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Sunday 11 March 2018

scared faces

Syrian forces attacking eastern Ghouta ‘have surrounded rebels in Douma': Largest town in region reported to be cut off as government forces press their advantage: Kareem Shaheenin Istanbul, The Observer, 10 March 2018

A devastated street in Douma on Friday.: photo by Mohammed Badra/EPA, 9 March 2018

Syrian government forces have surrounded the largest town in the besieged enclave of eastern Ghouta, in a prelude to a possible ground assault that could further inflame a dire humanitarian crisis.

Forces loyal to Bashar al-Assad have essentially split off Douma from the rest of eastern Ghouta, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a day after a Red Cross and UN aid convoy arrived in the town to unload food supplies to thousands of civilians in desperate need. Douma was once one of the largest cities in Syria.

The report from the UK-based human rights group, which said both Douma and the smaller nearby town of Harasta were surrounded and cut off, was disputed by locals, but such an outcome seems inevitable in any event as the regime presses its advantage, backed by both Syrian and Russian airstrikes.

It also raises greater humanitarian concerns and fears for the lives of civilians living in the area, who have fled the government’s advance. More than 1,000 people have been killed in the last two weeks of violence in eastern Ghouta, which borders the capital Damascus, according to Médecins sans Frontières, which has gathered data from hospitals in the area that it supports.

Local doctors said that between 49 and 65 people had died on Friday, and the near-ceaseless shelling that started on 19 February resumed on Saturday morning. Accurate figures for the dead are impossible to collate because many bodies remain trapped under the rubble of destroyed homes, and others are buried without being taken to hospitals.

The violence has continued despite a UN security council resolution demanding a 30-day ceasefire and the delivery of humanitarian aid “without delay”. Residents have spent weeks living underground in bomb shelters, suffering food shortages and a lack of medical supplies, with doctors saying they are overwhelmed by the number of wounded.
Reports of chemical attacks that may have involved chlorine or organophosphorus have also emerged in recent days, despite warnings by western powers that use of chemical weapons might prompt them to intervene in the unfolding crisis.
The UN secretary general has described the situation in eastern Ghouta as “hell on earth” and the body’s high commissioner for human rights described the military offensive as a “monstrous annihilation”.

The bombardment and encirclement of Douma continued even as rebels in the enclave, which is home to at least 300,000 people, acceded to a key demand by Russia: the evacuation of a few hundred al-Qaida-linked fighters in the enclave.
In a statement on Twitter on Friday, Jaish al-Islam, one of the main factions in eastern Ghouta, said the decision had been taken in consultation with the UN, a number of international parties and civil society representatives from eastern Ghouta. A few fighters were evacuated in an initial batch.
Jaish al-Islam and Faylaq al-Rahman, two Islamist rebel groups, control most of the opposition-held areas of eastern Ghouta. Any solution to the crisis will probably involve a partial evacuation of rebel fighters and perhaps civilians, in a deal similar to past surrender agreements between the government and rebels.
Moscow had justified the continued bombardment of the area by saying extremists remained embedded in the towns and were preventing civilians from taking advantage of a designated evacuation corridor to flee the fighting.

Residents say they fear government retribution if they were to try and flee the area, or the possibility of being redrafted into the Syrian military and sent to fight on the frontline.

“If I thought about leaving Ghouta I would worry about the regime because there are no guarantees: and, second, I would worry about Jaish al-Islam, because they won’t let us leave,” said one activist in Douma. “If 100 families leave Ghouta, the regime will say they’ve evacuated all the civilians and then burn it all.
“We have no guarantees that the regime will protect the families that want to leave and that it won’t send the men to the frontlines,” he added.

dishsubmarine s | by StepanZaytsev

dishsubmarine s [Moscow]: photo by Stepan Zayntsev, 10 January 2018

mexicandate s | by StepanZaytsev

mexicandate s [Moscow]: photo by Stepan Zayntsev, 31 October 2017

whitypee s | by StepanZaytsev

whitypee s [Moscow]: photo by Stepan Zayntsev, 25 December 2017

chkyoudrunk s | by StepanZaytsev

chkyoudrunk s [Moscow]: photo by Stepan Zayntsev, 21 February 2018

Douma Ghost Town: photo by Hamza Al-Ajweh / Agence France-Presse, 9 March 2018

Vermont (Children's Hour)

