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Horror of Assad Sednaya Prison – 285 Security Branch

Ex-detainee Doctor Kamal Muhee alDeen alJum’a tells about horror of Assad Sednaya Prison, 285 Security Branch

Ex-detainee Doctor Kamal Muhee alDeen alJum’a tells about horror of ASSad Sednaya Prison, 285 Security Branch

Doctor Kamal Muhee alDeen alJum’a


Published on Apr 20, 2016

(Zaman Al Wasl)- Before he was detained in Assad’s prisons, he was healthy. He came out of the prison, ill and drained out of torture. His body is a witness to what Syrians face in the basements of death and cells of daily killing.

Doctor Kamal Muhee al-Deen al-Jum’a devoted himself to the work of Coordination Committees since the onset of the Syrian revolution. He worked in Ma’aret al-Nu’maan and countryside of Aleppo. He secretly transported medication between the two cities to help the injured; however, a colleague doctor in surgery department of Aleppo University Hospital reported him which led to his detention.

Personnel from State Security stormed the hospital handcuffed him. They transported him in a white car in front of all his colleagues. He was transferred on Friday to State Security Branch in Aleppo. He stayed there for a few hours before he was transferred again to 285 Security Branch subordinate to State Security with a helicopter from Aleppo to Damascus to face the worst types of interrogations and torture.

He refused to confess although he was severely tortured for 45 days and he was unconscious for days. Regime thugs then brought a reporter who works in Aleppo University Hospital. The reporter confronted Kamal that he was transporting medications and he met pro-revolution persons which forced Kamal to confess and sign on his statement, Kamal told Zaman al-Wasl.

Kamal was transferred from the 285 Security Branch to Sednaya Prison where

there are three wings;
– one for the political prisoners,
– the white wing for civilians,
– and the red wing for terrorists.

Kamal says, “whoever faces terrorism charges is put in the red prison. The red prison is known to be the prison of death and daily killings. Very few survive the red wing.”

Kamal lived through a daily death experience in the red wing. There is no language to describe the ugliness and savagery the ex-detainee experienced in Sednaya Prison in addition to cases of scabies, lice, furuncles, infections, and tuberculosis. Kamal tried to treat the different diseases with primitive methods and to offer treatment to injured to ease their pains as he was injured himself.

Kamal adds, “they used to give us moldy salt, jam, and bread. Animals would not eat the food they gave us. They physically and psychologically torture us as they give the food. This is not to mention the endless humiliations.”

The dormitory was 5 meter of length and 3 meters of width, Kamal was assigned with 100 other prisoners to the dormitory. They used to do shits; some would stand while others sit. The detainee would have one tile of space for himself.

The red wing detainees do not forget the morning and evening deportation of prisoners either to hospital or to security branches for further interrogations. Whoever was deported in the evening is usually shot directly or hanged.

After a year and 8 months in Sednaya Prison, Kamal was taken to Military Court in Qaboon. There, he was tortured with others in a collective torture.

He was taken to the judge to decide on his case. He was deported suddenly to al-Baluneh Prison in Homs, he recounts to Zaman al-Wasl.

Al-Bauneh is the military prison subordinate to Sednaya; however, it was better conditions for him and his colleagues there and he could see his wife for half an hour.

There are three dormitories underground. The prisoners were granted one-hour break to see sun light.

Kamal signed on his release papers on 9th of March 2016. He was released on 13th of April carrying his ID and a hope that did not leave him.

Kamal al-Jum’a returned to his house in al-Ghadfa town in Idlib countryside. He is trying to heal himself physically and psychologically to return to life with a bigger determination without giving up to any tyrant or jailor.

(Writing by Faris al-Rifai; translation by Rana Abdul)

Article from: https://en.zamanalwsl.net/news/15353.html

How do you explain the Paris terror attacks to a child?

How this little boy and his dad helped Paris “finally let go of their tears”


Published on Nov 18, 2015

How do you explain the Paris terror attacks to a child? This father found the most beautiful way!

