Syria Update November 21, 2013. (Institute of Middle Eastern, Islamic and Strategic Studies. By Sherifa Zuhur)
Tuesday’s death toll: 140 killed including 35 civilians.
Monday’s death toll: 134 killed including 38 civilians.
The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons is posting a request for “expressions of interest” from companies who want a role in “the treatment and disposal of hazardous and non- hazardous organic and inorganic chemicals” in Syria. http://rt.com/news/opcw-syria-chemicals-firms-092/
It is also trying to find a port to serve as a location to destroy the chemicals. http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/11/21/us-syria-crisis-chemical-idUSBRE9AK0Z020131121
Beyond the Sunni-Alawi dichotomy which the Assad regime has exploited: http://pulsemedia.org/2013/11/21/beyond-the-sunni-alawi-dichotomy/
Refugees and Relief:
Authorities are trying to secure 8,000 trailers for Zaatari camp in Jordan. http://jordantimes.com/authorities-seeking-to-secure-8000-trailers-for-zaatari
Refugees’ situation in Lebanon is even more dire than in Jordan and winter is arriving: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jamal-dajani/syrian-refugees-lebanon_b_4310007.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
Assad’s regular forces bombarded areas in Halab al-Qadima (Old Aleppo). The air force used heavy machine guns on parts of the Tariq al-Bab neighborhood. Rebel fighters launched mortar shells on the al-A’mouri checkpoint in Salah al-Din. A regime sniper was shot by a rebel sniper in the al-Taslih building.
5 civilians, including 4 children, were killed by aerial bombardment with heavy machine guns on the village of Souran 1 child was killed and several injured by shells that fell on the town of Nubul.
Regime forces bombarded al-Bab, leading to the death of a woman and her young daughter, several others were injured. The air force bombarded the industrial city in Aleppo for the 3rd time, ground forces are also bombarding the area. Regime forces also bombarded the towns of Mayer and al-Zahra. 2 rebels, one a commander, were killed in clashes near the 80th brigade base. Unknown gunmen kidnapped a media activist last night in the town of Deir Hafer, and there was an attempt to kidnap a rebel.
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
A mortar shell fell on the al-Hamra area near the al-Manakhiliya and al-A’srouniya. Several mortar shells fell on the al-Sebki garden in the al-Sha’lan area and areas in the al-Mazza 86. Assad’s forces launched several shells onto the northern part of the Jobar neighborhood.
A mortar fell in the Mazra’a neighbourhood, near the Russian embassy, and another mortar fell in the Umaya hospital area in Rukn al-Din neighborhood; casualties and injuries reported. Mortars were launched onto George Khoury square, Qassa’ neighbourhood, Abbasiyeen square and in the Bab Touma area.
Regime bombardment was resumed onto Qaboun and regime forces also bombarded the Tadamun and Barzeh neighbourhoods. Regime forces earlier bombarded the Jobar neighbourhood and there were intense clashes there.
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
Five Jordanian writers were wounded yesterday in Dar`a as their bus was hit by a roadside bomb. (SANA reported only two wounded) They had gone as a delegation to meet with senior Syrian officials. http://www.cortezjournal.com/article/20131121/API/1311210567/Aid-group:-Syrian-refugees-debt-spiraling-upward
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
Massive barrel bombs have been used by the Assad regime in different parts of Syria. Here is an unexploded barrel bomb near Kafar Zeita, Hama.
Yesterday at least 8 people were killed in Rif (the countryside outside) Tal Tamer, the dead included YPG volunteers, civilians and 2 fighters. This follows on ISIS, Nusra and rebels attacked the villages of Gheibash and Asfuriya to the southwest of Tal Tamer.
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
Assad’s forces bombarded the village of al-Sa’n al-Aswad and the Hosh Hejo.
13 were killed including 2 children, 1 man and his son, by 2 mortar shells which hit the al-Mahatta neighborhood near the military intelligence building; 2 combatants from the military intelligence were also killed. 5 civilians were killed by a mortar shell that fell near the al-Safir hotel in the al-Insha’at neighbourhood of Homs city. Several mortar shells fell on the al-Wa’er neighbourhood. At least 18 were killed in Insha’att and Karam al-Shami. Here’s a photo of the mortar which fell in Karam al-Shami where there was a school – https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=498402226933726&set=a.276415299132421.61643.274193632687921&type=1&theater
2 men from Taldo in the al-Houla area were found dead in Kafernan– activists say that regular forces and pro-regime militants killed them.
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
Intermittent clashes were fought by the ISIS and rebel fighters in Sarmada after ISIS fighters entered the town yesterday and confiscated 14 pickups belonging to a resident, accusing him of cooperating with the regime. Clashes broke out today when ISIS attempted to storm the town from the al-Danna area.
The Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) has imposed what it claims is shari3a approved clothing on schools in the areas it has absolute or even partial control over.
Members of the ISIS distributed leaflets in an all girls school in Saraqeb, telling all girls from grade 5 or older to wear the ISIS’ extremist interpretation of what Islamic law prescribes women to wear. The leaflets warn that all girls who do not follow thes rules will be banned from entering the school.
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
Yesterday, violent clashes took place between regime and rebel forces near the 17th brigade base as the rebels advanced. Jabhat al-Nusra raised its (al-Qa’ida-linked) flag over a Shi’ite shrine, the shrine of Owais al-Qarni south east of Raqqah city, which is a pilgrimage destination. The rebel group which had taken this area after the regime forces withdrew pledged allegiance to Jabhat al-Nusra.
Turkey has accused Assad of stepping up attacks during this period as the Geneva talks are delayed and calls for Geneva to be convened.
Abdelkader Saleh, slain FSA commander is mourned in Qatar. http://english.alarabiya.net/en/perspective/features/2013/11/21/In-Qatar-desert-Syrian-opposition-mourns-fallen-commander.html
German President, Joachim Gauck visited Syrian refugees at Camp Friedland and said:
“We have heard the things that we’ve heard on the TV, the radio, that we’ve read in newspapers – of destroyed houses, extinguished human life, damage, trauma. But when you look into the faces of people, then it’s different from just reading the numbers of victims. Then you feel very clearly what the country needs for refugees, for people in need: an open heart and open arms, too
I praise heartily our readiness to take in refugees and to bring asylum seekers into the asylum process. But I also say, in the face of this humanitarian catastrophe, that we can also do more”.
The Paris-based Union de Banques Arabes Francaises (UBAF) will release Syrian funds to pay for food deals, suggesting the Assad govt. is making progress in financing imports of staple supplies.
Western countries have imposed sanctions on President Bashar al-Assad’s government, but these do not apply to food. France has cleared the use of frozen Syrian assets as part of an EU scheme to allow funds to be used for humanitarian ends. AJE. (So this means those with the Assad govt. should be able to obtain food, while those against him will continue to starve.) http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/11/21/us-syria-crisis-food-ubaf-idUSBRE9AK0X220131121