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News, January 2016
100s of Syrians Killed in NATO-Russian-Regime Air Strikes, 40 Syrian Refugees Drown Dead, 75 Rescued in Turkey
January 30, 2016
The Sunni Muslim Syrian Arabs have been given two choices to make a decision about since 2011. They either leave their cities and villages to new locations in Syria, or to other countries, or face death and destruction by the NATO-Russian-Regime air strikes.
Continuous NATO-Russian air strikes on Syria lead to more Syrians fleeing the devastation to Europe through Turkey, using faulty and crowded boats, which result in more deaths by drowning, like those in today's story below.
Since the start of the destruction of Syria, about ten million Syrians left their cities and villages to refugee camps inside and outside Syria. Apparently, the main result of the current war on Syria and northern Iraq has been evicting Sunni Muslim Arabs from Northeastern Syria and Northwestern Iraq, for the benefit of expansionist Israel.
For a background about why the Middle East is being destroyed, read:
US-Led Military Strikes Target ISIL in Syria, Iraq
US Department of Defense,
SOUTHWEST ASIA, January 30, 2016 —
U.S. and coalition military forces have continued to attack Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant terrorists in Syria and Iraq, Combined Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve officials reported today.
Officials reported details of the latest strikes, noting that assessments of results are based on initial reports.
Strikes on Syria
Attack, fighter, and remotely piloted aircraft conducted 16 strikes in Syria:
-- Near Hasakah, two strikes struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed five ISIL vehicles and an ISIL anti-air artillery piece.
-- Near Hawl, three strikes destroyed five ISIL fighting positions, destroyed an ISIL tunnel system, and damaged a separate ISIL fighting position.
-- Near Raqqah, two strikes struck an ISIL gas and oil separation plant and destroyed an ISIL front end loader, two ISIL excavators, an ISIL crane, an ISIL trenching machine, and an ISIL road grader.
-- Near Ayn Isa, two strikes struck two separate ISIL tactical units.
-- Near Mar’a, five strikes struck four separate ISIL tactical units and destroyed an ISIL tactical vehicle.
-- Near Washiyah, two strikes destroyed two ISIL excavators and damaged a separate ISIL excavator.
Strikes on Iraq
Attack, fighter, and remotely piloted aircraft conducted 17 strikes in Iraq, coordinated with and in support of Iraq’s government:
-- Near Asad, one strike destroyed two ISIL bomb-making facilities.
-- Near Baghdadi, one strike destroyed three ISIL rocket rails.
-- Near Ar Rutbah, one strike struck an ISIL tactical unit.
-- Near Habbaniyah, three strikes struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed an ISIL staging area and an ISIL vehicle and suppressed an ISIL fighting position and denied ISIL access to terrain.
-- Near Mosul, seven strikes struck five separate ISIL tactical units and destroyed 10 ISIL fighting positions, two ISIL heavy machine guns, and an ISIL weapons cache.
-- Near Ramadi, one strike destroyed an ISIL command-and-control node and denied ISIL access to terrain.
-- Near Sinjar, one strike struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed an ISIL heavy machine gun and an ISIL fighting position.
-- Near Tal Afar, two strikes struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed an ISIL vehicle.
Task force officials define a strike as one or more kinetic events that occur in roughly the same geographic location to produce a single, sometimes cumulative, effect. Therefore, officials explained, a single aircraft delivering a single weapon against a lone ISIL vehicle is a strike, but so is multiple aircraft delivering dozens of weapons against buildings, vehicles and weapon systems in a compound, for example, having the cumulative effect of making those targets harder or impossible for ISIL to use. Accordingly, officials said, they do not report the number or type of aircraft employed in a strike, the number of munitions dropped in each strike, or the number of individual munition impact points against a target.
Part of Operation Inherent Resolve
The strikes were conducted as part of Operation Inherent Resolve, the operation to eliminate the ISIL terrorist group and the threat they pose to Iraq, Syria, and the wider international community. The destruction of ISIL targets in Syria and Iraq further limits the group's ability to project terror and conduct operations.
