Syria Update, April 21 – 22 2013. (Institute of Middle Eastern, Islamic and Strategic Studies. By Sherifa Zuhur)
Death toll: 566 martyrs 483 martyrs were reported in Damascus and its Suburbs – most of whom where killed in Jdeidet Al-Fadl (over the last five days), 23 in Aleppo; 21 in Idlib, including 14 in Maghara; 15 in Homs; 12 in Dara`a; 7 in Deir az-Zur; and 5 in Hama.
Saturday’s death toll: 82 killed including 2 women and 8 children:
The interim chief of the National Coalition, Georges Sabra says that Hizbullah’s involvement in Homs (see below) is a declaration of war against the Syrian people.
Syrian Army officers create new militias to share in the loot as well as protect the regime. They express distrust of their Sunni rank-and-file. Are we witnessing the end of the Syrian Arab Army?
The clerics of the Greek Orthodox and Assyrian churches in Syria, Bishop Paul Yazigi and Bishop Yohanna Ibrahim were both kidnapped in Aleppo, and their driver killed. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/04/22/yohanna-ibrahim-paul-yazigi-syria-kidnapped_n_3134606.html
On the Katibat al-Muhajireen, one of the opposition groups in Syria. http://www.kavkazcenter.com/eng/content/2013/04/19/17678.shtml
Here a soldier who tried to defect has been shot by Assad’s forces. He (looks stunned) and opposition shouts, “Don’t look at your wound, come to us.” and then “Don’t be afraid.” https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=mPCha2uHZqA#!
Syria as “The Dungeons of Heaven” and “Heaven in Doha” https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=507394995988040&set=a.159322220795321.35346.152902998103910&type=1&theater
Refugees and Relief:
The UN World Food Program said the U.S.S. Advantage (an American ship) has carried wheat intended to feed a million Syrian refugees. http://www.examiner.com/article/u-s-ship-brings-wheat-to-starving-syrians
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 chronicle of the destruction of Aleppo: http://alisariram.wordpress.com/2013/04/14/bearing-witness-the-destruction-of-the-old-city-of-aleppo-the-second-oldest-city-in-the-world-part-three/
In the city of Aleppo clashes took place in the Henderat camp.
Clashes are taking place between the Kurdish Defense Units (YPG), the regime forces and members of the Popular Committee militia from the towns of Nebel and al-Zahra’ in the area between Nebel (mainly Shi’a) and the town of al-Ziyara (Kurdish). Regime forces bombarded the town of al-Ziyara, killing a 10-year-old child and injuring his mother and 2 brothers. Then clashes began as fighters from Nebel and al-Zahra headed north towards the Mengh military airport and their own towns. Clashes also occurred on the western side of al-Zahra, between the Popular Committee and opposition fighters from Mayer and Bayanoun (Sunni).
The opposition overran a military battalion near the Mengh military airport following clashes over the previous night, both regime troops and opposition suffered casualties and clashes occurred near the airport.
The Syrian air force bombarded the town of Tel Rif’at.
Footage of the overrun battalion:
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
The Syrian regular forces bombarded areas of Jobar and there were injuries. Violent clashes broke out between regular forces and opposition fighters at the entrance to the Asali neighborhood and near 30th street in al-Yarmouk with losses on both sides. The Syrian military shelled Yarmouk camp today and two mosques there. Regular forces carried out a series of arbitrary arrests and raids in al-Jusr al-Abyad. Regular forces shelled the neighborhood of al-Tadamun and al-Qadam with rocket launchers and mortar shells. Several mortar shells fell on the al-Ghasoula area which led to casualties. Clashes took place in the outskirts of al-Abada and al-Ateiba, and regular forces bombarded these areas.
The opposition opened fire on a bus in Barzeh yesterday which killed 7 civilians, including a child and a woman. The bus was from the Ish al-Warwar, a largely Alawi area.
Fierce fighting by FSA in the Damascus suburbs led to at least 100 regime forces killed on Sunday.
Regime forces and loyalist militias stormed Jdaeidet Artouz Al Fadl and the surrounding area. About 566 bodies of people executed over the last 5 days of fighting were found. Many were summarily executed. The militia fighters were celebrating in the area afterwards.
Families waited outside the Palace of Justice for the release of prisoners on Sunday. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B8FJuuv92ok&feature=youtu.be
Assad loyalists (identified on one site as republican guards) torture to death two civilians in al-Tal in the Damascus suburbs. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gYkv1MriNPw
On Saturday a sniper killed Muhammad Khaled Allawi of Deir az-Zur in Damascus.
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 Syrian military shelled the town of al-Katiba and the towns of al-Mleiha al-Sharqiya, Da’el and Tsil.
Deir az-Zur province:
The Jabha al-Nusra has destroyed 30 homes of armed villagers in al-Mesreb including the house of the mukhtar. Clashes occurred in this village and 20 Nusra fighters were killed (6 were from Saudi Arabia and Tunisia) and 17 villagers were killed. al-Nusra has also taken 13 captives.
Sunday saw the 312th day of the Assad regime’s military campaign to destroy the city of Deir az-Zur. Clashes were fought between the FSA and regime forces in Al-Ummal and Al-Haweeqa. The Syrian military shelled Hamidiya and Al-Matar Al-Qadim neighborhoods using rocket launchers and mortars.
