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A bird's eye view of the vineyard

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Human Rights in Ireland
A Blog About Human Rights

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Dublin Opinion
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Syria extremists financed by private Gulf donors carried out mass killings – HRW

category international | anti-war / imperialism | other press author Friday October 11, 2013 13:05author by Turing Report this post to the editors

Full story, images & vid at link.

At least 190 people were killed and more than 200 taken hostage by Syrian rebels financed by private Gulf donors in an August 4 military offensive in the Latakia governorate, according to a Human Rights Watch report. At least 67 of the victims executed had lived in government-aligned Alawite villages, HRW said in its report, “You Can Still See Their Blood,” released Friday, which saw the events as the first evidence of planned crimes against humanity perpetrated by opposition forces.

The killings took place when President Bashar Assad’s forces were overwhelmed by the militants, who then proceeded to enter the 10 Alawite villages nearby, sometimes rounding up and executing entire families, while taking others hostage. Torture and decapitations were also testament to the aggravated nature of the military offensive, proof of which was gathered by HRW through reports, witness statements, hospital records and materials recorded by the rebels themselves.

HRW’s Syria and Lebanon researcher, Lana Fakih, told Reuters that “homes were destroyed and burned. Most villagers had not returned.” She spoke to Hassan Shebli, whose elderly wife and disabled 23-year-old son were gunned down and buried next to his home, as he found upon his return to his village. The assailants took videos and posed with their victims before the killings.

According to the human rights watchdog, the nature, scale and coordination of the abuses and killings elevate them to the status of crimes against humanity. Acting Middle East director at HRW, Joe Stork, explained that “these abuses were not the actions of rogue fighters…this operation was a coordinated, planned attack on the civilian population in these Alawite villages.”

Related Link: http://rt.com/news/syria-killings-hrw-report-020/
author by Turingpublication date Fri Oct 11, 2013 23:57author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Full text at link.

Iran has rejected Washington’s preconditions for its participation in international deliberations on a “political solution” to the war in Syria—the so-called Geneva Two conference.

The Obama administration, which excluded Iran from the first Geneva conference on Syria, has demanded that Iran sign on to its efforts to coerce the Syrian government of Bashir al-Assad into a “power-sharing” agreement with the Islamist-dominated, US-sponsored and -armed “rebels” as the price for admission to Geneva Two.

Iran, Syria’s closest regional ally, has repeatedly signaled its readiness to work with other Middle Eastern states and the great powers to end the conflict in Syria. In advocating for such a role, Tehran has cited its participation in the December 2001 Bonn conference on Afghanistan, which ratified a US-organized government headed by Hamid Karzai to replace the toppled Taliban regime with which Iran had almost gone to war in 1998.

Furthermore, as part of its recent attempt to affect a rapprochement with the US, Tehran has signaled that, in exchange for the lifting of the punishing economic sanctions the US and its European allies have imposed on Iran, it would be ready to help Washington stabilize states and governments across the region, including in Afghanistan and Iraq.

But for Tehran to accept Washington’s demand that it endorse the communiqué issued by the June 2012 Geneva conference—a communiqué the US has spun as meaning that Assad must relinquish power to a “transitional government” “acceptable” to its rebel proxies—would mean throwing their Syrian allies to their wolves.

Related Link: http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2013/10/11/iran-o11.html
 
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