Thursday 16 August 2012
Syrian Observatory for Human Rights: Final report on documented deaths in Syria for 16/8/2012: Approximately 250 Syrians have been reported, and verified, as dead on (Thursday 16/8/2012).
The dead include 106 unarmed civilians, 69 unidentified bodies, 17 rebel fighters, 4 defected soldiers, and no less than 49 members of the Syrian regular forces.
106 unarmed civilians:
-In Aleppo province 46 civilians were killed. 6 civilians,
-In Reef Dimashq 21 civilians were killed. The bodies of 5 civilians abducted 2 days ago around Dahiyat Suhnaya were found today by the road to Dera’a. A woman and a man were killed in the city of Douma as a result of the bombardment. 1 civilian was killed by a sniper in the town of Misraba, Reef Dimashq. 7 civilians were killed by the bombardment and clashes in the town of al-Dumeir. 1 civilian was killed by a sniper in the city of Dareyya. 1 by the rockets falling on the town of Rankous. 3 children were killed by the bombardment on the town of Irbeen. 1 civilian was found killed in a farm in the town of Sehnaya after being detained by regime forces earlier.
-In Damascus 6 civilians were killed by the bombardment on the Hajar al-Aswad area of Damascus, which is also witnessed intense clashes.
-In Idlib province 10 civilians were killed. 5 civilians (3 men, a girl, and a woman) were killed by the bombardment on the town of Ma’arat Misreen. 2 women were killed by the bombardment on the town of Jerjanaz. 3 civilians from the city of Saraqib, a woman died from sniper wounds, 2 men were killed by regime fire.
- In Deir Izzor Province 7 civilians were killed. 5 were killed in the city, 1 was killed by bombardment, 1 was shot by regime forces, 3 were killed by bombardment and gunfire in the Deir al-A’tiq in the al-Qusoor neighbourhood. 1 was killed by bombardment on the al-Bukamal city. 1 was shot by sniper fire in the Hatla village in Reef Deir Izzor.
- In Homs Province 5 civilians were killed. 1 was killed by bombardment on the al-Rastan city. 1 was shot by sniper fire in the al-Setin street in the city of Homs. 2 were killed in the city of al-Qseir, 1 by bombardment and the other was shot by a military checkpoint. A civilian was shot by sniper fire in the Talkalakh town in Reef Homs.
-In Dera’a Province 5 civilians were killed. 1 was shot by regime forces in the Busra al-Sham town while heading to work. A child was martyred by bombardment on the Naf’a town. A civilian from the Nasib town was shot by sniper fire in the al-Qadam neighbourhood in Damascus. 1 was shot by regime forces in the al-Ghara al-Gharbiya town. A civilian from the Nawa town was found dead in the A’abdin area in Reef Dera’a.
- In Hama Province 6 civilians were killed. A child was martyred by bombardment on the al-Latamna town. 2 young girls were shot by regime forces in the al-Shir village. 2 were shot by regime forces, 1 from the Taman’a al-Ghab town, the other is from the city of Hama. A civilian from the Tibet al-Iman died from wounds he received earlier.
Information received indicates that 6 civilians were killed by bombardment on the Tariq al-Bab in the city of Aleppo.
***65 unidentified corpses were found in the town of Qatana. 3 other unidentified corpses were found in the al-Basatin area between Daraya and Ma’adamiya al-Sham.***
17 Rebel fighters:
Idlib province: 6 rebels killed. A rebel leader died from wounds received during clashes. A rebel fighter was killed by regime fire in the town of Salqin. 1 from earlier wounds in the city of Idlib, received during clashes by the Bab al-Hawa area. 2 by clashes with regime forces in Idlib city. 1 from the province was shot dead by regime forces in Damascus.
Aleppo province: 5 rebel fighters were killed. 3 rebels during clashes in the Tariq al-Bab neighbourhood. 2 killed by clashes with pro-regime gunmen in the al-Mansoora neighbourhood.
Damascus: 2 rebel fighters were killed during the intense clashes in the Hajar al-Aswad area.
Dera Province: 2 rebel fighters were killed. An insurgent from the Jadiya village was killed during clashes in Damascus, the other was killed by an ambush set up by regime forces in the al-Na’ima town.
Reef Dimashq province: 2 rebel fighters were killed by clashes and bombardment in the town of al-Dumeir.
3 defected soldiers were killed during clashes with regime forces in Reef Homs, Reef Idlib and Reef Dimashq. A defected sergeant was killed during clashes with regime forces in Aleppo.
At least 49 regime forces were killed by the targeting of machinery and security centers and by clashes in the provinces of Dera’a, Reef Dimashq, Damascus, Deir Izzor, Aleppo, Idlib and Homs.
[local time] 22:04 Ten executed bodies were found in Jdeidet Artouz near Damascus, Al-Jazeera television quoted activists as saying.
