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Syria Accuses Donald Trump And The US Of Stealing Their Oil

Syria accused Donald Trump of stealing the country’s oil, after it’s been confirmed that a U.S. company has been allowed to operate there.

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Syria representatives accused Donald Trump of stealing the country’s oil after American officials confirmed that a U.S. company has been allowed to operate there in fields under the control of a Pentagon-backed militia.

Syrian representative Bashar al-Jaafari told the U.N. Security Council that “the U.S. occupation forces, in full view of the United Nations and the international community, took a new step to plunder Syria’s natural resources, including Syrian oil and gas” through the recent establishment of a company called “Crescent Delta Energy.”

This firm, “with the sponsorship and support of the US Administration, has entered into a contract with the so-called ‘Syrian Democratic Forces/SDF’ militia, an agent of the US occupation forces in northeastern Syria, with the aim of stealing Syrian oil and depriving the Syrian state and Syrian people of the basic revenues necessary to improve the humanitarian situation, provide for livelihood needs and reconstruction,” he added.

The Syrian diplomat noted that Trump had made his intentions known earlier, such as in a late October press conference at which the president said he sought “to make a deal with an ExxonMobil or one of our great companies” to take hold of oil in Syria. Trump has publicly professed “I love oil!” and that he was staying militarily involved Syria “only for the oil,” even as his officials insisted the Pentagon’s main focus was battling the Islamic State militant group (ISIS).

“Removing Daesh fighters, weapons, and explosive material remains a top priority as Daesh continues to plot attacks against innocent civilians and our partners throughout Iraq and northeast Syria,” the U.S.-led coalition said in a press release on Thursday.

But that same day, Trump again stated his view on the Syria mission: “As you know, in Syria we’re down to almost nothing, except we kept the oil. But we’ll work out some kind of a deal with the Kurds on that. But we left, but we kept the oil.”

News of an oil deal being struck between the U.S. and the SDF, a mostly Kurdish force tasked with fighting ISIS on the ground, first emerged late last month as Secretary of State Mike Pompeo testified before the Senate. Republican Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina said he had spoken with SDF commander General Mazloum Abdi, whose forces “signed a deal with an American oil company to modernize the oil fields in northeastern Syria.”

Asked if the U.S. was supportive of that arrangement, the U.S. top diplomat said: “We are.”

“The deal took a little longer than we had hoped, and now we’re in implementation, it could be very powerful,” Pompeo said.

The following day, Al-Monitor cited anonymous sources revealing the name of the firm in question as “Delta Crescent Energy, LLC,” which had the full support of the White House in its Syria dealings.

The subject came up again during a press briefing last Wednesday with James Jeffrey, the U.S. special representative for Syria and special envoy for the campaign against ISIS. He declined to discuss the details of private business contracts as a matter of policy, but said the U.S. does have “a responsibility to consider whether licenses should be issued to allow American companies to conduct economic activities that otherwise might be sanctioned.”

“That is something that we have done, including in this case,” he said, denying that the U.S. was “involved in the commercial decisions of our local partners in northeast Syria.”

“We have not done anything other than license related to this firm,” he added. “Syrian oil is for the Syrian people, and we remain committed to the unity and territorial integrity of Syria. The United States government doesn’t own, control, or manage oil resources in Syria. You have heard the President’s position on the guarding of the oil fields. We don’t go beyond that.”

“Treasury does not generally comment on or provide details on license applications or specific licenses that have been issued as the information contained within these licensing applications and determinations may be protected by the Privacy Act, the Trade Secrets Act, or other regulations governing OFAC’s licensing authorities,” a Treasury Department spokesperson stated.

The U.S. has long faced accusations that its interventions in the Middle East and elsewhere were linked to the acquisition of control over energy resources. Comments sent by Syria’s U.N. mission to Newsweek also included an accusation that the “US Administration had allowed US oil companies, whose work was supervised by former US Vice President Dick Cheney, to extract Syrian oil from the occupied Syrian Golan in a flagrant violation of the relevant Security Council and General Assembly resolutions.”

