Thursday 6 September 2012
Syrian Observatory for Human Rights More than 26,000 Syrians killed since the beginning of the uprising
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights has documented the death of 26424 people:
- 18807 civilians (includes both unarmed civilians and those who decided to take up arms)
- 1081 defected officers and soldiers
- 6536 members of the Syrian armed and security forces
Many dead and injured by attack on Kurdish neighbourhood in Aleppo.
Final death toll for Thursday 6/9/2012: Approximately 224 Syrians have been killed
The dead include 108 unarmed civilians, 19 rebel fighters , 4 members of the popular committees, 6 defected soldiers, and 42 members of the Syrian regular forces.
**There are reports that 23 unidentified bodies, including those of women and children, were found in the town of Zamalka, Reef Dimashq. Also that 22 u
108 Unarmed civilians (14 were children):
-In Aleppo province 42 civilians were killed. 1 civilian was killed by a sniper in the al-Ansari neighbourhood of Aleppo. 18 civilians were killed by the explosions in the, mostly Kurdish, Sheikh Maqsoud neighbourhood of Aleppo. 3 civilians were killed by a sniper in the Sleiman al-Halabi neighbourhood. 4 civilians (2 women, a child and a man) were killed by the bombardment on the Qadi Askar and Hanano neighbourhoods. 2 civilians were killed by the bombardment on the towns of Deir Hafir and Darat Izza. The SOHR documented the names of 2 civilians, one of them a child, who were killed 2 days ago by the bombardment on the town of Khan Touman, Reef Aleppo. **12 civilians, including 4 women and 2 children, were documented as killed several days ago in the neighbourhoods of Sa’d and al-Kalasa in the city of Aleppo. **
-In Reef Dimashq 30 civilians were killed. 9 civilians, including a child, were killed by the regime bombardment on the towns of Deir al-Asafir, al-Maliha, al-Tel, and Zebdeen. 3 civilians were shot and killed by a military checkpoint in the town of Beit Sahm. 5 were killed by the bombardment on Douma, Bebeila and Artouz. A woman died of her wounds in the city of Darayya; 1 civilian was shot dead by regime forces in the city. Another civilian from Darayya was found killed after his forced dissappearance on the Suhnaya road. 1 died of wounds in Yabrud. 1 was killed by the regime fire in Jisr al-Nabek, Reef Dimashq. **8 unidentified bodies were found in the towns of Mou’adamiya, al-Maliha and Darayya.**
-In Damascus Province 10 civilians were killed. 7 were killed by bombardment in Mokhayam al-Yarmuk. 2 civilians from the al-Qadam neighbourhood were killed after being kidnapped by a military checkpoint in the Dera’a-Damascus road. A civilian was shot by regime forces in the Jobar neighbourhood in Damascus.
-In Deir Izzor province 7 civilians have been killed. 3 were killed in the city of Deir Izzor: A civilian woman was shot in the al-Matar al-Qadeem neighbourhood. A little girl was killed by bombardment on the al-Jura neighbourhood. and a child was shot by sniper fire at the al-Bareed checkpoint in the city. 3 children were killed by bombardment on the Sfeerat Tahtani town in Reef Deir Izzor. 1 civilian from the al-Quriya town was killed when regime forces targeted the car he was riding in. The name of a young man killed 10 days ago by regime forces in Deir Izzor was only documented today by the SOHR.
-In Hama Province 5 civilians were killed. 2 children were killed by a hand-grenade explosion in the al-Salamiya town. A woman was killed by bombardment on the al-Tweeni village. A civilian was hit by regime forces machinery in the al-Jarjasiya village. A civilian from the city of Hama was killed under torture.
-In Dera’a Province 6 cvilians were killed. 5, including 2 women were killed by bombardment and gunfire in the al-Jeeza town. 1 civilian was shot by regime forces in the Tal Shhab town in Reef Dera’a.
- In Idlib Province 4 civilians were killed. 2 were killed by bombardment on the town of Ahsem. 1 was killed by bombardment on the al-Taliha village in Reef Idlib. A civilian from the city of M’aret al-Nu’man was killed by krapnels from mortar shells on the the city of Aleppo.
