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Middle East Monitor

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The use or misuse of information is central to the conflict in the Middle East. There has been a growing need for supporters of, in particular, the Palestinian cause, to master the art of information gathering, analysis and dissemination. This requires well organised, focused and targeted operations. Such initiatives are virtually non-existent in the West today.

The Middle East Monitor (MEMO) was established to fill this gap.

While there are several outstanding media monitoring networks online, their main activity is invariably confined to exposing the flaws in existing coverages. We go one step further; reaching out to opinion-makers and decision-makers in a deliberate, organised and sustained manner.

So, what do we do at MEMO?

  • We provide a focused and comprehensive coverage of Palestine, and its regional neighbours
  • We do so by gathering news through our extensive networks of partner organisations and correspondents on the ground
  • Not only do our readers enjoy up-to-date reporting, through our network of contributors, we also publish carefully reasoned commentaries rooted in factual evidence
  • We are also an essential point of reference for journalists, researchers, human rights organisations and NGOs

Here at MEMO, we recognise that official policy is often informed and defined by the nature of media coverage. As such, we regularly interface with politicians, editors, lobby groups and various other stakeholders to facilitate a better understanding and appreciation of the Palestine issue.

Staff

Director
Dr. Daud Abdullah | e: [email protected]

Senior Editor
Ibrahim Hewitt | e: [email protected]

Researchers & Staff Writers
Amelia Smith | e: [email protected]
Ben White | e: [email protected]
Diana Alghoul | e: [email protected]
Jehan Alfarra | e: [email protected]
Jessica Purkiss | e: [email protected]
Motasem Dalloul | e: [email protected]
Nasim Ahmed | e: [email protected]

Events & Press Officer
Yasmina Allouche | e: [email protected]

Digital Team | e: [email protected]

Photographers in Palestine
Mohammed Asad | e: [email protected]
Rich Wiles | e: [email protected]

Regular Contributors

  • Alastair Sloan
  • Asa Winstanley
  • Abderrahim Chalfaouat
  • Dr Ahmed Al-Burai
  • Dr Philip Leech
  • Ramona Wadi
  • Dr Ramzy Baroud
  • Dr Samah Jabr
  • Talha Abdulrazaq
  • Yvonne Ridley

Honorary Advisers to the Middle East Monitor

  • Dr Salman Abu Sitta, Palestinian author and member of the Palestinian National Council
  • Lord Nazir Ahmed of Rotherham, member of The House of Lords
  • Baroness Jennifer Tonge of Kew, member of The House of Lords
  • Dr Maria Holt, Lecturer of Democracy and Islam in the Centre for the Study of Democracy in the University of Westminster
  • Oliver McTernan, Co-Founder and Director of the Forward Thinking organisation
  • Professor Tariq Ramadan, Professor at Oxford University
Articles
Reviews
Middle East Monitor, UK 12/11/2017 0

US-Backed Rebel Defector: US Coalition Made Secret Deals with ISIS in Syria

The former spokesman of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), who defected from the US-backed coalition to Turkey, has accused the Kurdish-led group of making evacuation deals with Daesh (ISIS) fighters.

In the latest segment of an interview conducted with the Anadolu Agency, defector Talal Silo alleged that US-backed fighters had struck several deals with Daesh, allowing fighters and their families safe passage out of Raqqa, Manbij and Tabqa and that some had found their way to the Euphrates Shield zone.

“The SDF failed several times to capture Tabqa and its dam and they held negotiations with Daesh. According to that agreement, Daesh left the city and let the SDF remove all booby traps in the dam compound. In return more than 500 Daesh terrorists were evacuated to Raqqa city,” he told reporters.

Silo has also alleged that the SDF, which is dominated by Kurdish fighters, is a cover for the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), which Turkey has designated a terror organization, and the People’s Protection Units (YPG).

The loosely-knit coalition of Syrian rebel groups known as the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), are armed, trained and backed by the U.S. The group is currently engaged in the early stages of battle in the ISIS stronghold of Raqqa, Syria.

The loosely-knit coalition of Syrian rebel groups, including Kurdish factions, known as the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), are armed, trained and backed by the U.S.