The dad has been praised for how he responded to his young son’s comments – and it’s even allowing some French people to ‘let go of their tears’

Since Friday, France and the rest of the world have been trying to make sense of devastating terror attacks that rocked Paris , leaving 129 people dead.

We have seen footage of people laying flowers at the site of the massacres, or silently weeping during yesterday’s two-minute silence.

But one heartwarming video circulating on social media shows the ‘humanity in the face of inhumanity’ we have come to recognize in response to the devastation – and is even helping French people come to terms with their grief.

In an interview with Le Petit Journal in front of floral tributes left for the dead, a young boy is asked if he understands what has happened.

He responds: “Yes, because they are very, very, very bad. Baddies are not very nice. We need to be really careful because we will have to move home.”

Idlib Balyon – Massacre by Assad regime Airstrike

Idlib Balyon – Massacre by Assad regime’s Airstrike on Saturday, 30 May 2015.
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syria assad regime army bomb Balyon idlib airstrike kill many innocent syrians

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syria regime forces bomb Balyon idlib airstrike massacre syrians people

syria assad regime forces bomb Balyon idlib airstrike massacre many syrian civilians

Houla Massacre Cold-Blooded Murder by Assad Regime Shabiha

Today, mark 3 years anniversary of Houla Massacre May 25, 2015!

Houla massacre in Syria left 108 dead! Is Houla the tipping point or will the world continue to sit back and watch? Children were brutally slaughtered by their own government at their own home?

Rightly or wrongly, many will demand vengeance. The Syrian people will not forget. Houla is now imprinted in their collective consciousness.

After Houla, however, the world is at last scrambling to do the right thing, or get “on the right side of history”, as it is called these days.

Spain, Italy, Canada Britain, Australia, Switzerland, France, Germany and the US had all expelled the Syrian envoys from their capitals. This will not stop the killing, but it’s a start. Even the terminally ineffectual UN and its snail-paced observer mission eventually condemned the Houla massacre; although it was not until Tuesday that the UN conceded that the executions were “probably” the work of the Shabbiheh (shadowy gangs of smugglers), the pro-Assad militia thugs.

Russia and China have displayed astonishing moral bankruptcy in protecting their Middle East ally.

Assad regime will fall, it might not happen anytime soon. But it will happen. And when it does, the Syrian president should not expect the mercy that was denied to the children of Houla. People don’t forget, Bashar.

Syria Houla Massacre by pro-government Shabiha

Syrians will not soon forget brutal massacre in Houla
http://www.thenational.ae/thenationalconversation/comment/syrians-will-not soon-forget-brutal-massacre-in-houla

Ghosts of Syria: Diehard Militias Who Kill in the Name of Assad
http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article31486.htm

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad on 60 Minutes Telling More Lies

Charlie Rose interviews the Syrian dictator as a four-year-old civil war drags on in which his regime has been accused of devastating attacks on civilians
March 29, 2014

The following is a script from “Bashar al-Assad” which aired on March 29, 2015. Charlie Rose is the correspondent.

Four years ago, the Obama administration declared that Syria’s Bashar al-Assad must go. Today, President Assad is still there, but much of the country has gone. Assad’s Syrian government has lost control over significant amounts of its territory — to either ISIS or Syrian rebel groups. Four million Syrian refugees have fled the country. More than 200,000 have died — most from Syrian military bombing of territory controlled by his opponents.

With the rise of ISIS in Syria, toppling Assad is no longer the highest priority there for the United States. And last month, Secretary of State John Kerry told CBS News, the U.S. is open to negotiating with Syria, something, we discovered, Assad wants.

We traveled to Damascus this past week and met with Assad for an interview, under the conditions that we use Syrian TV technicians and cameras. We begin by asking him about American airstrikes against ISIS in Syria.

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Charlie Rose: How much of a benefit are you getting from American airstrikes in Syria reducing the power of ISIS?

