Syria

GOP Govs Refuse To Accept Syrian Refugees

Update: 3:00 PM EST

The Republican governors of 13 American states have announced their intention to refuse to have refugees fleeing from the Syrian Civil War relocated in their states. The moves come as result of the news that one of the suspected Paris terror attack suspects slipped into Europe with a group of refugees and then made his way to western Europe.

“Neither you nor any federal official can guarantee that Syrian refugees will not be part of any terroristic activity,” Texas Gov. Greg Abbott wrote according to Fox News. “As such, opening our door to them irresponsibly exposes our fellow Americans to unacceptable peril.”

In addition to Texas; Illinois, Ohio, Florida, North Carolina, New Hampshire, Arizona, Indiana, Massachusetts, Louisiana, Michigan, Alabama, and Arkansas have all also decided to refuse the admittance of refugees from Syria.

Gov. Robert Bentley announced his decision in a strident statement.

“After full consideration of this weekend’s attacks of terror on innocent citizens in Paris, I will oppose any attempt to relocate Syrian refugees to Alabama through the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program,” Bentley said. “As your Governor, I will not stand complicit to a policy that places the citizens of Alabama in harm’s way.

Over four million people have fled Syria in the past four years and the flow is only expected to quicken as more violence grips the war torn country.

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal is a candidate for the GOP Presidential nomination. He is also the children of immigrants from India.

It is unclear if the action of these governors is even allowed due to federal supremacy over matter of foreign policy.

Rise News is continuing to work on this developing story and will update this piece as new information comes to us.

Cover Photo Credit: Enes Reyhan/ Flickr (CC By 2.0)

Millennial Intelligencer: Why Syria Won’t Be Putin’s Vietnam

It is clear that the Russian military is willing to engage in a more aggressive way in Syria- a region that has long been considered important for the former superpower.

The Russians have fielded about 30 fixed wing aircraft, primarily SU-25 Frogfoots, and SU-24 Fencers, as well as 20 Mi-24s. This is further complimented by cruise missile strikes, and a detachment of Marines to defend Russian facilities. In short, that’s a lot of fire power that the Russians seem more than willing to commit to a protracted conflict in the Middle East.

The Russian Army, like it’s forbearer the Red Army, is often both grossly overestimated and underestimated. One either conceives dastardly “little green men”, or a lumbering brute itching to lob it’s surplus T-62s at Estonia. The truth lies somewhere in the middle.

Taking into account the likelihood of Russians being killed in Syria, be it an Mi-24 knocked out by MANPADS (Man Portable Air Defense System), or the recent tragic deaths of three Russians in an artillery attack, some have suggested that the Kremlin has fumbled into a scenario akin to the American experience in the Vietnam War.

While it is not out of the realm of possibility that Moscow may be forced to further invest into Syria to prop up the floundering Assad Regime in response to the continued civil war and threat from ISIS, Moscow must also be aware of its own very real limitations.

The Russian Army, like it’s forbearer the Red Army, is often both grossly overestimated and underestimated. One either conceives dastardly “little green men”, or a lumbering brute itching to lob it’s surplus T-62s at Estonia. The truth lies somewhere in the middle.

Whilst Soviet/Russian equipment has held a number of qualitative advantages over NATO equipment (including purportedly “invincible” American assets) during the Cold War and to this day, the Russians have consistently been inferior in both training and Command & Control (C&C). The former is due to the Russians utilizing a conscript system. This means that the Russian government drafts young men for a year at a time to serve, and then they are sent on their way.

This includes the three months of training for soldiers, and contributes to questionable quality. Recognizing this for some time, the Kremlin has been attempting to phase out the conscript model, in favor of the “contract” or professional model, in which soldiering is a job.

While contract soldiers are better both logistically and in terms of quality than conscripts, only 200,000 solders out of 774,500 (and 1,000,000 requested, unmet due to draft dodgers) are contract soldiers. This also includes 220,000 officers, leaving 354,500 conscripts. When cutting those professional forces between Ukraine and Syria, Moscow does not have a large margin of error.

Syria acts as Russia’s only port in the Mediterranean Sea, and is thus a vital asset to power projection. However, the Russians must further enhance their contract soldier system to stay competitive for long term operations. Thus, it seems unlikely that Moscow intends to prop up the Assad government as fervently as the United States did South Vietnam.

Russia’s intervention into Syria comes not from a position of strength, but one of weakness, due to diplomatic isolation and a overly long campaign in Ukraine. It seems more likely that Mr. Putin is trying to gain support for rapprochement, in exchange for a show of force against ISIS. If that is the objective, it’s working.

