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Editorial Note: The following news reports are summaries from original sources. They may also include corrections of Arabic names and political terminology. Comments are in parentheses.

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122 Syrians Killed in One Day, Russian-French Air Strikes Continue, China Pressured to Join the War on Syria and Iraq,

November 23, 2015 

   

 

122 killed yesterday 22/11/2015

SOHR, November 23, 2015

The dead : 30 civilians, 8 rebels, 24  Non-Syrian Islamic fighters, 25 Regular forces, 15   NDF, 1 IS, 16 unknown rebels, 3 non-Syrian militants allied to regime forces.

覧覧覧覧覧覧覧覧覧覧覧覧覧覧覧覧覧沫

1 IS was killed by clashes against regime forces in Homs countryside.

 16 Unknown rebels killed by clashes against regime forces, bombardment, and targeting their checkpoints .

15 National Defense Forces militiamen were killed by clashes and attacks on their checkpoints around Syria.

25 Regular forces were killed by clashes, snipers, IEDs, and attacks on their checkpoints and vehicles.

24 Non-Syrian fighters from ISIS, Jund Al-Sham and Jabhat Al-Nusra were killed by clashes and targeted

 3 non-Syrian militants allied to regime forces killed by clashes against rebels.

IS kills a commander in regime forces during clashes around Kweres military airport

SOHR, November 23, 2015

Aleppo province:

Clashes took place after midnight between regime forces and rebels backed by Jabhat al-Nusra around al-Eis and al-Hader towns amid aerial bombardment by Russian warplanes on al-Zerba town, reports of losses in both sides.

A commander in al-Soqour battalion in regime forces was killed by clashes against IS around Kweres military airport.

Aerial bombardment on KhN Shekhon and Kafar Zita

November 23, 2015

Hama province: Explosive barrels were dropped on areas of Kafar Zita and al-Latamina, no reports of losses.

Idlib province: Warplanes raided Khan Shekhon, no reports of losses. Reports that an Islamic battalion broke into Kafar Nubol and kidnapped a man from the town.

Human losses and continued clashes in Homs and Reef Dimashq

November 23, 2015

Reef Dimashq province:

Explosive barrels were dropped on areas of Daraya, no reports of losses. a lieutenant in regime forces was killed by clashes against rebels in eastern Ghouta, a soldier and 1 rebel were killed by clashes between the two sides in eastern Ghouta. A man was killed by explosive barrels targeted Ma壇amia al-Sham. 

Homs province: Clashes taking place between regime forces and IS around Mahin town amid advances for regime forces in the area in an attempt by the regime to take control on the two, the clashes accompanied by aerial bombardment by Russian warplanes, confirmed reports of losses in both parties.

Iraq suspends northern flights due to Russia痴 Syria strikes

November 23, 2015

SOHR, AL ARABIYA, AFP, Erbil

Flights to and from two northern Iraqi airports were suspended for 48 hours beginning on Monday due to danger posed by Russian cruise missiles heading for neighboring Syria, officials said.

Iraq痴 鼎ivil Aviation Authority decided to suspend all departing and arriving flights from and to Arbil and Sulaimaniyah airports for 48 hours from 8:00 am (0500 GMT) on Monday, it said in a statement, referring to airports in the autonomous Kurdish region.

The decision was made to 菟rotect passengers and because of the crossing of cruise missiles and bombers, it said.

The directors of Arbil and Sulaimaniyah airports both confirmed that flights had been suspended, mentioning the danger of Russian missiles but not the bombers referred to in the Civil Aviation Authority痴 statement.

典here are fears for the aircraft and passengers due to Russian missiles, said Talar Faeq, director general of Arbil airport.

Sulaimaniyah airport director Tahir Abdullah said the decision was taken 澱ecause of the intensification of Russian missile attacks on Daesh strongholds in Syria, using an Arabic acronym for ISIS.

Russia began carrying out strikes in Syria on Sep. 30 in support of its longstanding ally President Bashar al-Assad.

In its bombing campaign, Moscow has fired cruise missiles from warships in the Caspian Sea that passed over northern Iraq en route to their targets in Syria, most recently on Friday.

On Saturday, flights in and out of Lebanon were rerouted and some airlines cancelled services after Moscow requested they avoid an area over the eastern Mediterranean.

A U.S.-led coalition is also carrying out strikes against IS in Iraq and Syria, where the jihadist group has declared a cross-border 田aliphate spanning territory it controls in the two countries.

Coalition spokesman Colonel Steve Warren told AFP that its operations, which have been ongoing since August 2014, were not the cause of the flight suspensions in Iraq.

China Pulled Further Into Syria Crisis Amid Terrorism Threat

November 23, 2015 Comments Off on China Pulled Further Into Syria Crisis Amid Terrorism Threat 58 Views

The violence swirling out from Syria in recent weeks is pressuring China to step off the sidelines and take a more active role in international efforts to stem the conflict.

