A few days before the negotiations started in Geneva Assad intensified the bombing of rebel-held areas both in Damascus and in Idlib. In an attempt to disrupt negotiations Assad intensified the military actions in the opposition-held areas in the outskirts of Damascus. This is done to put the coalition delegations under pressure and force them to pull out of the talks.
In an effort orchestrated by the Iranian regime and its affiliated militia to sabotage the political procedure, the IRGC is boosting its military attacks in Damascus suburb. Iranian regime’s militias, IRGC, prevent humanitarian aid from reaching there and have intensified bombing and shelling of the besieged areas in an attempt to force the residents to leave their homes, similar to what is happening in Sarghaya.
Eastern goutha a suburb of Damascus has been under heavy chemical attacks by Assad and his thugs, this is a known stronghold of the opposition and has been under heavy bombardment since the start of the civil war. The bombing of the area has increased in recent days due to the peace talks in Geneva.
Saudi Arabia’s foreign minister, Adel al-Jubeir said in his speech in Munich that Iran was propping up the government of Syrian president Bashar al-Assad and that the Iranian regime was destabilizing the whole region. The Turkish foreign minister, Mevlut Cavusoglu, concurred with the Saudi FM and added: “Iran wants to make Syria and Iraq Shiite” he also accused Iran of actions that had undermined security in the region and urging Tehran to promote stability. Erdogan has also in recent weeks accused Iran of promoting a “Persian nationalism” that had damaged the middle east.
A member of the Syrian National Coalition stated “Geneva talks should be focused on transfer of power in Syria as this is an issue that could most likely resolve all other issues on the table, including terrorism. We believe that resuming political talks would be somewhat futile.”
On February 20 the Syrian government forces escalated their bombing campaign around the Syrian capital, the bombs are falling like rain on the rebel-held areas sending out a bloody message days before the renewed talks are about to start in Geneva. The Geneva talks is an attempt to end the bloody civil war that has torn Syria into pieces. But Assad has no interest in ending this war because he knows that it will mark the end of his dictatorship in Syria.
The Syrian opposition says that the shelling is an attempt to sabotage the peace talks. Assad’s main target is eastern Ghouta, the stronghold of the Army of Islam. This area is a dagger pointed at the heart of the Assad regime and are holding many government soldiers busy. Overrunning the area could have a significant impact on the peace talks
The national coalition for Syrian opposition forces states that the horrific civil war will not end as long as Assad holds the power. Assad is the main problem in Syria, not the solution. Assad’s dictatorship has been a breathing ground for terrorist organisations like IS and as long as he is in power there is no chance to fight them.
Anas al-Abdah noted that the Free Syrian Army (FSA) has fought against ISIS, the sectarian militia and IRGC more than any other party, he also pointed out that there is no difference between the disaster of beheading and the barrel bombing of the Syrian civilians.
The Syrian opposition is rightfully describing the IRGC as a terror organisation. The Iranian army has been committing war crimes on Assad’s behalf. The most profiled war crime was the genocide in eastern Aleppo. The Assad government is destroying the whole Syrian society with the help of IRGC and must be stopped. The best help for the innocent Syrian civilian population will be to blacklist IRGC and expel them from Syria.
The U.N. mediator is not expecting a quick breakthrough in the talks. He pointed out the importance of avoiding getting sidetracked by spoilers that will try to disrupt the peace talks. The negotiations in Geneva will be guided by UN security council resolution 2254 which refers to the establishment of credible and inclusive governance, the process of drafting a new constitution and free and fair elections.
A Syrian group called “Families for freedom” will have a rally outside the peace talks to take a moment of silence in love and solidarity with all of Syria’s detained and disappeared sons and daughters. They have asked the negotiating parties to pause the talks and come down and join them. Please sign the petition to ask the negotiators to join the rally.
The list is not long but very bloody, there are few cities under siege at the same time but the cities that have been under siege are, Eastern Goutha, Deir Ezzor, Douma, al waer, Kafarya, Foea, Madaya, Aleppo, Tadmur, Wadi Barada, zabadani, Daraa, & Raqqa. It was not easy finding a list of the besieged cities in Syria, but the number of cities that have been under siege at one point or another in the civil war is a much longer list than what we have today.
