Trump: US, allies attacking Syria to stop chemical weapons

The United States, France and Britain together launched military strikes in Syria to punish President Bashar Assad for a suspected chemical attack against civilians and to deter him from doing it again, President Donald Trump announced Friday. Explosions lit up the skies over Damascus, the Syrian capital, as Trump announced the airstrikes from the White House.… Read the rest of this entry »

Posted: April 14th, 2018 | Author: | Filed under: Donald Trump, Syria | Tags: , , , , , | No Comments »

Christian refugees escaping ISIS get visit from Congressman Chris Smith

21739992-standard-1WASHINGTON — Thousands of Christians fleeing Islamic State-held territory in Iraq got a visit this week from Rep. Chris Smith. At the invitation of the Syriac Orthodox archbishop of Mosul, Nicodemus Daoud Sharaf, himself a refugee, Smith (R-4th Dist.) toured a 6,000-person refugee camp among other stops in the Kurdish region of Iraq. In all, about… Read the rest of this entry »

Posted: December 22nd, 2016 | Author: | Filed under: Chris Smith, ISIS, Monmouth County News, Syria | Tags: , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Listening to Obama

By Art Gallagher

Obama addressUnlike many conservative and Republican pundits on television and social media, my reaction to President Obama’s Oval Office address last evening was positive. He surprised me.  I though last night’s speech revealed a shift in the president. Albeit a low bar, I thought Obama’s address was his best since he’s taken office.

When I said so on social media, a friend and man that I respect asked if I was under the influence of drugs, alcohol or lack of sleep. Fortunately I am not suffering from any of those afflictions.  But over the course of 2015 I have noticed that I suffer from a combination of empathetic and sympathetic listening.   I first noticed this affliction last February at a town hall meeting that Governor Christie held in Burlington County.  I walked into that town hall really down on the Governor I once supported enthusiastically.  During the course of the meeting I noticed I was becoming enthused about him and the job he was doing for New Jersey again.  I woke up on the drive home and started to practice fact checking my own initial reactions to political speeches.

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Posted: December 7th, 2015 | Author: | Filed under: Barack Obama, Opinion, War on terror | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

Christie to Obama: N.J. won’t accept Syrian refugees

assetContentTRENTON — Gov. Chris Christie on Tuesday sent a letter to President Obama saying New Jersey will not accept any Syrian refugees from the war-torn country. In the letter, Christie argued the Obama administration failed to notify the state or coordinate with New Jersey agencies on resettling refugees in the Garden State. Christie, who is running… Read the rest of this entry »

Posted: November 17th, 2015 | Author: | Filed under: Barack Obama, Chris Christie, New Jersey, Syria, War on terror | Tags: , , , , , , | Comments Off on Christie to Obama: N.J. won’t accept Syrian refugees

French jets pound Raqqa as G20 pledges new ISIS fight

assetContent (18)French warplanes have hit the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) group’s Syrian stronghold of Raqqa, as world leaders pledged to renew their fight against the armed group, which claimed responsibility for the Paris attacks which killed at least 129 people. In its first air strikes against ISIL since the Paris attacks, 12 warplanes,… Read the rest of this entry »

Posted: November 15th, 2015 | Author: | Filed under: Syria, Terrorism, War on terror | Tags: , , , , | Comments Off on French jets pound Raqqa as G20 pledges new ISIS fight

Obama defends ISIS strategy

WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama met with the military leaders of 21 countries Tuesday to discuss the ongoing strategy to combat the Islamic State terrorist group as he faces mounting pressure at home and abroad to take more aggressive action in Iraq and Syria. Obama did not announce any new or expanded initiatives following the meeting… Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: October 14th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Barack Obama, Iraq, News, Syria | Tags: , , , , , | 3 Comments »

U.S. expands attacks on Islamic State as Iraqi forces move to reclaim villages near Haditha

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Posted: September 7th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Barack Obama, Iraq, News, Syria, War on terror | Tags: , , , , , | Comments Off on U.S. expands attacks on Islamic State as Iraqi forces move to reclaim villages near Haditha

Syria: yesterday, today, and tomorrow.

By BADER GEORGE QARMOUT

Bader-Qarmout-portrait-picAs the world contemplates what to do with Syria, I had the opportunity to speak to Shadi (last name withheld) and his mother and I asked them about what life was like in Syria before the Arab Spring, as well as other things. Shadi and his mother now live in a small town in northern New Jersey. Both Shadi and his mother were living in the US and went to visit Syria before the outbreak of the uprising in that country. They wanted to return to the US but could not and thus were stuck in the land of their birth in the midst of a revolution for 2 and ½ years. Finally Shadi and his mother were able to escape from Syria and come back to New Jersey in June of this year to live with relatives. I sat down with Shadi and his mother for over four hours to discuss Syria in detail.

I specifically asked what life was like in Syria before the revolution and how was the relationship between Muslims and Christians who make up 10% of the population? The answers I received were different than what you will hear in the mainstream media.   Shadi and his mother, who are Christians, were insistent that Christians and Muslims got along without any conflict priory to the revolution. Christians though a minority, had equal access to all the rights and privilege of social, academic, political, and financial aspects of Syrian society. I was told of a Syria that was getting better and more modernized under the leadership of President Bashar al-Assad (Bashar-the-lion) as compared to his father’s stricter control. Bashar introduced or expanded private banking, private hospitalization, internet, cellphones and modern amenities to Syria. The Syrian government funds itself mostly from oil exports and has no personal income tax.

The catalyst of the Syrian revolution was in Daraa, in the southwest region of Syria near the Jordan border. A handful of teenagers were arrested for vandalism by Bashar-al-Assad’s cousin, Gen. Atef Najeeb.  The teenagers were brutally beaten and tortured by Gen. Najeeb’s men because they spray painted anti Assad and anti-government graffiti. When family members and tribal leaders came to Gen. Najeeb to secure the release of the 15 teenagers, the General refused and disrespected the tribal leaders and sent them home without releasing the teenagers. The Sunni residents of Daraa reacted with protest and demonstrations.  The overreaction by Gen. Najeeb was later apologized for by Bashar-al-Assad, but that was far too late, Syria was already on fire. The majority of the population of Daraa is Sunni as is over 60 percent of Syria, while Bashar-el-Assad is a member of a minority Shia subgroup called Alawites.

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Posted: September 22nd, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Bader George Qarmout, Syria | Tags: , | 1 Comment »

Sen. Menendez: Syria chemical weapons deal comes with heavy risks

Sen. Menendez: Syria chemical weapons deal comes with heavy risks (via NJ.com)

Sen. Robert Menendez still believes the threat of force must remain in play with Syria, Politico said. As the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Menendez praised the chance of eliminating chemical weapons in Syria, but showed concern…

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Posted: September 15th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Bob Menendez, Syria | Tags: , | Comments Off on Sen. Menendez: Syria chemical weapons deal comes with heavy risks

US and Russia in landmark deal on Syria weapons

US and Russia in landmark deal on Syria weapons (via AFP)

The United States and Russia on Saturday agreed on an ambitious plan to eliminate Syria’s chemical weapons by the middle of next year and left the door open to sanctions if Damascus failed to comply. The landmark deal was hailed by the West, but rejected…

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Posted: September 14th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Syria | Tags: , , | Comments Off on US and Russia in landmark deal on Syria weapons