Friday, 13 November 2015

Sinjar liberated and Lebanon attacks

Sinjar, Iraq fought and won by the Peshmerga against ISIS

It has been a stressful Friday. The Peshmerga has succeeded in its long battle against ISIS to liberate the town of Sinjar, Iraq. The Peshmerga and the wider Kurdish people have been fighting against ISIS in large and small ways. While the Peshmarga, YPK, Kurdish women warriors and the PKK have all joined forces with their Iraqi, Syrian and even Turkish counterparts to battle and resist ISIS' advances in Northern Iraq and a large chunk of Syria. Refugees and migrants from all three countries continue to leave Izimir and Bodrum to Greece, Italy, Germany, Austria and the former Yugoslavian republics ie Slovenia, Serbia and Croatia for safety. The refugee families and migrants are equally catching hell in each country they land in minus Germany. Back in Syria and Iraq, the ongoing war has made life impossible for many citizens outside of secured Damascus and Syrian government controlled cities and towns. Sinjar's liberation from ISIS rule is key to liberating other areas around Iraq and Syria. It is a boost to war weary local troops and joint U.S. and other Western airstrikes against the terror group in Syria. The United States has ordered ground troops to Syria for the first time. Just the idea has raised eyebrows and is dubbed the Long Road to Hell.

Death at a Funeral

Lebanon has been pulled between its neighbors in regional war for over a century. During the 1975-1990 Civil War, Syria, Israel and the United States with a whole host of other nations and rebel groups fought over Lebanon and destroyed the capital Beirut at the expense of the Lebanese civilians. As Lebanon rebuild and revived, the country emerged out of the civil war like a phoenix proving that no amount of destruction could destroy Lebanese people or society. Lebanon's multicultural and multi religious society reminds intact despite the stress brought on by ongoing events next door. Lebanon still hosts 1 in 3 Syrian refugees, the war threats from Syria and the rising conflict between Hezbullah, ISIS and other non political groups has also placed Lebanon on high alert. Nevertheless, most Lebanese are more concerned about the piling garbage and pollution around Beirut. Earlier in the year the You Stink Movement picked up momentum in Beirut leading to wider condemnation of the Lebanese government's slow response to social issues and health. 

On certain streets and neighbors in Beirut, clashes and bombings targeting both Sunni and Shias has been disrupting the peace and terrorizing ordinary Lebanese living their lives in spite of regional events. Two bombings ripped through a Beirut neighborhood killing over 30 people earlier this week. The funerals were held for the victims yesterday and again today.

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