Tag Archives: Bashar al-Assad

Palestinians Rebut Blumenthal & Other Critics of Syria’s Revolution

12 Oct
On The Allies We’re Not Proud Of: A Palestinian Response to Troubling Discourse on Syria
We, the undersigned Palestinians, write to affirm our commitment to the amplification of Syrian voices as they endure slaughter and displacement at the hands of Bashar Al-Assad’s regime. We are motivated by our deep belief that oppression, in all of its manifestations, should be the primary concern of anyone committed to our collective liberation. Our vision of liberation includes the emancipation of all oppressed peoples, regardless of whether or not their struggles fit neatly into outdated geopolitical frameworks.We are concerned by some of the discourse that has emerged from progressive circles with regards to the ongoing crisis in Syria. In particular, we are embarrassed by the ways in which some individuals known for their work on Palestine have failed to account for some crucial context in their analysis of Syria.

The Syrian revolution was in fact a natural response to 40 years of authoritarian rule. The Assad regime, with the support of its foreign financial and military backers, is attempting to preserve its power at the expense of the millions of Syrians whom the regime has exiled, imprisoned, and massacred. We believe that minimizing this context in any discussion of Syria dismisses the value of Syrian self-determination and undermines the legitimacy of their uprising.

We also believe that an important consequence of all foreign interventions, including those purportedly done on behalf of the uprising, has been the setback of the original demands of revolution. The revolution is a victim, not a product, of these interventions. It is imperative for any analysis of Syria to recognize this fundamental premise. We cannot erase the agency of Syrians struggling for liberation, no matter how many players are actively working against them.

Though we maintain that the phenomenon of foreign aid demands thorough critique, we are concerned by the ways in which foreign aid has been weaponized to cast suspicion on Syrian humanitarian efforts. Foreign aid is not unique to Syria; it is prevalent in Palestine as well. We reject the notion that just because an organization is receiving foreign aid, it must follow then that that organization is partaking in some shadowy Western-backed conspiracy. Such nonsense has the effect of both undermining humanitarian efforts while simultaneously whitewashing the very crimes against humanity that necessitated the aid in the first place.

Furthermore, we object to the casual adoption of “war on terror” language. Enemies of liberation have historically used this rhetoric to target humanitarians, organizers, and community members. From Muhammad Salah to the Midwest 23 to the Holy Land Five, our community is all too familiar with the very real consequence of employing a “war on terror” framework. Therefore, we reject a discourse that perpetuates these old tactics and peddles harmful and unwarranted suspicion against Syrians.

Along these lines, it is our position that any discussion of Syria that neglects the central role of Bashar Al-Assad and his regime in the destruction of Syria directly contradicts the principles of solidarity by which we abide. We have reflected on our own tendency to heroize those who advocate on behalf of the Palestinian struggle, and we fear that some members of our community may have prioritized the celebrity status of these individuals over the respect and support we owe to those Syrians affected most directly by the war, as well as those living in the diaspora whose voices have been dismissed as they have watched their homeland be destroyed.

We will no longer entertain individuals who fail to acknowledge the immediate concerns of besieged Syrians in their analysis. Despite reaching out to some of these individuals, they have shown an unwillingness to reflect on the impact of their analysis. We regret that we have no choice left but to cease working with these activists whom we once respected.

We would like to encourage others who are guided by similar principles to do the same.

