Gay Syrian refugee murdered in Turkey


Murdered Syrian refugee Wisam Mohammed Sankara

Translated from Turkish daily Cumhuriyet, 3 August 2016:

Syrian gay refugee murdered by beheading in Istanbul

Syrian gay refugee Wisam Mohammed Sankara left his house in Aksaray street, Istanbul, Yenikapı quarter,the night of July 30. The next day he was found dead. Because of beheading, Wisam’s body had become unrecognizable. The perpetrators have not been caught yet.

[A friend of Wisam’s said:]

“Saturday night 30th oF June Wisam went out of the house. We already were nervous because of threats in the environment. We told him not to go, but a 15-20 minute walk on the street should be possible, he said. He did not come home all night. The next day we could not find Wisam, which distressed us. We went to the Solidarity with Asylum Seekers and Migrants Association (ASAM-STEP). They directed us to the police department. How can we get safety, as even they did not know what to say?”

Flatmates of gay Syrian refugee beheaded in Turkey fear they will be next. Three friends of Wisam Sankari, who was killed in a homophobic attack in Istanbul last week, say they have received death threats: here.

CIA-funded Syrian ‘moderate rebels’ behead 12-year-old sick child


This video from the USA says about itself:

CIA And Pentagon Arming Opposite Sides In Syria

1 May 2016

Syria is an unbelievable mess, and the US military-industrial complex is only making it messier. The CIA is arming one faction, the Pentagon is arming another, and they’re now fighting each other. Who’s side are we on? Do we even know? Cenk Uygur, host of The Young Turks, breaks it down. Tell us what you think in the comment section below.

“Syrian militias armed by different parts of the U.S. war machine have begun to fight each other on the plains between the besieged city of Aleppo and the Turkish border, highlighting how little control U.S. intelligence officers and military planners have over the groups they have financed and trained in the bitter five-year-old civil war.

The fighting has intensified over the last two months, as CIA-armed units and Pentagon-armed ones have repeatedly shot at each other while maneuvering through contested territory on the northern outskirts of Aleppo, U.S. officials and rebel leaders have confirmed.

In mid-February, a CIA-armed militia called Fursan al Haq, or Knights of Righteousness, was run out of the town of Marea, about 20 miles north of Aleppo, by Pentagon-backed Syrian Democratic Forces moving in from Kurdish-controlled areas to the east.”

Read more here.

By Bill Van Auken in the USA:

21 July 2016

A horrific video circulated on social media records an incident in the Syrian city of Aleppo in which so-called “rebels” of the Nour al-Dine Zinki Islamist militia cut off the head of a young boy they had captured on Tuesday. The executioner is seen holding the boy down on the bed of a pickup truck, sawing away at his neck with a small, dull knife and then holding the severed head in the air in triumph after the deed is done.

… Those who carried out this savage killing either are, or at least were until recently, armed by and on the payroll of the US Central Intelligence Agency.

The murdered child, identified as Abdullah Issa, was just 12 years old. His captors claimed that he was a fighter with Liwa al-Quds (Al Quds Brigade), a Palestinian militia fighting on the side of the Syrian government.

Liwa al-Quds, however, issued a report saying that he was not one of their fighters but rather the child of a poor refugee family, who was taken hostage in the Handarat Palestinian refugee camp in northern Aleppo. The boy, who appears dazed, had apparently been taken while receiving medical treatment, as an intravenous drip attached to his arm is visible in the video.

In the video, one of the child’s tormentors can be heard shouting, “We’ll leave no one in Handarat!” This is apparently a threat by the militia to “ethnically cleanse” the camp of its Palestinian population. Liwa al-Quds described the grisly execution of the child as “cheap and despicable revenge” by the jihadists for losing a battle for control of the area.

In a statement, Nour al-Dine al-Zinki’s leadership formally condemned the barbaric murder of the child, while claiming it represented “individual errors that represent neither our typical practices nor our general policies.”

