Saturday 30 June 2012
Syrian Observatory for Human Rights: Final update for 30/6/2012: More than 130 Syrians killed today.
The number of civilian martyrs documented by the SOHR in Syria today (Saturday 30/6/2012), documentation includes name and reason of death, has risen to 96.
-In Reef Dimashq 41 civilians were killed. At least 30 civilians were martyred by an explosion during a funeral procession in the town of Zamalka. 1 civilian was killed by the bombardment of Kafarbatna. 1 was hit by a sniper in Douma. Another was killed in the town of Medeira, the circumstances of death are still unknown. The body of a civilian was found by a military checkpoint in the city of Hammouriya, the body was found after those stationed by the checkpoint retreated. 1 civilian was killed from wounds received during a regime raid on the town of al-Hama several days ago. 1 civilian was killed by the bombardment on the town of Zamalka. The bodies of 5 civilians were identified in the city of Douma, they were killed by regime fire when they stormed the city, 2 of those killed were women.
- In Deir Izzor province 14 civilians killed. 10 were killed in the city of Deir Izzor, 1 was a doctor, he was gunned down by the public park. A fighter was killed during clashes in the Alhamidieh neighborhood. A man and his 14-year-old son were killed when a rocket fell near the courts. A young man was killed by gunfire in the Urdi neighbourhood. A child was killed by gunshots in the city. 3 women were also killed by the bombardment. A civilian was killed when a bombshell fell on his home in the al-Kanamat neighbourhood. A woman was killed by the bombardment on the town of Sheheel. A young man was shot by regime forces in Albukamal city. A civilian from Albukamal city was killed by regime forces’ sniper fire in Idlib. A woman was killed by mortar shells on the town of Alsour.
-In Dera’a province 13 were killed. 7 were killed in the city of Dera’a. 4 people, including a child, were were killed by the bombardment; 3 others, including a little girl, died of wounds received from bombardment on the city. 1 was killed by wounds in the city of Da’el. 3 armed rebels were killed, 1 died when a mine went off in the Kafar Shams area, the other 2 died during clashes with regime forces. 2 civilians were killed by the bombardment of Jasim and Busr al-Harir.
-In Hama province 4 civilians were killed. An activist, from the al-Hadir neighbourhood of Hama, was killed. He was targeted late at night by regime forces and Shabiha near the town of Souran, Reef Hama. A civilian was killed by sniper fire in the town of Zamalka, reef Dimashq. A civilian was killed by wounds he received from mortar shells that fell on his house yesterday in southern reef Hama. 1 civilian was killed by heavy machineguns, run by regime forces, in the town of Salamiyya, Reef Hama.
-In Idlib province 11 were killed. A father, mother and son were killed by the late night bombardment on the village of Heish. A child was killed by the bombardment on Ma’arat al-Nu’man. 1 civilian was killed by gunfire in Ma’rshemarin, another in the village of Amoudiya. 4 civilians were killed by regime forces’ gunshots on their car in reef Idlib. 1 civilian, from the town of Ibleen, died of his wounds while in Turkey.
-In Aleppo province 7 civilians killed. 2 were killed by the bombardment of Atarib and the village of Mayer, Reef Aleppo. 3 civilians were killed when regime forces bombarded a tissue paper factory in Darat Izza, Reef Aleppo. A mother and child were killed by the nightly bombardment on the town of Biza’a, Reef Aleppo.
-In Latakia province a young man was killed by mortar shells that fell on the Almreij village in Alhafa, reef Latakia.
-In Damascus, activists report that a a doctor, from the Jobar neighbourhood of Damascus, was killed inside his car when it was fired at in the town of Zamalka.
-In Homs province 4 civilians were killed. 2 fighters died,1 died from wounds received earlier during clashes with regime forces in the Baba Amru neighborhood, the other died during clashes in the Tadmor city. A civilian from the Deir Ba’alba neighbourhood was killed by regime forces’ sniper fire, his body was then thrown in the Alsetin street. A young man was martyred by the regime’s unceasing bombardment on the town of Talbisa.
A defected first sergeant was killed during clashes in the city of Deir Izzor. A defected soldier was killed during clashes in reef Aleppo. Another defected soldier was killed by sniper fire in Dera’a. A defected soldier was killed by wounds he received during clashes in Reef Idlib. A defected soldier was killed by an ambush set up for him by Khirbet Ghazala, Dera’a prov.