FSA targeting the artillery stationed on the mountain
Killed on Sunday: Muhammad Al-Ahmad in clashes in Ar-Rassafa neighborhood
Mehiar Al-Bad’e and Abdullah Omar al-Hajji in the shelling of Hamidiyya
Malek Abdulhamid Al-Nawwarah in the shelling of Sheikh Yaseen
5- Majed Salih Al-Hamran; originally from Mou Hassan city; killed in the J’daidat Al-Fadhel massacre yesterday.
Killed on Saturday: Amneh Hassan Al-H’lal; a woman in regime shelling of the village of Khraiteh village and Iyad Hassan Al-H’lal; a young boy, http://youtu.be/J_XnZ5FN4kQ also Ahmad Hassan Al-H’lal; a young boy; Maji dah Hassan Al-H’lal; a young girl, Ayat Hassan Al-H’lal; a young girl.
The Syrian regime forces shelled al-Hamidiyya, al-Rushdiyya, al-Ummal and al-Rasafa.
Killed in clashes in al-Sina’a in the city of Deir az-Zur was Mohammad Subhi Al-Asker an FSA member from Al-Bou Lail.
Lewa’a Al-Ahmad an FSA member originally from Damascus was killed in clashes in al-Rassafa.
Hassan Al-Mohammad Al-Hamid Al-Ali, an FSA member from al-Quria killed in clashes in Deir Ezzor.
Hassoun J’naid, Omar Jnaid and Maha Jnaid were all killed in the bombing of Hatlah.
A bus was shelled on the Hassakeh-Damascus highway killing the bus driver and a passenger (not identified as of Sunday)
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
The role of Hizbullah in Homs. http://www.romandie.com/news/n/_Syrie_le_role_du_Hezbollah_a_Homs_une_declaration_de_guerre_94220420131916.asp
The Syrian military shelled areas of al-Rastan destroying homes and causing injuries. Regular forces resumed their bombardment of al-Hula.
On Sunday, the occupied area of Homs (city) reported y:
The entrances to al-Ensha’at are closed off by prefabricated walls. Land lines, water and DSL Internet have been cut off/out of service for four days. Assad’s forces stationed in the Al Gardenia tower were shelling that area and no water there for three days.
Syrian Red Crescent’s trucks were filling the water reservoirs of the refugees centers and for residents. One entrance to al-Wa’er has opened near the pro-regime al-Mazra’ah village on the western side of Homs.
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 Syrian military killed a man and a woman in the bombarding of the town of Binnish; the shelling came fromthe village of al-Fou’a. The Syrian military also bombarded the town of Jarjanaz and the city of Ma’arat al-Nu’man.
The Syrian regime shot a rocket at a school in the town of al-Maghara which killed 5 civilians, including children. The regime forces also bombarded the towns of Kafrouma, Kansafra and Kafarlata.
The towns of al-Khadra, al-Kabir, Salma and al-Rihaniya were bombarded by regime forces on Saturday.
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon urged Arab nations to stop supplying arms to either side in the Syrian conflict but, Nabil el-Araby, the Arab League chief said it’s impossible to halt the flow of weapons at this time “If there is a political settlement or the beginning of a political settlement it could happen, el-Araby said, “but at this point I don’t think it’s possible because the government is getting arms from certain parties, so if the other side gets some arms from certain parties, I think you can get some form of a balance there.” http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/130422/arab-league-rejects-ban-call-end-syria-arms-supplies
Le Figaro reported that Jordan has opened up two corridors in its air space so that Israel can use drones to monitor the Syrian conflict. http://rt.com/news/allows-israeli-drones-airspace-192/
Fifty Lebanese political leaders including Sayyid Hassan Nasrallah made a surprise visit to Bashar al-Assad of Syria on Sunday. The group included pro-Assad politicians of all sects. http://www.dailystar.com.lb/News/Politics/2013/Apr-22/214584-lebanese-figures-make-surprisevisit-to-assad.ashx#axzz2RF0VvRgk
Hazem al-Amin, an al-Hayat journalist criticizes Hizbullah’s military support of the Assad regime and effort to claim that it is protecting religious sites and defending the “resistance.” Al-Amin accuses Hizbullah of inventing a new Shiism in Lebanon. http://english.alarabiya.net/view-renderer?mgnlUuid=e6b93e93-adf0-40e3-ac58-56aa9c09364b
The United States Secretary of State, John Kerry announced following a Friends of Syria meeting in Istanbul that the US will double its “non-lethal” aid to Syria (at 250 million dollars). The Syrian state news condemned the U.S.’s involvement, saying it is pouring oil on the fire.
An Illinois teenager, Abdalla Ahmad Tounisi was arrested en route to Turkey where he planned to join opposition forces. But he had been recruited by an FBI agent. http://bigstory.ap.org/article/fbi-ill-man-planned-join-syrian-extremists
Also see: http://french.moqawama.org/essaydetails.php?eid=9220&cid=287#.UXP2Q4L4ucE.facebook
And just to remind you that 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.