Syria’s ‘genocide zone’
International | The front lines are deadly for Kurds and Christians
by Mindy Belz
Posted 10/31/19, 02:10 pm
SYRIA: Turkish troops faced off against President Bashar al-Assad’s Syrian army in Tel Tamer, a historically Assyrian Christian enclave located outside the so-called “safe zone,” in Turkey’s ongoing violations of its cease-fire agreement reached last week with Russia. On the front lines, Dave Eubank, director of Free Burma Rangers, told WORLD Radio the buffer zone “is a genocide zone because if you stay—especially if you’re a Kurd or a Christian—you’re going to die.”
For victims of ISIS atrocities, the death of leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi doesn’t end the trauma.
TURKEY summoned the U.S. ambassador in protest of a U.S. House of Representatives vote (405-11) recognizing the 1915 Armenian Genocide that killed more than 1.5 million Christians. The House also advanced a bill imposing sanctions on Turkish military and government officials over Ankara’s military operation against Kurdish forces in northeast Syria. From northeast Syria, the Kurdish spokesman for the Syrian Democratic Forces tweeted, “It is hypocrisy at its finest to recognize a 100 years old genocide and to do almost nothing to prevent an ongoing one.”
HONG KONG: Democracy movement leader Joshua Wong said authorities have barred him from running in local elections on Nov. 24, saying his political stance on self-determination—allowing Hong Kong’s people to decide their future—is incompatible with the territory’s Basic Law, which asserts that Hong Kong is a part of China.
UKRAINE: A top Ukraine expert on the National Security Council told U.S. House lawmakers that the White House omitted critical details in its summary of the July 25 call between President Donald Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman said Trump blocked military aid to Ukraine to force Zelensky to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden. Gen. Joseph Dunford, the retired chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, affirmed Vindman’s character and decorated military service after Republicans charged Democrats with coaching the witness and questioned or stood by his career record.
POLAND: Thirty years after the Solidarity movement commenced the end of Communist domination in Eastern Europe, a range of metrics demonstrate that the transition from communism to capitalism has been a remarkable success.
BRITAIN: Millions of coins minted for the commemoration of Brexit on Oct. 31 will be melted down, after Prime Minister Boris Johnson agreed to a European Union extension deadline of Jan. 31, 2020.
ARGENTINA: Following his election victory over incumbent President Mauricio Macri on Sunday, the next battle for Alberto Fernández will be with the International Monetary Fund, which made its $57 billion bailout last year dependent on the austerity measures now rejected by voters.
RUSSIA: The steppe eagle runs up a whopping texting bill.
I’M READING The Outlaw Ocean by Ian Urbina.
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Mindy wrote WORLD Magazine's first cover story in 1986 and went on to serve as international editor, editor, and now senior editor. She has covered wars in Syria, Afganistan, Africa, and the Balkans, and she recounts some of her experiences in They Say We Are Infidels: On the Run from ISIS with Persecuted Christians in the Middle East. Mindy resides with her husband, Nat, in Asheville, N.C. Follow her on Twitter @mcbelz.