Abdulla AlShamataan
Abdullah M
Adam Akkad
Adnan Abd Alrahman
Ahmad Al-Sholi
Ahmad Kaki
Ahmad N
Ahmed A
Ala K
Ala’a Salem
Alex T
Ali A. Omar
Amal Ayesh
Amanda Michelle
Amani Alkowni
Ameen Q.
Amena Elmashni
Amira S
Andrew Kadi
Areej
Bashar Subeh
Bayan Abusneineh
Budour Hassan
Butheina Hamdah
Dana Itayem
Dana M
Dania Mukahhal
Dania Mukahhal
Diana J.A.
Dareen Mohamad
Dena E.
Diana Naoum
Dina A.
Dina Moumin
Dorgham Abusalim
Dr. Isam Abu Qasmieh
Eman Abdelhadi
Eyad Mohamed Alkurabi
Eyad Hamid
Farah Saeed
Faran Kharal
Faten Awwad
Fatima El-ghazali
Fouad Halbouni
Hadeel Hejja
Haitham Omar
Haleemah A
Hana Khalil
Hanin Shakrah
Hanna Alshaikh
Hani Barghouthi
Haneen Amra
Hareth Yousef
Hazem Jamjoum
Heba Nimr
Helal Jwayyed
Husam El-Qoulaq
Ibraheem Sumaira
Imran Salha
Jackie Husary
Jannine M
Jehad Abusalim
Jihad Ashkar
Jennifer Mogannam
Joey Husseini Ayoub
Jumana Al-Qawasmi
Karmel Sabri
Kefah Elabed
Khaled B
Laith H
Lama Abu Odeh
Lama Abu Odeh
Lana Barkawi
Lara Abu Ghannam
Leila Abdelrazaq
Lila Suboh
Linah Alsaafin
Lojayn Ottman
Lubna H
Lubna Morrar
Loubna Qutami
Magda Magdy
Mai Nasrallah
Mahmoud Khalil
Maisa Morrar
Majed A
Majed Abuzahriyeh
Manal Abokwidir
Manal El Haj
Maram Kamal
Mariam Saleh
Mariam Barghouti
Mekarem E.
Mariam Abu Samra
Mira Shihadeh
Mohamad Sabbah
Mohammad Al-Ashqar
Mohamed Hassan
Mohammad Abou-Ghazala
Mona N
Msallam Mohammed AbuKhalil
Nadia Ziadat
Nadine H
Nayef Al Smadi
Nidal Bitari
Nour Azzouz
Nour Salman
Nusayba Hammad
Omar Coolaq
Omar Jamal
Osama Mor
Omar Zahzah
Osama Khawaja
Rami Okasha
Rana Asad
Randa MKW
Rani Allan
Rania Salem
Ramzi Issa
Rasha A.
Rawan A.
Rawya Makboul
Reem J
Reem S
Reema A
Riad AlArian
Riya Al-Sanah
Ryah A
Sabreen Ettaher
Salim Salamah
Samar Batrawi
Samar Azzaidani
Sameeha Elwan
Samia S.
Sami J
Sami Shahin
Samya Abu-Orf
Sarah Ghouleh
Sara Zubi
Sarah Abu.
Sarah Ali
Sarah Shahin
Shady Zarka
Seham A
Shifa Alkhatib
Shahrazad Odeh
Shirien D
Sima Dajani
Sonia Farsakh
Susan Al-Suqi
Tahani H.
Taher Herzallah
Talal Alyan
Tamar Ghabin
Tarek Abou-Ghazala
Tareq R
Tasneem Abu-Hejleh
Tawfieq Mousa
Yahiya Saad
Yamila shannan
Yasmeen sh
Yasser Quzz
Yazan Amro
Zaid Muhammad
Zachariah Barghouti
Zeina Labadi

SOAS Palestine Society

 Doc is available here:  https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSdFSTpAOCdPRU5e1iP11GDrWPu5pXrdVMzGumApRGd8lil2jQ/viewform

Syria Update, July 26, 2013. (Institute of Middle Eastern, Islamic and Strategic Studies. By Sherifa Zuhur)

27 Jul

Syria Update, July 26, 2013. (Institute of Middle Eastern, Islamic and Strategic Studies. By Sherifa Zuhur)

Thursday’s death toll: More than 160 killed.

Wednesday’s death toll: More than 180 people killed.

Tuesday’s death toll: 131 killed including 9 children.

Will Russia place Iskander surface missiles in Syria? http://www.hurriyet.com.tr/english/world/9691338.asp

The death toll in Syria has surpassed 100,000 (and is probably higher than any estimates due to the difficulties of identifying missing and deceased persons)
http://www.france24.com/en/20130725-un-leader-ban-ki-moon-says-syria-death-toll-tops-100000

Territorial divisions in Syria’s new “normal” (war)
http://www.economist.com/news/middle-east-and-africa/21582319-territorial-divisions-are-deepening-regardless-regime-and-rebel-advances

Amnesty International shows that pro-government forces were behind the killings of 138 killed in Baniyas and 130 in Baydah and said that civilians are at risk of summary execution in Tartous. http://www.amnestyusa.org/news/news-item/syria-stop-extrajudicial-executions-of-civilians-for-military-gains

Egyptian-American man reported killed in Syria in a battle between Islamist opposition groups and Kurdish militia fighters. http://triblive.com/news/editorspicks/4415705-74/ibrahim-syria-syrian#axzz2aBwWDEc7

Hof explains key blocks to US military aid to Syria. http://beta.syriadeeply.org/2013/07/capitol-hill-syrian-fault-lines/#.Ue_osWT71cQ

US Congressional blocks on aiding opposition lifted (?) http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/07/22/us-usa-syria-arms-idUSBRE96L0W520130722

Sectarian cleansing. Version 1. http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/jul/22/syria-sunnis-fear-alawite-ethnic-cleansing

Sectarian cleansing. Version 2. Assad’s plan is to cleanse many areas of Homs province of Sunni Muslims. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/middleeast/syria/10195849/Bashar-al-Assads-militias-cleansing-Homs-of-Sunni-Muslims.html?fb

Syrian Islamist leader, Abu Musab freed on Sunday after clashes between opposition groups. http://www.dailystar.com.lb/News/Middle-East/2013/Jul-22/224559-syrian-islamist-freed-after-inter-rebel-clashes.ashx#axzz2ZieLNGXS

Refugees and Relief:

The United Nations is concerned about the detention of Syrian refugees in Egypt.

