Trump Sows Turkey Chaos as U.S. Denies Endorsing Syria Incursion   

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Trump Sows Turkey Chaos as U.S. Denies Endorsing Syria Incursion(Bloomberg) -- President Donald Trump hasn’t endorsed a Turkish incursion into Syria, a senior administration official said, deepening confusion around his policy after an uproar from Republicans that he planned to abandon U.S. Kurdish allies.The official said Trump has cautioned Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan that he will bear responsibility for Islamic State prisoners in the region, as well as a resurgence of violence if the militants are freed and any harm to civilians in areas Turkey occupies.The official briefed reporters on condition of anonymity.Trump later suggested his move to clear the way for a Turkish invasion was intended in part to pressure European countries including France and Germany that, he said, have refused to accept the return of citizens who joined Islamic State.Trump said at a meeting with military leaders that he had urged U.S. allies to reclaim their citizens, but they had refused.“We’re not going to move the fighters to Guantanamo Bay and take care of them for many, many years into the future, that’s not for us,” he said. “Now it’s time for Germany and France and all of the nations where they came from to take them back and they chose no. Maybe they’re going to change their tune now, I don’t know.”Trump has come under criticism from allies including Republican Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and his former United Nations ambassador, Nikki Haley, for his announcement late Sunday that the U.S. wouldn’t stand in the way of the Turkish incursion.The White House statement was read around the world as Trump abandoning U.S. policy that Kurdish allies would be protected from Turkish aggression in exchange for their help in defeating Islamic State.Former Vice President Joe Biden, who is among the top Democratic contenders to challenge Trump’s re-election in 2020, said in a statement that “once again, an impulsive and erratic president has abandoned friends of the United States with a late-night tweet.”American officials didn’t immediately explain the president’s change in position on Syria. Trump’s order to remove about 50 U.S. troops from a Syria border region Turkey intends to invade doesn’t represent a green light for the incursion, the U.S. official said. The official added that Trump had discussed the decision with officials at the State Department and Pentagon before the White House announcement, and that the agencies should not have been surprised.The U.S. had successfully dissuaded Turkey from an invasion for two years, but if Erdogan orders an operation, the U.S. doesn’t want its soldiers endangered or caught in the crossfire, the official said.I’ve told President Erdogan, I hope he’s going to treat everybody with great respect,” Trump said at the meeting with military leaders. Earlier, he told reporters at the White House: “I have consulted with everybody.”“I fully understand both sides of it but I campaigned on the fact I was going to bring our soldiers home,” he said.The administration official did not say that any U.S. soldiers would be brought home as a result of the withdrawal. The troops moved from the border region, mostly special forces soldiers, would be re-positioned at different U.S. bases in Syria, the official said.(Updates with more Trump remarks, beginning in fourth paragraph)To contact the reporters on this story: Josh Wingrove in Washington at jwingrove4@bloomberg.net;Justin Sink in Washington at jsink1@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Alex Wayne at awayne3@bloomberg.net, John HarneyFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.



          

The Latest: UN chief urges 'maximum restraint' in NE Syria   

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The Latest: UN chief urges 'maximum restraint' in NE SyriaU.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres is urging "maximum restraint" by all parties in Syria's conflict, ahead of what Turkey says is its imminent offensive into the country's northeast. U.N. spokesman Stephane Dujarric said Guterres is greatly concerned, especially at the risk to civilians in any escalation of fighting. The U.N. chief emphasizes that civilians must be protected, and all parties must guarantee "sustained, unimpeded and safe humanitarian access to civilians in need," Dujarric says.



          

We are the War Criminal   

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Major column by Mohamad Bazi at THE GUARDIAN:


Since Saudi Arabia and its allies intervened in Yemen’s civil war in March 2015, the United States gave its full support to a relentless air campaign where Saudi warplanes and bombs hit thousands of targets, including civilian sites and infrastructure, with impunity. From the beginning, US officials insisted that American weapons, training and intelligence assistance would help the Saudis avoid causing even more civilian casualties.

But this was a lie meant to obscure one of the least understood aspects of US support for Saudi Arabia and its allies in Yemen: it’s not that Saudi-led forces don’t know how to use American-made weapons or need help in choosing targets. They have deliberately targeted civilians and Yemen’s infrastructure since the war’s early days – and US officials have recognized this since at least 2016 and done little to stop it.
A team of United Nations investigators, commissioned by the UN Human Rights Council, presented a devastating report in Geneva in early September detailing how the US, along with Britain and France, are likely complicit in war crimes in Yemen because of continued weapons sales and intelligence support to the Saudis and their allies, especially the United Arab Emirates.

Despite pressure from Saudi Arabia, the Human Rights Council voted last Thursday to extend its investigation.

If the council pursues an aggressive investigation based on the 274-page report, the world might finally see some accountability for war crimes committed in Yemen over the past five years. The report’s authors submitted a secret list of individuals who may be responsible for war crimes to the UN human rights commissioner, Michelle Bachelet, but it’s unclear if that list includes any western officials. The report said third states that have influence on Yemen’s warring parties – including the US, Britain, France and Iran – “may be held responsible for providing aid or assistance for the commission of international law violations”.

American complicity in the Yemen war goes beyond providing training and intelligence support, and selling billions of dollars in weapons to the UAE and Saudi Arabia, which has become Washington’s largest weapons buyer. The US is looking the other way while its allies commit war crimes and avoid responsibility for instigating the world’s worst humanitarian crisis.



True.  There's a reason so many around the world do not see our country as good or even not bad.  We have a strong inclination to ignore that view.  Hillary Clinton fanatics, for example, in the US refuse to recognize the feelings of so many in the Middle East when they express distaste for Hillary as a result of the policies she has supported that have destroyed their lives, the lives of their friends and their family.  We don't want to own what our government has done.  This goes exactly to Trina's post last night.  Not only do our rulers need to be held accountable, we need to take accountability for looking the other way and ignoring the damage done to so many.


Meanwhile, Bernie proves again why he should be president.



Search results
  1. It's going to be a real pleasure defeating you.


Even recovering from surgery, Bernie's instincts are solid.



"Iraq snapshot" (THE COMMON ILLS):
Thursday, October 3, 2019.  Even Joe Biden's friends in the press denying anything wrong took place demonstrates that Joe did something wrong and meanwhile the protests continue in Iraq.


In the United States, the race for the Democratic Party's presidential nomination continues.  While Senator Bernie Sanders has been temporarily sidelined due to surgery, War Hawk Joe Biden continues to flounder as desperation hits in.



I will put the integrity of my whole career in public service to this nation up against President Trump's long record of lying, cheating, and stealing any day of the week.





Will you put that record up?

Is that the record where you tell the public that you always believed Anita Hill but others -- including a US senator -- are on the record saying you told them you knew Anita was lying?  Is that the record?

Or is it the record where you were a cheerleader for the Iraq War?  Have you ever apologized to the Iraqi people for that?  You certainly haven't apologized to the American people.  You've either said that you were tricked by Bully Boy Bush or you've lied that you were against it as soon as it started.

Is it the record where you pushed through the 'crime' bill that targeted African-Americans?  This as your little blond princess niece assaults a police officer and does no time and then, a few years later, is caught stealing over $100,000 and does no time.

Caroline Biden.  Apparently she has a major vag problem.  Apparently she's crusty lips down there.  Apparently she had to steal a credit card and charge over $100,000 worth of Vagisil at a drug store to deal with her crust lips and to stop popping out loafs of sourdough bread from her personal oven.  Apparently, one of her boyfriends asked her why she was chewing bubble gum with her vagina and she replied that wasn't bubble gum, those were yeast bubbles.

That's got to be it, right?  The press doesn't want to talk about a thirty-something woman who's Joe Biden's niece and stole over $100,000 so it's got be vag related, right?  That's the only reason they're so mum on the topic.  (See Nora Ephron's essay "Dealing With The, Uh, Problem.")

When is Joe going to be asked why his niece was shown favoritism?

Joe's hoping and praying that his hideous campaign can struggle on through South Carolina.  He knows he's losing Iowa, he knows he's losing New Hampshire.  but if he can stay in until South Carolina, he just knows he'll prove to be a winner.

Now Iowa, please remember, knocked him out of the race in 2008.  He bowed out immediately after.

But he thinks the myth of Joe Biden support among African-Americans will save him this go round.

He is not huge with African-Americans.  He's popular with middle-aged and elderly African-Americans but, as his own campaign polling demonstrates (his campaign poured over it Monday), it's a very soft support.  It's doubtful South Carolina African-Americans from his age range will stick with him if he loses Iowa -- forget losing Iowa and New Hampshire.

Joe's desperate and it's really starting to show.

Link to headline article



And he's right, Donald Trump is not going to destroy Joe Biden -- mainly because Joe's doing such a good job of that all by himself.


Whenever he's lying, Joe likes to claim that he's the voice of truth.  That's his tell.

Or have we all forgotten this: "This is the God's truth.  My word as a Biden."


So many whores rush to prop Joe up.  Like here.

Twitter has since removed the video featuring Nickelback’s song “Photograph” for copyright reasons that President Trump tweeted on Wednesday. This, as the president accused Joe Biden of abusing his power to help his son. There’s no evidence of wrongdoing, reports.
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1) "Love Overboard"



One of the final great Gladys Knight and the Pips singles.  I love Gladys' deep notes on this song.

2) "Make Yours A Happy Home"



Of all their seventies charting hits, this is probably the least well known but to hear it even once, is to love it forever.

