Factions involved in North Aleppo’s Opposition/SDF Conflict

Factions involved in North Aleppo’s Opposition/SDF Conflict | November 2015

Last week, The Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) led by Jaysh al-Thuwar launched an offensive on the Opposition-held Northern Aleppo countryside, took control of several villages.

The SDF members Jaysh al-Thuwar and YPG claimed that they launched the offensive to fight Nusra Front (AQ) and the Syrian Opposition Islamist faction, Ahrar al-Sham.

Russian air-forces provided air-cover for SDF fighters to gain control of villages in North Aleppo, and started to bomb Azaz city and Deir Jamal town, as well as the Free Syrian Army (FSA) headquarters.

FSA factions under “Mare’ Operations Room”, led by Major Yaser Abdulrahim, launched a counter offensive and retook all the villages they lost, except Maryamayn and Shawaghirat al-Joz, where clashes still ongoing.

“Mare’ Operations Room” said in a statement that they found dead civilians in the village of Tanab after they retook it, and claimed that Jaysh al-Thuwar is responsible for this crime.

Jaysh al-Thuwar claimed that one of their fighters was captured by Ahrar al-Sham Movement and slaughtered, Ahrar al-Sham Movement denied these claims, as well as they did not participate in this counter offensive which was led by FSA factions (mainly Suqur al-Jabal Brigade).

How to Survive a Nuclear Attack in Your Area

The first time the world came to terms with the effects of a nuclear attack was during the Second World War. It was so devastating that people have been asking ever since how to survive a nuclear attack, if it happens in their area. The dangers of a nuke going off can’t just be whisked away. There have been few accidents at various nuclear power plants and these further demonstrated just how lethal an actual attack may be.

The world is committed to peaceful coexistence amongst all nations, but with the rising tension between nuclear powers, especially with rogue countries with nuclear capabilities like the United States, most people are keen on knowing how to stay alive if there be a nuclear attack. In the unlikely, but highly probable event of a nuke attack, whether you live or die will depend on a number of factors.

Ways to Surviving a Nuclear Attack

Here is a brief guide to help you with the preparation so that you may increase your chances of surviving if the rogue nations dare attack-:

  • Have a plan when you think an attack is highly likely

As noted earlier, your chances of surviving a nuke attack depend on how well you are prepared for it. With a preparedness mindset, the attack will not catch you unawares and at least you have a good grasp of what you need to do and not do. Unlike most people, you will not be asking around on what you should do after an attack. At that time, everybody is fighting for their survival, and if you don’t know what to do, then you will just have to suffer the consequences of the attack.

Your plan for a surviving a nuke attack will mainly revolve around getting all the necessary medical supplies, water, and food in good proportions. With these, you will have the ability to lock yourself indoors in a sealed room so that you are not exposed to the radiation outside.

The plan will also include choosing a room within your house as a nuclear shelter during an attack. This is not just any ordinary room, but it should be one with the ability to shield you and the entire family from the radiation. It will also be the place where you will store all the supplies you will need to take you through the entire duration when it won’t be safe to venture outside due to the high levels of radiation. You can decide to customize a room specifically for this purpose, and in most cases, people like to use rooms below the ground level with no windows as their nuclear shelters.

  • Store food that will not go bad with plenty of water

Long term food storage is vital if you have to survive a nuke attack. Remember, in case of an attack, it will be several days or months before it finally becomes safe to venture outside. Depending on the size of your family, you should do calculations and know what you may need for months then buy those things and store them in your nuclear shelter. Some of the foods you can think about storing include; grains like rice and beans, nuts, powdered milk, pasta, sugar, and oats.

You can also have a decent stock of dried fruits and vegetables, and freeze-dried meats. If you have pets and you would also wish to carry them to your bunker in case of an attack, then you must also consider stocking a good amount of pet food. However, due to the nature of the nuclear shelters and the fact that space may not be very large, you should think twice about carrying  your pets due to hygiene considerations. Though this may be a tough decision, it is vital for your survival when there is an attack.

