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AP News : Syrian refugee women face sexual exploitation

Women and children make up 80 percent of the 1 million Syrian refugees in Lebanon. They are crammed into cheap apartments, garages and unfinished buildings in towns around the country. The poorest live in informal tent encampments that dot the countryside.

Measures of the extent of sexual exploitation are difficult to come by since women are reluctant to come forward with complaints of abuse for fear of stigma.

But in one sign of their vulnerability and desperation, prostitution has increased significantly in Lebanon, said a police officer in the country’s vice squad. As of July, 255 people, mostly Syrian women, have been arrested this year on prostitution charges, more than the 205 who were arrested during all of 2013, said the officer, who spoke on condition of anonymity in line with police regulations.

It’s gotten to the point where you hope to die.





Shades Of Syria: Fears Maliki Will Follow The Assad Model In Iraq




Reports: U.S. Army Trained ISIS Members In 2012 To Destabilize Syria

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.



NPR: In One Map, The Dramatic Rise Of ISIS In Iraq And Syria



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.
Lakhdar Brahimi, United Nations and Arab League Special Envoy to Syria, announced his resignation on Tuesday.

(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

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