Wednesday 2 October 2013

2013 oct 2 Syrian Observatory for Human Rights: Final death toll for 2/10/2013: More than 180 people were killed in Syria. The dead: 37 civilians (including 19 people tortured to death in regime detention), 27 rebels, 5 ISIS and allies, 17 unidentified fighters, 6 foreign fighters, 28 NDF, 39 regular soldiers, 2 defected soldiers.

No less than 25 rebels, from several factions, were killed by clashes with regime forces in the strategic Khanaser area in south Reef Aleppo. It is strategic since it has the supply route of regime forces linking Salamiyya in Reef Hama to Aleppo city. The number of dead is likely to rise due to the large number of missing. 

By province: Homs (1 rebel, 13 men*), Damascus (1 rebel, 3 men**), Reef Dimashq (5 rebels, 7 civilians***), Aleppo (3 rebels, 4 civilians****), Hama (1 rebel, 3 civilians*****), Der’a (3 rebels, 7 civilians******), Idlib (12 rebels), Deir Ezzour (1 rebel).

* 13 men from Talkalakh were tortured to death in Syrian security detention centres.

** 3 men from Dummar were tortured to death in Syrian security detention centres.

*** 4 rebels were killed by clashes in the eastern Ghouta. 2 civilians, one of them a teenager, were tortured to death by the regime. 4 civilians were killed by regime bombardment on Douma, Bseima and Mou’adamiya. 1 man from Yabrud was killed by a mortar.

**** PYD activists reported that a man from the village of Abdalo, Efrin district, was tortured to death after being kidnapped 10 days ago. 1 woman from al-Bayada neighbourhood was killed by a sniper.

***** a man and his son were found killed on the road between Qbeibat and Sabura villages, they were kidnapped on the 15th of september. 1 man from the Qusoor neighbourhood was killed in regime detention centre.

****** 5 civilians, including 3 women, from al-Faqi’ village were killed by gunfire, activists accuse the regime forces of summarily executing them after storming the village. 1 media activist was killed during clashes west of Tafas city.

2 defected soldiers were killed by clashes in Der’a province.

5 ISIS and allied rebel fighters were killed. 2 of them, including a defected soldier, were killed by clashes with the YPG near Ras al-Ein (Serekaniyeh). 3 were killed during an attack on a YPG checkpoint in the Qastal Jendo area of Efrin district.

17 unidentified rebels and 6 foreign fighters killed by clashes throughout the country.

28 National Defence Forces were killed by clashes, snipers and attacks on checkpoints in several towns and villages.

39 regular soldiers were killed by clashes, attacks on their positions and IED attacks: 12 in Aleppo, 7 Der’a, 6 Damascus and Reef Dimashq, 6 Hama, 3 Idlib, 5 Homs.

Reports that 6 pro-regime militiamen were killed by clashes by the town of Tel Berak, Hasakah province.

Reports of a further 7 civilian deaths: 2 men killed by regime forces in the Aleppo Central Prison, 2 men tortured to death there, 2 others died of malnutrition and lack of medicine in the same prison, 1 man killed by a sniper on the main road by al-Mahatta al-Harariya, in the east countryside.

1 rebel killed 2 days ago by clashes in Der’a city was documented by the SOHR.

Deir Izzor province: 2 children were killed last night by shells that fell on the al-Qusour neighbourhood of Deir Izzor city.

Damascus province: Regular forces launched mortar shells on areas of Barza which led to several injuries. Areas in the neighbourhoods of Jobar, al-Qaboun and al-Tadamon were bombarded by regular forces. 3 members of 1 family from the Dummar area were tortured to death in regime prisons. Clashes broke out at midnight between rebel and regular forces near the al-Hafeth street of Barza, at least 12 regular soldiers and NDF combatants were killed by the clashes.

Dera’a province: 3 women and a man from al-Faqi’ town were summarily executed as regular forces stormed the area. Rebel fighters launched mortar on the 285th division and al-Madina al-Riadiya near Dera’a city with reports of casualties and injuries from regular forces. Violent clashes broke out between rebel and regular forces on the south eastern side of Nawa city.

Reuters: Syria jihadists advance toward Turkey border post, NGO says

Hundreds of jihadist fighters from the Al-Qaeda-affiliated Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) have advanced in northern Syria towards a border post with Turkey, an NGO said Wednesday.

“Hundreds of ISIL fighters advanced overnight towards Bab al-Salameh, which is closed from the Turkish side,” said Rami Abdul Rahman, who heads the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

The advance comes after fighting between the group and the Northern Storm rebel brigade, which is part of the Western-backed Free Syrian Army (FSA).

ISIL has seized the town of Azaz, which lies several kilometers from the border, as well as at least two villages nearby.

