Syria

Mass grave found in last Islamic State bastion - SDF | Reuters
Another IS mass grave found on the final stages of the battle against them 'East of the Euphgrates'. Believed to be many females, mostly decapitated and the SDF are trying to confirm they are the Yazidi sex slaves IS kept:
A mass grave containing the bodies of dozens of people who may be Yazidis enslaved by Islamic State has been found in territory recently seized by the U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), an SDF official said on Thursday.

Many of the bodies found in the Baghouz area were those of women. “They were slaughtered,” SDF commander Adnan Afrin said. Most had been decapitated, he added. The SDF was still trying to confirm if the bodies belonged to members of the Yazidi sect.
It also looks like an operation was undertaken to release 24 SDF soldiers held by IS:
It said earlier on Thursday that it had freed 24 of its fighters held by Islamic State in Baghouz but gave no details about how they were recovered.
 
Syria urges people at camp in U.S.-protected area to return home | Reuters
Despite the hardship presented in the refugee camps near al Tanf in a (current) US 'demilitarisation zone', where people were driven from their homes by IS or the civil war, not many want to leave and return to Assad's govt controlled areas. Now Assad's govt want them to return to their homes:
“The Syrian state will offer all facilities to move those citizens from the camp to their places of residence,” state news agency SANA quoted a Syrian foreign ministry source as saying.

Rukban lies inside a “deconfliction zone” set up by U.S. forces. Moscow and Damascus say U.S. troops are illegally occupying Syrian territory and providing a safe haven for rebels, and have been pushing for them to leave the area.

The U.S.-protected zone has encouraged many of Rukban’s inhabitants to stay rather than go back to their homes in areas under government control, where many fear conscription into the Syrian military.
The US says they have not and will not stop anyone leaving and have asked Assad's govt to allow humanitarian aid through, yet despite the hardships and Russia saying they will be opening 'humanitarian corridors', so far they don't appear to want to leave:
The United States has said it has not impeded and will not impede the movement of people who want to leave the camp.

It has also said it will not force anyone to leave, saying a process of “safe, voluntary and dignified departures” should be closely coordinated with the United Nations.

Washington has also called on Damascus to allow unhindered U.N. humanitarian access to Rukban, and it welcomed an aid delivery in early February.

Earlier this month, Russia said it was opening two corridors on the camp outskirts for those who wanted to leave.
 
Haven't read it yet but I bet the usual suspects will be vicky Pollarding for all they're worth.
 
Haven't read it yet but I bet the usual suspects will be vicky Pollarding for all they're worth.
Thanks:
9.9 The analyses indicated that the structural damage to the rebar-reinforced concrete terrace at Location 2 was caused by an impacting object with a geometrically symmetric shape and sufficient kinetic energy to cause the observed damage. The analyses indicate that the damage observed on the cylinder found on the roof-top terrace, the aperture, the balcony, the surrounding rooms, the rooms underneath and the structure above, is consistent with the creation of the aperture observed in the terrace by the cylinder found in that location.

9.10 At Location 4, the results of the studies indicated that the shape of the aperture produced in the modulation matched the shape and damage observed by the team. The studies further indicated that, after passing through the ceiling and impacting the floor at lower speed, the cylinder continued an altered trajectory, until reaching the position in which it was found.

9.11 Based on the analysis results of the samples taken by the FFM from the cylinders, their proximity at both locations, as well as the analysis results of the samples mentioned under paragraph 2.6, it is possible that the cylinders were the source of the substances containing reactive chlorine.19

9.12 Regarding the alleged use of toxic chemicals as a weapon on 7 April 2018 in Douma, the Syrian Arab Republic, the evaluation and analysis of all the information gathered by the FFM—witnesses’ testimonies, environmental and biomedical samples analysis results, toxicological and ballistic analyses from experts, additional digital information from witnesses—provide reasonable grounds that the use of a toxic chemical as a weapon took place. This toxic chemical contained reactive chlorine. The toxic chemical was likely molecular chlorine.
 
Thanks:
9.9 The analyses indicated that the structural damage to the rebar-reinforced concrete terrace at Location 2 was caused by an impacting object with a geometrically symmetric shape and sufficient kinetic energy to cause the observed damage. The analyses indicate that the damage observed on the cylinder found on the roof-top terrace, the aperture, the balcony, the surrounding rooms, the rooms underneath and the structure above, is consistent with the creation of the aperture observed in the terrace by the cylinder found in that location.