Coalition nations conducting strikes in Iraq include the United States, Australia, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Jordan, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom. Coalition nations conducting strikes in Syria include the United States, Australia, Bahrain, Canada, France, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates and the United Kingdom.
Russian airstrikes target Aleppo, Clashes continue in Hama countryside
SOHR, January 30, 2016
Russian warplanes raided al-Maghayer and Bani Zaid neighborhoods what caused material damages. Clashes taking place between regime forces and IS around Tanoza in the northern countryside amid advances for regime forces. Russian warplanes raided Maree and Tal Ref’at. Explosive barrels targeted Hayan town in the northern countryside, no reports of losses.
Clashes took place between Islamic battalions and NDF north west of al-Sa’n in the eastern countryside, amid advances for NDF in the area, confirmed reports that it took control on the villages, confirmed reports of losses in both sides.
Russian airstrikes kill about 1,400 including 527 children and women in three months
SOHR, January 30, 2016
SOHR documented the death of 3,578 people in Syrian since the 30th of September 2015 which is the date of establishing the Russian airstrikes in Syria, the dead included civilians, rebels, IS, and Jabhat al-Nusra who were killed by thousands of airstrikes targeted Syrian provinces.
The dead are : 1,380 civilians ( 332 children, and 195 women ), 853 men and young men, 965 IS, and 1,233 rebels and Jabhat al-Nusra including non-Syrian militants.
Tens of Syrian regime airstrikes target Eastern and western Ghouta and the al-Islam Army execute two young men in the Eastern Ghouta
SOHR, January 30, 2016
Rif Dimashq Province:
Syrian regime’s helicopters dropped more barrel bombs on areas south of Muadamiyat al-Sham in the Western Ghouta, no information about casualties. Clashes renewed between the regime forces and militiamen loyal to them against the Islamic factions in the vicinity of the areas of Al-Nashabiyah and Qasmiyeh in the Eastern Ghouta, in conjunction with heavy shelling by the regime forces on the clashing areas.
The (opposition) factions targeted positions for the regime forces in the area and information about casualties in both ranks and information about capturing members from the regime forces, while areas in the vicinity of Al-Nashabiyah, Bayt Nayem and Deir al-Asafir had an aerial bombardment., no information about the casualties.
Syrian regime’s helicopter dropped more barrel bombs on areas in the city of Darayya, raising to about 60 the number of barrels are dropped since this morning on areas on the city, no information about casualties. At the same time, there were ongoing clashes between the regime forces and militiamen loyal to them against the rebel and Islamic Factions in conjunction with the bombing by the regime forces on the clashing areas.
The Syrian regime warplanes also targeted places in al-Marj area in the Eastern Ghouta which caused injuries. The activists of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights in the Eastern Ghouta observed the execution of two young men by al-Islam Army in the town of Hazza, on charges of “belonging to the Islamic state”, where members from the Islamic faction shot them while several citizens were watching the execution.
162 Syrians killed in just one day, 25/01/2016
SOHR, January 26, 2016
The dead : 42 civilians, 29 rebels, 24 Non-Syrian Islamic fighters, 24 Regular forces, 23 NDF, 3 IS, 1 YPG, 18 unknown rebels, 3 non-Syrian militants allied to regime forces.
— 2 men and a woman from Madaya and Ma’damia al-Sham died due to poor life conditions in Madaya.
— 2 IS detonated themselves in Dr-Ezzor city and its surroundings.
– 18 Unknown rebels killed by clashes against regime forces, bombardment, and targeting their checkpoints .
– 23 National Defense Forces militiamen were killed by clashes and attacks on their checkpoints around Syria.
– 21 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.
Almost 40 dead, 75 rescued, after migrant boat sinks off Turkey
Saturday, January 30, 2016, 9:27am EST
Reuters, By Ece Toksabay
Almost 40 people drowned and 75 were rescued after a boat carrying migrants to Greece sank off Turkey's western coast on Saturday, according to local officials and the Turkish Dogan news agency.
