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هجمات أمنية مستمرة في الرقة.. إجراءات "قسد" غير كافية؟ - عنب بلدي - Sep 23, 2018
ويصف الشاب تجربته في العمل مع “قسد” بأنها “صورية وغير ناجحة”، مضيفًا أن “الكثير من العرب الذين كانوا يعملون مع قسد إما استقالوا من وظائفهم أو تسربوا منها، ومن بقي منهم بقي لأجل الراتب فقط”.

ويتابع الشاب، “كثيرون غاضبون من تصرفات قسد، وخاصة من زيادة حملات التفتيش في الشوارع، ومداهمة المنازل وهو أمر مرفوض عرفًا في المنطقة، ويزيد من نقمة المجتمع المحلي”.
SDF  PYD  Mar15  localGovt  repression  protest  FreedomOfMovement  Raqqa  Arabs  discrimination 
yesterday by elizrael
Falling lira hits Syrian enclave backed by Turkey | Reuters, Aug 28, 2018
“The fighter receives his salary and goes to the market... and it’s barely enough for one week. This is the reality we are witnessing now. The situation is very difficult and there is no solution,” he said.
BufferZone  Aleppo  localGovt  salaries  Turkey  economy  inflation  Mar15 
6 weeks ago by elizrael
ما الذي حدث في الغوطة الشرقية؟ | الجمهورية.نت June 25, 2018
بعد فصل القطاعين، بدأت قوات الأسد بالتقدم في الأراضي الزراعية في المحمدية والإفتريس والأشعري لتصل إلى جسرين وسقبا وحمورية، مدن وبلدات قلب الغوطة. تعرضت حينها حمورية، المتاخمة لبيت سوى والأشعري، إلى حملة قصف غير مسبوقة. دُمِّرَ معظم المدينة، وقُصِفت بالكيماوي عدة مرات، وقضى سكانها ليلة كاملة مع المروحيات التي لا تتوقف عن رمي البراميل كل بضع دقائق. كانت ليلة شنيعة عليهم. وبعدها قررت مجموعة من الوجهاء والناشطين التفاوض مع قوات الأسد، بعضهم أعرفه جيداً وأعرف عمله الثوري، دون قبول لواء الأشعري في البداية، لكنّ حادثة المسيرة المؤيدة التي رفع فيها بعض أهالي المدينة علم قوات الأسد، وهتفوا «للوحدة الوطنية»، جعلتهم يغضون النظر عن خروج لجنة التفاوض إلى دمشق. وحين عادت اللجنة بورقة اتفاق، وهو الاتفاق ذاته الذي تم إقراره في النهاية، رفضته قيادة لواء الأشعري في البداية، لكنها مع ضغط المدنيين أعلنت قبوله لاحقاً، فيما كانت بقية المدن ترفض اتفاق لواء الأشعري لوحده مع قوات الأسد لتسليم حمورية، إما من أجل انضمام بلداتهم ومدنهم إلى الاتفاق، أو رفضاً قاطعاً لأي تسليم أحادي أو جماعي.

كان الخبر قد وصل من النساء، كما كانت الأخبار قبلها تصلنا، ويتضح بعد فترة أنها صحيحة. لمدة يومين كنا نتواصل مع القادة الميدانيين حول الخبر وكانوا ينفونه تماماً: «بس دبابة فاتت عالكتيبة وعم نتعامل معها». هذا آخر ما حُرّر من أخبار، قبل أن ألقى صديقاً يقاتل على جبهة الإفتريس ليخبرني أنه تَرَكَ الجبهة أمس ليهتمّ بأمر أسرته وأهله، وأن قوات الأسد منذ يومين تسيطر على كتيبة الإفتريس واقتربت من الدخول إلى أراضي سقبا. صَدَقتْ أخبار النساء دوماً، فيما كانت أخبار قيادات الفيلق تتبع النهج «الصحّافي».

