Syria Update, February 19-20, 2013 (Institute of Middle Eastern, Islamic and Strategic Studies. By Sherifa Zuhur)

20 Feb

Syria Update, Feb. 19-20 2013. (Institute of Middle Eastern, Islamic and Strategic Studies. By Sherifa Zuhur)

Wednesday early death toll: 28 deaths reported so far.

Tuesday’s death toll: More than 150 killed including 102 unarmed civilians.

Russia’s Sergei Lavrov urged the Syrian government and the opposition to end the conflict after meeting with Nabil al-Arabi, the current head of the Arab League.

An outbreak of typhoid has hit an opposition-held area of Syria after power cuts hit water supplies according to Tarik Jasarevic, spokesperson for the World Health Organization, who said that some 2,500 people had contracted the disease. According to him and later, (in a different report) the organization’s Elizabeth Hoff, people are drawing water from the Euphrates and the water is contaminated, probably by sewage.

Faisal al-Qudsi, a Syrian businessman complained yesterday of the international sanctions hitting Syria. He said the military could only fight for another 6 months, but that Assad would cling to power to the end. He also suggested that “millions would be on the streets,” implying a push to revolution, if the military ceased “killing” (the people).

Some in the West imagine that Syrians live separately according to their religious sect. Not all do by any means. The resistance is composed of all sects and intermarriage is frequent (as it was in Iraq).
Here is one couple

Refugees and Relief:

USAID’s Bureau for Democracy, Conflict, and Humanitarian Assistance on Tuesday announced $19 million in humanitarian assistance for Syria. This is in addition to the $155 million pledged in January of 2013 by President Barack Obama. However, 4 million people inside Syria are in dire need of aid and despite all the aid promised (not only by the U.S.), most of those (more than 850,000) in refugee camps, or those living outside of them in Turkey, Jordan and Lebanon are in very dire condition according to all recent reports by eyewitnesses, advocates, visitors, etc. for example as at the Azaz camp, home to 15,000 which has no running water or electricity, and is terribly cold now.
Aleppo province:,Aleppo+Governorate,+Syria&gl=us&ei=R9DLUKfTFoWO0QHBuIHABA&ved=0CC8Q8gEwAA

Wednesday: Violent clashes took place this morning in Saba’ Bahrat and near the Neyrab military airport, killing 1 opposition fighter in Saba’ Bahrat, at least. The Syrian military bombarded the neighborhoods of Aqyoul and Qastal Harami.

The opposition (from several factions) surround the police academy in Khan al-Asal and have been trying to storm it. Both the Syrian regime forces and the opposition are bombarding the area around the Kweiris military airport.

Tuesday: 31 civilians (14 children, 5 women and 12 men) were killed in Syrian military’s targeting of the Jabal Badro neighborhood of Aleppo city, most likely by a surface-to-surface missile. The death count is expected to rise due to many injuries and still-unrecovered bodies. 8 civilians, including a child, were killed by the bombardment (by missile) on Jabal Badro, in the Tariq al-Bab neighbourhood of Aleppo. SOHR reported that a man in Tariq al-Bab, said 15 of his family members were under the rubble of the destroyed house and that a decapitated child’s body had been pulled out. Clashes took place near the police branch in Zebdiya neighbourhood, and clashes occurred in in Bustan al-Qasr. The Syrian air force shelled Jazmatiya..

The Syrian military shelled the town of Orum al-Kubra. The Syrian military had bombarded Tel Rif’at on Monday night, also possibly with a surface-to-surface missile, injuring 10 people. Hundreds of regular Syrian troops backed by military vehicles poured into the northern province of Aleppo on Tuesday following rebel advances, these reinforcements arrived at Tel Aran.

The Syrian military shelled the town of Tel Rif’at, (claims are again of a surface-to-surface missile) causing casualities and injuries.

