Syrian Coalition Delegation Meets de Mistura in Geneva

A Syrian Coalition delegation met with the UN envoy to Syria Staffan de Mistura today in Geneva. The meetings come ahead of de Mistura’s Syria report submission to the UN Secretary General on Monday. The delegation head is Khaled Khoja with VPs Hisham Marwa, Mustafa Osso, political committee members Ahmed Ramadan, Hassan al-Hashimi, Badr Jamous, and Hadi Al-Bahra.

The meeting itinerary included a discussion for a political solution and mechanisms to implement the Geneva Communique as well as a discussion around the results of de Mistura’s recent tour in the region.

The Syrian Coalition reiterates its commitment to a political solution based on the Geneva Communique to initiate a transitional process through the formation of a transitional governing body excluding Assad, the ruling elite and all those who have committed crimes against Syrians.

The Syrian Coalition emphasizes that the transitional governing body is qualified to lead Syrians, eradicate terrorism – growing and flourishing largely as a result of the Assad regime’s policies.

(Source: Syrian Coalition / 02.07.2015)

Syrian Coalition Denounces Al Arabi’s Remarks on His Vision for Solution in Syria

Spokesman of the Syrian Coalition Salem al-Meslet denounces remarks made by Secretary-General of the Arab League Nabil Elaraby who expressed his vision for a political solution in Syria. “Al Arabi’s calls for the forming of a national unity government are unacceptable as they contradict the letter and spirit of the Geneva statement adopted by the UN Security Council as the starting point for a political solution in Syria. The Geneva statement explicitly calls for the forming of a transitional governing body with full executive powers, including the powers of the president,” Meslet said.

“Any approach that seeks to turn the clock back or to circumvent the already stated principles of political solution exclusively serves the interests of the forces of tyranny and terrorism,” Meslet stresses.

He also said that the primary goal of the Syrian revolution is bringing about radical and comprehensive changes to the current authoritarian political system, including its head, senior leaders, symbols and security apparatuses and the establishment of a free democratic civil ruling system that is based on the peaceful transfer of power and political pluralism.

(Source: Syrian Coalition / 01.07.2015)

Syrian Coalition and Rebels Ready to Fill Power Vacuum When Assad Falls

Vice-president Hisham Marwa said that the Syrian Coalition and the revolutionary forces are ready to fill the power vacuum that will ensue after the collapse of the Assad regime, adding that “we have already developed an integrated vision for the issues of security and services and have political and legal plans for the post-Assad phase.”

“We have clear plans and procedures in the event of the fall of the Assad regime and the collapse of the security apparatuses which we see is imminent in light of the rapid military rebel gains. The greatest challenges we will be faced with are the security and services. The security challenge will be dealt through the Interim Ministry of Defense, the Interim Ministry of the Interior, the rebel factions currently active on the ground, and through the formation of civil committees to maintain security in neighborhoods and villages.”

Marwa points to the existence of plans and coordination between several executive bodies to meet the people’s needs and the provision of basic services such as education, health and the basic needs. This task will be allocated to the relevant ministries of the interim government, local councils, humanitarian and international organizations with the support of sister and friendly countries.

Marwa notes that “the Syrian Coalition still seeks the success of the political process and reaching a peaceful transition of power, but the intransigence of the Assad regime and its insistence on a military solution foils any prospects of a political solution. International and regional parties supporting the Assad regime also considerably contributes to the failure of the political process in Syria.

Last week Marwa attended a session on the sidelines of a UN Human Rights Council meeting titled “Syria after Tyranny” held in Geneva. During the session, he presented the Syrian Coalition’s vision for the transitional period in Syria and the principles of a political settlement based on the formation of a transitional governing body with full powers.

(Source: Syrian Coalition / 29.06.2015)

KOBANE/CIZIRE UPDATE 108: ISLAMIC STATE FINALLY ELIMINATED FROM KOBANE CITY, BUT 233 CIVILIANS KILLED, WHILE TURKISH FORCES MASS ON THE SYRIAN BORDER

By Peter Clifford                ©                (www.petercliffordonline.com/syria-iraq-news-5/)

http://www.petercliffordonline.com/syria-news-3

SYRIA and IRAQ NEWS

By yesterday, Sunday, the YPG had succeeded in curtailing what had become a bloody Islamic State suicide attack on the citizens of Kobane, although a remaining IS insurgent was spotted by residents in the city and eliminated by Kurdish security this afternoon, Monday.

