Friday, September 19, 2014

Bodies Found After Ebola Health Workers Go Missing in Guinea
Liberia where the Ebola virus in spreading further.
Team spreading awareness of deadly virus set upon by angry residents in remote village

Monica Mark, West Africa correspondent
The Guardian, Thursday 18 September 2014 18.35 EDT

The prime minister of Guinea said that seven bodies had been found after a team of health workers went missing during a push to raise awareness of the outbreak of Ebola which started in the country nine months ago.

Witnesses said the team were set upon by angry residents in the remote village of Womey, where many remain in denial about the disease, or suspicious of foreign health workers. Several failed to return following the visit on Tuesday. Officials earlier said some – including three journalists and the director and two senior doctors of the main local hospital – were being held captive. Atempts to reach them stalled when angry residents destroyed bridges leading to the village.

"The meeting started off well; the traditional chiefs welcomed the delegation with 10 kola nuts as a traditional greeting," said a resident who was present at the meeting and gave only his first name, Yves. "It was afterwards that some youths came out and started stoning them. They dragged some of them away, and damaged their vehicles."

In an announcement made on state television late on Thursday, Mohamed Saïd Fofana said authorities had located the bodies a day after the group was abducted. Among the dead were three Guinean radio journalists who had been covering the education efforts.

A government spokesman, Damantang Albert Camara. told Reuters: "The bodies were found in the village latrine. Three of them had their throats slit." Some others from the delegation are still believed to be missing.

The Ebola outbreak across five west African countries has spiralled into the world's biggest ever epidemic, with more than 700 cases – out of 5,300 overall – emerging in the past week alone, the World Health Organisation said on Thursday.

The WHO said there was a desperate shortage of health workers and supplies in an epidemic likely to last many more months. Health workers across Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, where most of the cases are, have been periodically attacked by citizens in a region experiencing the deadly virus for the first time.

The district of Nzérékoré, where the team disappeared, exploded in clashes after health workers tried to spray the local market last month. About 50 people were arrested and two dozen police officers who were sent to quell the riots were injured.

In Sierra Leone, almost 30,000 volunteers will go house-to-house to raise awareness of the disease during a three-day "lockdown", when residents have been asked to remain at home. Thousands of soldiers are to enforce the curfew, due to start at midnight on Thursday.

A sluggish international response to the crisis has picked up in recent days. The US will send 3,000 troops to Liberia to help provide desperately-needed boots on the ground in the country hardest hit by the outbreak.

France's president, François Hollande, said the former colonial power would set up a military hospital to help tackle the disease in Guinea.
After Ebola: Rebuilding Liberia’s Health Care Infrastructure
Healthcare workers in Liberia disposing of dead body.
By Michael Murphy and Alan Ricks
 Boston Globe
SEPTEMBER 17, 2014

Health workers in protective suits carried the body of an Ebola victim in Liberia on Friday.

Last July the Ministry of Health building in Monrovia, Liberia’s capital city, was set on fire. We were shocked: Our designers had been in that exact building only a few months before, presenting a final draft of National Health Infrastructure Standards that we were then helping develop. According to reports, a man whose relative had just died of Ebola started the fire at the Ministry of Health. In his infinite grief, this man retaliated against the Liberian government, whose failure to contain the outbreak he held responsible for the tragic loss of a relative.

This man’s anger against the Ministry of Health is understandable. As Ebola continues to spread, destroying lives across Liberia and down the West African coast, many people (nationals and foreigners alike) have called out the Liberian government for its failure to stem the epidemic, branding the health system in our global conversation with the shameful verdict of incompetence.

These judgments of the health system are not without truth. At the moment of the Ebola outbreak, Liberia’s health system was indeed weakened and vulnerable. The country was (and still is) recovering from a devastating civil war, which ended only ten years ago. This civil war decimated the nation’s health system, destroying by its end 354 of Liberia’s 550 medical facilities.

EDITORIAL: Risking everything to help Ebola victims

Today, Liberia’s health infrastructure is dangerously underdeveloped. The condition of many of the hospitals we visited often during our time in Liberia speak to this inadequacy. For instance, the John F. Kennedy Medical Center, a vestige of Cold War American-funded aid initiatives and one of Liberia’s leading hospitals, was in shambles due to highly unrealistic maintenance costs. Redemption Hospital, another important health facility in Monrovia, was in fact converted from a building that had previously been used as a warehouse. As a consequence, the building suffered from dark and labyrinthine corridors, its walls stained with water, and its floors and ceilings showing signs of dilapidation.

And yet, the Liberian Ministry of Health was not earlier this year ignorant of these problems. More importantly, the Liberian government was in fact researching, planning for, and enacting the radical, challenging improvements that were necessary to repair their national health system.

What is in danger of being lost in the conversation is that the Liberian government was, just before the Ebola outbreak, beginning to take significant and decisive steps towards a new, better, and stronger Liberian health care system — a system that included, at its core, an improved health infrastructure.

Our design nonprofit has worked with governments and health ministries across the African continent, and we were impressed by the leadership of President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and Minister of Health Dr. Walter Gwenigale, who are making important investments to shore up Liberia’s health systems and infrastructure. Indeed, when we first arrived in Liberia in 2010, the Ministry was in the process of developing a 10-year, comprehensive national health policy and roadmap for development, which would support the distribution of medical care from Monrovia, the capital, into the many less urban counties that make up the rest of the country. (We completed this work in partnership with the JSI Research and Training Institute, under the Rebuilding Basic Health Services project with funding from USAID.)

Along with this new national health policy, the Ministry had already developed a new design for Redemption Hospital and a host of other ‘shovel-ready’ projects which would shore up the country’s weak health infrastructure and help the country move towards its long-term national health goals. This, from our perspective, is where Liberia was on the eve of the outbreak — poised to make dramatic changes to its medical system that would improve the future health and well being of its citizens.

The country, of course, was not ready for Ebola. Not many other countries would be. And what is needed now is targeted, strategic support from the international community, as President Obama called for yesterday in a speech at the Centers for Disease Control, that resonates in productive ways with the Liberian government’s existing national health policy goals.

Indeed, as international action is taken, parties should respect the Liberian government’s vision to develop a durable and resilient health infrastructure that can support a durable and resilient health system. In other words, we recognize that there is a temptation in this moment of crisis to respond to Ebola with a fleet of emergency shelters, tents, and other short-term strategies to try and stem the epidemic. But (as we saw, for instance, with cholera in Haiti), these kinds of responses are inadequate for safe patient isolation but also in the long-term. Temporary, poorly designed — or even, un-designed — health facilities, while a part of the emergency response, cannot be the entirety of our response. If they are, such structures will not only fail to solve health crises, but may themselves also become health hazards.

There is a second reason to be wary of emergency tents and similar improvised infrastructure: Such makeshift interventions cannot blind us from the opportunity to invest in infrastructure that will prevent and control such outbreaks in the future.

