World View: Syria’s Yarmouk Refugee Camp Descends into the ‘Deepest Circle of Hell’

AP Photo
The Associated Press

This morning’s key headlines from

  • Syria’s Yarmouk refugee camp descends into the ‘deepest circle of Hell’
  • Palestinians flip-flop on Syrian action in Yarmouk refugee camp
  • Europe demands list of reforms from Greece after numerous delays
  • Iran’s demands on sanctions threaten to unravel nuclear deal

Syria’s Yarmouk refugee camp descends into the ‘deepest circle of Hell’

Scene of destruction in Yarmouk refugee camp (dpa)
Scene of destruction in Yarmouk refugee camp (dpa)

Ever since Syria’s Yarmouk refugee camp was captured last week by the Islamic State (IS or ISIS or ISIL or Daesh), putting ISIS within a few miles of al-Assad’s seat of power in Damascus, the camp has turning into what United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is calling “the deepest circle of Hell.”

For the last two years, Yarmouk has been under siege by the army of Syria’s president Bashar al-Assad, who was afraid that the 18,000 Palestinian refugees living there would side with the jihadists against him. But now that ISIS has invaded and captured Yarmouk, the residents “are pinned down by sniper fire, fearing for their lives, as shelling and aerial attacks escalate,” according to Amnesty International.

According to Ban:

The refugee camp is beginning to resemble a death camp… What is unfolding in Yarmouk is unacceptable. We simply cannot stand by and watch a massacre unfold.

Daily Star (Beirut) and Deutsche-Welle and Daily Times (Pakistan)

Palestinians flip-flop on Syrian action in Yarmouk refugee camp

This situation is posing an intolerable political situation for the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO). On the one hand, the PLO opposes Bashar al-Assad because he has massacred hundreds of thousands of innocent Arab women and children, and even used Sarin gas against them for peacefully demonstrating against him.

On the other hand, the PLO is demanding that something be done to save the Palestinians. Two days ago, Ahmad Majdalani, a member of the PLO executive committee, said: “The Palestinian leadership and the PLO will support any decision taken by the Syrian government regarding al-Yarmouk Camp.”

On Thursday, however, the PLO issued a statement repudiating Majdalani’s support for a Syrian regime solution, saying, “We refuse to be drawn into any armed campaign, whatever its nature or cover, and we call for resorting to other means to spare the blood of our people and prevent more destruction and displacement for our people of the camp.”

That was followed later on Thursday by an announcement by 14 Palestinian factions, led by the same PLO executive, Ahmad Majdalani, saying:

[The factions support] a security solution that will be carried out in partnership with the Syrian state and will have as its priority maintaining the security of citizens.

The only thing that we can make of all this is that the entire Mideast is spiraling into chaos, with blood running in the streets in several countries. Generational Dynamics predicts that a full-scale generational crisis war will engulf the Mideast, pitting Israelis against Arabs, Sunnis against Shias, various ethnic groups against each other, and even various factions against each other. SANA (Syria) and Reuters and Al Arabiya

Europe demands list of reforms from Greece after numerous delays

Greece’s central bank scraped together 450 million euros and made the loan repayment to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) that was scheduled for Thursday, thus delaying once again the threat of a Greek bankruptcy, which would force Greece to leave the eurozone and return to its traditional drachma currency.

However, Greece’s woes are far from over. Greece has to pay another 400 million euros on April 14, then another payment of 900 million euros at the end of the month. Then, during May, Greece will have to pay 2.1 billion euros for salaries and pensions.

Greece’s radical left wing prime minister Alexis Tsipras has literally been begging and pleading for money from the IMF and Europeans, but both are pointing out that Tsipras has failed to meet one of his own commitments.

In February, the Europeans gave Tsipras a four-month reprieve, on condition that he come up with a list of reforms to explain how it’s going to meet the existing terms of its bailout agreement. The list of reforms would have to address a number of economic issues, including the bloated public sector, curbing tax evasion and corruption, privatizing public businesses, and adjusting generous pension and minimum wage policies. That list has never been provided, and in fact, spending has been increase for “humanitarian needs” among Greeks in poverty.

