Saturday 15 September 2012
Kurds have erected a statue of Kawa, in Afrin.
Syrian Observatory for Human Rights: Preliminary death toll for Saturday 15/9/2012: Approximately 140 Syrians killed so far today. The dead: 86 unarmed civilians, 13 rebel fighters, 5 defected soldier (including a defected lieutenant), and 32 members of the Syrian armed forces. 86 Unarmed Civilians;
- In Damascus Province 36 were killed. A child and woman were killed by clashes and sniper fire in the al-Hajar al-Aswad neighbourhood. A civilian from the al-Hajar al-Aswad neighbourhood was killed when mortar shells fell on his farm nearby the neighbourhood. 1 from the Mukhayam al-Yarmouk camp was killed under unknown circumstances. 6 were found dead in the al-Qadam neighbourhood, 3 identified corpses were shot today. 6 unidentified corpses were found in the Jobar neighbourhood. 20 civilians, including a woman, were found dead in the al-Tadamon neighbourhood of Damascus, only 3 were identified.
- In Aleppo Province 8 civilians were killed.2 were killed by bombardment on the towns of A’ndan and Deir Hafer. 5 civilians, including 3 children, were killed by bombardment on the Daret al-A’zza town of Reef Aleppo. 1 was shot by sniper fire in the al-Midan neighbourhood.
- In Reef Dimashq Province 7 civilians were killed. 3 were killed by bombardment and gunshots in the city of Douma. 1 was killed by bombardment on the Jusrin town. 1 died from wounds he received earlier by bombardment on the al-Zabadani town of Reef Dimashq. 2 brothers from the Qatana town were killed by random gunshots in the town.
- In Dera’a province 5 civilians were killed. 2 civilians, including a child, from the city of al-Qseir died from wounds they received yesterday by bombardment on the Busra al-Sham town. 1 was shot by regime forces in the city of Dera’a. 1 was shot by a military checkpoint in the al-Mzeirib town of Reef Dera’a. 1 died from wounds he received earlier by bombardment on the city of Dera’a.
- In Hama Province 8 were killed. 5, including 2 women, were killed and several others injured by bombardment on the Qal’et al-Madiq town of Reef Hama. A child and young girl died from wounds they received earlier by bombardment on the al-Hweija village. 1 was shot by a military checkpoint in the Hialin town of Reef Hama.
- In Homs Province 2 civilians, including a child, from the al-Qseir city died from wounds they received earlier by bombardment on the city. 1 was killed by bombardment on the city of al-Qseir.
- In Deir Izzor Province 4 were killed. A 14 year-old child was killed by bombardment on several neighbourhoods of the Deir Izzor city. 1 was killed by bombardment on the al-Shmeitiya village and the al-Mouhasan town of Reef Deir Izzor. A civilian from the Mathloum village died when his car was targeted by regime forces.
- In Idlib Province 19 were killed. 3 civilians, including a woman, were killed by bombardment on the towns and villages of al-Dana, Kansafra and al-Nahel. 2 civilians, including a woman, were killed by bombardment on the Basnqul village. 10 civilians, including 7 women and children, were killed by bombardment on the city of Saraqeb. 1 died from wounds he received earlier by bombardment on the Kafrouma town. A young girl died from wounds she received earlier in the Ma’aret al-Nu’man city. 1 was shot by the al-Irshadiya military checkpoint in Reef Idlib. A man from the Taftanaz town was shot by sniper fire in the city of Aleppo.
-13 Rebel Fighters;
- In Damascus Province 4 rebel fighters were killed during clashes with regime forces in the al-Hajar al-Aswad neighbourhood.
- In Aleppo Province 4 rebel fighters were killed during clashes with regime forces in the city of Aleppo.
- In Reef Dimashq a rebel fighter was killed by bombardment and gunshots in the city of Douma.
- In Idlib Province 4 were killed. A woman was killed by bombardment on the al-Dana village. 2 civilians, including a woman, were killed by bombardment on the Basnqul village. 1 died from wounds he received earlier by bombardment on the Kafrouma town of Reef Idlib.
- Information received indicates that 2 men were shot by pro-regime militants in the al-Sab’ Bahrat square in the city of Aleppo.
- A defected lieutenant was killed by bombardment on Reef Aleppo. 4 defected soldiers were killed during clashes in Damascus and Dera’a.
The Joint Special Representative of the United Nations and the League of Arab States on the Syrian crisis, Lakhdar Brahimi, discussed the ongoing violence and worsening humanitarian situation with President Bashar al-Assad during a meeting in Damascus on Saturday.
Speaking to reporters after the meeting, Mr. Brahimi said the crisis is getting worse and has serious consequences on the Syrian people, the region and the entire world.
