27 July Syria: Update (IMEISS: Sherifa Zuhur)
By early afternoon, 61 people had died in Syria.
The SAA engaged in intense artillery shelling of the areas around Aleppo today. Heavy caliber mortar rounds have been targeting the west of the city and helicopter gunships have been bombarding eastern Aleppo.
The SAA has encircled Aleppo and the opposition reports they have no doctors or equipment to treat those injured, although they have stockpiled medical supplies as well as ammunition. The Red Crescent has suspended some of its operations due to the heavy fighting.
The SAA killed 15 people in the Firdaws area of Aleppo when they bombarded a building.
The FSA said it had captured 100 SAA troops in Aleppo.
The SAA surrounded the as-Said hospital in al-Mayadeen in Damascus and clashing with the opposition there. SAA troops moved heavily into and fired on the al-Hajjar al-Aswad neighborhood of Damascus.
The SAA has been shelling the town of Basra al-Sham. The SAA has shelled al-Habeet and Maarat al-Naaman in Idlib.
Clashes took place between the SAA and the opposition in al-Mayadin in Deir az-Zur.
The SAA killed 11 people in Dara`a, 5 of them in a Palestinian refugee camp there. They had shelled al-Harak and al-Kirk.
The SAA shelled Houla in Homs following protests there.
Friday Protests (all were anti-regime): The SAA opened fire against a protest in Idlib. There were protests in al-Kobani and in Hama’s al-Hamidiyya. There was a protest in Zamalka in the Damascus region to support the opposition in Aleppo and Damascus. A protest was held in Sarmin in Idlib. There was a protest on the main road from Hama to Aleppo. The SAA fired on a protest in al-Aouwani in Ladhaqiyya. Protests were held in Houla in Homs in support of the opposition in Aleppo and Damascus. A protest was held in al-Tal. Protests were held in the al-Halak, al-Masakeen Hananou, Tariq al-Bab areas of Aleppo and near the Imam al-Shafi` mosque in al-Masakeen al-Sabil in Aleppo. A protest was held in Jabala in the Ladhaqiyya area. Protests were held in al-Zahira al-Qadima in Damascus and in the town of Harastah in Damascus province. A protest was held in Dael in the Dara`a district. A protest in support of the FSA was held in al-Ghariya. A protest was held in Abu Kamel in Deir az-Zur. Protests were held in the mosques of al-Yaduda in Dara`a and these called for the execution of Bashar al-Assad. Protests were held in Serin, Sayf al-Dawla, al-Shaar, and al-Izaa in Aleppo.
The Red Cross is moving members of its team to Beirut and plans to leave approximately 50 staff in Damascus, the only place in the country where the Red Cross has a presence (the Red Crescent has been operating in Aleppo).
BG (Brigadier General) Fayez Amr said that the establishment of an-inclusive transitional or interim government is the only way to solve the crisis. He complained of a lack of unity within the FSA and the SNC and said the SNC was not supporting the council of army defector-officers (he is among them) sufficiently.
Regional: Hizbullah fighters crossed over into Syria in the area of Hawsh al-Sayyid Ali in Hermel to aid the SAA in their fight against the Syrian opposition. It has already been reported that Hizbullah members of the 910 unit of the Jihad Council have been fighting with the SAA in al-Qusair, al-Rastan and Homs, and has been operating in al-Zabadani (there have been numerous denials of Hizbullah’s involvement including by the Angry Arab).
Robert Mood, the former chief of the UN observer mission said that Assad’s fall from power is only a matter of time.
The Foreign Ministers of the UK, France and Italy have all expressed concerns that the Assad government will commit a massacre in Aleppo and called on “all” to exert pressure on Bashar al-Assad.
U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pilay appealed to both the Syrian regime and the opposition to spare the lives of civilians. She also mentioned reports indicating that the opposition had executed prisoners (even if these are SAA personnel, these constitute human rights violations).
Some reports indicate that Kurdish rebels in northern Iraq have allied with a Syrian Kurdish party. Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan responded to this news saying that Turkey will strike at “terrorists” in Syria and not permit a Kurdish-run region in northern Syria. This position is notwithstanding the Turkish support for the Syrian opposition.
Defections: Ikhlas Badawi, an MP from Aleppo defected and fled to Turkey saying “I have crossed to Turkey and defected from this tyrannical regime” and that
she is protesting “violence against the people.”
Refugees: The SAA fired on civilians fleeing into Jordan and killed a 3 year child.