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, allied with Russia and Iran now controls most of the country and has promised to retake it fully through diplomacy or force. In his latest speech, the Syrian leader accused Israel, Turkey, and the U.S. of all trying to “implement one plan aimed at tearing Syria apart and plundering its wealth.”

“The United States and its allies are united in continuing to apply pressure on Assad and his enablers until there is peaceful, political solution to the conflict. Assad and his foreign patrons know the clock is ticking for action,” the State Department said in a press release Thursday. “In the meantime, the United States will continue to impose costs on anyone, anywhere who obstructs a peaceful political solution to the Syrian conflict.”

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The Humanitarian Crisis in Syria 2023: A Forgotten War

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The Humanitarian Crisis in Syria 2023: A Forgotten War

Has the World Forgotten Syria?

2023 marks almost 12 years since the peaceful uprising in Syria turned into an aggressive conflict provoking a regional humanitarian crisis. Since the offset, parties to the conflict have flagrantly violated human rights and international human rights law protections. 15.3 million people are expected to require humanitarian aid in 2023. This is a 1.9 million increase from 2021.

The estimated death toll is 400,000 people. However, reports suggest that this number underestimates the actual death toll. 12.3 million have been forced to flee the country, according to United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, with 6.7 million currently internally displaced in Syria. As a result, Europe and neighbouring countries have endured significant pressure.

What is happening in Syria in January 2023?

Authorities Unlawfully Violate Civilian’s Rights

Syrian security forces and government-affiliated militias continue to detain, disappear, and mistreat civilians arbitrarily. Vulnerable groups such as children, people with disabilities, and the elderly living in retaken areas have signed so-called “reconciliation agreements”. However, their rights continue to be violated. Moreover, authorities unlawfully confiscate property and restrict freedom of movement to areas of origin for returning Syrian refugees.

In September 2022, the chair of the United Nations Independent International Commission of Inquiry (COI) on Syria warned that larger-scale fighting might return.

Syria is Unsafe For Returning Refugees

Syria remains unsafe for returning refugees. Even though intelligence services are not bombing some parts of Syria daily, at any moment, the regime can attack any house and kill, arrest, rape, torture or steal money from any family.

Syrians cannot fight back as the regime will not be held accountable for their actions. Despite this, countries such as Turkey and Lebanon began advocating for large-scale returns of Syrian refugees in 2022.

Millions Face Starvation and Denied Basic Human Rights

Currently, Idlib stands as the last anti-government territory in Syria. Despite a ceasefire, the Syrian-Russian military alliance still poses a threat to over 3 million civilians trapped in this territory. The anti-government armed groups continuously restrict their freedoms and deny the people their fundamental human rights.

Throughout 2022 the government diverted humanitarian aid from civilians as Syrians faced the worst economic crisis since the conflict began in 2011. Thus, millions face starvation and are malnourished with minimal access to food and clean water. Shockingly, an estimated 90% of Syrians lived below the poverty, and more than 600,000 children were chronically malnourished in 2022. A deadly cholera outbreak spread across northern Syria, leading to fears that it may reach other parts of the country.  

Furthermore, electricity and fuel shortages resulted in millions of people without access to essential healthcare services. Moreover, the Syrian pound fell to record lows resulting in many state agencies being closed for several days at a time.

ISIS’s Territorial Defeat

Turkey and local factions continuously violate human rights in Turkish-occupied territories with impunity. Following ISIS’s territorial defeat in northeast Syria, Kurdish-led authorities and the US-led coalition have yet to provide compensation for civilian casualties, offer support for identifying the fate of those kidnapped by ISIS, or address the tens of thousands of former ISIS family members that are trapped in camps and prisons. Consequently, this has led to a deteriorating security situation and higher risks of re-radicalization of those who escape.

Read more: The Repatriation of ISIS Children Detained in Camps in Northeast Syria 2022.

Caption: Sanaa with her children outside their tent in Fafin camp, northern rural Aleppo struggling to survive in Syria's humanitarian crisis © UNICEF/UN0401391/Almatar.
Caption: Sanaa with her children outside their tent in Fafin camp, northern rural Aleppo struggling to survive in Syria’s humanitarian crisis © UNICEF/UN0401391/Almatar.