“We discussed this issue. I believe that the President is more aware than me of the scope and seriousness of this crisis,” said the envoy, who arrived earlier this week for meetings with representatives of the Government, the opposition and civil society.
“I informed the President that we, in the name of the United Nations and the League of Arab States, will exert every effort, present ideas and mobilize capacities and potentials required for this situation in order to best help the Syrian people out of this crisis.”
More than 18,000 people, mostly civilians, have died since the uprising against President Bashar al-Assad began 18 months ago. Amidst reports of an escalation in violence in recent weeks in many towns and villages, as well as the country’s two biggest cities, Damascus and Aleppo, UN agencies now estimate that some 2.5 million Syrians are in urgent need of humanitarian assistance.
“This crisis is becoming worse by the day,” stated Mr. Brahimi, adding that it is urgent to address it in a proper manner.
Following his visit to Syria, Mr. Brahimi will go to New York to meet with Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and the Security Council, “as well as a number of States which have influence, interests, or both, with regard to the Syrian issue,” he said.
Mr. Brahimi earlier this month assumed the peace-facilitation role which had been carried out since February by a former UN Secretary-General, Kofi Annan, with the aim of bringing an end to all violence and human rights violations in Syria, and promoting a peaceful solution to the conflict.
[local time] 21:22 Saturday’s death toll has increased to 141, Al-Jazeera quoted activists as saying.
21:04 A YouTube video uploaded on Friday purportedly shows a colonel, who identifies himself as Youssef al-Assad, defecting from the army. He also announces that he joined the “people’s revolution” in Syria. The video’s title purports he is a relation to the ruling Assad family.
19:21 Pope Benedict XVI said on Saturday that he admires the courage of Syria’s youth and is saddened by what they and their families are suffering, as violence rages in their country.
20:16 Saturday’s death toll in Syria has increased to 112, Al-Jazeera quoted activists as saying.
19:01 Syrian forces entered Lebanon’s Beqaa on Saturday and shelled three farms, Al-Arabiya television reported.
17:09 Saturday’s death toll has increased to 65, Al-Arabiya quoted activists as saying.
17:04 Clashes erupted in Syria’s main cities of Damascus and Aleppo on Saturday, following a bloody day in which 132 people were killed nationwide, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.
16:01 Hollywood star Angelina Jolie met Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari on Saturday to discuss measures to care for Syrian refugees in Iraq, the Foreign Ministry said.
15:02 Helicopters shelled the town of Sheikh Maskeen in Daraa, Al-Arabiya quoted activists as saying.
14:46 Overnight air strikes killed at least 12 civilians and wounded around 60 in Al-Bab in northern Syria, doctors in the rebel-held town told AFP on Saturday.
14:04 Syrian regime fighter jets shelled the town of Dael in Daraa, Al-Arabiya reported.
13:48 Shelling by Syrian regime forces targeted the town of Al-Hosn in Homs, Al-Jazeera quoted activists as saying.
13:22 President Bashar al-Assad called for dialogue between Syrians during a meeting on Saturday with international peace envoy Lakhdar Brahimi, state television reported.
13:13 Syrian President Bashar al-Assad called for dialogue between Syrians at a meeting with special envoy Lakhdar Brahimi, AFP reported.
11:49 Syrian security forces killed 22 people on Saturday, Al-Arabiya quoted activists as saying.
11:40 The bodies of six summarily executed people were discovered in Al-Qadam neighborhood in Damascus, Al-Arabiya quoted activists as saying.
11:09 Syrian regime forces shelled several neighborhoods in Aleppo including Al-Sakhour and Masaken Hanano, Al-Jazeera reported on Saturday.
10:25 International peace envoy Lakhdar Brahimi warned after meeting President Bashar al-Assad on Saturday that the worsening conflict in Syria poses a threat to the region and the world at large.
8:44 International peace envoy Lakhdar Brahimi will meet with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad on Saturday in Damascus, a United Nations spokesperson said Friday.
BEIRUT – International mediator Lakhdar Brahimi said after talks with Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad on Saturday that the escalating conflict in the country posed a global threat. | Video
International mediator Lakhdar Brahimi said after talks with Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad on Saturday that the escalating conflict in the country posed a global threat.
Activists say 27,000 people have been killed in the 18-month-old uprising against Assad. Late on Saturday, 20 bodies, including a woman’s, were found by residents in a district of Damascus that had been overrun by Assad’s troops, a watchdog said.
“This crisis is deteriorating and represents a danger to the Syrian people, to the region, and to the whole world,” Brahimi told reporters in Damascus after speaking with Assad for an hour at the presidential palace.
It was the veteran Algerian diplomat’s first meeting with the Syrian leader since he replaced Kofi Annan as mediator two weeks ago, taking on a mission that he described as “nearly impossible”.
