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14-year-old terror suspect convicted in Austria

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2015-05-26T080155Z_1043601703_GF10000107657_RTRMADP_3_MIDEAST-CRISIS-AUSTRIA

By NewsGram Staff Writer

A 14-year-old boy was sentenced to two years of prison by an Austrian court, as he had wished to participate in the war in Syria. Reportedly he also had plans to commit terrorist attacks in Vienna. The ruling was issued on Tuesday by a regional court in St. Polten, the capital of the Lower Austria, west of Vienna.

The accused is a Turkish citizen, living in Austria for eight years. Following his parents’ divorce, he started watching online propaganda videos made by Islamic State seeking to recruit foreign fighters from Western countries, and later decided to travel to Syria to join the group.

Reportedly he had been told by someone that he could also participate in “holy war” in Austria, after which the boy surfed the Internet for instructions on how to make bombs. He also collected logistical information about how to carry out an attack in Westbahnhof, one of the two main railway stations in the Austrian capital.

Last year, the school which the boy was attending, reported him to the police. During the investigation, he confessed that he had been plotting terrorist attack, after which he was taken in by the police.

As reported by EFE, the Austrian national public service broadcaster, ORF, said that the accused must spend must spend at least eight months in prison and can only be released on parole if he sought psychological counseling.

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Syria Uses Familiar Tactic in Rebel Idlib: Bombing Civilians

The United Nations is demanding an immediate end to indiscriminate attacks against civilians

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Syria, Rebel, Idlib
FILE - Destruction is seen around the Udai hospital following airstrikes on the town of Saraqeb in Syria's northwestern province of Idlib, Jan. 29, 2018. VOA

The United Nations is demanding an immediate end to indiscriminate attacks against civilians and civilian infrastructure in northwest Syria, warning the warring parties their actions might amount to war crimes.

U.N. agencies say an intense military escalation by Russian-backed Syrian forces and armed rebels in northwest Syria is having a catastrophic impact on the civilian population. Agencies confirm at least 160 civilians have been killed and hundreds more wounded in fighting over recent weeks.

They say 3 million people in Idlib need protection and 300,000 civilians who have fled their homes in the past two months are in imminent danger.

 

Spokesman for the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs Jens Laerke says civilians and civilian infrastructure are coming under daily attack by airstrikes, artillery shelling and barrel bombs.

Syria, Rebel, Idlib
FILE – Damage is seen at a hospital after an airstrike in Deir al-Sharqi village in Idlib province, Syria, April 27 2017. VOA

“Since the 28th of April, there have been 25 confirmed attacks on health care in the northwest, including on 24 health facilities and one ambulance,” he said. “Two of the attacked health facilities were hit more than once, and at least six health workers have been killed.”

Laerke says health care facilities are fully protected under international humanitarian law, and it is illegal to target them. Few health facilities remain intact to care for the sick and wounded, he told VOA.

“Already before the recent months of escalation, the status of health care in Syria at large, and in particular in Idlib, was already appalling,” he said. “Even though those facilities have not been hit, they fear that they may be hit. So, the doctors, the health care personnel are leaving, the patients are not going to those hospitals. Understandably.”

Also Read- Five New Non-Permanent Members Elected to Security Council

Laerke says aid agencies are providing food and health services through mobile clinics to people who are newly displaced in northwest Syria. In addition, many schools in the region have been attacked, he says, so catch-up classes are being provided for thousands of children who have been out of school since May. (VOA)