Syria Update, March 26 2013. (Institute of Middle Eastern, Islamic and Strategic Studies. By Sherifa Zuhur)
Early death toll: More than 100 persons including 46 civilians.
Monday’s death toll: More than 160 persons were killed yesterday including 75 civilians (of these 13 were children)
Syrian opposition leader Moaz al-Khatib took over Syria’s seat on the Arab League. blamed Assad for casualties and appealed for help from NATO. http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/mar/26/syrian-opposition-appeals-nato-support
Here is his speech: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2N_84LkW-Yg&feature=player_embedded
In the summit, Suhair al-Attasi then took Syria’s seat. https://twitter.com/aawsat_News/status/316636581706485760/photo/1
Who killed al-Bouti? The elderly Syrian state cleric was allegedly killed in a suicide attack on the 21st of March, but questions remain about his killers and the reasons for his assassination. http://syrie.blog.lemonde.fr/2013/03/26/qui-a-tue-al-bouti-qui-est-responsable-et-pourquoi-est-il-mort/
Al-Thawra, a state-owned Syrian newspaper expressed anger over the Arab League summit in Doha where the Assad government is not represented and claimed it is not a meeting “for Arabs.” http://www.egyptindependent.com/news/syrian-state-paper-vents-anger-over-arab-summit
There are claims that Ansar al-Shari`ah of Tunisia has sent fighters to Syria; some have been martyred recently. http://www.longwarjournal.org/threat-matrix/archives/2013/03/social_media_jihad.php
Refugees and Relief:
Aid workers and Syrian aid groups – -what’s happening: http://www.gpb.org/news/2013/03/26/syrian-aid-groups-train-an-army-of-activists?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+GPBNewsFeed+%28GPB+News%29
The UN has temporarily relocated some of its staff outside of Syria after mortar shells fell near the hotel where they were housed. http://reliefweb.int/report/syrian-arab-republic/un-temporarily-relocates-some-staff-out-syria-owing-insecurity-0
The UNHCR has called for all parties to allow delivery of aid to civilians inside Syria. The UNHCR reports that 437,000 people received relief items as of last week.
Here is the testimony provided by USAID to the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Syria’s Humanitarian Crisis on March 19, 2013. http://www.foreign.senate.gov/imo/media/doc/Lindborg_Testimony.pdf
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
A regime-paid sniper shot a woman in the Karaj al-Hajz area today. An explosion was reported in Halab al-Jadida.
2 children were killed in bombardment of the Haydariya neighborhood of Aleppo and 5 opposition fighters were killed in the province yesterday. Two children were killed by a land-mine in the town of Tel’aran.
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
Mortar rounds struck the Baramkeh neighborhood near a hospital and killed a child in the Bakhityar area where a fire broke out. Mortars also fell on the neighborhood of Bab Touma.
A suicide bomber blew up a van in the eastern area of Rukn al-Din neighbourhood in Damascus killing at least 3 and wounding others. Clashes took place in Yarmouk. The Syrian regime’s forces bombarded the neighborhoods of Qaboun, Hajar al-Aswad, and Barzeh. Rockets fell on the Ish al-Warwar neighborhood killing a child and injuring others (Ish al-Warwar has many residents originally from the Syrian coast). An explosion was reported in Zahra. Several rockets fell near the law faculty and the SANA news agency which injured several civilians. Regime bombardment was resumed on al-Jobar. Several rockets fell on the suburb of Jaramana.
Yesterday, 2 members of the Popular Committees (pro-regime militia) were killed by clashes with opposition fighters on the edges of the Ish al-Warwar neighbourhood of Damascus.
The regime forces bombarded the towns of Buweida, Ain Terma, Zebdeen, al-Ebada, Zamalka and Deir al-Asafir, killing 3 civilians in Deir al-Asafir; 1 child was killed in Kafarbatna and several residents were injured and a woman and a man from the A’in Tarma were killed in Zamalka, The Syrian airforce also bombarded the towns of Shab’a, and al-Eteiba. 1 opposition fighter was killed in clashes in Darayya.