27 members of the Syrian armed forces were killed when a military truck was targeted in the Rankous area of Reef Dimashq, and by clashes in the provinces of Aleppo, Deir Izzor, Idlib and Dera’a.
The city of Douma is still suffering from the military operations that began on the 21st of this month, the bombardment by regime forces is considered the most violent Douma has seen since the start of the uprising. Tens of civilians have been killed, hundreds injured. This is accompanied by a choking blockade on the city, implemented on all neighbourhoods and streets in the city. The residents of Douma are suffering from an extreme humanitarian crisis, they lack the basic necessities of existence, there is an acute shortage of bread, gas and medical equipment. Water and electricity have been cut off. It is also near impossible to travel to procure these needs. Residents in the shelters have been unable to cook food since the beginning of the military campaign.
More than 100 families in the city have been forced to seek refuge in shelters. the families comprise mainly of women, children, the elderly and those that are physically and mentally handicapped. The majority of men in the city have either fled, those that remained have been detained by the Syrian forces, some have been summarily executed if they were suspected of being political activists or wanted by the authorities. The families are living in fear amid the conflict in the city, they lack the basic necessities of existence
The medical situation in the city is very tragic. Medical care has become non-existent after Syrian forces took over the main hospital in the city, which was used to medicate the injured, they destroyed the hospitals contents. There are no alternative field hospitals in the area. The doctors, medical staff and first-aid activists have either been detained or have fled the city, in fear of detention or being summarily executed because of their activities.
There are dozens of injured in the shelters, they need urgent medical attention. Many of those injured have died due to the negligence. There are some wounded on the streets that people have been unable to reach because of the spread of snipers around the city.
We urgently call on all humanitarian and relief organisations, the Red Cross and Red Crescent, to send medical staff and equipment to the city of Douma to assist and transfer those wounded by the constant bombardment of the city. We demand that all humanitarian organisations put pressure to stop this brutal assault on civilians in the city of Douma, which can turn into a humanitarian catastrophe if the situation continues as it is.
We are all Hamza Alkhateeb shared HOMS‘s photo: Zamalka, Damascus Suburbs: Horrific massacre took place in the area after a al-Assed Militias detonate a car bomb at the funeral of martyr Abdul Hadi al-Halabi. The dreadful, shocking blast killed more than 50 people and injured more than 150 others. Security forces spread around the crime scene and used live ammunition to prevent ordinary civilians from offering medical help, and to prevent the arrival of ambulances. They also kidnapped some of the wounded and the bodies of the martyrs.
[Comment: These videos are brutal and do not hide anything - 18+ standard, but real] Zamalka_30, 6, 2012_The moment of the car explosion: http://www.youtube.com/
watch?v=HNUg448Erls&feature=you tu.beThe first moments after the horrific explosion: http://www.youtube.com/ watch?v=RlBM2wj-44M&feature=you tu.beDozens of martyrs and injured people due to the horrific massacre that took place as a result of the explosion: http://youtu.be/UglcLe5YgqEZamalka lacks medical staff, equipment and medicine, and despite that, the regime prevents helping the innocent injured people. So far, all kinds of medical help is given to the explosion’s victims without sanitation or anesthetics in the midst of horrible circumstances.
The United Nations-backed Action Group on Syria today forged an agreement outlining the steps for a peaceful transition in the Middle Eastern country, while strongly condemning the continued and escalating violence that has taken place there over the past 16 months.“Today the international community has taken its cooperation to a stronger level, by being clearer and more specific,” said Joint Special Envoy for the UN and the League of Arab States on Syria, Kofi Annan, in his remarks to the Group in Geneva. “They have laid out a path that we hope the Syrian people can embrace and work with.”
In a statement, the Group called for all parties to immediately re-commit to a sustained cessation of armed violence, to fully cooperate with UN monitors, and to implement the six-point plan put forward by Mr. Annan without waiting for the actions of others.
The six-point peace plan calls for an end to violence, access for humanitarian agencies to provide relief to those in need, the release of detainees, the start of inclusive political dialogue, and unrestricted access to the country for the international media.