Other than storing a good amount of food, you should also store water in similar proportions, if not more. Nuclear attacks will render water sources useless and the utility services will not be working due to massive contamination of the reservoirs. It ,therefore, means that you must plan on having as much water as you possibly can should there be an attack.

The good news is that the normal tap water can last for long without requiring treatment, provided that you keep it in clean containers and away from direct sunlight so that it is not affected by algae. The amount of water you will require will largely depend on the total number of members of your family, including any pets if you decide to carry them along to survive the attack.

  • Know the right medical supplies to carry

The bare minimum for your medical supplies should at least be a first aid kit, but this, in all honesty, will not be enough. The kit basically will be used in treating minor cuts and injuries and so it should not miss supplies such as rubber gloves, antibiotic ointments, bandages etc.

For better preparation, you need to stock supplies necessary to treat common injuries which may be realized after a nuclear attack. For examples, it would be appropriate to stock SAM splints for taking care of any broken bones or sprains that might have been caused by fallen debris when the nuclear was detonated. Having a few bandages, impregnated gauze and tourniquets will also make it possible to take care of severe bleedings.

Then depending on your distance and the point of initial detonation, you may suffer radiation burns which will also require proper attention once you get to a safe place. If you were far away at the time of detonation, you may suffer minor radiation burns, in which case, you could treat them as the sun burns by cleaning them and covering with Vaseline to stop them from cracking. Serious burns, will, however, require more attention. To treat such, remove the clothing from the burnt area then wash the affected region with clean water only. Be sure to carry along some burn dressing just in case someone may end up with serious radiation burns.

  • Plan how you will keep yourself clean

Cleanliness may sound minor in your preparation, but it is equally important to observe hygiene, starting with personal hygiene. It is true that you may survive for days and even weeks without taking a shower, but such is not the case with using the toilet. For the basics of your personal hygiene, consider stocking toothpaste, toothbrushes, wipes and a deodorant to make you smell good and feel more comfortable in the nuclear shelter. It is also recommended to carry a luggable loo for your calls of nature and be sure to constantly replace them with fresh ones every time the smell becomes unbearable. But these are some of the inconveniences you will have to contend with when you try to survive a nuclear attack.

  • Think about a Shelter in Place Kit

A shelter in place kit, also known as SIP, will make it possible for you to seal your room before the dangerous radioactive fallout. The kit can also offer you protection following chemical and biological attacks. An ideal SIP kit should include heavy gauge, trash bags, flashlights, plastic sheeting, rubber gloves, the source of light, and dust masks amongst others. It may also be a good idea to include puzzles, board games, and books to kill the boredom since you will not be venturing out for your normal recreational activities.

  • Have a means of communication

Of course, the normal methods of communication such as mobile phones, normal radios, television and the internet will not be working when a nuke goes off. As part of your survival items, you should have a means of communicating with the outside world. A hand crank radio is always advisable, but if you can get your hands on one that can monitor emergency channels, then that would be highly recommended. With such, you will have access to emergency channels and listen to all the broadcasts so that you get the necessary updates about the attack and other vital information needed to help you stay alive.

Though your cell phones may not be of great use immediately after the detonation, you should keep them with you, but turn them off to preserve the battery. You can turn them on occasionally to see if you can get any signal once the radiation levels go down and it becomes possible to go on with the normal communications.

Steps to take immediately an attack happens

When there is an alert of a detonation or an impending attack, here are the things you must do to increase your chances of survival-:

  1. Immediately run into the house, seal the house and the SIP room as you wait for further instructions.
  2. Close and lock all windows as well as any exterior openings and shut down the fireplace bunker.
  3. Gather all members of the family in the designated nuclear shelter.
  4. Cover all vents, windows, and doors using heavy trash bags and duct tape.
  5. Once sealed in the SIP room, be sure to stay inside until you get an “all clear” from your radio or you are made to leave by force, either by friendly or hostile forces.

