Depresing article, although I can't recall many NYT articles that have said anything positive about the revolution or Syria.
Syrian Children Offer Glimpse of a Future of Reprisals
Harati is back in Libya at the moment.
Irish Syrian fighters pass on lessons of revolution
Mehdi al-Harati, leader of the Liwa al-Umma brigade, and his fighters are under no illusions about the challenges they face, writes MARY FITZGERALD, Foreign Affairs Correspondent in northern Syria
EARLIER THIS summer Housam Najjair was in Dublin watching gruesome videos of some of the most violent episodes of the 16-month revolt against Syria’s president Bashar al-Assad.
Now Najjair and Harati say they want to transfer the lessons learned during the Libyan revolution to Syrians hoping to achieve their own. “We feel as if we are their brothers,” says Najjair, sitting on the floor of a safe house with his gun by his side. “We want to assist in whatever way we can.”
Liwa al-Umma, which was established three months ago, is made up of more than 6,000 men, 90 per cent of whom are Syrian. The rest are mostly Libyans and other Arabs. It is separate to the rebel Free Syrian Army and its units are scattered throughout the country. Recent YouTube videos show a number of Syrian rebel groupings announcing they have joined Liwa al-Umma.
“We couldn’t understand why the world was failing to respond to the plight of the Syrian people,” says Najjair. “When they didn’t take a stand, we decided to act.” With Harati, a naturalised Irish citizen whose family lives in Dublin, and Najjair are several others from Ireland. They include an engineer who is helping Liwa al-Umma register all its members before distributing ID cards, and two men in their early 20s who are experiencing war for the first time.
One, a thoughtful, bespectacled 22-year-old whose father is a surgeon in Ireland, admits his parents were concerned when he announced he wanted to go fight in Syria. “They respect and trust Sheikh Mehdi so when they learned I was coming to join him here, they felt a little better,” he says. “But, yes, they are still worried for my safety out here.”
He frames his reasons for coming to Syria in philosophical terms. “I see my life as being about three things: searching for the truth; defending the weak against injustice and the oppressors; and helping to build peace in the world. The battle here in Syria combines all three.”
I'm not sure what that means for the brigade though.
Maybe he's trying to get more funds, weapons and such.
More than 100,000 refugees flee Syria in one month
More than 100,000 Syrians fled the country in August, by far the most of any previous month in the crisis, the United Nations said Tuesday.
More than 103,400 Syrians fled to neighboring countries in August, bringing the total to more than 235,300 refugees who are registered or awaiting registration, the U.N. refugee agency said.
Syria's entire population is about 22.5 million, according to the CIA World Factbook. The number of refugees is more than 1% of the population.
Inside the war-torn country, the head of the Red Cross is negotiating with Syrian officials this week for better access to civilians tormented by the bloody civil war.
Peter Maurer, president of the International Committee of the Red Cross, met Tuesday with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, an agency spokeswoman said.
about 16 hours ago
Syrians fleeing war start to trickle into Europe:
Ali Jamal travelled thousands of miles on foot, by train and road to flee violence in Syria while Jomaah piled his family into a camper van to smuggle them north to Europe.
They have now reached safety in Sweden, some of the growing thousands of Syrians who are evading the European Union's frontier controls to escape the turmoil of the past 18 months.
That is raising calls for a more focused European response to a refugee crisis that has seen over 200,000 Syrians flee to Jordan, Iraq, Lebanon and, especially, Turkey.
about 15 hours ago
Some migration experts are urging the European Union to make it easier for Syrians - and to arrange a more organised welcome.
Noting that Sweden expects 17,000 Syrians to arrive this year and next, making them the biggest national group of asylum-seekers next year, Mikael Ribbenvik, a director at the Swedish Migration Board, said: "Resources are clearly stretched.
"That is a big number for a small country," he told Reuters.
Philippe Fargues, director of the Migration Policy Centre thinktank at Florence, said Europe should do more to open its borders by saying that anyone coming from Syria could be counted as a refugee, rather than formally have to prove refugee status.
"We are facing a huge crisis at the external border of Europe and that should not continue," he said. [Source: Reuters]
about 13 hours ago
A Syrian military airplane bombed a building in Azaz on the border with Turkey early on Monday destroying a house, local residents said.
Although the building was flattened, no casualties were reported.[/IZE]
"At three in the morning, the MIG flew over and bombed this house. I live right next to here," said Abu Abdu, standing close to piles of rubble.
Such attacks are reportedly common in the border region where rebels claim to control some areas. [Source: AP]
about 13 hours ago
About a thousand are stranded on the Syrian side of the border waiting to be allowed entry into Turkey.
On Monday a new group of displaced civilians arrived at Bab Al Salameh border crossing, seeking refuge in Turkey.
They joined other displaced families in three large hangars once used for cargo inspections of trucks.
Some said they had been there a week or more.
"We heard that my brother was killed five days ago and we came to Azaz to bury him and while we were in the cemetery burying him, the plane came and fired two rockets and two fell right behind our home," said Youssef Al Hajjy.
"So we ran away and came here. This is much safer than where we were in our place
about 12 hours ago
Syrian National Council President Abdul-Baset Seida said on Monday that entire areas of Syria had been razed, leaving at least three millions people without a home.
Libyans should support Syrians by money, food, and weapons. Not by manpower
10:26 PM Sept 3
In my opinion, Libyans should not go and fight in Syria (against Assad). I think we're creating Fitna more than gain. Syria has its men
Who could have imagined on that fateful day in March of last yr that we'd see 30,000 Syrians murdered in cold-blood b/c they wanted freedom?
11:22 PM Sept 3
Assad doesn't care that he killed 30K. He'll kill another 20K if he can before it's over.
11:25 PM Sept 3
A ****ing disaster has happened in Daraa regarding infiltrators. Where there hell is the Jordanian army to secure its own borders?? Nusra thugs operating INSIDE Jordan have been helping AQ pigs from Iraq cross into Daraa through the Jordanian border. Several groups inside. Assad helped out these groups a few years ago, it's all very fishy how easy they can cross through.
Remember that group in Daraa which executed a man in a satement carrying brand new rifles? This is an AQ unit orginlly in Iraq.
No mercy for these Jabhat al-Nusra pigs. Threatening and attacking the Free Army, murdering civilians, looting, burning buildings for months
A Lebanese extremist tried to set up an "emirate" in Homs a few months ago, all he got was several bullets in the head from the Free Army.
Some of the families who are still in Old Homs under seige by Assad troops are eating tree leaves cause they haven't had vegetables in weeks
UNHCR :Refugees continue to cross into Jordan at a rate of about 1,000 a day; reports of increasing numbers of displaced in southern
Mortar shelling in several areas in Damascus, mostly NE and SW suburbs. Also first time I’ve actually seen a helicopter in over a week.
Mortars being shelled upon Damascus from Qassiyoun. Sound of missile launching much louder than that of it hitting.
Local Coordination Committees in Syria
The number of martyrs has risen to 82 thus far, including 7 martyrs killed by aerial bombardment, 2 women, and 3 children. The remainders of the martyrs were distributed as follows; 31 in Damascus and its suburbs, including 10 field executions in Mudamieh Sham, and 10 martyrs discovered in Daraya; 15 in Hama,10 in Daraa, 8 in Aleppo, 6 in Deir Ezzor, 5 in Idlib, 4 in Homs and 3 in Latakia