Research and Markets: Future of Syria Oil Refinery Markets to 2020 – Outlook of Investments, Business Opportunities, Infrastructure, Petroleum Products, Supply-Demand and Competition

Research and Markets has announced the addition of the “Future of Syria Oil Refinery Markets to 2020- Outlook of Investments, Business Opportunities, Infrastructure, Petroleum Products, Supply- Demand and Competition” report to their offering.

The Future of Syria Oil Refinery Markets to 2020 is a compulsory guide for all the companies interested in Syria refining markets. The report provides complete analysis into the Syria refining industry amidst the rapid developments in the recent past. All key trends, drivers and challenges of investing/ entering/ operating in the industry are detailed.

Details of all operational and planned refineries including location, start up, operator, owners, constructors, capital investments, project feasibility and configuration are provided in the report. Further, outlook of Crude Distillation Units, Coking Unit Capacity, Fluid Catalytic Cracking Capacity and HydroCracking Unit Capacity are provided to 2020. In addition, business strategies of key refiners in the country along with their net equity weighted primary and secondary unit capacities are provided. It identifies all key investment opportunities in Syria refining market and also analyzes all the upcoming refineries in detail. It updates the major deals and events in the industry from 2012 to 2013. Continue reading

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Sources to Al Arabiya: 30 Hezbollah bodies arrive to Lebanon from Syria

Al-ArabiyaThirty bodies belonging to the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah arrived to Lebanon from Syria, Syrian opposition sources told Al Arabiya on Monday.

The sources added that Al-Quds Brigade commander, whose known by his nickname, Abu Ajeeb, was also killed in Syria in battles against rebels.

Reports have emerged that members of the Lebanese Shiite group were fighting with forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad against rebels.

Former Hezbollah chief Subhi al-Tufaili told Al Arabiya in an interview earlier this week that at least 138 Hezbollah fighters have been killed in the Syria fighting.

Tufaili added that Hezbollah, who is backed by Iran and the Syrian regime, was told to fight with the Assad forces in direct orders from Tehran. Continue reading

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Syria Has a Massive Rape Crisis

AtlanticOne day in the fall of 2012, Syrian government troops brought a young Free Syrian Army soldier’s fiancée, sisters, mother, and female neighbors to the Syrian prison in which he was being held. One by one, he said, they were raped in front of him.

The 18-year-old had been an FSA soldier for less than a month when he was picked up. Crying uncontrollably as he recounted his torture while in detention to a psychiatrist named Yassar Kanawati, he said he suffers from a spinal injury inflicted by his captors. The other men detained with him were all raped, he told the doctor. When Kanawati asked if he, too, was raped, he went silent.

Although most coverage of the Syrian civil war tends to focus on the fighting between the two sides, this war, like most, has a more insidious dimension: rape has been reportedly used widely as a tool of control, intimidation, and humiliation throughout the conflict. And its effects, while not always fatal, are creating a nation of traumatized survivors — everyone from the direct victims of the attacks to their children, who may have witnessed or been otherwise affected by what has been perpetrated on their relatives.

In September 2012, I was at the United Nations when Norwegian Foreign Minister Espen Barth Eide shook up a fluorescent-lit room of bored-looking bureaucrats by saying that what happened during the Bosnian war is “repeating itself right now in Syria.” He was referring to the rape of tens of thousands of women in that country in the 1990s.

“With every war and major conflict, as an international community we say ‘never again’ to mass rape,” said Nobel Laureate Jody Williams, who is co-chair of the International Campaign to Stop Rape & Gender Violence in Conflict. [Full disclosure: I'm on the advisory committee of the campaign.] “Yet, in Syria, as countless women are again finding the war waged on their bodies–we are again standing by and wringing our hands.” Continue reading

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Charities urge BBC to launch emergency appeal for victims of Syria’s war

The IndependentBroadcasters including the BBC are under increasing pressure to allow an emergency appeal for victims of Syria’s civil war.

The Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC), an umbrella fundraising body for Britain’s leading humanitarian organisations, has formally approached the BBC about airing a nationwide appeal which could raise tens of millions of pounds for efforts to help nearly four million people caught up in the conflict. About 70,000 people are thought to have died.