It is only a name. Nothing else. We take everything, including our salaries, from YPG. The US authorities wanted to give arms to Kurds. The announcement of SDF’s establishment was only a drama. The US gave the leadership to the Kurds and PKK.”

According to the ex-spokesman, the SDF has some 50,000 militants including both men and women, with 70 per cent of them belonging to the YPG and the YPJ, the female wing of the organization. Human rights organizations have documented Kurdish forces committing war crimes in Syrian territory, including the razing of non-Kurdish villages and forced conscription of minors.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has alleged on multiple occasions that the US has aided Daesh militants by supporting Kurdish groups.The US-led coalition has not formally responded to any of Silo’s latest comments, but the allegations come amid repeated calls on Washington by senior Turkish officials, insisting on the cessation of weapons deliveries to Kurds.

Last week, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu announced that US President Donald Trump had reassured Erdogan that he had ordered to cease supplies of the US armaments to Kurds. The US has also started to withdraw some of its troops from the ground.

However, the Trump administration has made clear its intention to keep some forces in Syria to oversee attempts at a peace process between opposition groups and the regime of President Bashar Al-Assad, efforts which have stalled in Geneva again this week.

Last month American officials confirmed to the Washington Post, on a condition of anonymity, that the US plans to maintain an open-ended presence in Kurdish-dominated regions in order to stabilize communities under a local government. Such reports seconded the statements of US Defense Secretary James Mattis weeks before when he stated that the military will fight Daesh in Syria “as long as they want to fight.”

Top photo | Former spokesman of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), Talal Silo, pictured center, delivers a prepared statement to the press. (Photo: Twitter)


Middle East Monitor is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.
Middle East Monitor, UK 12/09/2017 0

ICC: ‘Reasonable Basis’ to Believe UK Committed War Crimes in Iraq

The International Criminal Court (ICC) has said that there is a “reasonable basis” to believe that British soldiers committed war crimes during their campaign in Iraq. In its report on the “Preliminary Examination Activities 2017”, delivered in New York to an assembly of countries, the Chief Prosecutor, Fatou Bensouda, declared that her office was going to push ahead in gathering evidence to see if a formal investigation is to be launched against the UK at The Hague.

The 74-page report, which lists the cases that are at a preliminary stage, said that the ICC had reopened the case against the UK following submission of further information on alleged crimes. The court had ended a previous preliminary investigation into similar allegations in 2006 because there were fewer than 20 allegations, despite concluding that it had seen evidence suggesting British troops did commit war crimes in Iraq, “namely wilful killing and inhuman treatment”.

The ICC cited “the large volume of allegations of criminality received” by the UK Ministry of Defence through the Iraq Historic Allegations Team (IHAT). Between 2010 and the end of June 2017 IHAT received a total of around 3,400 allegations of unlawful killings and ill-treatment, the ICC revealed.

Bensouda’s report examines UK domestic controversy surrounding inquiries into war crimes committed by British soldiers in Iraq before concluding that the “Office has independently examined all relevant circumstances” and decided that the information was reliable and could be corroborated, including reports on human rights abuse.

The report cites Public Interest Lawyers (PIL) who alleged that the “UK personnel committed systematically and on a large scale war crimes of torture and related ill-treatment against at least 1,071 Iraqi detainees”. PIL further stated that these violations were carried out under the

UK Government’s deliberate policy of abuse of Iraqi detainees in the period from March 2003 through December 2008 on the territory of Iraq.

In its report, the ICC “reaffirms its previous conclusion that there is a reasonable basis to believe that in the period from 20 March 2003 through 28 July 2009 members of the UK armed forces committed the following war crimes” in Iraq against persons in their custody, including: “wilful killing/murder torture and inhuman/cruel treatment, outrages upon personal dignity, and rape or other forms of sexual violence”.

It declared that it had conducted a comprehensive review of all information available and considered information on relevant national proceedings conducted by the UK authorities before reaching the conclusion that “that there is a reasonable basis to believe that members of the UK armed forces committed war crimes …against persons in their custody.”

Top photo | Iraqis pass by a British tank as they flee Basra, southern Iraq, as smoke looming over the city can be seen in the distance, March 29, 2003. (AP/Anja Niedringhaus)


Middle East Monitor is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.