Monday, December 8, 2014
SYRIA: The ISIS Militant Who Sold Captive Females Killed In Airstrikes-Families Buying Back Thier Girls
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Russia demanded Monday that Jerusalem provide explanations following reports that Israeli jets had carried out airstrikes on multiple targets in Syria, reportedly killing two Hezbollah operatives.
Moscow, considered a main backer of Syria’s ruling regime, said it had turned to the United Nations to bring Israel to account for the strikes, which reportedly targeted weapons shipments at two sites outside Damascus.
“Moscow voices deep concern over the dangerous development of events. Their circumstances should be clarified. In any case it is certain that the use of force is unacceptable in interstate relations and deserves disapproval,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich said on Monday in a statement published on the Russian Foreign Ministry’s website.
“It is important to prevent additional risks of further destabilization of the extremely tense situation in Syria and in the Middle East region as a whole,” he added.
Russia sent a letter to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon decrying the “aggressive actions of Israel” and issued “an appeal to prevent the recurrence of such attacks in the future,” the statement in Russian read.
Moscow remains a staunch supporter of the Bashar Assad regime in Syria, repeatedly blocking attempts at the UN Security Council over the years to pass resolutions against his government.
Earlier Monday, the Syrian and Iranian foreign ministries condemned Israel for the airstrikes, calling the operation an act of aggression that proved Israel was “in the same trench” with extremist groups fighting the Syrian government.
Arabic media reported Monday that two alleged Israeli airstrikes the day before had targeted advanced Russian-made air-defense missiles bound for Hezbollah.
The reports said that eight Israeli fighter jets were involved in the attacks, one of which took place near Damascus international airport and the other at an airfield in the Dimas area, northwest of the Syrian capital and near the Lebanese border.
Israel made no official comment on the report, but ministers in Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government vehemently denied that the alleged airstrikes were ordered by Netanyahu to boost his ratings as election campaigns begin in earnest.
Israel has reportedly carried out several airstrikes in Syria since the revolt against Assad began in March 2011. Most of the strikes were said to have targeted sophisticated weapons systems, including Russian- and Iranian-made anti-aircraft batteries, believed to have been slated for delivery to Lebanon’s Hezbollah, a staunch ally of Assad and Iran.
Read more: Moscow demands Israel explain 'unacceptable use of force' in Syria | The Times of Israel http://www.timesofisrael.com/moscow-demands-israel-explain-unacceptable-use-of-force-in-syria/#ixzz3LKjRRmo8 Follow us: @timesofisrael on Twitter | timesofisrael on Facebook
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Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Moallem and his Iranian counterpart Mohammad Javad Zarif have condemned Israeli airstrikes on two areas near Damascus, AP reports reported on Monday.
Earlier on Monday, the Syrian Foreign Ministry asked UN to impose deterring sanctions on Israel over its airstrikes.
By Aaron Blake
Ferguson, Mo., has captured the nation's attention for the better part of the past four months. But in just a few short days in the national news, Eric Garner has become the political rallying point that Ferguson never has.
A new poll shows considerably more unhappiness with the lack of an indictment in Garner's case than in the one in Ferguson. And, perhaps most important as far as its impact goes, that unhappiness is significantly less connected to a person's race.
The Selzer and Company poll for Bloomberg News finds that 60 percent of Americans disagree with the lack of an indictment against officer Daniel Pantaleo, whose chokehold apparently led to Garner's death in July. For comparison's sake, just 36 percent say they disagree with the lack of an indictment against officer Darren Wilson in Ferguson.
Although 40 percent disagree "strongly" with there being no indictment in Garner's case, just 24 percent say the same about the case in Ferguson. And in Ferguson, there's majority support -- 52 percent -- for no indictment.
(A Washington Post/ABC News poll last week showed a closer split on Ferguson, with 48 percent agreeing with the grand jury and 45 percent disagreeing.)
So basically, Americans as a whole favor no indictment in Ferguson. In Garner's case, they overwhelmingly think there should have been one. And in fact, just one-quarter of Americans agree with the grand jury's decision not to indict.
The differences in the two cases are almost completely because of whites.
In both cases, nine in 10 African Americans say they disagree with the decision. Although just 25 percent of whites disagree with the decision in Ferguson, a majority (52 percent) disagree with the decision in Garner's case.
There isn't quite consensus -- about one-third of whites agree with the lack of indictment in Garner's case -- but that's far less than the 64 percent of whites who sided with the lack of indictment in Ferguson.
We've written before about why the Garner case hasn't split the country along racial and party lines like Ferguson has. Basically, the political and racial disagreement in Ferguson was all about the still-unclear sequence of events that preceded the death of unarmed black teenager Michael Brown; it actually had little to do with politics, per se. In the Garner case, there is a video, leading to less debate about the particulars of precisely what happened.
As this poll shows, that is much more conducive to building consensus. And when it comes to taking action in response -- action of any kind -- that kind of bipartisan and biracial consensus makes it significantly more likely.
Of course, getting both parties and Americans of all races to agree on what kind of action should be taken is another question entirely.
By LYNNE O'DONNELL
If the Afghan NGOs and the international aid organizations can't see eye to eye, there will be no fresh money from the West, says DW's Florian Weigand.
When you don't know what to do, you create a study group; on a larger scale, you call a conference. For two days, NGOs, aid organizations and leading politicians discussed how to cope with the mess in Afghanistan with civilian means. Innovative ideas, however, were rare, although they were sorely needed.
The balance of 13 years of international commitment is shattering. Afghanistan is still 90 percent dependent on international aid. Corruption, crime and political violence are still words the world associates with Afghanistan. In three weeks' time, NATO's most costly mission to date will end, and while most of the soldiers in the camps are already busily packing their things, already back home in their minds, a new wave of violence has hit the country. Were 13 years and billions in aid money in vain?
Not completely: Schools were built, and education, in particular for girls, has improved. Thanks to a lively media presence, the widespread use of smart phones and the Internet, the Afghan people are more closely connected to the world than ever before. And they have shown that they are willing and able to live democracy. They hurried to the ballot boxes in droves to vote for their president and showed exceptional patience during the six-month process with two rounds of voting. While there was widespread voter fraud, the voters were not to blame, but the leaders in Kabul and their cronies in the election offices.
The international financial donors are tired, however, and new pledges were not made in London. The Afghan NGOs and foreign aid organizations have already begun to notice that funding is getting scarcer. The governments in the West still spend a lot of money, but they have capped the budgets for the country's civilian reconstruction and democratization. They prefer to invest in visible hardware to prove their success to the taxpayers and voters at home. The millions pledged by Germany are geared to road construction, electrification, hospitals - and of course on security.
That won't change if the Afghan NGOs continue their navel-gazing, each intent on doing their own thing, if need be on a reduced level.
A new program for women here, a peace initiative there - what's lacking is a comprehensive strategy that could convince donors and bundle all the forces. That's what the country needs more desperately than new financial aid.
No progress was made in London. But liberal teachers, engineers and journalists can only stay in the country if a positive, committed and strong civilian society develops. You might be skeptical in view of the daily violence there - but the Afghans still want to make it work. I recently asked a young colleague from Kabul why he had returned to Afghanistan despite having graduated from Oxford and he simply said: "Because it's my country!"