elizrael + aid   274

What America Can Learn From its Mistakes in Syria - War on the Rocks
U.S. policymakers assumed that governance would become more transparent and inclusive over time as the SDF grew more comfortable in its role. However, the SDF’s position grew more authoritarian the further south its writ extended and the more tenuous security became. In Hajin, one of the last towns in Deir Ezzour province to be liberated from ISIL rule, for example, attempts to establish an independent civil council were stymied by Qandil-linked havals (key decision-makers without formal titles) who created a rival one with their preferred leadership to cement their influence.
SDF  Mar15  stabilization  aid  localGovt 
20 days ago by elizrael
انهيار وقف إطلاق النار في إدلب: أنقرة تجتمع بفصائل المعارضة | القدس العربي
وأشارت المصادر إلى أن أنقرة طلبت من موسكو “الحفاظ على وقف إطلاق النار لمدة 15 يوماً، تتعهد بعدها بحل أزمة طرق الترانزيت وإيجاد آلية مرضية من أجل فتحها وتنشيط حركة التبادل التجاري بين مناطق سيطرة النظام والمعارضة”. وأضافت أن “روسيا تتذرع بوجود مقاتلين روس (أجناد القوقاز) وقصف مطار حميميم ومطار جب رملة، وعدم وجود فصل أو مقدرة على التمييز بين الفصائل المعتدلة والفصائل المتطرفة”.
ونفت المصادر ما تم تداوله عبر وسائط التواصل الاجتماعي ونقلته صفحات المعارضة أو الإعلام البديل بخصوص الحديث حول “طلب تركيا من أمريكا دعم الفصائل عسكرياً أو التحضير للقاء يجمعها مع مسؤولين أمريكان”.
Mar15  USG  aid  Idlib  Turkey  Russia  FSA  NLF 
4 weeks ago by elizrael
Syria Update: 20 – 26 November 2019 - COAR
Al-Hasakeh city: On 20 November, media sources reported that the Governor of Al-Hasakeh had issued a directive to the governorate offices of the Syria Arab Red Crescent and OCHA in late October, directing the entities to refrain from “transferring or hosting new arrivals in [IDP] camps, or contributing to the establishment of new camps for them in the area.” The directive “affirms” that the agencies’ work is to be restricted to providing relief for IDPs housed in shelters established in 71 schools and in residential areas (estimated to be 61,000 families), and only in direct coordination with the Government of Syria. Relatedly, media sources reported that tents have note been provided to the newly established “Washokani” IDP camp, located near Tweineh village in northern Al-Hasakeh Governorate — reportedly — because Al-Hasakeh Governor General Jayez Al-Hammod Al-Moussa has refused to approve the provision. On 20 November, the joint head of the Self Administration’s Office of Humanitarian Affairs, Abd Al-Qader Al-Mouwahad, stated that the governor’s decision to limit the role of SARC and OCHA is a political decision that aims to “pressure the Self Administration and portray it as helpless in facing the massive wave of displacement”.
Rojava  IDPs  SDF  Assad  aid  Mar15  UN 
5 weeks ago by elizrael
SYRIA IN CONTEXT Weekly Briefing - ISSUE #74 - WEEK 44/2019
According to US government sources, while the initial deployment has been conceived without allied contribution, the State Department Syria Envoy is planning to try and gather international buy-in for the mission at next month’s International Coalition meeting. Outsiders view the mission as an attempt by officials to retroactively mitigate the impact of the president’s withdrawal decision and as an attempt to maintain US leverage in the final resolution of the conflict. 

Education in Idlib: On Sunday, activists and humanitarians from northwest Syria launched a social media campaign under the slogan “MyPenMyDream”, protesting the recent cut in European Union funding to education across wider Idlib. In September, local authorities received letters from lead agency, Chemonics, warning of imminent funding cuts due to donor concerns over the increasing influence of the radical Islamist Hayat Tahrir Ash-Sham (HTS) and its Salvation Government over governance in the region. According to local authorities, the funds disbursed via the “Manahel Syria Educational Programme” cover 65% of education cost across northwest Syria, including the salaries of more than 7,000 teachers and operating cost of almost 800 schools, affecting hundreds of thousands of children across the province. The decision came as a surprise at the beginning of the 2019-2020 school year. Presently, teachers are working without salaries with many finding alternative employment to cover their living costs. Local authorities say that unless alternative funding arrangements can be found, most educational operations across the region may have to seize.

Further, it is now understood that the 15 members of the drafting committee from the civil society list will be selected by the government and opposition list members, rather than by agreement amongst the civil society list. If this is indeed the case after the committee begins work in earnest tomorrow, it will represent a significant blow to the chances of the committee drafting a document that is capable of undertaking the heavy lifting that a constitution-as-peace-treaty requires.
Mar15  constitution  civil_society  education  Idlib  aid 
october 2019 by elizrael
SYRIA IN CONTEXT Weekly Briefing - ISSUE #72 - WEEK 42/2019
Idlib: This week, students in Idlib and Aleppo’s western countryside protested against the EU decision to cut their funding to the Education Directorate in Idlib, which subsequently stopped the salaries of teachers and schools’ staff in the period since early September. The EU was previously covering 65% of the cost of education provision within Idlib, and pulled the grant due to interference by HTS. 310 primary schools, which are funded by the 35% of education funds not provided by the EU, will continue operation. Stabilization funding in Idlib has been an ongoing issue, with donors blowing hot and cold depending on the situation within Idlib. The EU has stated that they are investigating ways to reestablish education support inside Idlib and will review the situation periodically. 
EU  protests  education  JabhatAl-Nusra  Mar15  aid 
october 2019 by elizrael
مدارس بحلّة تركية في شمال حلب | الجمهورية.نت
كذلك تضمنت الشروط التي وقّعَ عليها المعلّمون عدم مشاركتهم في أي مظاهرات «سلبية» (يقولون إن المقصود هو المظاهرات ضد الحكومة التركية)، وعدم توجيه الانتقادات عبر وسائل التواصل الاجتماعي، وعدم الإدلاء بأي تصريحات للإعلام، وهو السبب الذي اضطرنا لإخفاء أسماء المعلّمين الذين أدلوا لنا بشهاداتهم.
education  freedomofspeech  BufferZone  Aleppo  Mar15  Turkey  aid 
september 2019 by elizrael
SYRIA IN CONTEXT Weekly Briefing - ISSUE #63 - WEEK 33/2019
SJAC document: Last week, SJAC published two pieces of information building on recent criticisms of the UN’s role in Syria. A document issued by the Political Security Branch of Idlib Governorate in 2014 explicitly mentions the importance of diverting aid away from ‘hot zones’ and areas of protest or opposition support. The documents state that officers who had allowed aid into these areas would be reprimanded and also discussed the need to  block medical aid. Everything discussed in the documents went on to become trends seen throughout the conflict as opposition supporting populations were starved and deprived of aid and faced severe restrictions on medical supplies. SJAC also published a series of interviews with SARC staff members detailing concerns from inside the NNGO which undertakes the lion’s share of relief work on the ground in Syria due to their relationship with the government. In one shocking revelation, a SARC volunteer admitted referring beneficiaries to security services before they could receive aid in line with security services wishes. A separate, recent, document seen by Syria in Context shows that all aid deliveries in Syria are signed off by the heads of both Airforce and Military Intelligence departments as part of the formal approvals process for humanitarian assistance. All of this shows there is little sign of the pressure on the UN and aid response in Damascus letting up without a critical examination of working practices.  
aid  Mar15  UN  mukhabarat 
august 2019 by elizrael
הקשר הסורי: הסיפור האמיתי | עובדה
At the end of 2012, rebels first entered for a meeting with Israeli Unit 504 of the IDF (human intelligence) after an officer serving along the border chatted with Syrian rebels through his tracker (usually a Bedouin) near Breiqa. 4 Syrians entered in that first meeting. During this and subsequent meetings, the issue of providing security around the border area for medical care was mentioned.