SYRIA and IRAQ NEWS

 

Just How Much More?

Altogether, the attack, which started in the early hours of last Thursday, claimed the lives of 233 people and injured a further 273. 210 of the victims died within Kobane city itself and a further 23 at Berkhbotan village to the south.

14 members of the Kurdish security, the Asayish, as well as others who took up arms died in an attempt to hold back the IS Jihadists.

Of the Islamic State attacking force, which was estimated to be between 80 and 100, all of them were eliminated apart from 7 who escaped across the border into Turkey.

Of 8 x IS Jihadists who fled towards the south, 2 were killed in the Termik area and the final 6 at Korpîngarê. One IS fighter of Egyptian origin was captured alive, seen surrendering, HERE:

On Thursday, Kobane was in complete chaos and its citizens who thought they had returned to a secure and safe city, found themselves in a place of terror. Imagine is this was your street? (Some disturbing and distressing images), HERE:

The bulk of the fighting ended after the last group of IS Jihadists were cornered at the unoccupied Rash Secondary School and attacked with Kalashnikovs and grenades HERE:

After directing Coalition aircraft to the scene, the school was largely blown to pieces, HERE:

Rudaw Kurdish media has a report from the scene with English sub-titles, HERE:

SYRIA and IRAQ NEWS

 

Clearing IS From the Streets of Kobane

At least 60 x IS Jihadists have been confirmed killed, while further bodies are still being discovered.

YPG sources have confirmed that most of the IS attacking force came from the Sarrin area in the south-west part of the Canton and having shaved their beards and donned YPG/FSA uniforms, they were able to pass through YPG and Asayish checkpoints to reach the city.

Other reports though persist in saying that a smaller number of attackers also came across the border from Turkey.

Several reports also say that some of the attackers were dissident Kurds and spoke the language, possibly originating from Kurdish areas of Turkey or Iraq.

In the west of Kobane Canton local reports suggest that as well as the main attack on Kobane city, the Islamic State attempted several boat crossings across the Euphrates river but these were foiled by Coalition airstrikes and Kurdish artillery.

A build up of IS fighters at Jarablous, on the west bank of the Euphrates was also targeted, as well as IS forces coming from Manbij and heading for the road across the Euphrates above the Tishreen dam.

To the east of Kobane over the weekend, the combined YPG/YPJ and Free Syrian Army force, Burkan al-Firat, consolidated their positions south of Tal Abyad and strengthened their control of the Tal Abyad to Raqqah road.

In clashes with the IS Jihadists, 2 x IS tanks were destroyed and 38 x IS fighters killed, as well as AK-47s, machine gun and rocket launchers captured. 6 Kurdish fighters died in the battles.

SYRIA and IRAQ NEWS

 

Turkey’s Forces Mass on Syrian Border

Of major concern is a build-up of Turkish troops along the Rajavan border.

President Erdogan of Turkey has made it clear that he will not tolerate a Kurdish state along his border separating Turkey from Syria and linking the 3 Kurdish Cantons of Afrin, Kobane and Cizire.

Reports suggest that as many as 18,000 Turkish troops are massing to establish a 110-km long and 28-km wide buffer zone stretching from Karkamış to Öncüpınar, on both sides of the Syrian border.

However, Erdogan’s party failed to succeed in getting an overall majority in recent elections, and both his Foreign Minister and the Turkish military are reluctant to pursue such a plan.

Ostensibly set up as an attempt to fight IS, for which a regular army is ill-equipped in the first place, it could easily turn into a battle with the Kurds and attract international condemnation as well as air attacks from Assad’s air force.

A statement of intent is expected this evening, Monday, after a meeting of Turkey’s National Security Council which convened this afternoon, a day earlier than usual. You can read more, HERE:

A Kobane Canton situation map, courtesy of @ChuckPfarrer, is here:

SYRIA and IRAQ NEWS

 

Kobane Canton Situation Map 29.06.15

EDITOR: Perhaps what is most surprising (or perhaps not considering the numbers of people who turn to this blog for Kobane news – now approaching 70,000 visitors a month), is the failure of international media to report on events in Kobane and northern Syria.

