Syria Update, February 13, 2013 (Institute of Middle Eastern, Islamic, and Strategic Studies. By Sherifa Zuhur)

14 Feb

Syria Update, Feb. 13 2013. (Institute of Middle Eastern, Islamic and Strategic Studies. By Sherifa Zuhur)

Wednesday’s early death toll: 45 killed at least.

Tuesday death toll: Approximately 200 people killed, about 150 of them were combatants and 41 civilians (5 children)

Looting of artifacts is ongoing to finance the opposition.

Funding for battalions in Syria is a big business. As to why factionalism exists, this author repeats: ‘When the Syrian president, head of the military junta at the time, signed the unification agreement with Nasser, basically handing the country to the Egyptians and stripping himself of his presidential title, he passed the document to Nasser and said I give up my role as president but I hand you a country of four million presidents.’ (Some inaccuracies in this article (the non-violent resistance movement began first, there was no FSA in March 2011, there were many more than 30 Lebanese factions [up to 140], etc. )

Syria’s secular and anti-sectarian revolution continues:

Refugees and Relief:

MSF (Doctors without Borders) plans to open a hospital for children at Zaatari camp in Jordan in two weeks. The hospital will have 35 beds, to increase to 60 beds. Five doctors and eight nurses are to work at the hospital which will cost $1.62 million.

Aleppo province:,Aleppo+Governorate,+Syria&gl=us&ei=R9DLUKfTFoWO0QHBuIHABA&ved=0CC8Q8gEwAA

Opposition fighters killed a young man in the Qadi Askar neighborhood of Aleppo, reportedly after cursing them because a mortar had killed 2 of his family members. The bombardment on the Karm al-Tarab neighborhood of Aleppo has killed 8 people. In The Syrian airforce bombarded the Dahr Awad, Qadi Askar, and Nayrab neighborhoods.

Violent clashes are taking place between fighters from Jabhat al-Nusra, Tawhid brigade, al-Muhajireen battalion and others with regime forces nar the 80th regiment. Last night the opposition fighters took over most of the strategic army “Base 80” following fierce fighting. Base 80 is meant to secure the Aleppo international airport and Nayrab military airport. Weapons seized by the rebels after taking the 80th regiment:

Clashes took place today near the Nayrab military airport. The opposition had seized the military airport at al-Al-jarrah and launched an assault on other air bases in Aleppo province including the Aleppo international airport which has been closed since January 1. The rebel fighters have taken control of tens of military jets, most of them MiGs 17 and some Sukhoi L39.

Clashes in the village of Dweirina killed 1 opposition fighter and 3 regular soldiers. The Syrian military bombarded Jeb al-Safa near al-Safira.

Damascus province:,Damascus+Governorate,+Syria&gl=us&ei=_s_LUPTwHqWw0AHTtYDQAg&ved=0CC8Q8gEwAA

Syrian government forces bombarded several areas of the Jobar neighborhood resulting in 8 civilian deaths as well as injuries. The Syrian regime forcs also bombarded al-Hajar al-Aswad and crried out raids and arrests on the civilians of Rukn al-Din.

The regime forces resumed shelling Daraya in the evening using rocket launchers and heavy artillery. Fresh reinforcements of regime troops headed to Darayya for the 89th day in a row coming from al-Mazzeh military airport and the nearby barracks.

In Douma, shelling killed one man and 2 opposition fighters were killed in clashes. Shelling on the Hran al-Awamid area killed another opposition fighter. The Syrian military shelled the cities of Daraya, Harasta, and al-Zabadani. Clashes took place outside the city of Zamalka.

Dr. Ali Ismandar, Secretary general of the National Defense Front- was killed Tuesday night of tuesday along with his 2 children and cousin in an ambush by the opposition in the al-Qalamoun area near the town of Qarra.

Fighter planes carried out an air raid on the town of Deir al-A’safir, and on Kafrbatna town and the outskirts of the southern Bypass (al-Mutahaleq al-Janoubi) in the al-Ghouta al-Sharqiyya area.

Dara`a province:,Daraa+Governorate,+Syria&gl=us&ei=u9DLUPDfIcXq0gGRwIHADQ&ved=0CC8Q8gEwAA

Loud explosions were reported in Dara`a al-Balad. “Dozens” reported killed in al-Sanmin in shelling by the regime forces.

