Syria Update, September 25, 2012 (Institute of Middle Eastern, Islamic and Strategic Studies. By Sherifa Zuhur)
Current death toll: 101 including 59 unarmed civilians.
Yesterday’s revised death toll: More than 140 Syrians including 99 unarmed civilians
Aleppo province: Violent clashes took place between Syrian military forces and opposition fighters in the al-Sab’ Bahrat neighbourhood. Violent clashes continued between the opposition and the Syrian military in al-Arqoub, there were casualties on both sides and the government forces heavily shelled the area.
Footage from Arqoub neighbourhood:
Syria regime forces claimed to have swept the Arkoub area of Aleppo of opposition, but fighting continues.
The Syrian military also resumed shelling on Bustan al-Qasr, and Sakhour which killed one civilian, and clashes broke out in al-Itha’ where a tank was destroyed and in Suleiman al-Halabi. The Syrian military shelled the al-Fayd neighborhood, badly wounding a 4-year old child. A sniper shot a child in the Tariq al-Bab neighborhood. The Syrian military shelled Tariq al-Bab, killing two civilians.
The Syrian military shelled the towns of al-Atareb, Deir Hafer, Kafr-Karmin, Kafr-Halab, Kafr-Nouran, Khan al-A’sal, Khafsa and Tal Ref`at and killed a 14 year old boy in a western area of the province.
2 civilians were killed after midnight of Monday-Tuesday, 1 of them due to injuries he received by bombardment on the Qarlaq neighborhood, days ago, and a child, from the Khan al-Subul town, was killed when the car she was riding was targeted by regime forces gunfire, on the International Damascus road. The neighborhood of Hanano and al-Kalasa of Aleppo city and the Bab city of Reef Aleppo were bombarded by regime forces, and no news abour casualties have been received yet.
Damascus province: The Ansar al-Islam claimed responsibility for exploding seven bombs at 9:35 a.m. at the Sons of Martyrs school in Damascus near the Baytara roundabout where the shabiha and security offcers hold weekly planning meetings. The blasts wounded 20, mostly security officers.
A car exploded on the major road in neighborhood of al-Zahira al-Jadida killing two men, caused by an IED exploding near a checkpoint. The Syrian military carried out raids and arrests in the al-Zuhur neighborhood
The Syrian military shelled al-Zabadani. Two civilians were killed when a tank fired at their car. The Syrian military also killed three civilians in al-Bawaida. The Syrian military shelled Ma`adamiya, killing one civilian. The Syrian military shelled the towns and villages of al-A’bada, Hosh Nasri and Sheifuniyya.
Dara`a province: The Syrian military shelled the towns of Karak al-Sharqi, Kharbat al-Shahem, Ma`arba, Na`eema, al-Shaykh al-Msaken, and Tafs and the Syrian military tried to take over al-Shaykh Msaken. The Syrian military also shelled and carried out raids in the Sharqi neighborhood of Dael; they had shelled Da’el for the entire night. Electricity to al-Yaduda was cut off. Opposition fighters detained 3 Syrian military troops during clashes at the Jordanian-Syrian border.
Deir az Zur province: Heavy clashes occurred between the Syrian military and opposition fighters in the neighborhood of al-Joura in the city of Deir az-Zur. Twenty-four persons were killed in the city. The Syrian military shelled al-Qusur neighborhood killing 18 civilians and shelled al-Jbeila, killing 5. They also shelled al-Amal, al-Arfi and al-Hamadiyya. Last night, the Syrian military raided the home of a physician and killed him. Clashes took place at the al-Dala roundabout.
Hama province: The Syrian military has continued to carry out raids and arrests in the neighborhood of al-Araba`in in the city of Hama. Anti-regime protests took place in al-Qusur and Tariq Halab calling for freedom and the downfall of the president.
The Syrian military shelled the village of Souha using helicopters and destroying homes. The Syrian military also shelled the towns of Aqeirbat, Khatamlo and the Jabal Shahshbo area.
Homs province: The Syrian military heavily shelled the neighborhoods of Jobar and al-Sultaniyya in Homs. Syrian military at checkpoints in the Deir Ba’lba neighborhood used their weapons and shot at, and injured civilians.
Idlib province: A man injured in the Syrian military’s dawn shelling of Ma`rat al-Nu`man died later in the day and another civilian was killed in Ma`rat al-Nu`man. The Syrian military shelled `Ain al-Barda, Ihsim, al-Jabriyya, Khan Sheikhoun, Sarmin, Sunbul and Tal Khanzir, killing one in Tal Khanzir. The Syrian military shelled the town of al-Bsheiriyya killing 2 civilians, a child and a woman. Electricity has been cut off in most towns, cities and villages in Idlib for three days.