The execution of a Chinese captive announced by Islamic State on Wednesday the first such killing showed the country isn稚 beyond the reach of a group that has claimed responsibility for recent attacks in Beirut, Paris and Egypt痴 Sinai Peninsula. Moreover, Russia痴 decision to launch airstrikes to support the Syrian government has left China increasingly alone in opposing military intervention in a civil war that has fueled Islamic State痴 rise.

的t appears that events are dragging China further into the Syrian crisis, said Michael Clarke, an associate professor at the Australian National University痴 National Security College. 徹n one level, Russian intervention and the Paris attacks have raised the stakes and made Beijing痴 preferred option of a political resolution much less likely. The killing of a Chinese national will certainly inject a new variable into Beijing痴 calculations about its position on the conflict.

 

While China痴 projection of power abroad typically focuses on safeguarding its growing business interests and it has pledged not to interfere in the affairs of other nations doing nothing about Syria carries its own risks. It could hurt the country痴 credibility as a rising power on the world stage or even make its leaders look weak at home. President Xi Jinping has often spoken of his desire to convert China痴 economic clout into geopolitical power, a goal demonstrated by its creation of international programs and initiatives.

Bombing Campaigns

Since Syria痴 internal strife spilled into the streets of Paris on Nov. 13, French President Francois Hollande has pressed Russia and the U.S. to merge their parallel bombing campaigns into an international effort to wipe out Islamic State. The U.K., which has bombed the group in Iraq, is thinking about joining the fray in Syria. That has left China as the sole veto-wielding member of the United Nations Security Council still advocating for a political solution.

That痴 an uncomfortable position considering the country has only twice cast a veto without Russia. The pair have vetoed four resolutions on Syria, most recently blocking a U.S.-backed proposal to refer war-crime allegations against President Bashar al-Assad痴 regime to the International Criminal Court.

Officials in Beijing have signaled no big shifts since Islamic State announced the execution of the Chinese national. At a regular briefing Thursday, Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei reaffirmed China痴 desire to let the 填N fulfill its coordinating role in fighting terrorism. China has said that negotiations including all parties under a UN framework would provide the only acceptable venue for solving the Syrian crisis.

 

Security Council

China on Friday backed a Security Council resolution that condemned Islamic State as 殿 global and unprecedented threat to international peace and security and called for efforts to 兎radicate its safe havens in Iraq and Syria.

But while the country might provide some logistical support, it wouldn稚 commit forces or back a proposal that undermined Assad痴 government, said Raffaello Pantucci, director of international security studies at the London-based Royal United Services Institute. 的 don稚 really see this being much of an actual game-changer, he said.

Mali Killings

As its global business interests grow, China is cautiously revising the non-interventionist policy espoused in 1955 by then-Premier Zhou Enlai. Its growing exposure to the global terrorism threat was underscored Friday when three executives of state-owned China Railway Construction Corp. were among 22 people killed after al-Qaeda-linked militants attacked the Radisson Blu Hotel in Bamako, Mali.

Any cost-benefit analysis on Syrian action would probably lead Communist Party leaders in Beijing to keep a limited, low-key role. China, unlike Russia, has little invested in the country or its government. If China does nothing, it might lose credibility as a rising player on the world stage. Or perhaps party leaders risk looking incompetent at home if Islamic State carries out a major attack on Chinese interests.

Xinjiang Violence

The cost of direct action, however, could be far higher. While Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi last year named China among 20 countries that had 吐orcibly seized Muslim rights and included China痴 northwestern Xinjiang region on a caliphate map, the group has subjected the country to a fraction of the ire directed at the West.

Taking a larger role risks provoking retaliatory attacks, and could exacerbate unrest in Xinjiang, where human rights advocates argue China痴 efforts to clamp down on perceived separatism has helped radicalize the Muslim ethnic Uighur minority.

At least 300 Uighurs had joined the Islamic State cause in Iraq and Syria as of December, the official Global Times newspaper reported. A Xinjiang news portal confirmed Friday that police had killed 28 people allegedly responsible for the deaths of five police officers and 11 residents in Aksu prefecture, blaming them for being under the influence of an unnamed 吐oreign extremist organization.樗

Chinese Public Security Minister Guo Shengkun oversaw a meeting of top law enforcement officials in Beijing on Saturday, during which he proposed evaluating provincial authorities on their anti-terrorism efforts, the ministry said on its website Monday. The same day, Beijing痴 municipal police raised their security preparedness level throughout the capital, the Beijing Youth Daily reported.

Military Intervention

China doesn稚 want to follow the U.S. down the path of military intervention in the Middle East, said Li Guofu, director of the Center for Middle East Studies at the China Institute of International Studies. It has chosen to emphasize greater global cooperation to fight terrorism.

的t痴 quite clear to Beijing that the U.S. approach to Syria and the Middle East at large is not working, Li said. 添ou see this phenomenon, 奏he harder the strike, the greater terrorism.樗

Xi will probably chart a middle course, said Clarke from ANU, insisting any international intervention gets UN approval and solely targets Islamic State.

典he problem with that is that too many other actors in this conflict have already chosen sides, Clarke said. 店i is in a very difficult position here. 

 

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