Syria Update, January 7, 2013 (Institute of Middle Eastern, Islamic and Strategic Studies. By Sherifa Zuhur)

8 Jan

Syria Update, January 7, 2013 (Institute of Middle Eastern, Islamic and Strategic Studies. By Sherifa Zuhur)

Monday’s early death toll: 70 including 41 unarmed civilians.

Sunday’s death toll: At least 90.

Syrians dismiss Assad’s speech of Sunday January 6, 2012 as fighting continues all over the country.
http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/01/07/us-syria-crisis-idUSBRE8AJ1FK20130107

According to FSA commander, Salim Idris, the opposition has organized a chemical weapons unit to secure such materials. (AJ) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pw2wOHdfzvg

The Nusra Front executed 3 Syrian troops captured several days earlier. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IDg_NJfTkOY

Refugees

Children dig air raid shelters and scavenge for food.
http://edition.cnn.com/2013/01/06/world/meast/syria-children/index.html

The harshness of Syria’s refugee camps. http://www.thenational.ae/thenationalconversation/comment/inside-syrias-refugee-camps-a-harrowing-tale-of-fire-and-ice#full

Casualties collected by SOHR:

36332 Syrian citizens were killed during 2012 with an average of 101 citizens every day and 4 citizens every hour. (The figure of 60,000 given by the U.N. The SOHR had estimated more than 46,000. It is impossible for the Local Coordination Committees to obtain details of all deaths, but they provide the information they receive throughout each day.)

The total number of victims for 2012 includes:

3327 children
3194 women
957 dead from torture
1941 Free Syrian Army members, mostly civilians who have joined the FSA
467 elderly persons of more than years

In the following link, a complete list of victims (36332 without any replication) accumulated by the Syrian Network for Human Rights (SNHR) along with the date of death, place, photos and videos is accessible on the SNHR server:
http://www.syrianhr.org/reports/All_2012_Updated.pdf

Some excerpts from Assad’s speech from yesterday.
http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/01/06/syria-crisis-speech-idUSL5E9C614K20130106

Aleppo province: https://maps.google.com/maps?hl=en&q=map+of+aleppo+province&ie=UTF-8&hq=&hnear=0x152ff85ac00b17c9:0xf68ea3d8dc74b61b,Aleppo+Governorate,+Syria&gl=us&ei=R9DLUKfTFoWO0QHBuIHABA&ved=0CC8Q8gEwAA
A sniper shot one civilian in the neighborhood of al-Halk. The shelling of al-Mashhad killed 12 civilians including a child. The Syrian military also shelled al-Firdows. A sniper killed a man in Bustan al-Qasr

Damascus province: https://maps.google.com/maps?hl=en&q=map+of+damascus+province&ie=UTF-8&hq=&hnear=0x1518e6dc413cc6a7:0x69e5b88ad5b0817b,Damascus+Governorate,+Syria&gl=us&ei=_s_LUPTwHqWw0AHTtYDQAg&ved=0CC8Q8gEwAA

The Syrian military’s artillery fired at Aqraba, only about 3 miles from the Opera House, where Assad gave his speech yesterday. A sniper shot one civilian in al-Barzeh and 2 civilians from al-Yarmouk died, both from wounds received earlier in gunfire at a checkpoint, although one was wounded 2 months earlier and the other, 2 weeks earlier. The Syrian military heavily shelled Asali, Hajar al-Aswad, Madniya, and Tadamoun. Two bodies were found in Qadam.

Clashes occurred near the Idarat al-Markabat building between Harasta and Arbeen. The Syrian military shelled Arbeen, Douma, Mu`adamiyya and Harasta. Syrian military troops shot a woman from Saqba on the Homs-Damascus road. The Syrian military carried out raids and arrests of civilians of al-Mkeiha. Clashes took place in the town of Drosha.

Dara`a province: https://maps.google.com/maps?hl=en&q=map+of+daraa+province&ie=UTF-8&hq=&hnear=0x15195fa1016e8de7:0xff6b41761235d49c,Daraa+Governorate,+Syria&gl=us&ei=u9DLUPDfIcXq0gGRwIHADQ&ved=0CC8Q8gEwAA

The Syrian military shelled Busr al-Harir (this has been ongoing for days). Several shells also fell on Nahta and al-Hrak. A defected soldier was killed in al-Jiza in clashes with the Syrian military.

