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10. August 2015, 10.33 Uhr:

Tahrir Square, Baghdad

von Thomas von der Osten-Sacken

Seit Tagen finden überall im Irak wieder Massendemonstrationen statt.

Several thousand people have demonstrated in Baghdad against rampant corruption and the abysmal electricity services that plague Iraq, calling for officials to be held to accountable.

Und unter den Demonstraten befinden sich keineswegs nur Anhänger des Ayatollah Sistani, der zu den Protesten aufgerufen hatte oder Mitglieder von schiitischen Parteien, sondern viele, die Slogans wie diesen rufen: “Keine Sunna, Keine Shia, sondern Säkularismus“.

 

8. August 2015, 12.05 Uhr:

Solidarität am Pool

von Thomas von der Osten-Sacken

Nach dem Massaker in Sousse stehen Tunesiens Hotels leer. Und senken die Preise.

Fünf Sterne Resorts für 40 USD die Nacht? Durchaus möglich. Internationale Solidarität kann so einfach sein. Also buchen:

5 Luxury Hotels You Can Afford Thanks to ISIS

6. August 2015, 12.08 Uhr:

Paintball Spieler

von Thomas von der Osten-Sacken

5000 syrische Kämpfer gegen den IS, die zugleich Assads Truppen in Ruhe lassen, wollten die USA ausbilden. 60 sind geworden. Von denen befinden sich inzwischen wohl fünfzehn in den Händen der al Nusra Front, also des lokalen Ablegers von Al Qaida.

Außerdem haben die USA vorher netterweise aus die Regierung in Damaskus vom Einsatz der Truppe informiert. Das erklärte jedenfalls der syrische Außenminister:

The United States contacted us before they sent in this group and said they are fighting against Daesh (ISIS) and not the Syrian army at all.

Was man in der arabischen Welt von diesem ganzen Unterfangen hält, fasst Ali Bakir zusammen:

“No one in the Arab world takes this program seriously; I mean you would need around 50 to 60 people to play paintball but definitely not to fight Islamic State.”

“There is a profound general perception in the Arab world that the Obama administration is no less responsible than Iran and Russia in the Syrian crisis,” he said.

The deal with Iran and the cooperation with Iranian forces against Islamic State, include “Shi’ite militias that are no less criminal.”

This situation is increasingly seen in the Arab world as siding with the Shi’ites at the expense of the vast majority of Muslims, he asserted.

The US administration is more concerned about not jeopardizing the Iran deal than helping the Syrian people, Bakir added.

4. August 2015, 11.42 Uhr:

Assads neue Waffen

von Thomas von der Osten-Sacken

Nach chemische Waffen und Barrel Bombs hat das Assad Regime jetzt eine neue Waffe in seinem unermüdlichen Krieg gegen syrische Zivilisten:

Trapped in towns besieged by fighting, deprived of food, water and electricity, Syrian civilians are now facing a new threat from the regime of President Bashar al-Assad.

Beyond the barrel bombs that have already killed thousands in indiscriminate aerial assaults, beyond the chemical attacks with cylinders of chlorine gas in civilian areas controlled by opposition forces, the Assad government is now dropping 200-kilogram naval mines from its helicopters into residential neighbourhoods.

Set to explode just a few metres from the ground, the naval mines, designed to float in the sea and detonate as a warship approaches, are packed with high-intensity explosives that cause extraordinary damage and terror, experts say.

Außerdem setzt, verschiedenen Quellen zufolge, die syrische Armee neuerdings auch Napalm ein:

Reports have emerged that the Syrian regime in recent days has fired napalm-loaded rockets at rebels holed up in the border town of Zabadani.

Alaraby Aljadeed on Monday reported the use of napalm against the insurgents, who have fought fierce battles against encroaching Hezbollah and regime troops in the past month.

The London-based daily said that the regime was using surface-to-surface missiles to deliver the incendiary payload, which can set buildings alight and has been banned for use against civilians by the 1980 United Nations Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons.


3. August 2015, 15.46 Uhr:

Die jungen Männer kommen

von Thomas von der Osten-Sacken

In Izmir traf der Hurriyet Reporter Banu Sen unter den Zehntausenden von syrischen Flüchtlingen, die versuchen, nach Europa zu kommen, auch viele junge Männer, die in die Türkei gekommen sind, um sich dem Wehrdienst in der syrischen Armee zu entziehen:

Almost all of the Syrian refugees that have recently come to ?zmir said they ran away from being recruited to the army as they did not wish to fight in the country’s civil war. 

