Tuesday 17 July 2012
Syrian Observatory for Human Rights: More than 100 Syrians have been killed today, Tuesday 17/7/2012. 66 were civilians. 54 unarmed civilians:
-In Homs province 9 civilians were killed . 2 civillians were killed in AlKhaldiyeh and IzzeDeen neighbourhoods after government bombardment. A child and a woman were killed due to bombardments in the town of Rastan. 4 civillians were killed in the town of Al-Qusayr; a civillian due to wounds received during the bombardments, the other three (one of whom was a woman) died due to the bombardment on the town. A 16 year-old died due to government bombardments in the town of al-Teiba in the Houla region.
-In Damascus 7 killed. 12 in the Qaboun neighbourhood, 1 by a sniper at dawn, 11 by regime fire today, one of them was an Egyptian national. 2 civilians were killed in Nahr Eisha, which is witnessing clashes and bombardment. 1 civilian was killed by a sniper in the Sidi Miqdad neighbourhood. A young man was killed by regime fire in the al-Shaghour neighbourhood of Damascus.
-In Aleppo province 6 killed. 1 civilian was killed by extreme torture, he was detained by security services 12 days ago from the Salaheddine neighbourhood of Aleppo. 2 civilians died of wounds from the bombardment on the towns of al-Abizmo and Basartoun earlier. 1 civilian was killed by a military checkpoint in the town of Andan, Reef Aleppo. A civilian from the town of Talateen was killed by regime fire. 1 killed by the nightly bombardment of A’zaz.
-In Idlib province 4 were killed. A civilian died in the city of Saraqib from wounds he received 3 days ago by regime fire. 1 civilian was killed by bombardment on Kafartkharim. A woman died of wounds from the bombardment on Ma’arat al-Nu’man several days ago. 1 civilian died from wounds by the bombardment on al-Rami.
-In Reef Dimashq 8 killed. 2 civilians were killed by a regime sniper in Douma. 1 killed by regime fire when they stormed Deir al-Asafeer. 1 from wounds by the bombardment on Ma’adamiya. 2 killed in Harasta, a young girl was killed by regime fire, a young man from the regime bombardment. At least 2 civilians were killed by an explosion in Yabrud, 2 others have been seriously wounded. Activists accuse the regime of firing a rocket into the place where they were grouped.
-In Deir Izzor province 4 killed. 1 civilian was documented today, he was killed late last night by the gunfire and the bombardment on al-Mayadeen. 3 civilian killed by a sniper fire in the al-Sheikh Yasseen, al-Rusafa and al-Hamidiyeh neighbourhoods, Deir Izzor.
-In Dera’a province a 14-year-old girl was killed in the al-Arba’een neighbourhood of Dera’a by sniper fire.
-In Latakia province 2 civilians were killed late at night. 1 from wounds by the earlier bombardment of al-Ghneymiya. The other was killed by the bombardment on the town of Rabee’a, Reef Latakia.
-In Hama 4. A child was killed by a sniper in Hama. A young man from Tafsees was killed by regime gunfire. The death of 2 civilians were documented by the SOHR today, they were killed by regime forces yesterday in the al-Karama and Tariq Halab neighbourhoods of Hama.
12 Armed rebels:
Homs prov: 3 killed. 2 rebel fighters killed during clashes in Talbiseh. 1 rebel fighter killed during clashes in al-Qusayr.
Damascus: 1 rebel fighter was killed in the al-Qadam neighbourhood, he died during clashes with members of the police squad in the neighbourhood.
Reef Dimashq: 3 rebel fighters, from the city of Douma and al-Ghouta al-Sharqiya (eastern Ghouta), were killed during clashes in Damascus.
Aleppo province: 1 rebel fighter, from the city of al-Bab, was killed by clashes in Nahiyat al-Areema, Reef Aleppo.
Idlib prov: 4 killed. 3 rebel fighters were killed in the town of Kafartkharim, Reef Idlib, by regime bombardment. 1 rebel killed from wounds during clashes in Salqin.
8 defected soldiers killed: A defected first sergeant was killed during clashes in Reef Homs. A captain and 2 defected soldiers were killed in clashes in Reef Aleppo. A defected sergeant major was killed by excessive torture in Dera’a. 3 noncommissioned officers were killed by an explosion in the city of Yabrud, Reef Dimashq.
