Thursday 19 July 2012
Syrian Observatory for Human Rights: First city in Syria to fall in the hands of the uprising without violence - Aleppo province: Members of the Kurdish Popular Defence Committees have taken over the city of Kobany (Ein al-Arab) without resorting to violence. Members of the regime’s security forces retreated out of all their stations and posts in the city after they were warned by the committees. This makes Kobani the first city to be freed from the regime’s grip without any violence.
More than 250 Syrians have been killed today (Thursday 19/7/2012)
114 Unarmed civilians:
-In Damascus 6 killed. 3 civilians killed by the bombardment and gunfire in al-Qaboun. 1 in al-Qadam. 2 by gunfire in the al-Jobar neighbourhood. 1 by the bombardment n Kafarsouseh. 1 killed in Barzeh al-Balad. 2 killed in the al-Midan neighbourhood
-In Reef Dimashq 31 killed. 1 by regime fire in al-Tel. No less than 20 people, including a woman and a child, were killed by the mortar attacks on Irbeen. 4 killed by the bombardment on Dahiyat Qudsiyya. A child was killed by a car-bomb in the town of Jdeida al-Khas. 2 civilians were killed by regime fire in the town of Yabrud. 1 killed by regime fire in douma. 1 civilian was killed in the town of Ein Terma. 1 civilian killed by regime fire in douma. A 15-year-old boy was killed in the town of Madaya.
-In Dera’a 5 killed. 4 people were killed by gunfire and mortars on the Dera’a al-Balad neighbourhood. A child was killed by regime fire in the town of Tafs. 1 civilian was killed by regime fire in the town of Nafi’a. 3 civilians were killed by the bombardment on Da’el, Reef Dera’a.
-In Homs province 13 civilians killed. 5 civilians were killed in the al-Quseir area: 3, including a retired colonel, were killed by snipers, 2 by the regime bombardment on the area, who clashed with rebels in the area. 1 killed by clashes in the Khaldiya neighbourhood of Homs. 1 by the bombardment of Thariyat al-Mawj. 1 civilian was killed by pro-regime gunmen after they kidnapped him from the town of Kadesh. 6 civilians, including a citizen journalist, were killed by the bombardment and gunfire on the Khaldiya, al-Qusoor, Deir Ba’alba, and al-Qarabees neighbourhoods of Homs.
-In Aleppo province, 1 civilian was killed by the bombardment on the city of al-Bab.
-In Suweida’ province 2 civilians were killed by the gunfire in the town of al-Qurba.
-In Idlib province 15 killed. 1 by the midnight bombardment on the town of Talmnis. An unidentified body was found killed near the pressing plant in the village of Mahambal. 4 civilians from the villages of Salqin and al-Duweila were shot dead by regime forces. A civilian was killed by the bombardment on Jabal al-Zawiya. No less than 13 people, including a woman and 2 children, were killed by the bombardment on Saraqib, many more have been injured.
-In Deir Izzor 6 civilians were killed. 3 workers were killed on their way home when the sugar factory bus, which was transporting them, was attacked. A child was killed when a rocket fell on the Jubeila neighbourhood of Deir Izzor. 1 killed by the bombardment on Reef al-Mayadeen. 1 by the bombardment on the city of Muhassan.
-In Hama province 9 civilians were killed. 1 from Qastoun, killed by excessive torture after being detained yesterday in Reef Idlib. 4 killed by the bombardment on al-Latamneh, Karnaz, Sahl al-Ghab and Kafarzeita. A body was found in the fields of al-Qusei’a. 3 people were killed by the gunfire in the city of Hama. 3 civilians, including a child, were killed by the bombardment on the town of Hayaleen. 2 civilians were summarily executed by a military checkpoint in the town.
41 Rebel fighters killed:
Damascus: 5 rebel fighters killed. 1 killed was killed by sniper in Basateen al-Mezzeh. 3 killed during the clashes and bombardment in al-Qaboun. 1 killed in al-Zahira al-Jedeedeh.
Reef Dimashq: 13 rebel fighters killed. 3 killed by gunfire in al-Tel. 1 rebel fighter was killed by regime fire in Douma. 5 fighters were killed during clashes and bombardment in the city of al-Zabadani. 3 killed in Yabrud. 1 killed in Douma.
Homs prov: 6 rebel fighters killed. 5, including a rebel commander, were killed when their car was targeted by attack helicopters in the east of the city of Hama. 1 killed in clashes in the town of Talbiseh.
Aleppo prov: 7 rebel fighters were killed by the bombardment on Saraqib.
