Islamists in syria threaten christians

Islamists in syria threaten christians

The federal government wants to strengthen its aid for the supply of syrian refugees in the neighboring countries. During a short visit to lebanon, development minister dirk niebel (FDP) pledged an additional nearly 15 million euros in support.

Another rebel group has made itself known on the internet: it has threatened two christian villages in the troubled province of hama. In the video, seven armed men can be seen wearing black headbands bearing the islamic creed. From their midst a bearded man reads a warning to the christians. If you do not hand over assad fighters, you will be attacked.

The plight of the people in syria is aggravated by winter and cold. "With temperatures hovering around freezing, countless families are fleeing in syria," explained wilfried vyslozil of SOS children’s villages. "Especially the children are suffering terribly. We must act now to get them through the winter."

The organization doctors without borders, which treats patients in three clinics in the north of the country, complained that the aid provided was far from sufficient in view of the emergency situation on the ground. Due to the fierce fighting, large parts of the country are difficult to reach.

Minister niebel, who visited a refugee camp on the outskirts of the lebanese capital beirut, told dpa: "the pressure on people in syria to get out of the fighting is enormously rough. That is why we, as the federal government in jordan and now also in lebanon, have declared our willingness to help ensure that the borders remain open in the future."

Criticism of niebel came from the greens and the organization pro asylum. "Money and tents are not enough. If you want the borders to stay open, you have to take in refugees yourself," said gunter burkhardt, executive director of pro asylum. Grunen leader claudia roth demanded: "if minister niebel is serious about his commitment to the refugees from syria, then the federal government must finally be prepared to take in refugees from syria."

Berlin has so far provided 75 million euros for refugees outside syria and another 20 million euros in humanitarian aid for refugees inside the country. German money flows through international organizations such as the international committee of the red cross (icrc) or the united nations children’s fund unicef.

According to estimates by the UN refugee agency UNHCR, 500,000 syrians have fled to neighboring countries. In the country itself, 1.2 million people are fleeing the fighting. Uprising against assad regime enters third year next spring. More than 42,000 people have since fallen victim to the conflict that began in march 2011.

Russia, meanwhile, stressed that the syrian government has control over chemical weapons in the country. "The syrian authorities have concentrated these stocks in one or two centers. Before that, they were scattered all over the country," said the minister of foreign affairs sergei lavrov on saturday, according to the interfax agency. The leadership is doing everything it can to secure the weapons. The U.S., too, had conceded that chemical weapons in the hands of the government’s opponents were the grossest danger in syria, lavrov said. Russia is a partner of assad.