No less than 29 members of the Syrian armed forces were killed during clashes in the provinces of Idlib, Deir Izzor, Homs, Damascus and Reef Dimashq.
Addressing the media in Moscow, the Joint Special Envoy for the United Nations and the League of Arab States for the Syrian Crisis, Kofi Annan, today voiced the hope that members of the Security Council will be able to reach agreement on a course of action to deal with the situation in the Middle Eastern country.
“I would hope that the Council will continue its discussions and hopefully find language that will pull everybody together for us to move forward on this critical issue,” Mr. Annan told reporters, following a meeting with the President of the Russian Federation, Vladimir Putin.
The Joint Special Envoy said he, along with Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, had a “very good” discussion with President Putin, focusing on what measures need to be taken to end the violence and the killing in Syria and how to proceed with a political transition there.
Mr. Annan arrived in Moscow yesterday for two days of talks. He has previously noted the importance of a united Security Council on the Syrian crisis, saying that “if the Council speaks with one voice, that voice is much more powerful than when it is divided.”
In addition, the Joint Special Envoy has repeatedly called on the parties to abide by a six-point peace plan he presented several months ago to end the Syrian crisis. The 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 crisis in Syria has continued unabated since the uprising against President Bashar al-Assad began some 16 months ago. The UN estimates that more than 10,000 people, mostly civilians, have been killed in Syria and tens of thousands displaced.
“As I said earlier, we need to do whatever we can to stop the violence, to stop the killing, and the Council, I expect, will be sending a message out, that the killing must stop and the situation on the ground is unacceptable,” Mr. Annan said. “Hopefully, the Council will come together in a united manner and press ahead in search of peace.”
Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon spoke with Foreign Minister Lavrov by telephone on Monday, Mr. Ban’s spokesperson said today.
During their call, amongst other issues, they discussed the situation in Syria and the “imperative need” for an immediate halt to the violence there. As well, the Secretary-General stressed the importance of the Joint Special Envoy’s discussions in Moscow “given the escalating and alarming situation” in Syria.
“He called on Russia to use its influence to ensure the full and immediate implementation of the six-point plan and the Action Group communiqué, as well as of resolutions 2042 and 2043 of the Security Council,” the spokesperson said in a note to journalists.
Amongst other things, the Council’s resolutions 2042 and 2043 dealt with the deployment of monitors, including those of the UN Supervision Mission in Syria (UNSMIS), which recently suspended the patrols of its observers due to the escalating violence on the ground.
Agreed on at a meeting in late June, the communiqué of the UN-backed Action Group on Syria called for the establishment of a transitional governing body, with full executive powers, as part of important agreed principles and guidelines for a Syrian-led political transition, as well as for all parties to immediately re-commit to a sustained cessation of armed violence, to fully cooperate with observers serving with UNSMIS, and to implement Mr. Annan’s six-point peace plan.
The three-month mandate of UNSMIS ends on 20 July, with the Council expected to meet before then to decide on its future.
The people of Efrin are leading the revolution in Syrian Kurdistan
Asia Abdullah is co-leader of the Syrian Democratic Union Party (PYD). He was one of the Congress for Western Kurdistan delegates at a summit that took place in Erbil with representatives of Syria’s Kurdish National Council (KNC), mediated by Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) President Massoud Barzani. Abdullah talked to Rudaw about the meeting and its outcomes.
Q: How did your meetings with Massoud Barzani shape organizing Kurds in Syria?
Asia Abdullah: The outcomes of the meeting with President Barzani were positive. They were about the current state in the region and the role of Kurdish political parties and organizations in Syria at this stage. We discussed the treaty that was signed here in Erbil last month by the Congress for Western Kurdistan and the Kurdish National Council. He also proposed the building of a high council that would carry out diplomatic work in the name of Syrian Kurdistan. Barzani confirmed his full support for unity between all Kurdish parties.
Q: How are your relations with the Free Syria Army?
Asia Abdullah: When events started to take shape, as the Congress for Western Kurdistan, our project was democratic autonomy. Democratic autonomy is a suitable solution to the Kurdish problem in Syria. We struggled on a mass scale to organize society first; we benefited from the situation and are mainly concerned about social problems.
