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Support Students of Aleppo University

On January 15th, the Assad Regime’s shelling of Aleppo University left over 83 students dead.  The Syrian’s regime  for the first time targeted the student population of Aleppo during their final exams. Support the students of Aleppo University and speak out against violence on university campuses in America and abroad. Sign this petition condemning the Assad regime’s violation of the neutrality of universities and attack of civilians.

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Breaking News: Proof Aleppo University Attack Committed by Assad Regime

There is now confirmed evidence that the attack on Aleppo University on Monday January 15, 2013 was the result of an Assad regime airstrike.

“The officials would not divulge the basis for this information, but a source for EA indicates that Western government have used sophisticated radar, deployed in Turkey and other countries in the region, as well as information gathered from classified “listening posts” that monitor signal interceptions and pilot chatter.

Further analysis of the evidence we have collected matches the assessment of the officials.

The key factors to consider in determining what weapon was used are the size of the payload, which can be determined by the size of the explosion, and the speed of the projectile that hit the target.”- EA Worldview

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SETF Condemns Regime Missile Attacks on Aleppo University

Washington, DC 01/15/2013 –

The Syrian Emergency Task Force condemns in the strongest terms possible, the brutal attack on Aleppo University that has reportedly left at least 52 students and civilians dead and an unknown number wounded. At least two missiles struck the campus, one hitting the square in front of the Architecture Faculty Building, and the second behind Dormitory Building #8. A number of people who were driving in the main street next to the university burned to death in their cars as a result of the missile explosion. Students had returned to university campus for the first day of semester exams when the attack occurred, and Dormitory #8 was housing an unknown number of internally displaced persons from ongoing fighting in the city. Aleppo University has been the city’s epicenter for peaceful non-violent resistance to the Assad Regime and is a purely civilian area. This dreadful attack further underscores the Assad Regime’s continued targeting of civilian areas with lethal airpower and other heavy weapons.

“There is a clear pattern of the Assad Regime targeting known civilian areas with lethal force. The continued premeditated use of violence against civilians has been constant for almost two years. The silence of the international community, especially by the United States, is an implicit signal that such tactics are not sufficient to warrant protection of the Syrian people. In vocally warning against potential regime use of chemical weapons, President Obama simultaneously signaled that attacks like today’s targeting of innocent university students does not cross any serious red lines,” says SETF Executive Director Sasha Ghosh-Siminoff.

The Syrian Emergency Task Force implores the international community to take collective action to stop the Assad Regime from continuing to perpetrate such current atrocities.

For additional information or comment, please contact:

Cassie Chesley – Media Coordinator, Syrian Emergency Task Force – (813) 763-0481

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Santa Claus in Homs, Syria

Arabic News Agency reports on impact of the devastating conditions in Syria on Christmas celebrations. In spite of the horrific conditions, activists around the country collected gifts to be delivered by Santa Claus to children in Homs, Syria. ANA describes current conditions as catastrophic as people have little to no access to food, water, electricity, water, or communications.

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CDS Commends Obama for Recognizing Syrian Opposition

Washington, DC — Coalition for a Democratic Syria (CDS) commends President Barack Obama’s decision to recognize the National Coalition for Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Coalition Forces as the legitimate representative of the Syrian people.

President Obama told ABC’s Barbara Walters,”We’ve made a decision that the Syrian opposition coalition is now inclusive enough, is reflective and representative enough of the Syrian population that we consider them the legitimate representative of the Syrian people.”

SEE: Obama recognizes Syrian opposition – CNN: http://www.cnn.com/2012/12/11/world/us-syria-opposition/

“We are pleased to hear that our government has recognized the National Coalition as the legitimate representative of the Syrian people, which is an important step in the right direction,” said Muna Jondy, president of United for a Free Syria.  “To help accelerate a transition from the dictatorial Assad regime to an inclusive, peaceful, and democratic Syria, we urge the Obama administration to bolster the impact of today’s decision by: increasing humanitarian,  political and and logistical support to the opposition; supplying defensive arms to vetted elements of the Free Syrian Army who are committed to pluralism and democracy; and funding efforts by local governance councils providing basic civil services in liberated areas.”

The U.S. has now joined Britain, France, Turkey, the Gulf Cooperation Council and others in recognizing the opposition.

The Coalition for a Democratic Syria is a group of five Syrian-American non-profit organizations working together in Washington, DC to bring about a swift end to the conflict in Syria and support the establishment of a free and democratic Syria. The Coalition for a Democratic Syria is a multi-ethnic, multi-confessional, and non-partisan organization. The CDS includes: Syrian American Council, the Syrian Emergency Task Force, United for Free Syria, Syrian American Alliance, and Syrian Expatriates Organization.

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SETF Field Office Manager Delivers Civilian Police Uniforms

KAJpolice1Syrian Emergency Task Force Antakya Office Manager, Razan delivered 17 police uniforms to the civilian police created in Khirbet Al-Joz. Prior to the liberation, the town was greatly abandoned and its people were refugees in Turkey. Following the liberation of the town in Khirbet Al-Joz, the civilians were able to come back and repopulate the town, the defected Mayor of the town has returned, and a civilian administrative council created in order to rebuild and provide basic goods and services to the people. The civilian police was created to maintain law and order under the new civilian council.

KAJpolice2SETF has adopted the town of Khirbet Al-Joz to aid in efforts to rebuild the infrastructure as well as civil society and civilian goods and services. In October, SETF funded a project to restore the electrical infrastructure, providing electricity to half of the town for $400.

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To support the civilian administrative councils, democracy, and the people of Syria donate here.

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SETF Attends Interfaith Vigil for Peace in Syria

December 6, New York City–Syrian Emergency Task Force Media Coordinator, Cassie Chesley attended the Jewish-Muslim Vigil for Peace in Syria last night at the Isaiah Wall across from the United Nations in New York City. Written in the Isaiah wall is a quote from the book of Isaiah 2:4 calling for peace, “They shall beat their swords into plowshares. And their spears into pruning hooks. Nation shall not lift up sword against nation. Neither shall they learn war anymore.” Rabbi Shmuly Yanklowitz of Uri L’Tzedek, an Orthodox Jewish Social Justice Organization and Jews for Human Rights in Syria organized the vigil co-sponsored by the Syrian Emergency Task Force. This vigil was the beginning of a larger partnership between the Jewish and Muslim communities to publicly advocate for peace, democracy, and freedom in Syria.

IMG_0645A group of vigil attendees and three Saudis that joined us in support of the Syrian people.

IMG_0641Rabbi Shmuly and Syrian Expatriates Organization’s Shlomo Boltz hold signs in support of the Syrian people.
IMG_0643Rabbi Shmuly speaking to a human rights activist and a Saudi national, Mohammed about the situation in Syria.
IMG_0637Shlomo Boltz, SEO and Paula Rosine in front of the Isaiah Wall
IMG_0638 Protestors in front of the United Nations