Key charities including Islamic Relief and Oxfam are convinced of the need to combine fundraising efforts into a DEC appeal as the fighting across Syria reaches a deadlock and refugees both inside the country and across its borders struggle for accommodation and basic needs.

The Red Cross has also spoken of an urgent need to increase the aid operation inside Syria. Continue reading

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Editorial: Will limited US aid to Syria rebels hasten the end of war, or prolong it?

Henry Kissinger allegedly said of the Iran-Iraq war that raged so bloodily in the 1980s that “it’s too bad they both can’t lose.”

Though that’s far from the US position on the Syrian civil war, the tepid support the US has promised for elements of the Syrian opposition in the past couple of days bring Mr. Kissinger’s comments to mind. The half-hearted backing will likely lead to an opposition that is harder to defeat, but still lacking the strengh to win the war.

After almost two years of fighting and 70,000 dead, Syria is as polarized a nation as could be imagined. There are strong sectarian overtones to the fighting, with the core of Bashar al-Assad’s strength lying in the Alawite minority he hails from, and the oppositions strength lying in the Sunni community that is the country’s majority. Hezbollah, the Lebanese Shiite militant group and political party, has taken up arms for the regime while some Lebanese Sunnis, including jihadis, have fought alongside the rebels.

The prospects of major sectarian reprisals if one or the other side wins decisively are high – and allegations of sectarian butchery against both rebels and Mr. Assad’s army have already been made with alarming frequency. Further afield, Assad’s staunchest backer is Shiite Iran, while its old opponent for regional supremacy, Sunni Saudi Arabia, has been providing arms to the rebellion.
So this does not appear to be a situation where either side is in a mood for the compromises that would be required for a negotiated settlement.

But that appears to be what the US is hoping for by making the rebels stronger, but not too strong. Secretary of State John Kerry said today in Rome the US would supply “non-lethal” aid – food, medicine, and possibly things like communications equipment – directly to the Free Syrian Army and a further $60 million to the political wing of the uprising. Continue reading

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Syria: amateur photographers capture life inside war torn Homs

France 24A mosque ravaged by bombing, a hospital destroyed after months of fierce fighting and entire neighbourhoods reduced to rubble. These photos have been posted to this Facebook page called “Lense of a young Homsi”: administered by a group of young amateur photographers based in Homs, in central Syria: images testifying to the destruction in and around this hotbed of opposition activity caused by heavy shelling from Bashar al-Assad’s army.

In this video members of the group say they are also responding to requests from former residents who have fled the violence. Refugees have asked them, amongst other things; to upload photos of the street where they used to live to see if their house is still standing.

And these amateur photographers aren’t just focusing on gutted buildings and debris ridden roads. They have also posted numerous pictures of locals. Scenes of everyday life that illustrate the growing humanitarian crisis in Syria: civilians have been facing shortages of bread, medical supplies and fuel for months now. And of course children are the most vulnerable; even if for them life appears to be carrying on as normal.

Source: France24

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Missiles kill 141 in Syria, half of them children: Human Rights Watch

At least 141 people, half of them children, were killed when the Syrian military fired at least four missiles into the northern province of Aleppo last week, Human Rights Watch said Tuesday.

The international rights group said the strikes hit residential areas and called them an “escalation of unlawful attacks against Syria’s civilian population.” The statement from the New York-based group followed a visit to the area by a HRW researcher.

Aleppo, Syria’s largest city, has been the scene of some of the heaviest fighting of the civil war pitting President Bashar Assad’s regime against rebels fighting to oust him.

Rebels quickly seized several neighbourhoods in an offensive on the city in July, but the government still controls some districts and the battle has developed into a bloody stalemate, with heavy street fighting that has ruined neighbourhoods and forced thousands to flee.

A Human Rights Watch researcher who visited Aleppo last week to inspect the targeted sites, said up to 20 buildings were destroyed in each area hit by a missile. There were no signs of any military targets in the residential districts, located in rebel-held parts of Aleppo and its northern countryside, said Ole Solvang, the HRW’s researcher.