حين بدأ الشيخ يدعو شباب الفيلق من أهل كفربطنا إلى الدخول في «مصالحة»، استجاب له عشرات الشباب في البداية، فجاؤوا إليه بسلاحهم. كانت قوات الأسد حينها قد سيطرت على حمورية وجسرين ودخلت الجزء الشرقي من سقبا، أي أن دخولها إلى كفربطنا كان مسألة وقت، وكان الشيخ يحاول أن يكسب من الوضع الجديد، وقال للشباب الذين استجابوا له حينها أن يخبروا الناس بأنه لن يتم قصف كفربطنا بعد الآن لأنه «أخذ ضمانات من النظام» ليدخلها الأخير دون قتال. بعد ساعات حدثت مجزرة النابالم في كفربطنا التي راح ضحيتها العشرات حرقاً. وتدخلت جبهة النصرة في اليوم التالي لتقبض على الشيخ، فاشتبكت مع شبابه. تدخل حينها أبو النور حسام نمور، أكبر قيادي عسكري من كفربطنا في فيلق الرحمن، ليحاول وقف القتال ويقوم بحلّ الأمر سلمياً مع الشيخ. وكان عنيفاً في رده على مقاتلي النصرة من أجل عدم التدخل في الشؤون الداخلية لكفربطنا، وأنه سيقوم بحل المشكلة داخلياً دون تدخل. فقتلته جبهة النصرة التي شكّت أن يكون متعاوناً معهم. هنا ثار شباب كفربطنا في الفيلق ضد النصرة وقاموا بالاقتتال معهم، وربما ظنوا أن حسام نمور قد انحاز للشيخ، وهو ما لا يمكن الجزم به، لكنّ ما يمكن تأكيده هو أن العصبية الأهلية و«لحمة البلد» تحركت لديهم ليواجهوا النصرة بعد قُتِلَ قائدهم، وليقفوا في صف الشيخ بعد أن رأوا أن قوات الأسد ستدخل لا محالة وأن هناك فرصة للبقاء دون تعرضهم للأذى، وربما يعاملون معاملة خاصة بعد قيامهم بالانقلاب على الفيلق والتحوّل إلى ميليشات مع قوات الأسد قبل دخول الأخيرة إلى كفربطنا.

أي وباختصار، لم يكن الضفادع سبباً في سقوط الغوطة كما أُشيع، ولم يكن لهم دور هام، وقد تم تضخيم دورهم من الطرفين، من قوات الأسد التي أرادت أن تُظهر أنها تعمل منذ سنين على ميليشيات تابعة لها في الغوطة، ومن العسكر والناشطين الذين حمّلوهم مسؤولية دخول قوات الأسد إلى الغوطة بعد أن «أتونا من بين ظهرانينا».

عدتُ إلى قبو المجلس، وكان الجميع قد تخلى عن اتزانه وبدأ يشتم. وبعد ساعات جاء أحد قادة الفيلق ممتعض الوجه وجلس وهو يدخن دون أن يسلّم، فسأله أحدهم: «شو؟»، فقال: «شو شو؟... انهزمنا. طول الوقت ونحنا عم نقلكن في عمل. بس ما حدا تجاوب معنا. ولا حدا رفع همّة الشباب. كل الوقت عم تحاكونا بشو إمكانياتنا وما حدا بدو يقاتل. كلكن كنتو قاعدين تحبطوا أبو النصر بدل ما تعاونوه. ولا حدا منكن إجا وقلّه بدنا نقاتل. تقعدوا تسألوا عن التفاصيل لتقولوا ما في أمل وخلينا ندور على خروج آمن...». قاطعه أحدهم: «يعني في خروج آمن...؟» فقال: «أي». تركه معظم الموجودين واتجهوا خارج المجلس، وأنا ذهبتُ إلى الأريكة لأنام.

ما يهمنا في الحديث عن المجالس المحلية، بعيداً عن تحسن أدائها داخلياً كمؤسسة، هو علاقتها مع السكان، فقد كان الرأي الأعم رافضاً لإجراء انتخابات عامة معظم الوقت، ولم يتغير هذا الحال إلا في الأشهر القليلة التي سبقت سقوط الغوطة، وفي مدن وبلدات قليلة. كما كانت الشفافية مع السكان شبه معدومة، سواء على صعيد خطة عمل المجلس أو وارداته أو رواتب موظفيه أو مشاريع تمويله الذاتي أو احتياطياته من المحروقات والمواد الغذائية، كما أنه لم ينتج قنوات اتصال فاعلة مع السكان لشرح إمكاناته وما يستطيع فعله وما لا يستطيع، وما يمكن أن يصنعه سماع المواطنين من تحسن العلاقة. إضافة إلى التنازعات الدائمة بين التيارات والشخصيات المختلفة حول تشكيل المجلس وطريقته وسبل الهيمنة عليه.

