Syria Update, April 10, 2013 (Institute of Middle Eastern, islamic and Strategic Studies. By Sherifa Zuhur)

11 Apr

Syria Update, April 10 2013. (Institute of Middle Eastern, Islamic and Strategic Studies. By Sherifa Zuhur)

Death toll: More than 150 killed today, including 48 civilians.

Tuesday’s early death toll: More than 140, including 32 civilians.

Here a leader of the al-Nusra Front, Abu Muhammad al-Julani gives allegiance to al-Qa’ida:

Indiscriminate air attacks by the Syrian government on Syrian civilians: http://www.hrw.org/reports/2013/04/10/death-skies

What and who is the Syrian Observatory of Human Rights?
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/04/10/world/middleeast/the-man-behind-the-casualty-figures-in-syria.html?pagewanted=all&_r=1&

Pro-Assad military killing a boy:

Refugees and Relief:

A joint Emirati-Jordanian refugee camp was to open today: http://www.humanityvoice.net/news_details.php?id=9471

At Mrajed al-Fhood (and opened), a small facility compared to the Zaatari camp.
http://news.yahoo.com/second-camp-syrian-refugees-opens-jordan-111343324.html

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

The use of curtains and awnings in neighborhoods to foil the efforts of snipers.
http://lightbox.time.com/2013/04/08/the-veils-of-aleppo-photographs-by-franco-pagetti/#1

Rockets fell on the Khaldiya and Jam’iyat al-Zahra’ neighborhoods, and al-Qasr al-Baladi. Sporadic clashes took place between regime and rebel forces in the Sheikh Sa’id neighborhood.

An opposition center near al-Ashrafiyya, headed by Khalid Hayyani has been torturing its captives, both Arabs and Kurds. His battalion has allegedly been taking over the property of refugees fleeing Sheikh Maqsoud, and some have complained of being forced to pay protection money.

Mortar shells fell on al-Sukari wounding several civilians.

Clashes continued today between opposition fighters and regular forces in several areas of al-Kandi hospital and the land around it.

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

In Damascus, the Syrian military bombarded Mukhayam al-Yarmuk and Qadam. Violent clashes between the oppositionand regime forces occurred in the Jobar neighbourhood at the A’basiyeen side. Clashes took place in Tadamun neighbourhood.

Clashes took place on the outskirts of al-Mleiha and near al-Sbeina town with losses by regular forces. A sniper shot a man on the road to al-Mleiha. The Syrian military bombarded al-Balad, Beit Sahem, Hjeira al-Bhariya, al-Hseiniyya, al-Thiyabiya, and Yelda. Fighter airplanes carried out air raids on areas of al-Ghouta al-Sharqiya causing injuries and property damage. Helicopters bombarded the al-A’bada Violent clashes took place in al-A’bada and artillery bombardment. The Syrian military bombarded the western areas of Daraya and al-Zabadani city using rocket launchers. Regime bombardment of Ma’damiyyat al-Sham killed a child.

Regime forces shelled al-Zabadani and Zamalka at midnight Tuesday and early Wednesday.

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

More than 50 persons were killed in Sanamein: Shelling and clashes killed 26 civilians (including 5 women and 3 unidentified persons) Sanamein and Ghabagheb. Also 16 opposition fighters and 9 regular soldiers were killed there. Reports said that three soldiers were killed when they tried to defect. The fighting occurred after regime forces’ military reinforcements arrived in an effort to storm the town and they carried out detentions, capturing residents.

“Anees Muhamed Jamus”, the leader of the Saqr Qurish Battalion, died of his wounds following an ambush by regime forces on the Da’el Tafas road. The Syrian regime forces bombarded the towns of Da’el, Kafarshams, and Um al-Mayathin overnight Tuesday.

Regime forces also bombarded the town of al-Nemer and went on a raid and arrest campaign in the al-Qusoor neighbourhood of Der’a.

Regular forces killed a man from A’mouriya town when they targeted his car.

Deir az-Zur province:

https://maps.google.com/maps?hl=en&q=Dayr+Az+Zor+province+map&ie=UTF-8&hq=&hnear=0x1548153314d3dbad:0x9d5a68804221c27f,Deir+ez-Zor+Governorate,+Syria&gl=us&ei=WtLLUJL5NanI0QGozIH4Bw&ved=0CDMQ8gEwAA

In the city of Deir az-Zur, the Syrian military bombarded al-Sheikh Yasin neighborhood and carried out a series of raids and arbitrary arrests in the Deir al-A’tiq neighborhood. Clashes took place, between opposition fighters and regime forces, in the Jbeila neighborhood late Tuesday and early Wednesday.

