US house passes bill to restrict entry of Syrian, Iraqi refugees

Republican-dominated US House of Representatives has overwhelmingly voted to bar Syrian and Iraqi refugees from entering the United States over the security concerns.

The bill was overwhelmingly voted by 289 in favour to 137 opposed and bill now needs to be passed by the Senate. It seeks to impose more stringent security provisions on already robust screening of Iraqi and Syrian refugees entering US.

The passage of bill is consider as a major setback for the Obama administration as the US President had opposed such a move and also because a large block of Democratic lawmakers voted in favour of the bill. The bill was also passed amid of threat by President Barack Obama to veto it.


The passage of Bill by US House of Representatives also follows the barbaric terrorist attacks in Paris (France) on 13 November 2015 by seven Islamic State radicals which left 129 people dead. One of these seven perpetuators is thought to have been a Syrian refugee who entered Europe via Greece along the other refugees.

Earlier in September 2015, Obama administration had announced its plan to resettle around 10,000 Syrian refugees in the US till September 2016.

Since Syrian civil war which began in 2011 to overthrow President Bashar al-Assad regime, millions of Syrians have fled to neighbouring countries and to Europe.


Syrian journalist Zaina Erhaim wins 2015 Reporters without Borders Prize

Syrian woman journalist Zaina Erhaim has won the prestigious 2015 Reporters without Borders Prize for her defence of press freedom.

She was singled out for this prestigious award for her determination and courage covering news in in civil war and conflict ravaged Syria which is deemed the most dangerous country in the world for journalists.

Presently, Zaina Erhaim lives and works in Aleppo (Syria). She has trained about 100 citizen reporters (third of them are women) from Syria in past two years. She also has helped in establishing new, independent newspapers and magazines in the war-torn country.

About Reporters Without Borders Prize

It is an annual award established in 1992 by Paris (France) based NGO Reporters Without Borders (RWB). It is bestowed upon journalists who have made a significant contribution to the defence and promotion of press freedom.


France launches fresh air raids on Islamic State stronghold in Syria

France has launched fresh air raids on Islamic State (IS) stronghold in Raqa province in northern Syria.

Fleet of ten French warplanes consisting of Rafale and Mirage 2000 fighters carried out the raid by dropping around 16 bombs and simultaneously hitting and destroying two IS targets.

The air raid was conducted in coordination with United States forces against Daesh which is another name for the IS militants group and destroyed their command and training centre.

Since September 2015, France had carried out numerous air raids against IS in Syria and also had deployed its largest warship (aircraft carrier) named Charles de Gaulle (R91) to further boost its operations.

But recently, France has stepped up its air raids against IS militant ground after 13 November 2015 attacks in Paris which are considered worst attack on France after World War II. In this worst attack more than 136 people were killed and 433 were seriously injured by the 7 armed terrorists.