Sunday 12 August 2012
Syrian Observatory for Human Rights: Final report on those killed on 12/8/2012.
More than 180 Syrians have been reported, and verified, as dead on Sunday 12/8/2012, , documentation includes name and reason of death.
The dead include 75 unarmed civilians, 29 rebel fighters, 2 defected soldiers, and no less than 48 members of the Syrian regular forces.
75 Unarmed civilians:
-In Idlib Province 15 were killed. A child from the tow
-In Aleppo Province 3 were killed. 2 civilians died due to the bombardment on the towns of Kafernuran, and Kabtan al-Jabal in Reef Aleppo. 1 was killed by bombardment on the town of Arshaf in Reef Aleppo.
- In Homs Province 18 were killed. 13, including 4 children and 3 women, were killed by gunfire that was accompanied with raiding the al-Shamas neighbourhood, by regime forces. 5 men were killed when regime forces raided a farm in al-Haswiyyeh area in Reef Homs at midnight of Saturday-Sunday.
-In Reef Dimashq Province 25 were killed. 14, including 2 women, due to gunfire, bombardment, and clashes in the towns of al-Tal and Mneen. 7 civilians, 1 of them with an unknown identity, were shot by regime forces in the towns of Deir al-A’asafeer, al-Bilaliyeh, and Yabrood. 1 was killed when the village of Marj al-Sultan was raided. 1 was killed by bombardment on the Hamurya town. 2 were shot by regime forces in the towns of Hteitet al-Turkman and Wadi Barada in Reef Dimashq.
-In Dera’a Province 8 civilians were killed. 2 civilians were killed by regime forces after two days of being detained. A child died, affected by injuries he received during the bombardment on al-Na’ima town. The names of 2 women were documented, 1 was shot by regime forces, days ago, in the town of Dae’el, and the other was killed by bombardment on the Dera’a al-Balad neighbourhood in the city of Dera’a. 2 civilians were killed by bombardment on the town of al-Mseifra. 1 was shot by regime forces in the town of Saida in Reef Dera’a.
- In Damascus Province 3 were killed. 1 civilian from Bab Sreejeh, was found dead in a farm in the town of al-Mleiha. A young man from al-Hasaka was shot by sniper fire in the al-Kadam neighbourhood at midnight of Saturday-Sunday. A civilian from al-Kadam, was found dead, days after hid disappearance.
-In Deir Izzor Province 3 were killed. In al-Bukamal, 2 civilians died, 1 during bombardment, and the other was shot by regime forces after being detained. 1 civilian, from the town of al-Bqa’an, was killed by bombardment on the town.
Information was received, about the death of about 32 rebel fighters and some civilians in Al-Kusweh area due to violent clashes with regime forces, Saturday night and Sunday morning. No names have been documented yet. According to activists from the area regime forces have kidnapped their bodies.
29 Rebel fighters:
-In Dera’a Province 7 fighters were killed. 5 were killed during clashes and bombardment on the town of Tafas. 1 fighter was killed during clashes with regime forces in the Basr al-Hareer town. 1 was killed during clashes in the town of Inkhil.
-In Homs Province 7 fighters were killed. 3 fighters were shot when regime forces raided the al-Shamas neighbourhood. The names of 4 rebel fighters were documented, after being shot by regime forces yesterday in Reef Kseir.
-In Reef Dimashq Province 5 fighters were killed. 2 fighters were killed during clashes in the town of A’rbin. 2 fighters were shot by regime forces in the town of Kafer Batna. 1 fighter was killed by sniper fire in the Harasta city.
-In Aleppo Province 4 fighters were killed. 3 were killed during clashes with regime forces in the city of Aleppo. A fighter died on Sunday night due to clashes near the cannons in the al-Zahra’a neighbourhood.
-In Damascus Province 1 fighter was killed during an ambush for regime forces, Saturday night.
-In Idlib Province 2 rebel fighters died, effected by injuries they received during clashes in the town of Kafarnabel.
-In Deir Izzor Province 2 fighters were killed, 1 during clashes in al-Mayadeen city, and the other during clashes with regime forces in the town of Kabajb in Reef Deir Izzor.
- In Latakia Province 1 fighter was killed during clashes with regime forces in Jabal al-Turkman in Reef Latakia.
2 defected soldiers were killed during clashes with regime forces in Reef Dera’a and Reef Dimashq.