21:46 Thursday’s death toll in Syria has risen to 197, Al-Arabiya television quoted activists as saying.
20:05 Thursday’s death toll in Syria rises to 179, Al-Arabiya television quoted activists as saying.
19:13 German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle held talks with a prominent member of the Syrian opposition Thursday on the sidelines of a meeting on hopes for a democratic transition in the country.
19:02 The UN Security Council on Thursday ordered the end of the UN observer mission in Syria but backed calls for a political office to remain in Damascus.
18:29 Syrian forces shelled Baaedeen neighborhood in Aleppo, killing and wounding people, Al-Jazeera television reported.
17:51 Sixty dead bodies were found in the city of Qatna near Damascus, Al-Arabiya television quoted activists saying.
17:42 Maher al-Assad, brother of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, lost a leg in the attack that targeted top security officials in Damascus in July, Reuters reported on Thursday.
17:30 Syrian General Yuaarab al-Sharaa, cousin of Vice President Farouq al-Sharaa, has defected, New TV reported Thursday.
17:06 Thursday’s death toll in Syria has risen to 90 people, Al-Jazeera television quoted activists as saying.
16:58 French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said on Thursday President Bashar al-Assad was “butchering his own people” as Syrian refugees urged Paris to help them fight.
16:39 Thursday’s death toll in Syria has reached 158, Al-Arabiya television quoted activists as saying.
16:30 Syrian regime forces’ warplanes shelled Maarat Masrin in Edleb, razing its houses to the ground, Al-Arabiya quoted activists as saying.
16:26 Syria’s embattled President Bashar al-Assad issued a surprise decree Thursday appointing three new ministers, state television said, in a reshuffle following the defection of his former premier.
16:06 Dozens of casualties were reported in Al-Damir in the Damascus district, Al-Arabiya quoted activists as saying.
14:50 Syrian forces killed 35 people in Aleppo’s Qadi Aaskar, Al-Arabiya quoted the Syrian National Council as saying.
14:28 China urged Syria envoy Buthaina Shaaban to implement ceasefire and accept mediation, AFP quoted a statement as saying.
14:07 Three people were killed in the shelling of the neighborhood of Al-Hajar al-Aswad in Damascus by regime forces, Al-Arabiya quoted activists as saying.
13:09 Free Syrian Army rebels clashed with regime forces in Damascus’ Al-Hajar al-Aswad, Al-Jazeera quoted activists as saying.
12:51 Iran on Thursday slammed a decision by the Organization of Islamic Cooperation to suspend Syria’s membership, calling the step against its key ally “unfair and unjust.”
12:15 Syrian security forces killed 62 people on Thursday, Al-Arabiya quoted the Local Coordination Committees as saying.
10:59 UN aid chief Valerie Amos said Thursday she was still pushing Damascus to allow international aid organizations to operate in Syria, warning that more than one million Syrians faced “destitution.”
10:24 Syrian security forces’ shelling of Aleppo’s Qadi Aaskar killed 25 people, Al-Arabiya quoted activists as saying.
10:16 About 15 Syrians have died in Turkish hospitals of their wounds from an air strike after 100 were sent across the border for treatment following the attack, a Turkish official said Thursday.
8:20 A Syrian envoy in Beijing for talks with Chinese officials has praised her host’s attitude to her country, contrasting it with that of Western powers, in comments published Thursday.
8:13 The United States commended Muslim states for suspending Syria’s membership in the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, saying it sent a “strong message” to President Bashar al-Assad’s regime.
The United Nations has called an end to its military observer mission in Syria, days before its mandate expired.
A small, civilian office will be set up instead to maintain political contacts.
“The conditions to continue [the mission] were not filled,” France’s UN ambassador Gerard Araud said after a Security Council meeting.
The UN mission had been part of envoy Kofi Annan’s six-point peace plan. But continued violence made the observers’ mission increasingly difficult.
A bomb exploded close to their hotel in Damascus on Wednesday. The observers’ patrols were suspended in mid-June because of the “significant risk to their lives” and diplomats said the conditions for renewing their mandate – a halt to the use of heavy weapons and a reduction in violence – had not been met.
“So the mission will come to an end at midnight on Sunday,” said Mr Araud, the current president of the Security Council.
Russia warned earlier that pulling out of Syria would have “serious negative consequences” for the region.Moscow’s UN envoy Vitaly Churkin said Russia, which has vetoed three UN Security Council resolutions on Syria, wanted the UN to make an international appeal for the Syrian conflict to end.
Mr Annan resigned as UN-Arab League envoy to Syria a fortnight ago, complaining of a “clear lack of unity” in the Security Council.
UN officials are hoping that veteran envoy Lakhdar Brahimi, who has previously served in Afghanistan and Iraq, will take over as international mediator, but with a different mandate.