In 2013, Israel's Defense Minister, Moshe Yaalon, meets with 3 rebel commanders. "The meeting, of course, was in our territory."

Weeks later, the Syrians call asking for medical care. One of the rebel commanders who coordinated the evacuation asked Israel to hide the coordination from his faction, to pretend that they do not know him. The first group was made up of 7 rebels.

There was a limited budget for the medical care and the Israelis in charge of deciding who comes in refused some cases because they were deemed very expensive.

One of Israel's key interlocutors who was a rebel commander around Breiqa who owned a clothing shop before the revolution. He joined the rebels after seeing the regime firing at protesters. He was a young man with gel in his hair. In 2013, Israel made a deal with this man - intelligence for medical care for members of his faction.

Meetings were held in the Hazeqa base opposite Be'r Ajam. Unit 504 maintained daily contact with this commander. He provided intelligence about the location of a group intending to carry out a terrorist attack in late 2013 and prevents it. He was injured in the fighting when the regime advanced on southern Syria and died.

The program mentions foreign reports about rebels providing intelligence for the assassination of Samir Kuntar, but does not confirm it.

"Multiple" attacks were prevented thanks to this cooperation with the rebels, according to a retired officer in Unit 504.

The program mentions the provision of light arms very briefly (one sentence). The program mentions at the end that Israel provided training to Syrian rebels on how to secure evidence of CW attacks. The rebels brought an object (probably a shell casing or something like this) that "provided the first proof of nerve agent use" to the international community. This intelligence was provided to Obama during his visit to Israel [March 2013].
Mar15  Israel  aid  FSA  Quneitra 
june 2019 by elizrael
Turkey sends weapons to Syrian rebels facing Russian-backed assault: Syrian sources - Reuters, May 25, 2019
Ankara stepped up supplies in recent days after failing to persuade Russia in recent meetings of a joint working group that it should end its escalation to avert a major influx of refugees pouring into Turkey, two senior opposition figures said.

The delivery of dozens of armoured vehicles, Grad rocket launchers, anti-tank guided missiles and so-called TOW missiles, helped roll back some army gains and retake the strategically located town of Kfar Nabouda, one senior opposition figure said.
Mar15  Turkey  aid  Idlib  Hama  weapons 
may 2019 by elizrael
The New Humanitarian | UK keeps limits on cash aid in Syria over counter-terror fears
Al-Hol residents have never been receiving cash aid but DFID, the UK’s government aid agency, paused all aid programmes that involved money transfers in the northeast early last month – a suspension that does affect another 50,000 people who were forced to flee their homes at earlier stages in the Syrian war, many to get away from areas of IS control.

Fe Kagahastian, who helps coordinate agencies working on cash-based programmes in the region as part of Norwegian Refugee Council's global roster of cash experts, said another donor has stepped in to fill the cash aid gap left by the UK in northeastern Syria.

While this means disruption was minimised, she said that residents of Roj, Newroz, and Twahini camps are among those still likely to miss the $15-$60 per month (depending on family size) they had been counting on during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.
UK  aid  Hassakeh  IDPs  ISIS  ISISfamilies 
may 2019 by elizrael
Iran Moves to Cement Its Influence in Syria - WSJ
Along with the charity come offers to join the ranks of the Iranian militia and convert to the Shiite sect of the Islamic faith, he said. In return for enlisting, the men are promised a guard corps ID card—allowing them to cross checkpoints without hassle—and $200 a month. “From every family you find one or two people who have become Shiite,” he said. “They say they do it so they can find jobs or they become Shiite so they can walk and no one bothers them.”

To incentivize Arab tribesmen in areas formerly controlled by Islamic State to convert to Shiism, Iran is granting cash subsidies, providing public services and free education, according to residents, a U.S. official and a person familiar with U.S. intelligence operations in the region.

In cities and villages across the country’s east and in parts of central Syria, the Iranian militia has taken over mosques and is sounding the Shiite call to prayer from the minarets. They set up shrines in places with religious historical significance, bought real estate under a contested property law and opened Persian-language schools.

“If you’re a student, they offer a scholarship. If you’re poor, they give you aid,” said an aid worker in Qamishli, in northeast Syria, whose friend was offered a chance to study in Iran. “Whatever your need is they fill it, just so you become Shiite.”

“Just like ISIS gave religious lessons to children after prayers, they are doing the same thing,” said a father of two school-aged children, who said his village is now under control of Iranian militias.

“Just like ISIS gave religious lessons to children after prayers, they are doing the same thing,” said a father of two school-aged children, who said his village is now under control of Iranian militias.

Tehran’s push for converts and loyalists has encountered some resistance from residents who objected to mosques being changed from Sunni to Shiite. In some cases, the call to prayer has reverted back to the Sunni script. Followers of the two sects have some differing religious beliefs and use somewhat different prayers and rituals.