Last Friday, when IS struck in France, Kuwait and Tunisia, BBC news reports and other leading channels and press ignored the deaths of 200+ people in Kobane city and just reported these other stories. None the less terrible in their brutality, but no more worthy of coverage than the murder of dozens of Kurdish civilians.

Some notable exceptions were the UK’s Guardian and the The Independent.

Over in Hasakah the picture of the fight between Assad forces and the YPG, who are both defending the city, and the Islamic State who are attacking them is less clear.

Reports over the weekend suggested that Assad’s forces were losing ground in the south of Hasakah and handing over their positions (and weapons) to the YPG who hold the north of the city.

On Saturday, the Syrian Army was reported to have withdrawn from a number of checkpoints and its headquarters, allowing IS to penetrate parts of the Kurdish districts of Aziziyah and Al-Ghazl. Kurdish units subsequently took control of the National Hospital in the Aziziyah neighbourhood and the nearby School of Nursing.

Pro-regime forces have however been constantly shelling IS positions from the Jabal Kawkab base 10 kilometres east of Hasakah in an attempt to cut off their supply routes from Shaddadi and yesterday are reported to have regained the Nashwa Gharbiya neighbourhood. As a result, the Kurds have also blocked the infiltration of Aziziyah and Al-Ghazl.

IS still controls the Villat Homr area which overlooks the IS-held district of Geweran in the south-east of the city, while Assad’s air force continues to bomb them from the air and 30,000 civilians flee to the north.

Since last Thursday the Coalition has also been very active in the air across northern Syria, US Central Command (Centcom) reporting 51 airstrikes between Thursday morning and today, Monday am.

27 of those airstrikes were in Kobane Canton, 7 near Tal Abayd, 7 near Raqqah, 3 near Hasakah and the rest in Aleppo and Deir Ez-Zour provinces – all hitting and destroying the usual range of Islamic State fighting units, vehicles, weapons and equipment but including 8 x IS boats.

SYRIA and IRAQ NEWS

 

Victims of IS Attack on Kobane June 2015 – RIP

Fact-finding Mission Report Confirms YPG Displacement of Civilians in Tal Abyad

The fact-finding committee set up by the Syrian Coalition to look into reports of violations in the Tal Abyad area concluded that the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) militias, the armed wing of the YPD committed widespread violations against the civilian population in the area.

The report prepared by the fact-finding committee lists violations ranging from sending threat messages via telephone to publishing “wanted lists” on social network sites by persons affiliated with the YPG such as Khabat Ali, son of the head of the so-called Kurdish Provincial Council in Tal Abyad. Ali published lists of names of local residents described as “wanted” by the Kurdish Asayish militia on his Facebook page.

The reports confirms that the YPG militias seized vehicles, livestock, crops, and ransacked houses upon taking control of the Arab and Turkmen villages. They also scrawled anti-Arab racist slogans on the walls of Tal Abayd and the surrounding villages.

Before entering the Tal Abyad area, they sent threat messages to the local population, prompting them to flee their homes. Residents of the area also feared the repetition of the grave violations committed by the YPG militias against Arabs few months ago in rural Al-Hasaka.

Moreover, those who preferred to stay in their homes in a number of Arab and Turkmen villages were driven out of their houses by arms such as the villages of Issawiya, Abdi Koy, Al-Thawra, Bab Al-Hawa, Daba’a, Al-Mankali, Mudlij, and Kara Sharaf. In the village of Zahle south of Tal Abyad, which was completely empty of men when the YPG militias entered, the women and children were forced out of their homes in a humiliating manner. Seventeen YPG militants entered the town in five trucks and forced the women and children to walk barefooted until they reached the nearby village of Booz al-Khanzeer.”

The latest forced displacement took place in the villages of Hammam al-Turkmen whose residents were forced out of their homes. The local population confirmed that this is part of the YPG plan to empty the area of ​​its indigenous population and establish a Kurdish state in this area.

The fact-finding committee asked the YPG militias to give it access to the Tal Abyad area and assess the situation through listening to witness accounts and to assess the size of the reported violations. However, the YPG militias repeatedly rejected the demands of the committee which waited at the border crossing for several days. This reinforced fears of the displaced persons who did not dare to return to their homes despite the opening of the border gate. On June 22, 2015 around 2,000 displaced people who fled to Turkey returned to their homes, but the number began to decrease considerably with the spread of the news about the YPG’s blocking entry of the fact-find committee.

