Inner City Press

Inner City Press -- Investigative Reporting From the United Nations to Wall Street to the Inner City

These reports are usually available through Google News and on Lexis-Nexis

In Other Media-eg New Statesman, AJE, FP, Georgia, NYT Azerbaijan, CSM Click here to contact us     .


Follow us on TWITTER

Home -

These reports are usually available through Google News and on Lexis-Nexis


(FP Twitterati 100, 2013)

ICP on YouTube
Sept 24, 2013

UN: Sri Lanka


FOIA Finds  

Google, Asked at UN About Censorship, Moved to Censor the Questioner, Sources Say, Blaming UN - Update - Editorial

Support this work by buying this book

Click on cover for secure site orders

also includes "Toxic Credit in the Global Inner City"




Bank Beat

Freedom of Information

How to Contact Us

On Bombing In Syria, Canada Baird Tells ICP Approval Yet To Be Determined

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, September 19 -- While the UN Security Council's meeting on Iraq went on, Canada's Foreign Minister John Baird came out to take questions at the Council stakeout.

  Inner City Press asked him if Canada thinks that for airstrikes in Syria against ISIL, the consent of the Assad government or of the Security Council should be sought.

  Baird said that on "intervention in Syria there are two views. One could say that every country has a right to defend itself. Iraq is being attack by terrorists in the neighboring country. We take great issue with Assad... That has yet to be determined."

  The Syrian Opposition Coalition, it emerges, will hold a press conference inside the UN building on September 22. But it will not be a UN press conference - instead, it will be in the clubhouse the UN gives to what has become its UN Censorship Alliance (having tried to get the investigative Press thrown out of the UN), publicized only to those who pay money to UNCA in dues.

  Why not go through the front door, and have a member state like Canada sponsor the Syrian Coalition's Hadi Al Bahra in the UN Press Briefing Room, as others do? We'll have more on this.

  On September 18, the day after the US House of Representatives voted to arm and train "moderate" rebels in Syria, the Syrian Opposition Coalition said training 5,000 will not be enough. An hour later, they put out a statement about ISIL stranding 7,000 civilians on the Syrian - Turkish border:

"As the 'Islamic State' intensifies shelling on Ayn al Arab (Kobanę in Kurdish) in northern Syria, thousands of people remain trapped in the towns and villages in the area. As as a result, activists reported a mass exodus of civilians from the neighboring villages of Kaalak, Zark Qumshi, Zalkhek, and Turaman. The Syrian Coalition condemns ISIS's brutal tactics and calls on Turkish authorities to open borders in the area and provide refuge to those fleeing from the barbaric group. More than 7000 civilians are reported to be stranded along the Turkish Syrian borders since Thursday, most of them women and children."

 Echoes of Mount Sinjar in Iraq - and that led to airstrikes. Earlier on September 18, the Syrian Coalition put this out:

"Abdelahad Astepho, member of the political committee, said that the US Congress’s vote in favor of President Obama’s plan to train and equip the Free Syrian Army is 'a step in the right direction though it was made late. Limiting the training and equipment program to 5,000 FSA fighters is not enough to counter the threat of the Assad regime and ISIS. Therefore, it is necessary to increase the number of trainees to solve the whole problem of terrorism once and for all. Moreover, limiting the program to this small number may prolong the bloody conflict, thus prolonging the suffering of the Syrian people.' Astepho calls on the US Senate 'to back the training and equipment program and for its immediate implementation, as any delay will cost Syrians more lives. Any delay in the implementation of this plan will lead to further expansion of the terror practiced by the Assad regime and the terrorist group ISIS.'"

 This after on the Senate floor just who these "moderate" rebels are was still being questioned. If 5000 is not enough, how many would be? To the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on September 17, former Ambassador Bob Ford said there are 80,000 "non-Nusra, non-ISIL" rebels. Where do these figures come front?

   Back on September 13, hours after US President Barack Obama's speech, the Syrian Coalition put out a press release requesting airstrikes and cash from Congress, pronto.

  On September 13 the Coalition put out this, about UN envoy de Mistura:

"Khatib Badla, member of the political committee, said that the new UN special envoy to Syria will not be able to succeed in his mission if he follows the same approach followed by his predecessors who failed to bring the Assad regime to the negotiating table," commenting on the statements of the UN envoy to Syria, Staffan de Mistura, who described as “useful" his meeting with Assad...

 De Mistura has described his meeting with Assad as “long and very useful,” and underlined the “necessity of combating terrorism and helping Syrians solve their crisis politically. “Terrorist threats have become a source of concern for people all over the world, de Mistura told reporters after the encounter. He added that “combating terrorist groups is one of the UN's priorities and this move would not be made without solving the country's crisis to create better situations for Syrians, stressing this move would be made to coincide with a comprehensive political process taking into consideration UN Resolution 2170 tasked with combating terrorism.”

  Inner City Press asked UN Spokesman Stephane Dujarric the following, in writing:

"on Mr. de Mistura, state his contract status: When Actually Employed? Paid at USG level? Is he being allowed to continue working with / for any non-UN organization, if so which, and what review of possible conflicts of interest was made, and by whom?"

 Days later and no answer to the above-quoted questions: UNtransparent.


Share |

* * *

These reports are usually also available through Google News and on Lexis-Nexis.

Click here for Sept 26, 2011 New Yorker on Inner City Press at UN

Click for re Libya, Sri Lanka, UN Corruption

Feedback: Editorial [at]

UN Office: S-303, UN, NY 10017 USA

Reporter's mobile (and weekends): 718-716-3540

  Search  Search WWW (censored?)

Other, earlier Inner City Press are listed here, and some are available in the ProQuest service, and now on Lexis-Nexis.

            Copyright 2006-2014 Inner City Press, Inc. To request reprint or other permission, e-contact Editorial [at]