The international community has already begun to respond to Ebola with injections of funding and aid. This aid is an incredible opportunity in the midst of incredible tragedy to secure the resources necessary to achieve the infrastructure goals that are already laid out in the Liberian government’s admirable national health policy. If done intelligently, such action would couple the necessary speed of emergency tents with the durability and resilience of long-term infrastructure. This building strategy is not only vital in the current outbreak — it is an investment in the future health of Liberians.

VOXOP: Ebola raises fears, ethical questions

It is possible to curb this outbreak; in fact, Liberia is well poised to do so and lead by example in West Africa. What remains is the financial support to invest in stated priorities as outlined in its the National Health Infrastructure Policy, and a perception shift to acknowledge we must provide and ensure safe hospitals.

When Ebola is all over, the international community will have an important opportunity to consider how and what to invest in to ensure such a devastating outbreak does not occur again. We must choose to build better buildings. Only then will health infrastructure systems finally be strong enough to resist such formidable challenges to their resilience.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Sierra Leone Residents Ordered Confined to Homes in Response to Ebola
Healthcare workers fighting Ebola in West Africa.
FREETOWN, Sierra Leone - In a desperate bid to slow West Africa's accelerating Ebola outbreak, Sierra Leone ordered its 6 million people confined to their homes for three days starting Friday while volunteers conduct a house-to-house search for victims in hiding.

At an emergency meeting, meanwhile, the U.N. Security Council unanimously called the crisis "a threat to international peace and security" and urged all countries to provide experts, field hospitals and medical supplies. It was only the second time the council addressed a health emergency, the first being the AIDS epidemic.

And in Guinea, seven bodies were found after a team of Guinean health workers trying to educate people about Ebola was abducted by villagers armed with rocks and knives, the prime minister said. Among the dead were three Guinean radio journalists.

Many villagers in West Africa have reacted with fear and panic when outsiders have come to conduct awareness campaigns and have even attacked health clinics.

The disease, which has also touched Liberia, Nigeria and Senegal, is believed to have sickened more than 5,300 people and killed more than 2,600 of them, the U.N.'s World Health Organization reported. In a sign the crisis is picking up steam, more than 700 of those infections were recorded in the last week for which data is available.

During the lockdown in Sierra Leone, set to begin at midnight Thursday and run through Sunday, volunteers will try to identify sick people reluctant or unable to seek treatment. They will also hand out 1.5 million bars of soap and dispense information on how to prevent Ebola.

Authorities have said they expect to discover hundreds of new cases during the shutdown. Many of those infected have not sought treatment out of fear that hospitals are merely places people go to die. Others have been turned away by centers overwhelmed with patients.

Sierra Leone's government said it has prepared screening and treatment centers to accept the expected influx of patients after the shutdown.

"Today the life of every one is at stake, but we will get over this difficulty if all do what we have been asked to do." Sierra Leone's President Ernest Bai Koroma said in an address late Thursday.

As shoppers rushed to buy food and other items ahead of the deadline, some merchants worried about how they would feed their own families after losing three days' income. Much of Sierra Leone's population lives on $2 a day or less, and making ends meet is a day-to-day struggle.

"If we do not sell here we cannot eat," said Isatu Sesay, a vegetable seller in the capital. "We do not know how we will survive during the three-day shutdown."

The U.N. Security Council resolution was co-sponsored by an unprecedented 130 countries, reflecting the rising global concern.

"This is likely the greatest peacetime challenge that the United Nations and its agencies have ever faced," said Dr. Margaret Chan, WHO chief.

She added: "None of us experienced in containing outbreaks has ever seen, in our lifetimes, an emergency on this scale, with this degree of suffering, and with this magnitude of cascading consequences."

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called for a 20-fold increase in aid totaling almost $1 billion to deal with the crisis.

Several countries promised aid even before the resolution was adopted.

France announced Thursday it will set up a military hospital in Guinea in the coming days, while Britain said it will provide 500 more badly needed beds in Sierra Leone. The U.S. plans to send 3,000 military personnel to the region and build more than a dozen treatment centers in Liberia. An American general has arrived in the Liberian capital of Monrovia to set up a command center.

Ebola, which is spread through bodily fluids, puts health workers at a particularly high risk. Nearly 320 have become infected, and about half have died. A French nurse for Doctors Without Borders who became infected in Liberia was being flown to Paris on Thursday.

With no proven treatment for the disease, public health experts have kept the focus on isolating the sick, tracking down those they have come into contact with, and stopping the chain of transmission through travel restrictions, the cordoning off of entire communities and now Sierra Leone's lockdown.

Some patients have been given the blood of Ebola survivors in an experimental approach that some scientists think can help people fight off the virus.

British nurse William Pooley, who was infected while working in Sierra Leone and has since recovered, has flown to the U.S. to donate blood to an American patient.

Reached at his Atlanta hotel Thursday night, Pooley acknowledged he was there to donate blood to a patient at Emory University Hospital. But he - and hospital officials - declined to identify the patient or detail his condition.
Ebola Outbreak: Health Team 'Found Dead' in Guinea
A map of Guinea-Conakry.
BBC World News

Officials in Guinea searching for a team of health workers and journalists who went missing while trying to raise awareness of Ebola have found several bodies.

A spokesman for Guinea's government said the bodies included those of three journalists in the team.

They went missing after being attacked on Tuesday in a village near the southern city of Nzerekore.

More than 2,600 people have now died from the Ebola outbreak in West Africa.

It is the world's worst outbreak of the deadly disease, with officials warning that more than 20,000 people could ultimately be infected.

West African media divided on response to Ebola

The three doctors and three journalists disappeared after being pelted with stones by residents when they arrived in the village of Wome - near where the Ebola outbreak was first recorded.

One of the journalists managed to escape and told reporters that she could hear the villagers looking for them while she was hiding.

A government delegation, led by the health minister, had been dispatched to the region but they were unable to reach the village by road because a main bridge had been blocked.

'Killed in cold blood'

On Thursday night, government spokesman Albert Damantang Camara said eight bodies had been found, including those of three journalists.

He said they had been recovered from the septic tank of a primary school in the village, adding that the victims had been "killed in cold blood by the villagers".

The reason for the killings is unclear, but correspondents say many people in the region distrust health officials and have refused to co-operate with authorities, fearing that a diagnosis means certain death.

Last month, riots erupted in the area of Guinea where the health team went missing after rumours that medics who were disinfecting a market were contaminating people.

Speaking on Thursday, President Francois Hollande said France was setting up a military hospital in Guinea as part of his country's efforts to support the West African nations affected by the outbreak.

He said the hospital was a sign that France's contribution was not just financial, adding that it would be in "the forests of Guinea, in the heart of the outbreak".

