Syria Update, July 7, 2013 (Institute of Middle Eastern, Islamic and Strategic Studies. By Sherifa Zuhur)

8 Jul

Syria Update, June 27, 2013. (Institute of Middle Eastern, Islamic and Strategic Studies. By Sherifa Zuhur)

Preliminary death toll:  At least 90 killed.

Saturday’s death toll: More than 70 including 19 civilians.

Ahmad Jarba, the newly elected head of the SNC offers a truce in Homs for the month of Ramadan. (Israeli, Chinese and a few western sources have reported so far) http://big5.xinhuanet.com/gate/big5/news.xinhuanet.com/english/world/2013-07/08/c_132520113.htm

The Muslim Brotherhood of Syria calls for arms from the West: http://in.reuters.com/article/2013/07/07/syria-crisis-brotherhood-idINDEE96605N20130707

Ahmad Assi Jarba was elected to represent the Syrian National Coalition on Saturday. http://www.arabnews.com/news/457274
http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5iS26zNaKrcy_iBJXs4DKA4FzbWgg?docId=CNG.c6daad104643c7ac987efb54041cd934.61
http://reliefweb.int/report/syrian-arab-republic/syrias-main-opposition-picks-ahmad-assi-jarba-new-leader

Israeli submarine may have hit http://osnetdaily.com/2013/07/did-an-israeli-dolphin-submarine-just-bypass-the-russian-s-300-batteries-in-syria/
See also under Latakia below.

A Tamarrod Syria was set up and after only 12 hours, the Syrian regime arrested its Facebook administrator

Prices have risen and are squeezing Syrians as the Syrian pound falls: http://www.newsdaily.com/world/599bbe88ce3324cffb67094f287a5826/economic-disaster-adds-to-syrians-woes

Assad was enthused by the fall of President Morsi, but hardline groups (which Reuters portrays as representing most of the opposition) are unhappy. http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/07/07/us-syria-crisis-islamists-idUSBRE96606K20130707

Fidaa al-Bali, known as Mohammed Moaz, citizen journalist killed in Syria. http://www.nytimes.com/2013/07/07/world/middleeast/activist-who-documented-syrian-wars-toll-became-its-victim.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

Kuwaiti doctor killed near the Turkish border: https://www.facebook.com/sawsanoor/posts/10151756895397812

Refugees and Relief:
Two of three kidnapped German aid workers are released: http://www.dw.de/dangerous-situation-for-christians-and-aid-workers/a-16934286

The market place at Zaatari refugee camp in Jordan is nicknamed the Champs Élysées http://www.unmultimedia.org/tv/unifeed/2013/07/jordan-zaataris-champs-elysees/

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

Aleppo Central Prison was shelled, killing at least 6 and others were wounded when the prison was fired on later. Clashes continue as the prison is besieged, besieged between the regime forces and the Islamic State of Iraq, al-Sham and the Ahrar al-Sham battalions.

Clashes between pro-regime gunmen, regime forces and opposition forces took place on the eastern side of Zahra and Nubul: http://bigstory.ap.org/article/syria-rebels-pound-besieged-shiite-towns
Near Zahra, three opposition fighters were killed including one non-Syrian Arab and 25 were wounded.

In Aleppo, clashes were fought in the Sheikh Maqsoud and the Ashrafiya neighborhoods, in the farmland near the Rashdin neighbourhood, and near the police department in the Salhin neighborhood. The Syrian air force bombarded areas in the city of Tel Rif’at. The opposition targeted regime arms depots at the Kweiris military airport, causing explosions and fires to break out.

In western Aleppo province, the Syrian military is trying to make inroads against the opposition in Rashedeen http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=60fWDT5b1-4

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 air force bombarded Douma killing 7 people (1 child and 6 men) and injuring at least 10.

Today, the regime forces based at the Mezzeh military airport bombarded the towns and cities of the eastern Ghouta.

A special report and appeal from/on the Eastern Ghouta addressed as: “Letter to Western Intellectuals ” by Yassin al-Hajj Saleh (appeared today in Le Monde) – “Eastern Ghouta is a region inhabited today by a million people, about two million less than it had before the revolution. After the establishment of the armed revolution and being the starting point for fighters in the Damascus [area], the Ghouta has been completely encircled for several months. This reversal of the situation is due to the significant military and logistical support to the regime by Russia, Iran and the Lebanese and Iraqi militias loyal to Tehran. In addition, I witnessed the cruel lack of arms and ammunition on the side of freedom fighters, as well as the lack of food. Many fighters take only two meals a day. The situation would be worse if they were not the children of the region, defending their homes and families.