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

Today, two mortars exploded inside the Tishreen football stadium in Baramkeh during football practice and killed one player from the al-Wathbah club of Homs.
A fighter jet was downed over Hamouriyya today:
Violent clashes have been taking place in the Tadamoun area since this morning.

Tuesday: The Syrian military bombarded the Jobar neighborhood of Damascus killing 5 men. 2 mortar shells fired by the opposition fell near the southern gate of the Tishreen presidential palace (between the Mezze and the Muhajirin neighborhood; Assad apparently stays there only rarely). Three explosions heard in the area. Several rockets fell on Barzeh and heavy gunfire was heard near the Tishreen military hospital. 2 mortar shells fell on the French hospital in the Assa neighbourhood of central Damascus. An IED planted in a car exploded in Adab al-Arabi street in the Abassiyin area. Clashes took place at dawn Tuesday in the Awal al-Yarmouk, in the Yarmouk camp. Several rockets fell on the Yarmouk camp.

The Syrian military bombarded the town of Kafarbatna twice today. The first bombardment killed 7 civilians including a child. The second bombardment caused injuries. The Syrian air force bombarded the city of Douma, killing 6 men on al-Quwatli street. Regime bombardment on Ein Terma killed 5 civilians including 2 women and a child.

A fighter jet drops two rockets on Daraya on Tuesday (film uploaded Wed.)

Tuesday: A car-bomb exploded near Khan al-Sheikh camp, causing injuries. A rocket falling on Douma killed a child. The Syrian regime forces bombarded the towns and cities of al-Buwaida, Maliha, Hosh Arab, Yalda and al-Zabadani. The Syrian military’s troop reinforcements reached Daraya and heavy clashes with the opposition took place along with shelling by helicopter and warplanes. Clashes took place by the al-Nabbak bridge. The Syrian air force carried out 2 raids targeting the city of Zamalka, and the south ring road.

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

Wednesday: Heavy clashes in Basr al-Harir.

Tuesday: The Syrian military bombarded the towns of Yaduda and Da’el; at least 1 woman was killed and several injured. The Syrian military used helicopters to bombard the town of al-Tiba causing injuries and destroying houses.

1 man was killed by a point blank gunshot fired at a military checkpoint in the Sehm al-Jolan area. The regime forces bombarded the town of al-Yaduda and the villages in the al-Lijah area. Regular forces killed a man at the Nassib border crossing. The Syrian military bombarded the town of Tafas the previous night.

Heavy gunfire was reported in the Tariq al-Sad neighborhood of Dara`a.

Deir az-Zur province:,Deir+ez-Zor+Governorate,+Syria&gl=us&ei=WtLLUJL5NanI0QGozIH4Bw&ved=0CDMQ8gEwAA
Wednesday: Clashes took place at dawn in the al-Jbeileh neighborhood of the city of Deir az-Zur. The Syrian military bombarded the Huweiqa neighborhood of Deir az-Zur at midnight last night.

Tuesday: The Syrian regime forces bombardment of the city of Deir az-Zur killed one man, and they hit the Huweiqa neighborhood. The regime forces shelled the town of al-Kharita.

Violent clashes took place in the western part of the province, in the al-Kabr area Clashes two days ago had resulted in high casualties.

Typhoid has broken out in Deir az-Zur province, see the report above.

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

Wednesday: The Syrian military have bombarded Kfarnaboudeh with multiple casualities today.

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

Four regime troops were killed in Hassake province on Tuesday.

Islamist opposition fighters and Kurdish militias have ceased their hostilities in the city of Ra’s al-`Ain. They signed an accord to fight together against the Assad regime. Up to this point, some deadly clashes had taken place between the Kurdish and Arab factions ever since the opposition had entered Ra’s al-`Ain several months ago.
That accord, concluded on Sunday had been arranged by prominent Christian dissident Michel Kilo and other opposition activists, and it calls for the “complete withdrawal of military forces and displays of arms from the city” – the city is to be governed by a civilian council, which would also manage the border crossing with Turkey in accordance with both parties

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

Wednesday: Violent clashes between regime forces and the opposition have been taking place since this morning in the al-We’er neighborhood of Homs. Regime forces freed 3 captive officers, but 1 was killed in the process. Other reports claimed that opposition fighters were able to free many civilians from the neighborhood who had been taken captive by the regime forces today.
The Syrian military shelled Rastan.