Bashar al-Assad Continues to Violate Human Rights

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, backed by Iran and Russia, has emerged militarily victorious from the ongoing war. In May 2021, Bashar al-Assad secured a fourth term as president, meaning he will serve until 2028.

Moreover, the presidential elections did not occur under the auspices of the United Nations-led political process. Thus, the elections failed to adhere to standards for free and fair elections.

The Assad regime caused brutal repression, war crimes and crimes against humanity. Assad has used chemical weapons such as chlorine gas against civilians and conducted torture and extrajudicial killings. Assad used disproportionate aerial bombardment and shelling, resulting in millions of civilian casualties and trauma. There are ongoing international condemnation and widespread calls to convict Assad in the International Criminal Court (ICC). However, Syria has become a forgotten conflict in which the Assad regime’s crimes go unpunished.

Pederson’s “Six-Point Agenda”

Geir O. Pedersen of Norway, the UN Special Envoy for Syria, has appealed to the UN Council to shift these worrying dynamics by outlining a “six-point agenda” moving forward in 2023.

  • Point 1: Stepping back from escalation and restoring relative calm on the ground.  
  • Point 2: Renew its framework to provide unfettered humanitarian access to all Syrians who require assistance.
  • Point 3: Resume the meetings of the Syrian Constitutional Committee.
  • Point 4: Pushing for the release of detained, disappeared and missing persons.
  • Point 5: Improving and increasing dialogue towards identifying and implementing initial step-for-step confidence-building measures with Syrian stakeholders and international actors. 
  • Point 6: Increasing engagement with Syrian civil society, including the Syrian Women’s Advisory Board. 

Western Media’s Selective Empathy to Humanitarian Crises

The Western media portrayed “selective empathy” towards various countries facing war and violence. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is classified as “different”. Europeans considered Ukrainians as more “civilized” than those suffering in countries like Yemen, Libya, Ethiopia, Palestine and Syria. People on social media are now classifying the 2015 “refugee crisis” as a “racist crisis”.

Read more: Syria: A Growing Humanitarian Crisis Amid the Russia-Ukraine Conflict.

The despicable selective empathy, double standards and discrimination have uncovered a deep-rooted undertone of injustice across Western media. The West has ethnicity, “whiteness” and location as driving forces behind the amount of empathy shown.

Caption: A Tweet by the Telegraph showing an example of Western media’s selective empathy towards humanitarian crises.

Read more: Children in Syria with no Future.

International Actors Influencing Syria’s Humanitarian Crisis

Russia, Turkey, the United States, and Iran willingly provide military and financial aid to warring factions and allow the hostilities to continue with impunity across Syria.

Israel frequently conducted aerial strikes in Syria, in places such as Aleppo and Damascus airports, in 2022. According to the UN, the Israeli attack on Damascus International Airport in June 2022 disrupted the UN aid supply for approximately two weeks.

Concluding Thoughts

After nearly 12 years of conflict, Syrians need hope for the future. Syria’s forgotten conflict must be addressed before a catastrophic deterioration is reached in 2023.

Millions are desperately in need of humanitarian aid and are suffering. Syria is on the verge of another “flare-up” that could lead to the return of a large-scale war. Millions are dying in displacement camps as resources are becoming scarcer. Furthermore, donor fatigue is rising as other conflicts, and wars like Ukraine dominate media headlines.

We must continue to support UN cross-border humanitarian assistance in Northwest Syria and urge the members of the UN Security Council to renew the cross-border resolution. Moreover, as mentioned above, Pederson’s six-point agenda is imperative in alleviating the desperate humanitarian disaster that has been unfolding in Syria for many years.

Syria’s forgotten conflict must be of top international concern, and international human rights protections must be respected.

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The Repatriation of ISIS Children Detained in Camps in Northeast Syria 2022

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ISIS children in Syrian Camps

ISIS Detainees Denied Basic Human Rights

For the past four years, thousands of prisoners, primarily women and children, from the Islamic State (ISIS), have been arbitrarily detained in camps in northeast Syria. Approximatley, 42,200 people are currently detained in the camps despite the recently increased repatriation of women and children. Recent Turkish air and artillery strikes have exacerbated the dangerous circumstances in the camps. These Turkish strikes cut off electricity and stopped the water supply. They severely impacted fuel and food deliveries and detainees’ access to medical services in the Al-Hol and Roj camps.

