As the American government is contemplating on whether or not to launch an airstrike on ISIS that is threatening to destroy Iraq, reports have now surfaced that way back in 2012, the US Army had trained members of the same terrorist group in Jordan.
As per several corroborated reports, hundreds of ISIS militia were indeed trained by US instructors for covert operations to destabilize Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s government, though the training was strictly for Syria.
Back in February 2012, WND had reported that the US, with the help of Turkey and Jordan, was running a training base for Syrian rebels in the Jordan. German weekly Der Spiegel also confirmed in 2013 that the US was still training Syrian rebels in Jordan.
The report noted that the organizers of the training wore US Marine uniforms, and the training focused on the use of anti-tank weaponry. The ISIS terrorists, who now hold almost the entire north of Iraq, have quite effectively neutralized most Iraqi tank battalions put against the invading forces.
ISIS, also known as ISIL, has let loose a reign of terror both in Syria and Iraq. The group has been denounced even by Al-Qaeda for its brutality and violence.
A USA-ISIS tie-up is plausible, considering the fact how the CIA was responsible for the strengthening of Al-Qaeda in Afghanistan. It is widely reported that during the anti-Soviet war, Osama Bin Laden and his fighters received American and Saudi funding. Defence analysts strongly believe that Bin Laden himself had received security training from the CIA.
The US, which is closely monitoring the situation in Iraq, is reportedly flying F-18 surveillance missions in the country from an aircraft carrier in the Persian Gulf, officials confirmed to Fox News.
The F-18 surveillance missions are being launched from the USS George HW Bush. While the Obama administration is yet to decide on airstrikes, the US government has authorized “manned and unmanned” surveillance flights for collecting information.
Syria’s apparent use of chlorine gas as a weapon – not to mention targeting of civilians – is a plain violation of international law. This is one more reason for the UN Security Council to refer the situation in Syria to the International Criminal Court.
It’s very sad that I leave this position and leave Syria behind in such a bad state.
(Source: Los Angeles Times)
The government hopes to showcase Homs as proof that it can settle the conflict through local negotiations, obviating the need for international peace talks ahead of elections in June, which President Bashar al-Assad is widely expected to win and opponents call a charade. The country’s tourism minister even predicted “a prosperous tourist season” for the province.
Some insurgents wept and kissed the ground as they left; graffiti on a wall read, “When I leave, be sure that I did my best to stay.”
The evacuation of opposition-held parts of Syria’s Homs began on Wednesday as part of a deal that will leave all but one area of the city in regime control. Photo via @HalaJaber
Last weekend marked the third anniversary of Syria’s civil war, a conflict that has, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, claimed the lives of more than 146,000 people, at least a third of them civilians. As forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad appear to be making slow progress against rebel forces, the humanitarian crisis has grown astronomically — as many as 2.5 million Syrians have now fled the country. Fractured rebel groups continue to fight each other, as well as Assad’s troops, with civilians bearing the brunt of attack and counterattack, their neighborhoods reduced to rubble by mortar shells and barrel bombs. Gathered here are images from Syria over the past few months.
A woman comforted her baby Sunday at a hospital in the Sakhour district of Aleppo, Syria, after both were injured by what activists said was a barrel bomb. From the New York Times:
The Syrian civil war’s impact on the health of Syria’s children is far more insidious than has been widely understood, a leading children’s advocacy group reported Sunday, with large numbers dying or at risk from chronic and preventable diseases that have flourished because the country’s public health system has basically collapsed.
In a report timed to coincide with the start of the fourth year of the conflict, the group, Save the Children, said the effects of untreated illnesses on Syrian children were only partly reflected in the documented statistics. They show that at least 1.2 million children have fled to neighboring countries, that 4.3 million in Syria need humanitarian assistance and that more than 10,000 have died in the violence.
“It is not just the bullets and the shells that are killing and maiming children,” said the report, “A Devastating Toll.” The conflict, which began in March 2011, has left a “shattered health system resulting in brutal medical practices that have left millions of children suffering,” the report said.
The report asserted that “several thousands of children” had died because of greatly reduced access to treatment for diseases including cancer, epilepsy, asthma, diabetes, hypertension and kidney failure.
The basic lack of medical care, including routine vaccinations, the report said, means “increasing numbers of children are suffering and dying from diseases that would previously either have been treated or prevented from taking hold in the first place.”
The report is based partly on conclusions drawn from data that has been issued by other organizations, including the United Nations and the World Health Organization, the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control, Doctors Without Borders, and other medical research, as well as from the Syrian government.
But the report also draws on Save the Children’s own research, including interviews with Syrian children, parents and medical providers who painted what amounted to a portrait of medieval health conditions.
(Photo: Hosam Katan / Reuters via NYT)
The hundreds, or thousands, in the back of this neverending line look like they could be CGI’d. The rubble to the left hangs precipitously, like an apple in a Cezanne still-life. There is a tree in the middle of the road. But this photo was posted Wednesday by the U.N. Relief and Works Agency—it is very real. It shows a street in Damascus, Syria, on January 31, as Palestinian refugees queue for their ever-diminishing daily food ration. They’re residents of Yarmouk Refugee Camp, an unofficial camp that before Syria’s civil war was home to 150,000 Palestinian refugees, a figure that since the war has dwindled to just 20,000. They are currently besieged by Assad forces, and of late UNWRA has not even been allowed in to distribute humanitarian aid—which, on Wednesday, prompted an official to speak out and, doubtlessly, prompted UNWRA to release this photograph.