President Assad: Sometimes you could have local benefit but in general if you want to talk in terms of ISIS actually ISIS has expanded since the beginning of the strikes. Not like some– American– wants to sugar coat the situation as the– to say that it’s getting better. As– ISIS is being defeated and so on. Actually, no, you have more recruits. Some estimates that they have 1,000 recruits every month in Syria. And Iraq– they are expanding in Libya and many other al Qaeda affiliate organizations have announced their allegiance to ISIS. So that’s the situation.

Charlie Rose: How much territory do they control in Syria?

President Assad: Sorry?

Charlie Rose: ISIS. Controls how much territory. 50 percent?

“…it’s not traditional war. It’s not about capturing land and gaining land. It’s about winning the hearts and minds of the Syrians. We cannot win the heart and minds of the Syrians while we are killing Syrians.”

President Assad: Yeah, it’s not regular war. We cannot– you don’t have criteria. It’s not an army that makes– it make the incursion. They go to infidels. They try to infiltrate any area when there is no army and we have– inhibitance. The question, how much incubator they have, that’s the question. How much heart and minds they won so far.

Charlie Rose: And how much of that? How do you measure that–

President Assad: You cannot measure it but you can tell that the majority of the people who suffered from ISIS, they are supporting the government and, of course, the rest of the Syrian people are afraid from ISIS and I don’t think they would– I think they lost a lot of hearts and minds.

Charlie Rose: They’ve lost a lot?

President Assad: They have lost. Except the very ideological people who have Wahhabi state of mind and ideology.

Charlie Rose: There is another number that is alarming to me. It is that 90 percent of the civilian casualties, 90 percent come from the Syrian army.

President Assad: How did you get that result?

Charlie Rose: That was a report that was issued in the last six months.

President Assad: OK. As I said earlier, the war, it’s not about– it’s not traditional war. It’s not about capturing land and gaining land. It’s about winning the hearts and minds of the Syrians. We cannot win the heart and minds of the Syrians while we are killing Syrians. We cannot sustain four years in that position as a government. And me as president, while the rest of the world, most of the world, the great powers, the regional power, are against me and my people are against me. That’s impossible. I mean this logic has no leg to stand on. So this is not realistic and this is against our interests as government is to kill the people. What do we get? What the benefit of killing the people?

Charlie Rose: Well, the argument is that you– there are weapons of war that have been used that most people look down on with great– one is chlorine gas. They believe that has been used here. They said there is evidence of that and they would like to have the right to inspect to see where it’s coming from. As you know, barrel bombs have been used. And they come from helicopters. And the only people who have helicopters is the Syrian army. And so those two acts of war, which has– society looks down on as–

President Assad: Let me fully answer this.

Charlie Rose: –barbaric acts.

President Assad: It’s very important. This is part of the malicious propaganda against Syria. First of all, the chlorine gas is not military gas. You can buy it anywhere.

Charlie Rose: But it can be weaponized–

President Assad: No, because it’s not very effective it’s not used as military gas. That’s very self-evident. Traditional arms is more important than chlorine. And if it was very effective the terrorists would have used this on a larger scale. Because it’s not effective, it’s not used very much.

Charlie Rose: Then why doesn’t somebody come in and inspect it and see whether it’s been used or not?

President Assad: Well, we– well, we– we–

Charlie Rose: You’d be–

President Assad: –we– we would–

Charlie Rose: –you’re happy for that?

President Assad: Of course. We all–we always ask a delegation, impartial delegation to come and investigate. But I mean logically and realistically it cannot be used as a military. This is part of the propaganda because, as you know, in the media when it bleeds it leads. And they always look for something that bleeds, which is the chlorine gas and the barrel bombs.

Charlie Rose: You do use barrel bombs? You’re just saying–

President Assad: No, no. There’s no such a thing called barrel bombs. We have bombs. And any bomb is about killing.