The most famous besieged city was Aleppo, the eastern part of the city was besieged for a long period of time until the Russians and Assad had bombed out most of the hospitals, schools, and peoples homes. The government forces used every weapon in their arsenal to break down the residents in the area. They even resorted to committing genocide to win. The Assad army would not have been able to occupy Aleppo if they did not have help from foreign fighters like the Hezbollah from Lebanon and the IRGC from Iran. The media coverage given to Aleppo was the reason the rest of the world got to know Assad’s war tactics. The siege of Aleppo was the war crime that made the world aware of the atrocities committed against the Syrian civilians by Assad and his allies.
Deir Ezzor is a town on the banks of Al furat. It is in the eastern part of Syria and is currently under siege from both IS and the Syrian army. Its 180 000 inhabitants are deprived of any humanitarian aid. The government controls the airport and are currently using its position to charge horrific prices for any goods that are entering the city through the airport. ISIS is in control of the bridges to the eastern banks of the river and they are no better than the government when it comes to suppression of the civilians.
Homs, Al Waer neighborhood this part of the city was under siege for tree years, from 2012 to 2015. But it is now under regimes bombardment. The barrel bombs are falling on homes, hospitals, and schools.
Madaya, Bukein and Zabadani are located at the border of Lebanon.the cities have been under siege Since July 2015 until 11 january 2016. they have strategic value due to their location on the Lebanese border.
Idlib is another city that has been under siege by the Assad Army, they are now under heavy bombardment. The resistance that was living in eastern Aleppo was forced to evacuate to Idlib province after Aleppo was occupied. Many freedom fighters live now under harsh conditions in the Idlib governate and are under daily bombardment of Assad forces.
Also, the Barada valley was under siege for a period of time during this war, the valley is the main provider of clean drinking water for large parts of Damascus.
Eastern Goutha is the last on the list that is feeling the fury of the failing dictator of Syria. Assad and his boss Putin are dropping barrel bombs in an attempt to kill the last of the resistance in Douma with a population of 200 000. They target hospitals and homes to do the most damage. The worst part of the bombing is the double tap, first, the planes drop a barrel bomb and when the rescuers come to save the trapped civilians they drop another bomb on the same location to kill the rescuers. This action is a war crime and must lead to the prosecution of the culprits.
In these past days we have learned of yet another crime that Assad has been committing against innocent Syrian civilians, torture, and murder within prison walls, he has been able to hide the truth up until now but his crimes against his own people are now out in the open. This is crimes he must be prosecuted for.
There are approximately 11 million Syrian refugees today and the number is rising due to the ongoing war in Syria. only in Turkey alone, there are by June 2016, 2. 739 326 refugees living both inside and outside of the government-run camps. There are Syrian refugee camps in Jordan, Iraq, southern Kurdistan (in Northern Iraq), Lebanon, Macedonia, and Greece.
We have during this winter seen disturbing images from the Syrian refugee camps, first of all, they live in tents in the middle of winter. The result of that is the tragic death of many small children who froze to death, and the number is rising. We see images of small children with sandals in the snow often barefoot, and only summer jackets to endure the cold.
All these refugees only escaped with the clothes on their backs, they run from bombs and genocide committed by the Russian and Assad armies by air and the Hezbollah and IRGC on the ground. they had to flee in the middle of the night with no luggage and on foot.
The journey from their hometowns to the camps are hard and many old people and children die on the way. For those who escaped to Greece, there are many who drown in the ocean mostly children and women. The hardship does not end with a safe arrival to a camp. This is when the fight to stay alive really starts.
We have seen images from the borders of some countries where border guards are treating refugees as if they are criminals, have they not suffered enough? After arrival at the camp the struggle to get food starts, the fight to keep your family alive never stops and on top of that all refugees are struggling with memories of shelling and death of family members. The refugees are often deprived of basic needs like clean water and food, the children can not go to school. Their lives are on hold and for many of the refugees, the camp will be their home for many years to come.
