Tag Archive: United Kingdom


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 Residents remain on the brink as rivers across Carlisle remained extremely high today as rain continued to fall across the Cumbria region

Residents remain on the brink as rivers across Carlisle remained extremely high today as rain continued to fall across the Cumbria region

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Base data

EDIS Number FL-20151211-51208-GBR
Event type Flood
Date/Time December 11 2015 04:38 AM (UTC)
Last update December 11 2015 04:42 AM (UTC)
Cause of event
Damage level High Damage level

Geographic information

Continent Europe
Country United Kingdom
County / State England
Area Cumbria Region
Settlement Glenridding
Coordinate 54° 32.690,2° 56.986

 

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The village of Glenridding, which had been cut off since Sunday, was hit with a deluge of water after the river burst its banks. A “multi-agency” response, which includes the military and fire services, got under way last night amid concerns that the latest flooding may endanger lives. “Although the flood water is starting to recede, it is still extremely unsafe and would ask any members of the public not to walk or travel through any flood water”. “Cumbria police would like to urge the people of Glenridding to stay inside their properties to keep themselves and their families safe”, police said. The Cumbria Flood Recovery Fund 2015 is created to assist any individuals or families who suffer financial hardship as a result of the flooding caused by Storm Desmond. The military has been called in to the village to help deliver food and water. Mark Williamson, operations director for Electricity North West, said: “We have now restored power to the vast majority of homes in Cumbria”. Local farmer Joe Taylforth said he witnessed “folk holding hands” as they attempted to get out of their flood-ridden homes and businesses adjacent to the river. “This community is strong and will pull together again to make sure everything returns to normal as quickly as possible”. Andy Beeforth, Chief Executive of Cumbria Community Foundation, said: “It is hard to assess the scale of the need, but we know that the flooding will cause significant financial hardship and emotional distress”. John Bibby, 36, feared he would not be able to get wife Katharine to hospital because the Backbarrow bridge was destroyed and the only other road was under 3ft of water. The video shows the hugely swollen River Eamont rushing past the remains of Pooley Bridge following its collapse. He said work done after floods six years ago was not enough to help when the latest rain hit. This morning Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron, MP for Westmorland and Lonsdale, described the situation as “absolutely horrendous” and said lessons must be learnt. There are reports that the water is 3ft deep in places, after flood defences were overtopped in two places. “They definitely need to do some upstream flooding rather than just waiting for it all to come down”. “Events like this serve as a harsh reminder of the finite capacity of our flood defences, and the destructive impact extreme flooding has on our communities”, says Professor David Balmforth, Flood Expert and Past President of the Institution of Civil Engineers. The Glenridding Hotel was under water again prompting the owners to issue an online appeal for people to bring sandbags to help cope with the problem.

 

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Storm Desmond claims its THIRD victim: Pensioner, 70, hit by sign blown over in high winds dies in hospital – as new aerial pictures show the awesome scale of the floods that have hit Cumbria

  • Pensioner, 70, has become the third person to die from Storm Desmond after he was hit by a falling sign in Berwick 
  • Residents of Cumbrian village Glenridding are facing further torment after flooding hit the region for a second time
  • As homeowners began huge clean-up operation from weekend’s floods, nearby River Beck broke its banks again
  • Police warning residents to stay indoors amid fears floods could ‘endanger lives’ and homes remain without power
  • The Met Office has also issued a weather warning about the risk of snow in parts of northern England on Saturday 
  • George Osborne has announced additional £51million to support households and businesses affected by flooding
  • The Mail has launched an appeal to help those affected by the floods. See the information below on how to donate

A 70-year-old man has become the third person to die because of Storm Desmond after he suffered fatal injuries when he was hit by a falling sign which was blown over in high winds.

The pensioner was struck by the sign as he walked along a street in Berwick, Northumberland, as more than 13.5 inches of rain lashed the region on Saturday – bringing widespread flooding which has devastated entire communities.

He was taken to hospital but police today confirmed he died from his injuries last night, making him the third person to be killed as a result of the storm.