Though you may not want to hear this,a nuke attack could be the beginning of something big. In case there is one, you can expect more attacks to follow. There could be more attacks, including aerial attacks, missile attacks or the conventional forces.

Southern Aleppo’s offensive by Syrian Regime & foreign allies

Southern Aleppo’s offensive by Syrian Regime & foreign allies | November 2015

Rapid advances achieved recently by Regime forces and their foreign allies (backed by Russian air-forces) in the recent offensive on the Rebel-held southern countryside of Aleppo.

Regime plans for this offensive could be one of the following:

1- Reaching the besieged Fuah & Kafaraya villages in north of Idlib.

2- Entering Idlib province and reaching the strategic city of Saraqib, as well as cutting the M5 road between Aleppo and Idlib.

3- Heading to Abu Adhuhur area in eastern Idlib, in order to retake the airbase and continue advances toward Khanasir area.

How to Provide Your Dog With a Military Working Dog Training

If you desire for your dog to have the obedience akin to a military dog, then you must demand higher standards not just from your dog, but also from yourself as the trainer. Many people see the great training, the military dogs have and they wish that theirs could also attain those levels and even though it is possible, you must know the types of training the dogs are subjected to, and most importantly, you must be willing to take your time and provide the training. It is not going to be an easy journey, but completely doable if you will take your time and master the patience.

Training Your Dog Like a Military Working Dog

Below is a brief look at what you need to provide your dog with a military working dog training-:

Take charge and be the leader

If you want your dog to behave like the military training dogs, then the first thing you must do is to take charge and be the leader your dog expects to see in you. A dog is a very intelligent animal. They know they are supposed to serve you and they are always ready to do that, if you will provide them with the right directions. If you act like an absolute clown when you are with them, then they will not help, but think that indeed you are an absolute clown.

A good way to visualize how your dog would like to see you is to imagine you have been asked to give a presentation to the executives in your company. Your dog wants to see you take charge and lead just as you would do if you were in the room with the executives. But if you are timid, always having a sloppy posture and you don’t show any interest in leading the dog and giving the commands you want them to follow, then you will never be able to train your dog like the military dogs.

Reinforce good behaviors to replace the bad habits

Just like human beings, your dog will be happy every time you reward them for doing something good. This is how you manage to reinforce good behaviors to replace the bad habits. Just like us, dogs also have currency, only that theirs is not in terms of dollars. The rewards you can give your dog include affection, treats, and chasing balls.

As the owner or the trainer, it is imperative to know that things that motivate the dog. For example, most dogs love treats, but you may find some that would rather chase a tennis ball than enjoying the treats. Every time you are training the dog and they do the desired thing, you should give them a reward to encourage them and to reinforce the good behavior they just did. You need to reinforce in their minds that good behavior equals a reward and once they get that, they will be more interested in doing the desired thing so that they can continue to get rewarded.

Learn to speak with your body

Dogs are nonverbal, hence, shouting at them or giving them compliments by the manner of speech may not be very effective. As such, you should learn to actually speak with them with your body. To begin with, you should always don a posture that will make them have confidence in you and trust you more. Then every time they do something worth commending, simply get down to their level and give them a pat on the head to demonstrate that you approve of what they have just done.

Then again, dogs are highly social creatures and they will appreciate more if they live in groups. When you decide to join a dog, so that you can form a small team or group, you will be responding directly to its elementary nature and their social needs. As such, you manage to create a bond that leads to trust between the two of you, making them to always heed your commands and always be eager to serve you better every time.

Know when to punish the dog

In as much as you may desire to replace the bad behaviors with the good ones, there are certain occasions when you have to discourage a bad behavior through punishment, but it is vital for you to know when to punish since this may lead to a revolt by the dog, thus making the training more difficult and less effective. When punishing your dog, it ought to be direct and to the point. They must understand that instead of getting rewarded for a good behavior, they are getting punished for a wrong behavior they just exhibited.