Tuesday: The opposition took over the district of al-Qarabees in Homs which has been horribly destroyed over the months of the conflict.

Violent clashes took place yesterday in the covered souqs in Homs; heavy gunfire was heard in the al-Mukhayam and Shammas neighborhoods. Regime shelling took place yesterday on the Houla area, killed 2 children and caused injuries. Earlier bombardment of this area by rockets had taken place in the early a.m. 1 civilian from Homs was killed after his car was fired on while driving the Damascus-Homs highway. The Syrian regime forces bombarded the town of Talbisa. An unidentified body was discovered in the al-Asi river, near al-Dar al-Kabira..

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

Wednesday: Violent clashes are taking place in the city of Ariha after Syrian regime forces tried to storm into the city from the west.

Regime forces bombarded Ariha resulting in casualties and injuries, and they bombarded the town of Tamini’a.

Tuesday: The Syrian airforce carried out raids again on the towns of Sarjeh and Bsaqla, and attacked a school in Sarjeh. Regime forces also bombarded the town of Jarjanaz, the city of Ma`arat al-Nu`man, and used artillery to shell the towns of Deir Sharqi and Kureen.

A young male detainee from the town of Ghadafa, was killed, his body bore the marks of torture

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

Wednesday: Regular Syrian forces of the 17th division bombarded rural areas of Raqqa, and regular forces also shelled areas around the city of Raqqa.

Tuesday: The Syrian airforce shelled the gate and the area around the Euphrates Dam which had been taken over by the Jabhat al-Nusra and other FSA factions earlier this month. The Syrian military shelled the town of al-Skoura.

The body of a young man from the city of al-Tabqa was found dumped by the Euphrates river; he had been tortured.

The Syrian air force bombarded al-Tabqa causing injuries, and also shelled the town of al-Mansura

The Syrian military bombarded areas near the Raqqah central prison, and a school and a cultural center. The area north of Raqqah city, around the 17th regiment, was bombarded. A lawyer from the city of Raqqah was assassinated by unknown gunmen on the Raqqah-Tabqa highway.


Deputy Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov said Tuesday that Moscow would not support calls by other nations to refer suspected war criminals in Syria to the International Criminal Court for prosecution.

The UK’s William Hague called for lifting the EU arms embargo on Syria on Monday. Other EU spokespersons disputed the need as apparently does Catherine Ashton (or her advisors).

Another disturbing picture of torture inside Syria’s prisons

This detailed description of conditions in Syria and the organization of the Free Syrian Army was published on Monday by the visiting

Special Events for Syria:

24 février 2013


L’Institut du monde arabe (Paris) organise, le 24 février prochain, une « Journée de solidarité avec le peuple syrien ». Elle comportera diverses manifestations : concerts de musique, conférences, expositions d’art contemporain et de photographies, lectures de poésie, etc. Voir le programme;

Les fonds récoltés dans ce cadre seront reversés à CODSSY – Collectif du Développement et du Secours Syrien. Réservation sur place

New York: Music For Life International
Stern Auditorium/ Perelman Stage, Carnegie Hall, New York
The Concert will raise public consciousness and funds for the refugee and internally displaced Children of the Syrian Civil War.

Dmitri Shostakovich: 7th Symphony ” Leningrad”
George Mathew, Conductor and Artistic Director
Elmira Darvarova, Concertmaster (Former Concertmaster, MET Orchestra)
Musicians from the New York Philharmonic, The Philadelphia Orchestra, MET Orchestra, Orchestra of St. Luke’s and many others

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