As Mr. Assad’s regime struggles to provide basic services in areas it has recaptured, the Iranians and their affiliated militias and charities have filled the void. The Hussein Organization, an Iranian charity, has brought in generators and water pumps and distributed food and school supplies in cities and villages in Deir Ezzour, said a security analyst consulting with the U.S. government on eastern Syria.
https://justpaste.it/1x7rs
Iran  mar15  aid  Shia  patronage  recruitment  Hizbollah 
march 2019 by elizrael
SYRIA IN CONTEXT Weekly Briefing ISSUE #42 - WEEK 12/2019
a regional breakdown of allocation shows the extraordinary inequities at the heart of the Syrian government structure. For example, heavily-loyalist Latakia and Tartous provinces receive as much as a combined quarter of all public funds, despite hosting barely 10% of Syria’s population. The skew is likely due to the disproportionate patronage bestowed on loyalist communities via public sector jobs and investments (a 2013 decree forces preferential treatment for families of those who died fighting for the Syrian government - overwhelmingly members of loyalist minority communities). Given the government’s fiscal limitations, it is unclear how the Assad regime could re-broaden its patronage to non-loyalist communities without corresponding cuts - meaning layoffs - undermining its own power base.
budget  Mar15  Lattakia  patronage  aid  subsidies 
march 2019 by elizrael
Trump budget nixes aid to opposition-held Syria - al-Monitor, March 11, 2019
“This appears to represent a continuation of offshoring stabilization assistance to the Gulf states and Europe,” said Chad Brand, the government relations officer for the Syrian American Council, a US-based coalition that opposes Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

The Donald Trump administration is seeking to eliminate economic and security aid to opposition-held Syria even as the United States gears up to significantly reduce its troop presence in the war-torn country.
aid  TrumpAdministration  stabilization  Rojava 
march 2019 by elizrael
Local councils, civil society brace for HTS takeover after cuts to healthcare funding in rebel-held northwest - Syria Direct, Jan 20, 2019
Civil society organizations and local government bodies in Syria’s rebel-held northwest are bracing for funding cuts and an encroaching transition towards hardline Islamist rule, after several health directorates in the region suspended employment salaries in response to at least one key donor reportedly pulling funding late last week. 
aid  health  Mar15  Idlib  JabhatAl-Nusra 
february 2019 by elizrael
IRIN | Q&A: Top US aid fraud investigator defends tough counter-terror stance, Feb 4, 2019
IRIN: How serious are the cases currently being investigated?

Altman: I'm not going to identify the name of the organisation. But we have an instance in Idlib where we had a diversion of almost 400,000 food kits that are worth about eight and a half million dollars. [IRIN believes he is referring to a previously reported food diversion case involving Catholic Relief Services. A CRS spokesperson declined to comment, citing an ongoing investigation.]

IRIN: What are some examples of the kind of fraud uncovered in Syria?

Altman: A family of five is supposed to get X amount of food, but they only get 60 percent of it because someone is diverting the other 40 percent; they make the families sign for the whole amount… We [US aid programmes] paid for parkas and lined insulated boots for children, but what they got were rubber rain boots and a sweatshirt of a such poor quality that you could stick your finger through it. We have given women burlap underwear… we have given expired and unsanitary medical commodities [to some medical facilities].

Where the staff of an NGO is providing basically the salaries for fighters in an armed group [using diverted aid resources], not only is it an obscenity, in the sense that it's a loss of resources that are meant to go to hungry Syrians, we are actually funding the conflict.

And so those are the reasons why we take these cases seriously. While we’re an oversight body, I don't think that any of the work that we're doing is inconsistent with the humanitarian principles.

So if the allegation is that we’re aggressive and that we're forward-leaning, then ‘guilty as charged’, but we're doing it primarily because we want the programmes to be effective and reach the intended beneficiaries.
JabhatAl-Nusra  Mar15  corruption  USAID  aid 
february 2019 by elizrael
Iraqi Refugees in North Aleppo Countryside: Interview :: Aymenn Jawad Al-Tamimi, Feb 17, 2019
We the people are content in the camp, from the aspect of the hospital, the aspect of food, the aspect of a place to sleep, the aspect of the location. As I told you yesterday, the suffering only among us is when you are separated from your family: your wife sleeps in a tent and you sleep in a tent. The big tent in width is around 10m, and in length around 25m-30m, taking in around 50 people: 50 people in every tent. The tent of men. The tent of women likewise the same.
Iraq  refugees  Aleppo  aid  Turkey 
february 2019 by elizrael
EU groups suspend support for medical centres in Syria’s Idlib – Middle East Monitor
This week, the German Agency for International Cooperation (GIZ) announced on its website that it had ceased activities in Syria citing “recent political developments”. Sources on the ground also reported that GIZ’s partner agency, the Local Development Organisation (LDO), had also suspended some its projects for women in the areas of Hama, Idlib and Aleppo western countryside, presumably as a result of the cutbacks.

Blood banks, specialised hospitals and emergency departments are also believed to be affected, with health officials estimating that support has been suspended for more than 70 per cent of the hospitals in the Hama countryside; some 250 doctors, nurses and administrators are now working on a voluntary basis.
health  Mar15  EU  Germany  aid  Idlib  JabhatAl-Nusra 
february 2019 by elizrael
Assad regime maintains strangle-hold over humanitarian access in - Al-Araby al-Jadeed
Gaining official registration with Damascus can take anywhere from nine months to two years and even if successful, it is only the beginning of the process.

Secondly, the process also appears to currently benefit NGOs who fit the regime's narrative - as highlighted by the low number of INGOs who have worked in both opposition and government areas being granted registration (7) as well as the number of INGOs granted registration who have only ever worked in government controlled areas (24).
Mar15  Syria  NGO  aid 
january 2019 by elizrael
Displaced People in Shelter Centers Blackmailed for Aid - al-Hal, Dec 6, 2018
Activist Nour al-Kaswani told the Al-Hal website that the Herjalleh shelter center “has become known for the corruption of those in charge. They deprive displaced people of their shares of food and do not deliver aid despite it having arrived months earlier, on the pretext of arranging the lists and organizing work.”

