Syria Update, March 14, 2013 (Institute of Middle Eastern, Islamic, and Strategic Studies. By Sherifa Zuhur)

14 Mar

Syria Update, March 14, 2013. (Institute of Middle Eastern, Islamic and Strategic Studies. By Sherifa Zuhur)

Today’s early death toll: 130 people of whom 83 were combatants.

Phil Sands, the National’s reporter has actually been in Syria for the last five years, staying on to report after the conflict broke out. Most other foreign reporters are not familiar with Syria, or report from outside of Syria.

The Syrian conflict is boosting used car sales. Turkish used car dealers are selling many vehicles at border towns and also in opposition-held areas in Syria where there are no custom controls, and people need vehicles. Many of the cars are coming from Eastern Europe.

Hard to tell how accurate this is, but fears of increasing Islamist control are certainly coinciding with struggles over civilian/fighter control of liberated areas.

Refugees and Relief:

Prince Charles and Camilla toured a Syrian refugee camp during an official tour of Jordan.

United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees has said that the number of Syrian refugees has jumped 10 per cent in one week. The increase in Syrians fleeing their homes is believed to be due to President Assad’s forces use of deadly weapons on residential areas including (internationally banned) cluster bombs.

Doctors Without Borders (MSF) and Amnesty International have criticized Greece’s treatment of Syrian refugees. Greek authorities are locking up immigrants who also face police brutality. “There is a total lack of a humanitarian response and solidarity” in Greece towards Syrian asylum-seekers, said Willem de Jonge, general director of Doctors Without Borders in Greece.

400 to 600 Syrian refugees have come to Nagorno-Karabakh according to Vitaly Naumkin, who spoke at a 2 day workshop on Syria held by Ria Novosti.

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

The regime shelling of al-Sakhour on Wednesday left more than 18 victims.

10 fighters from the Al-Nusra Front were killed in clashes with Syrian regular forces near the Aleppo international airport this morning. The Syrian air force bombarded the al-Marjeh neighborhood of Aleppo, killing 3 children. 1 unidentified body was found in the Quweiq river.

Violent clashes took place in Old Aleppo, in the Bab al-Nasr, Bab Antakya, Bab al-Faraj and Saba’ Bahrat neighborhoods yesterday. Clashes also broke out near the grand mosque of Aleppo. Opposition fighters are trying to take full control of the Old city. The regime forces bombarded the neighborhood of Masaken Hanano.

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

4 opposition fighters were killed in clashes and by the Syrian regime’s bombardment on Saqba and Douma. 20 civilians, including 3 children and 3 women, were killed when the Syrian military shelled the cities and towns of Darayya, Douma, Deir Sleiman, Eteiba, Khan al-Sheikh and Mu`adamiyya.

Here is an interview with a man who has set up a little stand to sell falafel in Babila.

Clashes were fought in the Jobar neighborhood and in the Zablatani area, killing an officer in the National Defense forces yesterday. Mortar shells fell on a residential area between the Fahham and Kafarsouseh areas yesterday killing at least 5 civilians (2 children) and injuring 30. The mortar shells were targeting the state security branch and there is an orphanage next to it. Yarmouk camp was shelled, killing one young man and causing injuries.

The Khan al-Sheikh camp was shelled yesterday. Clashes took place in the towns of al-Maliha, Jdeidat Artouz, Adra, al-Thiyabiya, the Hseiniya camp and near the Tamiko company. Opposition fighters took over the Popular Army’s base in the town of Adra,.

Dara`a province:,Daraa+Governorate,+Syria&gl=us&ei=u9DLUPDfIcXq0gGRwIHADQ&ved=0CC8Q8gEwAA
Ibraheem al Masri, a student at the Faculty of Islamic Education in Dar`a was killed in combat. He was a member of al Mo’taz Bellah battalion of the opposition. His body has still being held by the security forces.

The regime bombarded al-Hrak and al-Katiba killing 3 civilians, one of them a child. Another child died of wounds incurred in the bombardment on the town of Ibti’. 5 men were killed when their bus exploded near the city of Dara`a.

