Afghanistan: 9 MSF staff killed, 37 people injured (19 were staff) in hospital US airstrike in Kunduz – Published 03 Oct 2015 1000z (GMT/UTC)

UPDATED 03 Oct 2015 10:55 GMT

Air strike kills MSF medical staff in Afghanistan

Nine Doctors Without Borders staff killed in bombing of hospital in Kunduz, as NATO admits it may have been involved.

Surviving MSF staff were in shock after the clinic in Kunduz sustained heavy damage in the bombardment [MSF/Al Jazeera]

Surviving MSF staff were in shock after the clinic in Kunduz sustained heavy damage in the bombardment [MSF/Al Jazeera]

Doctors Without Borders (MSF) says at least nine of its staff have been killed in an overnight bombing of a hospital in the embattled Afghan city of Kunduz.

Another 37 people were wounded in the attack, including 19 MSF staff, the medical charity organisation told Al Jazeera.

NATO said on Friday that a US air strike “may have” hit the hospital, which is run by the medical charity, adding that the attack may have resulted in collateral damage.

An MSF spokesperson told Al Jazeera that the death toll is likely to rise, as the “fluid situation at the clinic hampered information gathering.

“The bombing struck the dormitories of the hospital, which explains why we – so far – have only seen deaths among our staff and not among patients,” MSF spokesperson Dalila Mahdawi said.

The MSF hospital is seen as a key medical lifeline in the region, which has been running “beyond capacity” in recent days of fighting which saw the Taliban seize control of the provincial capital for several days.

“At 2:10 am (20:40 GMT) local time … the MSF trauma centre in Kunduz was hit several times during sustained bombing and was very badly damaged,” MSF said in a statement on Friday.

At the time of the bombing, 105 patients and their caretakers and more than 80 MSF international and national staff were present in the hospital, the charity said.

NATO investigation

NATO said in a statement that US forces conducted an air strike in Kunduz at 2:15am local time “against individuals threatening the force”.

“The strike may have resulted in collateral damage to a nearby medical facility. This incident is under investigation,” the statement said.

MSF said it gave the coordinates of the hospital to Afghan and US forces several times to avoid being caught in crossfire.

“As MSF does in all conflict contexts, these precise locations were communicated to all parties on multiple occasions over the past months, including most recently on 29 September,” according to MSF Afghanistan representatives.

The bombing reportedly continued for more than 30 minutes after US and Afghan military offices in Kabul and Washington were first informed.


Residents tell of suffering as battle for Kunduz rages


“MSF urgently seeks clarity on exactly what took place and how this terrible event could have happened,” MSF said.

The MSF trauma centre in Kunduz is the only medical facility in the region that can deal with major injuries.

Following the attack, the medical charity urged all parties involved in the violence to respect the safety of health facilities, patients and staff.

Speaking to Al Jazeera after the attack, Taliban spokesperson Zabiullah Mujahid said that no Taliban fighters were present in the hospital at the time of the air strike.

“We condemn the bombing on the hospital. It was an attack carried out on innocent people.” Zabiullah told Al Jazeera.

“Our mujahedeen (fighters) were not treated at the MSF trauma center due to prevailing military conditions. Such attacks by the US forces have taken place in Afghanistan for years now. This very attack has once again exposed the ruthless colors of the invaders to the Afghans,” he added.

MSF’s hospital is the only facility of its kind in the whole north-eastern region of Afghanistan [MSF]

However, Sediq Sediqqi, an Afghan interior ministry spokesperson, claimed the fighters were attacking security forces with gunfire and grenades from an area near the hospital.

“According to our information, the Taliban were hiding in the hospital building and the area around it while attacking the forces,” Sediqqi said.

“We are assessing and evaluating the collateral damage to the medical facility. However, in any case, the safety of the civilians comes first,” he added.

A caretaker at the hospital, who was severely injured in the air strike, told Al Jazeera that clinic’s medical staff did not favour any side the conflict.

“We are here to help and treat civilians,” Abdul Manar said.

“Several women and children are also killed in the strike. I could hear them screaming for help inside the hospital while it was set ablaze by the bombing. We are terrified and speechless.”

Battle for Kunduz

The development came a day after the Afghan government claimed it had successfully retaken parts of Kunduz from Taliban fighters who had controlled the strategic city since Monday.

The Taliban, however, claimed it remained in control of most of Kunduz, our correspondent said.

Kunduz is facing a humanitarian crisis, with thousands of civilians caught in the crossfire between government forces and Taliban fighters.

Precise losses in the fighting were not known, but health authorities said on Friday that at least 60 people have been killed and 400 wounded.

As fighting spreads in neighbouring Badakhshan, Takhar and Baghlan provinces, concerns are mounting that the seizure of Kunduz was merely the opening gambit in a new, bolder Taliban strategy to tighten the grip across northern Afghanistan.

Afghan forces, backed by NATO special forces and US air strikes, have been going from house to house in Kunduz in a bid to flush Taliban fighters out of the city.

Al Jazeera’s Qais Azimy, reporting from Puli Khumri, about 130km from Kunduz, said heavy fighting was ongoing in the centre of Kunduz.

“Sources inside the city are reporting heavy clashes between the Taliban and the Afghan army. There is no set frontline between the two sides so the fighting is from street to street at the moment.

“People inside the city are suffering. There is a shortage of food, water and electricity,” our correspondent said.

The Taliban’s offensive in Kunduz, their biggest tactical success since 2001, marks a major blow for Afghanistan’s Western-trained forces, who have largely been fighting on their own since last December.

Civilian and military casualties caused by NATO forces have been one of the most contentious issues in the 14-year campaign against the Taliban, provoking harsh public and government criticism.

US-led NATO forces ended their combat mission in Afghanistan last December, though a 13,000-strong residual force remains for training and counterterrorism operations.

But there has been an escalation in air strikes by NATO forces in recent months despite the drawdown.

Additional reporting by Shereena Qazi. Follow her on Twitter @ShereenaQazi

Source: Al Jazeera and agencies

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Jordan: MSF Reconstructive Surgery Hospital for War Victims Opens in Amman – Published 08 Sept 2015 1820z (GMT/UTC)

(Image: Enass Abu Khalaf-Tuffaha/MSF)

September 08, 2015

AMMAN, JORDAN—

Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) officially opened a newly upgraded reconstructive surgery hospital today in Amman to provide improved treatment to war-wounded patients from across the region.

MSF first established a specialized surgery project in Amman in 2006 to care for victims of the war in Iraq, which it later expanded to receive patients from Iraq, Gaza, Yemen, and Syria. This year, MSF enhanced the project by moving into another hospital structure and renovating it.

“In this new and expanded facility, our highly trained and specialized medical teams from the region are able to improve the quality of care provided to our patients,” said Marc Schakal, MSF head of mission in Amman. “Our highest patient numbers are currently from Syria, followed by Yemen and Iraq. The people of these countries have already witnessed and experienced so much suffering.”

The MSF Specialized Hospital for Reconstructive Surgery provides a comprehensive care package for its patients, which includes physiotherapy and psychosocial support alongside surgical interventions. Patients are also given accommodation, now available on site in the new location, and financial travel assistance to reach the hospital and return home after or in between treatments, if their care plan is staggered over time. Patients often arrive with a family member to assist their care and recovery if needed.

Since 2006, MSF has admitted more than 3,700 patients and conducted over 8,238 surgeries at its project in Amman. Cases are identified by a network of medical liaison officers in the patients’ countries of origin. However, these numbers represent only a very small fraction of the needs for specialized surgery in the region.

“While they may receive initial care for their wounds, our patients do not usually have access to such specialized surgical procedures in their home countries, which are mostly at war,” said Dr. Ashraf Al Bostanji, head surgeon. “These hard-to-reach services include orthopedic, maxillofacial, and plastic reconstructive surgery, which we provide at no cost to the patients and lower running costs than the private sector.”

The hospital is staffed by local and international experts in their fields.

“The surgical techniques adopted in this project are world-class,” said Dr. Ashraf. “For instance, our team conducts microsurgeries, which involves three main types of surgeries: free flaps, nerve grafting, and hand surgery. What makes this project stand out is implementing such a high level of technical expertise for war victims in the humanitarian medical field.”

MSF has conducted more than 134,620 physiotherapy procedures and 45,660 psychosocial sessions in Amman since 2006. Nahla Fadel, a patient from Iraq, arrived in 2013 and underwent 24 surgeries.

“When I arrived, the mobility of my severely burned hands was so limited that I couldn’t comb the hair of my child or even feed him,” she said. “Now, after two years of surgeries with MSF, my hand mobility is almost back to normal.”

MSF has been present in Jordan since 2006. In 2013 it set up a mother and child health care project in Irbid, which also offers mental health support, and an emergency trauma project in Ramtha close to the Syrian border.

MSF also runs clinics in Irbid for noncommunicable diseases and a step-down unit in Zaatari camp for Syrian refugees. For the past two years it has been sending medical donations including surgical kits to health care facilities in the South of Syria.