3) "Neither One Of Us"



The group spent some time at MOTOWN in the sixites.  They recorded many outstanding songs there but, for me, this is the best one of all.

4) "Landlord"



MOTOWN was where the group first recorded a song by Ashford & Simpson -- "Didn't You Know (You'd Have To Cry Sometime)."  Years later, 1980, they released their best album ALL LOVE which was written and produced by Ashford and Simpson.   "Landlord" is from that album.  You should also check out "Friendly Persuasion," "Add It Up," "Taste of Bitter Love" and "Bourgie, Bourgie" from that album (the last two were also hit singles).

5) "Love Is Fire (Love Is Ice)"

This is from 1987's ALL OUR LOVE.  "Love Overboard" is also from the same album.  That was the group's final studio album of contemporary music.  And this song, written by Burt Bacharach and Carole Bayer Sager, is one of the best on the album.  Gladys' phrasing on this is especially haunting.



"Iraq snapshot" (THE COMMON ILLS):
Tuesday, October 1, 2019.  Protests in Iraq over corruption, in the US Joe Biden defenders continue attempting to defend and/or deny Joe's unethical conduct.

In Iraq today, a major protest.  In fact, another major protest.  It is at least the third major protest in the last seven days.  Last week, Lawk Ghafuri (RUDAW) reported:


Protestors demanding government action on postgraduate unemployment were hosed down with Iraqi security force water cannons on Wednesday, in an act condemned by a national human rights commission as an act “against freedom of expression.”
Iraqi master’s degree and PhD holders have been protesting outside ministry buildings in Baghdad since June, calling for measures to ease unemployment among postgraduates, including an increase in public sector jobs.

A video recorded by a protestor and published on social media on Wednesday shows water cannons being used to disperse protestors in front of the Council of Ministers in Baghdad.

Protestors, some of whom can be seen wearing graduation sashes, are knocked to the ground by the sheer force of the cannons. Other protestors rush to their aid.

“This is how Iraqi postgraduates are being treated in Iraq,” said the protestor recording events, who proceeds to call on Muqtada al-Sadr, the United Nations, the European Union and the entire world to come to their assistance.



Sunday, journalist Mustafa Habib reported:

Breaking: Big protests in against the decision to remove General Abdul Wahab al-Saadi. The Sunni city defending a Shiite officer from the south of the country. Remarkable
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0:08





Now, today, Mohammed Rwanduzy (RUDAW) reports:

Hundreds of Iraqis protested in Baghdad’s Tahrir Square on Tuesday to express diverse, long-brewing grievances, including, a lack of basic services, rampant corruption, and unequal treatment within the Iraqi Army. 
Civilian protestors expressed anger about the Friday dismissal of Iraqi Army commander Lt. Gen. Abdul Wahab al-Saadi, credited with the defeat of the Islamic State (ISIS) in Iraq, from the Iraqi Counter-Terrorism Services (ICTS).  Civilian protestors holding pictures of al-Saadi disapproved of his subsequent transfer to the Ministry of Defense.
“We don't want this is corrupt government,” civilians chanted, while others extended their discontent to the parliament and presidency. “All are corrupt equally,” a protestor said.

Mustafa Habib notes:

Breaking: All the world expected big protests in this summer, but did not happen because they want to give the govt a chance despite the continued poor services, but after the govt's decision to remove Saadi, the protests began today from & may be the biggest.
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Here are some more Tweets about the protest.

Protest against the government in Tahrir Square, Baghdad




Dozens of people gathered today morning in Tahrir Square in following calls on social media to protest against the government.




Hundreds of Iraqis protest in ’s Tahrir Square to express diverse, long-brewing grievances, including, a lack of basic services




We have lots of ideas, but we need more resources to be even more effective. Please donate today to help get the message out and to help defend Israel.
          

10/03 Links Pt1: Rina Shnerb's alleged murderer linked to European-funded BDS affiliates; The Arab World Can’t Blame All of Its Problems on the West; IDF indicts 5 Palestinians in murder of soldier Dvir Sorek    

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From Ian:

Rina Shnerb's alleged murderer linked to European-funded BDS affiliates
Samer Arbid, the alleged leader of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) terrorist cell responsible for murdering 17-year-old Rina Shnerb near Dolev in August, worked for a European-funded NGO linked to BDS, NGO Monitor reported on Wednesday.

Arbid, 44, considered one of the PFLP’s top officials in Ramallah, was previously arrested for preparing PFLP explosive devices during the Second Intifada.

IDF and Border Police forces arrested him on Sunday for allegedly preparing and detonating the improvised explosive device that killed Shnerb and wounded her father Eitan and brother Dvir.

On Monday, Haaretz reported that the Justice Ministry opened an investigation into “potential wrongdoing” by officers of the Shin Bet (Israeli Security Agency) after Arbid was in critical condition in at Hadassah-University Medical Center on Mount Scopus following his interrogation, which involved torture. It was subsequently reported that the agents were authorized to conduct a “violent interrogation” but went “too far.”

Media sources reported on Tuesday that the Public Committee Against Torture in Israel (PCATI) and several Joint List MKs sent a letter to Attorney-General Avichai Mandelblit demanding a criminal investigation be opened regarding Arbid’s interrogation.

According to the NGO Monitor, Arbid was listed as an accountant for Addameer (Arabic for conscience) Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association, a Palestinian NGO that provides legal representation to Palestinians detained in Israel. The Ramallah-based organization’s mandate includes “ending torture and other forms of cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment inflicted upon Palestinian prisoners” and “guaranteeing fair, impartial and public trials.” The organization was listed as a PFLP-affiliated institution on Fatah’s website in September 2015.
NGO Monitor: Samer Arbid’s Alleged Terror Activities, Arrests, and NGO Affiliations
According to Israeli security officials, on August 23, 2019, Samer Arbid commanded a Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) terror cell that carried out a bombing against Israeli civilians, murdering 17-year old Rina Shnerb, and injuring her father and brother. According to the Israel Security Agency (Shabak), Arbid prepared and detonated the explosive device.

Ties to PFLP-linked NGOs
Arbid worked for Addameer – a Palestinian NGO closely linked to the PFLP, 1 which listed him as the organization’s accountant for several years.

In addition to his work for Addameer, Arbid appears to have worked for another NGO with ties to the PFLP, the Union of Agricultural Work Committees (UAWC). According to Samidoun, yet another PFLP-linked NGO, Arbid was the “financial director of the Union of Agricultural Work Committees in the West Bank” in 2016.
Prior Arrests
- In an Addameer-produced video from April 2013, Arbid describes his numerous arrests. He states that he was arrested at the beginning of 2003 and sentenced to two and a half years in prison, and served an additional year in administrative detention.
- According to Samidoun, Arbid was placed in administrative detention from March 2007 to August 2008.
- Similarly, Samidoun reported that Arbid was arrested on September 23, 2013 and placed in administrative detention.
- According to Samidoun, Arbid “was ordered to an additional three months’ administrative detention” on March 12, 2016.

Israel reportedly arrests another Palestinian behind the deadly Dolev Spring attack
A senior member of the terror cell suspected of being responsible for the West Bank bombing that killed teenager Rina Shnerb in August was arrested by Israeli security forces early on Thursday, Palestinian media reported.

According to the reports, security forces arrested Walid Muhammed Hanatsheh at his home in the village of al-Tireh outside of Ramallah during overnight arrest raids across the West Bank, which saw 13 Palestinians arrested by IDF troops and Border Police officers.

Wafa News reported that the raids took place in several villages in the Ramallah area including Kobar, Deir Abu Mashaal, Jifna and al-Tireh. During Hanatsheh’s arrest, a Palestinian TV cameraman was injured after troops fired a rubber bullet toward rioters.

Hanatsheh, who acts as finance and administration manager for the health work committees (HWC), has been a member of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine since the Second Intifada, and has been arrested by Israel several times for his membership in the terrorist group.
BBC-promoted NGO’s terror links surface again
The terror cell leader, Samer Arbid, was employed (despite his past history of involvement in terror activity) as an accountant by the Palestinian NGO ‘Addameer’ which is known for its links to the PFLP – a designated terror organisation in the US, the EU, Canada and Israel.

Five days after Rina Shnerb was murdered the BBC News website published a video report which included an interview with the director of ‘Addameer’, Sahar Francis.

Partisan report on detained Palestinian ‘children’ from BBC’s Gender and Identity correspondent

That heavily promoted report was made available on the BBC News website for fourteen consecutive days.

In other words the producers of that report, along with additional BBC journalists, apparently saw nothing at all problematic in the amplification of the unchallenged narrative of a political NGO that is linked to a terrorist organisation that the BBC knows has murdered Israeli civilians in the past and which, we now learn, employed the leader of the PFLP terror cell apparently responsible for the brutal murder of a seventeen-year-old out hiking with her family.



How the Myth of the Israel-Palestinian Conflict’s Supreme Importance Distorted 70 Years of American Middle East Policy
After failing in 1948 to stop the U.S. from supporting the creation of a Jewish state, writes Samuel Tadros, the Middle East experts of the State Department put forth the theory that America could not achieve its strategic goals in the region without first solving the Arab-Israeli conflict. This soon became “dogma” in Foggy Bottom, at think tanks, and in academia. Even President Trump, for all his unorthodoxies, is not immune to the allure peacemaking.