بسبب ما سبق، كانت العبارة الأكثر شيوعاً بين السكان عند ذكر كلمة «مجلس محلي» أو غيرها من المؤسسات العامة: «مين حطهن؟!». إضافة إلى اتهامهم الدائم بالسرقة سواء كانت هناك سرقة فعلاً أم لا، وسهولة تصديق الشائعات عنهم.

في كل المراحل التي مرّت فيها تجربة القضاء في الغوطة، وبعد خطف رزان التي كانت تعمل على تأسيس قضاء مدني مستقل، وبعد أن انضمّ جيش الإسلام إلى القضاء وخرجت جبهة النصرة، كان المشايخ هم أصحاب الهيمنة، ذلك رغم تطوير الهيكلية ليشابه القضاء المعروف تقريباً، وبرغم ضمّ بعض الحقوقيين والقضاة المنشقين إليه والسماح بوجود محامين في المحكمة المدنية فقط، وبرغم اتباع القانون السوري في العام الأخير ضمن المحكمة المدنية في فرع قضاء القطاع الأوسط الذي كان يخضع لسلطة فيلق الرحمن، لكنه مع ذلك لم يتم إعلان اعتماد أي قانون أبداً. ظلت الأحكام تصدر باسم «الشريعة الإسلامية»، الكلمة الفضفاضة وسهلة الليّ. وكان القاضي العام دوماً، أو رئيس مجلس القضاء الأعلى، شيخاً يتبع لإحدى الفصائل، وكان البتّ في القضايا يحدث بحسب القضية إن كانت تهمّ فصيلاً ما، وبحسب التوازنات فيها، وهو ما لا يمكن التكهّن بنتائجه سلفاً. وفي حال التنازع بين مدني وعسكري، «فالمجاهدون» لهم حصانة بنسب متفاوتة بحسب القضية، ولا يحق لشيخ تابع لفصيل أن يتدخل في محاكمة «مجاهد» من فصيل آخر، قبل أن يحدث اقتتال عام 2016… [more]
Damascus  blockade  Mar15  localGovt  hidden  JayshAl-Islam  FSA  civil_society  freedomofspeech  corruption  Assad  important 
august 2018 by elizrael
East Ghouta families mired in unrecognized births, marriages after years under opposition rule - Syria Direct, Aug 2, 2018
Motaz a-Shami, a 30-year-old Saqba resident who lived in Ghouta throughout the siege years, now finds himself in a legal limbo.

“Going to Damascus costs me money,” he says, “plus I need permission to leave.”

Travelling to central Damascus is not without its risks. The highway from East Ghouta into the heart of the city is dotted with checkpoints run by pro-government forces. And traversing that road without valid documents can be dangerous.

“The papers that I have now could get me in a lot of trouble, since they were issued by an opposition body,” a-Shami fears. “But destroying the documents before acquiring alternative papers would be a problem too.”
Mar15  Reconciliation  FreedomOfMovement  Judiciary  localGovt  Damascus 
august 2018 by elizrael
Syria conflict: Women 'sexually exploited in return for aid' - BBC News, Feb 27, 2018
She conducted a focus group with some of these women who told her how men from local councils in areas such as Dara'a and Quneitra had offered them aid for sex.

An IRC spokesman said: "The assessment concluded that sexual violence was a widespread concern, including when seeking access to various types of services across southern Syria. These services included the distribution of humanitarian aid."

The charity Care expanded its monitoring team in Syria, set up a complaints mechanism and no longer hands over aid to local councils.

It also asked various UN agencies, including the UN Office for the Co-ordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) and the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), to investigate further and set up new reporting mechanisms. But Care was refused permission to carry out studies in Jordanian refugee camps.