It comes after Ernie Crouch, 90, died when he was blown into the side of a moving bus by strong winds near Finchley Central Tube station in London on Saturday, and the body of a 78-year-old man was recovered after he fell into fast-flowing floodwater in the swollen River Kent in Kendal, .

Meanwhile, incredible aerial photographs taken today show the vast extent of the flooding which forced thousands of people out of their homes and left a wake of deluge and devastation.

The images show how much of Carlisle remains besieged by floodwater more than five days on from the record rainfalls which saw the worst flooding across the region in decades.

 

Incredible aerial photographs taken today show the vast extent of the flooding which forced thousands of people out of their homes in Carlisle and left a wake of devastation after Storm Desmond brought record amount of rainfalls including 13.5 inches in just 24 hours

Incredible aerial photographs taken today show the vast extent of the flooding which forced thousands of people out of their homes in Carlisle and left a wake of devastation after Storm Desmond brought record amount of rainfalls including 13.5 inches in just 24 hours

These aerial photos show how Carlisle United Football Club's ground has finally dried out after being besieged by waist-high floodwater 

These aerial photos show how Carlisle United Football Club’s ground has finally dried out after being besieged by waist-high floodwater

 

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Russian ambassador shuts down Tories, Turkey AND Labour rebels in single tweet

Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Russia to the United Kingdom Alexander Yakovenko. © Sputnik
Russia’s ambassador to the UK has tweeted a takedown of the Tories and Turkey while simultaneously showing support for anti-war Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn – not bad for 140 characters.

Alexander Yakovenko tweeted Corbyn after the Labour leader asked Prime Minister David Cameron about who buys oil from Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL).

.@jeremycorbyn Sending you by courier Russian data you requested yesterday in Parliament on who benefits from ISIL oil trade

Corbyn asked the question during Parliament’s marathon 10-hour debate on Wednesday night over whether to extend British airstrikes against IS from Iraq into Syria.

The period before Corbyn’s twitter handle means the tweet was intended to appear on the feeds of all Yakovenko’s followers, not merely those who follow both Yakovenko and Corbyn.

 

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Former U.S. National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden. © Vincent Kessler
NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden has voiced his opposition to the Investigatory Powers Bill, which was unveiled Wednesday by the British government, saying ministers are “taking notes on how to defend the indefensible.”

His remarks come as Home Secretary Theresa May has admitted that UK spy agencies MI5, MI6 and GCHQ secretly collected communications data for decades to protect “national security.”

Snowden, who sought asylum in Russia after leaking top-secret documents about American and British mass surveillance techniques, posted a series of tweets condemning the new bill.

He said the powers given to security agencies in the bill amounted to access to “the activity log of your life.”

May announced on Wednesday that internet companies would be required to store a record of every website accessed by users for a year. The new bill also targets encrypted messaging services, such as WhatsApp and iMessenger, which allow users to evade hackers and data collection.

It’s not about something to hide, it’s about something to lose.

Snowden expressed his opposition to the bill, which was created in the wake of his revelations.

 

 

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London, Britain © Toby Melville
Bankers who are found guilty of market rigging, fraud and irresponsible lending should be imprisoned, a member of the Scottish Parliament has said.

Scottish Government Cabinet Secretary Keith Brown said the UK should follow Iceland’s example of jailing corrupt financiers, rather than merely imposing fines, which is the current punishment for rogue bankers in Britain.

Speaking to the BBC on Thursday, Brown praised the actions of Iceland, which jailed its top banking chiefs for criminal behavior.
Iceland, which suffered a deep recession after the 2008 crash, set up a prosecuting team to investigate 21 alleged reports of illegal banking practice.

This resulted in the chiefs of Iceland’s three biggest banks – Glitnir, Kaupthing and Landsbanki – being convicted.

 

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By Josh Jackman and Sandy Rashty, October 28, 2015
Sir Gerald KaufmanSir Gerald Kaufman

Veteran Labour MP Sir Gerald Kaufman has accused Israel of fabricating the recent knife attacks in the country and claimed the Conservative Party has been influenced by “Jewish money”.

Speaking at a Palestine Return Centre event in Parliament on Tuesday, Sir Gerald said that the British government had become more pro-Israel in recent years.

