Syria Update, September 27, 2012 (Institute of MIddle Eastern, Islamic and Strategic Studies. By Sherifa Zuhur)

28 Sep

Syria Update, September 27, 2012 (Institute of Middle Eastern, Islamic and Strategic Studies. By Sherifa Zuhur)

Early death toll: 109

Revised death toll for September 26: More than 300 Syrians including 189 unarmed civilians of whom 13 were children.

Aleppo province: The opposition fired 20 shells falling on the Syrian regime-controlled neighborhood of Sleimaniyya in Aleppo, killing 4 persons. The Syrian military shelled the Khalasa neighborhood. The Syrian military shelled al-Meyser and Masaken Hanon in the morning.

Bashir al-Hajj, commander of the Tawhid battalion says a decisive battle has begun in the city of Aleppo around 4:00 pm there: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/middle-east-live/2012/sep/27/syria-bloodiest-day-yet-live#block-5064736e58f99afdfd4eb17c

The Syrian Arab army began sending out an ominous text message today reading “Game over” on Syria’s two main cell phone services. http://www.knoxnews.com/news/2012/sep/27/syria-tells-rebels-on-mobile-phones-quotgame/

The Free Syrian Army now controls Manbej. The Syrian military shelled Anjara. Clashes took place near the Nayrab airport. Clashes between the Syrian military and the opposition took place at the outskirts of the town of Khan al-Asal, killing 3 Syrian military troops. The Syrian military’s artillery hit a civilian car on the Deir Hafar-Maskana road. Clashes in the city of Afrin killed a member of the Revolutionary Kurdish Popular Defense Committees and a member of the Salah al-Din Battalion. The Syrian military bombarded the town of Anadan, klling one civilian, and last night it shelled the villages of al-Hoota, Bshenter and Kafar Da’el last night.

Damascus province: A protest of the Youth of the Revolution took place in the al-Midan area of Damascus today:

Syrian military were posted around the same area today:

Al-Nusra Front also claimed responsibility for yesterday’s suicide attack on an Army headquarters building in Damascus.

The Syrian military heavily shelled al-Ebada, Jdeidat Artouz and al-Zabadani. A huge explosion was reported in Qudsyya and there were reports of casualities.

Dara`a province: The Syrian military heavily shelled the towns of al-Karak al-Sharqi and al-Mzeirab. The Syrian military carried out raids, arrests and set homes on fire in the town of Hrak. Syrian regime forces swept through farms around the town of Tassel, searching for opposition and three farmers were found dead.

Deir az-Zur province: Clashes took place between the Syrian military and the opposition in the city of Deir az-Zur, and shelling by the Syrian military on the city killed two civilians, one of them a physician in the morning.

Hama province: An explosion rocked the al-Bayyad neighborhood of Hama, injuring civilians. The Syrian military went on a raid and arrest campaign in the neighborhood of al-Arba`een, and set buildings on fire.

The Syrian military heavily shelled the towns of Breidji, Hawash, Huwieija, Karnaz, Khatamlo, and al-Jabin. The Syrian military fired on the village of al-Zaka this morning from machineguns stationed at checkpoints in that village.

Hassake province: A pipeline transporting crude oil exploded in the Um Madfa’ area of southern Hassake after midnight. The manager of the Tal al-Bayda oil terminal has been kidnapped.

Homs province: Fierce clashes between the Syrian military and the opposition took place in the al-Jobar and al-Sultaniyya areas of Homs and in the village of Naqeera as well as shelling by the Syrian military. The Syrian military also shelled the Khaldiyya, Jourat al-Shayyah and old neighborhoods of Homs. The Syrian military resumed its heavy shelling on al-Rastan.

The Syrian military shelled al-Dar al-Kabira, al-Ghento, Jousiyya, al-Nizariyya and al-Zira`a.

Idlib province: The Syrian military shelled the city of Kafranbel, killing two civilians and destroying homes. The Syrian military also shelled the towns of al-Aliya, Khan Shaykhoun and Meghtrem. The corpse of a young man from Saraqeb was found near the military barracks in Mastouma, dead from a gunshot and with marks of torture. Yesterday, the Syrian military carried out a massive arrest campaign in the city of Idlib, and gathered 100 young men to verify their military service. Roadblocks were set up where arrests and interrogations took place. The Syrian military badly beat a young man, cursing him and stepping on his head, as he lost consciousness. They shot and cursed at those onlooking or who tried to help the young man.

Clashes between the opposition and the Syrian military occurred near the village of Bsanqoul. The Syrian military shelled the towns of Kafarmeed, Khan Shayhoun, Mhambel and Sarmin today. The Syrian military carried out raids in the town of Ghasaniyya and clashes occurred there. A car bomb exploded near a military checkpoint on the Damascus highway, in one report identified as the Ikard checkpoint.

A 5 year old girl, Fatima Abd al-Hakim Rajwan Hani from Ma`arat Nouman died in Turkey yesterday from injuries sustained during the Eid. She had been hit by shrapnel, and her leg had been amputated.

The Syrian military shot at homes in Ariha and burned a school yesterday. A sniper killed Ahmad Albo while he was riding his motorbike.
Yesterday, in Jisr al-Shughur, Syrian military wearing civilian clothes were stopping drivers and hijacking their cars.
Latakia province: Clashes broke out between the Syrian military and the opposition in the villages of the Turkman mountain. The Syrian army has begun an offensive in the northern part of the province which is mostly controlled by the opposition in the Kurd and Turkman mountains.
The Syrian military shelled the town of Balkas.
Tartus province: In Banyas, the Syrian security forces have released some of the women whom they have detained over the last five days, but not the male detainees

Refugees: The numbers of Syrians fleeing the country is climbing rapidly. Although not all are registered refugees, already half a million have left Syria and the United Nations and other agencies are certain the numbers will rise before the end of the year. http://www.nytimes.com/2012/09/28/world/middleeast/un-says-syrian-refugee-numbers-are-surging.html
In Jordan, state security prosecutors charged 8 Syrian refugees with unlawful assembly and carrying out riots at the Zaatari refugee camp. The offenders would face three years in jail in convicted.

International: The Syrian military fired three shells on the city of Urfa in Turkey.

Iran’s Deputy Foreign Minister spokesman, Ramin Mehmanparast was briefly pursued and shouted at by angry Syrians near the U.N. in New York. The news report does not mention that they are Syrians, see the video.

http://online.wsj.com/article/AP2e88787ce7664a768b84be2429595075.html

President Ahmadinejad of Iran said that Iran seeks to set up a contact group on Syria (similar to, but composed differently from that established by President Morsi of Egypt – comprised of Iran, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Egypt). He did not divulge which countries had been contacted.

Recip Tayyip Erdogan, Prime Minister of Turkey criticized Russia, China, and Iran’s stances on the Syrian crisis, saying this has permitted a massacre to continue. http://www.todayszaman.com/news-293643-turkeys-erdogan-slams-russia-says-it-stands-by-massacre-in-syria.html

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.

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One Response to “Syria Update, September 27, 2012 (Institute of MIddle Eastern, Islamic and Strategic Studies. By Sherifa Zuhur)”

  1. jhshannon September 28, 2012 at 5:33 pm #

    Reblogged this on Hikayat Shamiyya.

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