Syria Update, February 24, 2013 (Institute of Middle Eastern, Islamic and Strategic Studies. By Sherifa Zuhur)

25 Feb

Syria Update, Feb. 24 2013. (Institute of Middle Eastern, Islamic and Strategic Studies. By Sherifa Zuhur)

Sunday’s early death toll: At least 108, including 89 unarmed civilians

There are almost 200,000 political detainees in Syria including 4500 women. Detainees are subjected to the cruelest and crudest forms of torture.

Yassin Bakhoush, Syrian comedian killed in crossfire

Views of different Syrian women on the conflict

Refugees and Relief:

Syrian refugees reported being sexually harassed and injured in the Zaatari refugee camp, Jordan
Then in a protest at the camp today, Syrian refugees were injured, reportedly after drivers of Jordanian vehicles and members of the Jordanian forces assaulted women in the camp. In separate reporting on the rioting, it was stated that a policeman and two children were hurt in the riot, but the cause of the riot was disputed:

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

Surface-to-air missiles fired by the regime on the city of Aleppo have killed at least 58 persons. The missiles hit the Tariq al-Bab area. Violent clashes are taking place, between regime forces and fighters from the Nusra front and several other rebel battalions, around the Kaweirs military airport. The Syrian military used Scud missiles to attack its own people on Friday in Aleppo

The Syrian opposition used captured tanks to launch a fresh offensive on a government complex housing a police academy near Aleppo and clashed with government troops protecting that installation on Sunday. The opposition actually took over the Anya building of the academy and clashes occurred with the Syrian military resulting in casualities. The Syrian military responded with airstrikes to defend the complex, which also includes several smaller army outposts which are supposed to protect the police academy.
The Syrian air force bombarded the town of Khan al-A’sal, and also shlled the areas near the town of Atareb and the town of Kafarhamra.

Around 150 Kurdish women in the war-wracked northern Syrian province of Aleppo have set up a fighting battalion of 150 women named the Martyr Rokan Battalion according to the SOHR
Human Rights.

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

The Yarmouk camp was shelled by regime forces. One man from Jobar was shot by a sniper and another was found dead in the Qadam neighborhood of Damascus. The Syrian regime forces bombarded areas al-Qadam and al-A’sali. Yaseen Baqush was hit by a rocket in the Asali neighborhood near Yarmouk camp (see the report above) – and the rocket may have come from a regime RPG.

The Syrian regime forces resumed its bombardment of al-Ma’adamiya, killing 6 civilians, including 2 children, and causing injuries. The Syrian regime shelling of Douma has killed 8 persons and regime forces also shelled the town of Yalda. Violent clashes took place between rebel fighters and regime forces in Beit Sahm.

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

Syrian regime forces shot a man from Salmeen. The Syrian military bombarded the town of Hara, and resumed its bombardment of the towns of Da’el and Taseel. A sniper shot a child in Da’el.

This article is based on information “discovered” by a blogger named Brown Moses who focuses on new weaponry supposedly acquired in Dar`a province and which is supposed to be from Croatia.

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

Syrian rebels have captured al-Kubar, the site of a suspected nuclear reactor near the Euphrates river which Israeli warplanes destroyed in 2007 – supposedly a North Korean-designed nuclear reactor geared to making weapons-grade plutonium.

The Syrian regime’s military campaign on the city of Deir az-Zur continued for the 256th consecutive day with aircraft bombarding most neighborhoods with missiles and mortars including: Al-Omal
Mattar Al-Qadeem, Al-Jbeileh and al-Hawiqeh
This coincided with intense clashes between the FSA and regime forces at the Baath Party Branch building which has been under siege by the FSA

Here, the intense shelling on Hawiqeh neighborhood

In the western countryside of Deir az-Zur governorate, power and water has been completely cut off for the 25th day as a result of the government’s bombardment. Military aircraft flew over the village of As-Salihiyeh, and several shells fired from the 113 Brigade hit the village, causing damage to private property.

Conditions in al-Salihiyeh

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

The Jabhat al-Nusra announced its responsibility for the suicide operation in which a bus was detonated next to the Ma’amel al-Difa1 (defence plants) in the village of Braq when one of its fighters “drove a bus loaded with 2.5 tons of explosives” towards a group of “shabiha” or pro-regime militiamen as they gathered outside the factory to receive their pay and blew himself up. At least 60 people were killed including 11 women, many residents of Salamiyya, and other cities in Hama and Homs.

The Syrian military forces bombarded the city of Tabaqa.

Syrian warplances targeted vehicles carrying 13 opposition fighters and killing them in the Northern Rif Hama, east of the Ma’ardas village.

The Syrian military bombarded the villages of Jinan, al-Zabadi and al-Sha’ar and also carried out a campaign of house raids and inspections in the Hamidiya neighbourhood of the city of Hama. and no news were received about arrests.

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

The Syrian military shelled Talbisa today

The Syrian regime bombarded the village of Tal al-Shor using artillery and rocket launchers. The Syrian regime also bombarded the area of Houla and Basateen Tadmur.

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

The Syrian military bombarded the village of al-Jmeiliye in the area of Jusr al-Shughur. The Syrian military also bombarded the town of al-Mghara in al-Zawiya mountain with rocket launchers, and the village of Deir al-Sharqi. Violent clashes were fought between regime forces and the opposition on the Aleppo-Damascus International road near the town of Heesh as the Syrian military attempted to deliver supplies to the military encampments of Wadi al-Dayf and al-Hamidiya.

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

The Syrian military shelled the town of Salma and the villages of Trtyah and al-Marj al-Kabir. The regime forces carried out artillery bombardment of the village of Kart today.

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

The Syrian military bombarded the city of Tabaqa – many regime forces are based at the Tabaqa military airport. Syrian regime warplanes carried out air raids on the Safsafa farm and the town of Mansura.


Fierce fighting erupted during the night on the Syria-Lebanon border between Syrian troops and unknown gunmen, leaving a Lebanese man dead and four wounded. The Syrian army used artillery, mortars and automatic weapons in clashes with gunmen in the village of Mcherfe in the Lebanese region of Bukayaa.

French freelance photographer Olivier Voisin, who was seriously wounded in Syria on Thursday, has died of his wounds after surgery on Sunday in Turkey. Turkish surgeons had attempted to save Voisin’s life by operating on him on Friday.

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Sunday that his country will “not remain silent” over Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s “crimes” against his own people. “Every day a large number of innocent children and women fall dead in Syria,” Erdogan said in a speech at the Government Communication Forum in the United Arab Emirates

The new U.S. Secretary of State, John Kerry will focus on Syria in an eleven day trip abroad and will meet members of the Syrian opposition.

A documentary on the life and works of slain Syrian activist filmmaker Basil Shahedeh will be shown at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London on Feb. 28, 2013.

The New Yorker asks “Can Hizbullah survive the Syrian crisis?” (yes, it will, but for the purposes of the article suspend judgment)

On a detained physician 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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