innocent syrians

My heart breaks for Syrians who have been in war for so long. Children who have grown without knowing anything else. Children who didn’t get to live. People who have seen their country destroyed. Thousands and thousands of lives lost. And so many of us don’t even know half of it, we’re so uninformed. But the US bombing them is bound to make things worse, and it’s so unfair that some people are *just* beginning to worry because it might affect them. We’re so fucking privileged and most of the time, we take that for granted. 

On Tuesday, the world learned the name of Khan Sheikhoun, a town in Idlib, Syria, after government forces used what was likely a chemical bomb containing a nerve agent on innocent civilians. Between 70 and 100 people, including dozens of children, were killed in the attack and as many as 500 were injured. Witnesses described the horrors of the aftermath - much too graphic for me to write here. But this is nothing new, it is not the first time President Bashar al-Assad has slaughtered innocent civilians, especially children, in his own country. It is not the first time he has left people laying on the ground foaming at the month until death from use of illegal chemical weapons. It is not the first time the world has been shocked by images from within Syria. It is not the first time global leaders have spoken out and condemned this sort of barbaric extermination… Yet it continues. For 6 years, this war has raged, a war officially between the government and a rebel army, but it is hard to see this as anything besides a war on the innocent Syrian people. The toll is impossible to calculate to an exact number, but most estimates indicate more than 200,000 innocent people, including more than 50,000 children, have been killed to date, and almost 5,000,000 have been displaced. I don’t have the answer, I don’t know what should be done or even what could be attempted, I can’t tell you who did what and recall every detail, but I know one thing, no matter the intricacies, it must stop. Syria is one of several points on this planet which holds the history, known and unknown, of our species, it was once an epicentre of art, discovery, and science - perhaps the oldest civilization besides Mesopotamia, yet it is being destroyed as if it were nothing more than a piece of trash. A jewel in world history has been reduced to ruins. And that is just the past, the future is being decimated as well. With each traumatic injury, with each innocent fatality, the light of Syria’s future weakens. It will take hundreds of years, multiple generations, for Syria to overcome the current suffering, and the scars of today’s battles may never heal. If only we’d think of the children, there is nothing a child could do to deserve the nightmares of war, nothing a child could do to deserve anything close. Adults create war, adults create the weapons that kill, adults create the politics and the fighting, adults create power and money, adults are the cause of and reason for mass conflict, but they do not bear the greatest loss here, it is the children that do. Like I said, I don’t know the answer, I am not even sure of the question, but the motivation to end this all is clear - the innocent children of Syria. My heart aches and shatters for Syrians in the war zone and across the world, I can’t imagine your pain so I won’t even pretend to understand, but I hope you still believe in the goodness of humanity, I hope you still find reason to carry on, and I hope one day, Syria can again be an epicentre of civilization. Most of all, I hope you find safety, and your loved ones find safety. Whether it is peace in Syria or a new home until the fighting ends, I hope you find stability and safety. 

I definitely think you can care about all the innocent people in Syria who have to face war and terrorism without allowing refugees into your country by the millions.

Caring about people is extremely important, but when something poses a potential threat to you, like ISIS and radical Islamic members using refugee crowds as a vessel to come into Europe, you have the right to want to protect yourself first, and think of alternative and safer ways to help the innocent Syrians who are in danger.

Trump Doctrine: call for an air strike as a response to a problem you helped to create

First: Trump, Tillerson and the state department announce that they were going to lessen their focus on Syria. (In fact, for years Trump has spoken out against US involvement with Syria under Obama)

Second: very soon after it is announced that the US won’t be as focused on Assad and will leave his fate as a leader to Syrians, there is a deadly chemical attack on Syrian people.

Third: trump launches military strike against Syria as a response. There is a vagueness around whether or not there will be more strikes and no current plan to actually protect innocent Syrian people.

theguardian.com
'It felt like the heavens were falling': Afghans reel from Moab impact
Locals describe the moment the ‘mother of all bombs’ was dropped, as critics question the wisdom of deploying the weapon
By Sune Engel Rasmussen

After his evening prayers, Mohammad Shahzadah closed the house gates and sat down for dinner. Then the blast came, engulfing the sky in flames and sending tremors through the ground.

“The earth felt like a boat in a storm,” Shahzadah said. “I thought my house was being bombed. Last year a drone strike targeted a house next to mine, but this time it felt like the heavens were falling. The children and women were very scared.”

The US dropped its largest non-nuclear bomb ever used in combat on eastern Afghanistan on Thursday in another dramatic show of military force by the Trump administration.

The GBU-43/B, colloquially known as the “mother of all bombs” or Moab, targeted tunnels and bunkers in Achin district in Nangarhar province, built by fighters loyal to Islamic State who also kept prisoners there.

A GPS-guided demolition bomb with an explosive yield equivalent to 11 tonnes of TNT, it explodes above ground with a radius of more than a mile.