“We are running from the army. Men aged between 18 and 35 are being recruited to the army. We do not want to fight, that is why we are running. Our families are in safe cities. The ones who are married take their families with them,” one young Syrian migrant told daily Hürriyet on the streets of Basmane. “We do not aim to stay in Turkey; we came here to go to Greece.” 

A group of five Syrian young men, who said that they had been sleeping near a wall in Izmir for the past week, said they were all university graduates and had professions but had fled Syria to avoid the draft. 

“We were working in Damascus, but we have not been able to see our family for two years. We fled to avoid being taken into the army. Money talks in Syria. If you give 300 dollars you get a passport,” one of the five said.

Und warum sie unbedingt die Türkei verlassen wollen bzw. müssen, erklären sie auch:

“We were caught twice by Greek soldiers when we tried to escape from Çe?me [a district of ?zmir]. They confiscated all that we had and left us on the Turkish side, but we will try until we make it. If we cannot go in a months’ time Turkey will deport us, which will mean delivering us into the hands of the [Syrian] army,” the group said. “That is why we do not fear a risky journey at sea; we have no other choice.”

Und in Deutschland liest man dann, es wäre ja auffällig, dass sich unter den syrischen Flüchtlingen so viele junge Männer befänden. Über Deserteure, die das einzig vernünftige tun und sich dem Wahnsinn, der in ihrem Land herrscht, entziehen, liest man dagegen nichts.

2. August 2015, 23.35 Uhr:

Jahrestag der Shingal Katastrophe

von Thomas von der Osten-Sacken

Vor einem Jahr stürmten Jihadisten des Islamischen Staates das Sinjar Gebirge. Was folgte, war eine unbeschreibliche Katastrophe für  Hunderttausende von Yeziden.

In Arbil erinnerten Demonstraten an den Jahrestag:

More than 50 Kurdish Yezidi women, men and children gathered outside the United Nations building in Erbil on Sunday to shed light on the bloody massacre that befell the Yezidis in Shingal nearly one year ago.

Cloaked in traditional white and black garb and carrying banners with pleas and calls to action, the group gathered under a roofed UN entrance to deliver a multitude of messages with the same theme.

“We demand the liberation of Yezidi women and girls who are still in captivity of the terrorist organization of ISIS,” one demonstrator yelled, reciting the sentence written on a large black banner at the group’s center.

“The Unites Nations and the International Security Council now have an ethical responsibility more than a legal one toward Yezidis,” another protester chimed in.

Throughout the two-hour long event, the group often broke into call and response chants—in Kurdish, Arabic and English—centered on the liberation of Shingal and demand for peace and coexistence. (…)

Several similar demonstrations, including a conference in Duhok, have been scheduled throughout the Kurdistan region for Monday.

2. August 2015, 10.35 Uhr:

Misery Index

von Thomas von der Osten-Sacken

Über die Folgen des Iran Deals für die Region schreibt Hisham Melham:

Finally, the Iran nuclear deal as a new source of tension between Iran and its Arab neighbors, will inevitably contribute to tightening the repression in Arab societies in the name of galvanizing and uniting the people to fight Iran and its Arab proxies From Yemen on the Indian Ocean to Lebanon and Syria on the Mediterranean.

Many Arab societies have been hollowed out and militarized long before the Iran nuclear deal and the Arab uprisings. But the historic collapse of the very foundations of the political order that prevailed for a century in the Levant and Mesopotamia in the last five years is irrevocably transforming and fragmenting the region’s social, cultural and political fabric, leaving behind tattered identities.

The dangers of the unprecedented Sunni-Shiite bloodletting, and the rise of the fanaticism of the non-state actors, will be magnified in the wake of the nuclear deal. The immediate future of the region will be millions of children deprived of structured schooling, to be added to the 21 million children already out of schools. In a region that has less than 5% of the world’s population, the number of peoples who were forced to become refugees is almost half of the refugee population of the world. Syria’s refugees, close to five millions, constitute the worst humanitarian crisis in the new century.

In Yemen, people are dying of hunger; with one third of the population suffer from malnutrition. If one engages in the grizzly ritual of counting the daily harvest of blood in the majority Arab states in the region, one would be horrified, at the ability of the reaper to cut lives. Is anyone keeping up with the number of people who have disappeared in Syria, Iraq, Yemen and Libya or even in Egypt?

The misery index for the Arabs has given us new categories of Arab victims such as, migrant Arabs, and children warriors. The nuclear deal with Iran, may have capped temporarily the nuclear storm inside Iran’s reactors, but the political fallouts of the deal will likely leave a long trail of human wreckage in its wake.

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