The Group also agreed on a set of principles and guidelines for a Syrian-led transition that meets the aspirations of the Syrian people, which includes the establishment of a transitional governing body that would exercise full executive powers and that would be made up by members of the present Government and the opposition and other groups.
“We are determined to work urgently and intensively to bring about an end to the violence and human rights abuses and the launch of a Syrian-led political process leading to a transition that meets the legitimate aspirations of the Syrian people and enables them independently and democratically to determine their own future,” Mr. Annan stressed, adding that for the transition to be successful “there must be a commitment to accountability and national reconciliation.”
Mr. Annan emphasized that the conflict must be resolved through peaceful dialogue and negotiation alone, noting that Action Group members are “opposed to any further militarization of the conflict.”
The Group, also agreed on actions that they would take to implement the steps and measures outlined in the statement, and to support Mr. Annan’s work in bringing the relevant parties together.
“The Action Group members will engage as appropriate, and apply joint and sustained pressure on, the parties in Syria to implement what we have discussed,” Mr. Annan said. “The hard work starts now. We must work together to implement what has been agreed. We cannot do this alone. I hope all in Syria will embrace what has been laid out here and work with us to stop the killing and build a better future,” he added.
The UN estimates that more than 10,000 people, mostly civilians, have been killed in Syria and tens of thousands displaced since the uprising against President Bashar al-Assad began 16 months ago.
Action Group members include Secretaries-General of the United Nations and the League of Arab States, Ban Ki-moon and Nabil Elaraby, respectively, the Foreign Ministers of the five permanent members of the Security Council – China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States of America – as well as the Turkish Foreign Minister, the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and the Foreign Ministers of Iraq, as Chair of the Summit of the League of Arab States; Kuwait, as Chair of the Council of Foreign Ministers of the League of Arab States and Qatar, as Chair of the Follow-up Committee on Syria of the League of Arab States.
20:57 China said on Saturday that the transition plan agreed on in Geneva must be accepted by Syrians, and not imposed by others, AFP reported.
20:43 US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Saturday made it clear Washington did not see any role for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in a Syrian transitional regime following a deal reached in Geneva by world powers.
20:04 World powers agreed to a Syria transition plan Saturday with a unity government to include members of the present administration, although envoy Kofi Annan said he doubted Syrians would “select people with blood on their hands.”
19:54 Syrian forces killed 93 people on Saturday, mostly in the Damascus district, Al-Jazeera quoted activists as saying.
19:49 At least 53 people were killed, mostly civilians, in violence across Syria on Saturday, and hundreds more were trapped in Douma as regime forces stormed the town in Damascus province, monitors said.
19:03 Russia will offer to host the next round of international talks on the Syria crisis if some progress is made in Geneva on Saturday, Russian news agencies reported.
17:29 Syrian forces heavily shelled Daraa’s Daael, Al-Arabiya quoted activists as saying on Saturday.
16:24 Syrian security forces enter Douma in the Damascus district following weeks of shelling, Al-Jazeera reported on Saturday.
16:02 Saturday’s death toll in Syria rose to 53 people, Al-Jazeera quoted activists as saying.
15:44 Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi said on Saturday afternoon during his inauguration that Egypt back the Syrian people and that bloodshed there must stop, AFP reported.
14:54 International envoy Kofi Annan warned world powers Saturday they would be partly responsible for more Syrian deaths if they fail to agree on how to end the violence there.
14:52 Talks between world powers gathered in Geneva to find a political end to the war in Syria “remain challenging” and a deal could well prove elusive, a senior US official said Saturday.
12:14 Violence killed 11 people across Syria on Saturday, mostly civilians, and hundreds more were trapped in Douma in Damascus province north of the capital, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.
11:10 Several people were injured by the Syrian army’s shelling of the Latakia area of Jabal al-Akrad, Al-Jazeera reported.
11:04 The Syrian army is shelling the towns of Douma and Harasta, Al-Jazeera quoted activists as saying.
7:47 Russia said it was optimistic about Saturday’s Syria meet in Geneva after being told by US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton that outside powers could only advise rather than dictate a power transition process.
UN peace envoy Kofi Annan has said there is international agreement that a transitional government should be set up in Syria.
This could include both members of the government and opposition, he said after talks in Geneva.
But US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Syrian President Bashar al-Assad could not remain in power.