In reality, no one [in the Middle East] actually cared about the Palestinians, at least not the region’s rulers. [Their] priorities were everywhere besides Palestine: toppling the monarchs for some, searching for hegemony for others, or, for most, simply protecting their rule from revolutionary upheaval. The Palestinians, if they were considered at all, served simply as a bargaining chip; a cause to rally supporters and attack opponents.

Despite this, Washington’s Middle East experts were not deterred. The centrality of the issue was never to be questioned, but the method to solve it changed.

[Today], stepping back from the details and daily changes on the ground, [it is necessary to confront] an inconvenient proposition: maybe there is no solution to the conflict. After all, it is uniquely American to think that every problem must have a solution. Maybe the reality is that there are two peoples who claim the same piece of land and that no amount of effort or innovative solutions can solve this simple fact.
The Arab World Can’t Blame All of Its Problems on the West
For the past several weeks, the death of Israa Ghrayeb, a twenty-one-year-old Palestinian woman, has garnered much attention on Arabic-language social media and also in the Arab press. Ghrayeb was apparently beaten to death by family members for appearing in public—at a café—with her fiancé. To Hussain Abdul-Hussain, her death is a stark reminder of the ways in which Arab intellectuals have used the ideas of the Egyptian-American literature professor Edward Said, along with the those of the many postcolonial theorists who followed in his footsteps, to avoid critical examination of honor killings and other social ills:

“Orientalism” [was the term Said gave to] the collection of stereotypes through which the West is purported to understand the Middle East. For anti-colonialists . . . those stereotypes are proof that the colonial powers failed to understand the people they colonized. Honor killing is one of the stereotypes unjustly attributed to Muslims and Arabs, so the argument goes. But it is no stereotype. . . . It is a reality.

Though women are the main victims, honor killing falls under the Islamist concept of “promotion of virtue and prevention of vice.” For many Arabs and Muslims, this involves the restoration of some long-ago, supposedly perfect society that exists only in their imagination. But [this mythic ideal] is used to justify killing adulterers (of both sexes) or homosexuals or men who are perceived as effeminate, such as the Iraqi teenager whose murder by stabbing was recorded by his killer. . . . In Lebanon, a non-Druze man who married a Druze woman had his penis cut off by relatives of the bride.

Honor killing . . . is a flaw in Muslim society and it can be rectified only if that society is prepared to look inward at itself rather than blaming outsiders. . . . [B]ashing colonialism and Orientalism won’t solve the [Arab world’s] problems. On the contrary, it will only conceal them. . . . [T]o eradicate an abomination such as honor killing, Arabs and Muslims must first acknowledge its existence and take ownership of it.
PMW: Palestinian women's lives endangered by PA religious leaders' ruling
Top PA religious figures prohibit Palestinian women from submitting complaints over spouses to Israeli police

PA Ministry of Justice is working on improving legislation on family matters, including "ensuring punishment of those who commit crimes from a motive of honor"

The Israeli Arab party The Joint List has announced that it will boycott today's swearing-in ceremony of the Israeli Parliament in protest of what it calls the government's failure to address the rising levels of violence in Arab towns. Yet while Israeli Arab politicians are complaining that not enough is being done to tackle the growing problem of violence in Israeli Arab communities, the PA is telling Palestinian women not to go to the Israeli police with complaints over their husbands
"Anti-Normalization" With Israel: The True Goal
An anti-Israel group called the Association for Supporting Resistance and Confronting Normalization claimed that Jordanians who work in Eilat and other Israeli cities are often recruited as informants by the Israeli security services. The group accused the Jordanian government of "complying with all the demands of the Zionists on the pretext of cooperation for the sake of peace." The claim that Jordanians who go to work in Israel or help clean the beach are recruited as spies is aimed at painting them as traitors, a charge that is likely to put their lives at risk.

Instead of thanking Israel for allowing Jordanians to come and work in Eilat, the "anti-normalization" activists are inciting the workers to boycott Israel. These activists, of course, are not offering the Jordanian workers jobs and salaries.

In March 2019, Israel agreed to increase by 33% the number of Jordanian day laborers employed at hotels in Eilat from 1,500 to 2,000. The permits for the Jordanians are designed to allow them to work in the hotel industry of Eilat, close to the border with Jordan. The move is part of an agreement signed between Israel and Jordan to advance ties between the two countries through economic and social cooperation initiatives.

As far as the "anti-normalization" activists are concerned, inciting their people against Israel and the Jordanian workers is more important than any economic and social initiatives. These activists hate Israel to a point where they prefer to see 2,000 workers lose their jobs than continue working and earning good salaries in Eilat.

If greeting a Jew on his or her holiday, cleaning the beach with an Israeli, or working in Israel are considered by many Arabs a "crime," what will be the fate of any Arab who makes peace with Israel?

Those who are calling for boycotts of Israel -- and are threatening and inciting their people against any Arab who dares to host a Jew or send him or her greetings -- are also emphatically opposed to peace with Israel. For them, making peace with the "Zionist entity" is considered an act of treason. They are worried that an Arab who greets a Jew may one day make peace with Israel. They are worried that an Arab state that hosts Israeli athletes may one day make peace with Israel. They are worried that Arabs who go to work in Israel may fall in love with Israelis and stop thinking of ways to kill them or destroy Israel.
US gives cold shoulder to major Palestinian donor parley
The United States gave a cold shoulder last week to the major bi-annual meeting for donor aid to the Palestinian Authority, known as the Ad Hoc Liaison Committee (AHLC), which has operated for the last 25 years.

“We limited our participation to working-level observers only,” US special envoy Jason Greenblatt told The Jerusalem Post this week as he described the downgrade.

It is the latest Trump administration action against traditional venues that help provide financial assistance to Palestinians and the Palestinian Authority.

As part of its peace plan known as the “Deal of the Century,” the administration plans to create new funding venues for the Palestinians, the blueprint for which was unveiled at a Bahrain conference in June. But action on the plan is dependent on success with the political part of the peace process, which has yet to be published.

The US was previously one of the largest donors to the Palestinians and the PA, providing upward of half-a-billion dollars a year through the United Nations and other venues, but it has slowly halted that funding over the last two years.

The high-level 15 member AHLC meeting, held in the spring in Brussels and in the fall in New York, is one of the bedrock pillars of international funding for the Palestinians. It has remained a neutral venue where Israelis, Palestinians and the United States interact, even when all other communication is frozen.

In the past, the meetings chaired by Norway have been attended by high-level officials such as Greenblatt, or secretaries of state such as John Kerry. EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini often attends, and was one of the dignitaries who gathered in New York for the meeting on September 26.
Rivlin: Israel is in crisis, needs government now
Israeli democracy is in a state of emergency, and a government must be formed as soon as possible, President Reuven Rivlin said at the 22nd Knesset’s inaugural meeting, which was overshadowed by the political uncertainty on Thursday.

Rivlin and Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein addressed the long period of political uncertainty, which saw the 21st Knesset be inaugurated and dissolved in a period of less than two months, less than six months ago. They both said the solution is a unity government.

“We are facing a time of crisis for the House of Jacob, an emergency for Israel’s security and for Israeli society, an emergency for Israeli democracy,” Rivlin said. “Forming a government is not only the wish of the people. More than ever, in times like these, it is an economic and security need the likes of which we have not known for many years.”

Rivlin said a broad governing coalition would allow Israelis “to put the disagreements between us to one side and work on finding areas of agreement...to give us all an opportunity to breathe a little, to heal.”

The President listed a number of “real life” areas that the government must address, from combatting the Iranian threat to making day-care cheaper to tacking rising crime in Arab communities.
Lapid forgoing rotation as prime minister
Blue and White’s co-candidate for prime minister in last month’s election, MK Yair Lapid, announced on Thursday that he would no longer be a candidate for prime minister in the next government.

The announcement came after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu accused him of being the obstacle to the formation of a national unity government. Netanyahu said Lapid was trying to stop Gantz from joining a coalition government that he is currently trying to form because he would not give up his goal of rotating in the Prime Minister’s Office with Gantz.

“For the sake of a unity government, I’m forgoing the rotation,” Lapid told the Blue and White Party. “There won’t be a rotation with three people. That’s not serious. Running a country is a serious matter. It’s far more important to me that there’s unity in the country. That there won’t be another election. That this country begins a healing process. Mends the wounds. Changes the national priorities.”

Lapid warned that Netanyahu is trying everything to drag Israel to its third election within a year.

“One man with three indictments stands between us and a national unity government,” he said. “That’s what the country needs.

This country needs a national unity government led by Blue and White, with Likud, with Liberman, with Labor. That’s what we said throughout the campaign. In that government there will be a rotation. Gantz will be prime minister for the first two years. There’s no other option.”

Lapid ruled out a coalition in which Gantz rotates as prime minister with Netanyahu but did not rule out a rotation with another Likud leader.
Benjamin Netanyahu invites Avigdor Liberman to join coalition
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu offered Yisrael Beytenu head Avigdor Liberman to join the government he is forming, in a meeting Thursday morning at the Prime Minister’s Office in Jerusalem.

Netanyahu told his former aide and ally and current political nemesis that he should join as soon as possible in order to contribute to the formation of a unity government.

But Netanyahu’s spokesman said there did not end up being a breakthrough in the meeting.

Liberman released a statement after the meeting saying that he urged Netanyahu to have Likud, Blue and White and Yisrael Beytenu meet to decide the next government's guidelines on policy and only then deal with distributing portfolios and who should go first in a rotation in the Prime Minister's Office.