MSF is an international, independent, medical humanitarian organization that delivers emergency aid to people affected by armed conflict, epidemics, natural disasters, and exclusion from health care. MSF offers assistance to people based on need, irrespective of race, religion, gender, or political affiliation. (Source: MSF)

Syria: Military action – US “ready to go”, UK drawing up plans, recalls Parliament. France ‘Ready To Punish’ – 270813 1700z

(Scroll down for Arabic translation) (انتقل لأسفل للترجمة العربية)

Syria: US Says Military Is Ready For Action

The West edges closer to military action in Syria as the Assad regime insists it will use “all means” to defend itself.

SKY NEWS  3:55pm UK (1455Z GMT/UTC), Tuesday 27 August 2013

“The US defence secretary says his country is “ready to go” if President Barack Obama orders action in Syria, as the UK recalls Parliament over the crisis.

Britain’s Armed Forces are drawing up plans for a potential military intervention in response to an alleged toxic gas attack in Damascus, which is believed to have killed hundreds of civilians.

Rebels in Syria have also handed Western powers a list of suggested targets for a strike, according to a Reuters source.

US defence secretary Chuck Hagel said Mr Obama asked the Pentagon to give him “all options for all contingencies”.

David Cameron Returns Early From Holiday To Deal With The Escalating Syrian Crisis
Mr Cameron says the Syrian attack was “absolutely abhorrent”

“We are prepared. We have moved assets in place to be able to fulfil and comply with whatever option the president wishes to take,” Mr Hagel told the BBC.

US secretary of state John Kerry said there was “undeniable” evidence of a large-scale chemical attack, with intelligence strongly pointing to President Bashar Assad’s government.

And he said the regime would be held accountable.

France’s President Francois Hollande said his country was prepared to “punish” those who gassed innocent people last Wednesday and it seemed certain that forces loyal to Mr Assad were behind the attack.

Prime Minister David Cameron, who is back in London after cutting short his family holiday, says a clear motion on the crisis will be put before MPs on Thursday.

Chuck Hagel
Mr Hagel says the US is “ready to go”

He wrote on Twitter: “Speaker agrees my request to recall Parliament on Thurs. There’ll be a clear Govt motion & vote on UK response to chemical weapons attacks.”

Foreign Secretary William Hague has declined to rule out action, such as targeted air strikes, being launched within days.

But Mr Cameron – who is holding a National Security Council (NSC) meeting on Wednesday – is under pressure to be able to legally justify any intervention.

A build-up of military aircraft at Britain’s base on Cyprus, RAF Akrotiri, suggested that planning had reached a developed stage.

Sky’s Foreign Affairs Editor Tim Marshall said any potential action “would be a punch on the nose for the Assad regime. I don’t think the US is ready for Assad to go because they are frightened of who would take his place.”

But Syria insists it will not submit quietly to an attack.

Syrian foreign minister
Mr Muallem says any foreign strike on his country would be “delusional”

“We have two options: either to surrender, or to defend ourselves with the means at our disposal,” said Syrian foreign minister Walid Muallem.

“The second choice is the best: we will defend ourselves.”

Mr Muallem also claims Tuesday’s UN inspections of alleged chemical attack sites had to be scrapped because of disputes between rebels.

Snipers shot at the UN team on Monday, but the inspectors still managed to collect some “valuable” samples.

RAF Akrotiri
One of Britain’s bases, RAF Akrotiri, is in southern Cyprus

The UN inspections will take place on Wednesday instead, Mr Muallem said.

Syria denies using the chemical weapons and Russia – which supplies arms to Syria and is the regime’s most powerful ally – has backed claims that video footage of victims could be opposition propaganda.

“I challenge those who accuse our forces of using these weapons to come forward with the evidence,” Mr Muallem said.

The Arab League has accused the Syrian regime of carrying out the suspected gas attack and Saudi Arabia has called for “firm and serious” action against the state.

The US postponed a Syrian crisis meeting with Russia that was scheduled for this week because of America’s ongoing review of the attack.

SYRIA-CONFLICT-UN
Snipers shot at UN inspectors on Monday

Russia said postponing The Hague meeting was a “serious disappointment”. Moscow also warned that any use of force against Syria would have “catastrophic consequences”.

“We call on our American colleagues and all members of the international community to show prudence, strict observance of international law, and above all, the fundamental principles of the UN Charter,” the Russian Foreign Ministry said.

And deputy prime minister Dmitry Rogozin claimed western countries are behaving in the Islamic world like a “monkey with a grenade”.

Russia’s emergencies ministry has told Sky News that it is sending a plane to Syria today to take in humanitarian aid and is planning to bring around 150 of its citizens out.

It is unclear whether Obama would seek authority from the UN or Congress before using force. But it is likely Russia and China would block US efforts to authorise action through the UN Security Council.

Meanwhile, wary investors have exited world markets because of the talk of potential military intervention.

They moved towards safe havens such as gold and bonds while the uncertainty has driven oil prices to a six-month high.” – SKY NEWS

END

France ‘Ready To Punish’ Syria Over Gas Attack

huffingtonpost.com  08/27/13 12:22 PM ET EDT AP

france syria

French President Francois Hollande waves after the weekly cabinet meeting at the Elysee Palace in Paris Friday, Aug. 2, 2013. (AP Photo/Jacques Brinon)

“PARIS — French President Francois Hollande said Tuesday that his country is prepared to take action against those responsible for gassing people in Syria.

“France is ready to punish those who took the heinous decision to gas innocents” in Syria last week, Hollande said at a conference with France’s ambassadors. He did not elaborate.

“I have decided to increase our military support to the National Syrian Coalition,” the main Syrian opposition group in exile, he also said.

France, one of Europe’s biggest military powers, has not specified what preparation it is taking for any possible international action against Syrian President Bashar Assad’s regime.

But on Monday Hollande said time is running out for the Syrian regime and airstrikes are a possibility. “Everything will come into play this week,” he told Le Parisien newspaper. “There are several options on the table, ranging from strengthening international sanctions to airstrikes to arming the rebels.

Hollande spoke with President Barack Obama on Sunday and told him France, like Britain, would support him in a targeted military intervention, according to the paper.” – huffingtonpost.com

Syria: Breakdown of services increases suffering – International Red Cross/ Red Crescent (ICRC)

26-08-2013 Operational Update

“In violence-stricken areas, the breakdown of essential services is adding to the woes of hundreds of thousands of people.

“This is not a life worth living,” said Bilal, a resident of Rural Damascus. “Together with dozens of other families, we’re crowded into an unfinished building shell without electricity or water. Even if the shelling around us were to stop, there would still be the heat, the flies buzzing over our heads and the stench of the garbage outside.”

Areas plagued by heavy fighting, including Rural Damascus, eastern parts of Aleppo and Deir Ezzor and the governorate of Raqqa, are enduring breakdowns of essential services such as the supply of electricity and water and the collection of garbage.

“Many water stations have been damaged and can no longer supply the communities that depend on them,” said Jean-Marc Burri, in charge of the ICRC’s water and sanitation activities in Syria. “Furthermore, waste management services, including the collection of garbage, have become almost non-existent in some areas where fighting has been taking place, or only continue to be performed through the efforts of the people living there.”

“The failure to remove refuse for lengthy periods of time could have a serious impact on the well-being of entire communities,” he said. “Piles of garbage are ideal breeding grounds for disease and parasites.”

To help ward off any public health catastrophe, the ICRC launched a number of projects aimed at improving overall sanitary conditions. “We’re trying to improve, as far as possible, the conditions in which people affected by the fighting have to live,” said Mr Burri.

Thanks to the joint efforts of the ICRC and the Syrian Arab Red Crescent, garbage in Aleppo’s Jisr Al-Haj area was collected and disposed of over the past couple of weeks. In addition, insecticides were sprayed in Aleppo and Idlib to help control parasites. Furthermore, ICRC engineers worked together with the Syrian Arab Red Crescent and local water boards to carry out emergency repairs in areas of heavy fighting to ensure the availability of clean potable water.

Since the beginning of August, in cooperation with the Syrian Arab Red Crescent, the ICRC has also:

  • provided local water boards in Rural Damascus, Damascus, Aleppo, Lattakia, Sweida, al-Hassakeh, Deir Ezzor, Tartous, Homs and Idlib with technical expertise, equipment and supplies, including pumps and generators;
  • continued to upgrade water, housing and sanitary facilities at more than 45 public sites in eight governorates where displaced people are living, while completing work at another 14 sites in three governorates.

The ICRC’s health department has:

  • assessed two hospitals in Hama to which it donated surgical supplies for the full treatment of 100 seriously injured patients;
  • provided the Syrian Arab Red Crescent branch in Hama with medical assistance, including chronic disease medication for the treatment of 450 patients;
  • supplied the Syrian Arab Red Crescent with medications for 2,500 children.

The ICRC’s relief department has:

  • supplied food parcels for some 260,000 people in Deir Ezzor, Hama, Aleppo, Rural Damascus, Lattakia, Homs, Idlib and Damascus governorates;
  • provided mattresses and blankets for 60,000 people in Rural Damascus, Homs, Hama, Lattakia, Deir Ezzor and Damascus;
  • supplied kitchen sets (cooking pots, plates, cups and cutlery) for more than 30,000 people in Hama, Homs, Deir Ezzor, Lattakia and Damascus;
  • supplied hygiene items (shampoos, soaps, washing detergents, female hygiene items, etc.) to some 70,000 people in Hama, Homs, Deir Ezzor, Rural Damascus and Lattakia.” – ICRC

Videos

Chuck Hagel: U.S. Ready If Order Given to Strike Syria

(Video credit: Bloomberg)

Published on Aug 27, 2013

Aug. 27 (Bloomberg) — Bloomberg News’ Julianna Goldman and Contributing Editor Richard Falkenrath discuss comments from U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel that the U.S. military is ready to strike if an order is given by the U.S. government against Syria. They speak on Bloomberg Television’s “In The Loop.”