9.10 At Location 4, the results of the studies indicated that the shape of the aperture produced in the modulation matched the shape and damage observed by the team. The studies further indicated that, after passing through the ceiling and impacting the floor at lower speed, the cylinder continued an altered trajectory, until reaching the position in which it was found.

9.11 Based on the analysis results of the samples taken by the FFM from the cylinders, their proximity at both locations, as well as the analysis results of the samples mentioned under paragraph 2.6, it is possible that the cylinders were the source of the substances containing reactive chlorine.19

9.12 Regarding the alleged use of toxic chemicals as a weapon on 7 April 2018 in Douma, the Syrian Arab Republic, the evaluation and analysis of all the information gathered by the FFM—witnesses’ testimonies, environmental and biomedical samples analysis results, toxicological and ballistic analyses from experts, additional digital information from witnesses—provide reasonable grounds that the use of a toxic chemical as a weapon took place. This toxic chemical contained reactive chlorine. The toxic chemical was likely molecular chlorine.
Wait, I'm confused. Did or did not a chemical attack orchestrated by Pro-Government forces take place?
 
Wait, I'm confused. Did or did not a chemical attack orchestrated by Pro-Government forces take place?
The FFMs (Fact Finding Mission) job is to find out what happened in accordance with the U.N. mandate. The former JIM apportioned blame. But that was vetoed repeatedly after it found Assad’s govt guilty. The OPCW have had the power since June last year to apportion blame, so they’ll set up an enquiry team and based on the FFMs report apportion blame if they are satisfied.
 
Civilians from remaining IS territory are being moved to a refugee camp in northeastern Syria. Reportedly 84 of them have died in the camp, two thirds of them children. It's not really possible to put this number into context with the information available.
Dozens of children have died en route to Syrian refugee camp in recent weeks, UN says | CBC News
More civilians were evacuated from the last territory held by the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria group in eastern Syria Friday, amid a warning by the United Nations about the plight of thousands who have fled the area in recent weeks.
In a statement, the UN cited reports that more than 84 people, two-thirds of them children under the age of five, have died since December on their way to al-Hol camp in northeastern Syria after fleeing the extremist group in Deir el-Zour province.
In the last week alone, the UN said, some 13,000 people have arrived at al-Hol camp.
The details are not clear, but from the context the refugees are being moved by the SDF/YPG to territory more firmly under their control.


In what appears to be unrelated news the Syrian government want to evacuate a refugee camp in southern Syria where they lack food and medical supplies. These plans appear to involve Russian monitors as have been used in other cases. From the context the refugee camp seems to be in an area under the control of US backed rebels. Russia has accused the US of failing to provide humane conditions in the camp, which holds 40,000 people. The Russians also said that the US bears "full responsibility for the safe passage" of convoys through its zone of control.
In Moscow, the Russian military said the Syrian government was sending convoys to evacuate a refugee camp in southern Syria where tens of thousands suffer from lack of food and medical supplies.
Col. Gen. Mikhail Mizintsev said the Syrian convoys were heading on Friday to the Rukban camp and urged the U.S. military in the area to secure their safe passage. Russia has accused the U.S. of failing to provide humane conditions in the camp, which is home to about 40,000 people.
Mizintsev said the U.S. military would bear "full responsibility for the safe passage" of convoys through its zone of control.
The Russian military said it will work together with the Syrian army to escort the convoys as they head to temporary accommodation centres for refugees established in several Syrian provinces.
There is nothing in the story which tells us how the US is responding to this. It should be noted that the above story seems to cover two different sets of refugee camps, so the situation in one is not related to the other.
 
The US backed SDF has evacuated around 3,000 people from an IS controlled region in eastern Syria. Among those 3,000 are included 200 IS militants.
Around 200 ISIS militants surrender from group's last enclave in Syria | CBC News
The U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) said on Monday it had evacuated about 3,000 people, including around 200 Islamic State militants, from the group's last enclave in eastern Syria.
SDF media officials said that more than 1,000 people, including militants, were given safe passage from IS controlled areas. It is not entirely clear whether or not this is related to the figure of 3,000 also given, or whether these are two separate events.
An SDF media official who goes by his nom de guerre Ciyager said over 1,000 people, including a number of fighters, evacuated the area controlled by ISIS on Monday through a safe passage that has allowed those wishing to exit a way out. Dozens of men, women and children climbed hills on foot and were later seen getting into small trucks after they were searched by SDF fighters manning the evacuation corridor.
The report appears to be bringing fragmentary information together, so it is possible that different incidents are being reported and that these separate incidents are being conducted in different ways. It is not clear whether some militants are being given safe passage to go to either militant controlled areas. However, some IS personnel do appear to be surrendering.