Kaswani added that those responsible for distribution in these institutions “extort civilians, especially women, trying to receive sexual favors from them in exchange for the easing of the delivery of aid. This was confirmed by a number of women in the center.”
Damascus  exploitation  rape  prostitution  Mar15  aid  Reconciliation 
january 2019 by elizrael
IRIN | US bans aid workers in Turkey-Syria scam - Sep 11, 2018
GOAL A former logistics officer with an Irish NGO has been banned from doing business with the US government for 10 years for his key role in a corruption ring that sought to pocket a slice of Syrian aid budgets.
Mar15  aid  corruption  USAID  Idlib  turkey 
december 2018 by elizrael
IRIN | US tightens counter-terror clampdown on Syria aid - Sep 22, 2018
The US government has reinforced counter-terrorism controls on aid operations in Syria. New contractual terms require US-funded organisations to get special permission to provide relief in areas controlled by extremist groups. The move further complicates aid operations for those trapped in Syria’s last rebel stronghold, Idlib, where two thirds of its three million people need assistance.
Mar15  JabhatAl-Nusra  COIN  terrorism  USG  aid  Idlib 
december 2018 by elizrael
IRIN | Another Syria aid operation on hold in rebel stronghold Idlib, Sep 21, 2018
The Irish NGO GOAL has suspended food voucher distributions in Syria’s troubled Idlib region since February as donor concerns widen about delivering aid in areas controlled by extremist groups. A GOAL spokesperson confirmed it had “paused” the initiative but did not offer details of the move, which has not been previously reported.
aid  Mar15  Idlib  corruption 
december 2018 by elizrael
Netanyahu asked U.S. to cut aid for Palestinian refugees, changing Israel's position - Axios, Sep 2, 2018
Around two weeks ago, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu privately conveyed a message to the White House stressing that Israel's position regarding the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) has changed — and that it now supports a complete cut of all U.S. funding to the agency, which gives aid to Palestinian refugees, Israeli officials told me. The officials added Netanyahu communicated with the Trump administration without consulting Israel's security chiefs.
UNRWA  Israel  Netanyahu  TrumpAdministration  aid 
december 2018 by elizrael
Britain to axe funding for scheme supporting Syrian opposition | World news | The Guardian, Aug 20, 2018
Funding to support the operations of the Free Syria police force is set to come to an end in September, with government sources conceding the Access to Justice and Community Service (Ajacs) programme had become too difficult to deliver.

The government said the scheme had been kept under review because of the high risk, difficult conflict environment to ensure the benefits justified the risks, acknowledging the scheme had become too difficult to deliver as the balance between potential gain and risk shifted.

It said over recent months that the situation on the ground in those regions had become more difficult.
police  Mar15  Idlib  UK  aid 
december 2018 by elizrael
Syrians in Former Opposition Areas Struggle as Aid Groups Withdraw - al-Sharq al-Awsat, Oct 9, 2018
"The aid that used to come to the south from international agencies, has completely stopped," said Mohammad al-Zoabi, 29, from al-Mseifra in southern Syria.

"Now, there's a lack of flour, medical supplies, and hospitals in general after medical points and field clinics were closed, badly affecting people," he said.

The International Rescue Committee (IRC), Mercy Corps, and Save the Children all confirmed they had halted aid programmes.

“The changes in control that have been witnessed means that humanitarian access continues to be constrained," the UN said in August.
blockade  aid  Mar15  Reconciliation  Homs 
december 2018 by elizrael
The Syrian refugee crisis in Lebanon | Executive Magazine, Dec 17, 2018
Given that these funding gaps have existed since 2012, it should come as no surprise that there has been little marked improvement in the socioeconomic conditions of refugees, despite years of aid. In a 2018 update to the UNHCR’s refugee response plan for 2017 to 2020, the agency stated that more than 76 percent of Syrian refugees live below the poverty line, set at $3.84 per day. A whopping 87 percent of them are in debt, with the average debt amounting to $798 per person. Syrian refugees incur significant costs—for example, 18 percent of average monthly expenditure goes toward paying rent, often for overcrowded housing. Meanwhile, food is the largest monthly expenditure, at 44 percent, and accounts for the greatest proportion of debt. 
UNHCR  Lebanon  refugees  Mar15  refoulment  aid  poverty 
december 2018 by elizrael
Charities warned that sending aid to Syria's Idlib could be a 'terror offence' | Middle East Eye. Dec 8, 2018
In an alert to charities, the Charity Commission said that Bab al-Hawa, the main supply route into Idlib, was reportedly under the control of Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS), a proscribed terrorist organisation in the UK, which "could incur financial benefit" from any deliveries of aid through the crossing.

In September, both USAID and DFID told their local partners to stop using Bab al-Hawa because of concerns that HTS was collecting taxes from aid trucks crossing the border.

But both organisations resumed deliveries after the Salvation Government, the HTS-backed civilian administation responsible for running the crossing, said in a statement that it would stop levying fees on aid trucks from 1 October.
aid  UK  JabhatAl-Nusra  Idlib  Mar15  taxes 
december 2018 by elizrael
Syrians in ex-rebel zones struggle after aid groups withdraw - AFP, Oct 8, 2018
"The aid that used to come from international agencies to the south completely stopped," said Mohammad al-Zoabi, 29, from Al-Mseifra in southern Syria.

"Now, there's a lack of flour, medical supplies, and hospitals in general after medical points and field clinics were closed, badly affecting people," he said.

According to the UN, 66 aid trucks entered the south from Jordan in June but zero in July when troops seized the area.

Residents of the south interviewed by AFP reported hospital closures and a lack of medicine and flour.

They said doctors and Syrian aid workers had fled, were wanted by security forces for working in rebel areas or had requested -- but were denied -- regime permission to resume relief work.

The International Rescue Committee (IRC), Mercy Corps, and Save the Children all confirmed they had halted aid programmes.
Daraa  Homs  Mar15  aid  blockade 
december 2018 by elizrael
Civil society, aid organizations withdraw into the shadows as Syrian government reasserts control - Syria Direct, Nov 8, 2018
“Our employees are now hiding their identities from the regime and society at large,” Sabsabi says. “They can’t tell anyone that they worked with our organization, so it’s very difficult for us to get any information about them.”
Among other restrictions, humanitarian organizations are prohibited from undertaking field visits or instituting new programs without SARC’s permission. Damning evidence has also arisen over the course of the conflict, showing the hand that government officials play in the organization’s operations. A leaked letter from two years ago, approving an aid delivery by SARC out of Damascus, was signed jointly by the Ministry of Health and officers from air force and military intelligence—all groups which are subject to economic sanctions from dozens of governments around the world.