Here is a video of some of the destruction: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RZd2JzOr_O0

Unknown gunmen shot a bus near Kabakeb between Deir az-Zur and Palmyra killing 2 civilians from the al-Qameshli and injuring 5 civilian passengers.

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

A defected lieutenant turned opposition l commander, was killed in clashes with regular forces near the Tal `Uthman military base.

The opposition here shelling Hama’s military airport.
https://now.mmedia.me/lb/en/nowsyrialatestnews/rebels-shelling-hama-military-airport

Violent clashes occurred in the neighbourhoods of al-Arb`in, al-Qusur, Tareeq Halab, and al-Hamidiya of Hama city late Tuesday into early Wednesday resulting in the deaths of 4 oppostion fighters. Clashes took place around several military checkpoints near Suran and the town was shelled.

Hassaka province
https://maps.google.com/maps?hl=en&q=AlHasakah+Governorate,+Syria,+google+maps&ie=UTF-8&hq=&hnear=0x400976912dee2dfb:0x1735b67e4a2454b0,Al-Hasakah+Governorate,+Syria&gl=us&ei=UMLTUOKtN4ra0QG9-oHYBg&ved=0CC8Q8gEwAA

Fighters of the Kurdish defense units (YPG) took control of the al-Nasra neighbourhood of the city of al-Hasakka after violent clashes yesterday which had resulted in the death of 1 YPG fighter and 5 pro-regime militants. YPG units control most of the Kurdish cities in al-Hassaka province.

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

Homs today:

The neighbourhoods of al-Khaldiya and Homs al-Qadeema (old Homs) are under regime forces’ bombardment, along with several explosion sounds being heard, and no news were received about

Unknown gunmen killed ten Syrian bedouin civilians on the Tartous-Homs highway. The family of 10 (mother, father and 8 children) were found killed inside a tent by the road. Two opposition fighters were killed in clashes with regular forces in the Oum Sharshouh area. Regular Syrian forces shelled areas in al-Rastan. The Syrian air force carried out several air raids on the villages of Abel and al-Bweida al-Sharqiya in the southern part of the province. The air force also carried out air raids on Talibisa resulting in the death of a child and injuries.

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

An explosion was heard on the outskirts of Idlib city, by the Iskan (public housing) area, initial reports said that it was a car bomb.

International:

The United Nations and Syria are at an impasse over a probe into the use of chemical weapons which Syria actually requested. Syria, however wants the UN only to investigate an incident last month in Aleppo. But there have been 3 alleged chemical attacks – Aleppo, Damascus in March and Homs in December. http://uk.reuters.com/article/2013/04/11/uk-syria-crisis-chemical-un-idUKBRE93919620130411

The Obama administration will be providing more aid to the Syrian opposition including armor and night vision goggles. http://www.newser.com/article/da5imbr03/us-expected-to-increase-non-lethal-aid-to-syrian-rebels-including-armor-night-vision-goggles.html

The Friends of Syria will meet next week in Istanbul and US Secretary of State John Kerry will attend a core group meeting on April 20, 2013 according to a senior US State Department official who spoke today.

John Kerry and other G8 foreign ministers held talks with members of the Syrian National Coalition, including Ghassan Hitto, the opposition prime minister on Wednesday while attending a two-day ministerial meeting in London. Hitto’s mission in London was to ask for help in establishing a no-fly zone.

And as reported in Germany: http://www.dw.de/syrian-opposition-appeals-for-arms-at-g8-meeting/a-16736568

The Syrian regime apparently fabricated documents to spread a story that Saudi Arabia has sent al-Qai’da prisoners to go fight in Syria. http://www.arabnews.com/news/447738
On Jordan’s position vis-à-vis Syria – at first, somewhat neutral and now with rising numbers of refugees, less so. http://english.alarabiya.net/en/views/2013/04/10/Jordan-ready-to-deal-with-Damascus-retribution-.html
A Syrian jet dropped five shells on the outskirts of Sarjal Ajram to the northeast of Arsaal, in Lebanon today.

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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