Unable to repel the jihadist group, Northern Storm forces pulled back as ISIL fighters moved into the area, Abdul Rahman said.

ISIL fighters entered Azaz on September 18, sparking deadly fighting with FSA forces and prompting Turkey to close its side of the Bab al-Salameh border.

Another brigade brokered a truce between the two sides that saw the Northern Storm withdraw from the town.

Clashes between ISIL and non-jihadist rebel fighters have broken out with increasing regularity, particularly in rebel-held areas of northern Syria.

Syria’s rebels initially welcomed the entry of foreign jihadists into the battle against President Bashar al-Assad’s regime.

But they have turned against the jihadists in some areas, accusing them of abuses and imposing an extreme interpretation of Islam.

Al Qaeda-linked group advances on Syrian rebels near Turkey

BEIRUT – Al Qaeda-linked fighters fought rival Syrian rebels near the border with Turkey on Wednesday, activists said, in an outbreak of violence driven by the divisions between factions battling President Bashar al-Assad. | Video

BBC: UN in humanitarian call to Syria

A displaced Syrian girl walks upstairs from her family cave dwelling near Kafer Rouma, in ancient ruins used as temporary shelter by those families who have fled from the heavy fighting and shelling in the Idlib province countryside of Syria, on 27 September 2013  The UN Security Council – speaking once again in a united voice – urges Syrian authorities to allow access amid a worsening humanitarian situation.

The 15-member Security Council agreed to a non-binding statement in a bid to boost aid access, drafted by Australia and Luxembourg, after overcoming a long diplomatic deadlock on Friday between Russia and Western powers to pass a resolution to rid Syria of chemical weapons.

U.N. aid chief Valerie Amos said that if the statement’s requests on aid access were implemented fully then humanitarian groups could help some 2 million people in Syria who have for many months been unreachable.

“Our task now is to turn these strong words into meaningful action for the children, women and men who continue to be the victims of the brutality and violence,” Amos told reporters.

Syrian U.N. Ambassador Bashar Ja’afari said the Syrian government would study the council statement before responding.

The statement urges Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s authorities to “take immediate steps to facilitate the expansion of humanitarian relief operations, and lift bureaucratic impediments and other obstacles.”

This includes “promptly facilitating safe and unhindered humanitarian access to people in need, through the most effective ways, including across conflict lines and, where appropriate, across borders from neighbouring countries.”

The statement was based on a wish list that Amos sent the council last month. Amos has said some cross-border aid deliveries were already being made from Lebanon.

Only 12 international aid groups are approved by the Syrian government to work in the country and convoys of aid trucks struggle to meet demand, delayed by having to negotiate dozens of government and opposition checkpoints, U.N. officials say.

A senior council diplomat, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said that while the statement was unlikely to make a huge difference to aid access instantly, if it “helps to get a bit more aid through than that will be well worth having.”

“I hope it will strengthen the ability of Valerie Amos and the humanitarian agencies to break through a lot of the bureaucratic hurdles they have been facing in Damascus and it puts the full weight of the Security Council behind her demands,” he said.


The agreed statement also urges all parties to “immediately demilitarize medical facilities, schools and water stations, refrain from targeting civilian objects, and agree on the modalities to implement humanitarian pauses, as well as key routes to enable promptly … the safe and unhindered passage of humanitarian convoys.”

The council has for months been discussing how to respond to the Syrian aid crisis. Western members recently decided to pursue a statement on the issue rather than a resolution to avoid a likely showdown with Russia and China, diplomats said.

“The need here was speed,” Australian U.N. Ambassador Gary Quinlan told reporters. “We all know that resolutions take a while to negotiate because they are legally binding … It is possible for a statement to become a resolution over time.”

Amos said she would continue to press the Security Council for a resolution on aid access in Syria.

Russia, a close ally of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, and China have vetoed three Security Council resolutions since October 2011 that would have condemned Assad’s government and threatened it with sanctions.

Some diplomats had warned that Russia would be wary of backing a call for cross-border aid access because Assad’s government is opposed to such a move over concerns that weapons could be smuggled more easily to opposition forces.

But another senior U.N. diplomat, speaking on condition of anonymity, said Moscow agreed to the statement because it simply “urges” the Syrian government to allow aid deliveries across borders from neighbouring countries rather than “demands.”

Europe’s aid chief, Kristalina Georgieva, last week welcomed the prospect of a council statement, but added: “We are not giving up on the Security Council at some point coming up with a binding resolution on humanitarian access.

Georgieva said that during September $1 billion had been pledged by countries for Syrian aid relief.

The Security Council asks U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to regularly inform it of progress on implementation of the steps outlined in the aid statement. Ban also plans to convene an aid conference on Syria in January, diplomats said.

(Reporting by Michelle Nichols; Editing by Vicki Allen)