Syria: US Says Military is Ready For Action – US Ready To Launch Syria Strike

(Video credit: Syria News Today)

Military action in Syria: US and allies close to a decision

(Video credit: Euronews)

Published on Aug 27, 2013

Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Moualem has announced that the second day of the UN weapons…euronews, the most watched news channel in EuropeSubscribe for your daily dose of international news, curated and explained:http://eurone.ws/10ZCK4aEuronews is available in 13 other languages: http://eurone.ws/17moBCUhttp://www.euronews.com/2013/08/27/us…Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Moualem has announced that the second day of the UN weapons inspectors’ probe into alleged chemical weapon strikes in Damascus has been postponed.Moualem told US Secretary of State John Kerry that the government was not obstructing the work but that there had been disagreements among the rebels over security arrangements. Moualem said the army would press on with its military campaign despite the threat of possible foreign strikes. He addeded that any strikes on Syria would serve the interests of Al-Qaeda linked groups. The international community, facing a deadlocked UN Security Council, is looking at other means to legitimise a military strike on Syria. The 15-nation council has been in limbo since the uprising against the Assad regime began in 2011.Both Russia and China have vetoed three resolutions calling for firm action against Damascus.In the UK, Prime Minister David Cameron recalled parliament from its summer break, it will meet on Thursday to discuss the response to the situation in Syria. The US has intervened in conflicts before without UN backing, notably in Kosovo in 1999, and may well do again as President Obama seeks a so-called “coalition of the willing”.Any attacks on Syria backed by Britain, France and Turkey, to name but a few, will anger Moscow – an ally of Assad.The US believes the allegations that Assad used chemical weapons are true, something Syria denies. Speaking in Washington, US Secretary of State John Kerry adopted a tough tone: “The meaning of this attack goes beyond the conflict in Syria itself and that conflict has already brought so much terrible suffering. This is about the large scale indiscriminate use of weapons that the civilised world long ago decided must never be used at all – a conviction shared even by countries that agree on little else.”As the diplomacy continued the bloody conflict went on with death whether by chemical or conventional weapons a daily occurrence.

 

Related:

Syria: Chemical attack inspectors find ‘valuable evidence’ despite coming under sniper fire; UK & US mull military action – 260813 2000z

Arabic (Translated by Google)

 

سوريا: العمل العسكري الولايات المتحدة “مستعدة للذهاب”، UK وضع الخطط، تشير البرلمان. فرنسا جاهز لمعاقبة‘ – 270813 1700z

سوريا: الولايات المتحدة تقول إن الجيش على استعداد للعمل
الحواف الغربية أقرب إلى عمل عسكري في سوريا كما نظام الأسد تصر على أنها ستستخدم “كل الوسائل” للدفاع عن نفسها.

SKY NEWS 15:55 المملكة المتحدة (GMT 1455Z / UTC) الثلاثاء 27 أغسطس 2013

“يقول وزير الدفاع الأمريكي ان بلاده” مستعدة للذهاب “اذا كان الرئيس باراك أوباما أوامر العمل في سوريا، كما في المملكة المتحدة تشير البرلمان بشأن الازمة.

هي قوات المسلحة البريطانية وضع خطط لتدخل عسكري محتمل ردا على هجوم الغازات السامة المزعومة في دمشق، والذي يعتقد أنه قتل المئات من المدنيين.

وسلمت الثوار في سوريا أيضا القوى الغربية على قائمة الأهداف المقترحة للإضراب، وفقا لمصدر لرويترز.

وقال وزير الدفاع الاميركي تشاك هيغل طلب أوباما البنتاغون أن يعطيه “كل الخيارات لجميع الحالات الطارئة”.
ديفيد كاميرون إرجاع المبكر من عطلة للتعامل مع الأزمة السورية المتصاعدة
يقول كاميرون الهجوم السوري كان “البغيضة على الاطلاق”

“، ونحن مستعدون. لقد انتقلنا الموجودات في المكان المناسب ليكون قادرا على الوفاء والالتزام بها أيا كان الخيار يود الرئيس إلى اتخاذ” قال هاجل لهيئة الاذاعة البريطانية.

قالت وزيرة الخارجية الامريكي جون كيري ان هناك ادلة “لا يمكن إنكارها” من هجوم كيماوي على نطاق واسع، مع المخابرات لافتا بشدة لحكومة الرئيس بشار الأسد.

وقال انه سيتم عقد نظام للمساءلة.

وقال الرئيس الفرنسي فرانسوا هولاند ان بلاده مستعدة “لمعاقبة” أولئك الذين بالغاز الأبرياء يوم الأربعاء الماضي، ويبدو أن بعض القوات الموالية للسيد الأسد كانوا وراء الهجوم.

رئيس الوزراء البريطاني ديفيد كاميرون، الذي عاد في لندن بعد أن قطع عطلة قصيرة عائلته، ويقول سيتم وضع الحركة واضحة بشأن الأزمة قبل النواب يوم الخميس.
تشاك هيغل
يقول هيغل الولايات المتحدة “مستعدة للذهاب”

وقال انه كتب على تويتر: “رئيس يوافق على طلبي أن أذكر البرلمان في الخميس سوف يكون هناك واضحة الحركة والحكومة التصويت على استجابة المملكة المتحدة لهجمات الأسلحة الكيميائية”.

وقد رفض وزير الخارجية وليام هيغ استبعاد العمل، مثل الضربات الجوية استهدفت، التي يتم إطلاقها في غضون أيام.

لكن كاميرون – الذي عقد مجلس الأمن القومي (NSC) اجتماعه يوم الأربعاء – تتعرض لضغوط لتكون قادرة على تبرير قانونيا أي تدخل.

تراكم من طائرات عسكرية في قاعدة بريطانيا على قبرص، RAF أكروتيري، واقترح أن التخطيط قد وصلت إلى مرحلة متطورة.

قال السماء الشؤون الخارجية محرر تيم مارشال أي عمل محتمل “سيكون لكمة على أنفه لنظام الأسد، وأنا لا أعتقد أن الولايات المتحدة مستعدة للاسد ​​للذهاب لأنهم خائفون من الذي سيأخذ مكانه.”

لكن سوريا تصر على أنها لن تقدم بهدوء لهجوم.
وزير الخارجية السوري
يقول السيد المعلم أن أي ضربة الأجنبية على بلاده أن تكون “الوهمية”

“: إما الاستسلام، أو للدفاع عن أنفسنا مع الوسائل التي في حوزتنا لدينا خيارين” قال وزير الخارجية السوري وليد المعلم.

“الخيار الثاني هو الأفضل: سندافع عن أنفسنا.”

يدعي السيد المعلم أيضا كان التفتيش للمواقع المزعومة هجوم كيماوي يوم الثلاثاء ليتم تفكيكها بسبب الخلافات بين المتمردين.

القناصة النار على فريق الامم المتحدة يوم الاثنين، ولكن المفتشين تمكنوا من جمع بعض العينات “قيمة”.
RAF أكروتيري
واحدة من القواعد البريطانية، RAF أكروتيري، هو في جنوب قبرص

وقال السيد المعلم وعمليات التفتيش للامم المتحدة سيعقد يوم الاربعاء بدلا من ذلك.

وتنفي سوريا باستخدام الأسلحة الكيميائية وروسيا – التي تمد الأسلحة إلى سوريا وحليف للنظام أقوى – وأيدت مزاعم بأن لقطات الفيديو من الضحايا يمكن أن يكون دعاية المعارضة.

“، وأنا أتحدى أولئك الذين يتهمون قواتنا من استخدام هذه الأسلحة على المضي قدما مع الأدلة”، وقال السيد المعلم.

واتهمت الجامعة العربية النظام السوري بتنفيذ الهجوم الغاز المشتبه بهم ودعت المملكة العربية السعودية إلى اتخاذ إجراءات “حازمة وجادة” ضد الدولة.

أجلت الولايات المتحدة اجتماعا الأزمة السورية مع روسيا التي كانت مقررة لهذا الاسبوع بسبب الاستعراض أميركا الجارية للهجوم.
SYRIA انتهاء الصراع الأمم المتحدة
القناصة النار على مفتشي الامم المتحدة يوم الاثنين

وقالت روسيا تأجيل اجتماع لاهاي كان “خيبة أمل خطيرة”. حذرت موسكو أيضا أن أي استخدام للقوة ضد سوريا سيكون له “عواقب كارثية”.

“،، ونحن ندعو زملائنا الامريكيين وجميع أعضاء المجتمع الدولي لإظهار الحكمة، والتقيد الصارم للقانون الدولي، وقبل كل شيء المبادئ الأساسية لميثاق الأمم المتحدة” قالت وزارة الخارجية الروسية.

