21 February 2018

Help AsiaNews | About us | P.I.M.E. | Contact us | Newsletter | Facebook | Twitter | desktop

04/09/2013 SYRIA

Damascus denies entry to UN inspection team

For Syrian authorities, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon's request to have a team investigate the alleged use of chemical weapons would constitute a "violation of Syrian sovereignty". In Aleppo, a strange alliance forms among anti-government forces.

Damascus (AsiaNews/Agencies) - On a day that saw another suicide bomber hit central Damascus, Bashar Al-Assad's government slammed the door at a United Nations inspection team, currently in Cyprus waiting for permission to enter the country to investigate the alleged use of chemical weapons. "Syria cannot accept these manoeuvres from the UN's Secretariat-General, taking into account the truth of the negative role it played in Iraq," a Syrian foreign ministry source said.

The United Nations launched an investigation a month ago, when anti-government sources accused the regime of using chemical weapons in the village of ​​Khan Al-Assal, in the countryside north of Aleppo.

In the city itself, unusual alliances are forming between Kurdish Popular Protection Units (YPG), set up to protect Aleppo's Kurdish neighbourhoods, and anti-regime rebels.

Strategically located on a hill north of the city, the Sheikh Maksoud area is turning into what rebels call 'the biggest battle for Aleppo'.

Sources in the Syrian Free Army, quoted by Lebanon's French language newspaper L'Orient le jour, said that the YPG, which are the armed wing of the Kurdish Democratic Union Party, provided them with ammunition and fought on the frontline against the regime.

"I carry the colours of my Kurdish brothers, even though I am an Arab," a rebel commander wearing the Kurdish yellow-red-green scarf told the paper.

Local and international sources have recently reported an unexpected alliance between rebels and Kurdish militias, which have been traditionally opposed.

In an amateur video, some Syrian Free Army fighters are seen celebrating the liberation of the Sheikh Maksoud district alongside Kurdish fighters. AP quotes a Syrian activist who said that the operation was codenamed 'Kurdish brotherhood'.

When government planes on Saturday hit the hill that dominates the north of Aleppo, killing 15 civilians, including nine children, Kurds hit back, killing five loyalist soldiers at a checkpoint.

The partnership between Kurds and Syrian Free Army against Bashar Assad is a new factor in the opposition front.

A YPG fighter said their priority was to "protect our people in the neighbourhood of Sheikh Maksoud, where the Kurdish Democratic Union Party has been rooted for years". For others, it is "question of conscience" and "fighting the same enemy."

Kurds number some 30-35 million people, divided between Syria, Turkey, Iran and Iraq. In Syria, they are about 10 per cent of the population, mostly in the country's northeastern region.

Since the start of the revolution, Kurdish militias have stayed neutral, defending Kurdish areas from rebel incursions.

As the civil war escalated in the summer of 2012, numerous frictions were reported between Kurdish fighters and Islamist members of the Syrian Free Army in the Ras al-Ayn area, in Syria's north-east.

See also

11/10/2012 TURKEY - SYRIA
Syrian airline flight grounded by Ankara departs. Cargo seized
According to the Turkish authorities, the cargo included weapons. The Syrian Airlines Airbus A320 from Moscow and was headed to Damascus. On board, 35 passengers and two crew members. Turkish Minister of Foreign Affairs Ahmet Davutoglu,: "Turkey does not want a war in Syria," but it is "unacceptable to use our airspace for such transfers."

11/05/2012 SYRIA
UN condemns Damascus bombings. Regime and rebels must end violence
The final toll is 55 dead and more than 400 injured. Even China and Russia condemn the attack and call for respect of the ceasefire proposed by Kofi Annan.

08/07/2017 09:58:00 ISRAEL - SYRIA
The 'bizarre case' of Bashar al-Assad and nerve gas

The great Israeli statist comments on allegations of the Syrian President's bombing the city of Khan Sheikhoun on April 4, and of using lethal gas against his people. But there is no evidence to condemn Assad. In Syria, "everyone is fighting with everyone against everyone." Trump's punitive attack against the will of US generals and with media applause, "unconscious prisoners of lies".

02/10/2013 SYRIA
Chemical weapons inspectors arrive in Syria. Initial signs of dialogue
The experts have nine months to verify and destroy Assad's chemical weapons programme. The UN, the Arab League, Washington and Moscow are preparing a Peace conference. Secret meeting between the Free Syrian Army and the Assad government.

07/04/2015 SYRIA
UN calls for humanitarian access to the Yarmouk Palestinian refugee camp
The situation for the camp’s 18,000 refugees has been described as "beyond inhumane". Once opposed to Assad, the camp has seen groups realign with al-Nusra side with the Islamic State group, and Palestinians and the Free Syrian Army work with the Syrian army.

AsiaNews C.F. e P.Iva: 00889190153