Ms Spencer claims the aid sector turned a blind eye to ensure that aid still got into southern Syria.
women  aid  prostitution  Mar15  Daraa  Quneitra  localGovt 
august 2018 by elizrael
No Exit: Turkey’s unexpected empire in Syria | Ahval, Mar 5, 2018
There are signs the Turkish government understands that it has saddled itself with responsibility for the more than 2.5 million inhabitants of Idlib, Afrin and northern Aleppo.

After initially chaotic efforts, by early 2017 education, healthcare and religious institutions in northern Aleppo had largely come under the control of Diyanet, the Turkish Directorate of Religious Affairs, and a network of NGOs under its influence. Despite the persistence of militia infighting, the Turkish military has developed a structure through which to pay and discipline its proxy militias. In Idlib, the establishment of a network of Turkish military bases
Turkey  Mar15  BufferZone  localGovt  Aleppo 
july 2018 by elizrael
Syrian Kurds: U.S. Allies, but Followers of Leader Jailed as Terrorist - The New York Times, Mar 10, 2018
On a recent visit to the predominantly Arab city of Manbij, outside Rojava, strains between the Kurdish leadership and the Arab populace were clearly visible, despite official efforts to deny the problem. But there were also signs of acceptance.

An Arab schoolteacher said most Arabs in the town were unhappy with what they see as a Kurdish government, but were afraid to speak out. For visiting journalists, it was difficult to speak to Arab residents without government minders insisting on being present.

Many Arabs, the schoolteacher said, speaking on the condition of anonymity because he feared detention, have been particularly unhappy since the reported arrests in early January of two Arab men, whose bodies were found 17 days later, dumped on the highway outside town.

Government officials at first promised journalists that they could visit family members of those who were killed, and also meet with a committee of Arab elders, set up to investigate the killings. The officials said both groups had absolved the Kurdish authorities of blame.

At the Hassan al-Amin High School in Manbij, a group of Arab teenage boys gathered outside after classes were dismissed, so that people could join demonstrations in town against the Turkish attack on Afrin. All of them said they looked forward to joining the Manbij Military Council as soon as they were old enough to fight. While the council is majority Arab, its leadership is Kurdish and it is under the ultimate control of the Kurdish military and part of the Syrian Democratic Forces.
PYD  Mar15  Rojava  Arabs  Aleppo  indoctrination  repression  Press_freedom  localGovt 
july 2018 by elizrael
Free Syria Police: A Difficult Road Ahead | International Review, Feb 2018
Besides difficulties in the field, internal problems are also hampering efforts by the FSP to bring about stability and security. Corruption in particular, a problem that has plagued all elements in the conflict, has been noted as a major issue. Several police officers have had their salaries reduced on charges of corrupt behavior, and others have been fired for a variety of corruption-related offenses. A local Jarabulus resident expressed mistrust over the newly deployed police force over fears of them being unable to do their duties properly.5.

Another problem is the rebel groups who freed these areas from IS in the first place. Some groups have followed the original plan to leave security of urban areas to the police, but others have refused to budge from their positions. This has created a multipolar security situation where rebel factions in some areas act as de facto security forces against the wishes of the police, civilians, and local councils. The problem is far worse than rebel groups simply making the work of the police more difficult: some rebel groups in north Aleppo have been accused of criminal activity, including accusations of drug smuggling and stealing. In Al Bab there was an incident involving rebel fighters breaking into a pharmacy to steal Tramadol for recreational use, and accusations of theft, extortion, and weapons smuggling have been leveled against some groups.16.
On several occasions civilians in the area have also accused the rebels of using checkpoints to extort money.17. In one particular case someone visiting Jarabulus was reportedly stopped at a checkpoint controlled by a rebel group, where he was beaten and robbed. Rebel groups in north Aleppo have on multiple occasions even clashed with each other, often causing civilian casualties during the brief bouts of fighting. One incident in al-Bab in particular highlights the dangers of rebel infighting, when a policeman and several civilians were killed in the crossfire.18. Such blatant disregard for the rule of law show the severity of the challenges being faced by police.
lawlessness  police  Mar15  Aleppo  BufferZone  localGovt 
july 2018 by elizrael
Free Syria Police: Creating Security and Stability | International Review, Feb 7, 2018
Most of the recruits were from refugee camps in Turkey, though some were also former rebel fighters. The police recruits received specialty training as well as equipment from Turkish forces and were provided with uniforms, weapons, and police cars. A new police station was built while security cameras were installed throughout Jarabulus, and in some locations, metal detectors were installed as well. Head of Police General Aslan has said that Turkey also provided significant logistical support