The second stage of democratic autonomy is protection. If the consciousness of a nation does not progress on the basis of safety, if it does not understand how to protect itself, then it could face dangerous consequences. We have not made any decisions to stand against the Free Syria Army, but Kurds need to defend their areas themselves. The Kurdish youth can protect their areas from violence. The mechanism of that protection is civil defence, not militaristic. There is an organization that protects Kurdish areas from any attack or dispute. They have managed to prevent dangerous acts, especially in areas that are at risk of serious threats, such as in the Efrin area.
Q: Why is Efrin at risk of serious threats? Is it because you mainly control the area and it is near to Turkey?
Asia Abdullah: The people of Efrin are leading the revolution in Syrian Kurdistan and it is therefore targeted by several forces. The other reason is that Efrin is a border region, so in some areas the border of Efrin and that of the Free Syria Army are actually mixed together and have become one. It is near to Idlib as well, that is why there are threats. At the same time, there are Turkish threats on Efrin too. In Syrian cities where Kurds are currently living, we believe there should be safety and protection. Protection is what we think must be taken seriously.
Q: When do you predict the regime to fall?
Asia Abdullah: We are certain that the regime will dismantle soon because there is no place left for that type of regime in today’s world. However, this does not mean that the regime falling depends on the fight currently taking place inside Syria; it depends on the fight taking place outside Syria over the future of Syria. On an international scale,www.ekurd.net there are debates about the future of Syria and what model of political power should be installed after the regime falls. There are international forces supporting the regime, others planning different projects, but they have yet to come to an agreement.
When events began in Syria, many thought that the regime would fall in couple of months, but considering the position of Syria and its international alliances, we predicted that it was impossible for the regime to fall in couple of months. And we then began to direct our politics on that basis.
Today, the violence increasingly intensifies on a daily basis and that is a great danger for all the people of Syria, which in turn may bring closer the ultimate fall of the regime. But, if the regime continues to massacre Syrians en masse with heavy weaponry, that brings closer the possibility of American military intervention.
Q: Would you say that without foreign intervention the Syrian regime will never fall?
Asia Abdullah: The preparation for regime change is not inside Syria, and the opposition is divided. They do not have enough force and that will lead eventually the regime to stand even longer.
Q: The Kurds are divided too; how should they get organized?
Asia Abdullah: We think democratic autonomy is the solution to the Kurdish dilemma and we are working towards putting that into practice, which is our agenda. From here, I would like to call on all the Kurdish parties to publically disclose their agenda too, because it is necessary for the Kurdish solution to be based on one principle. We need to know what kind of political model the people of Syrian Kurdistan demand.
They should put an end to the intermittent meetings with the outside world that have no outcomes. There needs to be an institution that is built by organizations that can take diplomatic decisions on behalf of Kurds and what they need. There must be no diplomatic relations outside the interests of the Kurdish nation in Syrian Kurdistan.
Q: Do you think there are Kurdish organizations with relations with foreign forces against the interests of Kurds?
Asia Abdullah: If any Kurdish forces have independent relations, then they could make mistakes deliberately or unconsciously. In order to prevent mistakes that may threaten the Kurdish nation, we need to build a unified institution.
Q: Would you say that divisions among the Kurds could lead to a civil war?
Asia Abdullah: Today, the consciousness of Kurds is at its peak. Everybody knows they have a responsibility and there exist mutual understandings. If any political forces try to ignite a civil war, the Kurdish nation will not forgive them. The Kurds in Syria categorize civil war as taboo. A civil war could not take place in Syrian Kurdistan as it is not in the interest of anyone.
By Hemin Khoshnaw – Rudaw http://www.ekurd.net/mismas/articles/misc2012/7/syriakurd536.htm
[local time] 21:18 French President Francois Hollande on Tuesday pressed Russia over its stance on the conflict in Syria, and described the continued bloodshed there as “unacceptable and intolerable.”
20:23 The Free Syrian Army gained control of Al-Maydan neighborhood of Damascus on Tuesday, Al-Jazeera quoted an FSA spokesperson as saying.
19:59 A Syrian military pilot, Abdel Munim al-Hariri, arrived in Jordan and announced that he has defected, Al-Jazeera reported on Tuesday.
19:29 General Manaf Tlass, a key defector from the regime of Syria’s Bashar al-Assad, said in a statement sent to AFP Tuesday that he was in Paris and called for a “constructive transition” in his country.