Charlie Rose: You have often spoken about the danger of a wider war in the Middle East.

President Assad: Yeah.

Charlie Rose: Can you talk about the parties involved? And characterize how you see them. Let me begin with Saudi Arabia.

President Assad: Saudi Arabia is–an (unintel) autocracy. Medieval system that’s based on the Wahhabi dark ideology. Actually, say it’s a marriage between the Wahhabi and the political system for 200 years now. That’s how we look at it.

Charlie Rose: And what is their connection to ISIS?

President Assad: The same ideology. The same background.

Charlie Rose: So ISIS and Saudi Arabia are one and the same?

President Assad: The same ideology. Yes.

Charlie Rose: Same ideology.

President Assad: I don’t– it’s Wahhabi ideology. They base the–their ideology is based on the books of the Wahhabi and Saudi Arabia.

Charlie Rose: So you believe that all Wahhabis have the same ideology as ISIS–

President Assad: Exactly. Definitely. And that’s by ISIS, by al Qaeda, by al Nusra. It’s not something we discover or we try to promote. It’s very– I mean their book– they use the same books to indoctrinate the people. The Wahhabi books-

Charlie Rose: What about Turkey?

President Assad: Turkey– let’s say it’s about Erdogan. His Muslim Brotherhood fanatics.

Charlie Rose: And you–

President Assad: It doesn’t mean that he is a member. But he’s a fanatic.

Charlie Rose: President Erdogan is–

President Assad: Is a Muslim Brotherhood fanatic. And he’s somebody who’s suffering from political megalomania. And that he thinks that he is becoming the sultan of the new era of the 21st century.

Charlie Rose: You think he could stop the border if he wanted to?

President Assad: Yeah, of course. Definitely. He doesn’t only ignore the terrorists from coming to Syria. He support them, logistically and militarily. Directly. On daily basis.

Charlie Rose: Tell us what the Russians want. They are a strong ally of you.

President Assad: Yeah.

Charlie Rose: What do they want?

President Assad: Definitely they want to have balance in the world. It’s not only about Syria. And small country. It’s not about having a huge interest in Syria, they could have it anywhere else. So, it’s about the future of the world. They want to be a great power that– have– their own say in the future of this world.

Charlie Rose: And what do they want for Syria?

President Assad: Stability. They want–

Charlie Rose: Stability.

President Assad: –stability, and political solution.

Charlie Rose: And what does Iran want?

President Assad: The same. The same. Syria, and Iran, and Russia, see eye-to-eye regarding these conflicts.

Charlie Rose: And what is your obligation to both of them?

President Assad: What do you mean obligation?

Charlie Rose: What is your– what do you owe them?

President Assad: Yeah, I know. But, they didn’t ask me for anything. Nothing at all. That’s why what I said– they don’t do that for Syria. They do it for the region, and for the world. ‘Cause stability is very important for them.

Charlie Rose: You and your father have held power in Syria for how many years?

President Assad: Is it a calculation of years?

Charlie Rose: Yes.

President Assad: Or public support?

Charlie Rose: No, years. How long–

President Assad: There’s a big difference. It doesn’t matter, how many years, the question–

Charlie Rose: Well, it does matter. I mean–

President Assad: No, what’s matter for us, do the Syrians support, these two presidents, doesn’t matter is they are father and son. We don’t say–W- George W. Bush is the son of George Bush. It’s different. He’s president, I’m president, he has support from that generation, I have support from this generation now.

“…the West, and especially the United States, don’t accept partners. They only accept followers. Even Europe is not partner of the United States. That’s to be very frank with you. So, this is their problem with Syria. They need somebody to keep saying yes.”

Charlie Rose: But the question– how do you–

President Assad: Doesn’t matter how many. It’s not– it’s not the family rule, as you want to imply.

Charlie Rose: It’s not?

President Assad: No.

Charlie Rose: Why do you think that they– people in the West, question your legitimacy?