Deir az-Zur province: https://maps.google.com/maps?hl=en&q=Dayr+Az+Zor+province+map&ie=UTF-8&hq=&hnear=0x1548153314d3dbad:0x9d5a68804221c27f,Deir+ez-Zor+Governorate,+Syria&gl=us&ei=WtLLUJL5NanI0QGozIH4Bw&ved=0CDMQ8gEwAA
The Syrian military detained a man in Deir az-Zur and tortured him to death. The Syrian military’s regular forces shelled the neighborhood of al-Hmeidiyya. Clashes took place in the neighborhood of al-Hweiqa. The Syrian military regular forces bombarded the villages of Hseiniyya and al-Janaina. The al-Nusra Front has captured regular soldiers in the city of Deir az-Zur.

Hama province: https://maps.google.com/maps?hl=en&q=hama+governorate&ie=UTF-8&hq=&hnear=0x15248293d5052f19:0x6e6de1581c39ed96,Hama+Governorate,+Syria&gl=us&ei=CdPLUKKbIqyF0QHB94HQAw&sqi=2&ved=0CIEBELYD

The Syrian military shelled the village of al-Mashik, killing 2 young men. Heavy regime forces’ shelling continued on the town of Taybet al-Imam. Taybet al-Imam sits at the main north-south road in the country and is near the city of Hama.

The SOHR just received footage of a suicide operation carried out by al-Nusra in November. A truck bomb was detonated in the al-Ziyara area. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mPvGbaAb_zk&feature=youtu.be

Homs province: https://maps.google.com/maps?hl=en&q=homs+governorate+google+map&ie=UTF-8&hq=&hnear=0x15230eeab10528a7:0x65655b88027a8699,Homs+Governorate,+Syria&gl=us&ei=BFPRUM6RBaTI0AHw1ICoCQ&ved=0CDMQ8gEwAA

The bodies of ten men and one woman were found in agricultural land near al-Shin, today.

Raqqa province: https://maps.google.com/maps?hl=en&q=map+of+ar-raqqah+province,+Syria&ie=UTF-8&hq=&hnear=0x153719cee4c60ce7:0x9d4657e00e899ab6,Ar-Raqqah+Governorate,+Syria&gl=us&ei=PJ_bUKrTBObF0AGMuYHwBw&sqi=2&ved=0CC8Q8gEwAA

Clashes resulted in the death of one civilian from al-Safira in Aleppo province. The opposition has taken over the al-Rasafa oil fields in al-Raqqa.

International:

Iran’s Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi posted a statement on the ministry’s website indicating Iran’s support for Assad’s “plan” as stated in Assad’s speech on Sunday since it rejects violence [sic] and foreign interference.

U.N. Secretary Ban Ki-Moon expressed disappointment with Bashar al-Assad’s rejection of peace talks with his opposition and said that Assad’s 6th of January speech “does not contribute to a solution to end the terrible suffering of the Syrian people” and rejects the most important aspect of the June 30, 2012 Geneva communiqué which was political transition and the establishment of a transitional governing body.

The U.S. has condemned President Bashar al-Assad’s speech on Sunday. Patriot missiles are on their way to specified sites on the Turkish-Syrian border. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-20930775
Pope Benedict has called on the world to end the violence in Syria.

A few of Syria’s historical and archaeological treasures are: the remains of Palmyra (Tadmur), and the citadel of Ibn Maan, the early Bronze Age site of Ebla, the Citadel of Aleppo constructed by Salah al-Din al-Ayubi and the khans, madaris, suqs and Great Mosque of Aleppo, the theater and ruined town at Bosra (also site of the Mabrak an-Nabi where the Prophet Muhammad’s camel kneeled) the Canaanite city of Ugarit at Ras Shamra, Douro-Europas, the Greek colony on the Euphrates near Salhiye, Tal Faras and Tal Muhammad Diab in Hassake, Tal Brak, the Bronze Age Atchana, Ain Dara, sites at Qanawat, Shahba, and Suwaida, the Ummayad mosque, the citadel, suqs and other sites in the Old City in Damascus such as the Street called Straight, the Azm palace and the Tekiyye mosque complex in Damascus, the chapel of St. Sergius in Ma`lula, the Hijaz railway station, the Crusader castle, Krak de Chevaliers, Salah al-Din’s castle built on the Saone fortress, Jaabar Castle, the Great Mosque an-Nuri, the mosque of Khalid ibn al-Walid and many churches and older buildings in Homs, and the citadel, Roman era water-wheels and khans of Hama.

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