Deir Izzor prov: No less than 10, most of them rebel fighters, were killed by a military attack on them in the al-Ummal neighbourhood of Deir Izzor.
A defected soldier was killed in Hama. A defected soldier in Deir Izzor. A defected soldier was killed in al-Rastan when a rocket fell on his motorbike.
No less than 93 members of the Syrian armed forces were killed during attacks on regime forces’ centers and by violent clashes in the provinces of Aleppo, Damascus, Reef Dimashq, Dera’a, Idlib, Homs, Hama and Deir Izzor.
[local time] 22:22 The Free Syrian Army took control of Yabroud and Al-Damir near Damascus, Al-Arabiya television reported.
22:05 The Free Syrian Army took control of the “political security” headquarters in Al-Tal city near Damascus, Al-Arabiya television reported.
22:03 The United Nations on Thursday sent its top military official to Syria to take charge of an observer mission as the UN Security Council wrangled over the future of the operation.
21:51 The Free Syrian Army took control of Jarablos border crossing to Turkey, Al-Arabiya television reported.
21:22 Nearly 19,000 Syrians, many from the capital Damascus, have fled from violence at home across the border into Lebanon since Wednesday, a Lebanese security source said.
21:21 Thursday’s death toll in Syria has risen to 138 people, Al-Jazeera television quoted the Syrian Network for Human Rights as saying.
21:16 Syrian rebels took control of all border crossings between Iraq and Syria on Thursday, Baghdad’s deputy interior minister told AFP.
20:53 Clashes broke out between the Syrian regime’s forces and rebels at the Bab al-Hawa border crossing, Al-Jazeera television quoted activists as saying.
20:28 The United States condemned Thursday the “highly regrettable decision” of China and Russia to veto a UN Security Council resolution threatening sanctions against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
20:03 UN-Arab League envoy Kofi Annan is “disappointed” at the UN Security Council’s failure to press for an end of the Syria conflict, his spokesperson said after Russia and China vetoed a resolution proposing sanctions against the government.
19:53 The Free Syrian Army took control of three border crossings along Turkish-Syrian and Iraqi-Syrian borders, Al-Arabiya television reported.
19:51 Turkey’s foreign minister said Thursday the Syrian regime bore responsibility for the Damascus bombing that killed three top security officials, because of the escalating violence in the country.
19:39 Syrian rebels have seized control of a Turkish border crossing, AFP report a rights group as saying Thursday.
19:37 Al-Arabiya television station said there were reports that the Al-Boukmal border crossing, located along the Syrian-Iraqi border, fell into the hands of the Free Syrian Army.
19:27 Al-Arabiya television is broadcasting live footage of the Free Syrian Army’s takeover of Bab al-Hawa border crossing along the Syrian-Turkish border.
19:18 The Syrian regime is in its last days, the head of the main exiled opposition group said on Thursday, warning that a veto by Russia and China at the United Nations could have “disastrous” consequences.
19:13 National carrier Royal Jordanian (RJ) said on Thursday it has suspended flights to the Syrian capital Damascus and the northern city of Aleppo over the unrest in the neighboring country.
19:09 Thousands of Iraqi families crossed from Syria back into their home country on Thursday after the government appealed for them to return to avoid escalating violence in Iraq’s western neighbor.
19:06 Russia on Thursday accused Western nations of seeking to use a proposed UN Security Council on Syria to justify military intervention in the country.
19:02 Regime troops stormed the Damascus district of Qaboon with tanks on Thursday for the first time, five days on from the outbreak of fierce clashes in the capital, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.
18:59 The United States said Thursday that the UN Security Council has “utterly failed” on Syria and that it will now work outside of the council to confront President Bashar al-Assad.
18:30 Al-Arabiya television is broadcasting live footage of the Syrian forces’ shelling of Harasta and Arbaeen near Damascus.
18:24 For the first time in decades, the eve of Ramadan in Syria’s capital is overshadowed by fear. Panic has engulfed the city amid unprecedented combat after a bombing killed three top officials.
17:38 Syrian President Bashar al-Assad was in the presidential palace in Damascus on Thursday, a close aide told AFP, as speculation about his whereabouts spread after his silence over a deadly bombing.
17:34 Russia and China have vetoed a Syrian sanctions resolution at the UN, AFP reported Thursday.
17:07 The Organization of Islamic Cooperation urged Syria’s leaders Thursday to make “sacrifices” to avoid civil war as violence surged after a Damascus bombing killed three top officials.
17:02 Syrian forces shelled Deir az-Zour’s Omal neighborhood, killing 20 people, the General Commission of the Syrian Revolution said.