He said: “It’s Jewish money, Jewish donations to the Conservative Party – as in the general election in May – support from the Jewish Chronicle, all of those things, bias the Conservatives.

“There is now a big group of Conservative members of parliament who are pro-Israel whatever government does and they are not interested in what Israel, in what the Israeli government does.

“They’re not interested in the fact that Palestinians are living a repressed life, and are liable to be shot at any time. In the last few days alone the Israelis have murdered 52 Palestinians and nobody pays attention and this government doesn’t care.”

 

 

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‘Criticizing Russia alone is unjustified’ – German MP

A poster showing Syrian President Bashar al-Assad (L), Russian President Vladimir Putin (C) and Lebanese Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah is seen on a micro bus in al-Qardahah town, near Latakia city © Khaled al-Hariri
Leaders of the US and the UK have recently slammed Russian airstrikes against Islamic State in Syria, claiming they only make things worse. These allegations are “totally unacceptable,” MP from the Left Party in Germany Wolfgang Gehrcke told RT.

“Just for once I’d like to hear the US president say: ‘Yes, we’ve made a mistake,’ and expiate enmity. What I get to hear instead is insults and allegations addressed at Russia, and this is totally unacceptable.

I’ve never heard the US criticizing the UK or France in a similar way. This is only done towards Russia from the American side. In my view, only to criticize Russia is unjustified,” Gehrcke said in an interview with RT.



Russia started airstrikes on terrorist targets in Syria on Wednesday at the request of President Bashar Assad’s government. The primary objective is to provide air support for Syrian troops fighting Islamic State. Explaining Moscow’s decision to get involved in Syria, Russian President Vladimir Putin said that radicals from many countries, including Russia, have flocked to Iraq and Syria to join the terrorist group. They must be defeated where they are, so that they do not return home with battle experience and ideology adopted in the war zone, the Russian president pointed out.

 

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Heavy downpour floods roads in Dover district

22 September 2015
by Victoria Chessum
Chaos has erupted this morning as some of the roads in Dover, Deal and Sandwich have become flooded due to heavy rain.

The downpour has been constant since before 6am, leaving country roads such as the Alkham Valley a difficulty to drive through.

Allenby Avenue was closed because of a big puddle in the middle of the road. Workers from Kent Highway Services attended and unblocked the road, reopening it at 10am.

 

The Met Office issued a weather warning for rain at about 7am and the deluge is not expected to ease until 3pm.

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  September 22 2015 10:16 AM Extreme Weather United Kingdom England, [Essex-wide] Damage level Details

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RSOE EDIS Event Report

Extreme Weather in United Kingdom on Tuesday, 22 September, 2015 at 10:16 (10:16 AM) UTC.

Description
The Met Office issued the warning for 7am until 3pm today due to heavy rain. A spokesman for the Essex Weather Centre said: “Heavy and occasionally thundery showers may become slow-moving in parts of south east England this morning. “This is most likely across Essex and Kent and may result in longer periods of heavy rain with potential for some flooding. “The showers will slowly move away southeast into the Channel this afternoon.” Up to 20mm an hour is possible with about 50mm in places. Drivers are urged to take extra care due to surface waters. However there have already been several problems on the roads. A collision involving a broken down vehicle on the A120 near the Ardleigh Crown caused tailbacks to Frating. The crash took place just before 9am and took an hour to clear. There have also been incidents on the A12 and Maldon Road, Colchester, with slow moving traffic on major routes across Essex. A yellow, or severe, warning means be aware, severe weather is likely and think ahead as plans are likely to be disrupted.

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Monsanto under investigation for ‘illegal dumping’

by SEAN POULTER

Last updated at 18:04 12 February 2007

 

Monsanto is under investigation amid allegations it sanctioned the dumping of toxic waste on sites across the country despite evidence that it would poison the landscape for generations.

The activities of the US chemical giant, best-known in the UK for its support of GM farming, are being examined by the government’s Environment Agency and public health bodies.

The focus of the investigation is a site in south Wales that has been called ‘one of the most contaminated’ in the country.

It appears that toxic chemicals were dumped in the Brofiscin quarry in the 1960s and 1970s despite the fact there was no licence for these materials and the site was not lined or sealed.