Cities and villages of the Ghouta that I visited during the last three months are undergoing blind daily aerial bombardment as heavy artillery, and every day people are killed, mostly civilians. I lived for a month at a medical center under “civil protection” and I saw all those who died from the bombs.”
http://vendredis-arabes.blogspot.com/2013/07/lettre-aux-intellectuels-en-occident.html?spref=fb

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

Regime warplanes bombed the village of Saida.

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
Today is the 388th day of the Assad regime’s military campaign on the city of Deir az-Zur.

On Friday, the regime forces targeted al-Ordi, al-Kanamat, al-Shekkh Yassin and in al-Sina’a, clashes were fought. Regime forces launched a campaign of raids and arrests, which targeted many young civilians. Effects of the shelling in al-Sina’a http://youtu.be/0t434Hwj-k4

The regime forces targeted the town of al-Mrei’ah.

Killed in Deir az-Zur : Saleh Khalil Hussein, Yasser Ammar Thallaj, Hassan Adnan Thallaj, and in the village of Htalh, Saleh Alwan.

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

An IED hit a bus in the city of Salamiyya which was carrying workers from the al-Bataniyat factory, which is part of the defense industry with reports of casualties. The regime forces shelled the villages of Jabal Shihshbo and the village of Hurbinafse. Regime forces with heavy vehicles and bulldozers stormed the town of Hayalein, and they detained some citizens of the town.

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

Regime forces continue to bombard the Khaldiya neighbourhood and the Old neighborhoods of Homs, using mortar and artillery shells in all-out effort for the ninth day. Shelling continued on through the night. Several buildings were destroyed and some are on fire. The air force earlier bombarded the neighbourhoods.

Two-thirds of Homs has been destroyed according to some sources due to bombardment: http://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2013/07/07/Two-thirds-of-Syria-s-Homs-rebel-area-destroyed-NGO-group-says-.html

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

A large number of people were killed in the town of al-Dana by fighters of the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham, yesterday following clashes. The leader of the Hamza Assad Allah brigade and his brother were decapitated according to a leader of an opposition brigade and their bodies were found near a garbage container.

Also see: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/07/08/world/middleeast/tension-between-rebel-groups-intensifies-in-syria.html?partner=rss&emc=rss&utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter

Latakia province:
https://maps.google.com/maps?hl=en&q=latakia+governorate+google+maps&ie=UTF-8&hq=&hnear=0x15241c8bc2bf561f:0xdbb2edac5c45c32b,Latakia+Governorate,+Syria&gl=us&ei=ghv_UOaOOMGW0QH88YDYDw&ved=0CC0Q8gEwAA

The regime shelled Salma and nearby villages from Nabi Younis. Here raids on rural areas: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CjjsHXUzMp8

A huge explosion destroyed the Latakia depot near Tartous last week. This was an attack by Israel, even though the Free Syrian Army took credit: http://www.richardsilverstein.com/2013/07/07/israel-destroyed-syrian-weapons-depot/

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
Rebel fighters stormed a house in the Saif al-Dawla neighbourhood of Raqqah city, 2 civilians were detained. Activists report no reason for their detention.

International:

Two small roadside bombs, detonated minutes apart and wounded four people this morning near Hermel, Lebanon. The first bomb exploded on Sunday as a civilian vehicle passed along the main highway from the town of Baalbek towards the Syrian border, just 200 meters from an army checkpoint at the entrance to the town of Hermel at the al-Mahatta junction. The second bomb exploded when a military vehicle, a pickup and a van carrying schoolchildren arrived on the scene. Security officials believe the incident is related to the Syrian crisis. http://www.dailystar.com.lb/News/Local-News/2013/Jul-08/222887-hermel-blasts-wound-four-near-army-checkpoint.ashx#axzz2YP7PhlCc
The United Kingdom has increased military aid to Lebanon to protect its border with Syria. http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/syria-civil-war-britain-increases-military-aid-to-lebanon-to-protect-border-8690929.html
The United Nations’ Human Rights Office expressed its concerns about some 4,000 civilians trapped in Homs. http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=45348&Cr=syria&Cr1=#.UdoCFGCmK5I
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 
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%
 
 Syrian Arab Army (prior to the conflict) 220,000 regular and 280,000 reserves. Of the 200,000 career soldiers, 140,000 are Alawi.

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