Syrian refugee crisis Guardian animation: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/middle-east-live/2013/jul/25/syria-refugee-crisis-a-day-in-the-life

Kidnapped/Abducted:

The French foreign ministry confirmed that photographer Jonathan Alpeyrie has been released from captivity in Syria
https://now.mmedia.me/lb/en/nowsyrialatestnews/franco-us-photographer-held-in-syria-released

Vigil held for journalist James Foley
http://bigstory.ap.org/article/prayer-vigil-us-journalist-missing-syria

Prisoners:

One of thousands of prisoners Maher Tahan: a member of the national coordinating body , a nonviolent political and humanitarian activist. Born in 1981. MA in English literature. He worked in the translation field for a while, and has also worked in the relief field. He was detained with Dr. Abdul Aziz Al-Khair in 09/20/2012 from Damascus International Airport while returning from a visit to China, and was never heard of until now.
We, the undersigned, want the freedom of Maher Tahan
https://www.facebook.com/notes/stop-the-torture-of-the-syrian-detainees-أوقفوا-تعذيب-المعتقلين-السوريين/حملة-للإفراج-عن-ماهر-طحان-campaign-for-the-release-of-maher-tahan/555956181127185
Overview http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/07/26/us-syria-crisis-idUSBRE96P0GM20130726

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

Regime forces launched a surface-to-surface missile into the Bab al-Nayrab neighborhood, targeting the ISIS and other opposition branches, but it hit civilian buildings killing many and injuring others. Regime forces also bombarded the Salahuddin and Rashdin neighborhoods and clashes took place in Rashdin.

Opposition fighters bombarded the Military Academy in al-Hamadaniya with Grad missiles and clashes took place on the Aleppo-Damascus highway.

Yesterday, 6 fighters from the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham were killed by an airstrike on their base, which was a children’s school, near Qadi Askar roundabout. The opposition attacked the Hamadaniya stadium checkpoint with 2 home-made rockets. Two rockets hit the al-Qatana neighborhood and one hit near the al-Huda mosque in Saif al-Dawla yesterday early in the morning.

The air force bombarded the town of al-Huta, near Anjara city. The opposition attacked regime positions in the towns of Nubul and Zahra’ Fighters from the ISIS, based in al-Maliya by A’zaz, detained 6 fighters from the Asifat al-Shamal battalion who have been fighting at the Mengh airport because the latter had taken issue with ISIS raiding homes A’zaz.

Earlier this week: Clashes between regime forces and Liwa’ Jabhat al-Akrad took place Ashrafiya. The Shari’a Council of Aleppo detained 4 fighters from the Saddam Hussein battalion in the Tariq al-Bab neighbourhood. (That battalion had tortured a civilian on a video released a few days ago). A rocket hit near the high school in al-Midan and there were clashes near the gas plant.

On the 22nd and 23rd of July the opposition killed 150 regime forces in Khan al-Asal. About 51 of these were summarily executed by the opposition.

The air force bombarded the Qadi Askar neighbourhood while the opposition bombarded the towns of Nubul and Zahra’

Opposition offensive captures three villages in Aleppo province. http://www.dailystar.com.lb/News/Middle-East/2013/Jul-23/224700-syrian-rebels-capture-three-villages-near-aleppo.ashx#axzz2ZpFVHfUQ

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 Free Syrian Army liberated several buildings overnight which were being used as regime bases in the industrial district north of the district, including the building of the electricity company and the oxygen factory.

Early this morning, regime continued its bombardment of Zabadani injuring several people. Clashes resumed on the al-Bahariya front and the eastern Ghouta.

The Syrian air force bombarded areas of the Jobar neighborhood and also hit it with mortars. Clashes took place between regime and rebel forces on the edges of al-Qaboun after the regime forces had tried to storm the area. The regime forces bombarded Barzeh and al Qaboun neighbourhood, 2 opposition fighters were killed in clashes with the Palestinian Popular Committee in Yarmouk camp and with regime forces in Jobar.

