Syria

This picture looks like any ordinary scenery from the Kobanê countryside. The idyllic villages and golden wheat fields with the sleepy little houses tucked away across the distance. But, it is more than that. This is Ain Issa, an area of Tell Abyad and the frontline between the Syrian Democratic Forces (QSD) and Daesh (Islamic State).
Since a “cessation in hostilities” in Syria's multi-sided civil war was declared on February 27, about 6000 people have been killed in the conflict. This “cessation in hostilities” was brokered by the International Syria Support Group (ISSG), made up of the United Nations, the European Union and the Arab League and the governments of Britain, China, Egypt, France, Germany, Iran, Iraq, Italy, Jordan, Lebanon, Oman, Qatar, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, United Arab Emirates and the United States. The ISSG is co-chaired by the US and Russia.
Fighters in the Rojava-based Women's Protection Units (YPJ) militia. Since a “cessation in hostilities” in Syria's multi-sided civil war was declared on February 27, about 6000 people have been killed in the conflict.
On March 17, after a two-day meeting held in the town of Girkê Legê (Al-Muabbada) in Rojava (Syrian Kurdistan), a Constituent Assembly established a “Rojava-Northern Syria Democratic Federal System”. The Constituent Assembly was attended by 31 parties and 200 delegates representing Rojava's Kobanê, Efrîn and Cizîrê cantons and the Kurdish, Arab, Assyrian, Syriac, Armenian, Turkmen and Chechen peoples of Girê Spî (Tal Abyad), Shaddadi, Aleppo and Shehba regions.
A “cessation of hostilities” in Syria, sponsored by the United States and Russia, came into force on February 27. Only some of the internal and foreign participants in Syria's multi-sided conflicts signed on. The air wars that the US and Russia are waging in Syria are both officially directed against ISIS. But in reality, Russia is keen to protect its ally, the dictator Bashar al-Assad, while the US and its regional allies, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey, have given money, weapons and logistical and diplomatic support to his opponents since the civil war began in 2011.
Since the Mu'l'livaaykkaal killings of 2009, the Tamil diaspora has mostly focused political efforts towards demanding justice for the inhuman crimes committed against Tamil civilians. While such efforts have elevated international awareness of the gross human rights violations committed by the Sri Lankan military during the war, the approach has not yielded results on prosecuting the perpetrators of the international crimes.
İlham Ehmed is Co-President of the Syrian Democratic Council, the political body with which the Syrian Democratic Forces (QSD) are affiliated, and a leading representative of the Kurdish-led Rojava Revolution in Northern Syria. She spoke to Firat News Agency on February 22 about the QSD's recent gains and Turkey's bombardment, and threatened invasion, of Rojava.

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What is your evaluation of Turkey's recent escalated attacks on Rojava?

Russian Prime Minister Dmitri Medvedev said in an interview with German newspaper Handelsblatt on February 11 that a threatened ground invasion of Syria by Western allies Turkey and possibly Saudi Arabia would lead to a “new world war”. On February 18, Hawar News Agency reported that “dozens” of Turkish armoured vehicles had advanced 200 metres across the Syrian border.

Indirect internationally-brokered peace talks in Geneva between the Syrian regime of Bashar al-Assad and a Saudi-backed coalition of some opposition groups were suspended on February 3 — just two days after they started. Associated Press said that day that “neither the government nor the opposition even acknowledged that the negotiations had officially begun”. Inside Syria, meanwhile, fighting intensified and the humanitarian situation deteriorated. Advances by government forces, backed by Russian air strikes, were the apparent cause for the talks’ collapse.

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