Meanwhile, activists said a funeral procession in a suburb of Damascus came under mortar attack and 30 people died.
The UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights released amateur video footage claiming to show the explosion in Zamalka, a town 10km (six miles) east of the Syrian capital.
There has been no independent confirmation of the incident.
‘Legitimate aspirations’In Geneva, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said there were no preconditions to the proposed transition that dictated who should or should not be in the transitional government.
Saturday’s “action group” conference was attended by both Western powers and Russia and China.
Mr Annan also called for an immediate ceasefire and adherence to the UN’s six-point peace plan.
He said there should be access to Syria for humanitarian organisations and media.
“I hope all in Syria will embrace what has been laid out here and work with us to stop the killing and build a better future” Kofi AnnanUN and Arab League envoy
Mr Annan said the conference had agreed there should be a “transitional government body with full executive powers”.
“We are determined to work together urgently and intensively to bring about an end to the violence and human rights abuses, and the launch of a Syrian-led political process, leading to a transition that meets the legitimate aspirations of the Syrian people, and enables them independently and democratically to determine their own future,” he said.
He warned: “The action group has pledged action, and they are sending a message of determination and hope, but today’s words must not become tomorrow’s disappointments.
“The hard work starts now. We must work together to implement what has been agreed. We cannot do this alone. I hope all in Syria will embrace what has been laid out here and work with us to stop the killing and build a better future.”
Speaking on behalf of the five permanent members of the UN Security Council – the US, UK, France, Russia and China – British Foreign Secretary William Hague said all five were committed to supporting Mr Annan’s efforts.
Russia had blocked a provision in Mr Annan’s plan that would have called for Mr Assad to step down to make way for a unity government.
Mrs Clinton told reporters after Saturday’s talks: “Assad will still have to go… given the blood on his hands.”
Mr Assad has said he will not accept any solution to his country’s crisis imposed from outside.
He told Iranian television that it was an “internal issue” which had “nothing to do with foreign countries”, stressing that no amount of foreign pressure would make his government change its policy on internal security.
Some 15,800 people have died in the 16-month uprising against the rule of President Assad, activists say.
In the latest report, the observatory said a mortar bomb had gone off in Zamalka.
The first video the group released showed a crowd of chanting mourners bearing a shrouded body on a bier along a street. There is a sudden, blinding flash and a loud bang with the sound of breaking glass, at which point the recording stops.
In the second video, dazed people can be seen staggering or running through a cloud of smoke or dust.
When the cloud clears, bodies, some of them mutilated, can be seen strewn along the street. A shrouded corpse on a bier similar to that from the first video can be seen abandoned on the ground nearby.
World powers agreed on Saturday that a transitional government should be set up in Syria to end the conflict there but they remained at odds over what part President Bashar al-Assad might play in the process.
Peace envoy Kofi Annan said after talks in Geneva the government should include members of Assad’s administration and the Syrian opposition and that it should arrange free elections.
“Time is running out. The conflict must be resolved through peaceful dialogue and negotiations,” Annan told reporters.
The talks had been billed as a last-ditch effort to halt the worsening violence in Syria but hit obstacles as Russia, Assad’s most powerful ally, opposed Western and Arab insistence that he must quit the scene.
The final communiqué said the transitional government should be formed “on the basis of mutual consent”.
In a victory for Russia, it omitted text in a previous draft which explicitly said the plan would exclude from government anyone whose participation would undermine the transition’s credibility and jeopardize stability and reconciliation.
After the meeting, the United States and Russia contradicted each other over what that meant for Assad, who has ruled Syria for 11 years since succeeding his father Hafez and has been condemned internationally for the ferocity of his crackdown on the uprising against him.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said he was “delighted” with the result. The key point was that the deal did not attempt to impose a process on Syria, he said
It did not imply at all that Assad should step down as there were no preconditions excluding any group from the proposed national unity government, Lavrov said.
But U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said it sent a clear message to Assad that he must quit.
“Assad will still have to go,” Clinton told reporters. “What we have done here is to strip away the fiction that he and those with blood on their hands can stay in power.”
Annan convened the meeting at the United Nations complex on the shores of Lake Geneva to salvage a peace plan that has largely been ignored by the Assad government. He said at the opening that the conflict was in danger of growing into a regional and international crisis.