Around 1,000 IS personnel are still holding out in Baghouz, but the campaign does appear to be winding down.
Mostafa Bali, head of the SDF media office, told Reuters that about 1,000 militants may still be inside Baghouz as well as additional civilians, which is holding up the battle to retake the village.
However, there will still be IS cells active across the Syria-Iraq border region, and will present a problem for many years to come.
The extremist group continues to be a threat, however, with sleeper cells in scattered desert pockets along the porous border between the two countries.
I believe that in a previous report a US military official involved in the area said that a military effort to completely eliminate IS in the region is something that would take decades.
 
Trump says he agrees '100%' with keeping U.S. troops in Syria
Two months after declaring all U.S. troops are leaving Syria, President Donald Trump wrote to members of Congress that he now agrees "100%" with keeping a military presence in Syria.

A bipartisan group of Senators and Representatives wrote to Trump on Feb. 22, applauding his decision to keep a small residual force in Syria.
Btw, Syria is an independent state and as I'm aware Syrian government hasn't agreed to US military presence in the country.
Let's mirror the situation.
Imagine that mr.Putin says that he 100% agree to keep some troops in Latvia or Estonia. What would be the reaction?
Quod licet Iovi, non licet bovi
 
Trump says he agrees '100%' with keeping U.S. troops in Syria

Btw, Syria is an independent state and as I'm aware Syrian government hasn't agreed to US military presence in the country.
Let's mirror the situation.
Imagine that mr.Putin says that he 100% agree to keep some troops in Latvia or Estonia. What would be the reaction?
Quod licet Iovi, non licet bovi
Is there a unanimous UNSC Resolution 2249 to defeat IS, AQ etc in Latvia or Estonia? Have the leaders of Latvia and Estonia been so concentrated on their own rebels they let IS take over nearly half their respective country’s?

Chalk and apples as usual from you.
 
(1) ]Is there a unanimous UNSC Resolution 2249 to defeat IS, AQ etc in Latvia or Estonia? (2) Have the leaders of Latvia and Estonia been so concentrated on their own rebels they let IS take over nearly half their respective country’s?

Chalk and apples as usual from you.
(1) No. But it doesn't matter.
(2) No. But it doesn't matter.
I just have to repeat my point -
Syria is an independent state and as I'm aware Syrian government hasn't agreed to US military presence in the country.
 
(1) No. But it doesn't matter.
We know, Russia invaded Crimea without a U.N. Resolution, but you’re complaining about the US being there which is under a unanimous UN Resolution.
(2) No. But it doesn't matter.
Your point is that Russia has a right to go into Estonia and Latvia without a U.N. Resolution then. So war
I just have to repeat my point -
Syria is an independent state and as I'm aware Syrian government hasn't agreed to US military presence in the country.
Russia has as part of a unanimous UNSC Resolution.
 
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We know, Russia invaded Crimea without a U.N. Resolution, but you’re complaining about the US being there which is under a unanimous UN Resolution.

Your point is that Russia has a right to go into Estonia and Latvia without a U.N. Resolution then. So war

Russia has as part of a unanimous UNSC Resolution.
The UNSC resolution authorised actions (including military ones) aganst the terrorists but there is no one word about the right of Washington to keep troops in Syria permanently only because Washington wants it.
Syria is a sovereign state, is it? Do you believe that Syria as a sovereign state has right to agree or disagree with foreign military presence on its soil?
If you believe that Washington has right to ignore Syrian government then why other countries can not follow this example in other corners of the World?
 