- In Homs Province 4 civilians were killed. 1 died from wounds he received earlier by bombardment on the Talbisa town. A man and child were killed by bombardment on the Talbisa town. A child was martyred by sniper fire in the al-Ghouta neighbourhood in the city of Homs.
19 Rebel fighters:
Hama Province: 4 fighters were killed. 2 fighters were killed by bombardment and gunfire in the towns of Kafar Zeita and Halfaya in Reef Hama. 2 rebel fighters were killed by regime forces gunfire and bombardment by armered vehicles in the Tareeq Aleppo neighbourhood.
Idlib Province: 4 rebel fighters were killed. A rebel fighter was killed during clashes in the Ariha town. 2 rebel fighters were killed by bombardment and gun fire in the city of Idlib. A rebel fighter from the town of Kafr-tkharim was shot by regime forces in the Babila town in Reef Dimashq.
Dera’a Province: 3 rebel fighters were killed by an ambush regime forces had planned for them near the Saida town.
Deir Izzor Province: 3 killed. 2 fighters, one of them a leader of an armed rebel batallion, were killed by an ambush regime forces had planned for them. 1 fighter was killed by the bombardment in the city of Deir Izzor.
Homs Province: 2 rebel fighters were killed during clashes with regime forces in the Qal’et al-Madiq town.
Damascus: The leader of an armed battalion was killed during clashes with regime forces in the al-Tadamun neighbourhood
Latakia province: a rebel fighter was killed during clashes with regime forces in Reef Latakia.
Aleppo province: 1 fighter from the town of al-Atareb died of wounds from battle in Harem.
4 members of the armed Popular Committees (pro-regime armed civilians) were killed as a result of the violent clashes this morning in the Qal’at al-Husun and Wadi al-Nasara areas.
6 defected soldiers were killed during clashes with regime forces and bombardment on the province of Aleppo, Hama, Homs and Dimashq.
At least 42 regime forces were killed when regime machinery and checkpoints were attacked and by clashes in the provinces of Homs, Dimashq, Reef Dimashq, Aleppo, Idlib, Deir Izzor and Dera’a.
[local time] 22:10 France and Britain have agreed on the need to speed up the transition from President Bashar al-Assad’s regime in Syria to a new government, French President Francois Hollande said on Thursday.
21:50 Thursday’s death toll in Syria has risen to 130 people, Al-Arabiya quoted activists as saying.
21:14 Pro-regime militiamen joined the army in a battle on Thursday against rebels in the central province of Homs that left at least 13 dead, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported.
19:34 The death toll in Syria has reached 97 on Thursday, Al-Arabiya quoted activists as saying.
18:14 Shelling hits Jabal al-Akrad and Jabal al-Turkman in Syria’s Latakia district, Al-Arabiya quoted activists as saying.
16:37 Casualties were reported in the shelling of Palestine and Yarmouk Palestinian refugee camps in Damascus, Al-Jazeera quoted activists as saying.
16:31 Prime Minister Fayez Tarawaneh said on Thursday the growing influx of Syrian refugees to Jordan was “beyond our capabilities,” expecting even more to join the exodus.
16:06 Syrian rebels shot down a MiG warplane in Abu al-Dohour airport in Edleb, Al-Jazeera television quoted activists as saying on Thursday.
16:03 Thursday’s death toll in Syria has risen to 81 people, most of them killed in Damascus, Hasaka and Daraa, Al-Jazeera television quoted the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights as saying.
15:54 Lebanon’s Maronite Christian Patriarch Bechara Boutros al-Rai told AFP on Thursday that Syria’s Christians do not support the Syrian regime, but they do want stability in the war-torn country.
14:12 Thursday’s death toll has increased to 60, Al-Arabiya quoted activists as saying.
14:03 Twenty three people were found dead in the town of Zamalka near Damascus, Al-Arabiya television quoted activists as saying on Thursday.
13:30 Thursday’s death toll in Syria has risen to 31 people, Al-Arabiya television quoted activists as saying.
13:13 A YouTube video purportedly filmed in Syria’s Soueida on Wednesday shows anti-Syrian regime protesters. One protester is heard reading a statement condemning the Syrian regime’s raids in the area and accusing some officials, including Lebanese Tawhid Party leader Wiam Wahhab, of “arming underage people.” The phrase “Daraa, forgive us for our slackness,” is seen written on one of the placards held by the protesters who also commended the Syrian rebels.
