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Showing posts from May 4, 2015

Syrian army advances in eastern Damascus

DAMASCUS, May 3 (Xinhua) -- The Syrian army on Sunday wrested back control over an important town in eastern countryside of capital Damascus, cutting a key rebel supply route, according to the official SANA news agency.

The government forces captured town of Maidaa' and its surrounding orchards in east of Damascus, said SANA, adding that the town served as a supply route for rebels between the hotbed towns of Douma and Dumair.

Meanwhile, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the Syrian troops were advancing in the outskirts of Eastern Ghouta near Dumair.

It said the troops captured large swathes of Maidaa' after clashes with jihadist groups in the area amid reports of losses on both sides.

The UK-based watchdog group said the battles were coupled with shelling from both sides.

Clashes also went on in the surrounding of Zabdin, another town in Eastern Ghouta.

Eastern Ghouta, an agricultural region in east of Damascus, has emerged as a threat to the capital due to the large num…

S. Arabia bombs Yemen with US-supplied cluster bombs – HRW

An expended BLU-108 canister from a CBU-105 Sensor Fuzed Weapon found in the al-Amar area of al-Safraa, Saada governorate, in northern Yemen on April 17, 2015. (image from

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The Saudi Arabia-led coalition is using US-supplied cluster munitions in its airstrikes on Houthi forces in Yemen, Human Rights Watch reported. Targets include those close to villages, posing a threat from undetonated submunitions to civilians.

In recent weeks the coalition has used cluster bombs in Yemen’s northern Saada governorate, a region bordering Saudi Ararbia, which is historically controlled by the rebels, HRW said.

“These weapons should never be used under any circumstances. Saudi Arabia and other coalition members – and the supplier, the US – are flouting the global standard that rejects cluster munitions because of their long-term threat to civilians,” said Steve Goose, arms director at Human Rights Watch.

A BLU-108 canister with four submunitions still attached f…

Who is Bombing Whom in the Middle East?

By Robert Fisk

 Let me try to get this right. The Saudis are bombing Yemen because they fear the Shia Houthis are working for the Iranians. The Saudis are also bombing Isis in Iraq and the Isis in Syria. So are the United Arab Emirates. The Syrian government is bombing its enemies in Syria and the Iraqi government is also bombing its enemies in Iraq. America, France, Britain, Denmark, Holland, Australia and – believe it or not – Canada are bombing Isis in Syria and Isis in Iraq, partly on behalf of the Iraqi government (for which read Shia militias) but absolutely not on behalf of the Syrian government.

The Jordanians and Saudis and Bahrainis are also bombing Isis in Syria and Iraq because they don’t like them, but the Jordanians are bombing Isis even more than the Saudis after their pilot-prisoner was burned to death in a cage. The Egyptians are bombing parts of Libya because a group of Christian Egyptians had their heads chopped off by what might – notionally – be the same so-called I…