The video itself, however, shows a number of the group’s fighters cheering on the beheading and recording the tormenting of the boy and his execution on their cell phones.

Moreover, the incident comes just two weeks after Amnesty International, the London-based human rights group, issued a report titled “Armed opposition groups committing war crimes in Aleppo city.” In addition to Al Qaeda’s Syrian affiliate, the al-Nusra Front, and three other Islamist militias, the report accuses Nour al-Dine Zinki (named first in the report) of having “carried out a chilling wave of abductions, torture and summary killings” in Aleppo and elsewhere in northern Syria. It further charges the US and its regional allies with arming and supporting these groups, which operate with impunity.

The Obama administration’s response to this atrocity has been ambivalent at best. Asked whether the execution of the child “would affect assistance” to the group responsible, State Department spokesman Mark Toner responded that “if we can prove that this was indeed what happened and this group was involved in it, I think it would certainly give us pause.”

Pressed as to what consequences it would have in terms of US support, Toner sidestepped the question: “I can’t say what that consequence will be, but it will certainly give us, as I said, serious pause.”

According to a December 2014 report by the McClatchy news organization, Nour al-Dine Zinki was one of the only CIA-backed groups not to be cut off as the al-Nusra Front began making serious gains, either absorbing these militias or seizing their weapons.

According to McClatchy, the CIA was paying the salaries of the Nour al-Dine Zinki fighters at the rate of $150 a month. The militia was also the recipient of US TOW anti-tank missiles manufactured by the Raytheon Company, in addition to so-called “non-lethal” supplies.

The savage murder of young Abdullah Issa is a grim exposure of the real character of the forces described by the Obama administration as the “moderate opposition”—and by its pseudo-left apologists as Syrian “revolutionaries.”

Like Al Qaeda before them, they are a Frankenstein’s monster created by US and Western imperialism and unleashed upon the people of Syria and the broader region to achieve definite strategic aims by means of regime-change.

See also here.

Don’t be fooled by reports that al-Qaeda and Nusra have split for the good of the suffering Syrian people. Turn it into a respectable army of “moderates”, give it a spanking new name, and then the Americans and Russians will stop bombing the daylights out of it and Qatar’s loyal militia will destroy the Assad regime and… Well, if that happened, Qatar would control the future of Syria: here.

War against Isis: US-led coalition accused of killing civilians using ‘scorched earth policy’ in Syria: here.

Washington escalates covert backing for Al Qaeda militias in Aleppo: here.

The Nusra Front’s adoption of the new name Jabhat Fateh al-Sham and claim that it has separated itself from al-Qaeda was designed to influence US policy, not to make the group any more independent of al-Qaeda: here.

Fifteen years after launching a “global war on terror” in the name of wiping out Al Qaeda, Washington is arming and funding its associates in Syria to counter Russia: here.

“Human rights” propaganda campaign paves way for military escalation in Syria: here.

‘NATO air force killing hundreds of Syrian civilians’


This video says about itself:

20 July 2016

This is footage from earlier this month inside a US plane bombing the city of Manbij on the north of Halab, Syria. Yesterday, bombs like this from planes like this killed over 100 civilians in Manbij who were simply trying to flee the fighting. Women, men, children, elderly. 11 children killed according to reports, probably many more than that in fact.

Translated from Dutch NOS TV today:

In a letter, the [Syrian opposition] group writes that recently hundreds of civilians, mostly women and children, were killed in bombings in Manbij, in northern Syria. “Families are buried under the rubble caused by the bombing by the International Coalition“, the opposition writes. Yesterday alone 56 civilians are said to have been killed in attacks in the region. …

Hundreds of people die, but the international community is silent.”

See also here. And here.

A U.S-led coalition in Syria has killed more than 100 civilians since June and wounded dozens more in airstrikes in and around the ISIS-controlled city of Manbij, according to several human rights groups: here.