13:11 The Syrian Foreign Ministry denounced Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi’s statements during the Arab League’s foreign ministers meeting in Cairo on Wednesday, and said they were “flagrant interferences” in Syrian affairs.
13:05 Thursday’s death toll in Syria has risen to 22 people, most of them killed on Homs, Deir az-Zour, Hama and some Damascus neighborhoods, Al-Jazeera television quoted activists as saying.
12:24 The two kidnapped brothers of a Syrian rebel commander were killed on Thursday as battles raged between rebels and army forces in several districts of Damascus.
11:48 Syrian helicopters shelled Damascus’ neighborhood of Al-Tadamon, Al-Jazeera quoted activists as saying.
11:33 Syrian regime forces killed 15 people on Thursday, Al-Arabiya television quoted activists as saying.
11:11 Russian President Vladimir Putin urged Western and Arab powers Thursday to reassess their stance on Syria and ensure the security of its current leadership in any power transition process.
11:03 Syrian regime forces shelled the Damascus neighborhoods of Al-Qadam and Hajjar al-Aswad on Thursday, Al-Jazeera television quoted activists as saying.
9:00 MORNING LEADER: Arab foreign ministers denounced “crimes against humanity” in Syria on Wednesday, calling on the government to stop the violence immediately, as rebel fighting to oust President Bashar al-Assad announced plans to reform and stem the proliferation of militias in the hope of winning support from the international community which has been reluctant to arm them.
8:17 The United States on Wednesday urged Iraq to ensure that Iranian planes flying over its territory land and face cargo inspections, amid concerns Tehran is shipping arms to the Syrian regime.
8:05 Syrian forces shelled Damascus’ neighborhood of Al-Qadam and clashed with Free Syrian Army members, Al-Jazeera reported.
Soldiers, backed by at least 20 tanks, mounted the assault on the town of Tal Shehab, according to opposition groups.
The town had been in the hands of anti-government rebels and is a crossing point for refugees fleeing to Jordan.
Fighting was also reported elsewhere, including the Yarmouk Palestinian refugee camp near Damascus.
Activists and residents said there had been shelling in Yarmouk, with at least five people killed and several injured.
Video footage uploaded by activists purporting to show the aftermath of the shelling showed several badly damaged buildings.
The Local Co-ordination Committees (LCC), a network of opposition activists inside Syria, said that at least 67 people had been killed on Thursday, mostly in Damascus and the surrounding area.
Ten people were killed in the eastern city of Deir ez-Zor and eight in Deraa, the LCC said.
Tal Shehab has been a staging post for many of the refugees fleeing Syria into Jordan.
Activists said that homes were raided and residents detained during the attack on the town.
Jordan says up to 183,000 Syrians have entered the country since the uprising began – earlier this week authorities reported arrivals at the rate of about 1,000 a day.
Jordanian Prime Minister Fawaz Tarawneh raised the issue of international assistance for Jordan at a press conference with the visiting Cypriot president.The Jordanian government has appealed for international help to deal with Syrian refugees
“The numbers [of Syrian refugees] is becoming beyond our capabilities, beyond even our expectations and we expect more as things deteriorate in Syria,” Mr Tarawneh said.
The UN refugee agency said on Tuesday that more than 100,000 Syrians fled the country in August – the highest monthly total since protests against President Bashar al-Assad erupted in March 2011.
More than 230,000 people are now sheltering in neighbouring states.
There are also thought to be more than 1.2 million internally displaced people in Syria, and 2.5 million in need of humanitarian assistance.
On Tuesday, the new UN and Arab League envoy to Syria warned that the situation across the country was “deteriorating steadily”.
“The death toll is staggering, the destruction is reaching catastrophic proportions and the suffering of the people is immense,” Lakhdar Brahimi said in his first address to the UN General Assembly since his appointment.
AHMETBEYLI, Turkey – At least 61 migrants including Palestinians and Syrians, more than half of them children, died after their overcrowded boat sank just tens of meters off Turkey’s western Aegean coast on Thursday, officials said. | Video
Tahsin Kurtbeyoglu, governor of the coastal district of Menderes in Izmir province, told Reuters an initial investigation showed the small vessel sank around dawn due to overcrowding.
