Douglas Murray 4 May 2013 9:00 AM 4 May 2013 9:00 AM Share Twitter Facebook LinkedIn Email Whatsapp It is more than ten years since I first sat down with members of the Syrian opposition. Back then they included real moderates, but even these didn’t predict a bloodless transition. ‘We will have to unite the country against the Alawites,’ I remember one saying, referring to the minority from which the Assad dynasty comes. ‘Kill them?’ I asked nervously. ‘Or chase them into the mountains,’ he replied. Now, more than two years into the Syrian civil war, there may still be some Alawites but, as Paul Wood points out opposite, there are hardly any moderates. What good opposition elements there were have been killed, have fallen away or otherwise become insignificant since calls for outside help began. By now even the most ardent interventionist hawk must have come to the same conclusion: the time to intervene in Syria, if … [Read more...] about If there was ever a time to intervene in Syria, it has passed
Humanitarian intervention in syria
© AP Photo / Syrian Civil Defense White HelmetsWhite Helmets Should Be Put on UN Terrorist List - Russian EnvoyGrigoriev noted that according to multiple witnesses, including members of the White Helmets, the organization was also involved in looting wounded individuals in Syria, especially women, as well as plundering stores and damaged buildings. "Sometimes we came to help, entered a flat, and, if we found gold or jewelry, seized it," Grigoriev quoted a White Helmets member in Douma. "In one flat, there was a woman who felt ill, we came to help her, found some gold and stole it." Members of the White Helmets in Saqba also reported about the extensive system of corruption and theft among sponsors in the organization. Referring to the information provided by a White Helmets member, Grigoriev said the leaders of the organization took for private gain parts of donations they received. … [Read more...] about White Helmets Engaged in Looting, Human Organ Trafficking in Syria
Melanie McDonagh 10 September 2018 1:50 PM 10 September 2018 1:50 PM Share Twitter Facebook LinkedIn Email Whatsapp To be honest, it’s hard to think of a report by a select committee that is so well-meaning as the one issued today by the Foreign Affairs Committee, headed by Tom Tugendhat, or one that’s more misguided. The gist is that Britain’s non-intervention in Syria has been disastrous for Syria itself and for its neighbours, from Lebanon to Turkey. And the moral is that if humanitarian intervention has a price, so too has non-intervention. As the report says: ‘There has been a manifest failure to protect civilians and to prevent mass atrocity crimes in Syria. This failure has gone beyond the heavy toll paid by the Syrian people to the surrounding region, and had repercussions in Europe and the UK. It is the committee’s view that this failure derives principally not from the actions taken by the international community but … [Read more...] about The myth of ‘humanitarian intervention’ in Syria
Jeremy Hunt has rejected a call from the foreign affairs select committee to set up an independent inquiry into the consequences and reasons for the British government’s refusal to intervene in the Syrian war. In a letter to the committee, the foreign secretary – who voted for UK military intervention in 2013 – said no purpose could be served by holding an inquiry, adding that the circumstances that led MPs to vote to reject military action were well understood. But he said “we may have emboldened the regime and encouraged other countries to intervene more forcefully on the side of the Syrian regime” by not intervening. Hunt said he also agreed that decisions not to intervene militarily warranted discussion, since they can have as serious consequences as a decision to become involved. Some MPs on the committee are frustrated by the lack of debate about the British approach to Syria, and the extent to which the UK approach to foreign policy, and the … [Read more...] about Hunt rejects request for inquiry into UK non-intervention in Syria
Just weeks after scoring a major military victory in the south, Syria's President Bashar al-Assad appears set to fully open a new, more complex, front in the country's war - now in its eighth year. The key northwestern Idlib province is the Syrian opposition's last major bastion in the country. It is currently home to nearly three million people, half of whom are internally displaced, and encloses what was once a major commercial highway linking Syria to Turkey and Jordan. Along with sharing a border with Turkey, Idlib is adjacent to Latakia province, a Syrian government stronghold that is home to the biggest military airbase of its major ally, Russia. Idlib's strategic importance is what makes a government-led assault imminent, experts say, and its capture would put the vast majority of the country under Assad's control. Still, several scenarios may unfold in Idlib, given the direct presence of Turkey which backs certain rebel groups in the area and operates as a guarantor power to … [Read more...] about What may unfold in Syria’s Idlib and why is a ‘bloodbath’ likely?