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

25 Oct

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

Death toll: 150 Syrians including 73 unarmed civilians.

Yesterday’s death toll: 190.

The government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has indicated to Russia that it will accept UN-Arab League peace envoy Lakhdar Brahimi’s proposal for a ceasefire in Syria over the Eid al-Adha holiday according to Moscow’s U.N. envoy, Ambassador Vitaly Churkin.
Lakhdar Brahimi says that most of the opposition has agreed to a ceasefire over the Eid holiday. http://www.arabnews.com/peace-envoy-says-damascus-most-rebels-agree-eid-truce

Aleppo province: 2 opposition fighters and 13 Syrian troops were killed today.

Damascus province: A car-bomb exploded in the area between the Tadamun and Daf al-Shawk neighbourhoods killing 6 and wounded at least 20. Clashes between the opposition and the Syrian military took place in Tadamon and in al-Qaboun. The Syrian military heavily shelled al-Hajar al-Aswad.

The Syrian military shelled Mu`adamiyya killing dozens of civilians and wounding others.

20 bodies of civilians were discovered in the Taxi Haydar building, in the city of Douma. The dead included 4 children and 8 women, killed by the Syrian regime. Firing on Harasta killed 1 opposition fighter and 3 civilians, including a woman. The Syrian military bombarded the area around the town of Zamalka by air. 2 men were found dead in the town of al-Sabina. 1 man was killed in the town of Deir Sleiman.

Dara`a province: The Syrian military shelled Tafas and Tariq al-Sid today.

Deir az-Zur province: 4 were killed today, including 2 Syrian military troops. This video shows armed men gathering around a Free Syrian Army – marked truck and boarding of a helicopter. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NyZ0FWQi8CA&feature=player_embedded

Hasake province: Unknown gunmen caused an explosion on the gas-line linking al-Hasaka and the city of Banyas; the explosion occurred in the village of Bi’r al-Juwees.

Homs province: The Syrian military heavily shelled the town of Houla.

Idlib province: The Syrian military shelled the Bilal mosque in Ma’arat al-Nu`man killing 10. Rami Mendeel, a 16 year old soldier, the son of Ra’ed Mandeel, the opposition leader of the Ma’arat al-Nu`man martyrs brigade, was killed during clashes when his group attacked a military motorcade near the Ein Qri’ village, south of Ma’arat al-Nu’man city. These clashes also killed 1 other opposition fighter and 9 Syrian military troops and 3 tanks were destroyed.

The Syrian military shelled the village of Deir Sharqi. Clashes took place near the the Wadi al-Dayf military base and the Syrian military shelled villages in the area. The Syrian military’s aeriel bombardment of Kafrouma caused the deaths of 7 civilians, including a family of six, 3 were children and 1 woman.

Al-Raqqa province: More than 14 Syrian military troops were killed or wounded in a car bombing at the al-Qantari military checkpoint on the al-Raqqa-al-Hasaka road. Heavy clashes took place between Syrian military troops and the opposition in the city of al-Tabaqa city leading to the death of 1 Syrian military fighter and clashes also took place at Solouk. 18 were killed today in al-Raqqa province including 16 Syrian troops and 2 opposition fighters.

A military coordinator for the Free Syrian Army (FSA) has said that not all rebel groups would comply with a proposed ceasefire during an upcoming Muslim holiday as they doubted the intentions of the government.

Lakhdar Brahimi, the joint United Nations-Arab League envoy to Syria said earlier on Monday that the Syrian government and some rebel leaders had agreed to a ceasefire during a four-day Muslim holiday due to begin on Friday.

But in the Turkish town of Hatay, the FSA’s Ahmad Kassem said while some rebel leaders had said they would commit to a ceasefire, others had refused because “they have previous experience with the regime.”

”They don’t trust him (Assad) and everybody will soon see that Bashar Assad will not commit to this ceasefire, period.”

International: A defected female former general of the Syrian forces has been training the Syrian opposition in Turkey. http://www.todayszaman.com/news-296278-report-defected-female-general-trains-syrian-opposition-in-turkey.html

Lakhdar Brahimi says that most of the opposition has agreed to a ceasefire over the Eid holiday. http://www.arabnews.com/peace-envoy-says-damascus-most-rebels-agree-eid-truce

President Morsi of Egypt gave a speech to Azhar preachers on the occasion of the Eid, and called on the Syrian regime to halt the bloodshed during Eid as a first step.

The United States said on Wednesday it had not supplied Stinger missiles to Syrian rebel forces, which challenges intelligence from Moscow that the US-made surface-to-air missiles had found their way into the hands of the Syrian opposition.

U.S. Presidential candidate Mitt Romney appeared to be somewhat confused about Middle Eastern geography as he repeated claims that Syria is Iran’s gateway to the sea. http://www.newstrackindia.com/newsdetails/2012/10/24/66-Romney-repeats-Syria-is-Iran-s-route-to-the-sea-gaffe-for-sixth-time-in-row-.html
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.

2012 September 2. The Syrian military begin a campaign to retake opposition-dominated neighborhoods of Aleppo, promising victory within 10 days (but well into October they were still battling in the same areas.) September 5: 45 people were summarily executed by the Syrian regime in al-Akramiyya in Aleppo. September 21: 90 soldiers defected from the infantry academy in Aleppo. A trial of five persons began in Syria of persons who kidnapped a defected Syrian officer, Hussein Harmoush who had handed him back to the Syrian government.

2012 October. Massive shelling of Syrian cities and villages continues. Hizbullah operatives are returned dead to Lebanon after battling in Syria on behalf of the Assad regime. Syria fires into Turkish territory killing five civilians and continues to fire into Syria from the 3rd of Oct until the end of the month. This initially caused NATO to issue a statement of readiness to defend Turkey.

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One Response to “Syria Update, October 24, 2012 (Institute of Middle Eastern, Islamic and Strategic Studies. By Sherifa Zuhur)”

  1. jhshannon October 25, 2012 at 1:55 pm #

    Reblogged this on Hikayat Shamiyya.

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