Like this piece? Rise News just launched a few weeks ago and is only getting started. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter to stay up to date with global news. Have a news tip? (No matter how big or small!) Send it to us- [email protected]

Cover Photo Credit: Mikhail Kamarov/ Flickr (CC By 2.0)

This Drone Footage Puts Into Perspective The Scope Of The Syrian Refugee Crisis

Sometimes it is hard to get an actual handle on the massive humanitarian crisis gripping Europe as hundreds of thousands of refugees pour into the continent from war torn Syria.

But this drone footage from Channel 4 in the UK does a pretty good job of giving us a clear idea of the immenseness of the crisis.

Take a look:

Drone footage shows migrants and refugees crossing farmlandThis drone footage filmed near the Croatian border shows thousands of migrants and refugees crossing through farmland on foot.Slovenia has complained it lacks manpower and equipment to handle the recent influx of people crossing through the country.

Posted by Channel 4 News on Monday, October 26, 2015

Cover Photo Credit: Screenshot/ Channel 4 Video (Facebook)

H/T to BuzzFeed

In The Neighborhood: Bashar Al-Assad makes Surprise Trip to Moscow

For the first time since the Syrian Civil War began in 2011, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad made a visit to Moscow to meet with President Vladimir Putin. But this time, it was a bit of a surprise, for the US anyway.

Assad flew to Moscow on Tuesday to personally to thank President Putin for Russia’s ongoing military support. The Syrian leader said that Russia’s involvement has stopped “terrorism” from becoming “more widespread and harmful” in Syria.

The Kremlin has stated that it had invited President Assad to visit Moscow, but kept the visit quiet until Wednesday morning when President Assad returned safely to Damascus.

While in Moscow, three rounds of talks were held between Assad and the Russian leadership. The first was a closed meeting between Assad and Putin alone, and the other two included the Russian Foreign and Defense Ministers.

President Putin told Assad that it was his hope that progress on the military front would soon into movement toward a peaceful political solution to the Syrian Civil War.

The Kremlin is likely to use the visit to reinforce its domestic narrative that the intervention in Syria is just and has been effective at fighting the expansion of terrorism throughout the region. Moscow maintains that its intervention in Syria was a common sense move that was designed to roll back international terrorism as a result of what it says is ineffective action from the United States.

Putin has remained hesitant about sending Russian ground forces for fear of an entanglement similar to the Soviet incursion in Afghanistan in the 1980s.

Russia has a combined force of around 50 jets and helicopters inside of Syria protected by Russian marines, as well as military advisers working with the Syrian army. Russian officials claim to have flown over 700 sorties against more than 690 targets in Syria since the air campaign began Sept. 30.

Like this piece? Rise News just launched a few weeks ago and is only getting started. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter to stay up to date with global news. Have a news tip? (No matter how big or small!) Send it to us- [email protected]

Cover Photo Credit: Alberto Cabello/ Flickr (CC By 2.0)

White House Promises Increased Support In Europe Refugee Crisis

By Zoe Fowler

President Obama and his administration announced on Thursday that the U.S. will be accepting at least 10,000 Syrian refugees seeking asylum over the course of the next year.

Josh Earnest, The White House Press Secretary, said the U.S. gave $4 billion to humanitarian aid organizations to support efforts of the refugee crisis in Europe but “Obama has decided that admitting more Syrian refugees would help boost the US response,” according to The Guardian.

Secretary of State John Kerry said at a closed-door meeting on Capitol Hill that the total of Syrian refugees admitted could increase from 70,000 to more than 100,000, according to The New York Times. However, officials said not all of 30,000 of refugees would include Syrians.

The resettlement of Syrian refugees in the U.S. won’t be immediate. The State Department said in a statement last week that the process could take up to 18 to 24 months for the Department of Homeland Security to decide if a refugee is eligible to resettle in the U.S.

The reaction to the U.S. accepting Syrian refugees has been mixed. GOP presidential candidate Marco Rubio said he doesn’t oppose the U.S. welcoming refugees, but caution needs to be taken into effect.

“We’d always be concerned that within the overwhelming number of the people seeking refugee, someone with a terrorist background could also sneak in,” Rubio said at a town hall meeting last week in Charleston.

Republican presidential contender Donald Trump who has advocated for tougher immigration laws said the refugee crisis is a humanitarian issue that needs to be dealt with.

“It’s a serious problem,” Trump told FOX News. “We haven’t seen anything like it since the second world war, and it’s getting worse and worse.”

Meanwhile today, British Prime Minister David Cameron was in Lebanon and Jordan where he toured camps built for displaced Syrian refugees.

Like this piece? Rise News just launched a few weeks ago and is only getting started. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter to stay up to date with global news.

Photo Credit: Freedom House/Flickr (CC By 2.0)

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