The World Health Organisation said on Thursday that more than 700 new cases of Ebola have emerged in West Africa in just a week, showing that the outbreak was accelerating.

It said there had been more than 5,300 cases in total and that half of those were recorded in the past three weeks.

The epidemic has struck Liberia, Sierra Leone, Guinea, Nigeria and Senegal.

A three-day lockdown is starting in Sierra Leone at 00:00 GMT in a bid to stop the disease spreading.
Fear of Ebola Drives Mob to Kill Officials in Guinea
Hospital treating Ebola patients in Guinea.
New York Times
SEPT. 18, 2014

The bodies of eight officials and journalists who went to a remote village in Guinea to dispel rumors about the deadly Ebola outbreak gripping the region were discovered after a rock-hurling mob attacked the delegation, claiming that it had come to spread the illness, a government spokesman said Thursday.

The delegation had left for the village on Tuesday for what was supposed to be a community event to raise awareness about the Ebola virus, said the spokesman, Albert Camara Damantang. When the angry crowd descended on them, he said, several officials managed to escape and alert their colleagues in Conakry, Guinea’s capital, who sent out a search party.

“They went on a mission to try to sensitize the local population about Ebola, but unfortunately they were met with hostility by people throwing rocks,” Mr. Damantang said.

In the delegation was a sub-prefect, a regional health director and a pastor “who came to offer solace, as well as several journalists from communal radio stations,” Mr. Damantang said. “Among the only survivors we found of those who tried to hide in the bush was the 5-year-old son of the sub-prefect, who was left hiding in the wild.”

The Ebola epidemic has already killed more than 2,600 people in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. Governments have scrambled to figure out a way to contain it, but beyond their own limited resources, collapsing health systems and inexperience with the disease, they have faced another dangerous obstacle: distrust among the local population.

In Guinea, workers and officials, blamed by panicked populations for spreading the virus, have been threatened with knives, stones and machetes.

In Liberia, some politicians have publicly expressed doubts about the extent of the outbreak, and even accused the administration of exaggerating it to collect money from international donors.

Scores of health workers across the region have died trying to fight the disease, often in hospitals and clinics that lack basic supplies. But the killing of government officials, journalists and community leaders trying to curb the spread of the disease represents a dangerous new chapter in the efforts to contain the epidemic.
Thousands Attend Funeral of Michael Brown
Abayomi Azikiwe is the editor of the Pan-African News Wire.
Police killing of African American youth galvanized the struggle against racism in the United States

By Abayomi Azikiwe
Editor, Pan-African News Wire

Slain 18-year-old Ferguson, MO resident Michael Brown was laid to rest on Aug. 25. The funeral was a local and national event with thousands in attendance.

Brown was killed by a white police officer Darren Wilson on Aug. 9 while he walked through the streets of his neighborhood. His brutal death from six gunshot wounds fired at close range, sparked immediate mass demonstrations in Ferguson that have continued for over two weeks.

The protests and rebellion in Ferguson highlighted the growing intolerance among African American working class youth for police repression. In response to the unrest in this suburb outside of St. Louis, tens of thousands more gathered in solidarity in cities across the U.S.

Police and governmental responses to the demonstrations in Ferguson are designed to violently suppress dissent. Military equipment and law-enforcement deployment tactics used in this majority African American town of 21,000 resembled those utilized in Afghanistan, Iraq, Somalia, Palestine and other regions of the world where U.S. imperialism is seeking directly or indirectly to oppress and exploit the people.

Police Are the Main Source of Violence in Ferguson

On Aug. 19, police set off teargas, pepper spray along with firing bean bags and rubber bullets into a crowd of several hundred peaceful demonstrators. Journalists were told to leave the area and dozens of people were arrested.

Corporate news reports of the destruction of private property were designed to provide a rationale for the heavily militarized police response to the demonstrations. During the course of the first ten days of the unrest several people were reported injured and wounded by gunfire.

According to a Press TV report “Captain Ron Johnson of the Missouri State Highway Patrol said early Tuesday that 31 protesters have been arrested, with some coming as far away as New York and California. He noted that at least two people have been wounded by gunfire. Johnson called on protesters to refrain from staging rallies during the nighttime, which, he said, provides cover for criminal elements.” (Aug. 19)

Despite these claims or suggestions that the demonstrations in Ferguson were being instigated by so-called “outside agitators”, arrest records reveals that most people who were detained were from the area. Those who were suspected of being from other cities were deliberately targeted by police for arrests and beatings.

Several journalists were also arrested and gassed during the course of the first two weeks of the demonstrations and rebellion. A “no-fly zone” was declared over Ferguson in efforts by the authorities to prevent aerial news reports in unrest neighborhoods and business districts.

Johnson of the State Highway Patrol was designated as being ostensibly in charge of the law-enforcement deployments in Ferguson. He was said to have come from the town and would utilize a less aggressive form of policing the community.

Nonetheless, after several days of continuing unrest demanding that police officer Wilson be indicted and arrested in the killing of Brown, it became obvious that Johnson was not really in control. Gov. Jay Nixon ordered in the National Guard and attempted to minimize potential political damage that would hamper his much talked about aspirations for the vice-presidency of the U.S.

Johnson in his efforts to justify the daily brutality by the cops told the media on Aug. 19 that "’officers came under heavy gunfire during the night,’ but said officers did not fire a single shot. They ‘acted with restraint and calm,’ he said. Johnson blamed a group of ‘lawbreakers’ and "’criminals" for the violence.’” (CNN)

Yet there was no condemnation from Johnson of the criminality of white police officers shooting down African American youth. The official line coming out of Ferguson was geared towards covering up the crimes committed against Brown and others seeking justice, by manufacturing a so-called “criminal” element that posed a more immediate danger.

Official Solutions Won’t Work: African Americans Need Program of Action

Although the officials in Ferguson have stated repeatedly that Officer Wilson’s record was clean, it surfaced on Aug. 24 that he had been a member of a nearby police force that was disbanded due to reports of racism and corruption. Wilson was employed in the Jennings police department when all 45 officers were fired. (New York Daily News)

In an article published by the New York Daily News in reference to the disbanding of the Jennings police force, it states that “The ‘straw that broke the camel's back’ was when an officer, who was not Wilson, chased a woman outside of the city's limits and shot at her vehicle with a child in the backseat, Rodney Epps, an African American city council member in Jennings, told the newspaper. Wilson then went to work at Ferguson, where he has not had any disciplinary action and received a commendation by the Ferguson council for subduing a man involved in a drug transaction, the newspaper reports.”

Illustrating the racist support for police brutality and terrorism against African Americans is being further revealed in a campaign that is holding demonstrations and raising funds for Wilson. Polls reflect that many whites in the U.S. still do not understand the implications of racist state violence directed against people of color communities.