"I am making a major effort to form a broad unity government," Netanyahu told the Likud faction. "This is what the voters decided, and this is what is right. This should be taken for granted."

Following the meeting with Liberman, Netanyahu went to update the heads of the right-wing and religious parties in his political bloc.
IDF indicts 5 Palestinians in murder of soldier Dvir Sorek
The IDF Prosecution filed an indictment in the Judea Military Court on Thursday against five Palestinians in connection with the murder of IDF Corporal Dvir Sorek on August 8.

The five Palestinians, all of who are affiliated with Hamas according to the indictment, are: Qasem al-atzafra, Nazir al-atzafra, Ahmad al-atzafra, Yusef Zahur and Mahmoud Atuna.

Previously, the IDF announced that it sent messages to the defendants' families announcing its intention to demolish their houses.
Some of the defendants have already objected and the High Court of Justice will hear the issue on October 31.

The stabbing attack occurred against Sorek near Migdal Oz on August 8.
Greenblatt: PA Must End "Pay to Slay"
U.S. Middle East envoy Jason Greenblatt told Asharq Al-Awsat in an interview: "I can't imagine a world in which a peace agreement is signed where issues like the Palestinian Authority's 'Pay to Slay' program remains - a program that rewards terrorists who murder or attack Israelis. It's a basic concept that you cannot encourage people to kill and expect a peace deal that works."

"I can't imagine the Israeli government ever signing such an agreement. It would make no sense and it's completely antithetical to the concept of peace. To deal with that abhorrent program, the USA has cut all funding to the PA and we continuously raise awareness of this issue to other donor countries. I cannot understand how donor countries continue to donate funds knowing that some of their taxpayers' money is used to fund terrorism and the murder of Israelis."
PA claims 24 'incursions' on Temple Mount
The Palestinian Authority Ministry of Religious Endowments and Religious Affairs published a report on the holy sites, which included 24 Jewish 'incursions' of the al-Aqsa mosque and 52 cases of denial of prayer for prayer at the Ibrahimi Mosque in the Patriarchs Cave.

The Ministry of Endowments accused Israel of continuing the 'siege' and intervention at the Ibrahimi Mosque (the Cave of the Patriarchs) and closed it completely to Muslim worshipers during Rosh Hashanah.

According to the report, the Israeli authorities were not only content with preventing Muslims from entering the place, but they allowed settlers to get on the roof of the Cave of the Patriarchs and IDF soldiers attacked and humiliated Muslim workers.

It was also alleged that the "occupation forces" demolished the Al-Uma Mosque in Jabal Jawhar Hevron, which was in final stages of construction, and the level of incitement at the Al-Aqsa Mosque increased as Jewish holidays and the calls of the Temple Mount trustees came closer.
Hamas Takes Action in Nepotism Case following Public Pressure
Every year, the Saudi Arabia Ministry of Hajj and Umra hosts for free 1,000 people from the families of Palestinian martyrs to perform the hajj in Mecca.

After Anas Radwan, son of Hamas leader Ismail Radwan, went on the pilgrimage, activists argued on social media that he did not have the right to do so.

To calm public anger, Hamas formed a committee to investigate the incident, which concluded that Anas was not supposed to join the pilgrims. He was fined 5,000 dinars ($7,000), to be distributed among those who were denied travel to Mecca.

The Palestinian street is not accustomed to Hamas disclosing the details of any punitive measures against its leaders and members.


Israel-Egypt gas deal gets a boost as shares soar
Gas giant Delek Group Ltd.’s announcement that it had updated an agreement for the export of liquefied natural gas from the Leviathan and Tamar offshore reservoirs to Egypt sent share prices soaring on Wednesday.

In February 2018, Delek Drilling and Texas-based Noble Energy – partners in the Leviathan and Tamar LNG projects – signed a $15b. decade-long deal to supply 64 billion cu.m. of natural gas to Egypt’s Dolphinus Holdings Ltd.

The new agreement provides for a 35% increase in the total gas supply that will now reach 85 billion cu. m.

“The agreement is a further proof of the important economic cooperation between the two countries and the tremendous positive impact that these relations have on the Egyptian economy and the Israeli economy, as well as the great potential for additional cooperation in the mutual interest of the parties,” Yossi Abu, CEO of Delek Drilling, said in a statement on Wednesday.

The deal with Egypt followed a September 2016 agreement worth $10b. between Jordan’s National Electric Power Company Ltd. and the Leviathan project partners to supply a gross quantity of 45 billion cu.m. of natural gas to Israel’s eastern neighbor over 15 years.
Death Toll Climbs as Iraqi Protests Escalate for Third Day
Police and gunmen exchanged fire in a southern Iraqi city on Thursday killing one person, after 11 others were killed overnight as nationwide anti-government protests escalated into one of the worst security challenges in years.

At least 19 people have been killed since the protests erupted three days ago, seemingly independent of any organized political party and taking the security forces by surprise.

Police said protesters carrying guns had fired at them in the town of Rifae on Thursday morning, near the southern city of Nassiriya where seven people died overnight. Fifty people were wounded in Rifae, including five policemen, they said, adding to hundreds already injured across the country.

Clashes in another southern city, Amara, killed four people overnight.

A curfew, lifted early in the morning in southern cities, was reimposed immediately in Nassiriya and later in Amara.

In Baghdad, the authorities attempted to head off protests by imposing a curfew from 5 a.m. Troops patrolled main roads and public spaces, but by morning sporadic demonstrations had begun, and troops opened fire with live rounds to disperse them.

“Despite the curfew we are going out to protest to call for our rights. We want to change the regime. They have arrested our people. They have done things to our people they did not even do to Islamic State,” a youth told Reuters TV after gunshots could be heard nearby.

“They have beat them up and humiliated them while firing live gunfire. What did we do? Are we suicide bombers? We are here to call for our rights and all these people.”
Report: Iranian Entrenchment in Syria (PDF)
Iran's deployment of its own forces and proxy militias recruited from other countries has been decisive in the Assad regime's reversal of territorial losses to the Syrian opposition.

As a result, Iran now has wide latitude to pursue its own geopolitical agenda on Syrian territory, including the introduction of sophisticated weapons systems that will enable Iran to open a new front against Israel and threaten freedom of navigation in the eastern Mediterranean.

The Syria Study Group believes the U.S. can still influence the outcome of the Syrian war in a manner that protects U.S. interests.

The U.S. has meaningful tools of leverage to prevent the reemergence of ISIS and counter other terrorist groups, stop Iran from turning Syria into a forward operating base, provide relief to displaced Syrians and Syria's hard-pressed neighbors, and advance a political outcome that stops Syrian territory from serving as a net exporter of terrorism and instability.

The key near-term goal should be to prevent further entrenchment of Iran and its partners and proxies while raising the cost to Iran for its actions in Syria.

To this end, the U.S. should continue its support of Israeli air strikes; enforce sanctions aimed at undermining Iran's ability to fund its proxies and partners in Syria, Lebanon, and Iraq; and maintain the U.S. military presence at the al-Tanf military base.

The U.S. should insist that any political settlement require the withdrawal of Iranian forces and proxies from Syria.
France: President Macron Must Stop Appeasing Iran's Mullahs
Has French President Emmanuel Macron forgotten that he is helping and appeasing a state leading in human rights violations? In 2018, according to Javaid Rehman, the UN expert on human rights in Iran, at least 273 people were executed in Iran, and 6,000 over ten years, according to Iran Human Rights.

In addition, the use of cruel and inhuman punishment is also on the rise in Iran; according to Amnesty International, the use of various forms of torture such as amputation and flogging has been increasing at an alarming rate.

Macron also fails to recognize that the nuclear deal never contained or adequately addressed Iran's multifaceted threats, which include but are not limited to: The arming and financing of terror and militia groups in the region; intervening in the internal affairs of regional countries; pursing a sectarian agenda by pitting Shiites and Sunnis against each other; carrying out cyber attacks against other nations; and committing human rights violations inside Iran and abroad through its proxies.
IRGC Commander Confirms Missile-Cities Hidden under Iran's Mountains
We have been digging tunnels since 1984 when we first began making missiles.” These were the words of Revolutionary Guards general Amir Ali Hajizadeh, commander of the IRGC’s Aerospace Force. He was interviewed by the Iranian regime’s Documentary TV a few hours after the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI)- US representative office, revealed the existence of numerous tunnel formations across Iran that were used to stock long-range missiles.

Hajizadeh had played a vital role in the September 14, 2019 drone and cruise-missile attack against Saudi Arabia’s ARAMCO facilities deep inside Saudi territory, according to information revealed on September 30 by the NCRI’s US representative office in Washington DC.

Even though Hajizadeh is not a member of the regime’s Supreme National Security Council (SNSC), according to the NCRI’s information, provided by the People’s Mojahedin (PMOI, Mujahedin-e Khalq or MEK), he was present in the SNSC’s session on July 31, 2019, when the decision to prepare an attack on Saudi oilfields was made.

After the decision was approved by the regime’s supreme leader Ali Khamenei, Hajizadeh was instructed to begin the implementation of the plan.

More than ten points of construction/stockpiling of missiles with ranges of up to 2000 km were revealed for the first time by the NCRI’s US representative office. Satellite photos of all the locations were made available to the public.

“We have to protect our arsenal in an adequate way. The idea goes back to 1984, just when we began thinking of missiles. Before the first such material was imported into the country, we had already begun digging the tunnels to hide them,” Hajizadeh affirmed in his interview, broadcast a few hours after the revelations made by the Iranian Resistance.


