WRI stands in solidarity with the Syrian civilian population who are victims of the war

War Resisters' International's Council have made a statement in solidarity with the Syrian civilian population who are victims of the ongoing war. We promise to act in support of individuals and grassroots' groups who, in the midst of violence, continue to resist militarisation and war, persist in the nonviolent struggle against the dictatorship and for democracy in Syria, and show the way to peace.

Read the full statement here...

Dr. Jalal Nofal: Connecting Relief Work and Civil Activism in Syria

Omar Abbas

Dr. Jalal Nofal, born 1963 in Damascus to a working class family from as-Sweida’, is a prominent psychiatrist and activist who has been involved in politics and relief efforts throughout his lifetime.

Reaching across the great divide of differences

Carol Thompson

The bright smile. Contagious laughter. Her sunshine drew others to her, to debate and argue, to learn and ponder. Energetic resolution, a passion for justice, for constant giving define Kayla Mueller; not her capture by ISIS, her torture and tragic death at age 26.

CO recognised in part of Kurdish Syrian region of Rojava

We previously reported in CO Update that conscription had begun in Rojava, a de facto autonomous Kurdish region in Syria. Now, the government of Cizre canton has recognised the right to conscientious objection.

Syria: citizens conscripted after arrest, children recruited

The Syrian Human Rights Network has accused the Syrian regime of arresting civilians for forced army conscription, saying it has documented more than 1,000 cases of arrest for this purpose in the past six weeks alone.

Children are also being recruited by different warring parties, UNICEF say. At least several hundred children were recruited in 2015, and thousands killed or injured in the conflict.

Amnesty International: Taking Stock: the arming of Islamic State

Amnesty International press release, sourced from here.

Decades of poorly regulated arms flows into Iraq as well lax controls on the ground have provided the armed group calling itself Islamic State (IS) with a large and lethal arsenal that is being used to commit war crimes and crimes against humanity on a massive scale in Iraq and Syria, Amnesty International has said in a new report.  

War Profiteer(s) of the month: Lockheed Martin, Raytheon & Northrup Grumman

It may seem to be stating the obvious to name three of the world's biggest arms companies as this month's 'War Profiteer of the Month', but it would be wrong to ignore the degree of profiteering taking place from the escalation in bombing of Syria...

SYRIA: nowhere to run from conscription

In Syria, there is nowhere to run from conscription. Depending on where one is located, young men, and in some cases also women, are drafted to fight in the civil war.

SYRIA: draft evaders and defectors offered amnesty, in an attempt to bolster military

At the end of July, the Syrian president Bashar al-Assad announced an amnesty for Syrian men who have previously evaded conscription to the military – an offence punishable by imprisonment or, in some cases, death. After four years of war the Syrian military's ranks are depleted, with some estimating that, due to deaths and defections the size of the military has been halved since 2011. Defectors now abroad have two months to return, those still inside Syria have one month – there were no details given for draft evaders.

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