In 2022, many children in the camps drowned in sewage pits, died in tent fires, and several were run over by water trucks. Furthermore, hundreds died from preventable illnesses due to very limited access to healthcare. Prisoners have no legal basis or the possibility of reviewing the legality of their arbitrary detention. This severely undermines international human rights protections. The prisoner’s humanitarian situation is continuously deteriorating. They are subject to inhumane and degrading conditions with limited access to basic necessities and fundamental rights.

Background to ISIS Camps

Al-Hol and Roj are two camps in northeast Syria primarily holding the wives and children of male ISIS suspects. Among the prisoners, approximately 18,000 are from Syria, 28,000 are from neighbouring Iraq, and more than 10,000 are from 60 other countries. Shockingly, the prisoners consist of 60% children. Of these children, nearly 80% are under age 12, and 30% are age five or younger.

In northeast Syria, 56,000 women and children from ISIS have been arbitrarily detained in the al-Hol and Roj camps.
Caption: Image obtained from VOA. Children gather outside their tents at the al-Hol camp, which houses families of ISIS members, in Hasakeh province, Syria.

Read also: Syria: A Growing Humanitarian Crisis Amid the Russia-Ukraine Conflict.

The conditions in the camps have created a children’s rights catastrophe. The camp conditions are deplorable, as continued violence resulted in the death of nearly 100 people in 2021.

The Political and Legal Hot Potato of Repatriation

The repatriation of women and children from camps in northeast Syria has been a very controversial and complex legal issue for countries for many years. The Committee on the Rights of the Child and numerous UN Special Rapporteurs have continuously demanded that states repatriate their nationals trapped in these camps.

Unfortunately, many countries contest these demands and make inconsistent responses to the ongoing human rights violations. However, several European countries recently began to increase the repatriation of women and children from the camps. For example, Germany and Denmark repatriated 37 children and 11 women. The Netherlands repatriated five women and 11 children. Belgium repatriated 16 children and six women. Sweden repatriated 20 children and ten women. More recently, France repatriated 35 children and 16 women.

Moreover, the table below illustrates the number of children, women and men that were repatriated by country.

Caption: Figures obtained from Rights and Security International and the table from the International Centre for Counter-Terrorism.

Landmark Jurisprudence: HF and others v France

On September 14th 2022, the Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) issued a consequential judgment in HF and others v France. In this case, two grandparents initiated proceedings at the ECtHR. The case was filed against France for their unwillingness to repatriate their grandchildren and daughter from ISIS camps in Syria.

On the one hand, the judgement laid down substantial implications and guidelines for France and other countries in similar situations. European states must now follow concrete and defined obligations flowing from this decision. Consequently, the judgement can speed up repatriation processes and force a potential political reckoning.

On the other hand, the judgement is rather disappointing. It does not order the repatriation of these individuals back to France. Moreover, it does not imply that France has the jurisdiction to protect the rights of its nationals under these circumstances.

From an international legal perspective, the ECtHR does recognize some positive obligations in the extraterritorial context in this judgment. These positive obligations stem from issues concerning the age, health, and safety of the children.

ECtHR and CRC Committee Deliver Differing Approaches in HF and others v France

Notably, the ECtHR ruling diverted from the approach used by the Committee on the Rights of the Child (CRC Committee). The CRC Committee went much further in recognizing the states’ jurisdiction in this case. The Committee found in 2020 that France exercised jurisdiction over the children detained in Syria camps.

“the state of the children’s nationality has the capability and the power to protect the rights of the children in question by taking action to repatriate them or provide other consular responses.”

cOMMITTEE ON THE RIGHTS OF THE CHILD, HF and others v France (2020).

Furthermore, on a positive note, the ECtHR’s judgement addresses misconceptions about the barriers to repatriation due to national security implications. The decisions clarified that EU states have access to the Syrian camps and have previously successfully repatriated nationals without serious consequences.