Latakia province: A huge explosion took place in the neighborhood of Qunainess. The Syrian military shelled the village of Akou, killing a woman. The Syrian military shelled Ara, Dourin, Dweirka, al-Maroniyat, and Salma.
Quneitra province: Opposition fighters attacked Syrian military checkpoints in the villages of Hamidyya and Huriyya in the Jolan (Golan, and see below)
Tartus province: Banyas: The Syrian military carried out a siege and attack on the villages of al-Ahrash and al-Beida and raids. The Syrian military detained 14 civilians, including martyrs in its ongoing operations on the villages of al-Basatin, al-Basia, al-Beida and al-Qarir, where the military burned homes. At least 68 people have been detained by the regime forces in Banyas up to now including 25 women, 3 children, and more than 40 men during a 4-day campaign attacking the southern neighborhoods of the city and southern villages. Those leading the current campaign are said to be Brigadier General Muhammad Zaiti, the head of the state security department for Tartus and Brigadier General `Abd al-Karim `Abbas, the head of military intelligence in Tartus.
International: France’s President Francois Hollande called for the United Nations to immediately provide protection to liberated areas in northern Syria and said that the Bashar al-Assad regime has no future “among us” in his speech to the United Nations General Assembly. http://www.cnbc.com/id/49170082
In his speech, the Emir of Qatar, Shaykh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani called for Arab countries to intervene in Syria.
Yesterday, the Save the Children report on torture was briefed to news agencies, and this brief comment captures the gist of these first-hand commentaries by children who have been prisoners or detainees. http://blog.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2012/09/25/the_worst_thing_you_will_read_today
Mortars landed on the Israeli side of the border in the Golan Heights (about one kilometer past the border) as the Syrian military and the opposition fought. http://www.times-standard.com/ci_21624921/bomb-hits-near-school-syrian-capital
The Free Syrian Army released 218 Lebanese and Syrian nationals whom they had kidnapped from the village of Rableh in Lebanon on Monday.
Selected Bibliography on Syria (from my book, The Middle East: Politics, History and Neonationalism IMEISS, 2005)
Abdullah, U. I. The Islamic Struggle in Syria. Berkeley: Mizan Press, 1983.
Abu Khalil, `Asad. “Syria and the Arab-Israeli Conflict.” Current History. Vol. 93, 1994.
Avi-Ran, Reuven. The Syrian Involvement in Lebanon since 1975. Boulder, Col.: Westview, 1991.
Batatu, Hanna. “Some Observations on the Social Roots of Syria’s Ruling Military Group and the Causes for its Dominance.” Middle East Journal. Vol. 35, 1981.
_________. “Syria’s Muslim Brethren.” Middle East Reports. Vol. 12. No. 110, November-December, 1982.
_________. Syria’s Peasantry, The Descendants of Its Lesser Rural Notables, and Their Politics. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1999.
Betts, Robert B. The Druze. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1988.
Blecher, Robert. “History as Social Critique in Syrian Film: Muhammad Malas’ al-Leil and Ryad Chaia’s al-Lajat.” Middle East Report. No. 204, July-September, 1997.
Clawson, Patrick. Unaffordable Ambitions: Syria’s Military Build-up and Economic Crisis. Washington D.C.: Washington Institute for Near East Policy, 1989.
Davis, Uri. “Citizenship Legislation in the Syrian Arab Republic.” Arab Studies Quarterly. Vol. 18, No. 1, Winter 1996.
Devlin, John. The Ba`th Party: A History from Its Origins to 1966. Stanford, Calif.: Hoover Institution Press, 1976.
Drysdale, Alasdair. “The Succession Question in Syria.” Middle East Journal. Vol. 39, No. 2, 1985.
Drysdale, Alasdair and Hinnebusch, Raymond. Syria and the Middle East Peace Process. New York: Council on Foreign Relations, 1991.
Early, Evelyn. “Poetry and Pageants: Growing up in the Syrian Vanguard.” In Children in the Muslim Middle East. Edited by Elizabeth Fernea. Austin: University of Texas Press, 1995.
Gelvin, James. “The Social Origins of Popular Nationalism in Syria: Evidence for a New Framework.” International Journal of Middle East Studies. Vol. 26, No. 4, 1994.
_________. Divided Loyalties: Nationalism and Mass Politics in Syria at the Close of Empire. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1998.
Hinnebusch, Raymond. Authoritarian Power and State Formation in Ba’thist Syria: Army, Party and Peasant. Boulder, Col.: Westview, 1990.
__________. “State and Civil Society in Syria.” Middle East Journal. Vol. 47, No.2, Spring 1993.
__________. “State, Civil Society and Political Change in Syria.” In Civil Society in the Middle East. Edited by Augustus R. Norton. Leiden: Brill, 1995.