On Thursday: 17 people including women and children were killed in a car-bomb that went off in the al-Suyouf square in the Jaramana suburb.

Also 6 civilians from Yarmouk camp were killed. 4, including a child were killed in the shelling of the camp.

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 forces bombarded the city of an-Naimah today, three times in less than five hours. The regime forces launched rockets on Tseel and shelled al-Harrah.
On Thursday, 2 rebels, 10 civilians were killed including 2 children killed in the town of Jasim.

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

The Sheikh Yassin neighbourhood of Deir Ezzour was bombarded by regime forces, no reports of casualties. The Jbeila and Muwazafeen neighbourhoods were bombarded by regime forces at dawn.

Thursday was the 404th day of Assad’s military campaign on the city of Deir az-Zur. Heavy clashes took place in al-Sinaa. Two of those killed are here:

Hussein Abdulrahman Al-Hamoud

Ahmed Hamdan Altama

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

One civilian killed on Thursday.

Hassake 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

On Thursday night the ISIS and its allies bombarded the village of Sweidiyya and then, clashes broke out between the YPG and the ISIS, al-Nusra and opposition battalions carrying on until morning. The ISIS and its allies also attacked the village of al-Yusifiya, and the al-Sheikh gas station, which is on the Tal Kojar road under the control of the YPG. Sporadic clashes are continuing.

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

Shelling of Khaldiyya today http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xb2q04IMq5A&feature=youtu.be

Two missiles hit Waar today, and eight people were killed today in Homs.

Damage here in the tomb and mosque of Khalid bin al-Walid in Homs http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2F83AIA0OhU&feature=youtu.be

Regime shelling of as-Sikhneh killed three civilians from Tadmor.

Late last night it was reported that regime forces bombarded the area by the Omari mosque, the Ferzat clock, the area south of the security branch in Rastan, and near Talbisa. The regime bombarded Khaldiyya and the Old neighbourhoods of Homs at dawn. A regime sniper killed woman from the Houla area.

Yesterday, the 7-storey building opposite to Kaheel tower was turned into dust as a result of the 
brutal shelling on Jorat Al-Shayyah.

Four surface-to-surface missiles hit al-Khaldyiah on Thursday in addition to hundreds of shells and rockets are falling onto the districts of Al-Khaldyiah , Al-Qosour and Old Homs districts.

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 bombarded the village of Basamis in Jabal al-Zawiya from the Latakia-Ariha road, killing 10 civilians. The air force bombarded the town of Kafarlata killing 6 civilians including 2 children and the air force bombed the village of Nahla twice.

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

Clashes between the ISIS, Jabhat al-Nusra and other rebel fighters and the YPG resulted in the deaths of 2 YPG, and several opposition and ISIS fighters between the village of al-Yabsa and th Tal Abyad. Kurdish activists reported that the YPG captured several fighters and took over several cars with heavy machine-guns and weapons.

Earlier this week Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham blew up several houses belonging to Kurdish families in Tal Abyad. The ISIS claimed these houses belonged to people from Liwa’ Jabhat al-Akrad or the YPG, or that weapons had been fired from these homes. The ISIS also blew up the People’s Assembly building run by the Kurdish Democratic Society Movement. The YPG and Jabhat al-Akrad took over the village of Tal Fanda.

The air force bombarded areas of the city of al-Tabqah.

Tartous province. http://maps.google.com/maps?hl=en&bav=on.2,or.r_qf.&bvm=bv.46865395,d.dmg&biw=1024&bih=633&q=Tartus+governorate+Google+maps&um=1&ie=UTF-8&hq=&hnear=0x15217de6195521ad:0x22456cab24b7bb7d,Tartus+Governorate,+Syria&gl=us&sa=X&ei=KH2dUdqEDu2j4AO27oCoCw&ved=0CC4Q8gEwAA

Russia evacuated its military personnel from its small naval station in Tartous.
http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/russia-reports-pullout-from-small-base-in-syria/2013/06/26/4602b63e-de55-11e2-b797-cbd4cb13f9c6_story.html

International:

British Ambassador, Mark Lyell Grant said Ahmed al-Jarba, the Syrian National Coalition president gave a positive message to the United Nations Security Council today. http://blogs.aljazeera.com/topic/syria/british-ambassador-said-un-security-council-received-very-positive-message-syrian

More on Syrian opposition leaders meeting with the UNSC http://www.voanews.com/content/syria-opposition-leaders-meet-un-security-council/1711013.html

