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Updates in plain English from the conflict that won't stop


Syrian Moaffak Makhoul and a team of six artists pose with their Guinness World Records award for the largest mural made from recycled material, on March 31, 2014 in Damascus's al-Mazzeh neighborhood. (LOUAI BESHARA/AFP/Getty Images)

Today is Day 1,111 of the Syria conflict.

The AP says Lebanon's state-run news agency is reporting that troops in armored personnel carriers arrived in Tripoli this morning. The Lebanese government is trying to stop the Syria-related gunfights that, as of last Friday, had killed 29 people in two weeks, including two members of the security forces. More on the Syrian spillover into Lebanon here and here.

Syrian artists in Damascus have completed the world's largest mural made of recycled materials, setting a new Guinness World Record. "I felt the need, in this climate of ours, to give something to my country, to make the Syrian people be known for their beauty," the leader Moaffak Makhoul told AFP. According to the wire service, housewives helped out by handing over waste from their households.

Kuwait's justice and Islamic affairs minister Nayef al-Ajmi has responded to US Treasury Undersecretary David Cohen's remarks suggesting that Admi had a "history of promoting jihad in Syria," that his image had been used on the extremist al-Nusra Front's undraising posters, and that his ministry's policies were helpful to "terrorist fundraisers." Ajmi says this is all "baseless and groundless."

And, believe it or not, one of Syria's main rebel groups has responded to Kim Kardashian's tweet about the town of Kasab over the weekend.* Kasab, the lone Armenian village in the region to survive the genocide that occurred during World War I, was taken by rebels last month. "Please let's not let history repeat itself!!!!! Let's get this trending!!! #SaveKessab #ArmenianGenocide," Kardashian tweeted on Sunday. The Daily Beast has a good rundown on why this tweet was probably ill-advised, if understandable given Kardashian's Armenian heritage and the Kasab residents' legitimate concern about the radical Islamists present in the Syrian opposition. The Daily Beast also got a comment from Khalid Saleh, spokesman for the Syrian National Coalition, a more moderate rebel group:

"We are glad Kim Kardashian is taking an interest in this issue, as we too are concerned about extremist groups' persecution of minorities. ... The Free Syrian Army has put out a statement committed to protecting of citizens of Armenian descent and to maintaining the integrity of their religious sites and protecting them from Assad's attacks and use of indiscriminate fire, which continue against innocent people."

The conflict continues.

 

*Hat tip: Karoun Demirjian 

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatches/globalpost-blogs/meanwhile-syria/day-1111-syrian-artists-complete-mural-rebels-comment-ki