Tag Archives: SYRIA

More than €5 billion raised in aid to Syria

Donors have allocated 5.3 billion euros for the settlement of the Syrian crisis. 3.6 billion euros are subventions for 2021.

At the fifth donor conference Supporting the future of Syria and the region, held on March 29-30 in Brussels, donations were collected for the settlement of the Syrian crisis in the amount of 5.3 billion euros, according to the website of the European Commission.

“Commitments for 5.3 billion euros have been made. 3.6 billion euros are subventions for 2021. 1.7 billion euros for 2022,” said Janez Lenarcic, a member of the European Commission for Crisis Management.

Since the beginning of the crisis in Syria in 2011, the EU has already allocated 24.9 billion euros for humanitarian assistance, stabilization processes, and refugee accommodation.

Meanwhile, Britain has launched an investigation into Bashar al-Assad’s wife.

The investigation was launched at the request of a group of lawyers who believe that Asma al-Assad, being the wife of the president and thus one of the most influential persons in Syria, “ incited terrorism.”

Sex scandal left Bild without the chief editor

Head of Germany’s largest daily newspaper accused of harassment

According to German media, Julian Reichelt, editor-in-chief of the country’s largest-circulation Bild (read by more than 12 million people every day), sent a letter to the management of Springer publishing house, which includes the newspaper, asking him to release him while investigating his own “wrong behavior” from the management of the newspaper. The publishing house publicly confirmed this fact, citing a violation of the code of conduct within the editorial office. During the investigation, the editorial staff will be Alexandra Wurzbach, editor-in-chief of the Sunday edition of Bild am Sonntag. The investigation was entrusted to lawyers of the international law firm Freshfields, which, by the way, has a branch in Moscow.

The 40-year-old Reichelt has been at the head of the joint editorial staff of the Bild newspaper since 2017. He is accused of abuse of power, harassment, and the use of the relations of dependence on him by the editorial staff. Hamburg-based weekly Zeit suspects that “the editor-in-chief may have misbehaved towards the female employees.”

The magazine Spiegel, which was the first to bring this story to light, spoke more clearly and impartially about Reichelt’s behavior. The magazine’s article on the editor-in-chief of Bild was titled “Sex followed by a promotion or firing.”

Reichelt himself denies all charges. Therefore, the publisher notes in its statement that lawyers must conduct a thorough investigation on all fronts and assess the honesty of all those affected.

It is known about Reichelt that he was a war correspondent and worked in hot spots — Afghanistan, Iraq, Sudan, Lebanon, Georgia, Thailand. He also began his journalistic career at Bild back in 2002 and was educated at Springer’s own journalism academy. In 2007, Reichelt became the chief reporter for the newspaper, and since 2014 has been managing its online publication. After becoming editor-in-chief, he continued to write articles on political topics, actively participated in round tables on TV channels, and published two books.

Colleagues believe that Reichelt prefers to work in the style of “revolving journalism”. In other words, emotions play a decisive role in his articles, and he prefers to write about enemies. Therefore, he is not even called a journalist, but a propagandist. So, in his messages from Syria, he argued that “the West should have foreseen Russia’s interference in Syrian affairs and responded with intervention” or at least “calculate the risk of starting a war with Russia.”

The German Press Council, which was created by journalist organizations and large publishing houses back in 1956, following the example of the British Press Council with the aim of monitoring the observance of the so-called Press Code or the Code of Journalism by journalists, drew attention to Reichelt’s publications. In the event of violations of the Press Code by journalists, the council usually issues recommendations to the editorial offices in this regard. So, he noted that Reichelt in his messages from Syria in 2016 published unverified facts and outright fakes. In response, Reichelt publicly called the press council the Kremlin’s hand.

In any case, such actions characterize Reichelt well enough as an ambitious and uncompromising person who pursues his line without regard to public opinion or circumstances.

The FBI has put on the wanted list the oligarch Prigozhin, who is close to Putin

The US Federal Bureau of Investigation has announced a search for Russian businessman Yevgeny Prigozhin, known as “Putin’s chef”.

The relevant information is posted in the “Most Wanted” section on the agency’s website.

“The FBI announces a reward of up to 250 thousand US dollars for information that may lead to the arrest of Yevgeny Viktorovich Prigozhin,” the report says.

The FBI is looking for Prigogine for allegedly engaging in a criminal conspiracy between early 2014 and February 16, 2018, in Washington, D.C., to commit fraud against the United States by creating conditions that weakened, obstructed, or undermined the legitimate activities of the Federal Election Commission, the U.S. Department of Justice, and the U.S. Department of State.

Prigozhin was the main source of funding for the activities of the Internet Research Agency (IRA), located in St. Petersburg. The investigation also finds that Prigozhin directed the company’s operational activities to interfere in the political and electoral process of the United States, including the acquisition of American computer server space, the creation of hundreds of virtual entities that do not exist in reality, and the use of illegally appropriated identification information of persons from the United States.

“The purpose of this activity was to gain influence over the opinion of a significant number of Americans with the subsequent purpose of interfering in the US political system, including the course of the 2016 presidential election,” the FBI said on its website.

On February 16, 2018, the U.S. Federal District Court in Washington issued an arrest warrant for Prigozhin after he was charged with conspiracy to commit fraud against the United States.

Recall that in October 2020, the European Union imposed sanctions against Prigozhin in connection with his financing of the activities of the Russian private military company “Wagner” in Libya.

Prigozhin is also considered the manager and financier of the Wagner PMC, which conducts or has conducted dangerous and destabilizing operations in foreign countries such as Ukraine, Syria, Sudan, Libya, and Mozambique.

The US Treasury Department in September 2020 imposed sanctions against several Russians and Russian companies from the Prigozhin network.

Russia said the US was late warning of an airstrike in Syria

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said that the United States had warned the Russian military about impending strikes on Syria in just 4-5 minutes. He said this at a press conference on Friday, February 26.

“Our military was warned 4 or 5 minutes in advance. Of course, even if we talk about deconflicting, as is customary in relations between Russian and American servicemen, it does not give anything. This kind of notification when a strike is already being delivered,” Lavrov said.

He added: “This concerns the military side of the matter. But in no case should it be considered in isolation from the fact that the United States is in Syria illegally, in violation of all norms of international law, including the Security Council resolutions on a settlement in the Syrian Arab Republic.”

On the night of February 26, the US Air Force launched a strike on the infrastructure of Syrian armed groups supported by Iran in eastern Syria. According to media reports, 17 militants were killed in the attack.

The Pentagon said the strikes were authorized “in response to recent attacks on the US and international coalition personnel in Iraq and ongoing threats against this personnel.” Let us remind you that a few days ago the “green zone” of Baghdad, where, in particular, the US Embassy is located, was fired upon with rockets.

Syria blamed Israel for the missile attacks on Damascus

Syria’s air defense systems (air defenses) are repelling Israeli attacks on targets in southern Damascus, the Syrian state agency SANA reported. The Syrian army claims the missile attack came from the Golan Heights.

“Our air defenses are responding to the Israeli attack in the southern region,” SANA reported.

“At exactly 11:10 pm this evening, the Israeli enemy carried out an air aggression with missile bursts from the occupied Syrian Golan on some targets in the southern region,” SANA quoted the Syrian military as saying. They claim to have eliminated most of the Israeli rockets.