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 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 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.

How Treadmills Can Help You to Train for Military Fitness Tests

A good number of runners keep on referring to treadmills as “dreadmills”, but this cardio equipment bears with them one characteristic feature that cannot be denied.

Professional treadmills are designed with the specs and the technology capable of preparing anyone for athletic performance without the need of having a workout coach during the training sessions. If you are interested in joining a military academy, then this is a feature you can exploit fully to your advantage, especially when it comes to preparing to pass the military fitness tests.

Although most people interested in joining military academies may be privy to this information, it is my delight to bring to your attention that running tests are one of those tests which feature prominently in almost every military test. Of course, there are also other requirements in addition to running.

Therefore, before you can be admitted to the United States Army, you must complete a two-mile run test which forms part of the Army Physical Fitness Test. If you are interested in joining the US Navy, then you will have to complete the Navy Physical Readiness Test which also involves a one and a half mile running test. And for the Airforce, you have to pass the Airforce Physical Readiness Test which also includes a one and a half mile running test.

If you are interested in becoming a firefighter in the United States, then the International Association of Fire Fighters has a requirement for you to pass the Gerkin Protocol test. This test is mostly done on treadmills since the treadmills have various functionalities, including the capability to monitor heart rates and to predict the precise amount of VO2. VO2 refers to the maximum amount of oxygen needed during high-intensity workouts. The treadmills are designed with capabilities to automatically calculate the VO2 values when you are performing at your peak heart rate and it will be required that when you reach that level, then you have to stay in that zone for at least 15 seconds.

The majority of you may be aware of the requirements for the various military tests, but very few know that the treadmills are designed with consoles containing preset Military Running. These treadmills make it possible for you to work out on your own, and without the need for a coach when you are looking forward to passing the military tests. One of the most vital aspects of these features is that at the end of every workout session, you will get a reading of your score in points, based on your sex, age, and the time you took to complete the workout. It thus makes it possible for you to gauges your progress and know if you are moving closer to hitting your targets for passing the military tests.

I have had the pleasure of trying out some of the present workouts in some of the impressive treadmills, and I must admit that my experience was nothing short of stellar. In this piece, we will look at a few of the treadmills that come with military workouts and how you can take advantage of them to help you in passing the military physical fitness tests.

The first treadmill I would like to talk about for this purposes is the Life Platinum Club Series Inspire treadmill. This particular treadmill comes with 34 preset workouts which include The Army Physical Fitness, the Physical Efficiency Battery Test, the Gerkin Protocol, the Airforce Physical Readiness Test, the Marines Physical Test and the Navy Physical Readiness Test.

Second wonderful treadmill to mention in this category is the Landice L9, simply known as L9. The treadmill comes with an executive trainer console which has the following running tests-: the Airforce Test, the Marine Test, the Army Test, the Navy Test and Gerkin Fitness Protocol. As such, it is a wholesome treadmill that will give you all the workouts you need to prepare you adequately for any of the listed military tests.

Precor 966i Experience is another treadmill worth considering if you are prepping for the military fitness tests. It is not just ideal for preparing for the tests, but also it is a professional treadmill designed for individuals who desire to have a treadmill that can comfortably substitute their outdoor running. The treadmill comes with an Integrated Footplant Technology which essentially attempts to mimic the natural running motion so that the user can have a smooth and natural experience while using it. It also has the Ground Effects technology to allow for maximum stability and to absorb high impact motion while at the same time helping the users gain top speeds.

As far as preparing for the military fitness is concerned, the Precor 966i Experience treadmill has 29 preset workouts which include the Marine Test, the Airforce Test, the Army Test, the Navy Test and the Gerkin Fitness Test.

The other treadmill I would happily include in this list is the ProForm 505 CST. This may not be necessarily fitted with the specific military workout, but it has the right features to help you attain just any kind of fitness levels you desire. Since one of the focus of most of the military workouts is running and endurance, the ProForm 505 CST may as well provide you with every convenience you need for effective cardio training and to get ready for the military tests. The treadmill comes with a total of 18 preset workouts, a long track to accommodate the tall users and a powerful motor to allow for top speeds of up to 10 miles per hour. With these and many other features, you will get the intensity, experience and the ability to prep adequately before heading for your military tests.

So what exactly do these treadmills have in common and which makes them ideal partner if you are preparing for the military tests?

The first you thing you will notice about all the models is that they allow you to insert your personal information such as sex and age before you embark on the test. With this information, the console will automatically calculate accurate score which can be compared with the military standards. On all the treadmills, except ProForm 505 CST the default setting of the console during the tests is the incline, and this can’t be changed once the test is started. It is only speeds you will be able to control. While you take the tests, don’t forget that the faster you finish, the better score you will have.

These treadmills excluding ProForm 505 CST cost a lot over $5,000. The most expensive one happens to be the Life Fitness Club Premium model which retails at $7,000, and from my point of view, it is the best in the entire list.

If you don’t have enough money, we will suggest you to go with the Proform 505 CST as it costs around $599 and comes with all the essential features to make you ready for the various military fitness tests. And if you lack on space too which is one of the most common issue that most of us experience, we will recommend you to go with under desk treadmills as they consume less space and can easily be slid under the bed or table for storage. Though they lack high speed range but they offer long continuous running time to build up your stamina, strengthen your heart, leg muscles and ligaments.

So what’s the difference amongst these treadmills?

In terms of basic functionalities and helping you to reach your fitness goals or pass the military fitness tests, all the treadmills have virtually every feature you need. However, there are slight differences worth pointing out. On the Life Fitness treadmill and the Precor 966i for instance, they come fitted with an altitude option. If you are training for the Marine Test, then you can choose 4,500 feet below or above the mean sea level. As usual, each option will have its own difficult level.

On the Life Fitness model, you will be required to enter you speed goal at the beginning of the test. The other three models, however, will give you the option to adjust this choice as you proceed with the workout.

With Landice and the ProForm models, your projected score will be shown on the console throughout the duration of the workout. This can act as a motivation and a prompt for you to adjust your speed as you go about the workout since you will be able to guess what you are likely to end up with at the end of the session. Remember, it is not always a must for you to have a score of “Excellence” in your first attempt. With consistency and proper training, you will soon get there.

Irrespective of the workout you want to engage in or the treadmill you choose to use, it is imperative to warm up correctly, and once you are done with the workout out. Failing to warm up appropriately may make you susceptible to injuries and this is the thing you don’t want when you are preparing for a military test.

After you complete the workout, you will read your points from the console and then compare them with the respective Military Test Standards. This will show you how well you are faring on and the amount of effort you need to put so that you hit your target score. Always note down your daily scores so that you can monitor your progress over time.