The revolt started as a mainly peaceful street campaign for reform but has become a bloody insurgency that is deepening sectarian rifts in the Middle East. Activists say 160 people, mostly civilians, were killed on Friday.
Assad’s forces and the out-gunned but increasingly effective rebel fighters seeking his overthrow have ignored appeals to end the conflict, which continues to affect most of Syria’s main cities, including Damascus, Aleppo, Homs and Deir al-Zor.
“Ten men and a woman were found in a house in Tadamon,” said Rami Abdulrahman, head of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. “Another nine were found in a separate building and all had gunshots to the body,” he added, quoting residents.
Over the past two days, the army have been conducting street to street raids of Tadamon after days of government artillery strikes and helicopter attacks aimed at killing rebel fighters.
Damascus residents reported hearing heavy overnight bombardment followed by the sound of jet planes swooping over the capital shortly after 7 a.m. (12.00 a.m EDT) on Saturday.
One resident, who asked to remain anonymous, said black smoke was rising from the southern Damascus neighborhood of Hajar al-Aswad, which neighbors Tadamon, on Saturday afternoon.
“There is very strong shelling to the south of Damascus. The roads have been closed and there are tanks,” the resident said.
The mainly Sunni Muslim rebels are supported by Gulf Arab states and neighboring Turkey in their struggle to topple Assad, whose minority Alawite faith is an offshoot of Shi’ite Islam. Shi’ite Iran has been Assad’s staunchest ally.
“It’s not a secret that the gap between the parties is very wide,” Brahimi said, adding that he still believed there was “common ground” for them to resolve the crisis.
Louay Hussein, a prominent Syrian opposition activist in Damascus who met Brahimi, said the mediator “knew the map of the crisis … (and was) optimistic”.
Assad allows a few opposition figures to operate in the country but they have little influence over the opposition in exile and the armed revolt.
Syrian authorities say they are fighting Islamist “terrorists” and accuse regional Sunni Muslim powers of worsening the bloodshed by helping arm the president’s foes.
State news agency SANA quoted Assad as telling Brahimi that the success of his mission hinged on “pressuring countries which finance and train the terrorists, and which traffic weapons to Syria, to stop these actions”.
His comments came a day after Pope Benedict, starting a three-day visit to neighboring Lebanon, branded the flow of arms into Syria a “grave sin” and called for a halt to it.
World powers are deadlocked in the U.N. Security Council along Cold War lines, with the United States and its NATO allies supporting the call for Assad to quit and Russia and China defending him against what they see as outside meddling.
Moscow and Beijing have three times blocked Western-backed attempts in the Security Council to criticize Damascus and threaten sanctions against it.
“I believe that the president realizes more than me the dimensions and the danger of this crisis,” said Brahimi, who has met Russian, Chinese and Iranian diplomats in Damascus.
The mediator said Assad and his officials had pledged to support his work, adding that he would return to the region soon after talks in New York with U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.
(Additional reporting by Oliver Holmes; editing by Andrew Roche)
Peace envoy Lakhdar Brahimi warns the Syrian crisis presents a “threat to the world” after holding his first meeting with President Bashar al-Assad.
He warned after the meeting that the crisis was deteriorating and presented a “threat to the world”, as well as the region and the Syrian people.
The UN-Arab League mediator is on his first trip to Syria, where thousands have been killed since the conflict began in March last year.
Mr Brahimi’s spokesman described the talks as frank and comprehensive.
In the latest fighting, the activist group Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said at least 132 people were killed in Syria on Friday, 100 of them civilians, including 18 in Damascus, the capital.
The report has not been independently verified.
“The crisis is dangerous and getting worse, and it is a threat to the Syrian people, the region and the world,” the veteran Algerian diplomat told reporters after his meeting with the Syrian president.
“We will make a great effort to make progress, and do our best … to help the Syrian people,” he said, without giving specifics on how he would go about it.
His spokesman, Ahmed Fawzi, described the talks as “serious, frank and comprehensive.”
Officially Mr Brahimi says he is still only in listening mode, but the spokesman said his talks with Mr Assad had gone further than this, with various proposals put forward by both men, says the BBC’s Richard Galpin.
No details were given.
Mr Brahimi, who took over from Kofi Annan as envoy two weeks ago, met members of the officially tolerated opposition on Friday.
The veteran Algerian diplomat held talks with members of the National Co-ordination Committee for Democratic Change, which includes Arab nationalists, Kurds and socialists.
“We told Mr Brahimi… of our support for his efforts to resolve the crisis by ending the violence and killings, providing medical care and releasing political prisoners,” Hassan Abdel Azim, the bloc spokesman, was quoted as saying by Reuters.
When he took over the post, Mr Brahimi said bringing peace to Syria would be “nearly impossible”. He has described the bloodshed there as “staggering” and the destruction as “catastrophic”.