Atleast 48 regime forces were killed, including an officer, during clashes in Damascus, Homs, Dera’a, and Aleppo.
al-Hasaka Province: Mobile communications have been cut off in numerous parts and towns of the province, land lines have also been cut off in sporadic areas, the reasons have not been known yet. Protests and clashes have not been recorded or documented in the area, as a result of these cut offs, however information received indicates that there is an intense aviation movement in the al-Qameshli airport.
Here are key players in the Syrian civil war:
_Syrian regime: Despite major defections and a July 18. explosion in Damascus that killed four top generals, including President Bashar Assad’s brother-in-law the regime’s inner circle, is still powerful and united against the opposition. Bashar’s inner circle includes his younger brother, Maher, who commands the forces in charge of protecting the capital. It also includes the heads of the four intelligence agencies playing a major role in the crackdown. Although regime forces lost parts of the northern city of Aleppo, Syria’s largest, government troops still control most cities, while the opposition dominate large parts of the countryside.
_Free Syrian Army: The main rebel fighting force for more than a year, the Free Syrian Army includes lightly-armed volunteer militiamen and defectors from Assad’s military. Its overall strength and structure is unclear, but tens of thousands are believed be loyal to the group. The rebels have control over some northern areas, allowing movement of fighters and supplies from Turkey and Lebanon. Anti-Assad forces have failed to maintain any strategic footholds in big cities, being driven back from key neighborhoods in Homs earlier this year and now apparently losing ground in the largest urban center, Aleppo. The battles also suggest only weak direction from central commanders _ including Turkey-based Free Syrian Army leader Riad al-Asaad.
_Syrian National Council: Based in Istanbul, The SNC has emerged as the main political opposition to Assad and has pushed for international recognition as the legitimate representative of the uprising, despite rifts with other Syrian factions. The group also has been hit by internal feuds that have led some senior members to quit. The current leader, Abdelbaset Sieda, is a Swedish-based activist for Syria’s minority Kurdish community [SKS comment - he does not represent any Kurdish groups] . The SNC has gained support from many countries in the West and Arab world, but it has not galvanized international backing, and critics complain its senior leadership is made up mostly of exiles out of touch with their homeland.
_National Coordination Committee: A rival to the SNC, the National Coordination Committee is led by opposition figures inside Syria, many of them former political prisoners. SNC members accuse the group of being far too lenient and willing to engage in dialogue with the Assad regime. In turn, the National Coordination Committee accuses the SNC of being a front for Western powers and willing to open the door to the Muslim Brotherhood and other conservative Islamist factions.
[SKS comment - NCC is also known as national Coordination Body, and has always run with three no's: no to violence, sectarianism and external intervention http://supportkurds.org/reports/syrias-opposition-has-been-led-astray-by-violence/#more-12458]
_ International alliances: On Assad’s side are traditional Shiite allies Iran and Lebanon’s Hezbollah. The regime also has important political cover from Russia and China, which have used their Security Council vetoes to prevent U.N. sanctions on Syria. The rebels have built an array of regional support that includes the wealthy Gulf states _ led by Iran rival Saudi Arabia _ and neighboring Turkey, which offers key supply routes. The West also backs the rebel forces, but has so far opposed mobilizing international military support similar to the NATO-led airstrikes that helped topple Moammar Gadhafi’s regime in Libya.
_Foreign fighters: Syria has drawn foreign fighters just as other recent conflicts such as Iraq and Afghanistan. No credible count on their exists, but anecdotal evidence suggests foreigners are coming to fight Assad. Rebel commanders downplay the presence of foreign fighters, saying their cause is a purely Syrian uprising. Mohammed Idilbi, a Syrian activist based in Turkey, says foreign ranks include Libyans, Yemenis, Tunisians and Lebanese. On Saturday, Syria’s official SANA news agency claimed four Libyans were among rebels killed in Aleppo.
_Extremists: U.S. officials and others worry that Syria could become a new foothold for insurgents inspired by al-Qaida. Assessing the degree of radical Islamic ideology in the civil war is impossible, but at least one group, the al-Nusra Front, has emerged and declared allegiance to the Free Syrian Army. Al-Nusra, or Victory, has claimed responsibility for several high profile attacks, including a double suicide bombing in March that killed 27 people in Damascus and the execution-style killing of a Syrian television presenter who was abducted in July. On Friday, U.S. intelligence officials said al-Qaida has advanced beyond isolated pockets in Syria and now is building a network of well-organized cells that could include several hundred militants.
