Sunday, August 20, 2017

Escape from Aleppo

By Eric Margolis - August 20, 2017 at 03:39PM

undefined

AMMAN JORDAN – I haven’t seen many miracles in my decades of travel around the globe, particularly not in the strife-torn Mideast.

But last week I participated in a real miracle in Jordan as the splendid Four Paws International group staged a daring rescue of 13 wild animals trapped in the wartime hellhole of Aleppo, Syria.  It appeared to be a mission impossible.

Syria has been torn apart for the past six years by a bloody civil war that has killed over 400,000 people and reduced many parts of this beautiful country to ruins.  Half the population has become refugees.  The ancient northern city of Aleppo, Syria’s largest, was laid waste.

Just outside Aleppo lies a wrecked 40-acre amusement park cum zoo that once held hundreds of imprisoned wild animals to entertain children.  The animals were abandoned in their cages in the midst of constant gunfire and shelling.  Many were killed; the rest were left to starve to death or die of thirst.  Some starving Syrians shared their meager rations with the animals.

No one else cared about these abandoned creatures that included five lions, two tigers, two Asian black bears, two hyenas and two Husky dogs.

But the Vienna-based Four Paws Charity did, and so did I.  Four Paws had rescued a majestic lion named Simba and a charming honey-colored bear named Lula from Iraq’s abandoned Mosul zoo. Both had been starving.  I agreed to sponsor much of the rescue operation in Aleppo.

I spent a morning in the New Hope Refuge outside Amman, Jordan, presided over by Jordan’s Princess Alia, the king’s sister.  Over lunch, she showed remarkable compassion and understanding for wild animals.

Previously, Four Paws, led by its veterinarian, Dr. Amir Khalil, had rescued numerous starving or sick animals from the ghastly zoo in Gaza, Palestine.

Last week, a security team engaged by Four Paws International finally entered war-ravaged Aleppo which is besieged by feuding jihadist bands supported by competing outside powers that include al-Qaida and even Israel.   Throw in Kurds, Turks, the Syrian government, Iranians, Hezbollah and the US for a total madhouse – and a very dangerous one.

Risking their lives, the security team managed to get around the jihadists and then into the Aleppo zoo.  Over two trips, the thirteen remaining animals were coaxed into cages, then lifted onto flatbed trucks.  Then the convoy headed for the Turkish border.  This was the second attempt.  A previous one had been held at the border, then forced to turn back.

undefined

The daring rescue team had to negotiate with the bands of trigger-happy jihadists surrounding them.  A team of well-armed ‘security consultants’ came in to guard the convoy escaping from Aleppo.   There was talk that the Israeli army might come to aid the animals, or a Turkish-backed militia.   In any event, the little mercy convoy finally got to the Turkish border under the cover of darkness.

But the gate leading into Turkey was locked.  Four Paws, with the help of Turkish volunteers, managed to talk the guards into opening it – yet another small miracle.

The animals were then driven for over 24 hours to an animal sanctuary near Bursa, south of Istanbul.  There, one of the tigers, an imposing male that I named Sultan, went into cardiac arrest.  Another wonderful veterinarian, Dr. Frank Goeritz, got into his cage and managed to bring him back to life, warning his aides ‘leave the gate open in case he wakes up.’  Sultan was saved.

Wheels had to be cut off the cages to fit them into a commercial aircraft.  Finding the right tool to do this in the middle of the night in Istanbul was another challenge.

After long delays, the mercy flight finally got to Amman where we met them at 5:30 am.  Four Paws director Heli Dungler was waiting with us.  Thanks to the patronage of Princess Alia we got the animals through border controls and then onto flat-bed trucks for a two hour journey north to the al-Ma’wa animal refuge near the ancient Roman city of Jerash.  Drivers on the road could not believe their eyes as our convoy of big predators rolled by.

After a labor of Hercules, the heavy cages were unloaded from the trucks and the 13 new residents were gently introduced into their new enclosures.  The animals were of course confused, exhausted and testy, but we were thrilled that our wards were finally safe in their new homes.

We humans were also exhausted, but elated. I had slept no more than a few hours for days and was groggy from jet lag and fatigue.  But Four Paws had achieved the impossible and shone a beacon of humanity into the boiling darkness of Syria’s civil war.

As a final sign of good karma, lioness Dana gave birth to a feisty little girl who begins her life in a far better place.

Reprinted with permission from EricMargolis.com.

from Ron Paul Institute Featured Articles

via IFTTT

No comments:

Post a Comment

Merchandise



See other gifts available on Zazzle.

Ron Paul America Cloud

Site Credits

Ron Paul America

is voluntarily affiliated with

Liberty Operations Group

______________________________

Site created, maintained and hosted by

Liberty Web Services

Tags

#TurnOnTheTruth 2008 2012 4th amendment 911 ACTION Afghanistan war Agency Aggression Principle al-Qaeda Alan Colmes Alert America America's Fault Americans antigun AR 15 assault weapon Audit Authoritarian bailouts Believe Big Brother big government bill of rights Blame blowback bubbles Bush Campaign for Liberty Career Politician Eric Cantor Central Bank Charity China churches collapse Collectivism Commission committee Compassion Congress Conservative constitution Crash dangerous person Democrat Democrats Donald Trump Donald Trump. Planned Parenthood drones economic Economy Edward Snowden End the Fed European Union Federal Reserve Floyd Bayne floyd bayne for congress force foreign interventionism free market free markets GOP Nominee GOP Presidential Debates Government Great Depression gun control House of Representatives housing bubble HR 1745 I like Ron Paul except on foreign policy If ye love wealth better than liberty IFTTT Individual Individualism Institute Irag Iran Iraq war ISIL ISIS Judge Andrew Napalitano libertarian Liberty Liberty Letters Liberty Report Lost mass Media meltdown metadata Micheal Moore Middle East Mitt Romney nap National Neocons New Ron Paul Ad New York Times Newsletters Newt Gingrich No Non non-interventionism NSA NSA Snooping Obama Overreach overthrow Patriot Act peace politicians Pope Francis President Presidential Presidential Race programs prosperity Race Racist Racist Newsletters Rand Paul Read the Bills Act recessions redistribution of wealth refugee crisis Repeal Obamacare Report Republican Republican Nomination Republican Nominee Republicans Revolution Rick Santorum Rick Santorum Exposed Ron Ron Paul Ron Paul Institute Ron Paul Institute Featured Articles Ron Paul Institute for Peace And Prosperity Ron Paul Institute Peace and Prosperity Articles Ron Paul Next Chapter Media Channel Ron Paul Racist Newsletters ron paul's foreign policy Ronald Reagan ronpaulchannel.com ronpaulinstitute.org Rosa DeLauro russia Samuel Adams Saudi Arabia Second Amendment Security Senate Senator September 11th attacks Show Soviet Spying stimulate Stock Market surveillance Syria tech bubble terrorist The the Fed the poor US US foreign policy Us troops USA Freedom Act Virginia Virginia Republican Primary voluntarism. Liberty Voluntary Warner Warning warrantless wiretaps YouTube