At its conclusion, the Nobel peace laureate fielded a question on whether people with blood on their hands could be part of a transitional government by saying:
“I would doubt that the Syrians who have fought so hard for their independence to be able to have a say in how they are governed and who governs them will select people with blood on their hands to lead them.
“I cannot say that I am really happy but I am content with the outcome today.”
Annan’s plan for a negotiated solution to the 16-month-old conflict is the only one on the table. More than 10,000 people have been killed since the anti-Assad uprising broke out and the past few weeks have been among the bloodiest.
Highlighting the deteriorating situation on the ground, Syrian government forces pushed their way into Douma on the outskirts of Damascus on Saturday after weeks of siege and shelling. Fleeing residents spoke of corpses in the streets.
Britain’s ITV showed footage of clouds of black smoke over houses and said warplanes had struck at targets there.
The army also attacked pro-opposition areas in Deir al-Zor, Homs, Idlib and the outskirts of Damascus, activists said.
The foreign ministers of the U.N. Security Council’s five permanent members – Russia, the United States, China, France and Britain – all attended along with Turkey, Kuwait, Qatar, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, Arab League chief Nabil Elaraby and EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton.
Notably absent from the guest list were Iran, Syria’s closest regional ally, and Saudi Arabia, a foe of both Damascus and Tehran and leading backer of the rebel forces. Nor was anyone from the Syrian government or opposition represented.
British Foreign Minister William Hague put a brave face on the Western compromise.
“These have been difficult talks as you can gather from the fact that we’ve spent more than nine hours discussing it. I think the result is a step forward, it is only a step forward but it is a step forward that is worth having,” he said.
He welcomed the fact that Russia and China had signed up to the idea for a transitional government. But he lamented that no agreement had been reached on the question of arms sales to Syria and any future action, including sanctions, at the Security Council.
The agreement also called for people to be free to demonstrate peacefully and the release of political detainees as well as an immediate halt to the violence.
Middle East analyst Hayat Alvi of the U.S. Naval War College said he doubted the Assad government would accept the plan and enforcement of it would be almost impossible.
“The U.S. and other Western powers will not find any flexibility on the part of the Syrian regime, and its allies, namely Russia,” he told Reuters from the United States.
“The proof is in the Assad regime’s continuous acts of violence against the Syrian people, even while the diplomatic wheels have been turning. The wheels clearly are going in circles without moving forward.”
That would likely be the scenario for months as long as Russia continued to support the Syrian government, Alvi said.
The conflict has evolved from peaceful protests against the Assad family’s four-decade rule to something akin to a civil war with a sectarian dimension.
The British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said at least 56 people were killed across Syria on Saturday.
Syria’s border with Turkey was also tense after a Turkish military build-up in response to Syria’s shooting down of a Turkish warplane last week.
A Syrian witness said Turkish forces stationed on the border opposite the Syrian town of Jandaris fired machineguns in the air in response to Syrian army bombardment of rebel areas.
After Syrian forces re-entered Douma, troops carried out searches in hospitals for dissidents and rebel fighters, activists said.
Abo Abdullah, 50, said he and his five children left Douma fearing attacks by government forces.
“I saw at least three bodies on a street corner, some houses were destroyed, others were on fire. Only a few people remained inside the city. Those who can, leave,” he said.
“I saw a body on the side of the street and dogs were gathering around it.”
State news agency SANA said security forces were raiding hideouts of “armed terrorist groups” in Douma and had killed, wounded or arrested scores.
(Reporting by Andrew Quinn, Tom Miles, Stepahnie Nebehay, Robert Evans and Emma Farge in Geneva, Oliver Holmes and Mariam Karouny in Beirut, Peter Apps in London; Writing by Angus MacSwan; Editing by Ralph Gowling)
- Syrian forces push into Douma, residents flee 12:16pm EDT
- Activists say Syrian troops fire on Damascus funeral, killing 30 4:30pm EDT
- Russia’s Lavrov delighted at Syria meeting outcome 2:57pm EDT
- Annan says he expects Assad to cooperate with Syria plan 2:00pm EDT
- Raised on power, Assad risks all 11:10am EDT
- Russia offers to host next Syria meeting: agency 12:27pm EDT