Halifax man with business dealings in Syria now under EU sanctions
A Halifax man who was the first person charged with violating Canada’s economic sanctions against Syria is now accused of violating the European Union’s sanctions as well.
Nader Kalai — a Syrian national with permanent residency in Canada — is known to be a close associate of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and his loyalists.
On Monday the European Union added Kalai to a list of individuals who are subject to travel bans and an asset freeze for their involvement with the Assad regime. EU citizens and businesses are also banned from making funds available to Kalai and others on the list.
This is what’s so great about diversity, we have Pro and Anti-Assad factions operating in Canada!
The death of a Syrian activist in a brutal killing in Hamburg has raised questions over whether he was targeted for his opposition to the regime of president Bashar al-Assad.
Mohamed Joune was found on a busy Hamburg street on Wednesday evening covered in blood. One of his fingers had been cut off and he had multiple injuries to his face and body. According to local reports he appeared to have been attacked with an axe. He was rushed to hospital but later died of his injuries.
The 48-year-old was found in the street outside the offices of the Union of Syrians Abroad, a non-profit organisation he ran to provide humanitarian support to victims of the civil war in Syria, and to offer support to Syrian refugees living outside the country.
Four US soldiers were killed and three injured in a suicide bombing targeting US-led coalition forces in the northern Syrian city of Manbij on Wednesday.
Britain-based war monitor, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, said 16 people, civilians and US servicemen, were killed in the attack.
A US official confirmed the death of four and injury of three American soldiers in the blast.
“The president has been fully briefed and we will continue to monitor the ongoing situation in Syria,” White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said in a statement, referring questions to the US Department of Defense.
John Bolton, the US National Security adviser, said on Sunday that American soldiers would not leave Syria until there was an assurance from Turkey that Kurds in the north of the country would be safe.
In what appeared to indicate a slowdown of the withdrawal, announced hastily by Donald Trump last month, Mr Bolton said the US leader is seeking a commitment from Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the Turkish president, that the American allies would be protected.
Speaking to journalists travelling with him in Israel prior to a meeting with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, he said that this was one of several conditions that must first be met before troops were brought home.
U.S. President Donald Trump has said U.S. forces will withdraw from Syria “over a period of time,” insisting he wants to protect U.S.-backed Kurdish fighters battling the Islamic State (IS) extremist group.
Trump did not provide a timetable for the planned withdrawal of roughly 2,000 U.S. troops in Syria, which he announced last month against the advice of many top security advisers and reportedly without consulting lawmakers or U.S. allies involved in operations against IS militants.
During a Cabinet meeting at the White House in front of reporters on January 2, Trump said he had never discussed a reported four-month timetable for the withdrawal of U.S. troops.
Under cover of darkness, Maysoon al-Masri and her husband began their march towards the border with the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights.
Masri was the head of the women’s division in southern Syria of the White Helmets, the rescue organization that has saved thousands of people from under the rubble of homes after Russian and Syrian government airstrikes.
Now she is now in Canada, along with dozens of other rescue volunteers who fled Syria earlier this year, as the noose of Bashar al-Assad’s forces tightened around them.
This is great, now they can fight with the Pro-Assad Syrians resident in Canada. That’s vibrant multiculturalism.
Pro- Assad Demonstration Queen’s Park Toronto, 2011
The pullout from Syria is an occasion for just as much confusion as our entrance was. We are told that America’s presence is necessary to protect the Kurds from our NATO ally Turkey. Americans who are suspicious of the Syrian mission are told that we are still fighting ISIS there and that any chance of regime change in Damascus sailed away long ago. The Assad regime’s sponsors are Iran and Russia, and they are not interested in fighting ISIS, it is said. Okay then, so the United States is fighting ISIS only and has stopped dreaming of regime change in Damascus, but then when Donald Trump pulls out he’s accused of “handing a victory to Iran.” Or giving a gift to Vladimir Putin.
In other words, if you were skeptical of the mission, you are told that American intervention was now strictly limited to fighting one enemy, ISIS, and assisting one friend in certain zones. If you were enthusiastic for America in Syria, you are told that Trump’s withdrawal amounts to a total retreat in the face of every geopolitical rival on earth. This tiny force of 4,000 Americans is pursuing a modest objective in a few specified regions of Northern Syria. Also, since you’re asking, the whole mother-flipping liberal world order depends on it.
“Trump Criticized For Breaking With Longstanding American Tradition Of Remaining In Middle Eastern Countries Indefinitely,” joked the Babylon Bee upon the news President Donald Trump is bringing troops home from Syria, but the joke wasn’t far from the truth at all.
The news deeply angered the Washington foreign policy consensus, which argues that troops should stay in the region indefinitely even though the stated mission of defeating ISIS has been accomplished.
Unlike my colleagues, I’ve been a bemused spectator during this week’s Syria follies. As readers of these columns know (see, e.g., here, here, here, here, and here), I believe the United States has less interest in Syria than in the persistence of drought in Burkina Faso. That is why I was a steadfast naysayer on American intervention in a conflict among rivals whose common ground consists of hatred for America and affinity for sharia supremacism (and the abetting thereof — I’m looking at you, Vladimir).