US Special forces deliver babies for Syrian refugees

Conditions in the Rukban camp deteriorated sharply after Jordan sealed the border. (File/AFP)
Short Url
Updated 02 April 2020

US Special forces deliver babies for Syrian refugees

  • The US base commanders were unwilling to help at first, however, pressure by activists in the UK contacting the UK Foreign Office lead to them agreeing
  • The camp’s medical officer was not trained in childbirth but was able to perform the surgery with the help of a colleague who guided the officer via video link from the US

LONDON: US Special Forces helped pregnant Syrian women deliver their children in a refugee camp in eastern Syria, UK daily The Times reported.
The US base commanders were unwilling to help at first, however, pressure by activists in the UK contacting the UK Foreign Office lead to them agreeing.
Volunteers at the Rukban camp in the eastern Al-Tanf area got in touch with the Syria Solidarity Campaign in in the UK asking the Foreign Office for help.
The camp’s medical officer was not trained in childbirth but was able to perform the surgery with the help of a colleague who guided the officer via video link from the US.


Palestinian cyclists say attacked by Israeli settlers after trail app led them astray

Updated 22 July 2020

Palestinian cyclists say attacked by Israeli settlers after trail app led them astray

  • Komoot led them east toward a rocky path near the Israeli settlement of Shilo

RAMALLAH: A group of Palestinian cyclists say they were attacked by Israelis in the occupied West Bank after a popular trail app landed them on a remote path dotted with Jewish settlements.
Avid cyclist Amer Kurdi set out on Saturday with his brother and three others on what was supposed to be an 80-km (50-mile) ride, using the cycling, hiking, and mountain biking app Komoot to chart a path north from the Palestinian village of Birzeit.
The West Bank, captured by Israel in a 1967 war, is scattered with Israeli settlements which its 3 million Palestinians mostly cannot enter, as well as checkpoints and military bases that Israel says it needs for its security.
Over an hour into their ride, Kurdi said Komoot led them east toward a rocky path near the Israeli settlement of Shilo. He said a group of Hebrew-speaking men, whom the cyclists later took to be Israeli settlers, approached and asked where they were from.
Kurdi, 30, replied that they were from the Palestinian city of Ramallah. Soon after, the men — Kurdi estimates there were five or six — started throwing stones at them, using T-shirts to hide their faces, Kurdi and his brother, Samer, said.
“The others managed to run away, but I tripped and fell,” Samer, 28, said. “When I got up, a settler was behind me, and he started beating me with a metal rod.”
Photos the cyclists took after the incident, which they reported to Israel’s police, show Samer’s legs and arms bruised and bloodied.
Israeli police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said they are investigating.
Palestinians complain that navigation apps fail to grasp the West Bank’s complexity.
Asked for comment, Komoot said it regretted the incident but that its service is not specifically optimized for route planning “through areas of political unrest.”
Amer Kurdi says the incident will not keep him from cycling.
“I’ll wear a camera. I’ll be more careful when using apps,” he said.
“But we won’t stop. We will stand up for our right to bike.”