Archive for January 5th, 2015

Turkish NGOs provide winter aid to Syrians in Lebanon

04 January 2015 Sunday

Two Turkish NGOs have provided winter aid to a large number of displaced Syrians living in Lebanon’s eastern province of Beqaa, an area that is known for its harsh weather conditions in the winter.

A delegation from the two NGOs – Sadakatası Dernegi and the Association of Lebanese and Turkish Youth – has visited several villages in Beqaa to check on the conditions of displaced Syrians amid extremely low weather temperatures and strong storms.

The delegation distributed “winter aid” to dozens of displaced Syrian and Turkmen families in the village of Durres, including blankets, shoes, clothes and fuel to be used for heating purposes.

“This is the first phase of winter aid for our Syrian brothers who are displaced in Lebanon,” Sadakatası Dernegi head Kemal Ozdal told The Anadolu Agency.

“It is part of a major Turkish campaign to provide relief for Syrians, both the internally displaced and the refugees in neighboring countries,” Ozdal said.

“Our visit to Beqaa and distribution of aid on Syrian families is part of a campaign that included other Lebanese regions.”

Head of Association of Lebanese and Turkish Youth Zeina al-Emari, for her part, told AA that “children are the most needy when it comes to aid, since the biting cold can cause serious damage to their health.”

“Our goals are purely humanitarian, away from any political leaning here or there,” al-Emari said, urging other NGOs to “provide more aid in this critical time, as living conditions of the refugees in Beqaa are severe and tragic.”

The number of displaced Syrians in Lebanon has exceeded 1.2 million, according to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.

Source: World Bulletin.


Army of Islam seizes Damascus suburb from rivals – monitor

04 January 2015 Sunday

Rebel fighters seized a suburb east of Damascus on Sunday after driving out a smaller rival insurgent group in deadly clashes, a monitoring group said, the latest example of rebel infighting in Syria’s nearly four-year conflict.

Fighters from the Army of Islam clashed with members of the Army of the Nation group in Douma, the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said. Both groups include Sunni Muslim fighters opposed to President Bashar al-Assad’s government, and the fighting is seen as more of a turf war than a conflict over ideology.

The Observatory, which gathers information from a network of sources in Syria, said several fighters were killed, without giving details. It added that the Army of Islam had detained many of its rival combatants.

The groups, part of a myriad of opposition factions in the war, have both fought the Syrian army as well as battling each other for control of Douma, a strategic suburb on one of the main roads linking the capital with Homs city further north.

The Army of Islam is powerful in the area and it clashed with armed residents in Douma in November after locals attacked the storehouses of an organisation close to the group, according to the Observatory.

Infighting has weakened groups battling pro-government forces. The majority of the rivalry has been in the north of the country and such confrontations in the south, were Damascus is situated, have been relatively rare.

Source: World Bulletin.