PreOccupiedTerritory: Pakistan Wondering How Much Longer It Can Keep Citizen Anger Focused On Faraway Israel (satire)
A proven political strategy to divert popular resentment from the corrupt, repressive government and toward an outside foe might not remain effective forever, a new report by this Islamic country’s ministry of the interior warns.

Israel remains a potent rhetorical magnet for focusing Pakistanis’ anger despite its physical distance and negligible measurable impact on Pakistani lives, acknowledged the report, but the authors caution that overplaying the Israel card may carry unwanted consequences during a time of increased access to alternative sources of information that can both attenuate the desired anti-Israel and anti-Jewish effect of the rhetoric and reflect some of the anger back at Pakistan’s own leadership. The risk of this development has reached a likelihood unknown thirty years ago, according to the report, and appears to increase with each passing year, such that by the middle of this century, it estimates, Pakistan may be forced to forgo anti-Zionism as a primary domestic pacification strategy.

“Whereas during the latter half of the previous century the very mention of Israel, Zionists, or Palestine served as a reliable lightning rod for popular anger, it no longer riles the populace as it once did,” the report warned. “An outright majority of Pakistanis still view an assertive Jewish presence on historically Muslim-ruled land as a source of existential shame, but indications have emerged that they no longer rank that shame at the top of their troubles, a development that points to an emerging challenge for the leadership in deflecting attention from its cronyism, nepotism, incompetence, corruption, support for terrorists, warped domestic priorities, and other issues best left shrouded in distraction.”



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EFF to First Circuit: First Amendment Protects Right to Secretly Audio Record Police   

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The First Amendment protects the public’s right to use electronic devices to secretly audio record police officers performing their official duties in public. This is according to an amicus brief EFF filed in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit. The case, Martin v. Rollins, was brought by the ACLU of Massachusetts on behalf of plaintiffs who are challenging the constitutionality of the Massachusetts anti-eavesdropping statute, which prohibits the secret audio recording of all conversations, even those that are not private.

The First Circuit had previously held in Glik v. Cunniffe (2011) that Glik had a First Amendment right to record police officers arresting another man in Boston Common. He had used his cell phone to openly record both audio and video of the incident. The court also held that this did not violate the Massachusetts anti-eavesdropping statute.

EFF’s amicus brief argues that people frequently use modern electronic devices to record and share audio and video recordings, especially on social media. These often include newsworthy recordings of fatal police shootings and other police misconduct. Such recordings facilitate police accountability and enhance the public discussion about police use of force and racial disparities in our criminal justice system.

EFF’s amicus brief also argues that audio recordings can be particularly helpful in chronicling police misconduct, providing more context beyond the video images, such as when a bystander audio recorded Eric Garner screaming, “I can’t breathe.” Additionally, being able to secretly audio record police officers performing their official duties in public is critical given that many officers retaliate against civilians who openly record them.

In addition to the First Circuit’s Glik decision, five other federal appellate jurisdictions have upheld a First Amendment right to record police officers performing their official duties in public: the Third, Fifth, Seventh, Ninth, and Eleventh Circuits. EFF wrote an amicus brief in the Third Circuit case, as well as in a pending case in the Tenth Circuit and a case in the Northern District of Texas that focused on the First Amendment right to record emergency medical personnel and other first responders.

The First Circuit reached the right decision in Glik, and we hope the appellate court will take this opportunity to further strengthen the right to record police officers performing their official duties in public by holding that secret audio recording is also protected by the First Amendment.


          

Anger grows at civilian deaths by U.S., Afghan forces   

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Increasing civilian deaths in stepped-up U.S. airstrikes and operations by Afghan forces highlight the conundrum the U.S. military and its Afghan allies face, 18 years into the war: How to hunt down their Islamic State group and Taliban enemies, while keeping civilians safe and on their side.
          

Let the people see the peace they deserve   

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Mosul now has been freed, another episode of war series is over, it is really like a dramatic series that refuse to end, it seems like the author is enjoying and he has no intension to end it. The sound of bullets went silent declaring proudly that nothing remains to be shot, leaving more than 40000 civilians dying unmercifully. Many of people there have lost their whole families, hundreds of children became alone with no home or parents, how would those be able to live their lives after the nightmares they suffered?!
How could that man sitting on the rubble of his destroyed house looking for his family under the stones believe that the life is fair and deserve to be lived. What was the guilt they made to live through such miserable life?
The city now has no present and its glorious past has been effaced. The city icon “Alnoori mosque with Al hadbaa leaning minaret” is crushed, knowing that its age is about 900 years old which means that it is older than the leaning tower of pisa in Italy!!! Beside the mosque of the prophet Jonah which was built over the palace of Assyrian king Esarhaddon 600 years BC that was blown up by ISIS in 2014. All are worthless being in the land of war, Iraq, where nothing judges but the weapon.
The smashed old city was one of the most vital areas in Mosul. Once you cross the old bridge you reach an area called Al Maidan which contains small restaurant making grilled fishes and meats, and you hear the peddlers calls for their goods. The bazaar of the old city is composed of inter connected narrow streets, each was specialized with goods that are not sold in other places such as golds, electronics, stationeries, clothes…etc. The city was overcrowded with people walking, working and buying. The old city now is a ghosts’ city nothing around but rubbles, smoke and dead bodies.



Reports revealed that about 75% of Mosul city is completely destroyed and 6 districts in west Mosul are completely destroyed with 11000 houses are now severely damaged. It is estimated that far more than 500 Million dollars are required for reconstruction. Mosul needs miracles as the government would be unable to afford the cost beside the corruption that is widespread among its foundations.
We hope this will be the last episode as nothing left to be destroyed further. We hope that the author’s pen is running out of ink!! Let the people see the peace they deserve…


 

          

the tragedy of Mosul   

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We don't get used to something unless; something in us dies.

looking back into what I had before the attack in 2014 and the current situations I am living was so much hard for me especially after the ISIS took my apartment and properties and I left with nothing but a paper certificate my asylum seeker status.
 Few days ago, our neighborhood was liberated and the ISIS ran from my house after taking home furnishing, leaving a boomed car in the garage!, the house get also damaged from the mortars that ISIS were shooting during the battle with Iraqi army. Hearing the latest news regarding this house didn't shed a tear from my eyes! I felt little bother and then what ! drowned people don't fear getting wet.


I am enough from hearing bad news, seeing the painful Images and video of  Mosul and I can't stop watching and following the news hour by hour.

 Do you know how awful it is to examine the faces and inertly pray this is not a person you know !
It's kind of feeling that is taking your heart away but not in the way the love does,Violence took it with pain so you can hear every beat as it is the last long lasting one.

Do you know that people in Mosul start to  buried their victims in their back yards ! painfully knowing certain families ( two family I know) had mortar shelled over them during the funeral !

Once the Iraqi army start it's attack to liberate a neighbor, ISIS in turn start to force people to leave their houses. As I heared from my relative, a man from ISIS entered their house by breaking the main door, wearing booby-trapped band and threatened them to leave with nothing , and also they burn the houses of those who refuses to obey them.
Even when one neighbor is liberated, this doesn't mean that the danger is not exist. Snipers from ISIS sleeper cells are killing men, women and children with no mercy.
ISIS consider any person in neighbor that is not under their control as a person apostate from the Islamic state and that he/she must be killed, Beside the snipers , there is also the randoms mortars towards the neighbor, there are also the boomed cars, and the bombed houses  !

away from all this unbelievable life threatening liberation. People in Mosul waiting the liberation hopelessly. This mean nothing but the fears that filling the hearts of children when they are sheltering their bodies by hiding under stairs is greater than what humanity could serve.


The current situation in Mosul is greater than you could believe. If you hear it, you may say I am over exaggerate in telling it. But as a matter of fact, I am only telling you part of the story as I am after all from Mosul, and I have a close family who are still under the control of ISIS.

you might be shocked knowing that:
- 70% of the liberated areas are extremely destroyed , besides the five bridges connecting the two coasts of the city are now out of service !



- More than 120,000 displaced people from the beginning of the campaign in 16/10/2016 !





- 900 bomb car exploded in Mosul within the last two month ! which is equal to the estimated number of bomb cars that had exploded all over Iraq between 2003-2010 !
- There are no safe roads to escape from Mosul in contrast to what Iraqi government promise.
- Nearly a million of people are now lack of food and water. People in Mosul started to drink rain water and burn their furnishing to get warm !
- the estimated number of civilian victims since the campaign may reach several thousands.
- No humanitarian organization can reach the part of Mosul under the control of ISIS ( 70% of Mosul)
- nearly 150 injured civilians reach Erbil hospitals daily and then they were intimidated either to return to Mosul or go to the miserable Camps where people suffer starvation.





One thing that is bothering me so mush, is why some Arabian news channel is silent against all what is happening, they are not talking about Mosul even in the news ticker !
Why the CNN cover the battle situation and AL Jazeera (famous news channel in middle east) Doesn't !!!
Why Mosul have to fight and suffer alone !!
even the Arabian known humanitarian organization pay no attention to the war in Mosul although the situation there is as bad as that of Aleppo.






