Syria's main opposition grouping recorded 15 violations by government troops and allied forces on the first day of a landmark truce, a spokesman told reporters Sunday, as Russia accused Turkey of breaking the ceasefire.
"There were 15 violations by the regime forces on day one of the ceasefire, including two attacks by (Lebanese militant group) Hezbollah in Zabadani” west of Damascus, said Salem al-Meslet, spokesman for the High Negotiations Committee.
Opposition monitoring groups reported earlier Sunday that warplanes had carried out air raids on two villages in northern Syria.
Sunday’s air raids came on the second day of a cease-fire brokered by Russia and the US, the most ambitious effort yet to curb the violence of the country’s five-year civil war.
"Overnight from February 27 to 28 the Russian center for the reconciliation of the warring parties in Syria received information about an attack from Turkish territory on the Syrian town of Tal Abyad by armed units using large-scale artillery,” said the chief of the center, Lieutenant General Sergei Kuralenko
The two countries’ economic and military ties run deep, bolstered by economic and security agreements and two military bases — including one just outside the Armenian capital. Most significant, Armenia is the only country in the region that shares a border with Turkey and has Russian troops permanently stationed.
Although Armenia has welcomed thousands of Russian troops and advanced weaponry, these developments seemed to have escaped the notice of U.S. officials, who were settling in for the holidays while Russia and Armenia signed a sweeping air defense agreement two days before Christmas.
The closure of borders in the north of Greece has created chaos: thousands of refugees and migrants wandering from Athens to Idomeni without knowing where to sleep and what to eat, where to lay their kids and elderly to sleep.
FYROM, Croatia, Slovenia and Austria has closed their border today. Slovenia, Croatia and Serbia said on Friday they would each restrict the number of migrants allowed to enter their territories to 580 per day, while Austria already introduced a daily cap of 80 asylum-seekers and said it would only let 3,200 migrants pass through each day. However, FYROM’s borders remained close all day Friday, onloy 150 crossed on Thursday. Albania, that had earlier said to accept refugees, decided otherwise at the end of the day, after the West Ballkan Conference initiated by Austria. Prime Minister Eddi Rama said that his country will not accept any refugees.
Also the push-backs have started: Austria sent back 50 Syrians two days ago, they arrived in Idomeni , Greece a couple of hours ago. According to latest information, Serbia is going to push-back 1,000 people to FYROM and FYROM will forward them to Greece.
Refugees, asylum-seekers, migrants: all in one pot. End of story:
The Balkan Route is cut.
20,000-25,000 people are trapped in Greece.
Allegedly concerned that a humanitarian crisis may occur, the European Commission is working out a contingency plan to tackle the crisis and avoid the disaster.
“At this time we are preparing an emergency plan, ‘a humanitarian aid mechanism’ in order to avoid a humanitarian crisis in Greece,” European Commission spokesperson Natasha Bertaud said on Friday, however without elaborating on details. Correspondents of Greek TV channels in Brussels reported later that the “Emergency plan” would rather be in form of financial aid for food, logistics etc of even up to 3 billion euro. Greece has reportedly already submitted the relevant request to Brussels. According to Greek media, the Greek request aims to tackle the Refugee Crisis until March 7th.
“Senior European officials are embracing the so-far taboo idea of cutting off the migrant trail in Greece, a step that they acknowledge could create a humanitarian crisis in the country, says a report in the Wall Street Journal.
This so-called Plan B, floated until now only by Europe’s populist leaders, is a sign of rapidly waning confidence in other European Union policies to deal with the migration crisis—in particular in German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s game plan of relying mainly on Turkey to stem the human tide.”
“Greece wouldn’t be the worst place to have a humanitarian crisis for a few months,” one EU official told WSJ, adding that the population there was much more refugee-friendly than those in the Balkans or Eastern Europe.”Four senior EU officials said that Greece, as an EU member state, could receive more bloc funding and other practical help to cope with the stranded migrants than its Balkan neighbors, where ethnic conflicts could flare up anytime. Once the message trickles through that migrants are stuck in Greece, the officials said the hope is that fewer people would attempt to come in the first place.”
An evil plan smitten in devils’ rooms in Brussels, behind closed doors., by those EU “partners” who do not want to stand to their responsibilities. thus violating the sames rules and the same decisions have have signed and agreed upon.
The European Commission Legal Departmental reportedly consider the border closure by Austria, Croatia and Slovenia as “illegal”.
United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon expressed concern on Friday over the increasing number of border restrictions targeting migrants in the Balkans and said they ran contrary to the international refugee convention.
The border rules in Austria, Slovenia, Croatia, Serbia and Macedonia “are not in line” with the 1951 convention “because individual determination of refugee status and assessment of individual protection needs are not made possible,” said UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric.
The European Social Fund (ESF) does not intend to provide additional financial support to Germany in the near future amid the ongoing refugee crisis, Marianne Thyssen, EU Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs, Skills and Labor Mobility, said Sunday.
According to Thyssen, the European Union has already allocated to Germany 7.5 billion (some $8.2 billion) for 2014-2021.
"We cannot transfer more money to Germany to the detriment of other countries, which are less affected by the refugee situation," she said as quoted by Deutsche Welle broadcaster.