Responding to the growing criticism against racist police violence and the militarization of law-enforcement, the administration of President Barack Obama sent Atty. General Eric Holder into Ferguson on Aug. 20 to discuss the Justice Department’s investigation of the killing of Brown. An Obama administration official told journalists that the president “has directed a review of federal programs and funding that enable state and local law enforcement to purchase military equipment". (AFP-Reuters, Aug. 24)

This review will purportedly examine "whether these programs are appropriate, whether training with the equipment is sufficient, and whether there is enough federal oversight of the gear's use. The investigation will be headed by White House staff including the Domestic Policy Council, the National Security Council [and] the Office of Management and Budget", the official said. (AFP-Reuters)

Despite this investigation, the killing of African Americans and other oppressed people are continuing in the U.S. and even in the state of Missouri. In nearby St. Louis, an African American man, Kajieme Powell, was gunned down less than two weeks after the death of Brown.

On Aug. 19 these were the circumstances surrounding the death of Powell captured by a cellphone video camera and reported by Press TV: “The video shows the officers pulled up to the sidewalk, where the video shows Powell walking up and down, with his right hand in the pocket of his sweatshirt. Officers pull up in a squad car, exit and draw their weapons, and can be heard shouting indistinguishable instructions to Powell.” (Aug. 21)

This same report goes on to point out that “The victim can be heard shouting ‘Shoot me! Shoot me!’ He retreats and then walks towards officers again, who fire on him. He was killed four miles from Ferguson, Missouri, the scene of ongoing protests over the death of Michael Brown, 18, who was shot to death by police on August 9.”

The fact that these developments are occurring with the national and global spotlight focused on this region of Missouri proves that the struggle against racist state violence must be led by the African American people and their allies. These forms of repression derive from the necessity of the ruling class to maintain social and political control over of the oppressed nations whose youth and other age groups have no future under the system of capitalism.

Only the mass organization and mobilization of the African American people in conjunction with other oppressed nations and their class allies will provide any hope for the end to racist state-sanctioned violence. The capitalist system has historically relied on racism, utilizing mechanism of coercion and control along with the division of the working class along racial lines, to maintain the exploitative system. Consequently, the struggle to end racism takes on a class dimension in undermining the material basis for national oppression and for the construction of a socialist society.
Marxism Conference in Detroit Attracts Midwest Activists

Panels presented on the history and contemporary struggles against capitalism

By Abayomi Azikiwe
Editor, Pan-African News Wire

A conference in Detroit sponsored by the local branch of Workers World Party (WWP) and youth organization Fight Imperialism, Stand Together (FIST) was held on Aug. 23-24. The event brought together members and supporters of WWP from Michigan, Ohio, Illinois, Wisconsin and Virginia along with other activists seeking to learn more about Marxist-Leninist theory and the current struggle for socialism in the United States and around the world.

The gathering took place amid an ongoing movement in Detroit against the bank-imposed economic crisis and forced bankruptcy. Many of the talks drew upon the lessons learned over the last eight years in efforts to win a moratorium on foreclosures, evictions and utility shut-offs as well as holding the financial institutions accountable for the damage caused to the working class and nationally oppressed in the current period.

Entitled “Marxism: The Science Behind the Struggle”, the conference in its call for participation stated that “There is a resurgence of the anti-people, anti-worker agenda of the banks and corporations which is devastating the working class and the nationally oppressed. Job losses, increasing unemployment, racism and war are the day-to- day realities of the majority of people here in the United States and around the world.”

This statement continued noting that “In the U.S. we are in the citadel of world capitalism and imperialism. Our responsibility is enhanced due to the role of the ruling class in their efforts to extract even more profits from the misery under which we are forced to live.”

Five Panels on Various Aspects of the Global Class Struggle

The first panel on Aug. 23 “The Science of Marxism” featured presentations by Jerry Goldberg on “where to begin and what is to be done; a brief view of a revolutionary party in struggle.”
Later Tom Michalak of Detroit FIST discussed “dialectical and historical materialism – understanding class struggle.” This panel was chaired by Debbie Johnson, a leading member of the Detroit branch and an activist in the Moratorium NOW! Coalition.

In the second panel entitled “Imperialism and the struggle for national liberation and self-determination in the belly of the beast” presentations were made on the central role of the African American people in the overall movements against racism and global capitalism. During this session a brief history of WWP in the struggle against neo-colonialism, imperialism and for self-determination and national liberation across the world was reviewed ranging from the Chinese Revolution, the African Revolution, the movement in defense of Robert Williams and the African American community in Monroe, North Carolina during the 1960s, the national mobilization to defend busing in Boston during 1974, support for affirmative action, the Southern African liberation movement, etc.

Joe  Mchahwar, youth activist and FIST member, addressed the issue of the “militarization of the state” in contemporary U.S. society drawing on the developments in Ferguson, Missouri where numerous police agencies backed up by the National Guard violently suppressed mass demonstrations demanding justice for Michael Brown who was gunned down by a white police officer on Aug. 9. Monica Moorehead of New York, WWP Secretariat member and Workers World newspaper managing editor, was scheduled to attend the conference an address this panel but was sent to cover develops in St. Louis County.

A third panel on “struggles in the belly of the beast” was chaired by Andrea Egypt of the Detroit branch and an activist in the Michigan Emergency Committee Against War & Injustice (MECAWI). Presentations were made by Kris Hamel, a co-founder of Moratorium NOW! Coalition and a managing editor of Workers World, Susan Schnur of the Cleveland branch, and Sharon Feldman of Detroit.

Topics touched on included the struggle of municipal employees against cutbacks, privatization and pension thefts; the crisis in mental health services under capitalist austerity; the struggle for equality led by the LGBTQ communities and the pioneering role of WWP extending back over four decades; lessons from the mass actions in Wisconsin, the occupy movement, Chicago teachers strike, defense of former political prisoners Cece McDonald and Marissa Alexander, etc.; the current right-wing assault on reproductive rights for women, and other issues.

The fourth panel, also chaired by Andrea Egypt, was entitled “the death throes of capitalism” where talks were delivered by Debbie Johnson on the true meaning of austerity; Jill White of Chicago on growing food deficits among working class and oppressed people in the U.S.; Martha Grevatt discussed the present conditions in the auto industry and the need for the trade union leadership to take a class-based political approach to the fight against deteriorating working conditions, attacks on the eight-hour day and cuts in real wages.  

On the morning of Sun. Aug. 24, the concluding panel was held entitled “building a socialist future.” Presentation were given by Mike Shane on “organizing and politicizing the working class and the role of a transitional program in the struggle”; Cheryl LaBash, contributing editor for Workers World discussed “Socialism and struggle: a view to Cuba and Latin America; David Sole, a co-founder of the Detroit branch reported on the contemporary anti-imperialist struggle; along with Tom Michalak who talked about these issues from a working class youth perspective.

