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Peace Plan agreed ~

Fighting to stop soon

The parties meeting at the Peace talks in Munich Germany issued a dramatic statement saying that fighting in Syria would end within a week. Twelve  nations participated in the talks, however Russia said it would continue its action. Sergei Lavrov, the Russian Foreign Minister said it was only a first step towards peace and that his country was still pressing ahead with its campaign of air strikes.

The Da'ish (IS), al Nusra and several other terror groups were not involved in the talks so are not expected to participate in the truce. They continue to defend their territory, although this is now very small in size.

Cyprus rescues more refugees

Refugees on board a sailing boat were winched to safety by helicopters after their craft began sinking off Cyprus.  The overnight rescue operation took place off Cap Greco near Famgusta, and the refugees were taken to hospital where they needed treatment for hypothermia. Cyprus has not seen many refugees landing, partly because it is not in the Shengen area and rarely gives assylum. The 115 refugees who landed at RAF Akrotiri in October have been rioting in protest at being kept in tents and not flown to the UK.

Russia confirms Assad position

Russia's Foreign Affairs Minister has said it is not crucial that Assad remains in power, but it was a matter for the Syrian people to decide. On being asked if President Assad remaining in power was a matter of principle, Maria Zakharova said "Absolutely Not, we have never said this." She also spoke about new peace talks, incolving Iran and the USA, taking place during November.

US & Russian pilots talk

Pilots from the Russian and American Air Forces have now taken part in joint radio tests over Syria to ensure communications protocals work during future engagements. The tests were to ensure the protocals agreed in Vienna in late October are all working and clearly understood. A senior Russian military official confirmed that the test was designed to "to train crews and ground services for incidents of dangerous proximity of aircraft".






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Peace Plan agreed ~

Fighting to stop soon

The parties meeting at the Peace talks in Munich Germany on Thursday 11th February issued a dramatic statement saying that fighting in Syria would end within a week.

Twelve  nations participated in the talks, however Russia said it would continue its action. Sergei Lavrov, the Russian Foreign Minister said it was only a firt step towards peace and that his countrfy was still pressing ahead with its campaign of airstrikes.

The Da'ish (IS), al Nusra and several other terror groups were not involved in the talks  so are not expected to observe the truce.

Cyprus rescues more refugees

Refugees on board a sailing boat were winched to safety by helicopters after their craft began sinking off Cyprus.  The overnight rescue operation took place off Cap Greco near Famgusta. The refugees were taken to hospital and were treated for hypothermia.

Cyprus has not seen many refugees landing, partly because it is not in the Shengen area and rarely gives asylum. The 115 refugees who landed at RAF Akrotiri in October have been rioting in protest at being kept in tents and not flown to the UK.

Russia confirms Assad position

Russia's Foreign Affairs Minister has said it is not crucial that Assad remains in power, but it was a matter for the Syrian people to decide. On being asked if President Assad remaining in power was a matter of principle, Maria Zakharova said
"
Absolutely not, we have never said this.
"
She also spoke about new peace talks, incolving Iran and the USA, taking place later in the year.

US & Russian pilots talk

Pilots from the Russian and American Air Forces have now taken part in joint radio tests over Syria to ensure communications protocols work during future engagements.  A senior Russian military official confirmed that the test was designed to
"
to train crews and ground services for incidents of dangerous proximity of aircraft
"
.

Family trapped at border

Hundreds of Syrian refugees have been left stranded at a border crossing  when Austria refused them access. Around 400 refugees were left in the open without light, heat or food and in very bad weather.  The refugees had been accompanied to the Austrian border by Slovenian military on Monday and abandoned there. Eighty of the refugees are young children, including a dozen or so babies. They are being held behind barbed wire fences and razor wire by armed Austrian soldiers.

