Freeland revokes appointment of Assad-supporting Syrian consul
The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Chrystia Freeland, has stated that the Syrian Honorary Consul in Montreal, Waseem Ramli, has had his status revoked, according to Maclean’s.
As a result of this, Ramli will no longer be able to conduct any of his formal consular duties within Canada. Reports suggest that Ramli, who is a wealthy businessman, has had his status revoked for his enthusiasm towards Bashar al-Assad.
A Syrian refugee has become a Canadian citizen today and a celebration was held at Halifax’s Pier 21. Tareq Hadhad is the founder of Peace by Chocolate, a company out of Antigonish, N.S. that has been quite successful.
Tareq Hadhad was elated to be called up to officially receive his Canadian citizenship. “It’s the biggest day of my life, full of emotions, absolutely,” Hadhad said following the ceremony. He is the first of his family to become a Canadian citizen.
“It’s certainly an honour, I feel that I belong to this amazing nation. I feel that I am free and I will go out of this place so proudly saying that I am so honoured to be a Canadian at this moment.”
Hadhad will waste no time integrating himself into the Canadian culture, saying a top priority is to pick up “a double-double with a toonie and [fly] to watch a hockey game on the weekend.”
Making chocolate is a part of Hadhad’s family history as his father, Assam Hadhad, made chocolate back in Damascus for two decades, employing 30 people in his factory according to CBC. The factory was tragically bombed amid the turmoil and warfare.
Prior to the outbreak of war the company used to ship specialty treats across the Middle East.
Hadhad’s family settled in Antigonish in 2016 after fleeing from Syria. They opened Peace by Chocolate —which ships products throughout the country and employs about 55 people, including other refugees as well.
Marco Mendicino, minister of immigration, refugees and citizenship spoke at Wednesday’s ceremony, “With all the complexities in the world, I think this is just a wonderful silver lining and positive story. It demonstrates that immigration is a true hallmark of our history, but also the key to our future,”
Hadhad passed his Canadian citizenship test with a perfect score, a fact he proudly shared via Twitter. The post went viral, even attracting attention and congratulations from Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
Lucille Harper of Antigonish was instrumental in bringing the Hadhads to Canada. She was thrilled to see their successful immigration story. “It’s just all we could ever really hope for,” she said.
Hadhad’s family has applied for Canadian citizenship and they are hoping to be able to take the test within the next couple of months. Alaa Hadhad, Tareq’s sister said it would mean the world to her and her children to join Tareq’s family as Canadian citizens.
United States President Donald Trump has just confirmed during a White House press statement that Baghdadi died from a suicide vest detonation, taking the lives of three children with him.
“Last night, the United States brought the world’s number one terrorist leader to justice,” Trump began. “Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi is dead. He was the founder and leader of ISIS, the most ruthless and violent terror organization anywhere in the world.”
“The United States has been searching for Baghdadi for many years. Capturing or killing Baghdadi has been the top national security priority of my administration,” Trump continued.
“U.S. Special Operations Forces executed a dangerous and daring nighttime raid in Northwestern Syria and accomplished their mission in grand style. The U.S. personnel were incredible — I got to watch much of it.
“No personnel were lost in the operation, while a large number of Baghdadi’s fighters and companions were killed with him,” Trump said.
Trump goes on to describe the manner in which Baghdadi died, saying, “He died after running into a dead end tunnel, whimpering, and crying and screaming all the way.”
Trump says the compound had been cleared by this time, with many either surrendering or being shot and killed.
U.S. forces managed to rescue eleven young children from the compound, moving them out of the house as they conducted their raid. None of these children were injured during the operation.
“The only ones remaining,” Trump continued, “were Baghdadi in the tunnel, and he had dragged three of his young children with him. They were led to certain death.
“He reached the end of the tunnel as our dogs chased him down,” Trump said. “He ignited his vest, killing himself and the three children.”
Trump says that the blast, which caused the tunnel to cave in, mutilated Baghdadi, but that test results gave positive confirmation that the body at the end of the tunnel was Baghdadi, the leader of ISIS.