After twenty years alone in the cabin in the woods 
everything began to smell faintly of his feet, academia
started to look not so bad after all, looking back on it
but to these people none of that seemed to matter
they had taken him in as if he were one of their own
and were never going to let him go back
how often in life does something like that happen

Untitled | by Džesika Devic
Untitled: photo by dzesika devic, 24 June 2017

After twenty years alone in the cabin in the woods
the tufts of fur that had sprouted between his toes grew thick
so that when he padded across the floor of rude boards
a soft thupping sound was the sound he made, and too
the cabin seemed to be shrinking, or perhaps subtly
expanding, it was hard to tell any more so that
once the long evening of howling at the moon was done
there was space for quiet reflection, and perhaps passing gas
stoves without pausing to light them was not the best course after all, 
the nights in the woods were very cold, but living 
as a horror movie meme was never going to be easy
and now things were somehow a bit different in the cabin  
everything had sometime since begun to smell faintly of his feet, academia
started to look not so bad after all, looking back on it
but to these people none of that seemed to matter
they had taken him in as if he were one of their own
and were never going to let him go back
how often in life does something like that happen

The Shape of Water (2017): image via Fred Delicious @Fred_Delicious, 9 March 2018

my work here is done: image via Greg Beef @vrunt, 7 March 2018

Italian elections descend into chaos as Madame Tussauds refuse to release Silvio Berlusconi: image via Have I Got News For You @haveigotnews, 5 March 2018

 In the episode 'Peppa's Pumpkin Party' the narrator makes this observation, and therefore it is canon that in the Peppa Pig universe, Madame Gazelle is a literal vampire and therefore survives by consuming blood.: image Fred Delicious @Fred_Delicious, 3 March 2018

 I PLEDGE TO WORK FOR FREE for any school to help secure the children. I am a retired veteran, 29 years of service, Infantry Sergeant Major, U.S. Army Ranger with combat experience. I have a conceal carry, Primary and Alternate side arms, an AR-15, and all necessary tactical gear.: image Fred Delicious @Fred_Delicious, 27 February 2018

When the secret service returns with a Happy Meal: image Fred Delicious @Fred_Delicious, 26 February 2018

When your teacher hears an unexplained noise in the corridor: image Fred Delicious @Fred_Delicious, 24 February 2018

"I would have seen Black Panther 3 times opening weekend if I could have”: image via Dana Schwartz @DanaSchwartzzz, 19 February 2018

When the server tries to take my plate but I still have one french fry left: image via JP Lovecraft @online_shawn, 20 February 2018

Show yourself Inspector Gadget: image via Summer Ray @Summer Ray, 28 February 2018

Replying to @SumerRay @spookydirt: image via Lee Roberts @ff_Lurch, 2 March 2018
HELP ME IM SNOWED IN: image via Summer Ray @SummerRay, 27 February 2018

When you just broke up with your boyfriend but you know he still follows you: image via Summer Ray @SummerRay, 6 February 2018


When your mum says this is just a phase and you're determined to prove her wrong: image via Summer Ray @SummerRay, 6 February 2018

Just remembered that time I almost passed out on the train when I saw a woman with invisible legs: image via Summer Ray @SummerRay, 6 February 2018

 nt | by Riccardo Gerbi Cattaneo

nt: photo by Riccardo Cattaneo, 9 March 2018

Dhaka, Bangladesh | by Sohail Bin Mohammad

Dhaka, Bangladesh: photo by Sohail Bin Mohammad, 28 June 2017


TC said...

Tim Hardin: Hang On to a Dream (live audio 17 January 1980)

Jefferson Airplane: Wooden Ships (live @Wally Heider Studios SF, 4 February 1970)

Jefferson Airplane: 3/5ths of a Mile in 10 Secs (live @Woodstock 1969)

Greg Bacon said...

The moment of detonation of an explosive barrel dropped from a Syrian regime helicopter on the city of Arbin in the Ghouta countryside

That had a Star of David icon on the bomb's casing.

TC said...

Hadn't been aware of that thank heavens. Must say those starbursts over E Ghouta look awfully like the sky of Gaza in Dec 08-Jan 09. The rain of fire, Whitey P.

Tag team killing, almost enough to make an iconoclast of one.