وادعى نائب رئيس الوزراء الروسي ديمتري روجوزين يتصرفون الدول الغربية في العالم الإسلامي مثل “قرد بقنبلة”.

وقال وزارة حالات الطوارئ في روسيا سكاي نيوز أنه تم إرسال طائرة إلى سوريا اليوم لتأخذ في المساعدات الإنسانية وتخطط لجلب حوالي 150 من المواطنين للخروج.

ومن غير الواضح ما إذا كان أوباما سيسعى للحصول على السلطة من الأمم المتحدة أو الكونغرس قبل استخدام القوة. ولكن من المرجح ان روسيا والصين عرقلة جهود الولايات المتحدة أن تأذن بالعمل من خلال مجلس الأمن الدولي.

في هذه الأثناء، خرجت المستثمرين حذرين الأسواق العالمية بسبب الحديث عن تدخل عسكري محتمل.

انتقلوا نحو الملاذات الآمنة مثل الذهب والسندات في حين أن عدم اليقين الذي دفع أسعار النفط الى أعلى مستوى في ستة أشهر “- NEWS SKY

قصص ذات الصلة
تحليل: سوريا والأخلاق وشريعة الغاب
سوريا: UK يرسم خطط لعمل عسكري

END
فرنسا ‘جاهز لمعاقبة “سوريا بسبب هجوم بالغاز

huffingtonpost.com 08/27/13 00:22 PM بتوقيت شرق الولايات المتحدة ET AP
فرنسا سوريا
الرئيس الفرنسي فرانسوا هولاند موجات عقب الاجتماع الاسبوعي لمجلس الوزراء في قصر الاليزيه في باريس الجمعة 2 أغسطس، 2013. (ا ف ب الصور / جاك Brinon)

“باريس – قال الرئيس الفرنسي فرانسوا هولاند الثلاثاء ان بلاده على استعداد لاتخاذ إجراءات ضد المسؤولين عن القتل بالغاز الناس في سوريا.

وقال هولاند في مؤتمر مع سفراء فرنسا “فرنسا مستعدة لمعاقبة أولئك الذين اتخذوا القرار البشعة إلى الأبرياء الغاز” في سوريا الاسبوع الماضي. ولم يوضح.

وقال “لقد قررت زيادة الدعم العسكري لدينا للائتلاف الوطني السوري”، وقال أيضا جماعة المعارضة السورية الرئيسية في المنفى.

فرنسا، واحدة من أكبر القوى العسكرية في أوروبا، لم يحدد ما إعداد انها تتخذ أية إجراءات دولية محتملة ضد نظام الرئيس السوري بشار الأسد.

لكن يوم الاثنين قال هولاند الوقت ينفد بالنسبة للنظام السوري والغارات الجوية هي الاحتمال. “، وسوف يأتي كل شيء في اللعب هذا الأسبوع” قال لصحيفة لو باريزيان. وقال “هناك العديد من الخيارات مطروحة على الطاولة، بدءا من تعزيز العقوبات الدولية على الضربات الجوية لتسليح المتمردين.

وتحدث هولاند مع الرئيس باراك أوباما يوم الاحد وقال له فرنسا، مثل بريطانيا، ودعم له في التدخل العسكري المستهدفة، وفقا للصحيفة “-. huffingtonpost.com
سوريا: توزيع الخدمات يزيد من معاناة – الصليب الأحمر / الهلال الأحمر الدولية (ICRC)

26-08-2013 عرض لأنشطة

“العنف في المناطق المنكوبة، وانهيار الخدمات الأساسية وإضافة إلى ويلات مئات الآلاف من الناس.

“هذه ليست حياة تستحق العيش”، وقال بلال، وهو من سكان ريف دمشق. “جنبا إلى جنب مع عشرات من أسر أخرى، ونحن مزدحمة في قذيفة مبنى غير منجز دون كهرباء أو ماء. حتى لو كان القصف من حولنا كانت لوقف، ستظل هناك الحرارة، والذباب يطن فوق رؤوسنا والرائحة الكريهة لل القمامة خارج “.

المناطق التي تعاني من القتال العنيف، بما في ذلك ريف دمشق، الأجزاء الشرقية من حلب ودير الزور ومحافظة الرقة، ويتحمل أعطال الخدمات الأساسية مثل إمدادات الكهرباء والمياه وجمع القمامة.

“، قد تعرضت للتلف العديد من محطات المياه، ويمكن لم يعد تزويد المجتمعات المحلية التي تعتمد عليها” وقال جان مارك بري، المسؤول عن أنشطة الصرف الصحي في سوريا الماء والدولية. “وعلاوة على ذلك، تضيع والخدمات الإدارية، بما في ذلك جمع القمامة، وأصبحت شبه معدومة في بعض المناطق حيث القتال قد تم اتخاذ مكان، أو يستمر فقط ليتم تنفيذها من خلال جهود الناس الذين يعيشون هناك.”

“عدم إزالة النفايات لفترات طويلة من الزمن قد يكون لها تأثير خطير على، رفاهية مجتمعات بأكملها”، قال. “أكوام من القمامة هي أرض خصبة مثالية لمرض والطفيليات.”

للمساعدة في درء أي كارثة الصحة العامة، أطلقت اللجنة الدولية عددا من المشاريع التي تهدف إلى تحسين الظروف الصحية بشكل عام. “نحن نحاول تحسين، إلى أقصى حد ممكن، والظروف التي تسمح للناس المتضررين من القتال يجب أن نعيش”، وقال السيد بري.

وبفضل الجهود المشتركة من اللجنة الدولية والهلال الأحمر العربي السوري، والقمامة في منطقة حلب الجسر الحاج تم جمعها والتخلص منها على مدى الأسبوعين الماضيين. وبالإضافة إلى ذلك، تم رش المبيدات الحشرية في حلب وادلب للمساعدة في السيطرة الطفيليات. وعلاوة على ذلك، عمل مهندسو اللجنة الدولية بالتعاون مع الهلال الأحمر العربي السوري ومجالس المياه المحلية لتنفيذ إصلاحات طارئة في مناطق القتال الثقيلة لضمان توافر مياه الشرب النظيفة.

منذ بداية شهر آب، وذلك بالتعاون مع الهلال الأحمر العربي السوري، قامت اللجنة الدولية أيضا:

قدمت مجالس المياه المحلية في ريف دمشق، دمشق، حلب، اللاذقية، السويداء، الحسكة، دير الزور، طرطوس، حمص وإدلب مع الخبرة التقنية والمعدات واللوازم، بما في ذلك المضخات والمولدات الكهربائية؛
واصلت لرفع مستوى المياه والإسكان والمرافق الصحية في أكثر من 45 موقعا العامة في ثماني محافظات حيث نازح يعيشون، في حين الانتهاء من العمل في مواقع أخرى 14 في ثلاث محافظات.

وزارة الصحة في اللجنة الدولية بما يلي:

تقييم مستشفيين في مدينة حماة التي لتقديم الإمدادات الجراحية لعلاج كامل من 100 مريض بجروح خطيرة؛
وقدم فرع الهلال الأحمر العربي السوري في مدينة حماة مع المساعدة الطبية، بما في ذلك الدواء مرض مزمن لعلاج 450 مريضا؛
تزويد الهلال الأحمر العربي السوري مع الأدوية ل2،500 الأطفال.

قسم اللجنة الدولية الإغاثة بما يلي:

الطرود الغذائية المقدمة لبعض 260،000 شخص في دير الزور وحماة وحلب وريف دمشق واللاذقية وحمص وإدلب ودمشق المحافظات؛
الأفرشة والبطانيات ل60،000 شخص في ريف دمشق وحمص وحماة واللاذقية ودير الزور ودمشق؛
مجموعات مطبخ الموردة (أواني الطبخ والصحون والكؤوس والسكاكين) لأكثر من 30،000 شخص في حماة وحمص ودير الزور واللاذقية ودمشق؛
البنود الموردة النظافة (الشامبو، الصابون، منظفات الغسيل، مستلزمات النظافة أنثى، الخ) لبعض 70،000 شخص في حماة وحمص ودير الزور وريف دمشق واللاذقية “- اللجنة الدولية

فيديو
تشاك هيغل: جاهز الولايات المتحدة إذا كان ترتيب معين لضرب سوريا

(الائتمان فيديو: ا ف ب)

نشرت يوم 27 أغسطس 2013

27 أغسطس (ا ف ب) – بلومبرغ نيوز ‘جوليانا جولدمان والمساهمة في تحرير ريتشارد وفي رأي مغاير مناقشة تعليق من وزير الدفاع الاميركي تشاك هيغل أن الجيش الأمريكي مستعد للضرب في حال عدم إعطاء أمر من قبل حكومة الولايات المتحدة ضد سوريا. يتكلمون على تلفزيون بلومبرغ في “في حلقة”.