Hopfinger, Han and Boeckler, Marc. “Step by Step to an Open Economic System: Syria Sets Course for Liberalization.” British Journal of Middle Eastern Studies. Vol. 23, No. 2, November 1996.
Hopwood, Derek. Syria, 1945-1986: Politics and Society. London: Unwin Hyman, 1988.
Kanovsky, Eliahu. “Syria’s Troubled Economic Future.” Middle East Quarterly. Vol. 4, No. 2, June 1997.
Kaplan, Robert. “Syria — Identity Crisis.” The Atlantic. Vol. 271, February, 1993.
Kayali, Ghalib. Hafiz al-Assad: Qa’id wa risala. Damascus, 1977.
Kedar, Mordechai. “The Public Political Language of the Asad Regime in Syria: Messages and Means of Communication.” Ph.D. dissertation. Bar-Ilan University, 1998.
Khoury, Philip. Syria and the French Mandate: The Politics of Arab Nationalism, 1920-1945. Princeton: Princeton University, 1987.
_________. “A Reinterpretation of the Origins and Aims of the Great Syrian Revolt 1925-1927.” In Arab Civilization: Challenges, Responses, Studies in Honor of Constantine Zurayk. Edited by George Atiyeh and Ibrahim Oweiss. Albany: State University of New York, 1988.
_________. “Syrian Political Culture.” In Syria: Society, Culture, and Polity. Edited by Richard T. Antoun and Donald Quataert. Albany: State University of New York, 1991.
_________. “Syrian Urban Politics in Transition: The Quarters of Damascus during the French Mandate.” In The Modern Middle East. Edited by Albert Hourani, Philip Khoury, Philip and Mary Wilson. Berkeley: University of California, 1993.
Kienle, Eberhard. Ba’th versus Ba’th. The Conflict Between Syria and Iraq, 1968-1989. London: I.B. Tauris, 1990.
Kienle, Eberhard, ed. Contemporary Syria: Economic Liberalization between Cold War and Cold Peace. London: British Academic Press, 1994.
Lawson, Fred. “External versus Internal Pressures for Liberalization in Syria and Iraq.” Journal of Arab Affairs. Vol. 11, No. 1, 1992.
_________. “Domestic Transformation and Foreign Steadfastness in Contemporary Syria.” Middle East Journal. Vol. 48, Winter 1994.
Lobmeyer, Hans. “Islamic Ideology and Secular Discourse. The Islamists of Syria.” Orient. Vol. 32, 1991.
Longuenesse, Elisabeth. “The Syrian Working Class Today.” Middle East Report. Vol. 15, No. 134, July-August 1985.
Ma’oz, Moshe. Ottoman Reform in Syria and Palestine. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1968.
__________. “Alawi Military Officers in Syrian Politics.” In The Military and State in Modern Asia. Edited by H.Z. Schiffrin. Jerusalem: Academic Press, 1976.
__________. Asad, Sphinx of Damascus. London: Weldenfeld and Nicolson, 1988.
Ma’oz, Moshe and Yaniv, Avner, eds. Syria under Assad: Domestic Constraints and Regional Risks. New York: St. Martin’s 1986.
Mardam Bey, Salma. Syria’s Quest for Independence. Reading: Ithaca, 1994.
Mayer, Thomas. “The Islamic Opposition in Syria 1961-1982.” Orient. Vol. 24, 1983.
Middle East Watch Committee, eds. Syria Unmasked: The Suppression of Human Rights by the Regime. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1991.
Moosa, Matti. “Naqqash and the Rise of the Native Arab Theater in Syria.” Journal of Arabic Literature, 3, 1972.
Muslih, Muhammad. “The Golan: Israel, Syria and Strategic Considerations.” Middle East Journal. Vol. 47, 1993.
Omar, Saleh. “Philosophical Origins of the Arab Ba’th Party: The Work of Zaki al-Arsuzi.” Arab Studies Quarterly. Vol. 18, No. 2, Spring 1996.
Perthes, Volker. “The Bourgeoisie and the Ba’th.” Middle East Report. 21, No. 3, May-June 1991.
__________. The Political Economy of Syria Under Asad. London: I.B. Tauris, 1995.
__________. “Si Vis Stabilatatem, Para Bellum: State Building, National Security and War Preparation in Syria.” In War, Institutions and Social Change in the Middle East. Edited by Steven Heydemann. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2000.
Qudsi, Safwan. al-Batal wa al-tarikh. Qira’a fi fikr Hafiz al-Asad al-siyasi. Damascus: Dar Tlas, 1984.
Rabinovich, Itamar. Syria Under the Ba’th. Jerusalem: Israel Universities Press and New York: Halstead, 1972.