The UNSC resolution authorised actions (including military ones) aganst the terrorists but there is no one word about the right of Washington to keep troops in Syria permanently only because Washington wants it.
Syria is a sovereign state, is it? Do you believe that Syria as a sovereign state has right to agree or disagree with foreign military presence on its soil?
If you believe that Washington has right to ignore Syrian government then why other countries can not follow this example in other corners of the World?
As I said, Assad had let enough of his country become occupied by IS because he was concentrating on his rebels and everyone he called ‘terrorists’ (which was pretty much everyone who disagreed with him). Resolution 2249 specifically mentions “... absence of a political solution to the Syria conflict and emphasizing the need to implement the Geneva Communiqué of 30 June 2012 endorsed as Annex II of its resolution 2118 (2013), .....”

You should remember, that (2118 ) Resolution as well. It’s the one where Assad’s govt agreed to give up and stop using his CW. That also was unanimous and clearly failed according to the unanimously appointed Joint Investigative Mechanism which Russia vetoed repeatedly.

Anyway, like so many unanimous Resolutions it talks about “...beginning with the establishment of a transitional governing body exercising full executive powers, which could include members of the present Government and the opposition and other groups and shall be formed on the basis of mutual consent;”

Then there’s that other unanimous UNSC Resolution, 2254, and its roadmap for peace:
Security Council Unanimously Adopts Resolution 2254 (2015), Endorsing Road Map for Peace Process in Syria, Setting Timetable for Talks | Meetings Coverage and Press Releases

The point is, which you seem unable or unwilling to accept, is that there are numerous unanimous UNSC Resolutions on Syria. All signed up to by Russia, all ignored by Assad’s govt. They all talk about recognising the territorial integrity of Syria and all talk about the transitional govt and roadmap(s) for peace. The coalition is there to defeat IS, aNF and AQ, all of which remain in Syria.

As far as I’m aware, the coalition have not invaded part of Syria, held a referendum at the end of an AK and annexed it. They support the SDF which have done/are doing Assad’s dirty work for him. IS, AQ and aNF all remain in Syria, mostly in ostensibly ‘govt controlled’ areas.

Perhaps when Assad actually deals with the SDF and welcomes them into the repeated unanimous UN Resolutions calls for an all inclusive govt, when IS, AQ and aNF in Syria are no longer a threat etc etc you may have a point. Until then, the unanimous UN Resolutions Russia has signed up to appear to stand.
 
Erdogan says Turkey must have control of planned North Syria safe zone | Reuters
Meanwhile, somebody else wants part of the state of Syria but it appears this is not on the Kremlin agenda..... for now:
Turkey cannot accept control of a planned safe zone in northern Syria being given to anyone else, President Tayyip Erdogan said on Wednesday.

In interview with broadcaster Kanal 24, Erdogan also said that if the United States could not take back the weapons it had given to the Syrian Kurdish YPG militia in Syria, it should give them to Turkey.
 
Hundreds of Islamic State fighters surrender in east Syria | Reuters
It would appear this last pocket of IS ‘east of the Euphrates’ holds the majority of fighters and civilians. Some 400 or so fighters and smugglers tried to leave the area and were captured. The women, fully veiled, were obviously upset, throwing a can of tuna at reporters:
Some 400 Islamic State fighters were captured trying to escape Baghouz along with smugglers, the senior SDF commander said. Hundreds of others jihadists surrendered, though it was not yet clear how many, the commander added.

Those surrendering were among more than 2,000 people who left Baghouz on Wednesday in the latest evacuation, transported by trucks to a patch of desert where they are questioned, searched and given food and water.
A group of fully veiled women being evacuated from Baghouz on Wednesday shouted “Allahu Akbar” (God is Greatest) as they gathered near a checkpoint where the SDF were searching them and one hit a journalist with a can of tuna.
6,500 have left in the past couple of days including men, with 50,000 of the 60,000 in the camp they are being sent to arriving since December. 2/3 of the 90 who have died transiting to the camp have been babies or infants:
The SDF said about 6,500 people had left the area over the previous two days, including hundreds of men. Most civilian evacuees are headed for the al-Hol displacement camp in northeast Syria.

The International Rescue Committee aid group said that of the 60,000 people in the camp, 50,000 had arrived since December, mostly from the shrinking Islamic State enclave, including 4,000 on Wednesday. Of the 90 people who have died reaching the camp since December, two-thirds were babies or infants, it said.
 