Noam Chomsky: “The U.S. and Its Allies Will Do Anything to Prevent Democracy in the Arab World”
and on the threat posed by Iran - Iran is not a threat
Comment: this is a brutal video of a man having his throat cut with a small knife and being beheaded, in Aleppo. I heard it was al-Qaeda killing a Shabiha man. We might ask – what does the future hold and can we be surprised that people are fearful of the coming change:There is serious dehumanisation taking place in the name of religion, but actually just in the name of power and control.Kofi Annan tried … maybe nations will be ready to find a working compromise to take the Syrians out of this mess at some time but it doesn’t seem we’re there yet – UK is complicit in this.
[local time] 21:19 Syrian forces shelled Haydariya area in Aleppo, leaving people killed, Al-Jazeera television reported.
21:18 Clashes erupted between Syrian regime forces and rebels near a security headquarters in Halab al-Jadeda, Al-Jazeera television reported.
19:38 Sunday’s death toll in Syria has risen to 88 people, Al-Arabiya television quoted activists as saying.
18:55 Sunday’s death toll in Syria has increased to 75 people, the General Commission of the Syrian Revolution said.
16:51 Sunday’s death toll in Syria has risen to 64 people, Al-Arabiya television quoted the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights as saying.
16:05 The Syrian army shelled rebel-held districts of commercial capital Aleppo on Sunday as fighting flared anew around a southwestern neighborhood that rebel fighters had quit last week, a monitoring group said.
15:17 Telecommunication services were cut in the Syrian city of Aleppo, Al-Jazeera television quoted activists as saying Sunday.
15:09 Sunday’s death toll in Syria has risen to 45 people, activists said.
14:15 Syrian forces shelled Aleppo’s Masken Hanano and clashed with Free Syrian Army members in the city’s neighborhood of Salaheddine, Al-Jazeera reported.
13:11 Sunday’s death toll in Syria has increased to 36, Al-Jazeera quoted activists as saying.
12:02 Arab foreign ministers postponed a planned meeting on the Syrian conflict that had been due to take place in Saudi Arabia later on Sunday, a top Arab League official said.
10:28 As-Sharq al-Awsat newspaper reported on Sunday that Director of Public Prosecutions in Syria’s Ar-Reqqah province Jomaa al-Aanzi announced his defection from Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s regime on Saturday.
10:11 Syrian regime forces killed 21 people on Sunday, Al-Arabiya quoted activists as saying.
8:19 The Syrian Arab News Agency reported that an “armed terrorist group” killed Syrian journalist Ali Abbas in Jdeidet Artouz in Syria on Saturday evening.
8:08 German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle said he wants Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad to stand trial at the International Criminal Court, which tries genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity.
Foreign ministers of the Arab League postpone a meeting on the Syrian crisis, officials say, as fighting in key cities continues.
The ministers had been due to discuss a new envoy to Syria to replace Kofi Annan, who resigned earlier this month.
The US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has said the US and Turkey are working together on detailed plans to support the Syrian opposition.
Fighting has continued in the Syrian capital, Damascus, and the second city of Aleppo.
Speaking on a visit to Istanbul, Mrs Clinton said both the US and Turkey were making preparations to respond to the possible collapse of President Bashar al-Assad’s government, the use of chemical weapons and increases in the number of cross-border refugees.
Mr Annan resigned from his position as UN-Arab League envoy to Syria earlier this month, after his proposed six-point peace plan failed to come into effect and violence escalated.
His replacement had been due to top the agenda for foreign ministers who had been due to gather on Sunday in the Saudi city of Jeddah.
But the Arab League’s deputy secretary general, Ahmed Ben Helli, told reporters the meeting has been postponed, and no new date had yet been set.
He did not say why the meeting had been delayed.
The man tipped by diplomats to be given the job is veteran Algerian diplomat Lakhdar Brahimi.
The mandate of the United Nations observer mission in Syria – which now comprises some 150 observers – is due to run out in a week’s time.
But UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon says there still need to be people on the ground to make impartial assessments of the military situation.Hillary Clinton: “We are continuing to increase pressure from the outside”
The Security Council will discuss the issue on Thursday, but there is little consensus on the council, with Syrian ally Russia calling for an extension and the US sceptical about prolonging the mission.