19:20 AFP reported on Tuesday that Syrian defector Munaf Tlass is in Paris.
18:46 The rebel Free Syrian Army said it shot down on Tuesday a helicopter gunship in Damascus, scene of violent battles between army and rebel forces.
18:44 UN chief Ban Ki-moon urged Russia to step up pressure on Syrian President Bashar al-Assad during talks with Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, a UN spokesperson said Tuesday.
18:20 A Syrian general and several soldiers crossed into Turkey on Monday, a Turkish diplomat told AFP, bringing the number of defections by generals from Bashar al-Assad’s embattled regime to at least 18.
18:20 A statement released by the group behind the kidnapping of the 11 Lebanese Shia pilgrims in Syria said that two of the abductees will be released shortly, Al-Jazeera reported on Tuesday.
17:14 Russia sees no reason why the UN Security Council cannot find a consensus for a resolution on the Syria crisis, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said after a meeting between peace envoy Kofi Annan and President Vladimir Putin.
16:16 British Foreign Secretary William Hague said on Tuesday the crisis in Syria is too unpredictable to rule out “any option,” insisting that a Chapter VII resolution of the US Security Council is needed.
16:15 Clashes broke out Tuesday between the Syrian army and rebels in the city of Abu Kamal in Deir az-Zour, Al-Jazeera television quoted the Syrian National Council as saying.
16:13 The death toll in Syria has reached 39 people on Tuesday, Al-Jazeera quoted activists as saying.
15:59 Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has moved army forces from the Golan Heights area next to Israel toward Damascus and other internal conflict zones, the Israeli army intelligence chief said on Tuesday.
15:55 The Syrian consulate in Kazakhstan’s largest city Almaty has been seriously damaged by a fire blamed on an arson attack linked to the conflict raging in the country, an official said Tuesday.
15:52 Russian President Vladimir Putin told visiting Syria peace mediator Kofi Annan on Tuesday that he would “do everything” to support the UN-Arab League envoy’s plan to end the conflict.
15:34 Syrian colonel Ziad Tlass defected on Tuesday from the Syrian army and fled to Jordan, Al-Jazeera television reported.
15:27 The Iraqi government on Tuesday urged its citizens in strife-hit Syria, mainly refugees from their country’s own violence, to return home because of “increasing attacks” on them.
14:39 The Muslim Brotherhood urged the Syrian people on Tuesday to rise up and back rebels locked in a “decisive battle” against the troops of President Bashar al-Assad in Damascus.
14:10 Syrian forces on Tuesday surrounded the Damascus neighborhood of Al-Maydan and called on the Free Syrian Army to hand over its arms, Al-Arabiya television quoted activists as saying.
14:02 Syrian forces’ airplanes are shelling the Damascus neighborhood of Al-Qaboun, Al-Arabiya television quoted activists as saying.
13:39 The rebel Free Syrian Army said on Tuesday that the “battle for the liberation of Damascus has begun,” as fighting raged in the capital.
13:26 The Syrian army on Tuesday shelled the town of Moadimiyya near Damascus, Al-Arabiya television quoted the Local Coordination Committees as saying.
13:13 The Syrian army on Tuesday shelled the town of Harasta near Damascus, Al-Jazeera television quoted activists as saying.
12:11 Violent clashes erupted Tuesday in Al-Abaseen Square in Damascus, Al-Arabiya television quoted the Local Coordination Committees as saying.
12:10 Violent clashes broke out Tuesday in Sabaa Bahrat Square in Damascus, Al-Arabiya television quoted the Local Coordination Committees as saying.
12:05 Heavy gunfire reported in central Damascus, AFP quoted witnesses as saying Tuesday.
12:05 Al-Jazeera television is broadcasting live footage of the shelling targeting Syria’s Homs 12: 04 Heavy gunfire broke out Tuesday on Baghdad street in Damascus, Al-Arabiya television reported.
11:39 Residents of Treimsa are adamant that government troops and their proxy shabiha militia slaughtered hundreds in their village last week to push Syria into a religious war.
11:35 The sound of a huge explosion was heard in the Damascus neighborhood of al-Tadamon, Al-Arabiya television quoted activists as saying.