A list kept by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, seen by Syria Direct, shows that 15 international organizations have already completed the process and are now operating under SARC as implementing partners in government-controlled areas.

Dozens of others are in different stages of the registration process, according to humanitarian sources with knowledge of the matter.

For months, his organization has been navigating the registration process, one that begins with a months-long security investigation conducted by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The investigation process itself remains cloaked in mystery.

“They might be consulting with the Russian government or other international sectors like UNHCR and SARC,” the NGO source says.

“The Syrian government has limited us to interacting with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs only. We don’t know to whom they are referring our case.
Mar15  aid  NGO  civil_society  Daraa 
december 2018 by elizrael
In Syria's rebel north, Turkey deepens roots, spreads influence - AFP, Oct 29, 2018
But Turkish state institutions and private companies have also put down roots in this relatively stable pocket, becoming an integral part of everyday life.

Walls of the main hospital in Jarabulus are now adorned with portraits of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, and the town is lit by an electricity grid set up by Ankara.

"A private Turkish company will implement an electricity project in Azaz, and Turkey is the guarantor," he said.

Keno said Turkey has also helped the council pave roads, renovate mosques and repair classrooms damaged by fighting.

As class started up again this year, the council decided to introduce something new for the area's estimated 18,000 students: Turkish courses.
BufferZone  Mar15  Turkey  Aleppo  localGovt  aid 
december 2018 by elizrael
أمريكا تستأنف دعمها لـ 22 منشأة طبية في إدلب - عنب بلدي
ومن بين المؤسسات التي يشملها الدعم المقدم من “أوفدا” (OFDA) “الجمعية الطبية السورية الأمريكية” (سامز) ومنظمة “ريليف إنترناشيونال”، والمشافي بينها مشفى معرة النعمان ومشفى الأمومة الوطني في إدلب ومشفى عقربات.
health  aid  USG  Idlib  Mar15 
december 2018 by elizrael
Syrians in the USA: Solidarity Despite Political Rifts | Arab Reform Initiative
The Syrian American diaspora has been actively engaged in the Syrian uprising through the provision of humanitarian assistance and the entry into political advocacy work. Yet, the Syrian diaspora in the U.S. does not represent a homogenous population group nor a unified political position. On the contrary, assessing the dynamics of the diaspora since 2011 reveals important transformations within diasporic groupings, with the 2011 uprising acting as a catalyst for the emergence of new fractures. Through a mixture of desk research and interviews with key members of the Syrian American diaspora, this paper investigates the evolution of the community and discusses the potential role of the diaspora in a post-conflict Syria. By assessing current and evolving trends within the diaspora from 2011, it is possible to shape future reconstruction plans to effectively include the Syrian American diaspora.
Mar15  USA  activism  internal_struggle  aid 
december 2018 by elizrael
Launch of the Humanitarian Assistance Steering Council 
Ambassador Nathan A. Sales, with his delegated authorities of the Under Secretary for Civilian Security, Democracy, and Human Rights, and Rear Admiral Tim Ziemer, head of the Bureau of Democracy, Conflict, and Humanitarian Assistance, will co-lead the Council at the outset. Other members will include senior leaders from the Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration, the Office of U.S. Foreign Assistance Resources, the Bureau of International Organization Affairs, and USAID’s Bureau for Policy, Planning, and Learning.
USAID  work  aid  USG  State_Department 
november 2018 by elizrael
בתום שנתיים: צה"ל מפסיק את הסיוע ההומניטרי לסורים
בצה"ל מסרו כי במסגרת הפעילות טופלו כ-7,000 ילדים סורים במרפאת היום "מזור לדך" שפעלה בשנה האחרונה. עוד טופלו יותר מ-1,300 ילדים בבית החולים בברייקא, בבית החולים ליולדות והמרפאה בג'בתא ובמסגרת מבצעי "ביקור רופא". עשרות ילדים נוספים נותחו בבתי החולים בישראל.
Israel  aid  Mar15  Quneitra  IDF 
september 2018 by elizrael
IRIN | Syrian militants served American food aid: US watchdog, Aug 23, 2018
USAID’s inspector general, reporting to Congress, first in March and with more details released in July, said that staff of an unnamed non-profit added “fighters” of armed group Hay’at Tahrir Al-Sham to lists of civilians eligible for food packages and then covered up the records. The US government regards HTS as a successor to the al-Qaeda-affiliated Nusra Front.

The staff were “under duress” from the militant group, according to the investigation, which said that between March and May the NGO dismissed 27 personnel involved. In such cases, NGOs can also be fined, have to return funding to donors, and show they will strengthen controls. In worst-case scenarios, they can be disbarred.

As IRIN reported a year ago, the power and influence of HTS continues to present legal and political obstacles to any international aid effort. And the HTS case is not the only one: the OIG reports it has three open cases of armed groups diverting aid in Syria, as of 1 July. No further details were available.
aid  JabhatAl-Nusra  corruption  Mar15  USAID 
august 2018 by elizrael
AP Sources: US ends Syria stabilization funding - Aug 17, 2018
U.S. officials said the administration notified Congress on Friday that it would not spend some $200 million that had been planned for Syria programs and would instead shift that money to other areas. Nearly all of that money, initially pledged by former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson in February, had been on hold and under review since he was fired in March. A small fraction of that amount was released in June.

They said the cut will be more than offset by an additional $300 million pledged by coalition partners, including $100 million that Saudi Arabia announced it had contributed late Thursday. The State Department immediately welcomed the Saudi contribution, which is intended to help revitalize communities liberated from the Islamic State group like Raqqa.
TrumpAdministration  Mar15  aid 
august 2018 by elizrael
Trump May Cut Suspended Aid To Palestinians Soon : NPR
There have been some exceptions to the funding freeze, officials say. The U.S. recently released money to support Palestinian Authority security forces cooperating with Israel on safety in the West Bank. The U.S. is expected to release about $25 million to support East Jerusalem hospitals that treat Palestinian patients.