President Assad: This intervention in Syria matters. I don’t care about it, to be frank. I never care about it. As long as I have the public support of the Syrian people. That’s my legitimacy; legitimacy comes from the inside, but why? I will tell you why. Because the West used to have puppets. Not independent leaders, or officials in any other country. And that the problem with Putin. They demonize Putin because he can say no, and he wants to be independent. Because the West, and especially the United States, don’t accept partners. They only accept followers. Even Europe is not partner of the United States. That’s to be very frank with you. So, this is their problem with Syria. They need somebody to keep saying yes. Yes– a puppet. Marionette. And so on.

Charlie Rose: What circumstances would cause you to give up power?

President Assad: When I don’t have the public support. When I don’t represent the Syrian interests, and values.

Charlie Rose: And how do you determine that?

President Assad: I have daily contact with the– with the people. How could any–

Charlie Rose: So, you’re– you determine whether they support you?

President Assad: No, no, no. I don’t determine. I sense. I feel. I’m in contact with them. I’m a human. How can a human make that expectation of the population? I mean, the war was very important lab for this support. I mean, they could have– if they don’t support you, they could have– go and support the other side. They didn’t. Why? That’s very clear. That’s very concrete.

Charlie Rose: I came here after Secretary Kerry had made his remarks. My impression once I got here is that when you heard those remarks you were optimistic. The state department backed– back a little bit, and said we still think there needs to be a new government. But you were optimistic after you heard that. You believe there is a way for your government and the American government to cooperate?

President Assad: Yeah.

Charlie Rose: And coordinate?

President Assad: That’s not the main point– after– I mean– regarding that statement. I think– I think the main point we could have feeling, and we hope that we are right, that American administration started to abandon this policy of isolation. Which is very harmful to them, and to us. Because if you isolate country, isolate yourself, as the United States, from being influential, and effective, and the course of events, unless you are talking about the negative influence, like make embargo, that could kill the people slowly. Or launching war and supporting terrorists that could kill them in a faster way. So, our impression is that we are optimistic, more optimistic, I wouldn’t exaggerate. That at least when they’re thinking about dialogue, doesn’t matter what kind of dialogue, and what the content of the dialogue. And even doesn’t matter for the real intentions. But the word dialogue is something we haven’t heard from the United States on the global level for a long time.

Charlie Rose: But you just did, from the secretary of state. We need to negotiate.

President Assad: Exactly, that’s–

Charlie Rose: That’s a dialogue.

President Assad: That’s what I said. I mean, that’s why I said it’s positive. That’s what I said, we are more optimistic. I mean, when they abandoned this policy of isolation, things should be better. I mean, when you start the dialogue things will be better.

Charlie Rose: Why don’t you reach out to Secretary Kerry and say, “Let’s talk.”

President Assad: Are they ready to talk?

Charlie Rose: Let’s talk.

President Assad: We are always open. We never close our doors. They should be ready for the talk, they should be ready for the negotiation. We didn’t make an embargo on the United States. We didn’t attack the American population. We didn’t support terrorists who did anything in United States. Actually, the United States did. We were always– we always wanted to have good relation with the United States. We never thought in the other direction. It’s a great power. Nobody– no– not a wise person think of having bad relation with United States.

Charlie Rose: Yeah, but can you have good relationship with a country that thinks you shouldn’t be in power?

President Assad: No, that’s not going to be part of the dialogue that I mentioned earlier. This is not their business. We have Syrian citizens, who can decide this. No one else. Whether they want to talk about it or not. This is not something we’re going to discuss with anyone.

Charlie Rose: This cannot end militarily. Do you agree with that?

President Assad: Yeah, definitely. Every conflict, even if it’s a war, should end with a political solution.

