Day 1,211: Singapore and Turkey are worried about Syria, too


A Syrian man carries two girls covered with dust following a reported air strike by government forces in Aleppo.


Mohamad al-Tayb

Today is Day 1,211 of the Syrian conflict, and this morning it's Turkey's and Singapore's turns in the headlines for their efforts to keep their residents out of Syria. 

On the heels of Singapore Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean's Wednesday address to parliament noting that Singaporeans, as well, have gone to Syria to fight, Teo today met with some 60 "religious and community leaders of various faiths" to discuss the subject, in particular focusing on the efforts of the Malay-Muslim community to address the threat.

Meanwhile, Turkey is revisiting its rather porous border policy on Syria. (The Islamic State group's recent gains have cast the Turkish government's longtime support for the fictional entity known as the "Syrian opposition" — in reality a collection of groups with wildly different aims — in a less complimentary light.) The government, according to Fevzi Kizilkoyun, reporting for the Dailiy Hurriyet from Ankara, has "blacklisted" "thousands of European jihadists," increased security measures along the border, and contacted 370 families "whose children have been recruited by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant [ISIL]," as the Islamic State is also known, looking to create a common profile for those who go to fight in Syria.

Finally, two good reads: First, the BBC has an excellently presented piece on the destruction to historical landmarks in Syria (lots of before and after photos). Second, The Daily Beast has an item on Lebanese group Hezbollah's profits from pot as a result of the Syrian conflict, which has given a serious boost to the mairjuana market.

The conflict continues.