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News Roundup: 1/13/2016

Social Media  Welcome, Ahmad. So glad to have you here […]

1 January 2015

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Madaya: ‘Horrifying conditions’ in besieged Syrian town


A senior UN official says the suffering in the besieged rebel-held Syrian town of Madaya is the worst he has witnessed during the country’s brutal civil war.

UN refugee agency representative Sajjad Malik found “horrifying conditions” while delivering food overnight for the 40,000 people trapped there. Read more at bbc.com>>>

Syria Direct’s coverage of Madaya

Despite truce with regime, two more Madaya residents die of starvation

When is a ceasefire not a ceasefire? ‘I am not a terrorist…I am hungry’ 


Turkish-US ties face fresh turbulence over Iraq, Syria

by Semih Idiz


Turkey and the United States may be strategic partners, but this has not prevented a rise in tensions between them stemming from differences over developments in Iraq and Syria. Turkish-US relations face potentially fresh turbulence as US-led coalition forces make headway against the Islamic State (IS), amplifying their differences. Both countries are nevertheless trying to keep a lid on their strained relations. Read more at al-monitor.com>>>

Syria Direct’s coverage of Syrian Democratic Forces

Tribes’ Army disbands in north amidst accusations of YPG blockade

Accusations, recriminations and bloodshed in north Aleppo arena as Kurds fear for Afrin


Russia Targeting Civilians to Support Syrian Regime’s Advance in Northern Syria 

by Saleem al-Omar 

Syria Source – Atlantic Council 

On December 22, Russian warplanes launched ten air raids against three northern Syrian villages in close proximity to one another: Bidama in western Idlib and Shahroura and Ain al-Ghazal in Latakia. These strikes killed 10 civilians, including four children and two women, and displaced hundreds of local families, turning the villages into ghost towns, according to the Bidama-based journalist Ahmad Khair. The objective of these strikes cannot be to combat the Islamic State (ISIS or ISIL), since the group has no fighters in these areas. Rather these strikes targeted the Syrian opposition in this region—a task for which the regime has found a capable partner in Russia. Read more at atlanticcouncil.org>>>

Syria Direct’s coverage of regime advances in northern Syria

New regime campaign aims for ‘total isolation’ of Idlib province

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