SENATOR JOHN McCAIN ON MASS ATROCITIES IN SYRIA

SENATOR JOHN McCAIN ON MASS ATROCITIES IN SYRIA
Feb 12, 2014


Syria Assad regime torture center

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Washington, D.C. ­– U.S. Senator John McCain (R-AZ) today delivered the following remarks on the floor of the U.S. Senate regarding mass atrocities perpetrated by the Assad regime against the people of Syria:

“Mr. President, I rise today to appeal to the conscience of my colleagues and my fellow citizens about the mass atrocities that the Assad regime is perpetrating in Syria. When the images and horrors of this conflict occasionally show up on our television screens, the impulse of many Americans is to change the channel. But we must not look away. We must not avert our eyes from the suffering of the Syrian people, for if we do, we ignore, we sacrifice that which is most precious in ourselves – our ability to empathize with the suffering of others, to share it, to acknowledge through our own sense of revulsion that what is happening in Syria today is a stain on our the collective conscience of moral peoples everywhere.

“I appeal to my colleagues today not to look away from the images I will show you. And I want to warn all who are watching: These are graphic and disturbing pictures. But they are the real face of war and human suffering in Syria today – a war that our nation has the power to help end, but which we are failing to do.

“These images are drawn from a cache of more than 55,000 photographs that were taken between March 2011 and August 2013 by a Syrian military policeman, whose job it was to document the horrors that the Assad regime committed against political prisoners in its jails. This individual eventually defected to the opposition along with his photographs, which were meticulously reviewed and verified by three renowned international war crimes prosecutors and a team of independent forensic experts. They compiled their findings in a report late last month that provides direct evidence that the Assad regime was responsible for the systematic abuse, torture, starvation, and killing of approximately 11,000 detainees in what amounts to war crimes and crimes against humanity. These are just a few of those pictures, and far from the most disturbing.

“I urge every member of Congress and the American public to read the full report, which can be found on the websites of CNN and The Guardian. Although only a handful of these gruesome images have been released publicly, the authors have provided their own startling commentary on what they reveal:

“David Crane, the first chief prosecutor of the Special Court for Sierra Leone and the man responsible for indicting former Liberian President Charles Taylor for crimes against humanity, stated that many of the photographs show groupings of bodies in ways that, quote, ‘looked like a slaughterhouse.’ Crane characterized the Syrian government as a ‘callous, industrial machine grinding its citizens’ that is guilty of ‘industrial-age mass killing.’

“Professor Sir Geoffrey Nice, lead prosecutor in the case against former Yugoslav President Milosevic at the Hague, reported that the systematic way the bodies were catalogued, and the effort given to obscure the true causes of death leads one to ‘reasonably infer that this is a pattern of behavior’ for Assad’s forces.

“But perhaps most chilling of all, Sir Desmond de Silva, who also served as a chief prosecutor of the Special Court for Sierra Leone, stated that the emaciated bodies revealed in these pictures are ‘reminiscent of the pictures of those who were found still alive in the Nazi death camps after World War II.’

“Yesterday, in a hearing of the Committee on Armed Services, I asked the Director of National Intelligence, James Clapper, whether these photographs, which clearly depict ghastly crimes against humanity, are authentic. Director Clapper said he has, quote, ‘no reason to doubt’ their authenticity. The United Nations is now doing its own assessment of these images, and all of us should fully support that. It is important to have the broadest possible validation of these images, and I am confident the U.N. team will validate them. After all, does anyone seriously believe the Assad regime does not have the means, motive, and opportunity to murder 11,000 people in its prisons?

“Indeed, this kind of inhuman cruelty is a pattern of behavior with the Syrian government. According to a detailed U.N. report issued at the end of January, Assad’s forces have systematically, as part of their doctrine, used children as human shields and threatened to kill the children of opposition members if they did not surrender. The U.N. also detailed the arrest, detention, torture, and sexual abuse of thousands of children by government forces. I will spare you the remaining details, as they are unspeakable, but again I urge you to read the entire report which can be found on the United Nations’ website.