The head of Azaz police Ahmed Zidan has reported that in an attempt to stop such attacks they have tried to find sleeper cells, issued curfews, closed all but essential roads leading into the Azaz, and set up more checkpoints. However, he personally blames rebels groups for his police officers being unable to stop attacks in Azaz, stating that the lack of unified entry controls and checkpoints leading into the Azaz are causing gaps in security which are exploited by the attackers.24. Despite these problems there appears to be progress. For example, the police in Azaz have successfully found and dismantled a car bomb in the first week of 2018.
Turkey  BufferZone  police  Aleppo  lawlessness  Mar15  localGovt 
july 2018 by elizrael
Divorce Boom in Rojava: Liberated or Second-Class Women? | SyriaUntold | Jan 13, 2018
“We are following all cases of violence against women, not only by men but also by society,” said Najah Amin, a manager at SARA. She noted that their work was fraught with challenges since day one, as many abused women were apprehensive about complaining to these NGOs, prompting SARA activists to pay secret home visits. “Luckily things are different now,” added Amin “In cases of divorce, we follow up the complaint of wife and try to solve the problem amicably. We believe that divorce has a negative impact on all family members.” Once reaching an agreement seems infeasible, explains the SARA manager, the organization assists the victim’s divorce request by both providing moral support and hiring an in-house lawyer. They follow up the case until the delivery of the judgement and the attainment of all rights.
women_rights  divorce  localGovt  Rojava  Hassakeh  civil_society 
july 2018 by elizrael
Education Sector in Idleb Collapses - Sada al-Sham, Mar 9, 2018
According to the document, the organization had informed the Education Ministry of its intention to suspend support and salaries for about 10,000 education staff in the province beginning from the end of January, and to suspend its partnership because it said risks had “increased in the province after the appearance of the Salvation Government and its attempts to intervene in educational decisions and dominate them.”
education  Idlib  Mar15  localGovt  JabhatAl-Nusra 
july 2018 by elizrael
Islamic State Hisba | Aymenn Jawad Al-Tamimi, June 1, 2018
The internal documents that I obtained from Syria and are the subject of this article concern the internal structure of the Hisba. It appears that early on within the Islamic State’s existence as the Caliphate, assignments of various elements of the Hisba apparatus were overlapping or being duplicated, leading to bad planning and operation. This problem led to the issuing of these documents to define more clearly the Hisba structure at the provincial and sub-provincial level.

The most important lesson to note from these documents is that they illustrate a case of how the Islamic State faced problems in governance and took steps to try to address those problems. It can be easy to be taken in by bureaucratic records at face value and imagine that somehow everything was in order.
localGovt  modesty_police  ISIS  leak 
july 2018 by elizrael
The bureaucracy of evil: how Islamic State ran a city | Cities | The Guardian, Jan 29, 2018
It was in the Iraqi city of Mosul that Isis attempted to prove its legitimacy – by transforming from an insurgency into a state. Alongside the murders and mass terror ran a functioning bureaucracy, with streamlined rubbish collections and electricity smart meters
Iraq  ISIS  localGovt  taxes 
july 2018 by elizrael
How the people of Mosul subverted Isis 'apartheid' | Cities | The Guardian, Jan 30, 2018
Once Isis had established its authority in Mosul, it administered the city using a two-tier system – privileges for ‘brothers’, hardship for everyone else. But locals resisted, and the Ponzi scheme began to crumble

If the Islamic State was a kind of Ponzi scheme, dependent on constant expansion to reward its followers, that scheme begun to crumble when the Iraqi state stopped paying the salaries of government employees in Mosul.