As I said, Assad had let enough of his country become occupied by IS because he was concentrating on his rebels and everyone he called ‘terrorists’ (which was pretty much everyone who disagreed with him). Resolution 2249 specifically mentions “... absence of a political solution to the Syria conflict and emphasizing the need to implement the Geneva Communiqué of 30 June 2012 endorsed as Annex II of its resolution 2118 (2013), .....”

You should remember, that (2118 ) Resolution as well. It’s the one where Assad’s govt agreed to give up and stop using his CW. That also was unanimous and clearly failed according to the unanimously appointed Joint Investigative Mechanism which Russia vetoed repeatedly.

Anyway, like so many unanimous Resolutions it talks about “...beginning with the establishment of a transitional governing body exercising full executive powers, which could include members of the present Government and the opposition and other groups and shall be formed on the basis of mutual consent;”

Then there’s that other unanimous UNSC Resolution, 2254, and its roadmap for peace:
Security Council Unanimously Adopts Resolution 2254 (2015), Endorsing Road Map for Peace Process in Syria, Setting Timetable for Talks | Meetings Coverage and Press Releases


The point is, which you seem unable or unwilling to accept, is that there are numerous unanimous UNSC Resolutions on Syria. All signed up to by Russia, all ignored by Assad’s govt. They all talk about recognising the territorial integrity of Syria and all talk about the transitional govt and roadmap(s) for peace. The coalition is there to defeat IS, aNF and AQ, all of which remain in Syria.

As far as I’m aware, the coalition have not invaded part of Syria, held a referendum at the end of an AK and annexed it. They support the SDF which have done/are doing Assad’s dirty work for him. IS, AQ and aNF all remain in Syria, mostly in ostensibly ‘govt controlled’ areas.

Perhaps when Assad actually deals with the SDF and welcomes them into the repeated unanimous UN Resolutions calls for an all inclusive govt, when IS, AQ and aNF in Syria are no longer a threat etc etc you may have a point. Until then, the unanimous UN Resolutions Russia has signed up to appear to stand.
As I see you failed to address my main point -

Syria is a sovereign country

and as a soveregn country, it has right not to agree with foreign military presence and thus Washington violates the international law proclaiming its right to keep troops in any country at will. ISIL in fact is eliminated in Syria. So Washington voided any legal ground to keep troops in Syria.

All your considerations, reference to the civil war in Syria, to UNSC resolutions are irrelevant. No one UNSC resolution gives Washington right to keep troops in Syria permanently.

You may argue that we are living in the imperfect World where many countries don't strictly follow the International law and might is right principle still matters. Yes, they are realities. But I would like to ask you and wait for direct clear answer -

Has Washington in this context moral right to demand that others must follow principles that it freely violates?
 
As I see you failed to address my main point -

Syria is a sovereign country

and as a soveregn country, it has right not to agree with foreign military presence and thus Washington violates the international law proclaiming its right to keep troops in any country at will. ISIL in fact is eliminated in Syria. So Washington voided any legal ground to keep troops in Syria.

All your considerations, reference to the civil war in Syria, to UNSC resolutions are irrelevant. No one UNSC resolution gives Washington right to keep troops in Syria permanently.

You may argue that we are living in the imperfect World where many countries don't strictly follow the International law and might is right principle still matters. Yes, they are realities. But I would like to ask you and wait for direct clear answer -

Has Washington in this context moral right to demand that others must follow principles that it freely violates?
Once again, for the hard of reading, I mentioned sovereignty, it mentions it in all of the unanimous UN Resolutions that Russia has signed up to.

Once again 2249 relates to IS, AQ, aNF and any other terrorist organisation on the UN list. IS as a ‘state’ is almost defeated. IS in Iraq and Syria is not defeated and won’t be for a long time. The conditions for IS-2 are ripe in both Iraq and Syria unfortunately.
 
Once again, for the hard of reading, I mentioned sovereignty, it mentions it in all of the unanimous UN Resolutions that Russia has signed up to.

Once again 2249 relates to IS, AQ, aNF and any other terrorist organisation on the UN list. IS as a ‘state’ is almost defeated. IS in Iraq and Syria is not defeated and won’t be for a long time. The conditions for IS-2 are ripe in both Iraq and Syria unfortunately.
So you prefer not to answer my question directly - it is your right.
As I understand the soveregn rights of Syria is something irrelevant from your point of view.
Apparently you firmly believe that Washington along with its allies/puppets has unconditional right to keep troops anywhere at will.
OK.
 

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