Although the 101 remaining military observers will leave Damascus over the next eight days, a civilian liaison office is due to remain.
An estimated 20 to 30 people would staff the liason office, UN deputy peacekeeping chief Edmond Mulet said.
“The situation on the ground is extremely difficult. But the fact that it’s difficult doesn’t mean we shouldn’t face that challenge of trying to open those political spaces in the future,” he told reporters at the UN.
Mr Churkin said Russia had called for a meeting on Friday of Security Council members as well as representatives from Saudi Arabia and Iran to discuss the crisis.
Bakery queue shelledA queue of people was hit by shells in Syria’s second city, Aleppo
The 300-member UN Supervision Mission in Syria(Unsmis) was set up in April, initially under a 90-day mandate, to monitor a halt to violence and the implementation of Kofi Annan’s plan.
When the 90 days expired, its mandate was extended by a further 30 days in July, despite patrols coming to an end on 16 June because of the increasing bloodshed throughout Syria.
The patrols had become increasingly risky, as monitors faced stone-throwing crowds and gunfire.
According to UN figures, more than 18,000 lives have been lost since the uprising began in March 2011.
Activists said another 200 people were killed in violence across Syria on Thursday.
At least 36 deaths were reported when a queue of people was hit by shells outside a bakery in the Qadi Askar area of eastern Aleppo.
Unverified video footage emerged on activist websites showing several bodies lying in the street as local people rushed to take the wounded away for medical treatment.
Details are still emerging of an attack by warplanes on Wednesday on a rebel-held town some 30 miles north of Aleppo and close to the Turkish border.
An estimated 20 homes collapsed in the attack and at least 40 people were killed. More than 80 of the wounded were treated in a Turkish hospital where at least 13 of them died.
The extent of casualties cannot be confirmed as the movements of international journalists are severely restricted in Syria.
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Veteran Algerian diplomat Lakhdar Brahimi has agreed to replace Kofi Annan as the international mediator on Syria, though he intends to take a fresh approach as the 17-month-old conflict slips deeper into civil war, U.N. sources said on Thursday
Annan, a former U.N. secretary-general and Nobel Peace Prize laureate, is stepping down at the end of August after six months in the job. He said his Syria peace plan was hampered by a divided and deadlocked U.N. Security Council.
Diplomats told Reuters that Brahimi, who had been undecided for days about whether to accept the offer of the post from U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, did not want to be seen as a mere replacement of Annan but wanted a reconfigured title and fresh approach to his mandate as a peace broker.
“He has agreed to take the post but with an amended title; he has new ideas about the approach to take,” a U.N. source told Reuters on condition of anonymity, adding that Ban accepted that. Two Security Council diplomats confirmed the remarks.
U.N. officials said it was not clear when an official announcement would be made. Annan’s title was joint special envoy for the United Nations and Arab League.
It remains unclear what Brahimi’s formal link with the Arab League, if any, will be, diplomats said. They said Brahimi would be based in New York, unlike Annan, who is based in Geneva.
Syria had only accepted Annan as a U.N. representative of the United Nations, not the Arab League, which suspended Syria’s membership due to the escalating violence between forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and rebels determined to oust him.
Brahimi, a veteran U.N. troubleshooter, has demanded “strong support” from the Security Council for efforts to secure a negotiated peace, envoys said.
A source familiar with the situation said that if Brahimi took the job as the new U.N.-Arab League mediator, he would not continue with Annan’s “failed approach” to the conflict but would seek a fresh strategy.
Many U.N. diplomats say that Annan’s six-point peace plan remains a good departure point for any mediation effort.
Last week Brahimi made clear he wanted an end to the international deadlock on Syria.
“The U.N. Security Council and regional states must unite to ensure that a political transition can take place as soon as possible,” Brahimi said in a statement published on the website of The Elders, an independent group of global leaders committed to peace and human rights.
“Millions of Syrians are clamoring for peace,” Brahimi said. “World leaders cannot remain divided any longer, over and above their cries.”
Annan was frustrated with the deadlock between the five permanent Security Council members. Russia, backed by China, repeatedly vetoed Western- and Arab-backed resolutions that criticized Damascus and threatened it with sanctions, saying the United States, Europe and Gulf Arabs were seeking regime change.
The Western powers have in turn accused Russia, Syria’s top arms supplier and staunch ally, of propping up Assad’s government in Damascus. They have also accused Syria’s ally Iran of providing military aid to Assad.
The United States, envoys say, saw little point in replacing Annan and has stepped up non-lethal support to the rebels.
Brahimi, 78, has served as a U.N. special envoy in a series of challenging circumstances, including in Iraq after the U.S. invasion that toppled Saddam Hussein; in Afghanistan both before and after the end of Taliban rule, and in South Africa as it emerged from the apartheid era.
(Editing by David Brunnstrom)
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