The court’s decision strongly indicates that states do not have a convincing legal argument for denying repatriation requests. This explicitly applies to vulnerable children who have had their fundamental rights violated for over four years.

Repatriated Children Integrating Well in New Countries

According to a November 2022 report released by Human Rights Watch, many of the children repatriated are successfully integrating. The report illustrates the experiences of approximately 100 repatriated children between 2019 and 2022. These countries included France, Germany, Kazakhstan, the Netherlands, Sweden, the UK, and Uzbekistan.

These children have been subjected to many years of life-threatening conditions. They had limited access to basic necessities such as food and water. They have witnessed and experienced unimaginable violence, abuse and neglect. Despite this, many of the repatriated children are doing well in school, making new friends and integrating smoothly.

Moving Forward & Recommendations

States can dramatically improve reintegration by quickly providing repatriated prisoners with birth certificates, identity cards, and other documents. The Autonomous Administration controls the Syrian ISIS camps and repeatedly urges states to repatriate their nationals. Additionally, they have requested an increase in aid to improve the prisoner’s disgraceful living conditions.

Although it is highly controversial, states must fulfil international human rights obligations. As highlighted in HF and others v France, states are responsible for protecting their citizens when they face serious harm. Children’s inhumane conditions in these camps call for governments to help end their nationals’ unlawful detention urgently.

In conclusion, the arbitrary detention of these prisoners amounts to collective punishment, which is considered a war crime under international law. According to the Convention on the Rights of the Child, children should only be detained as an “exceptional measure of last resort”. States must take responsibility by bringing detainees home, prioritizing the most vulnerable and providing rehabilitation and reintegration services.

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Iran’s embrace of Bashar Assad: An indelible shame

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Iran's embrace of Bashar Assad: An indelible shame

Bashar Assad, the little Hitler of Damascus, is undoubtedly the bloodiest Arab tyrant. The British-educated ophthalmologist is responsible for the utter destruction of the bulk of Syria, the death of around half a million citizens as well as the expulsion of half the population of the  Arab country, all in order to remain in power. Bashar is by no means the only criminal Arab dictator whose hands are stained with his people’s blood. In fact, most Arab leaders are actually despicable despots who should have been hanged or consigned behind bars for the rest of their lives. So, what are the reasons behind the Iranian Shiite regime’s dark embrace of Bashar Assad.

Enter Iran

The Shiite republic embrace of Bahsar Assad
Iran: Khamenei and Assad embrace at Tehran meeting:February 25, 2019 at 23:08 GMT +02:00 · Published

It is crystal clear that the so-called Shiite Islamic republic of Iran has been the most important ally of Bashar Assad after Putin’s Russia.

Indeed, from the very inception of the post-Shah regime, the  Mullas of Iran viewed Syria as a potential Shiite republic due to the fact that Assad is a member of the heterodox  Alawi Nusayri sect, which deifies the fourth Caliph Imam Ali. The only nominally Muslim sect, which has been in control of the Syrian government and army since the late 1960s,  makes up around 10-11% of Syria’s total population of 19 million.

Read Also: Let Iran have the bomb!

The sect is notoriously heretic, cultic, esoteric,  schismatic and highly secretive. The vast majority of Sunni and Shiite religious scholars consider the Nusayris as “apostate.” According to a famous Fatwa (religious edict)  by Ibn Taymiyya in the 14th century,  the  Alawis are farther from Islam than the Jews and the Christians and even more heretical than many of the polytheists and their harm to Muslims is greater than the harm of the infidel fighters such as the Mongols, the Crusaders, and others.

Sectarian ambitions

  It is not difficult at all to decipher the real reasons behind Iran’s embrace of Bashar Assad of. Assad offered himself to Iran’s Mullacracy as the main and last defender and protector of Shiism in the predominantly Sunni  Arab Middle East.

Of course this is a big lie and the Iranians know it. Religion, after all Is probably the last thing in the world that Assad really cares about.  The most logical and rational reason behind Iran’s embrace of Bashar Assad is the Mullahs’ unwavering wish to transform Syria into a predominantly Shiite republic, despite the fact that over 70% of Syria’s population are Sunni Muslims.

Iran accords little or no appreciation for this fundamental fact as it has been carrying out aggressive proselyting activities aimed at converting as many Sunnis  as possible into the Shiite faith.

Disgraceful intervention

Iran equipped and funded as many as 50 militias, compromising Shiite fanatics from Iraq, Lebanon, Afghanistan, Tajikistan, and Yemen to fight alongside the demoralized forces of  Assad.

Eventually, the Shiite militias decided to fight independently for two reasons: 1) Most of the soldiers and junior officers of the Assad regime’s troops were Sunnis, not Shiites. The better-equipped Alawi troops were deployed rather permanently in and outside  Damascus to thwart any possible coup attempt against the Assad regime. 2- the Syrian troops’ social behaviour didn’t conform with the rigid religious ideology of Shiite militiamen as the former indulged in all vices like alcohol drinking, drug addiction, adulterous and promiscuous behaviour and unreligious behaviour activities.

None the less, it is widely believed that the militiamen were involved  in carrying out numerous atrocities of Syrian Sunni civilians. The usually-ignorant militiamen were told by their Iranian superiors upon their arrival in Syria that they were fighting the murderers of Imam Hussein and taking part in the noble task of protecting the “holy grave” of saint Zaynab, sister of Imam Hussein.

Read Also: Iran is certainly not  Garden of Eden for Human Rights, but the West is absolutely  hypocritical

The truth of the matter is that Zaynab (may Allah be pleased with her) is highly respected and venerated by Sunni Muslims and that never in history have the People of Syria tried to damage, desecrate or vandalize her grave as Iranian Shiites did to graves of some Sahaba (companions of the Prophet) and Sunni scholars in Persia and recently in Syria. (Iran had been a predominantly a Sunni country before the Safawis’ bloody takeover in the 16-18 century.

The recruitment of Shiite fighters from Afghanistan eventually boomeranged on Shiite communities in Afghanistan itself  as Isis terrorists and others targeted  Shiite civilians in Kabul, Herat, and other places, killing hundreds of people. Shiite schools, mosques and community centers continue to be targeted in Afghanistan even after the return to power of the Taliban movement

Iran deserves a better leadership

The Iranian regime projects  a very poor case when defending their sectarian intervention in Syria. The Supreme leader, Ali Khamenei, was quoted as saying that as far as the Islamic Republic is concerned, defending Damascus was as important as defending Tehran and that preserving the regime of the Bashar Assad was as paramount as preserving the theocratic Shiite regime in Iran!

This “foolishness”, coming from a man widely considered by his followers as an infallible, divinely-guided imam and deputy to  Imam al-Zaman al-Madi  (the occulted imam). one can only implore Almighty Allah to free Muslims in Persia and elsewhere from the stranglehold of such mythology and sectarian blindness that is ravaging and corroding the great nation of Iran.  Iran simply deserves better leadership.

Sectarian blindness

Khamenaei’s staunch support for Bashar Assad and his regime is not only morally wrong and harmful and destructive to the entire Muslim Umma. It is also absolutely and totally incompatible with the basic tenets of Islam.

In fact, Assad’s evil credentials are known too well to every honest person in the Middle East. You don’t have to have a doctorate degree in political science or International Relations to discover the Satanic character of this thug.

As to Khamenei, he doesn’t have to speak with  Imam al Mahdi! to ask him about Bashar! Let him Just ask some honest Shiite scholars in Syria and Lebanon, they would tell him the truth

But if he doesn’t trust these people for one reason or the other, he should try to judge the Yazid of our time according to the scale of Imam Ali, or Imam Hasan, or Imam Hussein or Imam Jaafar Sadeq.

And if Those venerable imams failed to give a satisfactory answer, then judge the contemptible thug according to the scale of the Prophet Muhammad, may Allah’s peace and blessing be upon him.

And if you still want to be certain 100% , there is always the Book of Allah, the Glorious Quran,  so you can find the ultimate answer, This is much better and safer for you and your hereafter.  Haven’t you read the verse- 113 of Surat Hud: 

And incline not toward those who do wrong, lest the Fire should touch you, and you have no protectors other than Allah, nor you would then be helped.

Hud:113

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