Syria Update, October 6, 2012 (Institute of Middle Eastern, islamic and Strategic Studies. By Sherifa Zuhur)

7 Oct

Syria Update, October 6, 2012 (Institute of Middle Eastern, Islamic and Strategic Studies. By Sherifa Zuhur)

Early death toll: 70

Friday’s revised death toll: More than 140 including 73 unarmed civilians

For the fourth day, Turkey and Syria exchanged hostilities. The U.S. Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta said this may lead to a broader war.

This video shows a Shi`i Iraqi national who was fighting with Assad’s forces in Syria against the opposition and who was captured by the opposition.

Aleppo province: The Syrian military and the opposition clashed in the al-Qarlaq neighborhood and explosions took place. The Syrian military heavily shelled the southern neighborhoods, sending hundreds of rockets into these areas earlier in the day. A sniper killed 3 civilians including a child in Karaj al-Intilaq, Souq al-Hal and al-Itha`a. The Syrian military shelled the neighborhoods of Karm al-Jabal and Bab al-Nasr.

Damascus province: The Syrian military shelled the al-Qadam and al-Asali neighborhoods of Damascus, killing a civilian in al-Asali. Clashes between the opposition and the Syrian military took place in the Dawar Borsa`id area, and several Syrian troops were killed in those clashes. Some unidentified bodies were found in that area. The Syrian military destroyed buildings in al-Tadamon. Clashes also took place in the Yarmouk camp.

The Syrian military carried out arrests and raids in Qudseyya, and in the town of al-Hama, and shelled the fields around the city of Harasta. Clashes in Harasta killed one opposition fighter. The Syrian military shot one person in the town of Babila. In Duma, 11 persons were killed – one unidentified body was found, a sniper killed 1, and clashes resulted in the deaths of 9 opposition fighters. 1 was shot by regime forces in the Babila town. 11 were killed in the city of Douma, an unidentified corpse was found, 1 was shot by sniper fire, 9 rebel fighters were killed during clashes with regime forces. Syrian military shelling of Otaya killed one. The Syrian military shelled the towns of the eastern Ghuta as helicopters hovered overhead. The Syrian military shelled al-Zabadani and carried out raids in Bloudan.

This video shows a Syrian Presidential Guard who was captured by the opposition in the Damascus area:

Dara`a province: A sniper shot a civilian in the town of Msayfra. The Syrian military shelled the town of al-Na’ima, and al-Mzeireb and M’arba. The Syrian military heavily shelled the town of al-Karak al-Sharqi; clashes took place there as well.

Deir az-Zur province: The Syrian military shelled the town of Muhasan.

Hama province: The Syrian military stormed into the village of al-Shir and carried out raids and arrests. The Syrian military shelled the village of Hurbanafsa.

Hassake province: Regime forces were on a raid and arrest campaign in the Shadadi area of Reef al-Hasakah.

Homs province: Clashes between the Syrian military and the opposition took place in several areas of the city of Homs, including on the outskirs of Baba Amru. The Syrian military shelled al-Khaldiyya, Jobar and Homs al-Qadima leading to at least 11 injuries. Syrian military shelling on al-Rastan killed one person.

The Syrian military shelled the city of al-Qseir. Many civilians, including women and children were fleeing from the town of al-Tabia al-Gharbiya when the Syrian began shelling them. That town was being shelled heavily and clashes took place as the Syrian military tried to overtake it.

Idlib province: The Syrian military killed a defected captain Alaa’ Mustafa Qaiqouni, who became the leader of the Salah al-Din rebel battalion, in an on the road to the village of Darkoush in the Jusr al-Shughur area. In that area, near the Syrian-Turkish border, violent clashes too, place for more than 12 hours between regime forces and rebel fighters. Then, the opposition taking control of the town of Kherbet al-Jawz. 40 Syrian troops and 9 opposition troops were killed in the clashes. Clashes also took lace in the town of Bdama, and to the west of the city of Idlib. The Syrian military also shelled the town of Sarmin and the village of T’oum. A Syrian military helicopter targeted the area to the south west of the town of Jarjanaz. Electricity has been cut off from the villages in the eastern part of Ma’arat al-Nu`man for three days.

Latakia province: COL. Ali Khazzam, right hand of Maher al-Assad died today of his wounds in Latakia according to sources in Qurdaha. Khazzam commanded the March 2011 raid into Baba Amru in Homs and led other military operations in Damascus province. The Syrian opposition took over the Syrian military’s outpost of Berj al-Daymous in Jabal al-Turkman.

Mokhtar Lamani, who heads United Nations-Arab League peace envoy Lakhdar Brahimi’s office in Syria, met with members of the armed opposition on Saturday in the Lajah area, after a trip to Dara`a. He also met with the governor of the province of Homs and representatives of the International Committee of the Red Cross and the Syrian Red Crescent.
International: According to the Guardian, Syria has agreed to keep its military forces 6 kilometers away from the Turkish border, in the wake of cross-border hostilities.

In contrast with earlier reports, the New York Times today claimed that Saudi Arabia and Qatar have not armed Syrian rebels with heavy weaponry, due to U.S. opposition to such aid. Without it, the opposition can do no more than achieve a stalemate with the regime’s military.

According to a defector, 1,600 Hizbullah fighters are fighting on behalf of the Assad government in Syria.

Selected Bibliography on Syria (from my book, The Middle East: Politics, History and Neonationalism IMEISS, 2005)

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_________. “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.

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Hinnebusch, Raymond. Authoritarian Power and State Formation in Ba’thist Syria: Army, Party and Peasant. Boulder, Col.: Westview, 1990.

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Ma’oz, Moshe and Yaniv, Avner, eds. Syria under Assad: Domestic Constraints and Regional Risks. New York: St. Martin’s 1986.

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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.

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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.


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