The summation of the overall theme of the concluding panel was described on the agenda as “Dare to struggle – dare to win: understanding and embracing Marxism, the answer to a dying economic system of racism, war, exploitation and imperialist domination. What side will you be on?

Participants in the conference pledged to build on the understandings and suggestions advanced during the two-day gathering. Activists from Milwaukee proposed a tour by Michigan activists in the fall that would visit several cities in the state of Wisconsin.
Note: This writer, Abayomi Azikiwe, made two presentations during the conference on the ongoing struggles for self-determination, national liberation and socialism as well as the need to understand and expose the role of the banks and corporations in the imposition of austerity and political repression being enhanced against African American and other people of color communities in the U.S. and oppressed nations throughout the world.
Pan-African Journal: Worldwide Radio Broadcast Editions for Aug. 17, 23 & 24
Pan-African Journal: Special Worldwide Radio Broadcast
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US Playing Duplicitous Game in West Africa: Says PANW Editor Abayomi Azikiwe

Mon Aug 25, 2014 3:43PM
Interview with Abayomi Azikiwe

Press TV has conducted an interview with Abayomi Azikiwe, editor of Pan-African News Wire from Detroit, about Nigeria’s Boko Haram Takfiri militants declaring a so-called caliphate in the northeastern town of Gwoza.

What follows is an approximate transcription of the interview.

Press TV: Well it seems these so-called militant groups there just getting more and more [bold]. Now we are seeing Boko Haram Takfiri group in Nigeria basically saying that this town now is no longer a part of Nigeria. I guess the main question to be asked is why haven’t we seen the Nigerian military more aggressive with this group up until now?

Azikiwe: There is a very delicate role that the Nigerian military is playing in this whole scenario due to the legacy of British colonialism in Nigeria.

There have been these regional divisions that go all the way back to the 1960’s between the North and the South of the country but Nigerian military has been engaged in operations in the northeast of the country where Boko Haram has been the most active over the last five years and it stands to reason that they will attack Gwoza in the days to come in order to uproot the Boko Haram activists who are there. They overran a police installation there and some of the police personnel are missing, so apparently they have been killed or either taken captive by Boko Haram. But it is inevitable that the Nigerian military will make an effort to recapture this town.

Press TV: And your take overall Mr. Azikiwe, I mean of course it is not just Nigeria and we see a similar situation taking place in Iraq and in Syria and talking about a caliphate.

What is behind this in general in your perspective that we are seeing an expansion of this type of extremist perspective and basically trying to justify in the name of Islam and almost as if there is a coordinated attempt to attack this from various sides and various countries all at the same time?

Azikiwe: Well most Islamist scholars and historians have rejected the approach of Boko Haram as well as the so-called Islamic State in Iraq and Syria.

What is happening is that US imperialism and its allies are taking advantage of historical, regional and inter-religious conflicts in the Middle East as well as in West Africa to exploit the national divisions inside the country in an effort to enhance the influence of imperialism.

These efforts that are going on in Iraq for example in the northern part of the country has actually opened the way for the re-entry of direct US military intervention in Iraq. Now they are talking about engaging in aerial bombardments in Syria ostensibly against the Islamic State.

So many of these groups periodically have been supported by the Pentagon, by the Central Intelligence Agency in Syria.The ISIS or the ISIL were fighting on the same side as others who were fighting with the United States in an effort to overthrow the government of Bashar al-Assad in Syria.

In Nigeria because it is an oil rich state. They wish to exploit the traditional and historic divisions imposed by British imperialism in order to show up US military intelligence involvement in those regions of the West African states.

So I think it's a dual and duplicitous game being played by Washington, by London and by Brussels in order to justify and provide a rationale for their continued military intervention in these geopolitical regions. 

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Mass Unrest in Ferguson Continues Despite Attempts to Criminalize African Americans
Abayomi Azikiwe, editor of the Pan-African News Wire, in July
2011. (Photo: Andrea Egypt)
National Guard deployment, declaration of state of emergency fuels anger, unrest

By Abayomi Azikiwe
Editor, Pan-African News Wire
Published Aug. 18, 2014

Michael Brown, an 18-year-old African American youth, was shot at least six times by a Ferguson, MO white police officer Darren Wilson according to the preliminary results of an independent autopsy requested by the family.  The fatal shot went directly through the top of Brown’s head into his brain, killing him immediately.

There are numerous eyewitnesses to the killing of Brown. A cellphone videotape captured the scene minutes after the youth was gunned down in the street while police stood around talking.

When Brown’s family members attempted to take a look at the body, they were pushed away by the Ferguson police. The name of the officer was not released until six days after shooting.

On the same day as Wilson’s name was released, a video was issued by local authorities in Ferguson which purportedly showed someone resembling Brown taking a box of cigars from a store and pushing a clerk. The contents of this video and the timing of its release further inflamed tensions in the African American community.

On the evening of Aug. 15 after the release of the video attempting to criminalize Brown, the store in question was trashed. This took place a day after the St. Louis County police were ostensibly pulled back while being criticized in its brutal actions against demonstrators, community members and even members of the media.

Gov. Jay Nixon, a Democrat, supposedly made the decision to lighten up on the police repression. He was called by President Barack Obama who was attempting reduce the damage these developments have had on local, state and federal governments in the United States.

Nevertheless, by the morning of Aug. 16, riot police units were called back into the unrest areas in Ferguson. On the evening of Aug. 17, police claimed that they were fired on and attempts were made to put up barricades to hold back law-enforcement and to overrun the command center.

These claims were made in an effort to justify further repression. Gov. Nixon announced that he was deploying the National Guard in an effort to quell the unrest. A curfew was imposed on Aug. 15 resulting in mass efforts to defy the orders that people leave the streets by midnight.

On Aug. 17, militarized police units attacked the people gathered in the streets more than two hours before the curfew was scheduled to go into effect. Nixon announced that the curfew would be lifted on the evening of Aug. 18, but that the National Guard would be deployed to maintain order.

Brown Shot and Killed at Close Range

Brown was wounded four times in his shoulder and arm with an additional bullet going through his mouth. The fatal wound was apparently the final one which takes on the dimension of an “execution-style” killing.

At a press conference held in Ferguson called by the family of Michael Brown, Atty. Benjamin Crump acted as the chief spokesman and conveyed three questions being asked by Lesley McSpadden, the mother of the 18-year-old student who was struck down on Aug. 9 while walking to his grandmother’s home.

McSpadden wanted to know how many times her son was shot. Whether Brown suffered prior to his death and finally, why hasn’t the police officer who killed her child been arrested.

"It verifies the worst that the family thinks happened — that he was executed," Crump told the news conference on Aug. 18. "It confirms what the witnesses said, that this was an execution." (CNN)

Crump served as the lawyer for the family of Trayvon Martin who was killed by George Zimmerman in Feb. 2013. Like Brown, his death galvanized African American communities across the U.S. and prompted world news coverage of the killings and demonstrations organized to seek justice.