“Just when you think things can’t get any worse, the Syrian government finds ways to escalate its killing tactics,” Solvang said. Continue reading

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Blatter sends condolences after Syria youth international is killed

The Fifa president has expressed his sadness at the death of Youssef Suleiman in a letter to the war-torn nation’s Football Association

Sepp Blatter has expressed his deepest condolences after Syria youth international Youssef Suleiman was killed by a mortar attack in Damascus that also injured four other individuals.

Suleiman played for Al Whatba of Homs and was caught in an explosion just outide the team’s hotel as they were about to head to training at the Tishrin stadium.

The 19-year-old died from his injuries in hospital and the Fifa president, like many others, has expressed his sorrow at what is a truly tragic event.

“I was very shocked and saddened to learn of the tragic incident on Wednesday that claimed the life of a Syrian football player and left four other people wounded,” Blatter wrote, in an open letter to the nation’s Football Association president Salah Edeen Ramadan. Continue reading

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Syria peace talks effort stalls

Los Angeles TimesFledgling efforts to promote peace talks in the Syrian conflict appear to have stalled, even as the death toll rises daily and the rebellion nears its second anniversary.

The major exile opposition group, irate over what it calls a “shameful” global silence about the bloodshed, has announced that it will not attend several planned international gatherings on Syria, spurning invitations to visit Russia and the United States. Both nations have said that they favor negotiations as a means to end the violence in Syria.

The National Coalition of Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces has also opted to “suspend” its participation in a meeting in Rome next month of the so-called Friends of Syria alliance, which includes the United States and dozens of other nations that have bankrolled the opposition.

The coalition’s protest moves — combined with its demand that any talks lead to the ouster of Syrian President Bashar Assad — would seem to scuttle already faint hope of negotiations. The Syrian regime has categorically rejected any talks that mandate Assad’s removal from power.

The opposition bloc assailed what it called international inaction in the face of recent attacks by government-launched Scud missiles on the northern city of Aleppo.

“Hundreds of helpless civilians are being martyred due to [being] bombed with Scud rockets,” the coalition said in a statement Friday.

Unverified video said to be from an Aleppo district hit by a Scud on Friday showed residents desperately trying to find survivors in the wreckage of a flattened building. Elated rescuers finally pulled a dazed boy in a blue shirt from the debris. The attack killed 29 civilians, 19 of them children, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a Britain-based opposition group.

The dissidents’ denunciations of what they characterize as global dithering seem designed to pressure the West to acquiesce to demands for stepped-up arms deliveries to the rebels. But many experts see such an outcome as unlikely.

“The opposition has every reason to be frustrated with an international community that has endlessly expressed concern about the killing while doing virtually nothing to bring it to an end,” said Peter Harling, an analyst with the International Crisis Group. “But in international affairs, sulking rarely is a successful strategy.” Continue reading

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Editorial: Syria demands a new policy

ReutersTyphoid and hepatitis outbreaks are spreading. At least 70,000 people are dead, and there are 850,000 refugees. After covering the battle for Damascus for a month, my colleague – photographer Goran Tomasevic – declared the situation a “bloody stalemate” this week.

“I watched both sides mount assaults, some trying to gain just a house or two, others for bigger prizes, only to be forced back by sharpshooters, mortars or sprays of machine-gun fire,” Tomasevic, a gifted and brave photographer, wrote in a chilling first-hand account. “As in the ruins of Beirut, Sarajevo or Stalingrad, it is a sniper’s war.”

The Obama administration’s policy toward Syria is a failure. Bashar al-Assad is hanging onto power. Iran, Hezbollah and Russia are funneling him more aid, armaments and diplomatic cover than ever. And Syrian rebels who once hailed the United States now loathe it.

In an incisive essay published this week in the London Review of Books, Ghaith Abdul-Ahad, a journalist with the Guardian, described the continued atomization of the Syrian opposition. Abdul-Ahad, an Iraqi who covered the dissolution of his own nation, freely admits that “we in the Middle East have always had a strong appetite for factionalism.” But then he delivers a damning description of how prevarication in Washington creates deepening anti-Americanism among the rebels. Continue reading

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