سوريا: الولايات المتحدة تقول إن الجيش هو جاهز للعمل – الولايات المتحدة مستعدة لشن سوريا سترايك

(الائتمان الفيديو: سوريا أخبار اليوم)
العمل العسكري في سوريا: الولايات المتحدة وحلفائها المقربين لقرار

(الائتمان فيديو: يورونيوز)

نشرت يوم 27 أغسطس 2013
أعلن وزير الخارجية السوري وليد المعلم أن اليوم الثاني من الامم المتحدة للاسلحة … يورونيوز، القناة الاخبارية الأكثر مشاهدة في EuropeSubscribe لالجرعة اليومية من أخبار دولية، برعاية وأوضح: http://eurone.ws/10ZCK4aEuronews متاح في 13 لغات أخرى: أعلن وزير الخارجية وليد المعلم http://eurone.ws/17moBCUhttp://www.euronews.com/2013/08/27/us…Syrian أن اليوم الثاني من مفتشي الاسلحة الدوليين ‘ وقال التحقيق في الضربات الأسلحة الكيميائية المزعوم في دمشق تم postponed.Moualem وزيرة الخارجية الامريكية جون كيري ان الحكومة لم عرقلة العمل ولكن أن كانت هناك خلافات بين الثوار حول الترتيبات الأمنية. وقال المعلم ان الجيش قدما في حملتها العسكرية على الرغم من التهديد من الضربات الخارجية ممكن. انه addeded أن أي هجمات على سوريا من شأنه أن يخدم مصالح جماعات مرتبطة بتنظيم القاعدة. المجتمع الدولي، يواجه مجلس الامن الدولي صلت إلى طريق مسدود، وتبحث في وسائل أخرى لإضفاء الشرعية على توجيه ضربة عسكرية لسوريا. وكان المجلس المكون من 15 دولة في طي النسيان منذ بدء الانتفاضة ضد نظام الأسد في 2011.Both روسيا والصين حق النقض ضد ثلاثة قرارات تدعو إلى إجراءات حازمة ضد Damascus.In المملكة المتحدة، أشار رئيس الوزراء ديفيد كاميرون البرلمان من عطلته الصيفية، انه سيجتمع يوم الخميس لمناقشة الرد على الوضع في سوريا. وقد تدخلت الولايات المتحدة في الصراعات قبل بدون تأييد من الامم المتحدة، وخاصة في كوسوفو في عام 1999، ولها أن تفعل جيدا مرة أخرى كما يسعى الرئيس أوباما ما يسمى “تحالف الراغبين”. أي هجمات على سوريا بدعم من بريطانيا وفرنسا وتركيا، إلى سبيل المثال لا الحصر، سوف غضب موسكو – حليف Assad.The الولايات المتحدة تعتقد أن الأسد ادعاءات استخدام الأسلحة الكيميائية صحيحا، وهو ما تنفيه سوريا. يتحدث في واشنطن، اعتمدت وزيرة الخارجية الامريكية جون كيري لهجة صعبة: “معنى هذا الهجوم يتجاوز الصراع في سوريا جلبت نفسها والتي تتعارض بالفعل معاناة رهيبة جدا من ذلك بكثير وهذا هو حول نطاق واسع الاستخدام العشوائي للأسلحة التي العالم المتحضر منذ فترة طويلة قررت يجب ألا تستخدم أبدا على الإطلاق – ذهب قناعة مشتركة حتى من قبل الدول التي توافق على القليل آخر “كما واصلت الدبلوماسية الصراع الدموي على مع الموت سواء عن طريق الأسلحة التقليدية الكيميائية أو حدثا يوميا.

المتصلة:

سوريا: مفتشي هجوم كيماوي العثور على ‘أدلة قيمة’ على الرغم من تعرضها لنيران القناصة؛ المملكة المتحدة والولايات المتحدة سيناقشون العمل العسكري – 260813 2000z

Syria: Israeli air strike on arms depot and chicken coops, daylight pictures emerge – 050513 2140z

Israeli air strike on arms depot and chicken coops

Yaron Schneider | News 2 | Posted 05/05/13 22:33

“Broken walls, dead birds and smoke still rising – Syrian TV broadcast new pictures from one night arenas attacked last night by Israel – According to foreign reports.

Firefighters look at a day continue to deal with the flames still coming from the wreckage site. Instead of the attack were chicken coops. Some continue to spin around, others paid with their lives. These photos taken on Mount Kasion, the seat of the many divisions of the Syrian army’s Fourth – soldiers guarding the President Assad.

חד מהמבני שנפג¢ו
One of the buildings damaged
Photo: Syrian TV

According to recent reports from Syria, Israel attacked three targets. In total four people were killed (in contrast to previous reports of hundreds) and 70 were injured. Syria claim that the Israeli attack helping rebel forces and organizations affiliated with al Qaeda.

הœוœ ששרד
Coop surviving
Photo: Syrian TV
ה¢ופוª שמªו
Dead birds
Photo: Syrian TV

Israel keep on low heat

After more than 48 of the tension between Israel and Syria, Israel sends a “business as usual”: Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu took off in southwest China, almost as planned, after rejecting the flight two hours to convene the Cabinet.

Netanyahu’s decision to drive shifts the assessment of Israeli officials, that will not be the last Syrian response to attacks on its territory as endowed Israel. Assessment that the security situation does not deteriorate or sign up escalating the north.

At the same time, more information is obtained on the evening attack targets in Syria. Bombed shipment arrived on flights from Tehran to Damascus. The attack last night which included three goals were dozens of missiles Open -110.

נªניהו המרי œ¡יŸ כרגיœ
Netanyahu flew to China as usual
Photo: Avi Ohayon, GPO

PM Netanyahu convened a special meeting of his cabinet in the wake of tensions in the north. “This is a routine update meeting,” he said earlier in a political news web 2. “There is no room for interpretation and far-reaching.”

Netanyahu’s trip to China was planned long ago, if he had wished, he had a very difficult to undo it. Canceled last time traveling to China, the Chinese were outraged that very much, and for four years he refrained from defining meetings there.” – Ch 2 News Israel

Israel said to hit arms depot, first daylight images reveal

Times of Israel May 5, 2013, 5:47 pm(local time)

IAF also struck a military-owned chicken coop in a site near Damascus that was 99% civilian, Hezbollah TV reports

Israel targeted Syrian air defense units as well as an arms and ammunition warehouse, Hezbollah TV station al-Manar claimed Sunday afternoon,broadcastingthe first daylight video images of the site northwest of Damascus that was hit overnight.

Israel attacked an arms warehouse in the Dimass area, 30 kilometers (18 miles) northwest of the capital Damascus, near the border with Lebanon, al-Manar reported. The video footage shows mortar shells and rockets scattered on the ground, as plumes of black smoke rise from the site amid the sound of exploding ammunition in the background.

The second site attacked by Israel, claimed the al-Manar website, was a chicken coop owned by the Syrian army, surrounded by military factories producing cement and tea. According to al-Manar, a number of soldiers and civilians were killed in the attack.

There are sensitive points we guard here, one soldier who witnessed the attack said. Suddenly the airplanes arrived. An older unidentified man in military uniform claimed that 99 percent of the area is civilian.

Assads deputy foreign minister Faisal Mekdad told CNN on Sunday that the Israeli attack on Syria was a declaration of war, while Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu postponed his trip to China by two hours to discuss the developments in Syria with his cabinet.”- timesofisrael.com

Israel has not claimed responsibility for the night strikes.

Have you seen “Panorama”? Shows how the International Red Cross help millions of people affected by war – 090413 1430z

In a world wracked by conflict and armed violence, the ICRC brings hope and humanity to millions of people across the globe.

This film highlights the organization’s work to protect and assist victims of war — treating the wounded, providing shelter and clean water, reuniting families and promoting respect for the rules of war.

Neutral and independent, the ICRC is part of the world’s largest humanitarian movement, bringing assistance to those in need, regardless of race, religion or politics.

Related:

RED CROSS (ICRC) anniversary 17 Feb 2013: 150 years of humanitarian action in the midst of armed conflict 1502131920z

https://goatysnews.wordpress.com/?s=red+cross&submit=Search

 

North Korea Warns Foreign Embassies Of Risks

TheSurvivalPlaceBlog

130213-north-korea-1-522x293

The Foreign Office says it has no intention of evacuating its embassy in Pyongyang after North Korea warned foreign diplomats they may not be safe if war breaks.

The North Korean government asked foreign embassies whether they considered evacuating staff, saying it cannot guarantee their safety in the event of conflict from April 10.

Tensions in the region are high after reports that North Korea has now moved two missiles to its eastern coast and loaded them on mobile launchers.

The Foreign Office says it “has no intention of evacuating embassy in Pyongyang”.

Earlier, a spokesperson said: “The DPRK (The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea) has responsibilities under the Vienna convention to protect diplomatic missions, and we believe they have taken this step as part of their continuing rhetoric that the US poses a threat to them.

“We are considering next steps, including a change to our travel advice.”

View original post 98 more words

South Korea vows response ‘at first contact’ to any potential North Korean attack

TheSurvivalPlaceBlog

A South Korean K-1 tank moves over a temporary bridge during a river-crossing military drill in Hwacheon near the border with North Korea on April 1, 2013

SEOUL, South Korea — South Korea’s new president, Park Geun-hye, is pursuing a policy that seeks to re-engage North Korea with dialogue and aid after five years of standoff. But she told her military Monday to set aside political considerations and respond strongly should North Korea attack.

“I consider the current North Korean threats very serious,” Park told the South’s generals Monday. “If the North attempts any provocation against our people and country, you must respond strongly at the first contact with them without any political consideration.

“As top commander of the military, I trust your judgment in the face of North Korea’s unexpected surprise provocation,” she added.