Ferguson Rebellion Creates Crisis for the Ruling Class and State

President Barack Obama has spoken twice on the situation in Ferguson. During his vacation on Martha’s Vineyard on August 14, he was compelled to address the crisis after six days of mass demonstrations both non-violent and violent. Obama said that the U.S. was “one country with common values” and that the situation in Ferguson must be resolved through peaceful means admonishing those who engaged in attacks on private property and police.

Nonetheless, if the U.S. was one country then there would not be periodic urban rebellions throughout African American communities nationwide. Many of these outbreaks are fueled by blatant acts of police misconduct and brutality.

The situation in Ferguson is by no means an isolated incident. Since the times of slavery, Africans have resisted national oppression, racist violence and economic exploitation. To suggest that both the oppressed and the oppressor have equal responsibility in a situation that was clearly provoked by the police, the authorities in St. Louis County and the state of Missouri, is disingenuous to say the least.

In a second press conference on Aug. 18 after Obama’s return to the White House, he mentioned the situation in Ferguson again. Initially however, as on Aug. 14, he discussed the current U.S. military intervention in northern Iraq through aerial bombardment and ground operations.

Obama sought to justify the deployment of U.S. “military advisers” and fighter jets in Iraq over the last several weeks. He said that civilians were being threatened and the Islamic State needed to be curtailed and contained.

The president never acknowledged the role of the U.S. in destabilizing Iraq and creating the conditions for sectarianism. The Islamic State formerly known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) or the Islamic State of Syria and the Levant (ISIL), has been fighting against the government in Syria on the same side as Washington which is committed to overthrowing the presidency of Bashar al-Assad.

When asked during the question and answer period whether he had any reservations about the militarization of the police, where they are given hundreds of millions of dollars in defense equipment utilized in warzones, the president refused to address this inquiry directly. Obama made reference to the aftermath of 9-11 as a reason for the militarization.

However, the situation in Ferguson is not at all similar to the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon in 2001. It was the actions of a white police officer, a department where he works, a county law-enforcement militarized response and the governor who has refused to address the oppressive conditions under which African Americans live and instead sent in the National Guard to suppress the mass response to such an injustice.

In addition, the only programmatic response to the questions about the social conditions of African American youth in contemporary U.S. society, Obama only discussed his so-called “My Brother’s Keeper” project which in essence places the onus of responsibility for living in a racist-capitalist society on the victims themselves, not providing any assistance from the federal government and the corporate institutions which are at the root of the mass unemployment, underemployment, poverty and incarceration prevalent among tens of millions of African Americans.

Obama said that many people of color do not feel they are a part of the broader society. The fact is African Americans and other nationally oppressed groups are not treated equally and are systematically discriminated against which manifests itself through disparate treatment due their race and social class. Until these issues are corrected, unrest, both nonviolent and violent, will continue throughout the U.S.

To advance demands for self-determination, national liberation and full-equality on a political level it requires the mass organization of the oppressed in alliance with the working class as a whole. The only way racism and national oppression can be uprooted and destroyed in U.S. society is to fundamentally transform the system of racial capitalism.
Zimbabwe-Russia Cooperation: The Signing is Done, Now to Implementation
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov meets with Zimbabwe
President Robert Mugabe in Harare on Sept. 16, 2014.
September 18, 2014 Opinion & Analysis

THROUGH the mega deals with China and Russia, Government has proved its ability to attract investment by signing deals which unlocked commitment more than anything else.

There is no doubt that the country is in need of Foreign Direct Investment as the only available revenue source for Government (the domestic market) is slowly wearing away.

A lot has been said about these mega deals; misinterpretations at most, the usual “so-what” from some, but overall what was clear was the willingness by the two countries to participate in Zimbabwe’s recovery efforts, never mind their reasons.

Russia has seen opportunities in natural resources while China is committed to funding mega infrastructure deals. This can only mean that Zimbabwe has to benefit from economic spin-offs through close proximity with the world’s best.

Now that the business deals have been signed and launched, the next stage is to ensure implementation on the ground.

The sceptics have already started casting the deals off as “pies in the sky” and the only way to silence them is to see work on the ground.

People must begin to be employed from the communities surrounding these projects. Production must start in the shortest possible time. Government unfortunately does not have time on its hands. The deals must start contributing to the economy sooner rather than later. We do not want another New-Zim Steel project which drags on for many years before we start seeing the rewards.

Investors are not a very patient lot. They work with profit targets and timelines. If projects seem to drag for too long they lose interest and move elsewhere. Implementation must now be the buzz word. In as much as we understand that implementation cannot happen overnight but at least there must be work on the ground that begins to feed the national economy.

The US$3 billion investment in the Darwendale platinum mining, once operational sets Zimbabwe high on the list of leading platinum producers in the world.

Work must now be on the ground more than the boardrooms. We hope those tasked with implementation will burn the midnight candle to ensure smooth implementation.

Government should clear the legal hurdles. Where legislation is required, it must be speeded up through Parliament. We cannot have legislation on the cards for ages.

While these projects are being implemented we must also not relax because these projects alone are not going to solve all our challenges. This is why it is critical for business to take advantage of the networks that have been established by these new deals.

It is our responsibility to ensure that these projects come to fruition and that through them we build other networks that open more doors for business.

While the Government has taken the lead in engaging China, Russia, the IMF and other economic centres, the business community and the Zimbabweans themselves must shoulder some responsibility.

The business community should take advantage of the new avenues created.

The deals signed with China and Russia are not the beginning and the end. These are just stepping stones which must be used to engage the business community in the nations we have befriended already.

It is a fact that not every business will benefit from these developments but it is also a fact that these deals open Russia and China to us. Business must therefore develop bankable projects and use the networks that the President has created for us.

There is room to clinch more business deals from these nations riding on the current wave.

We have only ourselves to blame if the country does not develop from now on given the impetus the projects will do to the economy. It will be absurd if we are to remain where we are, in debt and with struggling industry, when we have the world’s economic powers within reach.

We must receive some traction from this proximity.
Zimbabwe to Auction Diamonds Locally
Zimbabwe workers polish diamonds for the market.
September 18, 2014
Herald Reporter

ZIMBABWE will start auctioning its diamonds locally in November as Government moves to plug leakages and maximise revenue collection. This was said by Minister of Mines and Mining Development Walter Chidhakwa, in response to questions on why Government continued to auction diamonds in hostile nations following an ex-parte ruling in a Belgium court last week in favour of Amari Platinum Holdings Limited to attach diamonds worth US$45 million.

“The question is are we going to look at Belgium as a market and see whether we are prepared to continue marketing there? Our position is very clear. We have always been saying we are only preparing to come back home and we will be doing our first diamond sale in Zimbabwe in November,” Minister Chidhakwa said.

