Syria Update, January 15, 2013 (Institute of Middle Eastern, Islamic and Strategic Studies. By Sherifa Zuhur)
Early death toll: 119
Monday’s death toll: 150 including 82 civilians.
Other women’s accounts of the war and civil organizations are framed differently than this article (providing more evidence of activism) which outlines a mostly supportive role for women. http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/middle_east/role-of-syrian-women-evolves-as-war-rages-on/2013/01/09/5308512e-559b-11e2-bf3e-76c0a789346f_story.html
A Jordanian salafist leader announced that Riyadh Hdeib, known as Abi Hamza, a leader of Jabhat al-Nusra had been killed in Syrian army shelling of the village of Tafas in Dar`a. Abi Hamza was 32, a Jordanian national who used to teach at a private school in Amman and was an imam and a preacher there. He had fought in Iraq against U.S. forces.
Defections: Comments and news on defections by Syrian soldiers. http://www.dailykos.com/story/2013/01/13/1178636/-Defections-and-Murder-Syria-Assad#
Refugees: Syrian refugees in Kilis in Turkey will take part this month in elections to select representatives of their areas. http://www.turkishweekly.net/news/146446/syrians-set-for-ballot-in-turkish-refugee-camps.html
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
Opposition sources claim that the Syrian military shelled the University of Aleppo today causing 15 at first report (later reports say 45, and 52) deaths and many injuries. Others said a car bomb went off. State television, however, blamed the blasts on “terrorists” and a Syrian military official claimed that the opposition had been trying to down a Syrian air bomber, but missed and two rockets which hit the Information Technology Academy came from an opposition held area in Aleppo. Other reports indicate the area hit was in between the residences and the Architecture building.
An attack on al-Bab killed 8 people, including 4 women. Unknown persons assassinated 2 scientists working in Assad’s Institute of Military Technology. They were killed in the Saif al-Dawla neighborhood.
Hundreds of Syrian refugees are massing near the border fence into Turkey who lack identification papers. An activist reported that smugglers come at night to the border area, charging the refugees 1500 Syrian pounds for the crossing.
On Jan. 12th, more than 30 soldiers defected and joined the FSA.
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
Syrian government forces confiscated 40 tons of flour in the neighborhood of al-Hajar al-Aswad.
The Syrian military shelled and carried out an air strike on Mleiha, southeast of Damascus and clashes took place there. On the 12th of January, men loyal to Assad executed a Syrian brigadier general and 7 Syrian troops when they attempted to defect in Mleiha.
The Syrian military shelled Daraya causing casualties today. The Syrian military also carried out air strikes on Chabaa and Douma which are in the Eastern Ghouta, where FSA forces are located.
How is the crisis affecting the cost of living in Damascus. http://english.al-akhbar.com/content/ballooning-cost-living-damascus
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
Syrian military shelling of al-Sanamayn results in casualties today. The Jabhat al-Nusra leader, Abi Hamza (see above) was killed by the Syrian military in Tafas.
Deir az-Zur province:
Yesterday a sniper killed Ali Abdallah al-Jajaan in Muathafeen in the city of Deir az-Zur.
Clashes in Hawiqeh resulted in the death of Hamad Al-Thamer, of the FSA, a defected soldier in Deir az-Zur yesterday.
Also reported was the death of Khaled Al-Rajja in shelling on Deir az-Zur.
Yesterday marked the 215th day of bombardment on the city of Deir az-Zur. The regime forces shelled the College of Science: http://youtu.be/E195qd2ubCg
The regime shelled Muathafeen, al-Arfi, Hamidiyya (including thermobaric bombs here)
al-Jbeileh and Shaykh Yasin. Clashes took place in al-Jbeileh, Khassarat, Muathafeen and al-Omal.
The Syrian military heavily shelled al-Abed, al-Mireiyeh, and al-Husseiniyeh yesterday. The Syrian military completely destroyed the only spinning and weaving factory in Deir az-Zur and its warehouses burned yesterday http://youtu.be/3s5C_rGWydM
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
Clashes in the al-Nasr neighborhood of Hama killed one opposition fighter.
Syrian military bombardment of Halfaya, Kafarzeita and Latamna killed a male civilian and two women.
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
Regime forces killed 27 people in Haswiyya today, members of six families.
Regime air raids were carried out on Jobar and Sultanyya in the city of Homs. Parts of the city have been under siege for six months as the Syrian army tries to take back areas held by the opposition and storm into areas of Khaldiyya and Old Homs where clashes took place.
The Syrian military shelled the town of Talibsa for several hours.
Heavy governmental forces’ shelling of Rastan took place on Tuesday. Regime forces shelled Houla, killing 15 people, including at least five women and 2 children.
Casualties were also reported in Taldheb.
Idlib province: https://maps.google.com/maps?hl=en&q=idlib+governorate+google+map&ie=UTF-8&hq=&hnear=0x152500e6cc6ed27b:0xe59a7e2f651fc24c,Idlib+Governorate,+Syria&gl=us&ei=51PRUIiREsaB0AHN_YD4BQ&ved=0CC8Q8gEwAA
The Syrian regime dropped cluster bombs on Kaynamas today. The Syrian military shelled the town of Sarmin, killing a male and female civilian and injuring others.
Footage from a field hospital in Sarmin:
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
Two Syrian regular troops were killed today in the eastern rural part of the province.
Yesterday, the regime forces shelled al-Tabqa using helicopters.
A regime airstrike killed the commander of al-Liwa al-Islam near the al-Thawra oil field, yesterday.
On Sunday night, eight opposition fighters from several different factions were killed in clashes in the province.
A report on Syrian refugees who have fled to Giza, in greater Cairo. http://www.aljazeera.com/video/middleeast/2013/01/2013113205548993156.html
Where does U.N.-Arab League special envoy Lakhdar Brahimi stand now that his announced peace plan has been rejected, Syria has called him an “aging tourist” and the conflict continues in the country. http://mideast.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2013/01/15/brahimi_s_final_acts
The UNHCR provides information on Syrian registered refugees http://data.unhcr.org/syrianrefugees/country.php?id=107
Basic Facts about Syria:
Population: 22,530,746 Ethnicities: Arab 90.3%, Kurds, Armenians, and other 9.7% Religious Groups: Sunni Muslim (74%, other Muslim (includes Alawite, Isma`iliyya, Druze) 16%, Christian 10%, Jewish (very small numbers).
GDP Growth Rate: -2% (2011) GDP: $64.7 billion
GDP Growth Rate: -2% (2011)
Unemployment: 8.3% Youth Unemployment (ages 15-24): 19.1% (female unemployment in that age category is 49.1%
Internet Users: 4.469 million (2009)
Exchange Rate: 46.456 Syrian pounds per US dollar
Military Expenditures: 5.9% of GDP (2005)
Population Growth Rate: -0797.% (since the conflict)
Population Age Structure: 0-14 years: 35.2%; 15-64 years: 61%; 65 years and over: 3.8%
Literacy: male 86% female 73.6%
Urban Population: 56% of total (2010)
Syrian Arab Army (prior to the conflict) 220,000 regular and 280,000 reserves. Of the 200,000 career soldiers, 140,000 are Alawi.
Syria’s Golan Heights is occupied by Israel and 1,000 members of a U.N. Disengagement Observer Force patrol a buffer zone.