As a trainer keen on providing the dog with military working dog training, you already know what motivates and what upsets them. Every time they show a bad behavior, simply pick of the things that will hurt their feelings. However, the overall training should always be positive, and you should avoid losing your mind because your dog did something very small.

Exercise the Dog

Diet and exercise are vital components in a dog’s mental and physical health and their ability to train effectively. Just like university students, sitting in class while attending lectures the whole, then eating fast foods before going back home will definitely lead to poor mental and physical health. To get the most out of your dog, they must exercise regularly. With regular exercise, the dog will become mentally alert and will be more prepared to learn and train every day. Additionally, regular training will ensure they don’t suffer from common problems like cabin fever which might affect their training results.

Choose the right places for training and be consistent

To get great results in training your dog like a military working dog, it is important to choose the right spots for training and be very consistent with the training routine. A good place to train your dog is where there will be just you and your dog, and not places like your living room or crowded public places. With proper choice of training grounds, you will eliminate a lot of distractions and enjoy highly engaging training sessions. Once you get the right spot, you must make the dog understand that it is your preferred training ground, and this is done through consistency. When you go to train on the same place every day, the dog will know the moment you get there that it is time to train.

Be patient with yourself and with the dog

The worst thing you should never do when trying to provide your dog with military working training is to lose your cool or turn the heat on your dog when you are having a bad day. You must never overreact and always avoid the temptation to take it out on your dog. This will do nothing, but cause stress and anxiety which will not be beneficial in any way as far as the dog training is concerned.

It is also important to realize that training your dog takes time, and if you want to get the results seen with the military dogs, then you must understand it is a gradual process which is not going to happen overnight, and this is where patience comes in.

Same as with human beings, the learning capability of dogs is not the same. Some will learn quickly, while others will need more repetitions and more time to grasp what you are trying to teach them. To make the process easier, you must ensure consistency, and always rewarding them for good performance. With time, the dog will begin to behave just as you want, provided that you remain positive and patient. Always know that the dogs just want to please you, so be gentle with them and allow them time to learn and please you.


Effective dog training features a lot of repetition. There is no specific number as to how many times you will repeat or practice something before the dog finally catches it. There are several factors that come into play when talking about a dog’s learning capabilities, and the experts recommend that for better results, you should train your dog for a minimum of four hours every week. When this is broken down into days, then it implies that you should train the dog for at least thirty minutes every single day.

Socialize the dog

Other than just having a good relationship with your dog, socializing the dog will lead to it building more confidence in addition to giving them the capabilities to work in different environments. It will also make it easy for them to feel comfortable when they have to work with strangers or other dogs.

Teach the basic obedience commands

US Army dogs are taught to learn basic commands of sit, down, heel and stay with both verbal cues as well as hand signs. It then follows that you should also teach your dog about these basic commands if you want to train them like the military working dogs.

InfoGraphic – Five Rebel factions joined Ahrar al-Sham Movement in October 2015 | Syria

InfoGraphic – Five Rebel factions joined Ahrar al-Sham Movement in October 2015 | Syria

Ahrar al-Sham Movement is considered as the one of the largest Rebel faction and most powerful in Syria, if not the top one. As it has strong presence in all the Syrian territories under the Syrian Opposition control, in addition to their sleeper cells inside Regime-held and ISIS-held areas. Ahrar al-Sham still expanding by time, as five Rebel factions joined them in October 2015:

  • Tawhid al-Asimah Brigades & Battalions (active in Damascus and Rif Dimashq provinces)
  • Abu Amarah Battalions (active in Aleppo province)
  • Wa ‘Atasimu Brigade (active in Aleppo province)
  • Martyr Colonel Ahmad al-Omar Brigade (active in Daraa and Quneitra provinces)
  • Binaa Umma Movement (active in Daraa province and Quneitra provinces)

** For more information about Ahrar al-Sham – Article in April 2015: Ahrar al-Sham Islamic Movement, the small battalions who became the most powerful Rebellion group in Syria