Harden said he learned that the administration would likely return unspent money to government coffers, not repurpose it for development projects in other parts of the world.
aid  UNRWA  TrumpAdministration  Palestinians 
august 2018 by elizrael
Business not as usual: the rebellion of Syrian businessmen through the revolution - Suriye Gundemi, May 1, 2018
When the conflict has risen, especially in mid-2012, thousands of businessmen formed part of the emigration wave to other countries in the region. Since 2011, Turkey has many thousands of Syrian companies established within its borders, with billions of US dollars flowing in from Syria [9]. In addition, Egypt, Jordan, and Lebanon also witnessed the arrival and growth of economic activities of Syrian businessmen in their countries [10]. More importantly, a handful of top business leaders also decided to leave the country. At least 11had been on the top 100 prominent businessmen list in Syria in 2010,and nine of whom had been leading figures in the Chambers of Commerce and Industry in Damascus and Aleppo [11].Two of the leading figures in the Damascene Chamber of Industry and the Aleppine Chamber of Industry both explained to me that they had no choice but to leave Syria for lack of safety, mainly imposed on them by the Assad regime. This shows a clear and important weakening of ties between those businessmen and their former patron.

After Syrian businessmen relocated, most embarked on new business ventures, some contributing to philanthropic activities to help fellow countrymen, other seven deciding to take part in anti-Assad political organizations. For example, one Aleppine industrial tycoon personally donated $5 million US dollars to set up an orphanage in Turkey to host 300 Syrian orphans [12].In terms of political participation, two of the ministers in the Syrian Interim Government are businessmen and at least 17 of the founding members and members of the Syrian National Coalition and Syrian National Council are in business. The support from Syrian businessmen toward the revolution (or anti-Assad activities) is not limited to whose businessmen who relocated after 2011; some had been living outside of Syria for decades but also contributed to the political campaigns. Mustafa Sabbagh who is living in Qatar, has raised $300 million US dollars in 2012 for Syrian opposition, is just one example. [13]
Mar15  elite  aid 
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
The other Lebanese - Synaps, June 2018
Young Palestinians often have more in common with young Lebanese than they do with their own parents. The first Palestinian refugees arrived in 1948, and other waves followed up to the early 1970s. At the time, Palestinians enjoyed considerable support for their cause within the Arab world, which translated into political, financial, military and humanitarian backing. The generation that was forced to flee their homeland felt confident that exile would be temporary. “I named my daughter ‘Palestine’ to hear that name every day and never forget my country,” said a 70-year-old resident of the Beddawi camp in Northern Lebanon. “We made many mistakes, but we wanted to go back. We didn’t want to stay here in camps. This is why we took arms.”
Palestinians  identity  Lebanon  corruption  unemployment  education  UNRWA  aid 
august 2018 by elizrael
Russia's Favorite Syrian Warlord - The Atlantic, Mar 3, 2018
On several occasions, the Russian military has acknowledged training and equipping what it has called “detachments” operating under Hassan’s command. These groups, like the Tiger Forces and the 4th and 5th Volunteer Assault Corps, are effectively paramilitary groups attached to regime forces. There are also reports that Russia pays the salaries of these Syrian militia-like formations. Still, Russia has pointed to its support for Hassan and his forces to make two claims: That the Russian army and its local partners defeated the Islamic State in Syria, and that Russian forces, unlike the U.S. military and others, are working with Syria’s legitimate government troops rather than militias or mercenaries.

The Russian military and state media, meanwhile, seem to have an unlimited appetite for the Tiger’s exploits. Press releases and stories have described him as “one of Syria’s most renowned military commanders,” and have depicted his Tiger Forces as invincible. In the summer of 2017, for instance, Russian Ka-52 helicopters conducted a night-time air raid on an isis target in the province of Deir Ezzour, clearing the way for Hassan’s Tiger Force to follow with a ground assault. Russia’s defense ministry called this “a virtuosic tactical landing operation behind militants’ lines,” while also noting that Russian military advisers controlled the operation.

Moscow has openly embraced Hassan. Gerasimov awarded him with a sword during a ceremony at Hmeimim for his apparent “valor” in the operation. (A year earlier, he had been given one of the Russian army’s highest medals.) Aside from Assad, who holds the military rank of field marshal and is Syria’s commander-in-chief, Hassan was the only Syrian military commander to attend a meeting with Putin at Hmeimim base last December to mark the defeat of isis. “Your Russian colleagues told me that you and your men fight incisively, courageously and in a results-oriented way,” Putin told Hassan in Russian, according to footage broadcast by RT. “I hope this cooperation will allow us to achieve more success going forward.” Hassan, seated across from Putin, put his hand on his heart and nodded with gratitude.
Russia  WarCrimes  SAA  Intelligence_community  Mar15  aid 
july 2018 by elizrael
Development Programs Can Help Reduce Political Violence - War on the Rocks, June 13, 2018
We want to correct the record regarding the original program goals, the intent of the research, and the findings themselves. To build her argument, Trisko Darden highlights our research findings related to two programs that Mercy Corps implements—the Somali Youth Learners Initiative, funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), and the INVEST program in Kandahar, Afghanistan, funded by the State Department (not by the United States Institute for Peace, as her article states).

It is important to note that neither the Somali youth program nor INVEST are development programs with an original, explicit objective or strategy to counter violent extremism or to prevent youth radicalization. The Somali program reflects USAID’s broader development agenda in Somalia, which prioritizes job opportunities, particularly for youth. The INVEST program sought to improve the employability of vulnerable, displaced Afghan youth in Kandahar through technical vocational training.

In Kandahar, we also studied cash transfers, a short-term economic intervention that humanitarian organizations use to help displaced communities globally. We sought to test the effects of cash transfers and the INVEST program by asking whether these programs might also reduce support for political violence rather than against their original intended economic goal. Many countering violent extremism programs have focused on vocational training, and our research partners wanted to add in the additional element of cash, an immediate and relative less expensive economic solution, to the study.
terrorism  Afghanistan  Somalia  aid  USG 
july 2018 by elizrael
Compounding Violent Extremism? When Efforts to Prevent Violence Backfire, June 6, 2018
While the researchers found that the combination of training and cash appeared to reduce participants’ willingness to back the Taliban, including through financial or logistical support, INVEST’s job training on its own had no observable effect on support for either the Taliban or the Afghan government. However, individuals who received only cash transfers were more willing to provide support to the Taliban roughly seven to nine months after they had received the money

. A Mercy Corps study found that youths in Somaliland who received secondary education as part of this program were less likely to use violence in personal disputes. However, 11 percent of the participants became more likely to approve of the use of violence for a political cause — the very definition of terrorism.