The Syrian Coalition calls for the United Nations to immediately send an international investigation mission to enter Tal Abyad and the surrounding villages to look into the violations committed by the YPG and also demands that those responsible for these violations are held to account.

Moreover, the Syrian Coalition also calls for allowing human rights organizations and journalists to enter Tal Abyad to convey the image to the world and the size of the tragedy and the damage the YPG caused to the unarmed civilians.

The Syrian Coalition also calls for allowing the entry of humanitarian convoys and medical assistance to alleviate the increasing suffering in an area that lacks the necessities of life.

The Syrian Coalition calls upon the international anti-ISIS coalition to neutralize civilians in the conflict zones and not to fall for false allegations about the presence of terrorists in the areas already void of ISIS militants. The YPG militias have repeatedly threatened the local population that in case they do not leave their villages they will give the coordinates of their villages to the international anti-ISIS coalition to bomb them on the pretext that ISIS militants are holed up inside these villages.

(Source: Syrian Coalition / 27.06.2015)

Syrian rescue organi​​sation ​​appeals to UN Security Council over barrel bombs

Syrian Civil Defense says the indiscriminate attacks have escalated dramatically and are mainly killing civilians

A boy stands on a balcony at a site hit by what activists said was a barrel bomb dropped by forces loyal to Syria’s president Bashar al-Assad in Aleppo

The head of a Syrian rescue organisation appealed to the UN Security Council on Friday to stop indiscriminate barrel bomb attacks he says have escalated dramatically and are mainly killing civilians.

Syrian Civil Defense searches for survivors but more often finds bodies in the rubble left by what it says are barrel bombs dropped from Syrian government helicopters.

The Security Council has been bitterly divided over Syria between Russia, a close ally of president Bashar Assad’s government, and western nations who have have campaigned for a transitional government leading to democratic elections.

Raed Saleh, head of the SCD, told the UN’s most powerful body that “the Security Council in the eyes of those suffering has become a non-Security Council” because it has not implemented its February 2014 resolution demanding an end to indiscriminate use of weapons in populated areas, including barrel bombs.

“The Syrian people who are killed day after day hold you responsible and call on you to take the necessary measures to put an end to the killing in Syria, particularly the use of indiscriminate weapons,” he told an informal council meeting on Friday focusing on the increasing use of barrel bombs in the Syrian war, now well into its fifth year with well over 200,000 killed.

Assad has denied Syria uses barrel bombs but western organisations have provided video footage of Syrian helicopters dropping such bombs.

Saleh said council action should include a no-fly zone to stop the dropping of barrel bombs. He said he did not want to return to Syria without an answer from the council. But he did not get one.

Russian counsellor Andrey Listov, who previously lived in Syria and said he loved the country, told the council the responsibility for the current situation “falls on those who finance and arm terrorists”.

Russia condemns indiscriminate attacks wherever they happen, he said. But “any measures that the Security Council is going to implement against those indiscriminate attacks … should not impede the efforts of the government to fight terrorism”.

The meeting, organised by France’s UN ambassador Francois Delattre and Spain’s UN ambassador Roman Oyarzun Marchesi, followed appeals from more than 70 countries and over 80 international human rights and aid groups for immediate council action against the use of barrel bombs in Syria.

Pressured on whether there be a new council resolution, he said: “We’re working. We’re working.”

Bassam Alahmad, head of research at the Violations Documentation Center in Syria, said Russian “condemnation is important” but the Syrian people want action against the targeting of civilians. From the beginning of 2015 until Thursday, there has been an upsurge in the number of victims – 1,160 civilians killed by Syrian barrel bombs including 290 children and 160 women.

(Source / 27.06.2015)

KOBANE/CIZIRE UPDATE 107: BATTLE AGAINST ISLAMIC STATE IN KOBANE CITY HAS CONTINUED WITH RISING DEATH TOLL, MAINLY CIVILIANS

By Peter Clifford                ©                (www.petercliffordonline.com/syria-iraq-news-5/)

http://www.petercliffordonline.com/syria-news-3

SYRIA and IRAQ NEWS

As of midday local time today, Friday, the Kurdish YPG were still fighting enclaves of Islamic State fighters embedded in Kobane City.

