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  • Dec 28, 2014
  • Updated: 9:11am
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SYRIA

Syrian minister blames polio outbreak on 'jihadists' from Pakistan

First outbreak in 14 years brought in by foreign fighters, social affairs minister claims

PUBLISHED : Monday, 04 November, 2013, 9:10pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 05 November, 2013, 3:53am

A Syrian government minister said that foreign fighters who have come to the country to wage jihad are responsible for the outbreak of polio in the rebel-controlled north.

Last week, the United Nations health agency confirmed 10 polio cases in northeast Syria, the first confirmed outbreak of the disease in the country in 14 years, raising a risk of it spreading across the region.

The confirmed cases are among babies and toddlers, all under two, who were "under- immunised," according to the World Health Organisation.

The agency is awaiting lab results on another 12 cases showing polio symptoms.

Minister of Social Affairs Kindah al-Shammat claimed that jihadis from Pakistan were to blame, saying: "The virus originates in Pakistan and has been brought to Syria by the jihadists who come from Pakistan."

She offered no evidence and did not elaborate further. Pakistan is one of three countries where polio remains endemic. Al-Shammat said the government had launched an immunisation campaign to "protect all children in Syria".

She did not say if or how the vaccination campaign would proceed in the northern areas along the border with Turkey.

The area has been under opposition control since rebels captured large swathes of land and whole neighbourhoods of Aleppo, Syria's largest city, from the regime over the past year.

Syrian government officials have blamed "terrorists" and Islamic militants for the civil war, which has killed more than 120,000 people, according to activists. The UN said in July that 100,000 Syrians have been killed in the conflict.

Thousands of foreign fighters have joined Sunni rebels in the battle against Assad, while the regime troops have been backed up by fighters from Lebanon's Hezbollah militant group in the past months.

The fighting has triggered a humanitarian crisis on a massive scale, driving nearly seven million people from their homes and destroying a country that once offered subsidised health care, including immunisations.

Nearly all Syrian children were vaccinated against polio before the conflict began more than 2 1/2 years ago. The polio virus, a highly contagious disease, usually infects children in unsanitary conditions.

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richard.barnes.528
The question now is how long will it take to remove the chemical weapons in Syria? Another important question is that while we try to do that will some other event in the middle east trigger a bigger war before the chemical weapons are removed? Also linked to the Syrian war is Iran. The window for Iran to shut down and dismantle it’s nuclear program is closing fast. With all of this volatility if anything should go wrong the war written about in Isaiah 17 may take place. Many will die on both sides and Damascus Syria would be destroyed. I believe the movement for a 1 world government would then kick into high gear. We all know about the pressure for a 1 world currency and for world peace, it’s just a matter of time. In July of 2012 I wrote a small booklet that talks about some of what the Bible says will happen in the end times as well as what will happen during the period known as the seven (360 day) year tribulation and other soon to take place events. I don’t accept donations and it’s free. It’s about 6 or 7 pages, so it’s a short read. I encourage you to have a look: ****www.booksie.com/religion_and_spirituality/book/richard_b_barnes/after-the-rapture-whats-next

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