Syria Update, October 4, 2012 (Institute of Middle Eastern, Islamic and Strategic Studies. By Sherifa Zuhur)

5 Oct

Syria Update, October 4, 2012 (Institute of Middle Eastern, Islamic and Strategic Studies. By Sherifa Zuhur)

Mid-day death toll: 100 including 41 unarmed citizens.

The United Nations Security Council issued a statement condemning Syria’s shelling of a Turkish town, killing five in the strongest terms. It called for an end to such violations of international law. http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5hYW_q0iaPy5pQoerMucsB6XBzf9g?docId=fa33e25ca9e348238f29294dbe6cceb8

Aleppo province: The Syrian military shelled the neighborhoods of Bab al-Nasr, al-Kalasa, Masaken Hanano, al-Mashhad, al-Msharqa, Qastal Harami, al-Salhin, and al-Sakhour and clashes took place in Masaken Hanano and al-Sakhour.

The Syrian military shelled the towns of A’ndan, Hayan, Ma`aret al-Artiq and Tel Rifa`t. al-Sakhour and Masaken Hanano. The FSA shot down a military jet near the Kwares airport.

Damascus province: The Syrian military shot 3 civilians in the al-Tadamon neighbourhood. A body was found in al-Shuhada’ street. The Syrian military killed a young girl and injured civilians when they shelled Beit Nayem in Duma.

A group of Syrian soldiers defected from Syrian Army’s Seventh Brigade near the town of Zakiyeh. 17 died in Zakiyeh including 8 Syrian military troops and several opposition fighters in clashes.

Dara`a province: The Syrian military shelled the towns of al-Mseifra, al-Mzeirib, al-Karak al-Sharqi, al-Talshhab, and al-Yaduda. The Syrian military carried out raids and destroyed homes in the town of Izre’.

Deir az-Zur province: The Syrian military resumed shelling of the al-Erfi neighborhood in the city of Deir az-Zur. Clashes occurred on Bour Sa`id street and in the al-Rashdiyya and al-Ummal neighborhoods causing casualities on both sides. An explosion occurred on al-Nahr street.

The Syrian military shelled the city of Bukamal.

Homs province: The Syrian military heavily shelled the al-Khaldiyya neighborhood. The Syrian military heavily shelled al-Rastan and clashed with rebel fighters in their efforts to invade the area

The Syrian military also bombarded al-Hula and al-Ghento and shelled the town of Qal`at al-Husun.

Idlib province: The Syrian military shelled the villages of Deir Sunbul and Jabal al-Zawiya.

Latakia province: Four opposition fighters were killed in clashes with the Syrian military in the countryside.

Quneitra province: The Syrian military bombarded Jabatha al-Khashb town and the village of Taranja. An IED attack killed at least 5 Syrian troops at a checkpoint in the village of Ofaniyya and more than 16 others were injured.

Raqqa Province: Reports of Turkish shelling on the Syrian military base in the Rasm al-Ghazal area south of the town of Tal Abyad in the morning. Also, there was a ground attack by the opposition on the base resulting in casualties.

International

At least 5,000 Turks protested against a potential war with Syria, and also against the AK party. People chanted “The AKP wants war, the people want peace.” This followed the Turkish parliament’s authorization of a mandate to approve cross-border military action into Syria to respond to Syria’s shelling on Turkey. http://www.aljazeera.com/news/middleeast/2012/10/2012103181110169706.html

The Syrian government did not admit responsibility for the deaths of 5 Turkish citizens – all women and children – when its military fired a mortar on a border town. Instead, Syria’s UN representative Bashar al-Jafari merely expressed condolences for the families of those killed and said it was investigating the incident as if to suggest that its military was not responsible. Al-Jafari also said that the border between Syria and Turkey has been used as a haven and transport point for terrorist groups.

As a consequence for Syrian’s action on Turkey (and non-admittance of responsibility for the incident) NATO issued a statement condemning Syria. http://www.nato.int/cps/en/natolive/news_90447.htm

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that Turkey has no intention of going to war with Syria.

Turkish authorities arrested the Syrian activist Naji Tayyara at the Ataturk International Airport.

Amnesty International called on the Syrian government to either charge or release human rights activists, Khalil al-Maatouq and Mohammad Thatha (Zaza) who were detained on their way to work on Tuesday.
Syria: A Brief Chronology

1918 October. Troops led by Amir Faisal, the son of Sharif Hussein of Mecca capture Damascus ending Ottoman rule.

1920 March. Faisal is proclaimed the King of Syria.

1920 July. The San Remo conference creates the mandate system placing Syria under the mandate of France. French forces occupy Damascus.

1925-1926. Nationalist uprising known as the Syrian revolution escalates. French forces bombard Damascus, Suwaida and other locations. The rebels led by Sultan al-Atrash go into exile. (Faisal becomes the ruler of Iraq)

1928. A constituent assembly drafts Syria’s constitution.

1936. A treaty between France and Syria is negotiated in which France grants independence but retains military presence and economic management. It is never fully enacted.