He told Parliament the events that led to Amari approaching the Belgian courts, adding a team of lawyers had been sent to argue Zimbabwe’s case in Belgium.

“Last week a company called Amari went to the Belgian High Court and secured an order to attach diamonds belonging to ZMDC. It did so on the basis of a dispute on a platinum concession that did not subsist for many reasons, including non-performance.

“That dispute was put up to the International Court of Dispute Resolution and after some time it was decided that the seat of the resolution of that dispute be Zambia and that a judge is expected to adjudicate on that dispute on the 19th of September which is Friday,” he said.

“But before that dispute had gone before the Zambian judge, Amari and partners had already gone to the Belgian High Court to attach diamonds,” Minister Chidhakwa said.

“The first thing is that ZMDC does not have diamonds in Belgium. There are no ZMDC diamonds in Belgium. There are diamonds belonging to companies in which ZMDC has got a shareholding and those companies cannot be punished for the ‘sins’ of ZMDC.”

“We have dispatched a team to Belgium and that team left yesterday. They will be looking at two issues; first the matter that has triggered this is sub judice, it is before the International Court, secondly, ZMDC does not have diamonds in Antwerp. This explains what has happened and we are confident that due process will be followed and that the outcome will be favourable to us,” he said.

The dispute dates back to 2010 when then Mines Minister Obert Mpofu cancelled Amari’s memorandum of agreement with the ZMDC.

The company argues that the cancellation was wrongful, especially after it had invested over US$4,5 million in key exploration work.

Zimbabwe tried to sell diamonds locally on a trial basis, but abandoned the idea due to lack of proper infrastructure.
Moscow Calls for Investigating Terrorists’ Usage of Chemical Weapons in Iraq and Syria
Syrian victims of chemical weapons attack launched by
US-NATO supported rebel groups.

Moscow, SANA – The Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs expressed Russia’s deep concerns over the terrorists’ usage of chemical agents in Iraq and called upon the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) to conduct a thorough and neutral investigation in these cases in Iraq and Syria.

In a statement issued on Tuesday, the Ministry said these reports indicate that the extremist terrorist groups in Syria and Iraq have gained experience in using toxic chemical materials as weaponry.

The Ministry said the terrorists have been using these weapons in Syria to accuse the government forces of carrying out chemical attacks, citing the events which involved chemical materials’ usage in Khan al-Assal in Aleppo and in Eastern al-Ghouta, Hama countryside and Idleb.

Earlier, an Iraqi security source said that 10 persons suffocated after terrorists launched a missile loaded with chlorine gas on al-Dallo’ya in southern Tikrit.

The terrorist organizations had also used chemical agents against the Syrian army and civilians in several areas. The evidence was clear, albeit the events were overlooked by countries that tried to hold the Syrian state responsible for these crimes.

Mohammad Nassr/ Hazem Sabbagh
Al-Jaafari: Israel Wants Occupied Golan to be Without International Monitoring…Qatari, Saudi and Turkish Intelligence Responsible for Funding Terrorism
Syrian Arab Republic UN representative Bashar al-Jaafari.

New York, SANA – Syria’s Permanent Representative to the UN Bashar al-Jaafari held the Qatari, Saudi and Turkish intelligence services directly responsible for funding the terrorist organizations in Syria and coordinating with Jubhat al-Nusra for kidnapping personnel serving in the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF).

43 Fijian UN personnel were kidnapped by what the UN recently described as “armed elements” .

Jabhat al-Nusra, which is designated as a terrorist organization by the Security Council, claimed responsibility for the abduction. Clashes also broke out between Filipino troops and the terrorist groups.

Early last year, a number of Filipino UN personnel operating within the UNDOF, which monitors a disengagement accord established in 1974 between Syria and the Israeli enemy which occupies the Syrian Golan, were also kidnapped by armed terrorist groups in two separate incidents.

“Israel is the most interested in having peacekeepers evacuated from the occupied Golan so as to be left without international monitoring,” al-Jaafari told a press conference held on Tuesday.

He noted that Syria has handed official documents and facts to the UN Secretary General that prove the involvement of the governments of Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Jordan in supporting Jabhat al-Nusra and the other terrorist organizations.

The information even included the phone number of the Qatari officer who was “coordinating for the kidnapping of the Fijian UNDOF personnel, al-Jaafari noted.

“The UN General Assembly however did not lift a finger regarding that,” he lamented.

The Syrian Ambassador to the UN reiterated that Syria has repeatedly warned of the intentions of Israel, Qatar, Turkey and Saudi Arabia “which were particularly aimed at encouraging the armed terrorist organizations to enter the disengagement area with the aim of creating a buffer zone similar to that created by Israel and its agents in South Lebanon, which was liberated by the [Lebanese] Resistance in 2000.”

Having this issue in mind for the past two years, al-Jaafari said, “we sent dozens of letters to the UN Secretary General, members of the Security Council and the Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations in which we pointed out to that issue and warned of the danger of what is going on in the disengagement area, but there wasn’t any response.”

“In one of my statements addressed to the General Assembly on behalf of my government, I officially informed them of the phone number of the Qatari intelligence officer who was giving instructions for kidnapping the Filipino troops the first time,” al-Jaafari noted. “None of the peacekeeping operations members however made any move, neither did the UN Secretary General,” he added.

“It seems that this international organization is riddled with corruption prompted by the Gulf, Qatari and Saudi money,” Syria’s UN Representative said.

He pointed out that the issue of some countries hosting training camps for terrorists who then are sent into Syria has been clearly exposed in media and become the talk of people, media and politicians alike, including those of the Western countries, “which has prompted those who have sponsored terrorism to now race to hold conferences to combat the very terrorism they themselves created.”

Al-Jaafari stressed that those who claim to be combating terrorism do not want to coordinate with the Syrian government or those of Iran, Russia and China “as they don’t realy seek to fight terrorism.
Rather they want to use terrorism to interfere further and further in the internal affairs of the region.”

He drew attention to the importance of the statements made by the Libyan Prime Minister two days ago in which he revealed that Qatar had sent warplanes to terrorist groups in Libya, referring also to the Libyan ambassador to the UN who only yesterday at the UN Security Council session “complained of those terrorist groups and grumbled about that fact that two states, whose names he didn’t mention but which we know to be Turkey and Qatar, have been sending weapons to the terrorists in Libya.”

“This has become widely known, and whoever keeps silent on that is an accomplice in terrorism,” al-Jaafari said.

He affirmed that combating terrorism must be done in compliance with the recently issued UN Security Council resolution no. 2170.

“We in Syria have been fighting ISIS [the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria terrorist organization] and terrorism on behalf of the whole world for two years, and we didn’t wait for any international coalition and we will not wait for others to invite us [to the coalition] or coordinate with us,” al-Jaafari stressed.

He went on saying that “There are political contacts on the level of the concerned capitals and there are actions and reactions. We are not alone, as many other countries now share our view that the issue of combating terrorism must be in the framework of the UN according to the resolution no. 2170.”