Her  response contrasted with the more dismissive attitude that South Korean leaders have usually taken toward North Korean threats.

But the White House says that despite warlike rhetoric from North Korea the Obama administration has not seen changes in the regime’s military…

View original post 403 more words

Syria: Two years on, immense suffering with no end in sight – International Red Cross (ICRC) – 150313 1930z

15-03-2013 Geneva/Damascus (ICRC):

Two years after the outbreak of violence in Syria, humanitarian needs are greater than ever. Civilians continue to bear the brunt of the armed conflict and are struggling to survive hardship on a daily basis. They endure fierce fighting and a steady deterioration of living conditions, with no end in sight to their suffering.

”Hundreds are dying daily in Syria. Millions have been displaced inside the country while others have fled to neighboring countries to live in harsh conditions,

said Robert Mardini, Head of Operations for the Near and Middle East at the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC).

Tens of thousands are missing or detained. Families are desperately seeking their loved ones, with no information available as to their whereabouts. Health standards have fallen dramatically, medical facilities have been targeted and health workers killed, intimidated or detained while trying to save lives. Property and infrastructure have been severely damaged, leaving large areas in rubble.”

The fate and condition of people detained in connection with the armed conflict remains an issue of extreme concern for the ICRC. “Despite repeated attempts to resume our visits to detainees, very little has been achieved so far. Today, we have no first-hand information on the situation of detainees and this is very worrying for us. We will continue to seek concrete action from the Syrian authorities that will allow us to visit detainees. This remains one of our top priorities,” added Mardini.

“It is deplorable that high numbers of civilian casualties are now a daily occurrence to which people are unfortunately getting accustomed”, said Mardini.

“Many atrocities against civilians have been reported or witnessed over the past two years and we have also seen indiscriminate attacks against civilians and the targeting of health-care personnel and aid workers. These ongoing violations of international humanitarian law and of basic humanitarian principles by all sides must stop”.

The parties to the conflict have not come close to a political solution, nor has the international community succeeded in negotiating an end to this armed conflict. At the same time and despite huge efforts made by a handful of humanitarian organizations on the ground, the aid provided to the Syrian people is far from meeting the ever growing needs.

The ICRC along with the Syrian Arab Red Crescent are doing more than ever before. Working across front-lines, they are delivering aid to some of the hardest-hit opposition and government-controlled areas. In the last three weeks alone, they had access to three opposition-held areas and distributed assistance in Homs, Hama and Idlib governorates. “Over the last two years millions have received aid, but it is not enough. Needs are growing at a faster pace than our ability to respond. Security constraints and lack of access to some areas prevent us responding as we should do”.

“Today, we are not able to reach all the affected population. We very much believe that States should play a positive role by exerting stronger influence on those involved to secure greater respect for international humanitarian law. This would hopefully create an environment where impartial humanitarian action could take place in real time”, concluded Mr. Mardini.

Interview with Robert Mardini, Head of Operations for the Near and Middle East at the ICRC (TV news footage, broadcast quality: www.icrcvideonewsroom.org)

Two years of conflict inSyria

Posted on March 15, 2013 by Janice Babineau, East Coast blogger, @JaniceBabineau

Syrian Arab Red Crescent provide assistance

Today marks the second anniversary of theoutbreak of violencein Syria.The ICRC reports that humanitarian needs are greater than everas civilians continue to bear the brunt of the on-going armed conflict. In this photo, people are gathered outside a warehouse where the Syrian Arab Red Crescent and the ICRCdistributed food parcels to several thousandpeople.The ICRC also shared theseimages illustratingthedaily realityfor civilians in Syria.

Photo credit: ICRC / M. Al-Zuabi

Remembrance Day – Remembering those fallen in war – 11th November 2012

UK’s wartime fallen remembered

“A two-minute silence has been held to remember members of the British and Commonwealth’s armed forces who have died during conflicts.

The Queen was joined by Prince Phillip and the Duchess of Cambridge at the Cenotaph on Remembrance Sunday.

The country observed a two-minute silence as Big Ben struck the eleventh hour.

British forces across the world, including 9,500 soldiers in Afghanistan, also paused to remember.

The Queen laid a wreath, followed by the Countess of Wessex and the Princess Royal.

The former chief of the defence staff, Lord Guthrie, laid a wreath on behalf of the Prince of Wales, who is in Auckland, New Zealand.

This year Remembrance Sunday falls on 11 November itself, the date of the armistice which brought World War I to an end.” – BBC News

Full story here

Remembrance Day on the front line

Caroline WyattBy Caroline Wyatt Defence correspondent, BBC News

Corporal Kirk Buck “Corporal Kirk Buck plans to have a vigil for three men from his regiment who died

Related Stories

Under the hot Afghan winter sun, a bugler sounded the Last Post, ahead of a profound two-minute silence at the British headquarters in Lashkar Gah.

The servicemen and women here stood lost in thought, before the bugler sounded the reveille.

For those working and fighting here, this Remembrance Day is a very personal act of remembering the sacrifices made in war.

Though many of those gathered here are only in their twenties, many have already lost friends and comrades in Afghanistan, and before that in Iraq, giving the silence here a deeper resonance.

British servicemen and women on operations in Helmand work a seven-day week, and Sunday is no different. But most will be able to attend a service at even the remotest patrol bases or checkpoints across the province at different times of day, or if on guard, stand in silence as they watch over their colleagues.

So far this year, 43 British troops have died in Afghanistan – five of them from the current brigade.” – BBC News

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Remembrance Day
Remembrance Day
Remembrance Day in Canada. The memorial at the McCrae House (detail view); two Canadian-style poppy pins can be seen resting on the sculpture.
Official name Remembrance Day
Also called Poppy Day, Armistice Day
Observed by Commonwealth of Nations (except Mozambique)
Type International
Significance Commemorates Commonwealth war dead
Date 11 November
Observances Parades, silences
Related to Veterans Day, Memorial Day, Anzac Day

Remembrance Day (also known as Poppy Day or Armistice Day) is a memorial day observed in Commonwealth countries since the end of World War I to remember the members of their armed forces who have died in the line of duty. This day, or alternative dates, are also recognized as special days for war remembrances in many non-Commonwealth countries. Remembrance Day is observed on 11 November to recall the end of hostilities of World War I on that date in 1918. Hostilities formally ended “at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month,” in accordance with the Armistice, signed by representatives of Germany and the Entente between 5:12 and 5:20 that morning. (“At the 11th hour” refers to the passing of the 11th hour, or 11:00 a.m.) World War I officially ended with the signing of the Treaty of Versailles on June 28, 1919. [1]

The day was specifically dedicated by King George V on 7 November 1919 as a day of remembrance for members of the armed forces who were killed during World War I. This was possibly done upon the suggestion of Edward George Honey to Wellesley Tudor Pole, who established two ceremonial periods of remembrance based on events in 1917.[2]

The red remembrance poppy has become a familiar emblem of Remembrance Day due to the poem “In Flanders Fields“. These poppies bloomed across some of the worst battlefields of Flanders in World War I, their brilliant red colour an appropriate symbol for the blood spilled in the war.

Observance in the Commonwealth

Remembrance Day, London, 2006.

The common British, Canadian, South African, and ANZAC tradition includes either one or two minutes of silence at the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month (11:00 a.m., 11 November), as that marks the time (in the United Kingdom) when the armistice became effective.

The Service of Remembrance in many Commonwealth countries generally includes the sounding of the “Last Post“, followed by the period of silence, followed by the sounding of “The Rouse” (often mistakenly referred to as “Reveille“), and finished by a recitation of the “Ode of Remembrance“. The “Flowers of the Forest“, “O Valiant Hearts“, “I Vow to Thee, My Country” and “Jerusalem” are often played during the service. Services also include wreaths laid to honour the fallen, a blessing, and national anthems.[3]

The central ritual at cenotaphs throughout the Commonwealth is a stylized night vigil. The Last Post was the common bugle call at the close of the military day, and the Rouse was the first call of the morning. For military purposes, the traditional night vigil over the slain was not just to ensure they were indeed dead and not unconscious or in a coma, but also to guard them from being mutilated or despoiled by the enemy, or dragged off by scavengers. This makes the ritual more than just an act of remembrance but also a pledge to guard the honour of war dead. The act is enhanced by the use of dedicated cenotaphs (literally Greek for “empty tomb”) and the laying of wreaths—the traditional means of signalling high honours in ancient Greece and Rome.

Australia

The Governor of Western Australia laying a wreath at the Eternal flame, Kings Park, Western Australia, 11 November 2011

In Australia, Remembrance Day is always observed on 11 November, regardless of the day of the week, and is not a public holiday; it is a time when people can pay their respects to the substantial number of soldiers who died in battle. Some institutions observe two minute’s silence at 11 a.m. Through a programme named Read 2 Remember,[4] children read the Pledge of Remembrance by Rupert McCall and teachers deliver specially developed resources to help children understand the significance of the day and the resilience of those who have fought for their country and call on children to also be resilient when facing difficult times. Services are held at 11 a.m. at war memorials and schools in suburbs and cities across the country, at which the “Last Post” is sounded by a bugler and a one-minute silence is observed. In recent decades, Remembrance Day has been largely eclipsed as the national day of war commemoration by ANZAC Day (25 April), which is a public holiday in all states.