1940. After France falls to the Germans, the Vichy government controls Syria.

1941. The Free French and UK forces invade Syria and Lebanon, oust the Vichy government and occupy Syria (and Lebanon).

1946. The French withdraw from Syria.

1947. Michel Aflaq and Salah al-Din Bitar form the Arab Socialist Ba`ath Party.

1949. Three military coups take place, in the third one, Adib Shishakli assumes power.

1958-1961 Syria and Egypt join in the United Arab Republic under President Gamal abd al-Nasser. A group of Syrian army officers overthrow the UAR in 1961.

1963. A military coup results in a Baathist cabinet and the presidency of Amin al-Hafiz.

1966 Salah Jadid leads a coup against the civilian Baathist government and takes office. Hafez al-Assad is defense minister.

1970. November. Hafez al-Assad overthrows Nur al-Din al-Atasi and puts Salah Jadid in prison.

1971. Hafez al-Assad is elected President in a referendum.

1973. Hafez al-Assad does away with the Constiutitional requirement that Syria’s president be a Muslim. Riots result which were suppressed by the army.

1973. In the October war with Israel, Syria fails to recapture the Golan Heights.

1976. June. Syria intervenes in the Lebanese civil war.

1979 – 1980. A network of Muslim organizations begin an uprising against the government, attack the military and are attacked by the army.

1980. Syria backs Iran in the Iran-Iraq war.

1982. Islamist uprising in the city of Hama is put down brutally, as many as 30,000 civilians are killed.

1982. Israel invades Lebanon and forces the withdrawal of Syrian forces from some areas.

1987. Syria redeploys troops to Lebanon.

1989 December. Committees for the Defense of Democracy, Freedom and Human Rights (CDDFHR) formed in Syria, an underground human rights organization with a newsletter, Sawt al-Dimukratiyya.

1991. Syria participates in the Madrid peace conference, but is shocked by the secret Oslo peace agreements.

1994. Basil al-Assad, the president’s son dies in a car accident.

1998. Rifaat al-Assad, the vice president and president’s brother is relieved of his position.

2000. Hafez al-Assad dies and is succeeded by his son Bashar al-Assad despite the fact that Syria is a republic.

2000-1 In the Damascus Spring, intellectuals, artists and writers began meeting and discussing politics in groups like the Kawakibi Forum, the Atassi Forum and the National Dialogue Forum which called for an end to emergency laws and restoration of political freedoms.

2002 Bashar al-Assad and his team, especially Hasan Khalil, the head of military intelligence began a crackdown on the dialogue groups, closing them and arresting their members, incarcerating, torturing and killing them.

2002 The United States alleges that Syria is developing chemical and possibly nuclear weapons.

2003 The CDDFHR held its first public meeting in Cairo. It later opened 9 offices outside of Syria, in the Middle East and Europe.

2003 Israel carries out a air strike on a Palestinian militant camp near Damascus.

2004 March. Clashes take place between Kurds, Arabs and regime forces in the northeast of Syria.

2004 September. The U.N. Security Council calls for all foreign forces to leave Lebanon, a resolution directed at Syria.

2005 Former Lebanese Prime Minister Hariri is assassinated. In April, Syria finally withdraws its forces from Lebanon.

2006 Iraq and Syria restore relations.

2007 Syrian dissidents Kamal Labwani and Michel Kilo are sentenced to lengthy terms in Jail and Anwar al-Bunni, a human rights lawyer is sent to jail.

2007 September. Israel carries out an air strike on an area in northern Syria where a nuclear facility had been under construction.

2008 July. Bashar al-Assad meets with Lebanese President Michel Suleiman and re-establishes relations with French President Nicolas Sarkozy.

2009 The IAEA says it has found undeclared man-made uranium at a reactor in Damascus.

2010 The U.S. reinstates sanctions against Syria because of its support for terrorist groups and provision of SCUD missiles to Hizbullah.

2011 March Peaceful protests begin in Syria to demand political freedom and the release of political prisoners.

2011 May. The Syrian government begins a military crackdown on the protests targeting Homs, Banyas, Dara`a and areas of Damascus.

2011 October. The Syrian National Council brings together dissidents from outside and inside of Syria. Russia and China veto a U.N resolution condemning Syria.

2011 November. The Arab League votes to suspend Syria due to the governments attacks on its own civilians.

2012 May. Government forces and militia members massacre more than 100 in Houla.

2012 July. The Free Syrian Army increases military actions and seizes parts of Aleppo and Damascus. The Syrian military struggle to retake these areas.

2012 August 15 The Organisation of the Islamic Conference suspends Syria due to its attacks on its citizens.

2012 August. The Syrian military and militia members massacre more than 500 people in the town of Daraya over two and a half days.

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