The bomb was dropped in the mountains close to Moman village in an area called Asadkhel. About 1.5 miles away, in Shaddle Bazar where Shahzadah lives, the impact was palpable.

“My ears were deaf for a while. My windows and doors are broken. There are cracks in the walls,” he said.

The US military said it had killed 36 militants. The following morning around 9am, fighter jets strafed the area, a local police commander, Baaz Jan, said.

“We don’t know who was killed yesterday or this morning. But there is confusion and fear in the radio chats we are intercepting. There is limited communication among Isis fighters,” he said.

A local security official said they had requested a large strike because fighter jets and drones had failed to the destroy the tunnel complex.

The top US commander in Afghanistan, General John Nicholson, told reporters in Kabul that the decision to drop the bomb was made in Afghanistan, not in Washington, DC. “Since early March, we’ve been conducting offensive operations into southern Nangarhar,” Nicholson said. “However, this was the first time we encountered an extensive obstacle to our progress.”

Some observers, however, questioned the necessity of deploying a weapon of that scale against a group whose estimated 600 to 800 fighters pose only a limited threat to the Afghan state.

“There is no doubt that Isis are brutal and that they have committed atrocities against our people. But I don’t see why the bomb was dropped,” said the mayor of Achin, Naweed Shinwari. “It terrorised our people. My relatives thought the end of the world had come. Every day fighter jets, helicopters and drones are in the area.”

The US had sustained an air campaign to eradicate Isis in eastern Afghanistan for more than a year, and according to Borhan Osman, an Isis expert with the Afghanistan Analysts Network, it had already been effective.

“Isis was on the brink of losing their stronghold. It didn’t seem like there was a need for such a dramatic military measure,” he said.

Western security reports show that two days of regular airstrikes from 7 to 9 April killed 58 Isis militants.

“The greater threat to the government is the Taliban, but the US is fixated on this minor splinter group because, unlike the Taliban, the Isis group wants to destabilize the region,” said a western diplomat.

He speculated that the US was trying to send a message to countries in the region “that we’re all fighting the same enemy together”, but said the attack could erode US prestige among its allies.

“A basic tenet of international humanitarian law is the principle of distinction. You’re supposed to know what you’re hitting, and it’s not clear that any such targeting is possible with the Moab,” he said.

If the intention was to “shock and awe” Isis fighters and deter recruitment, Osman said he doubted it would be effective.

“Making such big news out of a small organisation, and countering this threat with such a huge measure could indeed make them look more attractive. One of the grounds on which Isis is building its recruitment drive is to say they are fighting the big enemy, the Americans.

“The more it can drive them to the battle, the more successful they are in recruiting anti-western radicals,” he said.

In an attempt to mock the US, an official Isis outlet, Khilafah News, distributed photos on the Telegram messaging app shortly after the bombing of its fighters supposedly continuing daily life in Achin.

The Taliban, who are rivals of Isis, condemned the attack, which the group called an act of “terrorism”.

The Kabul government praised the strike, but Afghanistan’s former president Hamid Karzai denounced it, as did Afghanistan’s envoy to Pakistan, Omar Zakhilwal. It was “reprehensible and counterproductive,” Zakhilwal said on Twitter.

Hours before Thursday’s bombing, the top US commander in Afghanistan, Gen John Nicholson, visited Nangarhar with the Afghan president’s national security adviser, minister of defence and intelligence chief.

The strike was closely coordinated with Afghan soldiers and special forces, and tribal elders had been informed to evacuate civilians, the district chief of Achin, Ismail Shinwari, said.

Sanat, a resident of Moman village, said he didn’t think any civilians were left in the area, but an MP from Nangarhar, Esmatullah Shinwari, said locals had told him a teacher and his young son had been killed.

As clearing operations continued into Friday, it was not possible to confirm casualties.

Donald Trump is not the first US president to bring heavy weapons down on Isis in Afghanistan. Last year, under Barack Obama, the US military deployed B-52s, which pack a payload three times greater than the Moab.

Javid Kohistani, a military analyst in Kabul, questioned the wisdom of such measures. “Isis has killed thousands of innocent Iraqis and Syrians. Why are they not dropping the bomb there? Why use it in Nangarhar?” he said.

To eradicate terrorism in Afghanistan, he said, the US should target the source of its finances and support. “The Trump government should put more pressure on Pakistan,” he said.

The Syrian Civil War has been happening since 2011. It has been 5 years of fighting and no one has helped. The rest of the world has just watched as hundreds of thousands of lives have perished under the rule of an evil dictator. Now the city of Aleppo, hub of the rebel army, is falling. 98% is now under control of the Syrian Army. They are killing civilians on the streets at gun point. They are bombing neighborhoods. Genocide is happening in the Middle East and still no one has interfered. The residents themselves know that in just a matter of time they will be eliminated. You have no idea how much my heart is hurting right now. I’m crying. I should’ve done more. This is the 21st century and somehow we can still sit by watching as a government kills its innocent people.