Barbados

In Barbados, Remembrance Day is not a public holiday. It is recognized as November 11, but the parade and ceremonial events are carried out on Remembrance Sunday.[5] The day is celebrated to recognize the Barbadian soldiers who died fighting in the First and Second World Wars. The parade is held at National Heroes’ Square, where an interdenominational service is held.[6] The Governor-General and Barbadian Prime Minister are among those who attend, along with other government dignitaries and the heads of the police and military forces. During the main ceremony a gun salute, wreaths, and prayers are also performed at the war memorial Cenotaph at the heart of Heroes’ Square in Bridgetown.

Bermuda

Remembrance Day Parade, Hamilton, Bermuda, 1991

In Bermuda, which sent the first colonial volunteer unit to the Western Front in 1915, and which had more people per capita in uniform during the Second World War than any other part of the Empire, Remembrance Day is still an important holiday. The parade in Hamilton had historically been a large and colourful one, as contingents from the Royal Navy, British Regular Army, the local Territorial units, the Canadian Forces, the US Army, Air Force, and Navy, and various cadet corps and other services all at one time or another marched with the veterans. Since the closing of British, Canadian, and American bases in 1995, the parade has barely grown smaller. In addition to the ceremony held in the City of Hamilton on Remembrance Day itself, marching to the Cenotaph (a smaller replica of the one in London), where wreaths are laid and orations made, a smaller military parade is also held in St. George’s on the nearest Sunday to Remembrance Day.[7]

Canada

In Canada, Remembrance Day is a public holiday and federal statutory holiday, as well as a statutory holiday in all three territories and in six of the ten provinces (Nova Scotia, Manitoba, Ontario and Quebec being the exceptions).[8][9][10][11] From 1921 to 1930, the Armistice Day Act provided that Thanksgiving would be observed on Armistice Day, which was fixed by statute on the Monday of the week in which November 11 fell. In 1931, the federal parliament adopted an act to amend the Armistice Day Act, providing that the day should be observed on November 11 and that the day should be known as “Remembrance Day”.[12]

The federal department of Veterans Affairs Canada states that the date is of “remembrance for the men and women who have served, and continue to serve our country during times of war, conflict and peace”; specifically, the First and Second World Wars, the Korean War, and all conflicts since then in which members of the Canadian Forces have participated.[13] The department runs a program called Canada Remembers with the mission of helping young and new Canadians, most of whom have never known war, “come to understand and appreciate what those who have served Canada in times of war, armed conflict and peace stand for and what they have sacrificed for their country.”[14]

Poppies are laid on the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier on Remembrance Day in Ottawa

The official national ceremonies are held at the National War Memorial in Ottawa, presided over by the Governor General of Canada, any members of the Royal Family (such as Prince Charles, Prince of Wales, in 2009),[15] the Prime Minister, and other dignitaries, observed by the public. Typically, these events begin with the tolling of the Carillon in the Peace Tower, during which current members of the Canadian Forces (CF) arrive at Confederation Square, followed by the Ottawa diplomatic corps, ministers of the Crown, special guests, the Royal Canadian Legion (RCL), the royal party (if present), and the viceregal party. Before the start of the ceremony, four armed sentries and three sentinels (two flag sentinels and one nursing sister) are posted at the foot of the cenotaph.

The Guard of Honour (a member from the Royal Canadian Navy at left and from the Royal Canadian Air Force at right) at the National War Memorial in Ottawa, Remembrance Day, 2010

The arrival of the governor general is announced by a trumpeter sounding the “Alert”, whereupon the viceroy is met by the Dominion President of the RCL and escorted to a dais to receive the Viceregal Salute, after which the national anthem, “O Canada“, is played. The moment of remembrance begins with the bugling of “Last Post” immediately before 11:00 a.m., at which time the gun salute fires and the bells of the Peace Tower toll the hour. Another gun salute signals the end of the two minutes of silence, and cues the playing of a lament, the bugling of “The Rouse,” and the reading of the Act of Remembrance. A flypast of Royal Canadian Air Force craft then occurs at the start of a 21-gun salute, upon the completion of which a choir sings “In Flanders Fields”. The various parties then lay their wreaths at the base of the memorial; one wreath is set by the Silver Cross Mother, a recent recipient of the Memorial Cross, on behalf of all mothers whose children died in conflicts in which Canada participated. The viceregal and/or royal group return to the dais to receive the playing of the Royal Anthem of Canada, “God Save the Queen“, prior to the assembled Armed Forces personnel and veterans performing a march past in front of the viceroy, bringing about the end of the official ceremonies.[16] A tradition of paying more personal tribute has emerged since erection of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at the War Memorial in 2000: after the official ceremony the general public place their poppies atop the tomb.

Similar ceremonies take place in provincial capitals across the country, officiated by the relevant lieutenant governor, as well as in other cities, towns, and even hotels or corporate headquarters. Schools will usually hold special assemblies for the first half of the day, or on the school day prior, with various presentations concerning the remembrance of the war dead. The largest indoor ceremony in Canada is usually held in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, with over 9,000 gathering in Credit Union Centre in 2010;[17] the ceremony participants include old guard (veterans), new guard (current members of the CF), and sea, army, and air cadet units.

India

In India, the day is usually marked by tributes and ceremonies in army cantonments. There are memorial services in some churches such as St Mark’s Cathedral in Bangalore. At Kohima and Imphal in the remote hillsides of North East India, Services of Remembrance supported by the Indian Army are observed at Kohima and Imphal War Cemeteries (maintained by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission). In other places in India this event is not observed.[citation needed]

Kenya

In Kenya, the Kenya Armed Forces Old Comrades Association (KAFOCA) was established in Kenya immediately in 1945 to cater for the welfare of the Ex-servicemen of the First and the Second World Wars. The KAFOCA and Kenyan government recognize Remembrance Day.

Mauritius

A number of Mauritians who participated in World War I as combattants, lost their lives. Among them were many students from the Royal College of Mauritius, who participated in the War on the French front and never got to return to their motherland. Thus, to mark the gratitude of the Mauritian people to those honourable martyrs, in 1916, even before the Remembrance Day was recognized, Governor Hesketh Bell announced that he had met in London with an eminent artist, J.A. Stevenson, who had agreed to design a bronze monument similar to that of Bernard Partidge, representing two allied soldiers: the Frenchman Poilu and the Englishman Tommy. The inauguration of this commemorative monument took place before the Royal College of Curepipe on Saturday 15 April 1922, which was decreed a public holiday. Since then, on each 11 November or as the case may be, it is at the foot of the War Memorial that Mauritians continue to celebrate Remembrance Day with all solemnity and respect due to the event.

New Zealand

New Zealand‘s national day of remembrance is Anzac Day, 25 April.[18] “Poppy Day” usually occurs on the Friday before Anzac Day.[19] The reason for the oddity of New Zealand having their remembrance on Anzac Day happened in 1921. The paper Poppies for Armistice that year arrived by ship too late for 11 November 1921, so an RSA branch distributed them at the next commemoration date (25 April 1922, which happened to be Anzac Day) and that date stuck as the new Poppy Day in New Zealand.

Armistice Day was observed in New Zealand between the World Wars, although it was always secondary to Anzac Day. As in other countries, New Zealand’s Armistice Day was converted to Remembrance Day after World War II, but this was not a success. By the mid-1950s the day was virtually ignored, even by churches and veterans’ organizations.[20]

Since the Unknown Warrior being returned to New Zealand for Armistice Day 2004, more ceremonies are now being held in New Zealand on Armistice Day and more churches are now observing Remembrance Sunday.

South Africa

In South Africa, Poppy Day is not a public holiday. It takes place on the Saturday nearest to Remembrance Day, though in Cape Town a Remembrance Service is still held on 11 November each year.[21] Commemoration ceremonies are usually held on the following Sunday, at which the “Last Post” is played by a bugler followed by the observation of a two-minute silence. The two largest commemoration ceremonies to mark the event in South Africa are held in Pretoria, at the Voortrekker Monument at the Cenotaph (where it has been held for 84 consecutive years), and at the War Memorial at the Union Buildings in Pretoria. Many high schools hold Remembrance Day services to honour the past pupils who died in the two World Wars and the Border war. In addition, the South African Legion holds a street collection to gather funds to assist in welfare work among military veterans.[21]

United Kingdom

Memorials in the Field of Remembrance outside London’s Westminster Abbey for Remembrance Day, 2002.