Support for Free Syrian Army

The Russian Air Force in Syria said that it is now ready  to provide cover for the Free Syrian Army. The announcement came in an interview on Russia's ROSSIYA 1 TV channel and was made by Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.  Mr Lavrov reached agreement in Vienna with his US counterpart John Kerry to explore new ways to reach political agreement. Foreign ministers of Turkey and Saudi Arabia also attended the meeting.

The Syrian Free Army rejected the offer of help from Russia saying "Only if they stop attacking our bases can we talk about future co-operation." The southern branch of the SFE said that they did not turn down the offer, but were just rejecting it for now.

Israeli sailors save Arabs 

A party of Israel weekend sailors rescued a dozen Syrian and Iraqi refugees from the sea after their boat sank while en-route to Europe on Sunday.  Members of the Poseidon Sailing Club were having a leisurely sail out when they found first one and then finally 11 refugees in the water, several miles offshore. One of those rescued was a mother and her dead baby who had perished in the waves.  Four children were saved and 8 adults.

Shlomo Asban, the captain of the Israeli yacht said "I have never seen anothing like it, in forty years at sea. We heard one guy calling to be saved and eventually brought twelve of them into our boat. The mother told me she had held her baby's body all night."  The Jews, all from Ashod, said the refugees were surprised by their compassion. "We simply gave them water and let them use our cellphones to call their families."  said Captain Asban.

EU leaders discuss refugees

The leaders of the EU countries met in Brussels and discussed how best to reduce the refugee problem, and relations with Turkey.  Most of the 1.2million migrants into Europe came via Turkey. There are now over 3 million refugees in Turkey, fleeing the Syrian crisis.

Norway to return refugees

The Norwegian Government has announced that it is to return some of the 1200 refugees who have entered their country via Russia this year. "Some of them have lived for some time in Russia, they already were safe in Russia and are not really asylum seekers, simply economic migrants," said Norwegian Foreign Minister Boerge Brende. 


China - Syria talks

The Syrian Presidential Political and Media Advisor Bouthaina Shaaban met the Chinese Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs Zhang Ming and discussed with him the latest developments regarding the crisis in Syria and the counter-terrorism efforts it is exerting. Mr Shaaban stressed the need for cooperation to prevent the spread of terrorism, thanking the Chinese government for its balanced positions and its support for peoples’ rights.

World Leaders discuss Syria at UNGA

See Full Reports HERE.

Iran, Russia and Iraq

ally with Syria

The Government of Iraq announced that its military is working with Russia, Iran and Syria in the fight against ISIL. The pact was announced just hours before major UN conference in New York on the Syrian conflict,  attended by 170 nations, including the US, the UK and Russia. President Putin demanded that President Assad be involved in the solution to the Syrian crisis.

The Russian news agency (Interfax) announced that the new  Baghdad Coordination Centre will be led on a rotating basis by officers of the four countries.

Final Battle in the Syrian Crisis?

Idlib may face ‘a blood bath’

UN  urges fighters and their allies to disarm
  September 2018
"A full-scale battle for Idlib must be avoided at all costs," the United Nations stressed, warning that "failure to do so would unleash “a humanitarian nightmare unlike any seen in the blood-soaked Syrian conflict so far."

Russian premier Vladimir Putin led the ceasefire talks in the resort of  Sochi. Huge fortifications around Idleb city were built to protect over 3 million people who live there. Six different armies were poised to battle over the city - the Syrian government forces, Turkey, Iran and Russia, plus two factions of militia.

The Syrian Army are reported to now be deloying towards the southe western border, in the Golan heights and the east of bSyria, to mop up remaining ISIS forces.  
UN News Centre

THE FINAL BATTLE?

UN urges fighters to disarm
17  September 2018
"A full-scale battle for Idlib must be avoided at all costs," the United Nations has stressed, warning that "failure to do so would unleash “a humanitarian nightmare unlike any seen in the blood-soaked Syrian conflict so far."