11:23 Syrian refugees in Jordan urged British Foreign Secretary William Hague on Tuesday to “get rid of” Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, as the official visited the Jordanian border town of Ramtha.
11:09 Residents of the Damascus neighborhood of Al-Asali on Tuesday fled the area after it was shelled, Al-Jazeera television quoted activists as saying.
10:56 Syrian security forces killed 21 people in the district of Damascus, Al-Arabiya on Tuesday quoted activists as saying.
9:33 China’s top newspaper on Tuesday warned against outside intervention in Syria, as UN chief Ban Ki-moon headed to Beijing to seek support for tougher action against President Bashar al-Assad.
9:20 The Syrian consulate in Kazakhstan’s largest city Almaty has been seriously damaged by a fire which staff blamed on an arson attack linked to the conflict raging in the country, a report said Tuesday.
9:04 MORNING LEADER: Syria deployed armored vehicles near central Damascus on Monday as troops battled rebels around the capital in what activists said could be a turning point in the uprising. Russia, meanwhile, slammed Western pressure for a UN Security Council resolution against Syria’s regime, as a top defector warned that President Bashar al-Assad would not hesitate to use chemical weapons against his own people.
8:41 Syrian President Bashar al-Assad will use chemical weapons against opposition forces and may have already deployed them, Nawaf Fares, the first Syrian ambassador to defect, told the BBC on Monday.
8:36 Syria’s rebels announced the launch of a full-scale attack operation, dubbed “the Damascus volcano and earthquakes of Syria,” as major clashes engulfed several districts of the capital.
8:31 The United States on Monday voiced concern that escalating violence in Syria could spill over in the region, as the Pentagon said the conflict represented a security priority for Washington.
8:25 UN Security Council talks on Syria virtually collapsed Monday, leaving the major powers heading for a veto showdown on a proposal to impose sanctions on President Bashar al-Assad.
Guardian: • Serious clashes continue in various parts of Damascus for the third consecutive day, though activists differ on whether they represent the start of a battle for control of the Syrian capital (see 1.44pm). A senior figure in the Free Syrian Army said today that the “battle for the liberation of Damascus has begun” (see 2.55pm). An activist in Damascus told the Guardian the latest developments are “the turning point” but added: “We are not talking about them [the FSA] taking full control, we are talking about hit and run tactics” (see 4.15pm).
• The most senior Syrian politician to defect to the opposition claimed that major bombings across Syria had been orchestrated by the regime in collaboration with al-Qaida, the BBC reports.Nawas al-Fares, Syria’s former, said: “Al-Qaida is searching for space to move and means of support, the regime is looking for ways to terrorise the Syrian people.”
• Britain is to train and equip an additional 20 Syrian human rights activists to join 47 who were trained earlier this year and have been gathering evidence of the Assad regime’s crimes against its own civilians, foreign secretary William Hague announced today(see 1.31pm).
• More than 500 Syrians, including several army officers, fled to Turkey on Monday, according to the Turkish daily Zaman. The Syrians include one general, four colonels, one lieutenant colonel, there majors, six captains, one lieutenant and many soldiers with their families, it said.
• Kofi Annan met President Putin in Moscow today and said afterwards: “We’ve had a very good discussion” (see 4.26pm).
Syrian armed rebels take fight to government troops in Damascus: 17 Jul 2012: Russia makes clear it would veto UN resolution calling for action against regime as fighting intensifies in the capital
NEW YORK – The United Nations should keep threatening Syrian authorities with sanctions to “breathe life” into a faltering plan to end the worsening 16-month conflict, Syria’s main opposition umbrella group said on Tuesday before a planned U.N. Security Council vote on the issue…
Hollande says Syrian defector Tlas is in France: PARIS – A Syrian general and one-time friend of President Bashar al-Assad who fled Damascus this month is in France, President Francois Hollande said on Tuesday…
Annan and Putin show no progress on Syria resolution: MOSCOW – Russian President Vladimir Putin and U.N. envoy Kofi Annan on Tuesday failed to announce any progress in talks on a new Security Council resolution on Syria, dimming Western hopes that Russia would approve a threat to impose sanctions…
Iraq tells its citizens in Syria to return home: BAGHDAD – Iraq on Tuesday called on tens of thousands of its citizens still living in Syria to return home because of escalating violence in its neighbor, after police said two Iraqi journalists had been killed in Damascus…