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
The regime forces shelled the towns of Nahta, Umm al-Mayathin and the road between al-Lijah and Busr al-Harir. Regime forces tortured to death a man from Dar`a al-Balad after they detained him. One opposition fighter was killed in the bombardment of Khirbet Ghazala. The regime forces earlier shelling of the town of Jassem has killed four persons.
Deir az-Zur province:
The regime forces bombarded the neighborhood of Sina’a, the towns of al-Hsan and al-Jneina, and the Hweija causing injuries and damaging properties.
Sunday was the 285th day of the regime’s bombardment of the city of Deir az-Zur, http://youtu.be/Gzcv5yvgxmI
clashes took place in al-Hweeeqah; a mortar fell onto al-Nur Hospital,
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
2 men were killed by snipers in the Hama neighbourhoods of al-Arba’een and Junoob al-Mal’ab; gunfire was heard in several parts of the city. Yesterday, 6 members from the town of Qamhana were killed by clashes with rebels near Jisr Helfaya, Hama.
Regime forces killed eleven opposition fighters in an ambush in the village of Melbiyya. The fighters were from Mayadeen and A’sharha and apparently other fighters were executed following detention by regime forces.
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
Syrian regular forces have taken full control over the Baba Amr neighbourhood after 2 weeks of intense clashes.
Opposition fighters from several factions stormed Baba Amr, two weeks ago and managed to hold their positions, but they were violently bombarded by the Syrian regime’s airforce and artillery. Several residents of the Baba Amr returned to their homes to check on them, finding them destroyed or uninhabitable.
In Rastan, people tried to help a little girl hit in shelling http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GDsu787mmYY&feature=youtu.be
13 charred bodies, including four children and five women, were found on the outskirts of the village of Abil, southwest of the city of Homs, who were killed by pro-government actors.
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 regime forces shelled Khan Sheikhoun its surrounding villages, as well as Sarmin, al-Bara village in Jabal al-Zawiya and Ma’arat Masrin. A regime sniper killed a man in Ariha.
Warplanes carried out air raids on Salqin. Helicopters were seen throwing food bags on the encampment of Hamidiya, for the tenth day in a row, since the opposition forces have been besieging the encampments of al-Hamidiya and Wadi al-Dayf, for over a month.
On the Umma Brigade which has been operating in this area:
And here is its political manifesto:
Regime forces killed one man yesterday in an ambush set close to the village of al-Badroosiya
Quneitra province: https://maps.google.com/maps?hl=en&q=Quneitra+governorate+Google+maps&ie=UTF-8&hq=&hnear=0x151eb4afcd3e069f:0xbcbbd63808a65623,Quneitra+Governorate,+Syria&gl=us&ei=Ch77ULCILuyP0QG67YDoDQ&ved=0CC0Q8gEwAA
One opposition fighter was killed yesterday.
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
The White House in the U.S. said it would not be providing any defense to the Syrian opposition from the Patriot missiles stationed in Turkey as requested by Moaz al-Khatib at the Arab League summit in Doha. http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/130326/white-house-no-patriot-missiles-syria-0
The U.S. has been training “secular” (non-Islamist) Syrian fighters in Jordan over the last few months and providing non-lethal logistical support. Some of the trainees are in turn training Syrians inside Syria. http://www.armytimes.com/news/2013/03/ap-officials-say-us-training-syrian-fighters-in-jordan-032513/
Syrian Shi`i Muslims in Lebanon are defending their homes against attacks by the opposition, moving back across the Lebanese border after taking refuge in Lebanon. Here is their account of the situation there and in the Hermel/Arsaal areas of the upper Biqa`. http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/world/middleeast/la-fg-0326-syria-shiites-hezbollah-20130326,0,5327323.story