In the United Kingdom, although two minutes of silence are observed on 11 November itself, the main observance is on the second Sunday of November, Remembrance Sunday. Ceremonies are held at local war memorials, usually organized by local branches of the Royal British Legion, an association for ex-servicemen. Typically, poppy wreaths are laid by representatives of the Crown, the armed forces, and local civic leaders, as well as by local organizations including ex-servicemen organizations, cadet forces, the Scouts, Guides, Boys’ Brigade, St John Ambulance and the Salvation Army. The start and end of the silence is often also marked by the firing of a cannon. A minute’s or two minutes’ silence is also frequently incorporated into church services. Further wreath-laying ceremonies are observed at most war memorials across the UK at 11 a.m. on the 11th of November, led by the Royal British Legion.[22] The beginning and end of the two minutes’ silence is often marked in large towns and cities by the firing of ceremonial cannon[23] and many employers and businesses invite their staff and customers to observe the two minutes’ silence at 11:00 a.m.[24]

The First Two Minute Silence in London (11 November 1919) was reported in the Manchester Guardian on 12 November 1919:

The first stroke of eleven produced a magical effect. The tram cars glided into stillness, motors ceased to cough and fume, and stopped dead, and the mighty-limbed dray horses hunched back upon their loads and stopped also, seeming to do it of their own volition. Someone took off his hat, and with a nervous hesitancy the rest of the men bowed their heads also. Here and there an old soldier could be detected slipping unconsciously into the posture of ‘attention’. An elderly woman, not far away, wiped her eyes, and the man beside her looked white and stern. Everyone stood very still … The hush deepened. It had spread over the whole city and become so pronounced as to impress one with a sense of audibility. It was a silence which was almost pain … And the spirit of memory brooded over it all.[25]

The Cenotaph at Whitehall, London on Remembrance Day 2004

The main national commemoration is held at Whitehall, in Central London, for dignitaries, the public, and ceremonial detachments from the armed forces and civilian uniformed services such as the Merchant Navy and Her Majesty’s Coastguard. Members of the British Royal Family walk through the Foreign and Commonwealth Office towards the Cenotaph, assembling to the right of the monument to wait for Big Ben to strike 11:00 a.m., and for the King’s Troop, Royal Horse Artillery at Horse Guards Parade, to fire the cannon marking the commencement of the two minutes of silence. Following this, “Last Post” is sounded by the buglers of the Royal Marines. “The Rouse” is then sounded by the trumpeters of the Royal Air Force, after which wreaths are laid by the Queen and senior members of the Royal Family attending in military uniform and then, to “Beethoven’s Funeral March” (composed by Johann Heinrich Walch), by attendees in the following order: the Prime Minister; the leaders of the major political parties from all parts of the United Kingdom; Commonwealth High Commissioners to London, on behalf of their respective nations; the Foreign Secretary, on behalf of the British Dependencies; the First Sea Lord; the Chief of the General Staff; the Chief of the Air Staff; representatives of the merchant navy and Fishing Fleets and the merchant air service. Other members of the Royal Family usually watch the service from the balcony of the Foreign Office. The service is generally conducted by the Bishop of London, with a choir from the Chapels Royal, in the presence of representatives of all major faiths in the United Kingdom. Before the marching commences, the members of the Royal Family and public sing the national anthem before the Royal Delegation lead out after the main service.

Members of the Reserve Forces and cadet organizations join in with the marching, alongside volunteers from St John Ambulance, paramedics from the London Ambulance Service, and conflict veterans from World War II, Korea, the Falklands, the Persian Gulf, Kosovo, Bosnia, Northern Ireland, Iraq, other past conflicts and the ongoing conflict in Afghanistan. The last three British-resident veterans of World War I, Bill Stone, Henry Allingham and Harry Patch, attended the 2008 ceremony but all died in 2009. After the service, there is a parade of veterans, who also lay wreaths at the foot of the Cenotaph as they pass, and a salute is taken by a member of the Royal Family at Horse Guards Parade.

In the United Kingdom, Armed Forces’ Day (formerly Veterans’ Day) is a separate commemoration, celebrated for the first time on 27 June 2009.

Northern Ireland

Remembrance Day is officially observed in Northern Ireland in the same way as in Great Britain. However, it has tended to be associated with the unionist community. Most Irish nationalists and republicans do not take part in the public commemoration of British soldiers. This is mainly due to the actions of the British Army during The Troubles. However, some moderate nationalists began to attend Remembrance Day events as a way to connect with the unionist community. In 1987 a bomb was detonated by the Provisional Irish Republican Army (IRA) just before a Remembrance Sunday ceremony in Enniskillen, killing eleven people. The IRA said it had made a mistake and had been targeting soldiers parading to the war memorial. The bombing was widely condemned and attendance at Remembrance events, by both nationalists and unionists, rose in the following years.[26] The Republic of Ireland has a National Day of Commemoration in July for all Irish people who have died in war.

Similar observances outside the Commonwealth

France and Belgium

Bleuet de France, circa 1950

Remembrance Day (11 November) is a national holiday in France and Belgium. It commemorates the armistice signed between the Allies and Germany at Compiègne, France, for the cessation of hostilities on the Western Front, which took effect at 11:00 a.m. in the morning—the “eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month.” Armistice Day is one the most important military celebrations in France, since it was a major French victory and the French paid a heavy price in blood to achieve it. The First World War was considered in France as the “Great Patriotic War”.[27] Almost all French villages feature memorials dedicated to those fallen during the conflict.[28] In France the blue cornflower (Bleuet de France)[29] is used symbolically rather than the poppy.

Germany

The German national day of mourning is the secular public holiday of Volkstrauertag,[30] which since 1952 has been observed two Sundays before the first Sunday of Advent;[31] in practice this is the Sunday closest to 16 November. The anniversary of the Armistice itself is not observed in Germany.[32]

Each of the major German churches has its own festivals for commemorating the dead, observed in November: All Souls Day in the case of the Roman Catholic Church, Ewigkeitssonntag or “Eternity Sunday” in the case of the Lutheran church.

Hong Kong

The Hong Kong Police Band at the memorial service by the Cenotaph in Central, Hong Kong

Though not a public holiday since July 1997, Remembrance Sunday is observed in Hong Kong, and is marked by a multi-faith memorial service at the Cenotaph in Central, Hong Kong. The service is organized by the Hong Kong ex-servicemen Association, and is attended by various Government officials and the representatives of various religious traditions such as the Anglican Church, the Roman Catholic Church, the Eastern Orthodox Church, the Buddhist community, the Taoist community, the Muslim community and the Sikh community.

Although Hong Kong ceased to be part of the Commonwealth of Nations in 1997, the memorial service still resembles those in many other Commonwealth countries. The service includes the sounding of “Last Post“, two minutes of silence, the sounding of “Reveille“, the laying of wreaths, and prayers, and ends with a recitation of the “Ode of Remembrance“. The Hong Kong Police Band continues to perform their ceremonial duty at the service. Members of the Hong Kong Air Cadet Corps (including the Ceremonial Squadron), Hong Kong Adventure Corps, Hong Kong Sea Cadet Corps and scouting organisations are also in attendance.

Ireland

In the Republic of Ireland, Armistice or Remembrance Day is not a public holiday. In July there is a National Day of Commemoration for Irish men and women who have died in war. Nevertheless, Remembrance Sunday is marked by a ceremony in St Patrick’s Cathedral, Dublin, which the President of Ireland attends.[33][34][35] During World War I, many Irishmen served in the British Army, but official commemoration of them (and other British soldiers) has been controversial. The British Army was used to suppress the Easter Rising (1916) and fought the forces of the Irish Republic during the Irish War of Independence (1919–22). A very small number of people living in the Republic still enlist in the British Army,[36][37][38] although the British Army is banned from recruiting there under the Defence Act 1954.[39][40] The Irish National War Memorial Gardens in Dublin is dedicated to the memory of the 49,400 Irish soldiers who were killed in action in World War I.[41]

Israel

In Israel there are two ceremonies, the first being in Jerusalem, at Mount Scopus Commonwealth Cemetery on the Saturday before Remembrance Sunday, organized by the British Consul in Jerusalem. The second ceremony is in Ramleh on the Sunday itself, organized by the British embassy in Tel Aviv. The Ramleh ceremony is the larger, and is also attended by veterans of the Second World War.

Italy

In Italy, soldiers who died for the nation are remembered on 4 November, when the ceasefire that followed the Armistice of Villa Giusti in 1918 began. The Day is known as the Day of National Unity Day of the Armed Forces, Giorno dell’UnitĂ  Nazionale Giornata delle Forze Armate in Italian.[42] Since 1977, this day has not been a public holiday; now, many services are held on the first Sunday in November.[43]

Netherlands

In the Netherlands, Remembrance Day is commemorated annually on 4 May. It is not a public holiday. Throughout the country, military personnel and civilians fallen in various conflicts since World War II are remembered. The main ceremonies are at the Waalsdorpervlakte near The Hague, the Grebbeberg near Wageningen and Dam Square in Amsterdam. Two minutes of silence are observed at 8:00 p.m. Remembrance Day is followed by Liberation Day on 5 May.

Poland

11 November is a public holiday in Poland called Independence Day, as the ending of First World War allowed Polish people to regain the freedom and unity of their country after over a hundred years of partitions. Major events include laying flowers on the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier by members of the government and highest authorities, other public ceremonies and church services and school celebrations.

United States

Veterans Day is observed in the United States on 11 November, and is both a federal holiday and a state holiday in all states. However, the function of the observance elsewhere is more closely matched by Memorial Day in May. In the United States, and some other allied nations, 11 November was formerly known as Armistice Day; in the United States it was given its new name in 1954 at the end of the Korean War to honor all veterans. Veterans Day is observed with memorial ceremonies, salutes at military cemeteries, and parades.

Poppies

Main article: Remembrance poppy

See also

(Goaty: This is my humble tribute to those fallen, those injured and those who grieve as a result of war)

Never Forget in memory tributes and donations