Syria Update, August 24, 2012 (Institute of Middle Eastern, Islamic, and Strategic Studies. By Sherifa Zuhur)

24 Aug

Syria Update, August 24, 2012 (Institute of Middle Eastern, Islamic, and Strategic Studies. By Sherifa Zuhur)

The death toll is currently 180.

In Zabadani, a mountain-side town outside of Damascus where the FSA had prevailed earlier in the conflict, the SAA shelled civilians’ homes from their checkpoints around the town since early a.m. causing many casualties.

The SAA bombarded civilian’s homes in Mayadin in Deir az-Zur causing a building to collapse which killed 16 people, at least half of whom were women.

Regime warplanes bombed Talafeh, a village in Aleppo and al-Bab in Aleppo province and SAA tanks shelled the al-Fardos neighborhood in Aleppo. The SAA also shelled the town of Atareb in Aleppo.

The SAA shelled Kansafra in Idlib killing 10.

The SAA shelled al-Nahda in Dara`a. Clashes took place in Harak in Dara`a. The SAA raided and stole items from a hospital there as well. Later today, the FSA retreated from al-Harak in Dara`a and the SAA invaded the area.

The SAA shelled and carried out raids in Daraya, killing at least 21 persons. The SAA has killed at least 70 people here in the last 3 days. It is using the Talet Qawqaba base where multiple rocket launchers can reach Daraya. Opposition fighters have mostly slipped away from Daraya and civilians are trying to flee toward Damascus.

The SAA heavily shelled al-Hajar al-Aswad in Damascus. Fighting was also reported in Qatana, Sbeineh, Qaddam and Assali in Damascus.
The SAA shelled mosques in al-Rastan in Homs today.

The SAA shelled the town of Dael killing children shown here

The opposition killed at least 40 Syrian troops and blew up a tank in Ariha in Idlib.

SAA shelling caused a forest fire in al-Haffa in Latakia province.

The Syrian filmmaker Orwa Nyrabia, 35, director of the DoxBox theatrical company has probably been captured by the SAA. He was due to board a flight to Cairo, and his wife said the airlines had confirmed that he never boarded his flight.

American journalist Austin Tice, 31 is missing after having traveled to Damascus this month. Tice is a former Marine captain. His father said that Tice hasn’t been in contact for more than a week.

The SNC has urged the world community to help civilians who have been besieged in Homs for 80 days, enduring constant shelling and living without sufficient food and medicine. Residents of Homs have traditionally been the butt of most Syrian jokes; however, the city has backed the opposition (and was also important in the Islamist opposition of the late ‘70s and early ‘80s). Oil refineries are located to Homs’ east and west as well as gas fields, and an automobile assembly site for the Iranian Khodro company. The city is very important to the trucking/transport network linking the countries’ cities and the east. (And I can personally attest to the superiority of Homsi makdous and its matriarchy)

Anti-regime protests were held in New Aleppo and Kobani in Aleppo and Hanano in Aleppo; and Sahwa, Mseifra, Maaraba, Adwan, Sanmeen and Kherbet Ghazaleh in Dara`a,

And in the al-Kashf neighborhood of Dara`a
Also huge protests were held in the Baraza neighborhood of Damascus and also in the town of Yabroud near Damascus, and Babila in Damascus province and the Zahira and al-Jawbar neighborhoods of Damascus, and in Haraste near Damascus
in Habeet and Kafr Awid in Idlib
and Kafr Sajna in Idlib
and Sarmada in Idlib,
Protests were held in in Taqad near Aleppo, al-Waar in Homs, al-Latamina and al-Hamidiyya in Hama; in Kfar Zeeta, near Hama; and two protests were held in Deir az-Zur’s al-Joura neighborhood and in Douma

Lebanon: Sunni shaykh Khaled al-Baradei (age 28) was killed in Tripoli in the fifth day of fighting there between supporters and opponents of Bashar al-Assad.

Lakhdar Brahimi met with UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon and said he was honored, flattered, humbled and scared to lead efforts to establish peace in Syria and that the Syrian people would be his “first masters.”

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