          

The distructive liberation   

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Every day , we wake to news about the libration of Iraqi lands occupied by ISIS and the heavy fighting between the latter and the iraqi army helped by sectarian shiite militia known as “hashid shaaby” supervised by coaliation forces. Evidently the term “ liberation “ seems to be a glorious victory that brings back peace to the people there, but the reality appears to be different . It is just a massive destruction that turn the cities to uninhabitable scraps .
Since April , 2015 ,Tikrit ( a city located 140 km northwest to Baghdad , 220  km southeast to Mosul) was regaind from islamic state fighters after fierce fighting which forced 28,000 civilians to fled out of the city . Regaining Tikrit gave some hope to the displaced people to return back to their homes , but everyone was shocked by retributive vandalism carried out by shia militia groups who took the control on the city and started to burn , destroy and steal the property of the fleet people. After a year from liberating Tikrit , the people, who fled to kurdistan in the north,  are between the hammer and the anvil for being afraid to return to their homes and bearing the harassement of Kurdistan government who tries to compel them to leave kurdistan by refusing the renewal of their residency permission. Targeting unarmed civilians continued in Al Muqdadyiah ( province of Dyalah ) under the pretention of fighting terrorism. 

The government tried to improve it’s public image in Ramadi (108 km west to Baghdad ) as it relied largely on official iraqi armed forces together with  the armed tribes and the coaliation air strikes while constricting the role of “Hashid” militia which incensed Shiites as they consider it a depreciation to them . Again the government mass media tried to glorify the victory , but Ramadi liberation was synonymous with that of Tikrit. Ramadi now is a wild city with completely destructed infra structures , the government reports estimated that about 80% of the city is completely broken up ,  Besides the sleeper cells that come between any chances to bring peace to the city .

The big challenge now is “ Mosul “ ،The second largest city in Iraq with 2 millions people trapped there under the role of ISIS . As opposed to the tribal society of Ramady and to some degree of Tikrit , cultured society of Mosul make things more complicated in terms of arming the tribes belong to the city which in some way was helpful in Ramadi.

Mosul is considered as the stronghold of ISIS fighters and one of the most important resource for them , As a result they won’t give up easily and they will fight desperately in order to keep the city under their control taking the advantage of the high popular density and using them as human shields . The government seems to temporize taking serious steps in liberation of Mosul as well as it insist on participating “ Hashid “ militia despite the troubles they made in Tikrit and other cities. All the factors mentioned above make the liberation of the city more difficult and more complicated which mean that the city may undergo  more massive destruction and shedding a lot of blood in comparision of other cities.
Iraq in general is walking toward the abyss , the government is helpless and have lost a considerable parts of Iraq and hand them over to the strangers . the politicians are busy in filling their pockets and don’t care about the people outside their castles .
Iraq really needs a miracle to survive this period which is the worst period in it’s history.

          

A Generation Deleted: American Bombs in Yemen Are Costing an Entire Generation Their Future   

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Yemen war children feature photo
Feature photo | A child injured in a deadly Saudi-led coalition airstrike rests in a hospital in Saada, Yemen, Aug. 12, 2018. Hani Mohammed | AP
As a new school year begins in Yemen, Ahmed AbdulKareem investigates the impact that American weapons have had on the war-torn country’s schoolchildren.

River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian   
The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the Blog!

          

‘Soft’ coup ensues in Pakistan   

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Pakistan (MNN) -- Pakistan’s army has engaged in a soft coup. In efforts to keep the country functioning, the Army Chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa recently sought out economic advice in private meetings. Brother Nehemiah, ministry liaison for FMI, gives us some insight into the current situation. “They select the government, and they rule the government through a democracy in Pakistan. And I mean, you can say puppets…It's very common in Pakistan now that civilians or the business community are meeting with [the] chief of army in Pakistan,” Brother Nehemiah explains. “[The] army says they don't call it a soft coup, they call it compulsory intervention. They thought ‘we have to intervene in the civil government.’”

Coup History in Pakistan

Army Chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa (Photo obtained via Wikimedia Commons. Attribution: Inter Services Public Relations [CC BY-SA 4.0])

As it turns out, soft coups are common in Pakistan. This commonality stems from Pakistan’s history. The country was military-controlled for over three decades (1958-1971; 1977-1988; 1999-2008). Brother Nehemiah says these days, most Pakistanis are not concerned with soft coups. However, there is a shift happening in the culture. Pakistani society has typically held high respect for its military. Now, this sentiment is starting to change. Brother Nehemiah says there are groups of people with less endearing feelings towards the military who no longer support the army’s compulsory intervention.

Concern for Christian Persecution

Furthermore, this soft coup has the potential to increase Christian persecution in the country. “The military are…controlling the media. In print media, or electronic media, they're trying to deter them and there is no news going out. So, people [have] more leverage, or I mean more privileged, to hunt down Christians,” Brother Nehemiah says.

Christians are now marking the bottoms their common-use vessels such as this cup to indicate that it is suitable for a Christian to use (and therefore unsuitable for a Muslim to use). Such markings will help Christians avoid controversies with Muslims such as the one that embroiled Asia Bibi with blasphemy charges. (Photo courtesy of FMI)

Pakistan already has strict blasphemy laws on the books. These blasphemy laws carry an automatic death sentence prefaced with a fee. However, adequate evidence is rarely a necessity for a blasphemy conviction. The result is an abuse of the blasphemy laws, and minorities like Christians are often falsely convicted. Read more about Pakistan’s blasphemy laws here.  Given this context, one can imagine the danger posed to minorities when a military undermines its government, takes control over the media, and unevenly applied blasphemy laws are available for abuse. With this in mind, pray for the preparations of Pakistani Christians enduring this coup. Pray for their protection and creativity in continuing their ministry. Pray for justice in Pakistan despite the corruption. Finally, pray for the Gospel to soften hard hearts. Learn more about FMI’s work in Pakistan and how to support local pastors here.     Header photo courtesy of FMI.
          

HAWAII FIVE 0 Season 10 Episode 2 Photos   

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HAWAII FIVE 0 Season 10 Episode 2 Photos  – “Kuipeia e ka makani apaa” – Tani and Junior must plot an escape for themselves and several civilians after they become trapped inside a deadly...

This content is summary only. Visit Seat42F for the full article.
          

   

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Donald Trump threatens to 'obliterate' Turkish economy if it goes too far with Syria invasion

Turks are attacking the heroic Kurds.  Trump thought he had a deal with Turkey to protect the Kurds which would allow US troops to withdraw safely

US President Donald Trump warned Turkey against going too far in Syria, after giving Ankara a green light to invade its southern neighbour.

Mr Trump said on Monday he was done with "ridiculous endless war" as he stood aside to allow a long-threatened Turkish assault on Kurdish-held Syria, effectively abandoning its allies who fought Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (Isil).

The US had for months been working with Turkey to try to create a buffer zone along its border with northern Syria between the Turkish military and Kurdish forces which Ankara sees as terrorists.

But amid an outcry from the region and strong opposition at home from both Democratic and Republican lawmakers, the US leader appeared to reverse himself, though without drawing any specific red lines that might protect Kurdish allies.

"If Turkey does anything that I, in my great and unmatched wisdom, consider to be off limits, I will totally destroy and obliterate the Economy of Turkey (I've done before!)," Mr Trump tweeted.

Other US officials, apparently surprised by Trump's Sunday announcement, stressed that Washington will not actively support the long-threated Turkish action, warning of destabilizing blowback to the region.

"The Department of Defense made clear to Turkey - as did the president - that we do not endorse a Turkish operation in Northern Syria," said Pentagon spokesperson Jonathan Hoffman.

Turkey has repeatedly criticised the slow implementation of the buffer zone and threatened a unilateral assault, but until Monday the US had refused to stand aside.

"The Kurds fought with us, but were paid massive amounts of money and equipment to do so. They have been fighting Turkey for decades," Mr Trump said in an earlier series of tweets.

"Turkey, Europe, Syria, Iran, Iraq, Russia and the Kurds will now have to figure the situation out."

US Republican and Democrats had warned such an offensive on the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG), which lost 11,000 troops in the battle against Isil, could lead to a massacre of Kurds and send a worrying message to American allies across the world.

The US began pulling back some of its 1,000 troops from border towns  Tel Abyad and Ras al-Ayn on Monday, and has said it will potentially depart the country should widespread fighting break out.

The announcement, first made by the White House overnight on Sunday, appeared to take both the Kurds and US coalition forces, which had been carrying out joint patrols with Turkey on the ground, completely by surprise.

Kurdish sources say they were acting in good faith trying to establish a security mechanism with the US to placate Turkey, but now felt that Ankara had been using it as a cover for reconnaisance.

Mustafa Bali, spokesman for the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), tweeted: "We are not expecting the US to protect NE #Syria. But people here are owed an explanation regarding security mechanism deal, destruction of fortifications and failure of US to fulfill their commitments."

The White House statement was released after a phonecall between US President Donald Trump and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Sunday night.

Mr Erdogan had reportedly assured the US president that Ankara would take over the detention of Isil militants captured by the SDF, on the battlefield.

The Kurds have been holding thousands of Syrian and thousands more foreign Isil suspects in prisons and camps across the north of the country.

Mr Trump has repeatedly asked countries under the US-led coalition against Isil to repatriate their citizens. However, the UK, France, Germany, and other allies have so far refused.

“The United States will not hold them for what could be many years and great cost to the United States taxpayer,” the White House statement said. “Turkey will now be responsible for all ISIS fighters in the area captured over the past two years in the wake of the defeat of the territorial “Caliphate” by the United States.”

The decision is a massive blow to the Kurds, who not only helped hold back Isil but have for years been building an autonomous statelet in the northeast of Syria.

