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While life is difficult for all refugees escaping the ongoing violence in Syria, for women and children it can be particularly harsh. Women who are separated from their communities and families often face a higher risk of exploitation, ranging from human trafficking to underage marriages, as well as violence and abuse. The problem is further exacerbated by weak legal protection, low awareness among women of their rights and, in many cases, cultural attitudes.
Mourners react near the coffins of Iraqi Shia members of the Badr Organization, who were killed in clashes with the Free Syrian Army, during a funeral in Najaf, 99 miles south of Baghdad, January 10, 2014. The fighters, members of the Shia Badr Organization, in support of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, were killed in clashes with the Free Syrian Army in Syria, according to the group. REUTERS/Alaa Al-Marjani
The Al-Qaeda-linked Islamic militant group currently under siege from anti-government rebels, the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant, has strongholds in both Syria and Iraq. Their headquarters was recently captured in northern Syrian city of Aleppo. (Image: Al Jazeera America)
Swedish journalists Magnus Falkehed (L) and Niclas Hammarstrom put their arms around each other's shoulders, after a news conference at Arlanda Airport, north of Stockholm January 9, 2014. The two Swedish journalists have been set free after they went missing in Syria in November, Sweden's foreign ministry said on Wednesday. Falkehed and Hammarstrom were in Beirut and being assisted by Swedish diplomatic staff, a ministry spokeswoman said. REUTERS/Janerik Henriksson/TT News Agency
The Government of the Federal Republic of Germany has confirmed to the OPCW that it will dispose of 370 metric tonnes of effluent to be generated by the hydrolysis of Syria’s stock of mustard gas aboard the U.S. vessel MV Cape Ray.
It was stated that the effluent will be incinerated at a specialised German government facility while adhering to the highest safety and environmental standards.
The Director-General, Ambassador Ahmet Üzümcü, welcomed the offer as an important contribution to the international task of eliminating Syria’s entire chemical weapons programme.
“I wish to thank the Federal Republic of Germany for this contribution, which will further strengthen the impressive collective efforts by our States Parties to remove and destroy Syrian chemical weapons,” the Director-General stated.
Syria has started moving chemical weapons materials out of the country in a crucial phase of an internationally backed disarmament program that has been delayed by war and technical problems.
The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) said on Tuesday that "priority chemical materials" were transported to the port of Latakia and onto a Danish vessel which was now sailing towards international waters.
Syria agreed to abandon its chemical weapons by June under a deal proposed by Russia and agreed with the United States after an Aug. 21 sarin gas attack that Western nations blamed on President Bashar al-Assad's forces. Damascus blames rebels for the attack.
War, bad weather, bureaucracy and technical issues meant a Dec. 31 deadline for the removal of the most deadly toxins from Syria was missed.
Islamist extremists forced to abandon their base in Syria’s central Hama province left behind a mass grave with a dozen corpses, mostly civilians, including four women, local activists reported Monday.
The discovery at Kafr Zeta was likely to fuel the drive to force foreign fighters from the Islamist State of Iraq and Syria out of the conflict and, most probably, Syria.
On the fifth day of a surprise offensive against ISIS by a wide range of Syrian insurgents, fierce fighting was reported in Raqqa, a provincial capital that is an ISIS stronghold, and in at least two districts of Aleppo, Syria’s biggest city.
ISIS reportedly had abandoned Jarabulus, a major border crossing with Turkey, and its forces were under siege at Tal Abyad, another border point.
The offensive appears to have galvanized many of Syria’s disparate fighting forces into a level of cooperation rarely seen on the ground, and it may have given new life to remnants of the U.S.-backed Free Syrian Army, which many wrote off as a spent force a month ago.