the battle for syria

BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA. Sarajevo. December 14, 2016. A Bosnian woman holds a banner during a solidarity rally. Up to a thousand people gathered in Sarajevo, a city that became synonymous with civilian suffering during the Balkan wars of 1990′s, to express solidarity with the civilian victims of Aleppo.

Photograph: Amel Emric/AP

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The Great Battle launched by the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) to liberate Raqqa of Daesh (ISIS) invasion is on its 100th day. There are intense clashes in Raqqa city center between SDF fighters and Daesh gangs.

The Shengal Women’s Units (YJŞ) and Women’s Defense Units (YPJ) have planted flags in the center of the city together. Fighters say Raqqa will soon be fully liberated.

Bijî berxwedana YPJ’ê” u “Bijî berxwedana YJŞ’ê.

The works that inspired Conan the Barbarian

I already did one of these for King Kong. Conan came out so long ago that the pop culture that influenced him is mostly forgotten and downright prehistoric.


Tros of Samothrace by Talbot Mundy (1929)

A swashbuckling sea captain from the Greek island of Samothrace who opposes the sinister, debauched, and cruel Julius Caesar and his Roman Empire, Tros of Samothrace is, like Conan, a black haired ball of muscle who’s primary occupation is naval freebooting, who’s defining character traits are pride and a desire for freedom and personal independence above all else, and his chief hobbies include refusing to bow to powerful people and laughing at backstabbing enemies from treacherous civilized empires. 

Like Conan, Tros takes pride in being from a kingdom that was never conquered, even into Roman times. Also like Conan, he has allies in a persecuted and secretive religious minority like the ones that save King Conan’s life in “The Hour of the Dragon,” as Tros works with an eccentric religious order from his native island (the Mystery Cult of Samothrace). Because the Tros stories had the Romans as the “bad guys,” they were immensely controversial to the Adventure pulp readership, though this element must have delighted Robert E. Howard, an anti-imperialist who wanted Irish independence, who went on to have debauched, backstabbing Roman-style enemies in Conan, Kull, and Bran Mak Morn.


Khlit the Cossack By Harold Lamb (1917)

A Cossack hero from 16th Century Ukraine who starred in 21 stories and novels from 1917-1926 in the most famous pulp mag of all, Adventure, Khlit the Cossack, his Turkish curved scimitar in hand, found the lost tomb of Genghis Khan, rescued the son of the Emperor of China, battled the original Assassins in Syria, and killed a tyrannical impostor of the Czar in Russia. He had all kinds of adventures with Tartars, Afghans, and Indians.

A big part of Conan is the setting, which is steeped in orientalism and the exotic east, and Harold Lamb’s body of work was to the steppes of central Asia what Jimmy Buffett is to the tropics (his best known work is a biography of Genghis Khan). In fact, in one fascinating little bigraphical tidbit, Lamb was even an agent for US Intelligence during World War II in Iran.

Edgar Rice Burroughs’s Tarzan

 To Howard fans, bringing up the many obvious similarities to Tarzan and the work of Edgar Rice Burroughs is kind of like one of those secrets everyone knows but nobody has the bad taste to discuss out loud, kind of like when you know someone at the office is an alcoholic. The reaction is usually like a little kid blurting out a family secret at Christmas dinner. 

The most ERB-like of all the Conan stories is “Red Nails,” a story about that most ERB-esque of topics, a crumbling lost city of immense antiquity found in a jungle inhabited by prehistoric creatures, who’s natives immediately try to make Tarzan – uh, Conan, sorry – their first victim of ritual human sacrifice. Likewise, Howard considered ERB’s “Gods of Mars” his favorite book (and said so in many letters) and borrowed ERB’s cynical take on priests and gods in that book, where they were impenetrable, unremovable conspiracies ruling traditionalist ancient societies, and who were not true believers at all.

SYRIA. Aleppo governorate. Aleppo. September 20, 2012. A wounded woman still in shock leaves Dar El Shifa hospital. Dozens of Syrian civilians were killed, four children among them, in artillery shelling by Syrian government forces in the northern Syrian town.

This picture was part of a larger portfolio of images from Syria by AP photographers that won the 2013 Pulitzer Prize.

Photograph: Manu Brabo/AP

In pictures: South Korea's Sewol ferry emerges from the sea nearly three years after it sank

The wreckage of a 6,800-ton South Korean ferry has emerged from the sea nearly three years after it capsized and sank, killing 304 people – most of them children on a school trip. The Sewol passenger ferry sank off the coast of Jindo island on 16 April 2014, touching off an outpouring of national grief and soul searching about public safety and regulatory failures.

Salvage workers started to bring up the vessel, which had been lying on its side at a depth of 44 metres (144 feet), late on Wednesday (22 April), rolling up 66 cables connected to a frame of metal beams divers had spent months putting beneath the ferry. At around 4am, the blue-and-white right side of ferry, rusty, scratched and coated in mud and sediment, emerged for the first time in more than 1,000 days.

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By about 7am the ferry had been raised enough for workers to climb on it and further fasten it to the barges. Once Sewol is raised to the desired point, salvage crews will then load the ferry onto a semi-submersible, heavy-lift vessel that will carry it to a mainland port. The loading process, including emptying the ferry of water and fuel, is expected to take days.

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The bodies of 295 passengers were recovered after the vessel sank, but nine are still missing. Relatives, some of whom who are watching from two fishing boats just outside the operation area, are hoping that those remains will be found inside the ferry.

