad’s Syrian State closed the account; Bana Alabed and her mother are gone; Twitter, for security, suspended the account. Off the field and unable to either investigate or get an honest answer from Damascus — Moscow, Damascus, and Tehran speak with twisted tongues at best — there are no answer, only a melancholy and blank mystery in the Twitterverse.
Russia has been directly and repeatedly accused of war crimes at the UN security council in an unusually blunt session, as hopes of any form of ceasefire were flattened by the scale and ferocity of the Syrian regime’s assault on eastern Aleppo.
The war crimes accusations centred on the widespread use of bunker-busting and incendiary bombs on the 275,000 civilians living in the rebel-held east of the city, weapons that Moscow’s accusers say were dropped by Russian aircraft.
The complaint against Mashaal was not directed at Hamas rocket attacks on Israel, but at alleged war crimes Hamas perpetrated against the Gazan population.
The complaint alleged that on August 22, 2014, Hamas “executed 18 so-called collaborators who had been convicted of no crime,” including “publicly execut[ing] seven of these ‘collaborators.’” Moreover, the complaint said that on July 28, 2014, Hamas summarily executed 20 Gazan civilians for engaging in anti-war protests against its rule in the Strip.
“Rather than falsely accusing Israel,” the letter continued, “one might have expected that as the executive head of the UN, you would have admitted responsibility of the UN for such abuse of its facilities, and instituted a thorough inquiry as to how and why UNRWA facilities were placed at the disposal of the Hamas terror organization, how and why the UN officials responsible for such facilities permitted this situation to occur, and why those rockets and other weapons that were discovered in such facilities were transferred to Hamas, for their continued use against Israel’s citizens.
“In permitting the storage of weapons, and in transferring such weapons into the hands of Hamas,” the letter asserted, “the UN has in fact permitted itself to become accessory to the commission of war crimes.”
The above passage has been added to the piece on this blog titled “United Nazis Workers Relief Agency (UNRWA)”, which appears to have been abused by Hamafia and Associates, and that to allowing its budget and facilities to abet the terrorist organization with its assaults against Israelis and, in essence by way of its tactic of putting noncombatants and civilian assets directly in the line of fire, Gazans as well.
On YouTube, “TeachESL” noted (two days ago), “the man at 0:53 says: “We do not want Palestine or something. We want them to get us out here. We ask for Israeli citizenship, we do not want the right of return, we have sold Palestine. We do not even know anything about Palestine! We do not want Mahmoud Abbas. There are 1 billion and 300 million Muslims and they can do nothing! If there were even a single Israeli child in the Yarmuk camp, the problem would have been solved a long time ago.”
So what may the Jews do, whether of Israel or the Diaspora?
I know: these are the sworn enemies of Israel, determined to overlook the defeat of Arab armies in a war of annihilation (of the Jews, period) in 1948; brainwashed to believe the Land of Israel magically, innately Arab when the ground itself tells of the continuance presence of Jewry on the land for more than 3,000 years and beyond; and trained by anti-Semitic image, lies (like “The Protocols”), by bombastic and narcissistic and manipulative power to hate Jews and erase Judaism, which is more a world to discover than extinguish, and a good and great world at that. And yet there they are, the residents of Yarmouk Camp, trapped between a tyrant and his equally tyrannical opponents.
Neither Bashar al-Assad nor al-Nusra could give a flying crap about what they — no one else, not Israelis, not Russians, not Americans, God forbid — are doing to the humanity they have overrun and subjugated for the amusement of their own immense and unbridled egos.
Jews have stood against that kind of tyranny since the Exodus from Egypt, and whether in fact or in our heads makes no difference.
Jewish ethical universalism, whether joined by hand-wringing Christians or forward-looking Islamic Humanists, cannot today — and as too many among the powerful may do — look away from Yarmouk Camp.
The twisted rhetoric of The Palestine Chronicle (the fulcrum for that in language behavior splits loyalty away from integrity) notes the following:
There is no doubt that the Yarmoukian Palestinians are in Syria because of a historic injustice imposed upon them by a settler-colonial enemy that does not spare any effort to exacerbate their suffering and prolong their exile. However, this indisputable historic occurrence should not blind us from the fact that independent of what Israel has planned to increase Palestinian suffering, the party responsible for the current crisis (and here I must reiterate my emphasis on the word ‘current’) is the brutal and inhuman Syrian regime and its leader Bashar El-Assad.
It’s late in the day but welcomed, if with a grain of salt, nonetheless.
* * *
In the Yarmouk camp, more than 55 people have died from hunger and the majority of children are suffering from malnutrition, according to Abdullah al-Khatib, a Palestinian activist living there. Most people are consuming soup made from water and spices, Khatib said, and some are reportedly eating grass for survival.
Reminder: Russian President Vladimir Putin means to keep Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in business (possibly unless or until he runs out of money or his sponsor in Tehran, that kindly smiling white bearded sower of sorrows, does — and that’s not going to happen in the foreseeable future).
* * *
I have long believed that that I’d engage Gideon Levy’s discourse in its disingenuous Israel-bashing facet, and so I might do so here with suggestion that the IDF — who else? — magically and miraculously transport the Yarmouk Camp to someplace peaceful like Judea and Samaria.
Bar’el was restrained as he referred to Yarmouk as resembling a World War II ghetto, and even this description fell on deaf ears. Only 20,000 people remain in the camp, where 150,000 lived before the civil war. Only the weak and helpless remain – to live in destruction under siege. The rest have suffered their second expulsion . . . . After the terror of Yarmouk, Israel should show a measure of humanity. It should try to save the 20,000 besieged residents – natives of this land, remember – and declare that its gates are open to them to reunite with their families.
Although the Al-Monitor article confines itself to telling of the in-solidarity feelings inspired between Fatah and Hamas and pro-Palestinian groups, that I’ve played up this story tells that our barriers may not be as strong as we believe.