Its destination was unclear but the small Turkish town of Ahmetbeyli from where it set out is only a few kilometers from the Greek island of Samos.Greece is a common entry point for migrants trying to get into the European Union.
“The total death toll is 61, including 12 men, 18 women, 28 children and three babies,” the governor’s office in Izmir said in a statement.
Turkish media said the reason the death toll was so high was because the women and children were in a locked compartment in the lower section of the vessel, although there was no official confirmation of this.
Kurtbeyoglu said 46 people had so far been rescued alive, including the ship’s Turkish captain and assistant, who had been placed under arrest. He said there were no bodies left on the boat and he did not expect the death toll to rise any further.
The Izmir governor’s office said the survivors were Palestinian and Syrian nationals and that they had been taken to Ahmetbeyli for health checks. Two people were admitted to hospital.
Turkish media said there were also Iraqis on the boat, although that could not be confirmed.
Turkey’s position as a bridge from Asia to Europe, as well as its wealth compared with neighboring states, has long made it both a destination and a transit point for migrants from the Middle East and as far afield as Africa and South Asia.
Its location also means it is a major destination for human trafficking, according to the International Organization for Migration, which helps governments to combat illegal migration.
SYRIANS AMONG THE MIGRANTS
A record 1,500 migrants, mostly from Africa, died trying to reach European shores last year with uprisings in Tunisia and Libya adding to the numbers, according to the United Nations.
Chaos in Syria has prompted more to flee.
More than 200,000 Syrians have crossed into Jordan, Iraq, Lebanon and especially Turkey since the uprising against President Bashar al-Assad erupted more than 17 months ago.
From there, a determined and usually richer few press on to the EU borders, mainly into Greece, with most hoping for asylum further north.
Turkey is sheltering about 80,000 Syrian refugees near its southeastern border with Syria, several hundred kilometers away on the other side of the country.
Multeci-Der, a Turkish refugee rights group based in Izmir, said Syrians made up a growing portion of illegal migrants being caught in recent weeks in Greece after fleeing from Turkey.
“Asylum procedures must be fair, work quickly and be accessible to people. As long as this is not achieved, those people seeking asylum have no other choice than to be at the mercy of people smugglers,” it said in a statement.
Television footage showed small boats and diving teams searching for survivors just off Ahmetbeyli. The boat sank less than 100 metres (110 yards) from the shore after leaving at around 5:30 a.m. (02:30 GMT), officials said.
The Greek island of Samos is clearly visible from Ahmetbeyli, which lies in a popular coastal region frequented by foreign and Turkish holiday makers.
About 130,000 immigrants cross Greece’s sea and land borders every year, the vast majority via Turkey.
Greece received more than 1,000 migrants by sea last year, according to the United Nations refugee agency (UNHCR). Another 55,000 crossed the land border between Greece and Turkey at Evros, according to Greek government figures.
Greece opened a purpose-built detention centre for illegal migrants in April, the first of about 50 camps that Greek officials have said will be completed by mid-2013.
(Additional reporting and writing by Jonathon Burch in Ankara; Editing by Nick Tattersall and Robin Pomeroy)
Signs Syria used cluster bombs – arms monitor group: LONDON – Syrian government forces have almost certainly used cluster bombs, which kill and maim civilians long after conflicts end, during their crackdown on a 17-month revolt, a disarmament group said on Thursday citing video and photographic evidence.
The Cluster Munition Coalition (CMC) said it had collected pictures and footage from Syrian activists showing fragments of cluster munitions at least two sites in Syria.
The Damascus government has not signed a convention against the weapons, meaning it would not have broken any international laws by using them, said officials the center.
But many humanitarian groups and governments have condemned the use of the munitions, which spray hundreds of small explosives over wide areas of land, where they can lie undetected for months if not years.
“We think the evidence is compelling that the Syrian government forces have used cluster munitions,” Stephen Goose, from both CMC and the campaign group Human Rights Watch, told reporters in London as he launched a report on the use and disposal of the weapons worldwide.
The group could not be 100 percent certain how the bombs were used, as it did not have eye witness accounts of fighting from the sites, it said.
But “cluster munitions are there, there’s no question. They’re cluster munitions that have been used, they haven’t just been pulled out of a warehouse and torn apart with a screwdriver,” said Goose.