Rathmell, Andrew. Secret War in the Middle East: The Covert Struggle for Syria, 1949-1961. London and New York: I.B. Tauris, 1995.
Raymond, André. La Syrie d’aujourd’hui. Paris: CNRS, 1980.
Roberts, David. The Ba’th and the Creation of Modern Syria. London: Croom Helm, 1987.
Russell, Malcolm. The First Modern Arab State: Syria under Faysal 1918-1920. Minneapolis: Bibliotheca Islamica, 1985.
Sadowski, Yahya. “Patronage and the Ba’th: Corruption and Control in Contemporary Syria.” Arab Studies Quarterly. Vol. 9, No. 4, 1987.
Schami, Rafik. Damascus Nights. Trans. by Philip Boehm. New York: Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, 1993.
Seale, Patrick. The Struggle for Syria: A Study of Post-War Arab Politics 1945-1958. London: I.B. Tauris, 1986.
________. Asad: The Struggle for the Middle East. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1988.
Seurat, Michel. L’État de barbarie. Paris: Éditions du Seuil, 1989.
al-Sharif, Samim. al-Musiqa fi Suriya: A`lam wa tarikh. Damascus: Wizarat al-Thaqafa wa al-Irshad, 1991.
Sluglett, Peter and Farouk-Sluglett, Marion. “The Application of the 1858 Land Code in Greater Syria: Some Preliminary Observations.” In Tarif Khalidi, ed. Land Tenure and Social Transformation in the Middle East. Beirut: American University in Berut, 1984.
Sultan, `Ali. Tarikh Suriya. Vol. 1 (1908-1918) and Vol. 2 (1918 – 1920). Damascus: Dar al-Tlas, 1987.
Tauber, Eliezer. The Formation of Modern Syria and Iraq. Ilford, Essex, England and Portland, Oregon: Frank Cass, 1995.
Thompson, Elizabeth. “The Climax and Crisis of the Colonial Welfare State in Syria and Lebanon during World War II.” In War, Institutions and Social Change in the Middle East. Edited by Steven Heydemann. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2000.
Tibawi, Abdul Latif. A Modern History of Syria, including Lebanon and Palestine. London: Macmillan and New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1969.
Tlass, Mustafa. L’histoire politique de la Syrie contemporaine, 1918-1990. Mustafa Tlass, Joseph Hajjar. Damascus: Dar al-Tlas, 1993.
Torrey, Gordon N. Syrian Politics and the Military 1945-1958. Columbus: Ohio State University Press, 1964.
Van Dam, Nikolaos. The Struggle for Power in Syria: Sectarianism, Regionalism and Tribalism in Politics, 1961 – 1980. London: Croom Helm, 1981.
Watenpaugh, Keith. “Middle Class Modernity and the Persistence of the Politics of the Notables.” International Journal of Middle East Studies. Vol. 35, Number 2, May 2003.
Wedeen, Lisa. Ambiguities of Domination: Politics, Rhetoric, and Symbols in Contemporary Syria. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1999.
Weulersse, Jacques. Le pays des Alouites. Vol. 1 Tours: 1940.
__________. Paysans de Syrie et du Proche-Orient. Paris: Gallimard, 1946.
Zisser, Eyal. “The Syrian Army: Between the Domestic and the External Fronts.” Middle East Review of International Affairs. Vol. 5, No. 1, March 2001.
Zuhur, Sherifa. “Bashar al-Assad.” In the Encyclopedia of the Arab Israeli Conflict, Edited by Spencer Tucker, Santa Barbara and London: ABC-Clio, 2008
Zuhur, Sherifa. “Syria: Haven for Terrorists?” Unmasking Terror: A Global Review of Terrorist Activities. Vol. 2 Jamestown: Jamestown Foundation, 2005.
Zuhur, Sherifa. “Syria: From Arab Nationalists to a Security Services State.” In Zuhur, The Middle East: Politics, History and Neonationalism. Philadelphia: Institute of Middle Eastern, Islamic and Diasporic Studies, 2005.
Basic Facts about Syria:
Population: 22,530,746 Ethnicities: Arab 90.3%, Kurds, Armenians, and other 9.7% Religious Groups: Sunni Muslim (74%, other Muslim (includes Alawite, Isma`iliyya, Druze) 16%, Christian 10%, Jewish (very small numbers).
Human Rights Situation in Syria 2012: http://www.hrw.org/world-report-2012/world-report-2012-syria
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 (2009)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%
Urban Population: 56% of total (2010)
Syrian Arab Army (prior to the conflict) 220,000 regular and 280,000 reserves. Of the 200,000 career soldiers, 140,000 are Alawi.
Syria’s Golan Heights is occupied by Israel and 1,000 members of a U.N. Disengagement Observer Force patrol a buffer zone.