This meant a cocktail of highly poisonous chemicals has been able to escape into the environment and threatens to poison local streams and rivers.

The quarry, which is on the edge of the village of Groesfaen, near Cardiff, first erupted in 2003, spilling fumes over the surrounding area.

Since then surveys have found that 67 chemicals, including Agent Orange derivatives, dioxins and PCBs which could have been made only by Monsanto, are leaking from the site.

The Environment Agency says that if the dumping were to take place today there would be a criminal prosecution and civil action to raise the money needed to clean up the site.

However, it appears that much of the dumping was carried out during years when Britain’s regime for environmental protection was more lax.

Consequently, there are doubts as to how far any legal action can go or which companies should be liable for clean-up costs that are expected to run into tens of millions of pounds.

A spokesman for the Environment Agency said: “Our overall aim is to understand the current risks to ground water and surface waters and to determine the most cost-effective way forward to protect the local environment and to recover costs from those liable.”

 

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Published on Dec 30, 2013

The more more rain and flooding, the better the chances are for seeing sinkholes!

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130ft-deep SINK-HOLE opens up in sodden Derbyshire fields as forecasters warn wild, wild weather will continue for a MONTH

  • Met Office says that strong winds and heavy rain are expected to continue until the end of January
  • New storms will sweep across the UK this week sending the number of flooded homes to more than 2,000
  • Tens of thousands of homes were without power over Christmas and 130 were connected on Sunday after five days
  • Government urges power networks to cancel New Year holidays as more storms head for Britain in coming week
  • Some 126 flood alerts and 8 more serious flood warnings are in place across the country, with number set to rise
  • Dartford Bridge was closed for second time in a week, with south-bound drivers diverted via the east bore tunnel

By Rebecca Evans and Gerri Peev and Martin Robinson

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Torrential downpours over Christmas have caused a rare sink-hole to appear in the Peak District, which is 130ft deep and growing.

Part of the Milldam lead mine near Buxton in Derbyshire caved-in overnight on Sunday and swallowed a field as terrible weather continued to plague most of Britain.

Electricity engineers visited the site yesterday to assess how to re-route cables after two poles were left standing precariously either side of the 160ft wide hole, caused when water erodes the earth underneath and causes the whole area to collapse.

Meanwhile it emerged yesterday that Britain should brace itself for an entire month of violent weather, which could cause the number of homes currently flooded more than double to 2,000 by the end of the week.

Rural idyll: With the rolling Peak District in the background, the 130ft deep and 160ft wide gash in the landscape has appeared overnight after the earth beneath it collapsed

Rural idyll: With the rolling Peak District in the background, the 130ft deep and 160ft wide gash in the landscape has appeared overnight after the earth beneath it collapsed

Power problems: Engineers will examine the site for damage to cables which they may have to re-route

Power problems: Engineers will examine the site for damage to cables which they may have to re-route

Trouble: The River Afton in New Cumnock, Ayrshire, broke its banks after heavy rain ovenight causing major flooding in the area and blocking a main road

Trouble: The River Afton in New Cumnock, Ayrshire, broke its banks after heavy rain ovenight causing major flooding in the area and blocking a main road

Three day forecast

Yesterday commuters suffered a miserable return to work after Christmas as bad weather again caused havoc on the roads and railways.

A number of major road routes were blocked by flooding or by fallen trees while landslips added to the problems for train travellers whose services were already disrupted by planned engineering work.

Persistent rain swept across the country yesterday and will return to drench New Year’s Eve revellers.

SINKHOLES TAKE SECONDS TO OPEN AND CAN STRETCH FOR MILES

Sinkholes are found worldwide and can be more than 2000ft deep and dozens of miles wide.

The ground beneath is normally made of easily-dissolved rocks such as limestone, carbonates and salt beds.

When groundwater flows through these rocks, it eats away at them, leaving behind subterranean holes and caverns.

When the roof of one of these caverns collapses, the land above it falls in too, often in seconds. The world’s largest is Qattara near Cairo, measuring 80km long by 120km wide.

Similar smaller holes have engulfed residential streets, often claiming lives.