The Syrian regime forces shelled Dara`a al-Balad yesterday. A sniper reportedly killed a woman. Helicopters bombarded the town of Khirbat Ghazala, causing injuries and property damage. Regime bombardment continued on the towns of Tseel, Katiba, Tel Shihab, Seida and al-Tiba. The opposition shelled the 38th brigade using home-made rockets. Clashes took place near the brigade and the Syrian airforce bombarded opposition positions there.

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

Ahmad Al-Aasheq; originally from Al-M’raeiyeh village was killed by a cluster bomb near Deir Ezzor Military Airport yesterday.

Abdurrazzaq Sulttan Al-Shlaily of the FSA was killed in clashes in al-Jbeileh neighborhood, and here is his funeral process.

Muhammad Marwan Ad-Dall of the FSA was killed in clashes at the military airport.

Muhammad Al-Draibi died of his wounds. His family home was bombed on September 14, 2012.

Yesterday, the Syrian military used heavy artillery shelling to target the neighborhoods of Sheikh Yasin, Hamidiyeh and Ganamat.
Violent clashes between FSA and regime forces took place in Al-Haweeqa and As-Sina’a.
A Syrian army T72 tank was damaged by FSA forces in As-Sina’a.

The regime also shelled the al-Hamidi mosque.

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

Many people were arrested at Hama- Slamieh road in a sweep to force persons into military service. These were university students and had already completed their military service (but they were nevertheless arrested.)

1 man was killed by a sniper in the al-Dahriya neighbourhood of Hama.

Regime forces went on a series of arbitrary raids in the Junoob al-Mal’ab neighbourhood of Hsama, detaining several residents. The town of Qasr ibn Wardan was bombarded by regime forces.

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

Heavy shelling on the city of Homs this morning. See here:

The head of the military security, General Abdelkarim Salloum, was injured during the clashes in the basatin of the Baba Amr neighborhood of Hom.

Regime forces bombarded the Bab houd, al-Turkman, Bab Dreib, Bab Tadmur and al-Sefsafa neighborhoods, injuring residents and destroying buildings yesterday. Clashes took place on the edges of these neighborhoods. Regime forces have resumed their efforts to take full control of the city of Homs. The airforce was used to bombard the Baba Amr neighborhood. Regime bombardment also resumed on Rastan, which killed 2 women yesterday. Members of the airforce intelligence used heavy machineguns on the outskirts of Tadmur where rebels and regime forces have been clashing. The airforce had also shelled the village of Baqraya.

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

1 child was killed by the air force’ bombardment of the village of al-Bsheiriya. 4 civilians were killed when their car was targeted on the al-Mastooma road.

Yesterday, clashes continued for the third day running between regime and opposition forces that are blockading supplies from reaching the Wadi al-Dayf and al-Hamdiyya military bases. Clashes were resumed near the town of Heish; where there is heavy artillery bombardment on the area.

Kafranbel has become known for its witty slogans in Arabic and in English.

Latakia province:,Latakia+Governorate,+Syria&gl=us&ei=ghv_UOaOOMGW0QH88YDYDw&ved=0CC0Q8gEwAA
The town of Khudra and Nahiyat Rabi’a were bombarded by regime forces, yesterday with reports of injuries.

Opposition forces are trying to restore law and order to areas they hold in Latakia province:

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

Yesterday, several parts of the city of Raqqah were bombarded by the regime forces’ artillery, several people were injured and houses were destroyed and a huge explosion rocked the countryside in the western part of the province.


Here, Middle East expert Francois Burgat comments on the obstacles to a political solution in Syria.

Iran has significantly increased its military support to the Syrian government.

Amnesty International called for both sides in the Syrian conflict to refer war crimes to the International Criminal Court. Amnesty International most recently published a report on the Assad government’s massive bombing. Shelling, and firing on its civilian population and on the frequent use of internationally banned cluster bombs here:

Important news, if it comes to pass: France is ready to arm the Syrian opposition:

A special report on Syria is released at France 24

And also see here:

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