Russian Premier Putin hoted talks in Sochi where the Turks agreed to help prevent a bloodbath. Huge fortifications around the city of Idlib were built. Over 3 million people live in the city with six armies poised to battle over Idlib's control. 

For the remainder of October 2018, the Idleb region was quiet, with only minor skirmishes reported, as the Syrian Army withdrew from the area. Turkish and Russian forces are guaranteeing the peace in the city.

Syrian youths

disenfrachised

 
     - Mercy Corps report
Syrian youth and children are enduring crises in every aspect of their life, according to a new report published by Mercy Corps, an international humanitarian organization that works with people in crisis zones.

Since the uprising broke out in March 2011, more than 240,000 people have been killed, according to the U.K.-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. More than 4 million Syrians have also been rendered refugees in other countries, while another 6.5 million have been internally displaced.

Mercy Corps’ new report – No One Hears Us – found that a majority of children and youth in Syria “feel hopeless, isolated and disenfranchised.” It concludes that “we need to support girls, boys and parents to develop solutions to restore self-confidence and hope to young people inside Syria.”

UN Resolution on Peace delayed

Lebanon's leading newspaper THE DAILY STAR is reporting today that the UNITED NATIONS Security Council approval of a draft U.N. statement has been held up due to objections from Venezuala.  The resolution backing intensive preparatory talks on key issues to restore peace to conflict-torn Syria delays may however be short lived.

Council diplomats had hoped to adopt the presidential statement Wednesday afternoon. But Venezuela asked for changes to some language about a political transition and discussions were continuing, the diplomats said, speaking on condition of anonymity because consultations have been private. "Expect it to be adopted tomorrow," Russia's U.N. Ambassador Vitaly Churkin told reporters as he left the council Wednesday afternoon.


UN Special Envoy

Angeline Jolie

adopts a Syrian child

Angelina Jolie and her husband Brad Pitt  expanded their family of six children by adopting a Syrian orphan.

Ms Jolie met up with three Syrian brothers who were orphaned while on her recent trip to visit refugees in the camps in Turkey. Their father had been taken prisoner by soldiers and their mother was killed in a bombing incident.  She wanted to adopt all three but her husband Brad rejected the idea, fearing that it would be hard for their children to adjust to such a huge change in the dynamics of the family. 

Mr and Mrs Pitt are already parents to six children, three biological children of their own, including Shiloh, eight, and six-year-old twins Knox and Vivienne, plus they have three adopted children:  Maddox,13, from Cambodia, Pax, 11, from Vietnam, and Ethiopian Zahara, 10.


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Assad welcomes Russians

A delegation of Russian diplomats was welcomed in Damascus on Monday by President Bashar Assad. he said: "eliminating the terrorist groups would solve Syria's problems.

Support for Free Syrian Army

The Russian Air Force in Syria said on Saturday that it is now ready  to provide cover for the Free Syrian Army. The Western backed opposition group has been battling Bashar Assad.  The announcement came in an interview on Russia's ROSSIYA 1 TV channel and was made by Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.  On Friday Mr Lavrov reached agreement in Vienna with his US counterpart John Kerry to explore new ways to reach politcal agreement. Foreign ministers of Turkey and Saudi Arabia also attended the meeting.

The Syrian Free Army rejected the offer of help from Russia saying "Only if they stop attacking our bases can we talk about future co-operation." The southern branch of the SFE said they did not turn down the offer, but were just rejecting it for now.

35,000 more refugees flee

Thirty five thousand  Syrian villagers are fleeing homes this week in the countryside to the south of Aleppo. Their flight comes after  Syrian government troops attacked rebels in the area. The Syrian troops are being backed  by Russian airstrikes. There are three other offensives taking place, focused on rural areas in the areas around Homs, Hama and Latakia.

U.N. officials estimate that about 35,000 villagers are on the move near Aleppo, trying to escape Russian bombing raids near the villages of Khan, al-Hader and Tuman.

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