Then from New Year’s Day tomorrow, storms and rain can be expected for the foreseeable future, forecasters warn. ‘There is no end in sight,’ said a Met Office spokesman.

The Environment Agency said there was a continuing risk of flooding, particularly in the south west of England, as rivers respond to heavy rainfall overnight.

For the past five days energy companies have scrambled to reconnect power to tens of thousands of homes left in the dark since Christmas Eve but bosses have admitted that their efforts were hampered by engineers being on holiday.

At its peak, more than half a million homes were left without electricity, but as of Sunday night this figure was down to 130, which are now said to be reconnected.

Environment Secretary Owen Paterson said he has pressed energy companies to stop staff taking new year holidays as a second week of storms looks set to derail the festive period.

‘Quite clearly some of the power companies let their customers down badly,’ he told BBC Breakfast.

‘It seems obvious at this stage that they let too many of their staff go away for the Christmas holiday, they didn’t have enough people manning the call centres and that wasn’t acceptable.’

He continued: ‘We have had bad weather overnight and we are looking to more bad weather unfortunately on New Year’s Day, New Year’s night. We made it very clear at Cobra – we do expect the power companies and we also expect those local councils that did not perform, that they have adequate staff to cater with what I am afraid may be more difficult times and more flooding.’

The minister added that he had chaired another emergency meeting to make plans for the continuing bad weather forecast for later this week.

‘I don’t want to see people left without power for days again,’ he said. ‘The Environment Agency will once again be out day and night and I have met their teams in Kent to see for myself how preparations are going.’

More disruption: After a nightmare Christmas week roads all over the UK have been blocked by floods and landslides caused by heavy rain, still making the Monday commute completely miserable for many

More disruption: After a nightmare Christmas week roads all over the UK have been blocked by floods and landslides caused by heavy rain, still making the Monday commute completely miserable for many

Danger: A vast swathe of rain has crossed the UK and now sits over the north-west and most of Scotland, which means there is a continued heightened flood risk

Danger: A vast swathe of rain has crossed the UK and now sits over the north-west and most of Scotland, which means there is a continued heightened flood risk

However, Labour’s environment spokesman criticised Mr Paterson for ‘pointing the finger’ at workers when he was ‘not been seen for days’ himself.

‘As the country faces more severe weather, households that went a week without power and suffered devastating flooding expect to see some action from ministers at long last, not attempts to pass the buck,’ Maria Eagle said.

‘Of course the energy companies must explain why it took so long to get power restored, but Owen Paterson has a nerve pointing the finger at staff being on holiday when he himself has not been seen for days.’

Energy bosses will be called before MPs to explain why so many homes were left without power for so long, it emerged yesterday.

Tim Yeo, chairman of the energy select committee, said the firms’ performance was ‘unacceptable’ and warned that they had to be ‘properly scrutinised’ by the power watchdog in future.

‘I’m very concerned about how long the network distribution companies took to restore power to thousands of customers,’ he told the Daily Telegraph. ‘The committee will call them in when the House gets back.

‘I’m already concerned that these distribution companies are not properly scrutinised by Ofgem, despite being effectively monopolies. Their performance over Christmas was unacceptable.’

Basil Scarsella, chief executive of one of the country’s biggest power distributors, UK Power Networks, said: ‘We could not have avoided the damage caused by the storm but we could have responded to it better.

‘A lot of our employees had gone away for holidays so it meant we had a level of depletion in our resources – and that caused problems with getting people’s power restored.

‘It’s difficult to justify saying the company has performed well when customers have been without power for five days, but once we had an idea of how bad it was we were able to mobilise as many engineers and office staff as possible.’

The company, which owns electricity lines and cables in London, the South-East and East of England, said it will triple payments for 48 to 60-hour outages from £27 to £75 for those affected on Christmas Day as ‘a gesture of goodwill’.

Despite being a normal working day for many, many rail and some Tube services were disrupted because of engineering work.

Picture of Britain: Dozens of flood alerts and more serious flood warnings remain in place across the country, with the majority in the west and south-west of the UK

Picture of Britain: Dozens of flood alerts and more serious flood warnings remain in place across the country, with the majority in the west and south-west of the UK

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FSA fighters and civilians at the Bab al-Hawa border crossing with Turkey (file)
SMC fighters were reportedly “asked” to leave Bab al-Hawa by the Islamic Front

The US and UK have suspended all “non-lethal” support for rebels in northern Syria, but not humanitarian aid.