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SYRIA. Aleppo governorate. Aleppo. March 9, 2017. Mohammed Mohiedin Anis, or Abu Omar, 70, smokes his pipe as he sits in his destroyed bedroom, listening to music on his hand-cranked gramophone in the city’s formerly rebel-held al-Shaar neighbourhood. Anis had recently returned to Aleppo, with plans to rebuild not only his home, but his large collection of vintage American cars, despite everything being reduced to wreckage and rubble. When reporters asked him about the gramophone, he responded “I will play it for you, but first, I have to light my pipe. Because I never listen to music without it.”

Photograph: Joseph Eid/AFP/Getty

anonymous asked:

What Trump is doing is really fucked up but it rings a little hollow when Democrats (not you, in general I mean) act outraged about it while they said nothing when Obama began illegally bombing Syria in September with Congress authorisation or when Hillary said she would bomb Syria’s airbases.

President Obama ordered airstrikes against ISIS targets in Syria; President Trump ordered airstrikes on Syrian military targets. There’s a big difference between bombing terrorists operating out of Syria (terrorists who were themselves battling the Syrian government) and bombing Syria itself. It’s important to note the differences – and that’s not even a criticism of Trump’s orders because I’m withholding my judgment on these recent actions until we see what steps the United States takes next in the region.

It’s also very important to note recognize that President Obama sought Congressional support for attacking the Syrian regime back in 2013, but Congress refused that support because they felt it was more important to try to score political points and hopefully make Obama look weak as opposed to taking dynamic action against a brutal Syrian regime that was slaughtering its own people.

Like I said, the Trump Administration’s actions weren’t necessarily wrong – something has needed to be done in Syria against the Assad regime – but it’s ridiculous for GOP members of Congress to completely lay the blame for inaction on President Obama when Congress desperately punted away Obama’s 2013 attempt to take action against Syria with Congressional support. 

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Battle damage assessment image of Shayrat Airfield, Syria, following U.S. Tomahawk land attack missile strikes April 7, 2017 from the USS Ross (DDG 71) and USS Porter (DDG 78), Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyers.

SYRIA. Aleppo governorate. Aleppo. October 3, 2012. A Syrian man cries while holding the body of his son near Dar El Shifa hospital. The boy was killed by Syrian army shelling.

This picture was part of a larger portfolio of images from Syria by AP photographers that won the 2013 Pulitzer Prize.

Photograph: Manu Brabo/AP

Gundam Wing World Map: Episodes 1-17

The following map shows the travel routes and activity of the five Gundam pilots and the traveling circus group. This does not show activities of other characters, though.

THE PROJECT

First, I took this map:

and promptly took a look at all the Japanese and went “NOPE. IMMA DO IT LATER”. I instead color coded the pilots’ routes. I didn’t color the circus route, because I was dealing with a new and strange program (Microsoft Visio) and couldn’t be bothered to fumble my way through it again. So we have this:

01 (Heero) is red, 02 (Duo) is green, 03 (Trowa) is yellow, 04 (Quatre) is blue, and 05 (Wufei) is orange.

Now, what follows is the map completely translated. The routes for each pilot are separated and their activities are in numbered order. You can match the numbers on their lists below to the numbers on the map. Aso included in the following list are “other locations”, or places that are written on the map, but may not have been visited by our pilots.

Some locations weren’t given exact names, just names of regions. The “Yangtze River Estuary”, for example, so a rough estimation was made based on current world locations (assuming these named locations still exist in the AC timeline). Some locations were just a dot on the map with few identifying words and no identifying landmarks, so a guess was made. The Maganac base, for example, is just a dot in in the Middle East, so I had to guess, based on current 2015 maps, where the base may be located.

RESULTS!

Who was the busiest pilot during episodes 1-17? Drumroll please…Trowa Barton, with 14 locations! Who took his sweet time deciding his missions? Duo Maxwell with 8 locations. Who was the most erratic and all over the place? Mr Chang Wufei who circled the globe, jumping around in one continuous path and visited nearly every continent except South America, Australia, and Antarctica and was a pain to write out since he didn’t really meet up with the others much.

Read further for each pilots’ detailed itineraries:

Keep reading

It is hard to explain what is happening in Aleppo, it is difficult to comprehend and understand, it is difficult to get accurate information, but this is what is clear - Aleppo is burning. The city has been the epicentre of a largely ignored humanitarian crisis that was sparked by the Syrian Civil War in 2012, and has raged ever since. Over 400,000 people have been killed during the war, many of which were civilians, and tens of thousands of which were children. Only a fraction of the city’s population remains, those who did not flee, were either killed, or have fought for survival until this moment. Yesterday, the battle of Aleppo reportedly ended, Russia stopped bombing and Syria called a truce with rebels, but this morning, fierce fighting has resumed. While both sides claim the moral high ground, the toll it has taken on innocent civilians is undeniable. I don’t know what the answer is, I don’t know what we can do to stop the violence, but I do know it must end. I stand with the children of Aleppo, the innocents, the victims of a war that they did not want. I stand with the people who have lost it all but remain hopeful. I am not a religious man, so maybe ‘pray’ isn’t the right word, but I pray for peace for the children of Aleppo, and the children of Syria as a whole.

SYRIA. Aleppo governorate. Aleppo. 2012. A rebel sniper aims at a Syrian army position in the Jedida district.

This picture was part of a larger portfolio of images from Syria by AP photographers that won the 2013 Pulitzer Prize.

Photograph: Narciso Contreras/AP

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Female Commando Battalion (which is part of the Bashar al-Assad’s Syrian Army) T-72 tank crew.

The battalion was established in the summer of 2014 and consists of around 800 female volunteer fighters to work alongside the Syrian Army in its battle against opposition forces.