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Syrian community hold vigil in Bradford

A vigil has been held in Bradford to mark the anniversary of one of the deadliest chemical weapons attacks in almost three decades.

Syrian refugees and members of the Syrian Association in Yorkshire gathered in the city this afternoon to remember the victims of the atrocity in Ghouta- when rockets containing the chemical Sarin - were fired. It is thought it claimed the lives of up to seventeen hundred people, many of them civilians.

Syrian community to hold vigil in Bradford

Members of The Syrian Association in Yorkshire (SAY) are holding a vigil in Bradford today to mark the first anniversary of chemical attacks on Syrian people by the Assad regime.

It's believed around 1,500 people died in the attacks, said to be the among the deadliest chemical attacks in recent history.

Displaced Syrian boy
Displaced Syrian boy Credit: PA

The atrocities in Syria are still ongoing with civilians being killed on a daily basis. Humanitarian crises are on the rise and the number of homeless, displaced and refugees is on the increase, with no international will to help. Thousands of children are lacking the most essential means of living, not to mention adults and the elderly.

– SAY Spokesperson


Leeds Imam leads warning against British muslims fighting in Syria

A prominent imam in West Yorkshire is among more than a hundred people who've signed an open letter calling on muslims not to go and fight in Syria.

The letter comes as another another Briton today claimed to have joined jihadi militants taking on government forces out there.

But Qari Asim, who preaches at the Makkah Mosque in Leeds says young muslims should not risk their lives in the conflict:

Muslims urged to reject Jihadi call up

Muslims across our region have been urged to reject extremism and not join Jihadi fighters such as those now waging war in Syria. Several Britons have already been shown to have joined the rebel group ISIS currently fighting government forces there.

Today a special message from the spiritual leader of tens of millions of Muslims was beamed live into mosques across the country. They were listening intently in Huddersfield from where Chris Kiddey reports.

Syrian asylum seekers to stage Leeds protest

Syrian asylum seekers are to stage a protest outside a Home Office centre in Leeds today calling for the Government to help more refugees fleeing the civil war there.

The Government says several hundred of the most vulnerable people will be helped over the next three years. But campaigners, like this man who wishes to remain anonymous, say it should do more:

Syria crisis: Muslim women urged to report relatives

There are warnings from human rights activists in our region that a new counter terrorism campaign to stop teenagers going to war in Syria may backfire.

Police forces throughout the region have sent out a message saying that young people are putting their own lives at risk by going to Syria and could bring a terror threat back to our shores if they are radicalised in the country.

It comes as police reveal a teenage girl from West Yorkshire was arrested at Heathrow airport earlier this year, after her family apparently tipped off authorities that she was planning to go to Syria. But some say it's the wrong approach as Emma Wilkinson reports.


Syria travel warning will split communities says campaigner

A human rights activist based in West Yorkshire says a campaign to stop young people travelling to Syria will split communities.

Anjum Layla Dean, the founder of the Bradford-based Basic Human Rights charity believes a counter terrorism office warning will backfire.

It comes after a 17-year-old girl from West Yorkshire was stopped from flying to Syria at Heathrow Airport along with an 18-year-old from London.

West Yorkshire Police to host Syria webchat

West Yorkshire Police are to host a webchat to discuss UK nationals travelling to Syria.

A teenager from the county was arrested at Heathrow Airport yesterday.


We're concerned about the safety of people travelling to #Syria. Join the webchat live from 6pm #preventtragedies

Hundreds travelling from UK to Syria

The number of people travelling to Syria from the UK is increasing and is now believed to be in the low hundreds, according to counter-terrorism officers.

They say anyone travelling there is in danger - and those who want to protect loved ones in the country should find other ways of contacting them.

It comes after a teenager from West Yorkshire travelling to Syria was arrested at Heathrow airport.

"We are increasingly concerned about the numbers of young people who have or are intending to travel to Syria to join the conflict. We want to ensure that people and in particular women, who are concerned about their loved ones are given enough information...

"We want to increase their confidence in the police and partners to encourage them to come forward so that we can intervene and help. This is not about criminalising people it is about preventing tragedies. We want to inform those who wish to genuinely help the Syrian cause how they can do so safely and legally."

– Asst Chief Const Ingrid Lee, North East Counter Terrorism Unit

"There is a genuine and desperate need for humanitarian assistance to help people affected by the conflict in Syria. UK charities and their partners are playing an important role in the delivery of humanitarian aid to Syria and its neighbouring countries. In part, they have only been able to do this by the generous donations of the public.

"We want everyone to make informed choices about which charities to support and how to support them so that they can feel confident that their contribution really will make a difference to the humanitarian effort."

– Michelle Russell, Charities Commission
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