“I also recommend that my colleagues read of the war crimes that Human Rights Watch has been documenting. They have reported, for example, on how Syrian authorities have deliberately used explosives and bulldozers to demolish thousands of residential buildings, and in some cases entire neighborhoods, for no military reason whatsoever, just as a form of collective punishment of Syrian civilians.

“Human Rights Watch researchers have also documented the toll of the Syrian government’s airstrike campaign against Aleppo and Damascus, and in particular, the regime’s use over the past few months of what has become known as ‘barrel bombs.’ For my colleagues who are not aware of them, barrel bombs are oil drums or other large containers packed with explosives, fuel, shrapnel, glass, and all manner of crude lethal material. Their sole purpose is to maim, kill, and terrorize as many people as possible when they are indiscriminately dropped from Syrian government aircraft on schools, and bakeries, and mosques, and other civilian areas. In one stark video of a barrel bomb’s aftermath, a man stands in front of a child’s body and cries out, ‘Oh God, we’ve had enough. Please help us.’

“These are just some of the many reasons why our Director of National Intelligence referred to the Syria crisis yesterday as ‘an apocalyptic disaster.’ And with more than 130,000 people dead, after more than one-third of the Syrian population has been driven from their homes, no truer words were ever spoken. But this ‘apocalyptic disaster’ in Syria is no longer just a humanitarian tragedy for one country; it is a regional conflict and an emerging national security threat to us.

“The regime’s war crimes are being aided and abetted by thousands of Hezbollah fighters and Iranian agents on the ground, as well as Russian weaponry that continues to flow into the Assad government, even as Russia works with us to remove the Assad regime’s chemical weapons – a truly Orwellian situation.

“The conflict in Syria is devastating its neighbors. Lebanon is suffering from increased bombings and cross-border attacks by both the Syrian government and opposition fighters in response to Hezbollah’s role in the fighting. Unofficial estimates suggest that half of Lebanon’s population will soon be Syrian refugees. Similar estimates suggest that Syrian refugees now represent 15 percent of the population in Jordan, which is straining to manage the social instability this entails. Turkey has been destabilized. And perhaps most worrisome of all, the conflict in Syria is largely to blame for the resurgence of al-Qaeda in Iraq, which has grown into the larger and more lethal Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, which now possesses a safe haven that spans large portions of both countries. Nowhere is this more threatening, or more heartbreaking, than in Fallujah – the Iraqi city where hundreds of U.S. troops were killed and wounded fighting to rid of terrorists and extremists, but where the black flags of Al-Qaeda now hang above the city.

“The sanctuary that Al-Qaeda now enjoys thanks to the crisis in Syria increasingly poses a direct threat to U.S. national security, and that of our closest allies and partners. The Secretary of Homeland Security, Mr. Jeh Johnson, has said, quote: ‘Syria is now a matter of homeland security.’ The Director of National Intelligence has referred to the Al-Qaeda sanctuary in Syria and Iraq as ‘a new FATA’ – the tribal areas of Pakistan and Afghanistan where Al-Qaeda planned the September 11 terrorist attacks.

“Indeed, Director Clapper has warned that Al-Qaeda-affiliated terrorists in Syria now aspire to attack the homeland. If the September 11 attacks should have taught us anything, it is that global terrorists who occupy ungoverned spaces and seek to plot and plan attacks against us can pose a direct threat to our national security. That was Afghanistan on September 10, 2001. And that is what top officials in this administration are now warning us that Syria is becoming today.

“The conflict in Syria is a threat to our national interests, but it is more than that. It is, and should be, an affront to our conscience. Images like these should not just be a source of heartbreak and sympathy. They should be a call to action.

“It was not too long ago, just a few months after the revolution in Syria began, that President Obama issued his Presidential Study Directive on Mass Atrocities. In it he stated: ‘Preventing mass atrocities and genocide is a core national security interest and a core moral responsibility of the United States.’ He went on to say: ‘Our security is affected when masses of civilians are slaughtered, refugees flow across borders, and murderers wreak havoc on regional stability and livelihoods.’