Programs to counter violent extremism may also be targeting the wrong individuals. Programs are often aimed at “youths at risk of violent extremism” because young people are seen as more vulnerable to manipulation and ideological appeals and as a readily available labor force for militant groups. But not all youth are equally at risk. An outside evaluation found that USAID’s Tunisia Transition Initiative failed to actually target those youth at risk of becoming violent extremists. Instead, the program worked predominantly with youth at risk of either drug use or criminal activity, neither of which have been decisively linked to violent extremism. The evaluators expressed concern that the Tunisia program missed its target entirely.
aid  Somalia  terrorism  Tunisia  USG 
july 2018 by elizrael
As Violence Flares, Kushner Threatens to Abandon a Plan B for the Mideast: Rebuilding Gaza - The New York Times
Declaring that no foreign investors are willing to pour money into Gaza during what they label a Hamas-driven conflict, Mr. Kushner and Mr. Greenblatt, the president’s special representative for international negotiations, are rethinking their efforts to rebuild Gaza’s economy as a way of opening the door to a broader peace accord.

Mr. Kushner and Mr. Greenblatt still favor talks between the Palestinian Authority and Hamas that could result in a unity government in Gaza under the control of the West Bank Palestinians. Hamas, they said, could take part in such a government, provided it agrees to give up violence, recognize Israel and engage in peaceful negotiations.

But diplomats involved in previous — and equally fruitless — Middle East negotiations said those hopes were far-fetched, since Hamas would never give up its weapons. And they warned that getting bogged down in Gaza could actually make it harder, not easier, to strike a broader deal.
Gaza  Hamas  aid  TrumpAdministration 
july 2018 by elizrael
מעריב | הניצחון של אסד כבר ברור - השאלה היא מה יהיה עם האיראנים
ראינו את השיטה הזאת פועלת בשני כפרים בצפון רמת הגולן בשנה שעברה. אחרי ריכוך של כמה שבועות, אנשי אסד מציעים לאנשי הכפר להסגיר את הנשק הכבד, לשמור את הנשק האישי לעצמם ובתמורה לא נכנסים לכפר ואף מכתירים את ראש המיליציה המקומית כמפקד בשכר מטעם אסד. המנשר שהוציאו השבוע ראשי הארגונים בגולן מסמן שזה מה שיקרה גם שם: הם גינו והכפישו במילים קשות את אסד והודיעו שלנוכח מעלליו הלא־אנושיים הם מתכוונים לפתוח איתו במשא ומתן. אם יהיה סלע התנגדות אחד בגולן, זה יהיה הכפר ג'ובתא אל־חשב, שלא ימהר להיכנע.

אנשי הכפרים האלה, שעומדים עכשיו להיכבש, מקיימים קשר הדוק עם ישראל כבר חמש שנים. ברגע שיחזור אסד למשול באזור הזה, יגיע קץ לאחד המפעלים המופלאים שהקימה ישראל: פרויקט "שכנות טובה". הסיוע ההומניטרי ייאלץ להיפסק, אבל ישראל צריכה לשכנע את השותפים מעבר לגדר להמשיך למנוע כניסה של שיעים לכפרים שלהם.
Mar15  Quneitra  IDF  IranianProxy  aid  foreign_aid 
july 2018 by elizrael
Misery as Strategy: The Human Cost of Conflict | Crisis Group, May 31,2018
It is difficult to generalise about reasons for this trend – in other words, to identify the geopolitical currents that underpin the widespread use of tactics that target or otherwise harm civilians. The conflicts are diverse as are the states involved. Indeed, it is debatable whether parties are more likely to resort to the use of such tactics today or whether their use is simply more prevalent because conflict has increased. Greater visibility of such tactics, given expanded media coverage, may also contribute. But a handful of factors appear to have helped create an international environment permissive of such abuse.
Mar15  blockade  Venezuela  Yemen  civil_war  SouthSudan  aid 
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
החדשות - שר הביטחון מאשר: ישראל מעבירה סיוע הומניטרי לאזרחים...
שר הביטחון דיבר גם על ההשלכות ההומניטריות של מלחמת האזרחים הנמשכת בסוריה, ואישר כי ישראל נוטלת חלק בסיוע שמועבר לאוכלוסיה האזרחית במדינה. "איננו יכולים לשבת מנגד מול הקושי ההומניטרי - לא לגבי ההיערכות לחורף ולא לגבי הצרכים האחרים שאנו פועלים כדי לסייע בהם", אמר יעלון. "המצור שמוטל על הכפרים במדינה מונע מהאוכלוסייה שם צרכים בסיסיים ולכן אנו מעבירים מים, מזון, מזון לתינוקות וסיוע הומניטרי נוסף".
Mar15  aid  Daraa  Quneitra  MoD  IDF 
april 2018 by elizrael
Trump Freezes Funds for Syrian Recovery, Signaling Pullback - WSJ
President Donald Trump froze more than $200 million in funds for recovery efforts in Syria as his administration reassesses Washington’s broader role in the protracted conflict there.

The White House ordered the State Department to put the spending on hold, U.S. officials said, a decision in line with Mr. Trump’s declaration on Thursday that America would exit Syria and “let the other people take care of it now.”

Mr. Trump called for the freeze after reading a news report noting that the U.S. had recently committed an additional $200 million to support early recovery efforts in Syria, said the officials. Departing Secretary of State Rex Tillerson pledged the money in February in Kuwait at a meeting of the coalition to defeat Islamic State.
Mar15  Trump  TrumpAdministration  aid  PYD  State_Department  decision_making 
march 2018 by elizrael
The Commune System: A Look at Local PYD Governance in Northeastern Syria - Atlantic Council, Mar 12, 2018
Local autonomy might seem like an easy sell to people who have survived a brutal, seven-year war. However, the hundreds of communes active since 2015 have failed to garner popular support because most have fulfilled only their administrative functions like distributing humanitarian aid, and relaying service requests to higher authorities, according to author interviews with two commune residents and two Kurdish journalists. The economic, security, and other committees, which might give communities real decision-making power, have sat idle while the PYD exercises control over municipal government.