U.S. AIRSTRIKE UNDER REVIEW AFTER REPORTEDLY KILLING OVER 70 CIVILIANS IN SYRIA “US airstrikes on a Syrian village have killed at least 73 civilians, a majority of them women and children, activists say, in the deadliest coalition attack on non-combatants since the start of the bombing campaign against the Islamic State.” [The Guardian]

Airstrikes by the American-led war coalition killed as many as 212 civilians in Syria’s northern province of Aleppo on Tuesday, according to estimates published Thursday by Al Jazeera: here.

U.S. Silent on Up to 95% of its Civilian Killings in Syria: here.

FRENCH President Francois Hollande claimed yesterday that he did not know whether his country’s air force had killed 125 civilians by bombing a Syrian village on Tuesday: here.

In a new US atrocity in Syria, American warplanes on Thursday bombed a market in the ISIS-controlled village of al-Ghandour near the northern city of Manbij, killing at least 28 civilians, including seven children: here.

THE WORLD PAID ATTENTION TO THIS PHOTO OF A SYRIAN CHILD But not these seven. [NYT]

‘Moderate’ Syrian paramilitarists behead 12-year-old child


This video from Syria says about itself:

This morning in North Aleppo (19.07.2016), the “rebels” praised that they have caught a Palestinian child (13) who is in their words, an “Assad soldier.” The child’s head is cut off!! The footage of the brutal murder of a child: Warning [for cruel content]: here.

UPDATE: the boy’s age was 12.

From the BBC today:

Syria conflict: Rebels ‘filmed beheading boy’ in Aleppo

2 hours ago

Videos have emerged online that appear to show Syrian rebels taunting and then beheading a boy they say is a captured Palestinian pro-government fighter.

One video shows five men posing with the frightened child, who could be as young as 10, in the back of a truck. One of the men grips him by the hair.

The same man is later filmed apparently cutting the boy’s head off.

The incident is reported to have taken place in Handarat, north of Aleppo, where there has been heavy fighting.

The area is the location of the unofficial Palestinian refugee camp of Ein El Tal, which was home to some 7,000 people before they were displaced by armed groups in 2013. …

The footage of the boy, who some on social media identified as “Abdullah Issa”, first appeared online on Tuesday morning.

The men in the first video say he is a fighter from Liwa al-Quds (the Jerusalem Brigade), a Palestinian pro-government militia operating in the Aleppo area.

Enab Baladi, a pro-opposition news website, said the boy was captured in Handarat by members of a local rebel group, the Nour al-Din al-Zinki Movement. …

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a UK-based monitoring group, also said that there had been violent clashes between pro-government forces and rebels in the vicinity of Handarat on Tuesday, and that it had received a copy of a video showing fighters killing a boy they had captured.

A report published by the human rights group Amnesty International earlier this month detailed a series of violations allegedly committed by Nour al-Din al-Zinki Movement fighters, including abductions and torture.

The group is reported to have benefited from financial and military support from the US, UK, France, Turkey, Qatar and other Gulf Arab states in the past.

United States ‘anti-ISIS’ bombs kill 56 Syrian civilians


This photo shows civilians who fled Manbij settling in areas of Syrian Kurdistan (Rojava), June 19, 2016. (Photos: Reuters/Rodi Said)

From Associated Press today:

Airstrikes on ISIS-Held Villages in Syria Kill 56 Civilians

Bassem Mroue

(BEIRUT) — Airstrikes on ISIS-held villages in northern Syria killed at least 56 civilians on Tuesday as intense fighting was underway between the militants and U.S-backed fighters, Syrian opposition activists and the extremist group said.

Residents in the area blamed the U.S.-led coalition for the strikes that targeted two villages, Tokhar and Hoshariyeh, … activists said. …

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said at least 56 civilians, including 11 children, were killed in the strikes on the villages, which also wounded dozens. Another activist group, the Local Coordination Committees, said dozens of civilians, mostly families, were killed.

The ISIS-linked Aamaq news agency claimed 160 civilians — mostly women and children — were killed in Tokhar alone, in a series of purportedly American airstrikes around dawn Tuesday.

