My heart is torn between East and West. I live somewhere between the present and the past. I don't know who I am.

Just another human being biding their time on this earth. Passionate about current affairs, history, politics (particularly MENA region), religion, cute animals and food.

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Posts tagged "war crimes"


World War Something

War requires two, on offense.

Intruding on a country’s borders and destroying citizen’s homes into a battleground with the title of “liberation,” leaving them with very little to even defend against the offense is not war. It is invasion.

That will never be “war.” We would never let you win so easily.

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Childhood Under Fire - Syria’s children are paying the heaviest price.

Two million children trapped inside Syria are innocent victims of a bloody conflict that has already claimed 70,000 lives, UK-based charity Save the Children warned Wednesday saying that these children are under constant risk of malnutrition, disease, trauma and early marriage.

In a new report, “Childhood Under Fire,” launched to mark two years of violence in Syria, Save the Children details the impact of the conflict on children, showing that many are struggling to find enough to eat; are living in barns, parks and caves; are unable to go to school with teachers having fled and schools being attacked; and that damage to sanitation systems is forcing some children to defecate in the street.

Citing new research carried out amongst refugee children by Bahcesehir University in Turkey, the report also reveals the extent to which children have been directly targeted in the war, with one in three children reporting having been hit, kicked or shot at.

Combined with the breakdown of society in parts of the country and more than three million people displaced, the conflict has led to the collapse of childhood for millions of youngsters.

"Childhood under Fire" details how some young boys are being used by armed groups as porters, runners and human shields, bringing them close to the frontline, while some girls are being married off early to ‘protect’ them from a widely-perceived threat of sexual violence.

The report’s key findings are:

  • Thousands of children are facing malnutrition as food production is wiped out and severe shortages take hold. "Why did we leave? Hunger. Food. There was none. No bread. If I stayed my children would have died from hunger," — Rami, father of three.
  • Millions of children have been forced from their homes and tens of thousands are living in parks, barns and caves. "There were 13 of us in total, crammed into one room. We did not leave that room for two weeks."- Yasmine, 12.
  • Girls are being married off early in an effort to protect them from perceived threat of sexual violence. "My daughter is 16 and she loved school. She is innocent and very pretty. I know that men are hurting women. We could not protect her, so we had to marry her. We needed her to have a protector." — Um Ali, mother of two.
  • Families have been left without heating in winter as fuel prices have risen by up to 500 percent. "In one area of Syria where Save the Children is responding, during the bitter winter, school benches were stolen for firewood; desperate, understandable measures to stay warm, but further erosion of children"s opportunities to learn and play."- Childhood Under Fire.

"For millions of Syrian children, the innocence of childhood has been replaced by the cruel realities of trying to survive this vicious war," said Carolyn Miles, president and CEO of Save the Children. "Many are now living out in the open, struggling to find enough to eat, without the right medicine if they become sick or injured. As society has broken down, in the worst cases, hunger, homelessness and terror have replaced school for some of these young people. We cannot allow this to continue unchecked; the lives of too many children are at stake. "

The research by the Bahcesehir University also reveals the extent to which children have been affected by war, with nearly one third of children surveyed saying that they had been separated from members of their families due to the conflict. Three quarters of those surveyed had experienced the death of a close friend or family member. Many are showing signs of emotional difficulties as they struggle to come to terms with their experiences.

Save the Children, which is providing humanitarian relief in Syria and neighboring countries, is calling for all parties to the conflict to allow unfettered, safe access to populations in need and to ensure that everything is done to bring the fighting to an end.

It welcomes pledges to fund the $1.5 billion humanitarian appeal for Syria, and calls on governments to urgently deliver the money, which is designed to target aid both inside the stricken country and to refugees living on Syria”s borders.

To shine a light of solidarity for the children of Syria, Save the Children is planning a series of vigils in 21 countries around the world on Thursday, March 14th to mark two years of conflict in Syria. The real-life vigils will be complemented by a virtual vigil amplified by a “thunderclap" — a single, coordinated message that will synchronize social media with a united voice of support for the #SyriaCrisis. Virtual supporters can simply sign up to synchronize their own messages on Facebook and Twitter.

Follow Save the Children on Twitter and Facebook.


About the girl in the photo: Sana* is three years old and fled Syria with her mother and three sisters. An increasingly brutal civil war is tearing Syria apart. One million people have now fled Syria and are sheltering in neighbouring countries. Read her story.