“My area’s commune is mostly there for appearance’s sake...the only thing they did was distribute fuel for the winter, bread, and gas,” a Kurdish former teacher, who requested anonymity when discussing politics, told Syriasource from northern Raqqa province. “The real decisions belong to The People’s House [the area’s TEV-DEM office]—the People’s House will use the commune as a cover [for its decisions],” she said.
“The goal of these communes is to bind the citizen to a specific political orientation,” said a Syrian Kurdish political analyst based in Turkey, who, like other critics of the commune system interviewed for this story, requested anonymity. “In order to get bread, you need to adhere to this [PYD-led] administration’s policies.”
Communes’ security committees sometimes include PYD loyalists who act as the party’s “eyes in the neighborhoods,” according to the second journalist. They gather information such as: “Who lives in the neighborhood? Anything strange going on? Politically, who do people support?”
Mar15  localGovt  PYD  Rojava  aid  Intelligence_community  surveillance 
march 2018 by elizrael
Slowing Jordan’s Slide Into Debt - Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
Jordan has managed to reduce budgetary deficits for 2018, but rising operational costs and stagnant sources of revenue will keep it reliant on foreign aid.
Jordan  aid  budget 
march 2018 by elizrael
Israel's Policy on the Syrian Civil War: Risks and Opportunities: Israel Journal of Foreign Affairs: Vol 0, No 0
ver time, this initiative was institutionalized, with over 5,000 Syrian men, women, and children receiving medical treatment in Israeli hospitals and more than 200 humanitarian missions carried out.

On September 5, 2017, one of the Israelis involved in the dialogue with the Syrian opposition received a text message. A rare vulture with Hebrew markings had been found injured in Syria and had been taken in by a local militia commander. Luckily for the bird, the officer was a wildlife enthusiast, and was apparently also aware of the trans-border relationship. A.M., the militia commander who reported the presence of the wounded bird, was quickly put through to Eldad Eitan, director of the Gamla Nature Reserve of the Israel Nature and Parks Authority, to receive instructions on its care. The militants in Syria were told by the commander to “get two turkeys a day for the vulture, and bring them alive. [The fighters] … had been eating bread and water for weeks, but the vulture got meat.”30
30 Testimony of Gal Lusky, who coordinated the transfer of the vulture following a conversation with the author. See also “How an Injured Israeli Vulture Returned from Syria” [Hebrew], Channel 2 News, September 7, 2017, www.mako.co.il/news-military/israel-q3_2017/Article-2a0c4e75c9d5e51004.htm.
View all notes
The vulture returned home safely after the transfer route was coordinated with three other militias, and those involved recount that it was actually this large bird that managed to bring about a rare instance of cooperation between the warring sides.
Israel  Mar15  aid  health  FSA 
february 2018 by elizrael
Southwest Daraa town ‘cut off’ by rain, landslides and an Islamic State affiliate - Syria Direct
Watad, the sole local aid organization that distributes flour to villages and towns in western Daraa province, refuses to distribute flour in Hayt for security reasons, Abu Ubeida said.

A spokesman for Watad, who asked to remain anonymous, told Syria Direct that the organization’s donors consider Hayt “unsafe” and do not permit flour to be delivered directly into the town. The Watad spokesman declined to elaborate further.

To supply Hayt with bread—a dietary staple for local residents—the local council receives its quota of flour at an undisclosed location east of the Yarmouk Valley, Abu Ubeida told Syria Direct. From there, the local council bakes the bread and transports it into Hayt using trucks in the summer or donkeys in the winter, he said.
blockade  Mar15  Daraa  ISIS  food  aid 
january 2018 by elizrael
U.S. Withholds Millions of Dollars in Promised Palestinian Food Aid
The Palestinian aid issue has divided the Trump administration’s top national security team, with Jared Kushner — the president’s son-in-law and top Middle East advisor — and Haley favoring a total cutoff of humanitarian assistance to Palestinian refugees until the Palestinian Authority agrees to participate in U.S.-brokered peace talks with Israel.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, Defense Secretary James Mattis, and representatives of the U.S. intelligence community have pressed to maintain funding for Palestinian refugees. In an effort to bridge the gap, Tillerson proposed during a luncheon last week with Trump splitting the difference and giving the U.N. $60 million, just under half of the $125 million the United States was due to pay UNRWA on Jan. 1. The money, which is primarily earmarked for salaries for teachers and health workers, cannot be used to cover the $45 million food bill.

For the first time ever, the United States has also insisted that the money can be spent only to support UNRWA programs in the West Bank and Gaza. None of the money can be used to pay for programs in Lebanon and Syria.
UNRWA  TrumpAdministration  Lebanon  Syria  aid  internal_struggle 
january 2018 by elizrael
In Syria, only 'The Octopus' and a motley crew of rebels keep Iran from Israel | The Times of Israel
According to the Octopus, despite this, most people in southern Syria do not remove the Hebrew labels from the food and other humanitarian products that come across the border, with the exception being those who try to resell the aid for profit.

“People who have special interests do take the labels off — they’re the only ones who do,” he said.
corruption  Israel  Mar15  aid  Quneitra 
january 2018 by elizrael
Beit Jann: Myths and Reality - Syria Comment, Jan 2, 2018
While he was there during the assault operations, he mentioned to me that there was still an open road to Beit Saber, in addition to aid being brought into the Beit Jann pocket from Israel via donkeys. For this reason, it was impossible for the Beit Jann pocket to be put under complete siege.

As the Liwa al-Izz fighter acknowledged to me, most of the fighters who were transported out of the Beit Jann pocket were from Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham and originally from outside Beit Jann. As for those with origins from Beit Jann, they mostly decided to stay. As for the holding force for the Beit Jann, he says that the force is to be called Fawj Souriya al-‘Umm (The Motherland Syria Regiment). A source from the Hermon Regiment says it is not clear yet whether the holding force for the Beit Jann pocket will be a group affiliated with the Hermon Regiment or an independent formation. The first thing that needs to be done is taswiyat al-wad’ for the rebels who have stayed.
Mar15  Damascus  Israel  IranianProxy  NDF  Reconciliation  ethniccleansing  aid 
january 2018 by elizrael
Teassurances to Syria’s Kurds: American Protection, Russian Recognition - Al-Sharq al-Awsat, Jan 2, 2018
In parallel with strengthening relations with Moscow, the YPG is continuing to receive American aid, as it received additional shipments of weapons and military equipment two days ago in accordance with an executive decree signed by U.S. President Donald Trump midway through last month. The aid package allotted about $400 million to arm the Syrian Democratic Forces as their role shifts from fighting ISIS to maintaining the territory they control. A Kurdish commander said yesterday: “We have a clear military program to raise the number of our forces from 25,000 to 30,000 with a clear change in their role to become an official army.”
Mar15  PYD  Russia  aid  TrumpAdministration 
january 2018 by elizrael
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