Syria Update August 10, 2012 (IMEISS …. by Sherifa Zuhur)
Death toll today is currently 115
The SAA is heavily shelling the town of Dael in Dara`a.
The FSA has consolidated its control over Kafr Nabel in Idlib. The SAA shelled the villages and small towns in Sahel al-Rouj in Idlib province.
The SAA shelled Bab Hood in Homs.
During a protest in New Aleppo where demonstrators yelled “Arm us with anti-aircraft weapons,” the SAA opened fire on the unarmed demonstrators killing a 19-year old and wounding others.
The SAA shelled a bakery in Aleppo, killing 12 including civilians and wounding at least 20 as they were queued up to buy bread. The SAA shelled Harano in Aleppo.
The SAA’s ground offensive on Salahaddin continued for a third day. Some reports stated that the FSA retreated to Sukari. However, the FSA is still operating in Salahaddin despite the withdrawal from some parts of the area where 45 bodies were discovered in this area today. Some action can be seen here:
Anti-regime demonstrations also took place in the central Furqan area of Aleppo, and in al-Shaar, Sukari.
The SAA fought off an attack by the FSA on Aleppo’s international airport according to Syrian state news, which identifies its opponents as “mercenary terrorists.”
The FSA attacked Aleppo’s Central Prison and there were casualties including prison guards.
The opposition is claiming that the SAA shelled the Citadel of Aleppo and did some damage to that historic monument’s entrance.
The SAA raided the al-Qaboun area of Damascus and shelled Jisreen near Damascus, and there was a huge explosion in Rokeneddin in Damascus.
The SAA shelled the mountain town of Zabadani which is near Damascus.
As has been the case every Friday, protests against the regime have taken place all over Syria following Friday prayers. Protests were also held in the village of Qarfa in Dara`a, in the al-Asali and Arbeen areas of Damascus, in Duma near Damascus, in Maarat an-Naaman (where there was also a funeral), in Sara Kanya, in Talbisa in Homs, in al-Qadam in Damascus, in Harasta, Sahel al-Ghab near Hama, in the al-Bayada neighborhood of Hama, Bab al-Qibli and Jarajima, in Qalat al-Madiq near Hama, in Aqraba near Dar`a, in Jabala in Latakia, in Houla in Homs province,
The SAA moved to the village of Tel Shehab on the Jordanian border after clashes with the Jordanian army.
Kidnappings: The Syrian opposition captured three journalists who work for Syrian state television as they were accompanying government troops engaged in raids in al-Tal. The capture occurred during clashes in al-Tal, to the north of Damascus where the opposition destroyed a tank.
Borders: The opposition is controlling two checkpoints into Turkey. The area from Aleppo to the Turkish border has been cleared of the government’s troops and is, for the moment, a rebel enclave.
Lakhdar Brahimi, an Algerian diplomat and former foreign minister is expected to be named the new U.N. – Arab League envoy to Syria.
The United States has sanctioned the Syrian oil company Sytrol for its commerce with Iran including a deal worth $36 million.
Britain pledged aid worth $7.8 million in non-lethal items (no weapons) including medical supplies.
The United States Treasury Department denounced Hizbullah of Lebanon for its backing of Bashar al-Assad and has placed it on a new list of organizations under sanction for their relationship to the Syrian government.
In the United States some mosques and Islamic centers carried out a day of solidarity with the Syrian people, raising money for civilians and condemning the crackdown. (This was reported as a unanimous, country-wide action, however, I am aware of a number of smaller groupings who did not participate, and which have a policy of avoiding all discussion of politics).
Refugees: It was reported that 2500 Syrians fled to Turkey overnight. There are now 50,227 refugees registered in Turkey.
Basic Facts about Syria:
Population: 22,530,746 Ethnicities: Arab 90.3%, Kurds, Armenians, and others 9.7%
Religious Groups: Sunni Muslim (74%, other Muslim (includes Alawite, Isma`iliyya, and Druze) 16%, Christian 10%, Jewish (very small numbers).
GDP Growth Rate: -2% (2011) GDP: $64.7 billion GDP Growth Rate: -2% (2011)
Unemployment: 8.3% Youth Unemployment (ages 15-24): 19.1% (female unemployment in that age category is 49.1%
Internet Users: 4.469 million Exchange Rate: 46.456 Syrian pounds per US dollar
Military Expenditures: 5.9% of GDP (2005)
Population Growth Rate: -0797.% (since the conflict)
Population Age Structure: 0-14 years: 35.2%; 15-64 years: 61%; 65 years and over: 3.8%
Literacy: male 86% female 73.6% Syrian Arab Army (prior to the conflict) 220,000 regular and 280,000 reserves. Of the 200,000 career soldiers, approximately 140,000 are Alawi (the religious sect of Bashar al-Assad).