The next Eurogroup meeting of eurozone finance ministers is scheduled for April 24, and the Europeans are demanding that Tsipras provide that list of reforms before that meeting, if he wants to get any more bailout money. Reuters

Iran’s demands on sanctions threaten to unravel nuclear deal

Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei spoke out for the first time since the nuclear deal was signed last week between Iran and the West. Khamenei called the Obama administration liars, and said that Obama’s published fact sheet was not what was agreed. This will not be a surprise to Generational Dynamics readers, as we have reported Khamenei’s similar statements in the last few weeks. But apparently it is a big surprise to the reporters at the NY Times and NBC News, who are too young and stupid to check out any facts.

According to Khamenei’s statement on Thursday:

I was never optimistic about negotiating with America, not based on hallucinations, rather based on experience. … However, I agreed with these particular negotiations. I have supported—with all my existence—and will support the negotiators. […]

I support a deal that would guarantee the Iranian nation’s honor and interests. […]

I trust our negotiators—know this—I have no doubts about them, … but I have serious concerns about the other side. … An example of this occurred in the last round of negotiations. The White House, approximately two hours after the negotiations, issued a multi-page statement they called ‘fact sheet’ on account of the [framework agreement] which was mostly untrue. […]

On sanctions: “All sanctions must be removed when a deal is reached. If sanctions are linked to another process, then the talks are meaningless, because the purpose of the negotiations was to remove sanctions.”

On inspections: “They [inspectors] should not be allowed to penetrate at all into the country’s security and defensive boundaries under the pretext of supervision, and the country’s military officials are not permitted to allow the foreigners to cross these boundaries at all or stop the country’s defensive development under the pretext of supervision and inspection.”

Some criminal countries, who themselves have either used a nuclear weapon against a country, like America, or France who has tested weapons in the ocean, which is illegal and bad for the environment, yet they accuse us of pursuing weapons. Islam and our logic and reason forbid us from acquiring nuclear weapons.

Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani reaffirmed Khamenei’s statement on Thursday, and repeated that Iran has already been the victims of weapons of mass destruction (WMDs) at the hands of Iraq’s Saddam Hussein:

The West supported Saddam with aircrafts, missiles, chemical weapons… and we [Iran] were empty handed. … With determination and faith our nation was victorious. […]

If we wanted to obtain chemicals, which is far easier than obtaining nuclear weapons, surely we would; we are the victims of chemical weapons; however, we did not retaliate and joined the convention banning use and stockpiling of chemical weapons instead; this is a clear indication that our nation does not need such horrible weapons.

So it appears that John Kerry and Barack Obama were simply lying last week when they said there was an agreement.

There are three major areas of disagreement:

  • Iran is demanding that all sanctions be removed immediately, which would immediately free billions of dollars in frozen Iranian assets to become unfrozen; Obama has stated repeatedly that they’ll be removed over a period of years.
  • Iran is claiming that there will be no restrictions whatsoever on further nuclear research; Kerry repeatedly said that Iran had agreed to various restrictions, such as not using advanced centrifuges, which Iran specifically repudiated.
  • President Obama has said repeatedly that “The deal is not based on trust; it’s based on unprecedented verification.” But Khamenei is saying that no verification will be permitted on military bases.

Obama and Kerry have had one foreign policy disaster after another, and they are going to be desperate to save this one, by deferring and yielding on every point possible. A final deal is scheduled for July 1. AEI Iran Tracker

KEYS: Generational Dynamics, Syria, Bashar al-Assad, Yarmouk refugee camp, Islamic State / of Iraq and Syria/Sham/the Levant, IS, ISIS, ISIL, Daesh, Ban Ki-moon, Palestine Liberation Organization, PLO, Ahmad Majdalani, Greece, International Monetary Fund, IMF, Alexis Tsipras, Iran, Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei, Hassan Rouhani, Iraq, Saddam Hussein
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