The Turkish government is concerned by the actions of militias of the Kurdish Democratic Union Party in Syria and met with them today. http://www.dailystar.com.lb/News/Middle-East/2013/Jul-26/225175-turkey-to-warn-syrian-kurdish-group-over-dangerous-moves-erdogan.ashx#axzz2aCrBGO42

The Pentagon presents options on Syria showing its reluctance to get involved. http://www.nytimes.com/2013/07/23/world/middleeast/pentagon-outlining-options-to-congress-suggests-syria-campaign-would-be-costly.html?_r=0

Opinion: Obama Needs a Policy on Syria
http://www.gulf-times.com/Mobile/Opinion/189/details/360512/Obama-administration-needs-a-policy-on-Syria

Salafist radicalization in Lebanon as a result of the Syrian spillover: http://www.ctc.usma.edu/posts/the-syrian-spillover-and-salafist-radicalization-in-lebanon

Syria Update, June 21, 2013 (Institute of Middle Eastern, Islamic and Strategic Studies. By Sherifa Zuhur)

21 Jun

Syria Update, June 21, 2013. (Institute of Middle Eastern, Islamic and Strategic Studies. By Sherifa Zuhur)

Yesterday’s death toll: 190 people were killed yesterday in Syria including 50 civilians.

France has delivered medical aid to Syria including an antidote for nerve gas. http://news.yahoo.com/france-makes-mass-medical-aid-delivery-northern-syria-193825971.html

Syrians protested all over the country today against the Assad regime as they have every Friday for months:

Protest in Latamneh today: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9dY6CzK5g4Y

Demonstration in Kafranbel, Syria

Protest in Darayya today

Protest in Mayadeen, Deir az-Zur.

Refugees and Relief:

451 refugees or roughly 100 families fled the violence in Syria last night to Jordan.

Double displacement of Palestinians in Syria. http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/middle_east/palestinians-in-syria-are-displaced-again/2013/06/20/e03e7ad6-c879-11e2-8da7-d274bc611a47_story.html

Angelina Jolie tries to draw attention to Syrian refugees: http://us.cnn.com/2013/06/21/world/meast/syria-refugees-angelina-jolie/index.html?sr=sharebar_twitter

Syrian refugees and World Refugee Day: Present and future needs of refugees. http://english.alarabiya.net/en/views/news/middle-east/2013/06/20/The-Middle-East-s-refugee-generation.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

Regime warplanes equipped with large caliber machine guns are bombarding in the vicinity of Kwairis military air base. Clashes took place there at dawn.

Iyad al-Halabi, a citizen-journalist and member of Aleppo News was killed while covering clashes in al-Sakhour.

Overnight clashes took place in the village of Deir Ballout, in the Atma area, between the YPG and an opposition militia that includes non-Syrian fighters. These clashes resulted in the death of 2 YPG fighters; and three opposition fighters. The Syrian air force bombardment of the city of Manbaj killed three civilians. Pro-regime gunmen killed three civilians from Khanaser near al-Sfeira.
The opposition targeted regime positions in eastern Rif Aleppo, in Mathanat Shegheib and Dweirina. The regime forces bombarded the city of al-Sfeira. Several mines exploded as a military motorcade left the town of Khanaser town towards the al-Bouz exit, no reports of casualties.

Regime forces bombarded the Sheikh Maqsoud and al-Meyser neighborhoods overnight. Several rockets hit the neighborhood of Ashrafiya and al-Neel street. Sseveral people were injured on al-Neel. Two opposition fighters were killed in clashes in the neighborhood of Sleiman al-Halabi.
The SOHR urged the ICRC to go the Aleppo Central Prison where conditions have deteriorated. Three prisoners died of tuberculosis yesterday, there is a severe lack of food and medicine, and an outbreak of scabies.
More than 100 prisoners died in the prison since April 2013. The opposition began an offensive toward the prison saying it would free the prisoners then. It took control of surrounding areas which cut off the supply routes to the prison, and then took over nearby buildings on May 2, 2013. A suicide bomb on May 23, 2013 caused the regime forces to retreat into the buildings.

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 woman was killed by regime forces bombardment in al-Qaboun – the heavy shelling caused a massive explosion earlier in the day. The regime forces may have used a surface-to-surface missile on that neighborhood where two men died of their wounds from the continuous bombardment; the regime has been trying to storm al-Qaboun for three days.

A mortar hit in Yalda, near al-Uroba street. The opposition targeted the Jabe’din regime checkpoint with mortars and sniper fire, reportedly causing casualties and damaging some military vehicles. 1 opposition died after clashes in Darayya. The regime forces bombarded areas of Erbin, