Alliance for Kurdish Rights: Hilary Clinton at Security Council Meeting: It will take all Syrians working together – Alawis & Christians hand-in-hand with Sunnis and Druze, side-by-side with Arabs & Kurds.
Syrian Uprising 2011 Information Centre: SUMMARY (31/01/2012): While the UN Security Council starts to discuss Syria, once again, at least 32 civilian martyrs have fallen (including 2 children and 2 women) mostly in Idlib, Homs, Damascus and Daraa. The food shortage is now affecting parts of both Aleppo and Damascus, where the assault on the eastern suburbs has been continuing – with reports of mass arrests, destruction of property and looting by security forces. More than 1,150 martyrs were reported this month, making January the bloodiest month of the uprising so far. Syria – Tuesday 31/01/2012 – Google Maps Read more
‘We haven’t got enough equipment, we haven’t got enough doctors‘: Homs (30/01/2012): Homs may come in and out of reporting by the media and even by activists like us but the basic fact remains that since April/May last year Homs has been under attack by the Assad regime. This video shows Syrian-British activist Danny Abdul Dayem back in Homs and showing us Baba Amru today:
30/01/2012: Homs (Bab Amru)
Syrian Uprising 2011 Information Centre: HOMS (30/01/2012): This is video shows the family slaughtered by the regime’s thugs in Homs today – Mohammed al-Turki, his wife Ibtisam and their 4 children (Ahmed, Amjad, Tahiyat, Tasneem). This is the second massacre like this that has taken place in the Karam al-Zeitoun neighbourhood in the last 4 days. This area does not have a strong Free Syrian Army presence, leaving many people there at the mercy of the shabeeha and loyalist military units:
Homs, Karam al-Zeitoun 30/01/2012 (WARNING: GRAPHIC)
and British Syrians & Friends in Solidarity with the Syrian Revolution: We are not ashamed to say we cried when watching this video. A family of 6 were not only killed in cold blood. Much much worse. They were tortured, stabbed & shot to death. The children were not exempt. One of the children still has the hair of his mother that was ripped of her head when they took the child off her by force. In addition, no-one could rescue them for 5 days. Why is this still going on?!?!
UPDATE (30/01/2012): At least 39 martyrs have been reported today so far, mostly in Damascus and Homs. In Damascus, fighting continues in the eastern suburbs, while in Homs there are reports of a new slaughter of an entire family by the regime’s gangs in Karam al-Zeitoun. Meanwhile, in Rastan north of Homs heavy fighting continues for a 3rd day:
30/01/2012 Damascus (Kafar Batna)
The United States condemns in the strongest possible terms the escalation of the Syrian regime’s violent and brutal attacks on its own people. In the past few days we have seen intensified Syrian security operations all around the country which have killed hundreds of civilians. The government has shelled civilian areas with mortars and tank fire and brought down whole buildings on top of their occupants. The violence has escalated to the point that the Arab League has had to suspend its monitoring mission. The regime has failed to meet its commitments to the Arab League to halt its acts of violence, withdraw its military forces from residential areas, allow journalists and monitors to operate freely and release prisoners arrested because of the current unrest.
The Security Council must act and make clear to the Syrian regime that the world community views its actions as a threat to peace and security. The violence must end, so that a new period of democratic transition can begin.
Tomorrow, I will attend a United Nations Security Council meeting on Syria where the international community should send a clear message of support to the Syrian people: we stand with you. The Arab League is backing a resolution that calls on the international community to support its ongoing efforts, because the status quo is unsustainable. The longer the Assad regime continues its attacks on the Syrian people and stands in the way of a peaceful transition, the greater the concern that instability will escalate and spill over throughout the region.
[local time] 10:01 Monday’s Syrian death toll has risen to 85, Al-Arabiya television quoted activists as saying.
21:48 Representatives of Syria’s Kurdish community are divided on the issue of seeking a foreign military intervention to help topple Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
21:20 Syrian army forces clashed with Free Syrian Army members in Edleb’s Saraqeb, Al-Jazeera television quoted activists as saying.
20:59 Syrian troops are shelling the Edleb town of Saraqeb, Al-Arabiya television cited activists as saying.
20:12 Monday’s death toll in Syria has risen to 60 people, Al-Arabiya television quoted activists as saying.
20:09 Two Lebanese nationals and their Syrian friend went missing in Syria after heading to the strife-stricken country a week ago, AFP reported Monday.
19:45 The Syrian army shelled and stormed Edleb’s Khan Shaykhun on Monday, Al-Jazeera television quoted activists as saying.
19:36 US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Monday that the UN Security Council “must act” on Syria to end President Bashar al-Assad’s “violent and brutal attacks” against demonstrators.
19:08 Russia will not back a new draft resolution on Syria, its deputy foreign minister said Monday ahead of the UN Security Council’s debate over the latest Western-backed proposal.
19:07 Russia will not back the new Arab-EU draft resolution on Syria, AFP reported.
19:03 The opposition Syrian National Council warned on Monday of a possible “massacre” of hundreds of young men rounded up by security forces in the town of Rankus near Damascus.
18:50 The Syrian army shelled Homs’ Bab al-Sibaa neighborhood, killing a number of residents, Al-Jazeera television quoted activists as saying.
17:47 Monday’s death toll in Syria has risen to 45 people, Al-Jazeera television quoted activists as saying.
17:24 British Foreign Minister William Hague will travel to the United Nations to push for a resolution on Syria, the Foreign Office said on Monday.
17:19 The UN Security Council’s view on Syria is “evolving,” France said Monday.
17:14 The Syrian army’s shelling of the Homs neighborhoods of Karm al-Zeytoun and Jouret al-Chiyah has injured a number of residents, Al-Jazeera television quoted activists as saying.
16:37 The opposition Syrian National Council said that the opposition rejected all talks with the Damascus regime until President Bashar al-Assad steps down.
16:12 The Syrian army surrounded the town of Yabroud near Damascus and deployed snipers, Al-Jazeera television quoted activists as saying.
14:49 Russia on Monday said the Syrian authorities have agreed to a Russian offer to hold informal talks in Moscow with opposition representatives to resolve the crisis in the country.
13:47 French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe is to head to New York on Tuesday to press the UN Security Council into taking action over the Syrian regime’s “crimes against humanity“, his ministry said.
13:45 Security forces have executed Free Syrian Army colonel Hussein Harmush, a founder of the rebel group made up of soldiers who defected, the Syrian League for Human Rights said on Monday.
13:02 Syrian security forces killed 24 people on Monday, Al-Arabiya reported.
12:40 Syrian security forces are shelling Hama, and the smoke can be seen billowing from the castle of Hama, Al-Jazeera reported.
12:26 The head of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, the world’s largest Muslim body, urged the international community on Monday to take up its responsibilities in protecting Syrian civilians and ending bloodshed there.
12:14 Syria’s Monday death toll has risen to 18 people, Al-Arabiya television reported.
11:42 Clashes in Syria’s Daraa killed six troops and three civilians, AFP reported on Monday.
11:13 A blast targeted a gas pipeline between Homs and Banias in Syria, Al-Arabiya television reported on Monday.
10:28 The leader of Syria’s Muslim Brotherhood in remarks published Monday that his party is “ready to cooperate with all sects, which serves the interest of Syria on the basis of common benefits and mutual respect.”
9:18 Security forces killed 9 people on Monday, mostly in the Damascus district, Al-Arabiya reported.
7:20 Fierce clashes broke out near the Syrian capital on Sunday as President Bashar al-Assad’s opponents sought to crank up the pressure for United Nations action after the Arab League withdrew its observers.
In the past several months, I have heard dozens of suggested scenarios. Some are plausible, others are fantastic, but all are suggested seriously by usually knowledgeable observers and analysts, writes Rami G. Khouri:
The US has called on countries to decide where they stand on what it calls the Syrian regime’s brutality.
Activists say 95 people were killed across Syria on Monday in cities including Damascus and Homs.
The White House said President Bashar al-Assad had lost control of Syria, adding “he will go”.
Russia has said it will block a UN resolution calling for Mr Assad to hand power to a deputy who would then form a government of national unity.
Moscow said the text – proposed by the Arab League and backed by the US, the UK and France – was “not balanced” and would “leave open the possibility of intervention” in Syria’s affairs.The Local Co-ordination Committees, a network of anti-government groups, said on its Facebook page Monday’s death toll was 95, including 72 in the central city of Homs. In Deraa, in the south, 15 people were killed, while six deaths were reported in the Damascus suburbs.
Their claims cannot be independently verified, as the the BBC and other international media are severely restricted inside Syria.
However, heavy machine-gun fire was reported in the restive Bab Amr district of Homs, while activists said at least 225 tank shells were fired at the eastern suburbs of Damascus.
Earlier, reports said the Syrian army had regained control of some Damascus suburbs recently held by rebel forces.
The White House said countries weighing their options at the Security Council should take into account that Mr Assad would be ousted.“The regime has lost control of the country and will eventually fall,” said spokesman Jay Carney.
Moscow, which has maintained its ties with Damascus, has so far resisted moves for a UN resolution condemning the violence in Syria. Russia has a naval base in the country and supplies arms to Syria.
“The current Western draft… certainly cannot be supported by us,” Deputy Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov told the Interfax news agency.
Mr Gatilov said the draft was “not balanced” and “leaves open the possibility of intervention in Syrian affairs”.
France says 10 of the 15 countries on the Security Council now support the Arab League text. A minimum of nine council members must lend their backing in order for a resolution to be put to a vote.
However, Russia – as one of the five permanent council members – can veto any proposed resolution.
The BBC’s Barbara Plett, at the UN, says Russia views the resolution as a first step towards regime change.
The UK has urged Moscow to reconsider its opposition.
“Russia can no longer explain blocking the UN and providing cover for the regime’s brutal repression,” said a spokeswoman for Prime Minister David Cameron.
On Monday, Russia also offered to mediate talks between the Syrian government and the opposition – a suggestion the opposition rejected out of hand.
The Syrian government has rejected the Arab League plan, which would see Mr Assad’s deputy forming a national unity government within two months.
The prime minister of Qatar and the secretary-general of the Arab League are also going to New York to seek support for the draft text.
Qatar heads the League’s committee dealing with the Syrian crisis and has previously called for Arab countries to send troops into Syria.
On Saturday, the Arab League announced it was suspending its month-old monitoring mission in Syria because of an upsurge of violence.
The Syrian army held funerals on Monday for 22 of its members killed in the previous 24 hours. The BBC’s Jim Muir, in neighbouring Lebanon, says on average 20 members of the security forces are being killed each day.
Reports have emerged suggesting security forces may have killed senior army defector Lt-Col Hussein Harmoush, one of the first military officers to publicly declare his opposition to Mr Assad last year.
However, the Free Syrian Army, many of whose members are based in Turkey, said they could not confirm reports of his death.
Analysis: Barbara Plett BBC UN correspondent
Western states hope Tuesday’s Arab League briefing to the Security Council can break the impasse over Syria. US and European foreign ministers will be present to demonstrate their support for the Arab plan, which they want the council to endorse.
But the Russians have met this combined offensive with rejection. Keen to protect a thriving arms trade with Syria, they have complained about the resolution’s call to stop the flow of weapons to the country (although it doesn’t impose an arms embargo).
But the critical issue is the fate of Bashar al-Assad, Russia’s closest Arab ally. The Arab peace plan calls on him to delegate power to a deputy. For the Russians this is regime change by another name.
So the bottom line is: can there be a compromise between Arab and Western states on the one hand, which says there there is no solution with Assad, and Russia on the other, which insists there is no solution without him.
Syria has agreed to take part in Moscow-mediated talks on solving the country’s crisis, the Russian Foreign Ministry said on Monday, calling on the Syrian opposition to join the planned negotiations.
However, a senior member of the Syrian opposition council said that no invitation had been received from Moscow and that it would be refused anyway.
Moscow, a permanent U.N. Security Council member with veto powers, has offered to host the talks in an effort to end the bloodshed since protests began 10 months ago against President Bashar al-Assad.
“We have received a positive response from the Syrian authorities to our call (to hold talks in Moscow),” the Foreign Ministry said in a statement on its website.
“We hope … that the Syrian opposition will agree to that in the next few days, putting the interests of the Syrian people above all other concerns.”
Moscow’s offer of talks may be an attempt to strengthen its arguments against a Western draft resolution at the Security Council supporting an Arab League call for Assad to cede power.
Russia has said that Assad’s resignation must not be a precondition for the Syrian peace process. It has remained one of Assad’s few allies and has supplied him with arms and ammunition during the protests.
Moscow has repeatedly said Assad’s opponents share the blame for the bloodshed. It fears a Western resolution could be interpreted broadly enough to lead to a Libyan-style military intervention, which Russia says it will not allow.
Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov reiterated Moscow would not support the Western resolution, which he said appeared quite similar to the French-inspired Security Council peace initiative condemning Damascus and hinting that Syrian authorities could face U.N. sanctions, which Moscow and Beijing vetoed last year.
“The current Western draft (resolution) is only a step away from the October version, and can by no means be supported by us,” he told Interfax news agency. “This document is not balanced … and above all leaves the door open for intervention in Syrian (internal) affairs.”
Russia submitted its own draft resolution in December, but Western diplomats said they could not accept Russian wording assigning blame to the government and the opposition for the violence, which the United Nations says has killed more than 5,000 people.
Syrian Uprising 2011 Information Centre: SUMMARY (29/01/2012): At least 66 martyrs fell across 9 provinces in Syria today, including 6 children, 3 woman and 6 defected soldiers. 398 martyrs have been recorded during the last 7 days. The regime forces continue to attack the main cities of Damascus, Homs and Hama as well as many smaller towns in Daraa, Qalamoun, the countryside of Homs and Hama, Idlib and Dayr az-Zawr. The crackdown is also tightening in an increasingly restive Aleppo. Meanwhile in Irbil, Iraq, the Syrian Kurdish parties have been meeting to try to coordinate their efforts. Syria – Sunday 29/01/2012 – Google Maps Read more
Press Release by the Turkish Nature Association Doga Dernegi:
Villagers’ protest at Istanbul’s Topkapi Palace draws attention to impending loss of World Heritage in their home town.
Planned Ilisu dam will inundate 12,000-year history including the ancient town of Hasankeyf.
26th January 2012, Istanbul, Turkey – Tourists today experienced the deprivation of enjoying one of Istanbul’s most iconic cultural and historical monuments as villagers from the historical town of Hasankeyf in the southeast of Turkey blocked the entrance of Topkapi Palace (1) to draw attention to the impending loss of their ancient town threatened by a major dam. Read more
Syrian Uprising 2011 Information Centre: SUMMARY (28/01/2012): At least 63 martyrs fell including 12 defectors, 3 children and a woman. The Arab League has suspended it’s observer mission due to the escalating violence in Damascus, Homs, Hama, Daraa, Idlib and Dayr az-Zawr. The regime said it regrets the League’s decision, but Interior Minister Mohammed Ibrahim al-Shaar has vowed to cleanse Syria from the “outlaws.” More than 900 martyrs have now fallen since 1st Jan. Syria – Saturday 28/01/2012 – Google Maps Read more
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights has become the most quoted, and most disputed, primary source of casualty figures in Syria. Al-Akhbar investigates the political disputes, personal gain and prejudice, and media role behind a recent row over its ownership.
Over the course of the Syrian uprising, the security situation went from bad to worse and the regime tightened its noose around journalists not willing to toe the official line. Propaganda coverage filled the airwaves. Independent verification of what was taking place became increasingly difficult. The UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) rose to become the primary source of information regarding human rights violations inside the country. Providing daily casualty figures, the Observatory is often quoted by news wires such as AFP and Reuters, as well as media outlets like CNN, BBC and Al Jazeera English, among many others. Read more
A Facebook page named Anlatilmaz Yashanir, which translates into You’ve got to live to feel it contained pictures of Kurdish people killed in Turkey, some of the pictures were taken as a mockery of Kurdish people by the Soldiers because it shows soldiers smiling next to the dead bodies, and having their thumbs up. The pictures include gruesome brutality of Kurdish people, including naked pictures of dead Kurdish women. The Facebook page was removed immediately after several Kurdish activists enquired about it earlier this morning. Read more
Syrian Uprising 2011 Information Centre: Summary (27/01/2012): We wish we could write the names of all the martyrs who have fallen today – around 100 – on the memorial day of the fall of Auschwitz. The UN Security Council is meeting now to bargain with Syrian blood yet again. Meanwhile people have been massacred in Aleppo, Nawa (Daraa), Hama, Homs, Assal al-Ward and the eastern suburbs of Damascus. At least 15 kids have been killed in the last 48 hours – at least 450 since the start of the uprising (UNICEF says 384). Syria – Friday 27/01/2012 – Google Maps Read more
Shibal Ibrahim, a member of Syria’s Kurdish minority and a political activist, has been held incommunicado by Syrian security forces since his arrest on 22 September 2011. He is believed to be in poor health, and is at risk of torture and other ill-treatment. He is a prisoner of conscience, detained solely for his activism. Read more
Syrian Uprising 2011 Information Centre: SUMMARY (26/01/2012): More than 60 martyrs across Syria today – including 9 women and 8 children. The most martyrs – at least 37 – fell in Homs where many neighbourhoods continue to be heavily shelled. It was also a bloody day in Hama, where at least 17 bodies have been dumped on the street – most of them unidentified. Meanwhile, dozens were arrested in Duma as the regime tried to reassert control over the eastern suburbs of Damascus. Syria – Thursday 26/01/2012 Read more