SYRIA and IRAQ NEWS

 

Smoke Rises Over Kobane Once Again

The death toll had also escalated with as many as 146 dead and 200 injured (some sources putting it even higher), the vast majority civilians including the elderly, and women and children.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) described it as the second worst IS massacre in Syria since they declared their “Caliphate”. Many of the injured remain critical.

Latest reports say that 80 Kurds trapped in the districts of Şehid Moro, Mektele and Kaniya Kurda have now been freed and the last remnants of the IS Jihadist attacking force are holed up in buildings that were damaged in battles last winter.

However, the IS fighters are still holding hostages at 3 locations: a house near Mishtenur Hospital, a house near the town’s cultural centre and a home close to the Mahdathe school.

Some Kurdsih hostages held in a 4th location, a restaurant, have been released and their IS captors killed.

Reports on the original attack are still confused, with many still accusing Turkey as complicit in the attack or allowing it to happen – though there is no definitive proof of that.

The attack started at around 4.40am Kobane local time when 5 vehicles entered the centre of the city from the west and one of them exploded near the Mursitpinar border crossing into Turkey, the site of a similar attack some months ago.

The explosion was captured on CCTV footage from a camera on the Turkish side of the border, here:

https://youtu.be/4WBJAKZ2oLI

The reason that this IS force was able to penetrate into the heart of Kobane is that they had shaved off their beards and were wearing YPG and FSA uniforms. Their vehicles were also decked out with Burkhat Al-Firat, YPG and FSA flags. Burkhat Al-Firat (“Euphrates Volcano”) is the combined force fighting the Islamic State.

Following the primary suicide bomb attack at the frontier gate, the IS Jihadists then attempted to take control of the Kaniya Kurda neighbourhood, the Doctors without Borders Hospital, the Botan district and the Reshad Mosque.

With the Jihadist group were many snipers who then proceeded to shoot randomly at anybody on the street and who also broke into a number of homes wiping out entire families.

The YPG/YPJ quickly surrounded the attacking IS fighters and kill their core group but other individuals and bands of attackers managed to establish footholds in previously destroyed buildings and Mishtenur Hospital.

Recent video, released this morning, of the YPG repelling the Islamic State in Kobane is HERE: and HERE:

While fighting was taking place another vehicle bomb was exploded near the frontier gate and there are also unconfirmed reports of a third.

Estimates suggest the IS attacking force numbers 30 or 40 men. There are also unconfirmed reports that 300 Jihadists who escaped from Tal Abyad are now in Jarablous, west of the Euphrates, and some of the attackers may be a remnant of that force.

Many of the civilians wounded in Kobane have been shipped across the border to hospitals in Turkey, while hundreds of others (uninjured) slept on the ground near the frontier, too terrified to return home, here:

http://www.theguardian.com/world/video/2015/jun/25/kobani-isis-syria-border-video?CMP=embed_video

Concurrent with the primary attack on Kobane early on Thursday morning, the IS Jihadists attacked the village of Berxbatan (Barkh Butan), at 5.30am on Thursday morning, as reported previously, on Kobane Canton’s southern frontier.

The death toll there is now reported as 33 villagers, many of them having been beheaded, and at least 15 wounded. The nearby village of Zerik and a hill at Sevê were also attacked, but as many as 30 x IS fighters were reported killed in the ensuing gun battles with the YPG in the area.

Many are now seeing the IS attack as revenge for the capture of by Kurdish forces of Tal Abyad and Ain Issa and for getting “far too close” to their “Syrian capital” of Raqqah.

SYRIA and IRAQ NEWS

 

Dr Muhamad Ali Lost His Entire Famly to IS Attackers

(EDITOR: I doubt if the Kurds will be deterred. With the help of the FSA and the Coalition they will, hopefully, be spurred on to wipe this dreadful evil from the Earth.

IS related attacks have also been reported today, Friday, in France, Kuwait and Tunisia.)

Between Ain Issa and Raqqah the YPG have also confirmed that they have control of the main road and have liberated 2 villages near the Belikh water tower.

6 x IS Jihadists were killed and weapons and ammunition captured in the clashes.