The reports and the disparate casualty tolls could not be independently confirmed because the area is inaccessible to independent media. There was no immediate comment from Washington.

Postings on a Facebook page show images of people, including children, as they were being put in collective grave, purportedly in the village of Tokhar. One photograph shows a man carrying the lifeless body of a child covered with dust while another shows a child, partly covered by a blanket, lying in a grave.

The photographs appeared genuine and corresponded to other AP reporting of the events depicted. Tuesday’s casualties come on the heels of similar airstrikes on the ISIS-held town of Manbij on Monday, when at least 15 civilians were reportedly killed.

See also here.

At least 56 civilians, including 11 children, killed by US-led coalition air strikes: here.

Turkish border guards murder Syrian refugee women, children


This video says about itself:

Stop shooting! Turkish border guards continue to shoot, beat and kill Syrian refugees – HRW

10 May 2016

Turkish border guards are continuing to shoot and abuse Syrian refugees who are crossing into the country, according to Human Rights Watch (HRW). The rights group, citing the deaths of several asylum seekers, has called on Ankara to investigate. “Firing at traumatized men, women, and children fleeing fighting and indiscriminate warfare is truly appalling,” said Human Rights Watch researcher Gerry Simpson.

From The New Arab:

Turkish troops kill nine Syrian refugees crossing the border

19 June, 2016

Nine members of one family, most of them women and children were killed on Saturday night by Turkish border guards, and eight others were injured.

The Syrian refugees were attempting to cross the border into Turkey near the town of Kherbet Eljoz, northwest of the city of Idlib, north Syria.

“Several families from the city of Jarablus, north east of the city of Aleppo and Idlib tried to cross the border on Saturday night towards Turkey,” a source from the town who wished to remain anonymous told The New Arab.

“Turkish border guards opened fire on them indiscriminately, killing nine people and wounding eight others”, he said.

“The dead are all from one family – three children, four women and a man displaced from the city of Jarablus. They fled the city when they heard the fighting near them,” according to the source.

This is not the first time that displaced Syrians have been killed by Turkish border guards.  Activists have documented the killing of at least fifty people in the past few months.

The UN and other humanitarian organisations have condemned actions taken by Turkey against Syrian refugees with Doctors Beyond Borders calling on the Turkish government to open its borders to thousands fleeing the conflict in Syria.

THE Turkish parliament passed a law on Thursday night granting impunity from prosecution to troops involved in the brutal crackdown on Kurdish cities: here.

Syrian young woman now free from ISIS oppression


Souad tramples her niqab underfoot, Reuters photo

Translated from Dutch NOS TV today:

Once ISIS fighters are expelled from a region in Syria, then one of the first things many women do is to get rid of their niqabs. Similarly, the 19-year-old Souad from the newly liberated town of Manbij in northern Syria.

ISIS was recently driven from Manbij by the Syrian Democratic Forces. According to Wikipedia, a 60% Kurdish, 40% non-Kurdish force. This secular, pro-women’s rights organisation has to deal with not only ISIS, but also with artillery fire by the Erdogan regime in NATO member state Turkey, allies of ISIS; and with violence by other jihadist paramiltaries, some of them financed by the Saudi Arabian monarchy and/or the United States CIA.

Souad tramples her niqab underfoot, Reuters photos

The young woman not only threw off her niqab, but also trampled the face-covering clothing underfoot, which is one of the worst insults in the Muslim world. For her the niqab is a symbol of the oppression by ISIS.

“I feel liberated,” says Souad, who has replaced her niqab with a headscarf. “We had to wear this. By trampling this garment, I take care of them.”

ISIS occupied Souad’s village in 2014. … Women then had to be fully covered. “People who did not adhere to the rules were punished severely. Sometimes we had to stand together for days in graves that we dug ourselves. ”

“Now we are free, we can live again,” says Souad surrounded by her family.