Turkey claims its planned “safe zone” is to purge the border of YPG forces, which it sees as a terrorist offshoot of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), which has fought an insurgency inside its territory for the past 35 years.

The proposed corridor would have an initial depth of 18 miles and a length of 300 miles and includes the Kurds’ biggest urban centres, including the city of Qamishli which has an estimated 250,000 population.

Turkey on Monday night carried out air strikes on the Iraqi side of the Iraq-Syria border crossing, in what was thought to be an attack on the YPG's supply line.

Western diplomats told the Telegraph they are working on the theory that Mr Erdogan will begin by attempting to take a smaller sliver between the towns of Tel Abyad and Ras al-Ain on the border, but the Turkish president himself has previously hinted at much wider ambitions.

Mr Erdogan has said he wants to return two million of the mostly Sunni Arab Syrian refugees Turkey is hosting to the buffer zone, which some have said would amount to an ethnic repopulation.

The Kurds fear many of the Syrians that might be placed in the zone are not native to north-east Syria, and might displace the Kurdish culture and rights.

The UN said that it was "preparing for the worst", fearing an assault would send large numbers of civilians fleeing.

“This Turkish military operation in northern and eastern Syria will have a significant negative impact on our war on ISIS and will destroy everything that has been achieved from the state of stability over the past years,” the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces said in a statement.

They said they would defend themselves against “Turkish aggression” and called on all sects, including Kurds, Arabs, Syriacs and Assyrians to join them.

Defending its Kurdish allies would have seen the US come against its Nato partner Turkey, which Washington was keen to avoid.

President Donald Trump has since taking office attempted to disentangle the US from drawn-out wars in the Middle East.

His goal of swift withdrawals in Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan have been stymied by concerns from US officials and American allies about the dangerous voids that would remain.

SOURCE 

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America’s top CEOs say they are no longer putting shareholders before everyone else

This a joke.  CEOs have NEVER put shareholders first. Their own prestige, power and income have always been their first priority and that will not change.  Shareholders just get the scraps

For the past two decades, the official stance of America’s top corporate executives has been that the interests of shareholders came before the interests of all others—workers, consumers, the cities and towns in which their companies operated, and society as a whole.

Today, that changes.

The Business Roundtable, a lobbying group composed of the nation’s leading CEOs, just announced that its members “share a fundamental commitment to all of our stakeholders”—each of whom “is essential”—while pledging “to deliver value to all of them, for the future success of our companies, our communities, and our country.”

With its “Statement on the Purpose of a Corporation,” the Roundtable has affirmed the need for “meeting or exceeding customer expectations”; “investing in our employees,” including by “compensating them fairly and providing important benefits,” as well as offering training and education so that they can “develop new skills for a rapidly changing world”; “dealing fairly and ethically with our suppliers”; “supporting the communities in which we work”; and “generating long-term value for shareholders.”

Jamie Dimon, the CEO of JPMorgan Chase and the Roundtable’s chairman, says he hopes that this declaration “will help to set a new standard for corporate leadership.”

It is, without question, a huge deal.

As I’ve detailed before, through the 1980s and most of the ’90s, the Roundtable held that companies had a responsibility to “carefully weigh the interests of all stakeholders,” as the organization described it, and that “the thrust of history and law” buttressed this kind of broad assessment.

In 1997, the Roundtable switched course. Suddenly, it proclaimed that “the paramount duty of management and of boards of directors is to the corporation’s stockholders” and that “the interests of other stakeholders are relevant as a derivative of the duty to stockholders.” (The Roundtable echoed that message in 2016.)

The Roundtable’s shift to a shareholder-first posture has been widely cited as a significant marker in the evolution of corporate America—both a reflection and reinforcement of an ideology that has thrilled investors, gripped executives, and knocked out a more enlightened form of capitalism that had emerged in the era after World War II.

Yet since then—and especially over the past 5 to 10 years—serving shareholders first and foremost has come under increasing attack. An expanding chorus of critics has made the case that this predilection has contributed to a short-term mindset among far too many executives, fostering a culture of indiscriminate cost-cutting and financial engineering, and has been a central reason for the explosion in income inequality.

“I read the Roundtable’s statement as a return to common-sense principles of management and the recognition that employees need a bigger share of the pie to assure a healthy economy,” says Judy Samuelson, executive director of the Aspen Institute’s Business and Society Program.

The pressure for business to put an end to shareholder primacy has been building from a variety of quarters. Younger workers, in particular, are looking for employers that have a loftier purpose than merely maximizing their profits. More and more, customers are paying attention to which companies seem to be doing right by their people and the environment—and punishing brands that fall short. Socially conscious investors have started putting vast sums of money into financial products that use a “sustainable, responsible, and impact” lens.

Politicians have also taken up the cause. The Accountable Capitalism Act, proposed by Elizabeth Warren, the Massachusetts senator and Democratic presidential candidate, would require very large companies to obtain a new federal charter under which directors would have to “consider the interests of all corporate stakeholders.”

Meanwhile, the basic tenets of shareholder capitalism have been questioned by scholars such as the late Lynn Stout, a Cornell law professor and author of The Shareholder Value Myth, who cogently argued that executives and directors have wide latitude in deciding what is best for a company and don’t have any obligation—legal or otherwise—to elevate shareholders above everyone else. Journalists and think-tank types have weighed in along these lines, too.

MY DINNER WITH DIMON

Among them has been me. As Fortune’s Alan Murray recounts, the Roundtable began to reevaluate its views on the relationship between shareholders and other stakeholders after a “testy, off-the-record dinner” last fall that I participated in. Dimon had invited four of us—including the Washington Post‘s Steve Pearlstein, Bloomberg’s Joe Nocera, and Samuelson of the Aspen Institute—to JPMorgan headquarters to better understand why we kept insisting that corporate America had become overly obsessed with shareholder value and, as a result, was damaging society.

Dimon’s perspective—then and now—is that most big companies already take good care of their various stakeholders. “We relentlessly invest in employees, communities, and innovation,” he told me.

If that were true, of course, the new Roundtable statement would simply be codifying the current state of affairs. But with all due respect to Dimon, who deserves great credit for engaging with us and then guiding the Roundtable to recast its position, the numbers don’t back him up.

Sure, no company completely ignores all of its constituents save for its shareholders. If it did, it would soon be out of business. But as a study published last week by the Center for American Progress makes clear, things are terribly out of balance.

Wages for the majority of the American workforce have been stagnant for 40 years, while their health coverage and retirement security have eroded. At the same time, corporate profits—high by historical standards—are mainly being used to reward shareholders, including CEOs themselves. Their compensation has gone up 940% since 1978; typical worker compensation has risen 12% during that time, according to the Economic Policy Institute.

For the Roundtable’s statement to mean something—and not stand as empty rhetoric—this picture can’t be allowed to continue.

With that in mind, I asked a half-dozen colleagues who’ve been at the fore of fighting shareholder primacy what would it take for them to be convinced that CEOs across the business landscape had genuinely embraced stakeholder capitalism.

For starters, several say, companies must curtail stock buybacks, if not stop them altogether. These repurchases have become a financial narcotic, with a record volume of shares being snapped up, largely in an attempt to pump up their price.

Some, including Roundtable President Joshua Bolten, defend the practice as an efficient way to deploy capital and help the economy grow. But buybacks plainly favor shareholders (including, again, CEOs), and every dollar of profit spent on them means one less dollar that can go directly to bolster worker pay, training, R&D, and other areas.

“I would make it the primary obligation of all business corporations to ‘retain-and-reinvest’: retain profits and reinvest in the productive capabilities of employees,” says economist Bill Lazonick, who is perhaps the country’s most outspoken detractor of buybacks. “I would place constraints on ‘downsize-and-distribute’: downsizing the company’s labor force and distributing corporate cash to shareholders.”

Environmental stewardship is another proving ground. Some big companies score high marks in this arena right now. But with climate change posing an existential crisis, it’s crucial that corporations do far more.

“Why I’m passionate about ending shareholder primacy is that I truly think the future of the entire human race depends on it, and I’m not trying to exaggerate,” says Lenore Palladino, an economist at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. “For corporate leaders to show they are committed to stakeholder capitalism, we need to see a commitment to the health of the environment as a business priority . . . a dramatic strategic reorientation towards reversing the current damage and reengineering businesses to be productive for the long term.”

For sustainability pioneer John Elkington, another sign that a stakeholder model hadreally taken root would be for companies to no longer speak with two voices: one from the C-suite and another via the Washington influencers representing them.

“They would resign from all trade and industry groups which lobby to slow or stall necessary systemic changes” that would enhance the simultaneous creation of economic, social, and environmental value, says Elkington, who coined the term “triple bottom line.” Then they would turn around, he adds, and “forcefully and publicly lobby for a meaningful price on carbon and for the breakup of monopolies and oligopolies.”

To give the Roundtable statement some teeth, they’d also take a fresh approach to organized labor. “Welcoming, rather than fighting, a union would be a big one,” says Andy Green, managing director of economic policy at the Center for American Progress. Research shows that nearly half of all workers not in a union want to join one. Yet many companies do all they can to keep this from happening.

Samuelson, for her part, would be impressed by companies “dampening down the intense focus on stock price in CEO pay.” More than half of CEO compensation is share-based these days, much of it tied to short-term financial measures. Instead, executives should be paid—and to a meaningful degree—on a mix of environmental, social, and governance metrics.

The University of Toronto’s Roger Martin, who has been recognized as the world’s number-one management thinker, wants to see a reversal of something that, for many of the most senior executives, is even more deep-seated.