16:55 The EU is preparing more Syrian sanctions and a stronger arms embargo, AFP reported diplomats as saying Thursday.
16:19 Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s mother and sister have gone to Tartus province for the funeral of his brother-in-law Assef Shawkat who was killed in Wednesday’s Damascus bomb, a security source told AFP.
16:15 Syrian rebels tightened their control over the town of Menbej near Aleppo, Al-Arabiya television reported.
15:47 Syrian forces shelled the area of Zabadani on Thursday, killing and wounding people, Al-Arabiya television quoted the Local Coordination Committees as saying.
15:28 Thursday’s death toll in Syria has risen to 77 people, Al-Arabiya television quoted the Local Coordination Committees as saying.
15:06 Clashes broke out in Sayyida Zaynab neighborhood near Damascus, Al-Arabiya television reported.
14:47 China on Thursday strongly condemned a suicide bombing in Syria that killed senior regime officials and urged all sides in the bloody conflict to end violence.
14:38 The Philippines is dispatching a team to Syria to bring home as many as 9,000 Filipinos still in that country amidst the worsening security situation there, the Foreign Department said Thursday.
14:28 Wednesday’s Damascus blast marked the “beginning of the end of [Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s] regime,” AFP quoted the Syrian National Council as saying.
14:18 The death toll in Syria rose to 57 people, Al-Arabiya quoted the Local Coordination Committees as saying.
14:12 Heavy clashes erupted in the area surrounding the towns of Quneitra Governorate, Al-Arabiya reported.
14:05 Al-Jazeera broadcasts live footage of an anti-regime protest in Yabrud near Damascus.
14:04 Syrian President Bashar al-Assad kept silent on Thursday a day after an attack on a security headquarters in Damascus killed three top regime officials, including his brother-in-law Assef Shawkat.
13:34 The Free Syrian Army thwarted the Syrian army’s attempt to storm Talbisa and Rastan in the Homs governorate, Al-Arabiya reported.
13:27 Eighteen bodies were found near Damascus’ southern bridge, Al-Arabiya quoted activists as saying on Thursday.
13:24 Syrian regime forces shelled the Daraa town of Muzeirib, Al-Arabiya quoted the Local Coordination Committees as saying.
13:32 Vice President Tareq al-Hashemi, who faces charges of running a death squad, said Thursday he will meet with defected Syrian envoy Nawaf Fares soon over his claims Damascus helped insurgents enter Iraq.
12:56 Hundreds of Damascus residents fled from clashes and army shelling of several districts of the embattled Syrian capital Thursday, a rights watchdog reported, as the military gave them two days to get out.
12:38 British Prime Minister David Cameron said Thursday it was time for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to go to prevent civil war in the country.
12:29 Around ten military vehicles and 300 regime troops raided Al-Midan neighborhood in Damascus, Al-Jazeera reported.
12:08 Thursday’s death toll in Syria has risen to 46, Al-Jazeera quoted rights groups as saying.
11:35 Syria is not on track for peace and violence is escalating, the chief of the UN monitoring group said on Thursday, as clashes rocked Damascus a day after three top regime officials died in a bombing.
11:05 Shelling of the Mezze neighborhood of Damascus resumed on Thursday, Al-Arabiya quoted activists as saying.
10:54 Syrian regime helicopters shelled Al-Qabun neighborhood in Damascus, Al-Arabiya quoted activists as saying.
9:12 Syrian regime forces killed 13 people across Syria on Thursday, Al-Arabiya quoted activists as saying.
8:56 The UN Security Council has expressed “grave concern” about cross-border attacks on Lebanon from Syria.
8:37 UN chief Ban Ki-moon and international envoy Kofi Annan called on the UN Security Council to take strong action on the Syria conflict ahead of a vote Thursday on a western-backed resolution calling for sanctions.
8:33 More than 200 people, mostly civilians, were killed on Wednesday in violence across Syria, including 38 in Damascus where armed rebels are pressing an all-out offensive, a monitoring group said.
8:29 UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon urged the Security Council to “shoulder its responsibility” on the eve of Thursday’s scheduled vote on possible sanctions against Bashar al-Assad’s Syrian regime.
8:19 The king of Jordan warned Wednesday that his northern neighbor Syria was on the brink of all-out civil war and that in a worst-case scenario, chemical weapons could fall into the hands of Al-Qaeda.
8:04 Russian President Vladimir Putin agreed Wednesday in a phone call with President Barack Obama to work with the United States to find a solution to the crisis in Syria, the White House said.