In Lebanon the Syrian child refugees are working under terrible conditions to help their family’s survival. Their income often keeps the family from starving to death. Most of the children have never been to school because in Syria the school is closed due to heavy bombing and as refugees, the children have to work to survive.
The Zaatari camp on the Jordanian border has turned into the ninth largest city in Jordan with its 80 000 inhabitants. The camp was created in 2011 as part of a massive emergency response when the civil war in Syria started. The rapid growth of the camp has made it difficult to maintain basic services in all areas of the camp. For some areas, the health and education services can be far away from where they live. The camp has turned into a city and that requires a permanent access to water and the short term solutions have to be replaced.
There are many refugees within the borders of Syria, they have tried to save their families from the Russian bombs and the IRGC and Assad army snipers. But the killings follow them when the inhabitants of eastern Aleppo was forced to flee to Idlib Assad’s bombs followed them.
It is our duty as citizens of the world community to do all in our power to help all children in need so why are we so reluctant to help Syrian children? What is it that makes us treat Syrian children as if they are criminals?
After the occupation of wadi Barada Assad is doing what he did in Aleppo, forced displacement, residents are forced to evacuate to Idlib province. This will make it very easy for Assad to get rid of his opposition, he is detaining all opposition in Idlib. If he starts carpet bombing the area he will kill hundreds of rebels with each bomb. He is making the rebels into sitting ducks and the world let it happen.
Lately, the Russians have understood what is needed to protect innocent civilians and is very strict about upholding the ceasefire in Syria. one of the rogue armies operating in Syria is the IRGC, they will not give up the chance to make a puppet out of Assad, they need Syria on their side to maintain the land corridor to be able to ship weapons to the Hezbollah in Lebanon. Iran has no use for a Syria in peace, they need the war to be ongoing to turn eyes away from the atrocities they are committing to their own people. the Iranian regime has up until now shown no respect for the ceasefire and has continuously attacked the civilians in the valley.
Prior to the crises IRGC had 2-3000 officers present in Syria to uphold supply routes to Hezbollah, but at present, there are ca. 70 000 Iranian soldiers on Syrian soil. The main reason Iran is fighting in Syria is that if there is a peace agreement signed the war of IRGC will have to be fought in the cities of Iran. The soldiers of IRGC has been behind some of the worst war crimes committed in Syria like genocide in Aleppo and now the slaughter of civilians in wadi Barada. There will be no peace in Syria unless IRGC is evicted from Syria.
To make sure that the world would not know what he was doing to the civilians in wadi Barada Assad cut the internet and electricity to the valley. The Syrian army claims they liberated the valley, newsflash idiot army if they wanted to be liberated, why do they need to be forced out of the valley now? The worst part is that the world press believes Assad’s version of the story. They do not wonder for one second about the reason why the revolution started in the first place. To understand that we must go back to 2011 when 13-year-old Hamza was tortured to death by Assad’s prison guards. People started to protest in the streets with roses in their hands, Assad responded with bullets. More people was arrested and tortured to death. This eventually forced people to defend themselves against Assad’s thugs. And the civil war was a fact. Since that Assad’s propaganda machine has worked day and night to justify the bombing of hospitals, schools, and kindergartens. He has also succeeded in another lie that all who are against him is terrorists. Unfortunately, most of the world believe the lies of Assad and his allies.
It remains to be seen what Assad is doing to fix the water supply to Damascus or if he leaves it polluted until all of Damascus is cleared of rebels?
And how will he deal with the remaining population in Wadi Barada? Will he do as he has done in Aleppo? There is still people unaccounted for after the “liberation” of Aleppo. I suspect that Assad will concentrate on killing the remaining rebels in Idlib to make sure that the revolution is stopped.
In Astana Russia, turkey and USA safe-sones have been set, but there is one problem, not Assad nor the rebels has signed any agreement and for the agreement to be effective those two sides need to sign. IRGC and the Syrian army will continue the fight because both armies know that if they stop the war the days of both regimes are numbered.