France24 has a report and commentary on events in Kobane over the last 24 hours.

In Hasakah city, the Islamic State are reported to have taken control of the “petroleum barrier” to the east of the city as well as the southern districts they took hold of yesterday.

There are also unconfirmed reports that they have been aided by defectors from Assad’s National Defence Force (NDF), who cleared the way for the Jihadists entrance into the city. (Reports of armed conflict between elements of the NDF and Assad’s regular troops have been reported on several occasions.)

Between 50,000 and 60,000 local residents in Hasakah are said to have fled the city, 10,000 of them heading northwards towards the Turkish border. All of which makes a nonsense of the Syrian Government’s claims, published on state media, that “Hasakah is safe” and the situation there is “stable”.

You can read more, HERE:

So far the Coalition has not got involved in helping the Assad regime defend against the Islamic State, but if Government areas in the Hasakah fall, will they come to the aid of the YPG defending the northern Kurdish districts in the city? Time will tell.

SYRIA and IRAQ NEWS

WELL EQUIPPED OPPOSITION LAUNCH MAJOR CAMPAIGN TO TAKE DARAA CITY, THE BIRTH PLACE OF THE REVOLUTION:

In the very south of Syria, the Opposition coalition, the Southern Front, have launched a major campaign to try and capture the city of Daraa, where the Syrian revolution began in 2011 when some children were arrested and tortured after putting up anti-Assad graffiti.

Due to have been launched early on Wednesday, it was delayed 24 hours to let more civilians flee the city.

SYRIA and IRAQ NEWS

 

Opposition Tank Shells Assad’s Troops in Deraa 25.06.15

Currently the campaign, called “Southern Storm”, is targeting Assad regime forces inside the city with mortar rounds and artillery and directing heavy fire on troop concentrations near Atma a few kilometres north of the city.

A direct hit on a power station to the north of Daraa has cut electricity supplies.

Assad’s Air Force has retaliated with between 60 and 70 barrel-bomb attacks in the last 36 hours on Opposition-held villages in the province.

3 shells also landed in the Jordanian border town of Ramtha, killing 1 man and injuring 4 more.

Reports yesterday said that the Opposition had taken 5 checkpoints and were very near the National Hospital in Daraa and a key roundabout, but they have met stiff resistance.

34 Opposition fighters and a similar number on the regime side were reported killed in the first 24 hours, including 2 brigadier generals.

However, the Opposition, a coalition of 51 brigades, many aligned to the FSA, seem very well equipped and prepared for a long battle if necessary.

They prepare for battle, [EDITOR: Commander has very nice hair! :)] HERE:

The Opposition shell Assad’s troop concentrations, HERE:  and hit them with tank shells, HERE:

More attacks on regime areas, HERE: and an Assad tank destroyed with a TOW missile,  [EDITOR: Though the cameraman is not paying attention! :)]HERE:

Lastly, more footage of heavy fighting but with the funniest/most over-produced intro of the year! HERE:

Syrian Coalition: ISIS’s Expulsion of Kurds from Raqqa is Unacceptable

Spokesman for the Syrian Coalition Salem al-Meslet said that ISIS’s displacing of Kurds from Al-Raqqa city is unacceptable, adding that the Syrian people who coexist with each other will not accept these crimes and will speak up against them.

Meslet calls on the international community to shoulder its responsibilities towards the crimes of the Assad regime and ISIS and taking a tangible firm stand to stop these atrocious acts.

(Source: Syrian Coalition / 26.06.2015)

Funding shortage leaves Syrian refugees in danger of missing vital support

AMMAN, Jordan, June 25 (UNHCR) Humanitarian and development assistance efforts for 3.9 million Syrian refugees and more than 20 million people living in hosting communities in neighbouring countries are in serious danger as a result of a severe funding crisis, the UN refugee agency has warned.

A report, released in Amman on Thursday, by more than 200 partners in the Regional Refugee & Resilience Plan (3RP) in Response to the Syria Crisis said programmes implemented by the UN and NGOs under the plan faced a current funding gap of a staggering US$3.47 billion.

The 3RP report called on the international community to act faster to deliver on its pledges of support. “We are so dangerously low on funding that we risk not being able to meet even the most basic survival needs of millions of people over the coming six months,” UN High Commissioner for Refugees António Guterres said.