Rather than concentrate on stock price, he says, they should expressly concentrate on serving customers or developing employees or tackling some social need through innovation. Ultimately, Martin has maintained, that’s the best means of taking care of shareholders anyway.

“For me, the key would be to view shareholder value creation as the logical consequence of other things, not something that you can directly pursue,” he says. “It is like Aristotle who pointed out that if a person sets out to be happy, the person is unlikely to end up happy. However, if the person sets out to lead a virtuous life, the person will probably end up happy. If I could only have one thing, it would be that.”

Others made additional suggestions: Companies should guarantee a living wage for all workers, including contractors. Stakeholders of different stripes (employees, sustainability experts, even everyday taxpayers) should be given seats on corporate boards. Executives should lean on business schools to stop teaching that shareholder value is the be-all and end-all of capitalism.

Much of this agenda may be dismissed as unrealistic. Certainly, none of it will be easy to achieve. And none of it is meant to imply that the Roundtable’s statement isn’t, in and of itself, a monumental step.

Words matter. The words of the Roundtable—a Who’s Who of those at the helm of the largest U.S. corporations, from Abbott to Zebra Technologies—matter a lot. In the end, though, it is the actions of Roundtable members that will matter the most.

SOURCE 

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For more blog postings from me, see  TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, GREENIE WATCHPOLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, and Paralipomena (Occasionally updated), A Coral reef compendium and an IQ compendium. (Both updated as news items come in).  GUN WATCH is now mainly put together by Dean Weingarten. I also put up occasional updates on my Personal blog and each day I gather together my most substantial current writings on THE PSYCHOLOGIST.

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Syria-Turkey briefing: The fallout of an invasion for civilians   

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Humanitarians are warning that a Turkish invasion in northeast Syria could force hundreds of thousands of people to flee their homes, as confusion reigns over its possible timing, scope, and consequences.

Panos Moumtzis, the UN’s regional humanitarian coordinator for Syria, told reporters in Geneva on Monday that any military operation must guard against causing further displacement. “We are hoping for the best but preparing for the worst,” he said, noting that an estimated 1.7 million people live in the country’s northeast. 

Some residents close to the Syria-Turkey border are already leaving, one aid worker familiar with the situation on the ground told The New Humanitarian. Most are staying with relatives in nearby villages for the time-being, said the aid worker, who asked to remain anonymous in order to continue their work. 

The number of people who have left their homes so far remains relatively small, the aid worker said, but added: “If there is an incursion, people will leave.”

The International Rescue Committee said “a military offensive could immediately displace at least 300,000 people”, but analysts TNH spoke to cautioned that the actual number would depend on Turkey’s plans, which remain a major unknown.

As the diplomatic and security communities struggle to get a handle on what’s next, the same goes for humanitarians in northeastern Syria – and the communities they are trying to serve.

Here’s what we know, and what we don’t:

What just happened?

Late on Sunday night, the White House said that following a phone call with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, “Turkey will soon be moving forward with its long-planned operation into Northern Syria,” adding that US soldiers would not be part of the move, and “will no longer be in the immediate area”.

The Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) – the Syrian-Kurdish-led militia that until now had been supported by the United States and played a major role in wresting territory back from the so-called Islamic State (IS) group in Syria – vowed to stand its ground in the northeast.

An SDF spokesperson tweeted that the group “will not hesitate to turn any unprovoked attack by Turkey into an all-out war on the entire border to DEFEND ourselves and our people”.

Leading Republicans in the US Congress criticised President Donald Trump’s decision, saying it represents an abandonment of Kurdish allies in Syria, and the Pentagon appeared both caught off-guard and opposed to a Turkish incursion

Since then, Trump has tweeted extensively on the subject, threatening to “totally destroy and obliterate the economy of Turkey” if the country does anything he considers to be “off limits”.

On the ground, US troops have moved out of two key observation posts on the Turkey-Syria border, in relatively small numbers: estimates range from 50 to 150 of the total who would have been shifted, out of around 1,000 US soldiers in the country.

What is Turkey doing?

Erdogan has long had his sights on a “safe zone” inside Syria, which he has said could eventually become home to as many as three million Syrian refugees, currently in Turkey.

Turkish Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu said in August that only 17 percent of Turkey’s estimated 3.6 million Syrian refugees come from the northeast of the country, which is administered by the SDF and its political wing.

Turkish and US forces began joint patrols of a small stretch of the border early last month. While Turkey began calling the area a “safe zone”, the United States referred to it as a “security mechanism”. The terms of the deal were either never made public or not hammered out.

In addition to any desire to resettle refugees, which might only be a secondary motive, Turkey wants control of northeast Syria to rein in the power of the SDF, which it considers to be a terrorist organisation.

One of the SDF’s main constituent parts are People’s Defense Units – known by their Kurdish acronym YPG.

The YPG are an offshoot of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, or PKK – a Turkey-based Kurdish separatist organisation that has conducted an insurgency against the Turkish government for decades, leading to a bloody crackdown

While rebels fight for the northwest, and Russian-backed Syrian government forces control most of the rest of Syria, the SDF currently rules over almost all of Hassakeh province, most of Raqqa and Deir Ezzor provinces, and a small part of Aleppo province. 

How many civilians are at risk?

There has not been a census in Syria for years, and numbers shift quickly as people flee different pockets of conflict. This makes estimating the number of civilians in northeast Syria very difficult.

The IRC said in its statement it is “deeply concerned about the lives and livelihoods of the two million civilians in northeast Syria”; Moumtzis mentioned 1.7 million people; and Save the Children said “there are 1.65 million people in need of humanitarian assistance in this area, including more than 650,000 displaced by war”.

Of those who have had to leave their homes in Raqqa, Deir Ezzor, and Hassakeh, only 100,000 are living in camps, according to figures from the International Committee of the Red Cross. Others rent houses or apartments, and some live in unfinished buildings or tents.

“While many commentators are rightly focusing on the security implications of this policy reversal, the humanitarian implications will be equally enormous,” said Jeremy Konyndyk, senior policy fellow at the Center for Global Development, and a former high-ranking Obama administration aid official.

“All across Northern Syria, hundreds of thousands of displaced and conflict-affected people who survived the horrors of the… [IS] era will now face the risk of new violence between Turkish and SDF forces.”

Who will be first in the firing line?

It’s unlikely all of northeast Syria would be impacted by a Turkish invasion right away, given that so far the United States has only moved its troops away from two border posts, at Tel Abyad (Kurdish name: Gire Spi), and roughly 100 kilometres to the east, at Ras al-Ayn (Kurdish name: Serê Kaniyê). 

Depending on how far into Syria one is counting, aid workers estimate there are between 52,000 to 68,000 people in this 100-kilometre strip, including the towns of Tel Abyad and Ras al-Ayn themselves. The aid worker in northeast Syria told TNH that if there is an offensive, these people are more likely, at least initially, to stay with family or friends in nearby villages than to end up in camps.

The aid worker added that while humanitarian operations from more than 70 NGOs are ongoing across the northeast, including in places like Tel Abyad, some locals are avoiding the town itself and, in general, people are “extremely worried”.

What will happen to al-Hol camp?

The fate of the rest of northeast Syria’s population may also be at risk.

Trump tweeted on Monday that the Kurds “must, with Europe and others, watch over the captured ISIS fighters and families”.

The SDF currently administers al-Hol, a tense camp of more than 68,000 people – mostly women and children – deep in Hassakeh province, where the World Health Organisation recently said people are living “in harsh and deplorable conditions, with limited access to quality basic services, sub-optimal environment and concerns of insecurity.”

Many of the residents of al-Hol stayed with IS through its last days in Syria, and the camp holds both these supporters and people who fled the group earlier on.

Last week, Médecins Sans Frontières said security forces shot at women protesting in a part of the camp known as “the annex”, which holds around 10,000 who are not Syrian or Iraqi.

The SDF also holds more than 10,000 IS detainees in other prisons, and the possible release of these people – plus those at al-Hol – may become a useful bargaining chip for the Kurdish-led group.

On Monday, an SDF commander said guarding the prisoners had become a “second priority” in the wake of a possible Turkish offensive.

"All their families are located in the border area," General Mazloum Kobani Abdi told NBC News of the SDF fighters who had been guarding the prisoners. "So they are forced to defend their families."

(TOP PHOTO: Syrian Kurds demonstrate against threats of a Turkish invasion on the outskirts of Ras al-Ayn, on 6 October 2019.)

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‘We are hoping for the best but preparing for the worst.’
Syria-Turkey briefing: The fallout of an invasion for civilians

          

High Representative Ms. Nakamitsu contributes to the Vienna Conference on Protecting Civilians in Urban Warfare   

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Remarks by HR Nakamitsu at the Protecting Civilians in Urban Warfare conference   

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US air strike in Somalia killed civilians: Amnesty   

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Nairobi (AFP) Oct 1, 2019
Amnesty International on Tuesday accused the United States of killing three civilians in an air strike in Somalia, and failing to investigate claims they were farmers with no ties to Al-Shabaab. Amnesty said its investigations revealed the trio killed in the March 18 strike in southern Somalia were innocent, despite US Africa Command (AFRICOM) saying the men were jihadists. The US has st
          

Nigeria: Police, Military Culpable in Taraba Killing of Officers - Panel   

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[Premium Times] A panel of inquiry set up to investigate the killing of three police officers and two civilians in Taraba State in August has found that both the police and military were responsible for the incident.
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