He wondered at the decision announced recently by the US administration to focus on fighting ISIS and overlooking Jabhat al-Nusra, in violation of the international resolution which called for combating both terrorist organizations.

He also lashed out that the same US decision to fight ISIS in Iraq but not in Syria and strike “ISIS targets” inside Syria without coordination with the Syrian government, wondering “How do you want to fight ISIS in Syria without coordinating with the Syrian government, while at the same time threaten the Syrian government that if it defends its sovereignty, it will be attacked by this or that state?”

Rasha Milhem/Hala Zain/Ruaa al-Jazaeri/Haifa Said
Syrian Army Units Kill Large Numbers of Terrorists Around Country, Restore Security to Several Areas in Hasaka Province
Syrian tanks in operations against US-backed rebels.

Provinces, SANA- Accurate military targets killed on Wednesday scores of terrorists of different organizations including ISIS during operations that targeted their dens in several areas around the country.

A military source told SANA that army units continued operations against terrorists in Joubar , Damascus countryside, gaining control over new buildings inside Joubar and destroying many dens and gatherings of terrorists.

Units of the armed forces continued operations against the dens and gatherings of terrorists in al-Doukhaniyeh, Joubar and the Eastern Ghouta, inflicting heavy losses upon them.

A military source told SANA that the army units killed large numbers of terrorists and destroyed their dens along with the weapons and ammunition.

Among the dead terrorists were Salim Younis and Samir Shoukeh.

The army units also eliminated many terrorists and destroyed their dens in Htaitit al-Jarash to the northeast of al-Mleiha town.

The source added that an army unit killed many terrorists and destroyed their weapons  near Taiba Mosque.

Ahmad al-Bakar was identified among the dead terrorists.

Meanwhile, other army units destroyed a den for terrorists in Alliyeh farms, killing scores of them, including Ahmad Sysan  and Mohammad Majed.

The army units also eliminated other terrorists in Douma city, including Mohammad Taha and Ahmad Kahlos.

An army unit destroyed a den of ISIS terrorists in al-Jbeileh neighborhood in Deir Ezzor city, killing or injuring all of them and destroying their weapons.

A source at the Province said that another army unit targeted ISIS terrorists’ gatherings in Mohsen town in the eastern countryside of the province, killing or injuring many of them and destroying their weapons and vehicles.

The Army destroyed dens for the terrorists of so-called “the Islamic State in Iraq and Sham” organization in Marat village in Deir Ezzor countryside.

A source in Deir Ezzor told SANA that the army also targeted gatherings of ISIS in al-Bu Kamal city, killing scores of terrorists and wounding several others.

The terrorists’ munitions and criminal equipment were also smashed.

Units of the armed forces killed and injured many terrorists and destroyed a number of vehicles equipped with heavy machine guns which they were using in the city and countryside of the northern province of Aleppo.

A military source told SANA that an army unit confronted terrorists who attempted to attack a military post on the axis of al-Ramousa-al-Amiriyeh in the city, leaving most of them dead and destroying their vehicles.

The source added that other units of the armed forces also targeted gatherings of terrorists in the areas of Maskana, al-Sukkari, Bashqateen, al-Hader, al-Bakat, B’eideen roundabout, Saif al-Dawla and al-Layramoun in the city and the countryside, with the operations resulting in the death of a number of the terrorists, while others were injured.

Meanwhile, army units destroyed terrorists’ convoys of cars, some of which equipped with heavy
machine guns, in the areas of Hreitan, Qubtan al-Jabal and al-Mansoura, in addition to destroying a number of other cars in the areas of al-Aqwas in Deir Hafer, in al-Amiriya, Khan al-Assal, Kafar Hamra and al-Mayser, leaving many terrorists dead and others wounded.

Units of the armed forces killed many terrorists and wounded others, including a number of terrorist groups’ leaders, while targeting their gatherings and dens in the countryside of the central province of Homs, in addition to foiling two attempts by terrorists to infiltrate into secure areas.

A military source told SANA reporter that army units targeted a convoy of cars which terrorists were driving on al-Za’farana-Ein Hussein road, destroying three pickups equipped with heavy machine guns and leaving a number of the terrorists aboard the cars dead and wounded.

Army units also repelled terrorists who tried to infiltrate from Jisr al- Kharab towards the farms of al-Waer neighborhood in the city of Homs, while another group of terrorists attempting to infiltrate from Um al-Reesh village towards the area between Um Hartein and al-Masoudiyeh villages in the countryside of Homs were also confronted. Many of the terrorists were left dead and wounded.

Meanwhile, other units of the armed forces targeted gatherings of terrorists in the areas of Ein Hussein village, al-Deek Farm in Talbisa, al-Sam’alil, Kafar Laha, Taldo in al-Hula and al-Sa’an, Teir Ma’la and al-Mishrfa village, killing many of the terrorists and wounding others.

A bulldozer which terrorists were using was also destroyed in al-Hilaliyeh Farm in Um Sharshouh village in Homs countryside.

The army targeted terrorists’ gatherings in several areas in al-Rastan in Homs countryside, a number of terrorists were killed or injured and their weapons were destroyed.

Army units killed a number of terrorists in operations that targeted their gatherings in al-Ghariyeh al-Gharbiyeh, to the north of al-Bitar farms and Atman town in the countryside of the southern province of Daraa, according to a military source.

The source told SANA reporter that other army units destroyed a den of Jabhat al-Nusra terrorist organization in Samlin town and an ammunition cache in Inkhel town in the countryside.

Other army units killed a number of terrorists and wounded others on al-Sad road, to the east of the Post building and in the neighborhoods of al- Bahhar and al-Manshiyeh in Daraa al-Balad in the city.

Meanwhile, terrorists who attempted to infiltrate into Khirbet Ghazaleh from the direction of al-Ghariyeh al-Gharbiyeh village were repelled, with many of them getting killed.

Army units killed a number of terrorists and injured others, most of them non-Syrians, while targeting their gatherings and hideouts in al-Latamneh, Morek, and Kaft Zeita in Hama countryside.

In Idleb countryside, army units targeted hideouts used by terrorist groups’ leaders in Khan Sheikhoun, al-Sayyad, and al-Ameriye, leaving scores of them dead or injured.

Army restores security and stability to several towns and villages in eastern countryside of al-Qamishli

Units of the armed forces, aided by national defense units, restored security and stability to a number of towns and villages in the eastern al-Qamishli countryside in Hasaka province, killing large numbers of terrorists and destroying their equipment.

A military source told SANA reporter in al-Qamishli that security and stability have been restored to 16 towns and villages and the surrounding farms.

The source added that the army units also destroyed a number of terrorists’ vehicles, some of which were equipped with heavy machineguns, leaving many terrorists dead or injured.