“Last year, speaking at the U.S. Holocaust Museum, the President said, ‘Too often, the world has failed to prevent the killing of innocents on a massive scale. And we are haunted by the atrocities that we did not stop and the lives we did not save.’

“And just last September, in his address to the U.N. General Assembly, President Obama said this, and I would like to quote him at length: ‘[T]he principle of sovereignty,’ he said, ‘is at the center of our international order. But sovereignty cannot be a shield for tyrants to commit wanton murder, or an excuse for the international community to turn a blind eye. While we need to be modest in our belief that we can remedy every evil, while we need to be mindful that the world is full of unintended consequences, should we really accept the notion that the world is powerless in the face of a Rwanda, or Srebrenica? If that’s the world that people want to live in, they should say so, and reckon with the cold logic of mass graves.’

“That was our President, and I agree with every word of what he said. But how are we to reconcile these stirring words with the reality of these images from Syria? How are we to explain how the leader of the free world, who says that it is a moral obligation of the United States to do what we can to prevent the worst atrocities in our world, is not doing more to stop the atrocities that are occurring every single day in Syria?

“Where is that President Obama today? Where is the President Obama who has spoken so movingly of the moral responsibilities that great power confers? Where is President Obama who has said he refuses to accept that brutal tyrants can slaughter their people with impunity while the most powerful nation in the history of the world looks on and stands by? Where is the recognition that ‘the cold logic of mass graves’ is right there – right there in front of us, in Syria today?

“And yet our government is doing what we have sadly done too often in the past. We are averting our eyes. We try to comfort our guilty consciences by telling ourselves that we are not doing nothing, but it is a claim made in bad faith, for everyone concedes that nothing we are doing is equal to the horrors we face. We are telling ourselves that we are too tired or weary to get more involved – that Syria is not our problem, and that helping to resolve it is not our responsibility.

“We are telling ourselves that we have no good options, as if there are ever good options when it comes to foreign policy in the real world. We are telling ourselves that we might have been able to do something at one point, but that it is too late now – as if such words from the leaders of the world’s only global power will be any comfort to the Syrian mother who will lose her child tomorrow. We are telling ourselves what Neville Chamberlain once told himself about a different problem from hell in an earlier time – that it is ‘a quarrel in a far away country between people of whom we know nothing.’ Where is our outrage? Where is our shame?

“It is true that our options to help end the conflict in Syria were never good, and they certainly are worse and fewer now. But no one should believe that we are without options, even now. And no one should believe that doing something meaningful to help in Syria requires us to rerun the war in Iraq. That is an excuse for inaction. This is not a question of options or capabilities. It is a question of will.

“These images of the human disaster in Syria haunt me. And they should haunt all of my colleagues and all Americans. But what haunts me even more than the horror unfolding before our eyes in Syria is the thought that we will continue to do nothing meaningful about it, and how that deadens our national conscience, and how it calls into question the moral sources of our great power and the foundations our global leadership – and how, many years from now, an American president will stand before the world and the people of Syria, as previous presidents have done after previous inaction in the face of mass atrocities in faraway lands, and that president will say what all of us know to be true right now: that we could have done more to stop the suffering of others, we could have used the power we possess, limited though it may be, we could have exercised the options at our disposal, imperfect though they may be, and we could have done something, and it is to our everlasting embarrassment that we did not. And that future president will apologize for our current failure.

“Shame on us if we let history repeat itself that way.”

No Nation has Faced such Terror and Horror Committed by Assad Regime

“A picture is worth a thousand words!” There is a genocide in Syria committed by Syria President Bashar al-Assad’s regime but people are content to be bystanders and look the other way.

Angelino Jolie: Three million refugees is not just another statistic. It is a searing indictment of our collective failure to end the war in Syria.

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Syria President Bashar al-Assad
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bashar_al-Assad

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