A US spokesman said it was concerned about reports that Islamist rebels had seized bases belonging to the Western-backed Free Syrian Army (FSA).

Fighters from the Islamic Front, a new alliance of rebel groups, ousted FSA-aligned fighters from the Bab al-Hawa border crossing with Turkey last week.

The non-lethal aid includes medicine, vehicles and communications equipment.

The US and European countries have been reluctant to supply weapons and ammunition directly to rebel groups in Syria because of concerns that they might end up in the possession of jihadists affiliated to al-Qaeda.

However, they have reportedly facilitated secret arms shipments.

The US and the UK face a fundamental problem in Syria – how can they support the moderate Syrian opposition without also, indirectly, supporting the increasingly powerful Islamist opposition?

This year, the US promised to send $250m of non-lethal supplies to the moderates represented by the National Coalition and the Free Syrian Army. The aid is reported to include vehicles, communications equipment and night-vision goggles. This year, the UK has provided more than £20m of non-lethal aid – including communications and search and rescue equipment.

Crucially, some of these supplies may now be with the Islamists. Rebels from the newly formed Islamist Front have taken over warehouses in northern Syria belonging to the FSA. This takeover reflects the growing power of Islamist factions within the Syrian opposition movement.

For this reason, the US and the UK have suspended their delivery of aid. For the White House and for Downing Street, the idea of supporting the Syrian opposition is getting increasingly complicated.

‘Investigation’

White House spokesman Josh Earnest confirmed the US had “suspended all further deliveries of non-lethal assistance into northern Syria” as a result of events at Bab al-Hawa.

But he stressed that humanitarian aid was not affected by the decision.

UK Foreign Office Minister Hugh Robertson told the BBC that “as far as we know at the moment” no British equipment had passed into the hands of Islamist militants, but he added: “It does make sense to suspend that aid until we know exactly what’s happened.”

The FSA said the suspension was a mistake. “We hope our friends will rethink and wait for a few days when things will be clearer,” spokesman Louay Meqdad was quoted by Reuters news agency as saying.

Last month, seven leading rebel groups – the Ahrar al-Sham, Jaysh al-Islam, Suqour al-Sham, Liwa al-Tawhid, Liwa al-Haqq, Ansar al-Sham and the Kurdish Islamic Front – declared that they were forming the largest alliance yet in the 33-month conflict, with an estimated 45,000 fighters.

They said the new Islamic Front was an “independent political, military and social formation” that aimed to topple President Bashar al-Assad’s government and build an Islamic state.

The front does not include al-Qaeda affiliates like the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIS) and the al-Nusra Front, but its charter welcomes “muhajirin”, or foreign fighters, as “brothers who supported us in jihad”, and suggests it is willing to co-operate with them.

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Syria conflict

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U.S. And U.K. Suspend Nonlethal Aid To Syrian Rebels

NewsyWorld


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US Suspends Non-lethal Aid to Syrian Rebels

isisCovert US War Hands Syria to Al Qaeda

 

By Dr Stuart Jeanne Bramhall

 

According to the BBC, both the US and Britain have suspended “non-lethal” aid to northern Syria. The decision follows the seizure of Western-backed Free Syrian Army bases by Islamist rebels.

Last week, fighters from the Islamic Front ousted FSA-aligned fighters from the Bab al-Hawa border crossing with Turkey. The Islamic Front is a new alliance of rebel fighters dedicated to creating an Islamic state in Syria. The front does not include al-Qaeda affiliates like the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIS) and the al-Nusra Front, but its charter welcomes “muhajirin”, or foreign fighters and expresses willingness to co-operate with them.

During the raid, the Islamic Front took over FSA warehouses believed to contain vehicles, communications equipment, and night-vision goggles donated by the US and Britain.

In the past few months, the foreign fighters in ISIS have also been making news  by shooting and beheading FSA fighters and civilians linked to the Syrian opposition.

 

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