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

27 Nov

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

Early death toll: 95

Monday’s revised death toll: 160 killed including 57 unarmed civilians

The pro-Syrian government publication al-Watan published a list of 142 foreign fighters killed along with the Syrian opposition. These persons were allegedly killed in October and November in Idlib, Hassakeh, Deir az-Zor, Homs and Aleppo provinces. The government claims these are “jihadists” affiliated with al-Qa’ida. Named were 47 Saudi Arabians, 24 Libyans, 11 Afghans, 10 Tunisians, 9 Egyptians, 6 Qataris, 5 Lebanese, 5 Turks, 3 Chechens, 1 Chadian and 1 Azerbaijani.

Aleppo province: The Syrian air force are shelling the area near the air defense force battalion in Shaykh Sleiman following an attack by the Nusra Front on that battalion. The opposition hit one helicopter with an anti-aircraft missile, and this is the first time that has occurred.

At dawn the fighters of the Ahrar al-Sham of the Free Syrian Army captured the military post at al-Mintar near al-Safireh. The commander of the post escaped and 9 opposition fighters were killed. The group seized 6 23-mm cannons, weapons, rocket batteries and ammunition.
The Syrian military is shelling Deir Hafer.

Damascus province: Heavy clashes between the opposition and the Syrian military took place in Sayyida Zeinab with casualties on both sides. When the opposition launched a rocket into Sayyida Zeinab, 4 civilians were killed. The Syrian military shelled al-Hajar al-Aswad and al-Asali. A rocket killed a child at Yarmouk camp. Clashes took place in al-Qaboun after an army truck filled with ammunition exploded there. One woman died in this neighborhood from shrapnel wounds. The Syrian military shelled al-Bahdaliyya killing 2 persons. Clashes took place between Kafarsousa and the town of Daraya and that area was shelled. Clashes were fought on the airport road.

The Syrian military shelled Zabadani The Syrian air force bombarded the eastern Ghouta and the opposition shot down a war plane there. A rocket attack killed a child in Thiyabiyya. The Syrian military shelled the town of al-Eteiba, injuring 3 children and killing one man. Two opposition fighters and a woman were killed by the Syrian military’s shelling of the town of Mu`adamiyya. Heavy clashes took place in Daraya where the opposition destroyed 8 army tanks. A suicide bomber killed 2 military police officers at a checkpoint in the Artouz area early in the morning.

Dara`a province: The Syrian military continued to bombard Tafas and clashes took place there. A sniper killed a woman in Tafas. The Syrian military shelled the towns of al-Ghara al-Gharbiya and Tel Shihab and killed 1 man in its shelling of al-Mzeirab. The Syrian military carried out raids and house-to-house arrests in the town of al-Hara.

Deir az-Zur province: The Syrian military has been shelling al-Buleil, al-Bseira, al-Dahla, Muhassan, and al-Tawamiya. The Syrian military has been shelling neighborhoods in the city of Deir az-Zur. Here, the Syrian military, in violation of international law, abuses and threatens to kill wounded prisoners from Deir az-Zur if they will not say where their weapons are (because a civil war has been declared, the rules of international law apply to prisoners)

Hama province: The Syrian military stormed and raided Tariq al-Bab in Hama in the morning. 1 opposition fighter was killed in the Syrian shelling on Tel Wasit. Machine-gun fire into the village of al-Hawash injured several. Several residents were injured when heavy machine-guns were fired in the al-Hawash village.

Homs province: The Syrian military is using helicopters and artillery to shell the city of al-Qusayr. It has been attempting for days to recapture this city. The Syrian military shelled al-Fayziyya, killing 8. Clashes took place in Deir Baalaba and at Baba Amr. The Syrian air force shelled Jobar and the old neighborhoods of Homs today.

Idlib province: The Syrian air force shelled an olive oil press west of the city of Idlib, killing 5 civilians and causing many injuries. Seventeen soldiers defected at a checkpoint in the south of Idlib today and clashes took place there.

The Syrian air force shelled the town of Harem and killed 2 civilians in Mhambal. The Syrian air force shelled Ma`arat al-Nu`man killing 5 opposition fighters.

Refugees: Syria’s registered refugees now number 446,772. Here is some data on them (although it covers only 372,447 of the total number)


Japan is expanding its sanctions against Syria by adding 36 individuals and 19 entities to the list of those already sanctions. On Friday a meeting will be held between the Japanese government and Friends of Syria on ways to make the sanctions more effective.

The UK is encouraging the EU to review the arms embargo portion of sanctions on Syria every three months, instead of simply extending the package for a year It is believed that this might make possible the arming of the opposition, although to date that is not occurring. The EU sanctions on Syria cover bans on visas, asset freezes of individuals and businesses, a ban on oil imports and the embargo on arms being sold to Syria.
Doctors Without Borders (MSF) has treated the wounded in Syria in very challenging circumstances.
The United Nations humanitarian head, Valerie Amos spoke to the media and complained of Syrian mortar fire which she had seen on Syrian refugees trying to flee and cross the border.

Further Reading on Syria’s Muslim Brotherhood

and even if you dislike T. Friedman, his most hopeful comments on the end of Hama rules.
Abdullah, U. I. The Islamic Struggle in Syria. Berkeley: Mizan Press, 1983.
Batatu, Hanna. “Syria’s Muslim Brethren.” Middle East Reports. Vol. 12. No. 110, November-December, 1982.
Mayer, Thomas. “The Islamic Opposition in Syria 1961-1982.” Orient. Vol. 24, 1983.
Porat, Liad.

Seurat, Michel. L’État de barbarie. Paris: Éditions du Seuil, 1989.
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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