Most stopped going to work. (Teachers had all but abandoned their schools already, after most of the students began staying home following changes to the curriculum by the new Egyptian head of the education ministry.) Those Isis deemed as essential, such as doctors like Wassan and engineers working in service departments, were ordered to show up anyway, and paid a 10th of their former salary.

To keep the city running, the state became more ingenious in attempting to fill its coffers. Taxation increased. Fines were added to floggings. Carrying prayer beads – considered a sin according to Isis teachings – was fined according to the number of beads. Those caught with cigarettes were sent to jail, and fined the black market price of their confiscated cigarettes.

The energy ministry began diverting electricity away from residential houses and into three cement factories, which generated a reliable income. All government cars were confiscated.
ISIS  Iraq  localGovt  taxes 
july 2018 by elizrael
‘We’ve been forced to take up arms’: Idlib civil society workers turn to factions in wake of US funding freeze - Syria Direct
Abdul Kareem quickly found a job with hardline Islamist coalition Hay’at Tahrir a-Sham (HTS), the dominant faction in Idlib and formerly Al-Qaeda’s Syrian counterpart Jabhat a-Nusra. HTS was designated a terrorist organization by the US government in May.

“I’m fundamentally opposed to all of their policies,” says Abdul Kareem, who now serves on the faction’s police force, “but I need money to provide for my children.”

Two other former URB employees who spoke with Syria Direct found positions within Free Syrian Army (FSA) factions. All three men now carry a weapon on a daily basis. They asked that their real names be withheld in this report, fearing repercussions from local rebel groups.

The sudden shift from office jobs to frontlines reflects the fragility of a nascent Syrian civil society movement that often hinges on shrinking pools of foreign aid—and the potential for armed groups with deeper pockets to fill the void left behind by funding cuts.  

“Searching for a job in the north is like looking for a needle in a haystack,” says Muhammad al-Ali, a 27-year-old native of Kafr Nabl. “We’ve been forced to take up arms in order to survive.”

Until recently, al-Ali’s voice was a staple of the local news coverage broadcast by Radio Fresh. But after the funding freeze, he says he grudgingly accepted a position as a liaison officer with a Free Syrian Army faction, taking advantage of a personal connection to another officer.

“I never imagined that one day I’d leave my job, join an armed group, carry arms and head to the frontlines,” the father of two says. “I was forced to do so in order to provide for my family.”
civil_society  localGovt  Idlib  recruitment  FSA  JabhatAl-Nusra  Mar15  foreign_aid  TrumpAdministration 
july 2018 by elizrael
Rebel Infighting Affects Free Police in Idleb - Zeitoun, April 19, 2018
The members of the Free Police have faced major risks carrying out their security work, thanks to air bombardment and the general spread of weapons – all of which have reduced the agency and limited its tasks to the point that it has nearly vanished at many points.
Mar15  Idlib  police  localGovt  Judiciary  internal_struggle 
july 2018 by elizrael
Opposition authorities in Daraa ban sale of wheat to government-held Syria as ‘severe’ flour crisis looms
However, one Washington-based USAID official told Syria Direct on Tuesday that the flour distribution program is gradually drawing down its operations but is set to continue until March 2019.

The USAID-funded food assistance project has supplied southern Syria with 121,000 metric tons of flour, all purchased in neighboring Jordan, since it began in 2013, says the USAID official.

The USAID-funded project supplied nearly half of Daraa’s flour over the past four years, a-Radawi says, with local production and external sources making up the other half.

A-Radawi’s Grain Institution, along with other opposition-run authorities in Daraa province, are now scrambling to secure as much of this year’s local wheat crop as possible in preparation for the end of the USAID project by halting the sale of wheat to government territory and stockpiling as much of the local crop as possible.
Mar15  Daraa  USAID  food  trade  smuggling  localGovt 
june 2018 by elizrael
Ghouta is now in Idlib… Who is next? | SyriaUntold, June 6, 2018
When the exhausted residents of Eastern Ghouta arrived in Idlib, they were surprised by a warm and well-organized welcome. Syrian charities and associations were quick to spring to action but they were not the only ones helping out. Local residents also gave a hand.
Damascus  IDPs  solidarity  Idlib  Mar15  NGO  localGovt  aid 
june 2018 by elizrael

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