This is actually horrific! The bodies of at least 80 young men and boys, all executed with a single gunshot to the head or neck, have been found in a river in the Syrian city of Aleppo, a watchdog and rebels said.

The London-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said at least 65 bodies were found in the Quweiq River, which separates the Bustan al-Qasr district from Ansari in the southwest of the city, but that the toll could rise significantly.

A Free Syrian Army fighter at the scene said the death toll is higher, pointing out that many more bodies were still being dragged from the water, in a rebel-held area.

"Until now we have recovered 68 bodies, some of them just teens," said Captain Abu Sada, adding that all of them had been "executed by the regime."

Read more here…

Seven people so far have died in Homs after they inhaled a “poisonous gas” used by government forces in a rebel-held neighbourhood, activists said.

Activists also told Al Jazeera on Sunday night that scores of others were affected in al-Bayyada neighbourhood. Side effects reported include nausea, relaxed muscles, blurred vision, and breathing difficulties.

Residents said they did not know the nature of the gas used.

"The situation is very difficult. We do not have enough facemasks. We don’t know what this gas is but medics are saying it’s something similar to Sarin gas," Raji Rahmet Rabbou, an activist in Homs, told Al Jazeera.

A doctor treating patients subsequently said the gas seemed to be a concentrated form of tear gas that has not been used in Homs before. Inhaling large amounts can lead to suffocation and death, he said.

The gas appears to have been used during a battle with rebel fighters.

We received the following videos from a field clinic in the city: (WARNING - some viewers may find scenes in these videos to be disturbing or upsetting)

Follow @tweets4peace for more updates on this story.

They died in front of our eyes - families blown to pieces in Aleppo…The face of ten-year-old Kausa al-Kayali was still pretty, a large bundle of thick black hair matted with dust falling over a snub-nosed face, patched red and black by the blast that killed her. Her head was attached to a torso that ended at her stomach. There was nothing else.

The Daily Telegraph’s Richard Spencer reports from Aleppo where he was just yards from the scene of the latest tragedy in Syria after missiles fired by Bashar al-Assad’s air force wiped out 11 women and children.


Mustafa Tamimi, murdered in cold blood by the Israeli army.

We will never forgive. We will never forget. 

Linah Alsaafin (left) with Ola Tamimi (center) sister of Mustafa Tamimi who was shot on the 9th of December, 2011 at close range by the Israeli military in Nabi Saleh village, Palestine (Anne Paq / ActiveStills )

“Mustafa’s sister was screaming his name. I saw Mustafa. I saw the blood, the big pool of dark red blood. I saw the blood dripping from his head to the ground as they carried him and put him in a taxi, since the ambulance was nowhere to be found. I saw other the tear-streaked faces of other activists, and all I felt was numbness.

Mustafa’s sister Ola was still screaming, so I put my arms around her as she buried her head in my chest. I was babbling, “It’s ok, he’s gonna be fine, it’s ok” but she kept on screaming. Her screams and the disturbing reactions of those around me made my legs numb. Ola then left to go to the watchtower where the taxi with her brother was, and my state of shock crumbled as I gasped out my tears in the arms of my friend.”

Read more:

We will never forgive. We will never forget. 

Palestinians gather on the rooftop of a building where construction was stopped. The building was bombed in January 2009 during Israel’s military offensive in Beit Lahiya, in the northern Gaza Strip.”

By: Bernat Armangue/Associated Press


A father wipes a tear away from his child’s face during a Medevac mission in southern Afghanistan’s Helmand province November 13, 2010. The child was injured by an explosion. REUTERS/Peter Andrews

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Muslims pray at the mass funeral for 613 newly-identified victims of the 1995 Srebrenica massacre attended by tens of thousands of mourners at the Potocari cemetery and memorial near Srebrenica


“Terrified young boys committed to a mental institution in central Bosnia have been abandoned by the nursing staff when the asylum came under intense Serbian shelling. They rock wildly to and fro screaming with terror with every shell impact to the building. The Children were left to fend for themselves without food or clothing, or any means of sanitation, for a week. The combination of teeth juddering exploding shells, high-pitched screams and the stench of defecation, urination, fear induced vomit from the children was one of the more upsetting situations that I have been in. If one is familiar with the Dutch artist Hieronymus Bosch’s work and his interpretation of hell, you are not far off the mark. 

Sebastian Rich Photography.

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