Instead, the US is taking steps outside the structures of the UN to support Syrian opposition groups, such as the setting up of the working group with Turkey announced by Mrs Clinton in her meeting with her Turkish counterpart Ahmet Davutoglu on Saturday.
“Our number-one goal is to hasten the end of the bloodshed and the Assad regime,” she said.
“Our intelligence services, our military have very important responsibilities and roles to play so we are going to be setting up a working group to do exactly that.”
A “range of contingencies” was discussed, including the possible use of chemical weapons by the Assad government, Mrs Clinton added.
Meanwhile, inside Syria, fighting is continuing.
Syrian state TV said authorities were hunting “terrorists” who had set off a bomb in Marjeh, an exclusive district of Damascus near the central bank, and who were “shooting at random to spark panic among citizens”.
At about the same time, another blast went off near Tishrin Stadium close by, reported state news agency Sana.
Hours later, Sana reported that a bus had been attacked in a Damascus suburb, said AP news agency, with six passengers from the central province of Hama killed. It blamed the attack on the “terrorists”.
Violence erupted again between the rebel Free Syrian Army (FSA) and government forces in the country’s largest city, Aleppo.
Activists said the army pounded areas south-west of Salah al-Din, from which the rebels retreated on Thursday.
Reports from Syria are difficult to confirm because of restrictions on reporters working there.
Canada’s foreign minister has said the worsening situation in Syria is ‘tremendously horrifying’ during a trip to Jordan’s first refugee tent city,The situation in Syria is “tremendously horrifying,” Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird said on Saturday as Canada pledged a new round of funding to help those affected by the crisis.
The ongoing battle between rebels and the military that has consumed Syria for the past 17 months has forced tens of thousands to flee to neighbouring countries, including Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey.
Jordan hosts 150,000 displaced Syrians, more than any other country, and at least 3,300 of them are housed in the Zaatari refugee camp, which Baird toured as part of a three-day tour of the region.
On Saturday Canada announced that it will provide Jordan with $6.5 million in new assistance to help meet its needs in responding to the crisis.
Baird said Canada will also donate $1.5 million to the World Food Program in Jordan and $2 million to Canadian Relief for Syria, which will provide medical supplies for doctors in the country.
“Canada is deeply concerned about the impact of the Syrian crisis on neighbouring countries,” Baird said in a statement. “Neighbouring countries have been served a crisis on their doorsteps, and Canada is happy to lend its support to their generosity.”
Since the Syrian uprising began in March, Canada has provided $8.5 million in aid to help the Syrian people.
In addition, Canada has decried the Syrian military’s action and has implemented tough sanctions, Baird said. Canada has also provided non-lethal support to the opposition, primarily through assisting the Syrian National Council opposition group.
According to Baird and his Jordanian counterpart, Nasser Judeh, the crisis can only be solved through political intervention.
“It is now more important than ever that the international community act decisively and in unison to find a diplomatic solution to the crisis before instability and chaos spread throughout the region,” Baird said in an earlier statement.
Meanwhile, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Saturday arrived in Turkey for talks on the Syrian crisis.
Arab foreign ministers are expected to meet in Saudi Arabia on Sunday to discuss the developments in Syria. They’re also slated to talk about selecting a replacement for Kofi Annan, the United Nations envoy to the Arab League.
Annan stepped down earlier this month, saying he has received no support from world powers to take decisive action over the escalating violence in Syria.
With files from the Associated Press
Reuters: Confused civilians swarm into Syria battle zoneALEPPO, Syria – Syrian civilians desperate to check on their homes pushed into fluid front lines around the devastated Salaheddine district of Aleppo on Sunday, even as sniper fire cracked out and rebels warned them to stay away.
Civilians drove their cars up to rebel checkpoints demanding to be allowed through, apparently convinced by government messages that the army had regained full control of their neighborhood, where battles have raged for three weeks.
“Snipers, snipers,” the rebels manning the checkpoints shouted, but some women sat there, confused and stubborn, insisting they had to go through to check on their homes.
“I have to go in,” pleaded one man. “My neighbor told me my house is being looted and I need to get my stuff. Please let me in, I left with only the clothes on my back.”
One exasperated fighter eventually responded: “Say your prayers and go, just go.”
Aleppo is vital to President Bashar al-Assad, struggling for the survival of a ruling system that his family and members of his minority Alawite clan have dominated for four decades.
Dozens of Salaheddine residents surged back after Syrian state television broadcast assurances that the area was now free of “terrorists” and that families were returning to their homes.