More than one million refugees and migrants arrived in the European Union last year and some 3,600 died or went missing, forcing the EU to mull suspending its Schengen open-borders area for up to two years.
The Turkish coast guard was continuing search and rescue efforts where the 17-metre boat carrying at least 120 people sank off the coast of Ayvacik, a town across from the Greek island of Lesvos, the Dogan news agency reported.
"I am afraid the numbers will rise as divers continue the search," Mehmet Unal Sahin, the mayor of Ayvacik, told the CNNTurk news channel by phone.
"Local people woke up to the sound of screaming migrants and we have been carrying out rescue work since dawn. We have an 80-kilometre-long coast just across from Lesbos, which is very hard to keep under control."
At least five of those who died were children, Dogan reported, while rescued migrants were hospitalized with hypothermia symptoms. It said the migrants were of Syrian, Afghan and Myanmar origin.
Chancellor Angela Merkel, who opened Germany's borders to Syrians fleeing civil war last summer, is under mounting pressure to halt the inflow.
Merkel told a meeting of a members of her Christian Democratic Union party on Saturday that despite efforts to help refugees, it was important to stress that they had only been given permission for a limited stay.
"We need ...to say to people that this is a temporary residential status and we expect that once there is peace in Syria again, once IS has been defeated in Iraq, that you go back to your home country."
Around 500,000 refugees from the five-year-old war in Syria traveled through Turkey and then risked their lives at sea to reach Greek islands in 2015.
Under pressure from the European Commission about delays, Greece expects to have four of five "hot spot" centers for processing migrants operational in about two weeks, its migration minister said in a newspaper interview published on Saturday.
"We are behind schedule on the installation of these hot spots," Greece's Yiannis Mouzalas told Austrian newspaper Der Standard. "Four of the five will be operational from mid-February."
Neighboring Turkey is hosting 2.5 million Syrian refugees. In November it struck a deal with the EU pledging to help stem the flow of migrants to Europe in return for 3 billion euros ($3.3 billion) in financial aid and renewed talks on joining the 28-nation bloc.
(Additional reporting by Andreas Rinke in Neubrandenburg, Germany, and Francois Murphy in Vienna; editing by Jason Neely)
US admits airstrikes killed civilians in Iraq and Syria
By Ryan Browne, CNN
The U.S. military announced Friday that airstrikes in Iraq and Syria had likely killed two civilians and injured four others during July.
The majority of the five airstrikes took place in Raqqa, Syria, and Mosul, Iraq, two major ISIS-controlled cities, according to a U.S. Central Command news release.
Last week Central Command, which oversees U.S. military operations in Iraq and Syria, reported the killing of eight civilians from April to July.
"It's tragic, and it's not something that we want to do. One of the burdens of command is to weigh the military value of a target, versus the potential for civilian loss of life," the spokesman for the U.S.-led anti-ISIS coalition, Col. Steve Warren, told reporters Wednesday.
He also said that coalition warplanes had conducted 6,516 airstrikes in Iraq and 3,266 airstrikes in Syria.
The coalition has recently ramped up attacks on ISIS' finances, conducting nine strikes against buildings storing millions of dollars worth of ISIS cash that was being used to pay ISIS fighters.
According to Warren, this new line of attack meant that the coalition was "prepared to accept civilian casualties."
During a previous strike against a cash storage facility, U.S. commanders had been willing to consider up to 50 civilian casualties due to the importance of the target. But Warren said that post-attack assessments indicated that casualties from all nine of the currency storage attacks were estimated to be in the single digits.
In recent weeks, the U.S. has said it will assess all targets on a case-by-case basis and may be more willing to tolerate civilian casualties for more significant targets.
According to Central Command, the release of these figures was part of its "commitment to transparency," and it expressed the "deepest sympathies to the victims' families and those affected" in doing so.
The U.S. had previously criticized the Russian air campaign in Syria for conducting indiscriminate attacks that have reportedly caused hundreds of civilian casualties.
The Russian Defense Ministry has denied the accusations, calling them lacking in evidence.
Barbara Starr contributed to this report.
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