“The thug who tried so hard to intimidate others spent his last moments in utter fear, in total panic and dread, terrified of the American forces bearing down on him,” Trump said.
Trump says the entire operation took roughly two hours and that American forces were able to retrieve “highly sensitive” information from the compound related to ISIS, both their origins and their future plans of terrorism.
“Baghdadi’s demise demonstrates America’s relentless pursuit of terrorist leaders, and our commitment to the enduring and total defeat of ISIS and other terrorist organizations,” Trump said. “Our reach is very long.”
Trump also mentioned the U.S. successful killing of Al-Qaeda’s heir apparent Hamza bin Laden only last month. He says that terrorists should never sleep soundly knowing that the U.S. will completely destroy them.
“These savage monsters will not escaped their fate and they will not escape the final judgement of God,” Trump said.
“Today’s events are another reminder that we will continue to pursue the remaining ISIS terrorists to their brutal end. That also goes for other terrorist organizations,” Trump said. “They are likewise in our sights.
“Baghdadi and the losers who worked for him — and losers they are — they had no idea what they were getting into. In some cases, they were very frightened puppies; in other cases, they were hardcore killers.”
Trump then honoured the American lives lost in the U.S. campaign against ISIS, and detailed some of the horrendous acts of ISIS against U.S. troops and others in the Middle East.
Trump concluded his speech by thanking the other nations which aided the U.S. in decimating ISIS, including Russia, Syria, Turkey, and Iraq, as well as the Syrian Kurds.
“[Baghdadi] died like a dog. He died like a coward. The world is now a much safer place,” Trump said. “God bless America.”
A Calgary man who lived on ISIS territory with his wife claims he was asked by the terror cell to plot a terror attack in North America according to Global News.
Safraz Ali, who was a former University of Calgary student moved to live in the occupied Islamic State with his wife, but he claims he was not a member of the group.
Ali says that ISIS tried to recruit him to conduct an attack on North American soil but when he refused he was imprisoned and tortured by the group.
“At least from our short interaction with him, he seems to have gone there with a kind of naïve sense of contributing against the Assad regime,” said Professor and extremism expert Amarnath Amarasingam.
“I said maybe there’s a better meaning for me,” claims Ali. “I didn’t come here to be a fighter.”
He was later accused by the terror cell of being a spy and was imprisoned and after his release he moved to Raqqa and married his wife, Kimberly Polman, a Muslim convert.
Both Polman and Ali are being currently held in separate camps.
WARNING: Disturbing content.
A report by the Syrian Network for Human Rights (SNHR) reveals the brutal use of torture by various factions in Syria, and particularly from the forces of the Assad regime.
According to the poll around eight percent of the death tolls in prisons can be attributed to these horrific causes.
Among the methods used on prisoners are cases of rape, mutilation, electrocution, severe beatings, crucifixions and burnings.
In total 14,298 people have died from torture in the conflict, a majority of which were inflicted by Assad’s forces (14,131).
“The Syrian situation constitutes a blatant failure of the Security Council’s response to conflict resolution, with the only solution remaining being through international intervention outside the Security Council to save the lives of 128,000 Syrian citizens who are still in detention, subjected to torture and deprived of health care, making them vulnerable to death due to torture,” wrote Fadel Abdul Ghany, chairman of the SNHR.
72 different horrific torture methods were used in the killings, some of which are detailed below:
- Electrocution by way of batons pressed against the body or genitals
- A “crucifixion” in which you are tied to a cross and heavily beaten
- Men and women forced to rape and sexually abuse one another
- Gouging of the eyes, crushing of the head and teeth removal
- Cutting off of body parts with garden shears including the genitals
- Pouring scalding liquids and oils on victims
- starvation and sleep deprevation
“Despite all the data that confirm the brutal torture practiced by the Syrian regime, which amount to genocide, no one has intervened to protect civilians and to save the reputation of international law,” wrote Ghany.
The report goes on to explain how some prisoners slip into delirium and amnesia due to the severe nature of their treatment, some of whom finally die after slipping into a coma.