A Syrian refugee family from Raqqa finds safety in Suruc refugee camp in southern Turkey

Guterres also called for more solidarity and responsibility-sharing from the international community “than what we have seen so far.”

The report showed that against the $4.53 billion required for programmes implemented by UN agencies and NGOs under the plan launched last December, only $1.06 billion 23 per cent had been received as of the end of May.

Already, this has meant that 1.6 million refugees have had their food assistance reduced this year; 750,000 children are not attending school; and life-saving health services are becoming too expensive for many, including 70,000 pregnant women at risk of unsafe deliveries.

Some 86 per cent of urban refugees in Jordan live below the poverty line of 3.2 dollars a day, while 45 per cent of refugees in Lebanon live in sub-standard shelters.

Almost half of all those affected by this crisis are children, many of whom struggle to cope with distress caused by the violence and upheaval they have experienced.

The 3RP partners warned that if more funds were not forthcoming soon, up to 130,000 vulnerable families would not be provided with cash assistance to help them meet basic needs and vulnerable people would stop receiving monthly food vouchers altogether.

Without urgently needed funds, the delivery of water and waste water services for millions of people across the region will also be in jeopardy. Up to 1.7 million people may face winter this year without fuel, shelter, insulation, blankets or warm clothes.

Halfway through the year, with less than a quarter of the required funding received and with winter just around the corner, 3RP partners urgently need funding certainty to plan and respond in time. Last year a number of people, including children, lost their lives during the harshest winter the region has seen in four decades

The Syria crisis has also had major social and economic impacts on host countries, which remain at the forefront of the crisis and are going through political, economic, social and security instabilities. Now in its fifth year, the Syria crisis is also having an impact on development and global security.

UN Development Programme (UNDP) Administrator Helen Clark said the lessons learned over the past four years of response to the Syria crisis showed “beyond doubt the importance of integrated humanitarian and development approaches based on building resilience.” She added that “a well-funded 3RP will support stabilization by helping people get jobs, have access to microbusiness opportunities, and improve food security for families.”

The report noted that while pressures on host countries continue to grow, it is increasingly difficult for Syrians to find safety, including by seeking asylum. These difficulties have resulted in an increased number of Syrians seeking safety and refuge beyond the region, including by taking often dangerous journeys across the Mediterranean to Europe. Many Syrians have lost their lives as a result.

The report called on the international community to share more of the burden with host countries through the timely provision of funding and by providing solutions like additional resettlement opportunities and other forms of humanitarian admission for Syrian refugees.

The 3RP partners warned that if the call for action remains unheeded, a generation of Syrians would be left behind and neighbouring countries would continue to struggle to provide a public good they cannot and should not have to bear alone.

The Regional Refugee and Resilience Plan is an international appeal aimed at addressing refugee protection needs, the humanitarian needs of the most vulnerable, and the longer-term socio-economic impacts of the Syria crisis on neighbouring countries of Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq and Egypt.

Click here to access the report.

(Source / 25.06.2015)

Fact Finding Committee to Submit Initial Report to the Syrian Coalition

The fact-finding committee set up by the Syrian Coalition completed the first stage of investigation into reports about ethnic cleansing in Tal Abyad and the surrounding villages and the events that occurred during the expulsion of ISIS from the region.

Later today, the committee will submit its initial report to the political body to discuss and come up with preliminary results of what’s occurring in the Tal Abyad area.

The committee began its work on Saturday and met with dozens of displaced families from the town of Tal Abyad and the surrounding villages to assess the situation and the conditions that caused them to flee from their homes. It is working on drafting a report summarizing the events that occurred during the previous few days.

The Kurdish People’s Protection Units militias (YPG) blocked entry to Tal Abyad to members of the fact-finding committee on Monday.
The committee was set up by the Syrian Coalition in collaboration with the Interim Ministry of Justice, civil society organizations and rights groups.

This came after numerous attempts by the committee to enter the town. It previously made a formal request to the Turks and to the YPG, which has recently taken control of the border crossing from the Syrian side. It was expected that the fact-finding committee would enter Tal Abyad and the surrounding villages to assess the situation and listen to testimonies from residents about the incidents that accompanied driving ISIS out of the town.

(Source: Syrian Coalition / 25.06.2015)