Deir az-Zur province:,Deir+ez-Zor+Governorate,+Syria&gl=us&ei=WtLLUJL5NanI0QGozIH4Bw&ved=0CDMQ8gEwAA

Opposition fighters shot down a helicopter in Deir al-Zur. One of the foreign fighters sounds American.

The following were killed 11/02/13 (reported yesterday) Adel Abdulqader Al-Hwaij, in bombardment Haweejat Saqor; Hamdan Al-Jaddou’a Al-Khatter in clashes in al-Jbeile; Ahmad Al-Lahej in clashes in the western countryside; Najem Abdullah At-Turki, shot by a sniper near the military airport;
Yasser Jassim Al-Emmaier; originally from Al-Jurthi village in clashes near Brigade 113. Five others were killed in Deir az-Zur yesterday.

Hama province:,Hama+Governorate,+Syria&gl=us&ei=CdPLUKKbIqyF0QHB94HQAw&sqi=2&ved=0CIEBELYD

A man on a suicide mission blew up a truck next to a Popular Committee (pro-regime militia) checkpoint in the town of Sqeilabiya yesterday. More than 20 militia fighters were killed and injured.

Hassake province,+Syria,+google+maps&ie=UTF-8&hq=&hnear=0x400976912dee2dfb:0x1735b67e4a2454b0,Al-Hasakah+Governorate,+Syria&gl=us&ei=UMLTUOKtN4ra0QG9-oHYBg&ved=0CC8Q8gEwAA

Violent clashes occurred between Jabhat al-Nusra fighters and the remaining regime forces in the city of al-Shadadi. The al-Nusra fighters took over many areas of the city over the past 48 hours. Clashes and suicide car bombs killed 20 regime forces and at least 16 al-Nusra fighters, 3 of them are non-Syrian (and there are other bodies as yet unidentified) The al-Nusra fighters strengthened their position by bringing in a tank. Miilitary reinforcements were arriving from the city of al-Hasakah.

An Iraqi rebel fighter was killed during clashes with regime forces in the city of Shadada, yesterday (as well as 2 fighters originally from Deir az-Zur province).

Homs province:,Homs+Governorate,+Syria&gl=us&ei=BFPRUM6RBaTI0AHw1ICoCQ&ved=0CDMQ8gEwAA

Yesterday there were reports that 3 civilians from the Karm al-Shami neighbourhood of Homs were killed by pro-regime militiamen. In the same area, shabiha captured a family of 2 men and 3 women.

Baba Amr, a year later:

Here is a makeshift field hospital in Arrastan in Homs:

A child is cutting grass to eat in Homs and speaks of the fruits and vegetables he misses

A fighter here speaks of the Red Crescent coming, smiling and not even checking his injuries.

Idlib province:,Idlib+Governorate,+Syria&gl=us&ei=51PRUIiREsaB0AHN_YD4BQ&ved=0CC8Q8gEwAA

The regime forces shelling of Kafrnabel has killed 7 civilians. Regime forces’ shelling of al-Bashariyya has killed five persons.

Latakia province:,Latakia+Governorate,+Syria&gl=us&ei=ghv_UOaOOMGW0QH88YDYDw&ved=0CC0Q8gEwAA

The town of Nahiyat Kenseba was bombarded by military helicopters yesterday

Quneitra province:,Quneitra+Governorate,+Syria&gl=us&ei=Ch77ULCILuyP0QG67YDoDQ&ved=0CC0Q8gEwAA

Israeli troops shot at the legs of a man near the border on the Golan Heights today, after they fired a warning shot.

Raqqa province:,+Syria&ie=UTF-8&hq=&hnear=0x153719cee4c60ce7:0x9d4657e00e899ab6,Ar-Raqqah+Governorate,+Syria&gl=us&ei=PJ_bUKrTBObF0AGMuYHwBw&sqi=2&ved=0CC8Q8gEwAA

Syrian fighter jets fired at the rebel held area, at the northern entrance to the Euphrates Dam, yesterday.


Russia is continuing to provide anti-aircraft defense systems to Syria.

Qatar has handed over the Syrian embassy building in Doha to the National Coalition of the Syrian Revolution and Opposition. Mr Nizar al-Haraki is the ambassador to Doha for the National Coalition.

John Kerry, the new U.S. Secretary of State says he thinks he knows what will motivate Bashar al-Assad (to leave?)

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.


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