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Earlier today I decided to speak on my families experience of war. The day that the British government decided to vote with a 174 majority in favour of sending airstrikes to Syria. The airstrikes have already been completed, one four/five hours after the vote. And there’s many more to come.

As an Iraqi it pains me to watch this endless suffering. To watch innocent Syrian civilians have to suffer the brunt of actions they did not commit in Paris. I hope my words help those who feel comfortable to demand for airstrikes in Syria, even though they lived thousands of kilometres away, to rethink their painful violent arrogance. These are people. People who are going to be killed.

List of a few things Somalis do to raise awareness for Arab social issues:

-promote the use of certain hashtags in order to raise awareness for a specific topic (everyday)

- attend or host a university event that focuses strictly on Arab issues in the Middle East (2-4hrs)

- Somali shakyhs spending a good portion of the khutbah discussing the issues rising in the Arab world and how we as Somalis can help because they are “our brothers and sisters”.

- establish bake sales in order to fundraise money for Arab refuges or Arab NGOs that provide for only the Arab population ($1000-2000 in monthly sales)

- Sacrifice young Somali men to Syria in order to die as martyr whilst fighting for innocent Syrians (300+ monthly)

List of all the things Arabs do in order to raise awareness for Somali social issues:

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One American is killed by ISIS and people are going crazy. What about the thousands of innocent Iraqis & Syrians that were killed over the past few years?

What happened to James Foley is barbaric, not because he is American, but because he is innocent. Just like the people of Iraq & Syria who are being told to ‘convert to Islam or die!’ Innocent people are being killed and their nationality should be irrelevant.

Wake up and smell the bloodshed America. ISIS need to be stopped.

I received this notification from CNN, and I’m absolutely torn… All I can think about is the innocent civilians who are going to lose their lives, and how they have no where to go since many countries are denying entrance to them.

The thing is, people do not understand the physical and psychological effects of war on civilians because they’ve never been through a real war (by they I mean Western civilians in this generation). For us Westerners, we’ve been fortunate enough to never deal with war at home. We cannot even imagine how it must be to have bombs dropping from the sky everyday and nowhere to go.

People do not understand that Isis was created because of the hatred that arose after America invaded Iraq. The civilians of Iraq where raped, murdered, tortured, and bombed for 8 years. Even if a handful of major terrorists died, that has absolutely no effect on the terrorist group because there’s a hierarchy of terrorism, it’s a never ending chain; the leader dies, and then there is someone else to take over.

People also do not understand that this is EXACTLY what Isis wants! They have clearly said that they have no interest of entering Western countries, but THEY WANT Western countries to enter them. Isis members are willing to die for their “cause”, so if they’re killed by a Kafir (Arabic word for disbeliever) it’s actually a good thing in their eyes and they believe they’ll get “sent to heaven”.

But what about the thousands and thousands of civilians that are vulnerable and were oppressed by Isis? Why do they have to suffer? Innocent civilians are LEGALLY murdered, and hatred increases amongst the remaining civilians. It’s a never ending cycle of hatred, lust for revenge, and war. Isis tells the remaining family members, “You see! Western countries are your enemies! They’ve killed your parents/siblings/kids. We’ve been telling you all along! Join us so we can get revenge for our families and country.” Plus, Isis aims to recruit people who are unemployed and have no means of supporting their family, hence desperate members are enticed. Many Isis members join and are willing to die for their ‘cause’ just so their family has money for school, food, and other basic necessities. Also, since many countries are now denying Syrian refugees a place in their land, the actual innocent Syrians fleeing from Isis have absolutely no where to go.

I really wish people understood the effects of war, and how all of this was created by war.

The people of Syria are in my deepest duas. May Allah grant Jannah to those innocent civilians. Ameen.

Christians of America, allow me, an Atheist, to quote a book for you which explains why we should welcome Syrians to our country as they flee ISIS. This book is one you all claim to know, so why is it that so many of you deny the core message?

Matthew 25:35-40

“For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’

Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’

The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.”

That quote is from your Bible, and is a story Jesus, a Middle Eastern man himself, tells followers to explain how God will one day separate the true believers from the false. You can go to church this Sunday and be the first one in the door, you can be the one praying the loudest, you can be the one everyone looks to as an ideal Christian… But if you dare deny innocent Syrians refuge, you are nothing but a fraud. Your irrational and prejudice fears do not revoke the words you claim to live by.

I’m so sad to hear about the poor American hostage killed in the air strikes in Syria. But you know what pisses me off about the media? They only mentioned her. 

There was not a single mention of the innocent Syrians who were also killed in those air strikes. Why does the media only value the life of the poor American girl, and not the Syrians?

Those people matter as much as she does.