7:38 Free Syrian Army troops clash with regime forces near government offices in Mezze, Damascus, Al-Arabiya quoted activists as saying.
BBC: Syria rebels seize border posts
Syrian rebels capture a number of positions on the country’s borders with Turkey and Iraq as the army concentrates on the battle for Damascus.
Syrian rebels have captured a number of positions on the country’s borders with Turkey and Iraq.
A senior Iraqi official said all the crossings on Syria’s eastern frontier had been seized. At one point, two Turkish posts were also in rebel hands.
The push came a day after a bomb claimed the lives of three senior defence officials in Damascus.
The first images of President Assad since the attack have appeared, largely ending rumours he might have been hurt.
The footage appeared to show Gen Fahd Jassim al-Furayj, chief of staff of the armed forces, being sworn into his new post.
The rebels, perhaps sensing that the regime was too preoccupied with the escalating battle for the capital, stormed all the posts on the Iraqi border, the BBC’s Jim Muir in neighbouring Lebanon says.
The major Abu Kamal crossing on the Euphrates river in the east was captured after a clash with government forces, opposition activists said.
More than 20 Syrian soldiers and their commander were killed when a remote army outpost in the far north-east was attacked, Associated Press news agency reported.
Iraq’s government, seen as sympathetic to President Bashar al-Assad, has threatened to shut its side of the border and one official told Reuters news agency that it was closing the Abu Kamal crossing.
On the frontier with Turkey, too, rebels were said to have taken control of two posts, at Bab al-Hawa and Jarablus.
Video from the Bab al-Hawa crossing in Idlib province soon emerged of rebels defacing a portrait of President Assad, but they later reportedly withdrew from the position.
For four days, rebels have been involved in clashes in areas of the capital as they push their “Damascus volcano” operation against Syrian armed forces.
The deaths of three top security officials has led to a mobilisation of government troops in an attempt to drive the rebels out of the city.
The president’s brother-in-law, the defence minister and head of the government’s crisis team were killed by a bomb as they attended a meeting at the national security headquarters.
Tanks and armoured vehicles were reported to have moved into Qaboun on Thursday, close to the centre of Damascus.
There were heavy casualties, activists said, as a result of an army bombardment of Zamalka in the eastern outskirts of Damascus.
The London-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights put the number of fatalities across the country on Thursday at 250.
The pace of events in Syria was in marked contrast to the diplomatic stalemate at the UN Security Council, where Russia and China vetoed a Western resolution calling for tougher sanctions on Damascus.
Although the US says it might consider a brief addition to the monitoring mission, White House spokesman Jay Carney said Washington did not back sending in unarmed UN employees “when there’s no mechanism within the resolution to create consequences for the regime”.
Analysis Laura Trevelyan, BBC News, New York
The mood inside the Security Council chamber was acrimonious after China and Russia vetoed the resolution. Britain’s ambassador accused the two nations of protecting a brutal regime by their actions. America’s ambassador said the council had failed utterly in the most important task on its agenda.
China’s ambassador denounced what he called an uneven resolution which placed pressure on one side, while Russia’s representative claimed the resolution would have opened the path to military involvement in Syria’s affairs.
Now negotiations are under way to try to extend the mandate of the UN monitoring mission in Syria which is due to expire on Friday.
The mission is supposed to monitor a ceasefire and support a political process – neither of which exist. So the UK is proposing a 30 day “final” extension.
Under the Western-backed plan, the Damascus government would have been threatened with non-military sanctions under Chapter Seven of the UN Charter if it failed to move troops and heavy weapons from populated areas.
But the use of Chapter Seven paved the way for “external military involvement in Syrian domestic affairs”, Russia’s UN ambassador Vitaly Churkin argued.
The UK, US and France said the UN had failed the people of Syria and UK Foreign Secretary William Hague condemned the use of the veto as “inexcusable and indefensible”.
The Security Council still has to decide whether to renew the mandate of the 300-strong UN observer mission in Syria, due to end on Friday, and talks on a possible compromise resolution have begun.
The UK is said to be proposing an extension for a “final 30 days”.
U.N. impasse leaves U.S. scrambling for Syria options
WASHINGTON – Beaten back by a double veto at the United Nations, the United States on Thursday sought to rescue its Syria strategy amid fears that the crisis was lurching into a dangerous endgame…
20,000 Syrians cross into Lebanon after violence
BEIRUT – About 20,000 Syrians have travelled across the main border crossing into Lebanon over the past 24 hours, a Lebanese security source working at the border said, after heavy fighting tore through several districts of Damascus.