Damascus has not made any public comment on whether it uses the bombs, CMC said, urging the Damascus government to confirm or deny the reports.
The group cited videos posted online in July showing cluster munition remnants and bomblets in Jabal Shahshabu, a mountainous area near Hama, a flashpoint city in the uprising against President Bashar al-Assad.
CMC activists identified the remnants of a cluster bomb canister and at least 20 unexploded submunitions, it added in its report.
Human Rights Watch also drew attention to the alleged use of cluster weapons in Hama in July.
Other online footage posted in August showed remnants of cluster munitions in the town of Albu Kamal, a battle-hit Syrian town near the border with Iraq, Goose told Reuters.
France and Britain agree on the need to speed up the transition from President Bashar al-Assad‘s regime in Syria to a new government, French president François Hollande said after a 40-minute meeting withDavid Cameron at the Olympic Park in London.
“David Cameron and I are in total agreement – we must accelerate the political transition [and] help the opposition to form a government,” Hollande said. He also reiterated his promise to recognise a provisional Syrian government so long as the Syrian opposition form one that is inclusive and representative.
Britain accepts there may come a point when such recognition of the disparate opposition is possible, and also accepts that this might in turn helped persuade the Russians to abandon their support for the Assad regime. But Cameron and his advisers still think it is premature to recognise an opposition that remains divided and unable to solve differences between external and internal opposition groups.
Britain has been sending non-lethal communications equipment to the opposition, but has rejected direct military aid. In France, where Hollande is under political pressure from Nicolas Sarkozy, the former French president, to do more, there has been some discussion of sending weapons.
Efforts are being made to structure the Free Syria Army into a more cohesive disciplined force as one way of attracting more defectors from Assad’s army, and ensuring that rival militias do not lead to a divided military operation.
The Arab League is trying to encourage opposition factions to sign up to a common transition plan for a post-Assad Syria but the main exile group, the Syrian National Council, has been reluctant to take part, fearing a dilution of its influence.Both Cameron and Hollande recognised that the longer the military and political stalemate continues in Syria the more innocent civilians will be killed and the greater the risk of the conflict’s implications spreading to elsewhere in the Middle East, especially Lebanon. Cameron has appointed a senior diplomat, John Wilkes, to act as his special envoy with the opposition.
William Hague, the foreign secretary, told MPs this week that he has been repeatedly stressing to Syrian opposition groups “that when a country such as ours faces an existential crisis, such as the last world war, across all parties we come together and sink all differences for the duration of the crisis. Syria is in an existential crisis and that is exactly what they need to do.”
Apart from Syria, the two leaders – who have sparred over Hollande’s domestic tax policies – discussed EU plans for a eurozone banking union due to be published next week, as well as a forthcoming EU summit that will assess the progress Greece is making in meeting its requirements to cut its deficit.
• Government forces have recaptured from rebels a town on the border with Jordan which is used as a transit point by refugees fleeing the country. The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights and local activist Mohammed Abu Houran say hundreds of Syrian soldiers backed by 20 tanks assaulted Tel Chehab on Thursday morning.
• Riad al-Asaad, the Turkish-based commander of the Free Syrian Army, has confirmed he has rejected attempts to reform armed rebels under the banner of the Syrian National Army, according to al-Jazeera’s Rula Amin. In an interview with the Guardian yesterday, Major General Muhammed Hussein al-Haj Ali urged all units of the Free Syrian Army to sign up to the new Syrian National Army.
• The US is questioning Iraq about Iranian flights in Iraqi airspace suspected of ferrying weapons to the Assad regime. Three prominent US senators visiting Baghdad told prime minister Nouri al-Maliki that ties with Washington would be damaged if his government permitted Iran to use its airspace to deliver arms to Syria.
• A refugee boat, which included several Syrians, has sunk off the coast of Turkey killing 58 people. Survivors said the refugees were attempting to make their way to Britain.
• An alleged member of Assad’s militia has been executed by rebels in Aleppo, according to a new video. The video is likely to fuel criticism of rebel human rights abuses in the city.
• Rebels in Aleppo insist they will continue fight the Assad regime in the face of persistent rumours that they are about to withdraw, the LA Times reports. The two sides are reported to be fighting for every few feet of territory.