“Congratulations to Aleppo for the liberation of Salaheddine from the terrorists with the help of the families of Salaheddine,” read a text message from a mobile network.
Outgunned rebels who have been fighting army troops backed by warplanes, tanks, artillery and helicopter gunships were unimpressed by the residents besieging their checkpoints.
“All these civilians are people who are against the revolution. They believe Syrian TV propaganda that the area is cleared of fighters,” said a rebel calling himself Abu Islam.
Nearby, just off Saif al-Dawla street on the eastern edge of Salaheddine, a bullet struck a young man aged about 20 in the stomach, killing him. Rescuers dragged him to the side of road, where his father cried hysterically. “My only son has gone.”
Inevitably, many of the casualties in the street battles convulsing Syria’s biggest city and economic hub are civilians.
In one field hospital, a doctor treated a nine-year-old girl hit in the waist by a sniper’s bullet. Lying on her side, her feet jerked as the doctor cleaned and bandaged her wound.
“We were walking this morning to get bread from the local bakery,” her father said, his face solemn and expressionless. “She was wounded when snipers started shooting randomly in our direction.”
The doctor, who asked not to be named for his own safety, said three civilians had died in his grubby four-bed “hospital” on Saturday. He and his six non-medical volunteers had treated 10 more for their wounds in the makeshift facility.
“I’m a surgeon and my profession is to deal with blood daily, but in this place, I wept from what I saw,” he said.
The doctor said many of his patients had serious shrapnel wounds in the head, chest or stomach. “Many children are being injured because of their homes falling on their heads.”
He said he received more than 15 casualties a day, all civilians. “Some will die, others are badly injured.”
Out in the streets in and around Salaheddine, a southern gateway to Aleppo, fighting intensified.
Fighters at one intersection on Saif al-Dawla Street took turns to fire assault rifles, rocket-propelled grenades and an anti-aircraft gun mounted on a pickup vehicle.
A huge truck drove up carrying broken concrete blocks and rubble to create barriers against army tanks.
Yasir Osman, commander of the Abu Bakr al-Sedeeq Brigade, said his fighters had seized weapons and ammunition overnight after overrunning a petrol station in Salaheddine being used as an army base and killing its commander.
But he acknowledged the army was also inflicting losses. Three of his men were killed and seven wounded on Sunday.
(Writing by Alistair Lyon; Editing by Jon Hemming)
DUBAI – Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad enjoys the support of his people and can continue to count on his ally Iran as he battles an armed rebellion in his country, a senior Iranian official was quoted as saying on Sunday.
ALEPPO, Syria – The United States and Turkey indicated they were studying a range of possible measures over Syria, including a no-fly zone, as battles between rebels and President Bashar al-Assad’s forces shook Aleppo and the heart of Damascus.
Two Syrian journalists have been killed in the capital, Damascus, according to reports from the Syrian state news agency, Sana, and an Arab satellite station.
Sana said its reporter, Ali Abbas, was killed at his residence in the Jdaidet Artouz area. The report blamed an “armed terrorist group” – the regime’s catch-all term for its opponents – but gave no further details.
Al-Arabiya television said on its website that Bara’a Yusuf al-Bushi, a Syrian national and army defector who provided information to the station and several international news organisations, died in a bomb attack while covering a story in al-Tal, a suburb on the northern edge of Damascus.
Both reporters were killed on Saturday, according to the news reports.
There have been several attacks on pro-regime media during Syria‘s 17-month-old uprising against President Bashar al-Assad.
On Saturday, there were two bombings in the capital that brought chaos to some of Damascus’s most exclusive areas in a symbolic blow to Assad.
One blast – from a device planted under a tree – was set off by remote control as a vehicle carrying soldiers passed by in al-Marjeh district. The explosion, which caused no casualties, was about 100 metres from the luxury Four Seasons hotel.
After the blast, gunmen opened fire on civilians “to provoke panic”, the state news agency reported. At the same time, it added a second explosion went off near Tishrin Stadium, less than half a mile away.
Just hours later, Sana said a bus was attacked in a Damascus suburb, killing six passengers travelling from the central province of Hama.
The news agency said security agents were pursuing the attackers in all incidents, referring to them as “terrorists” – the term authorities routinely use for rebels trying to topple Assad’s regime.
Explosions in the capital have become increasingly common as Syria’s civil war escalates.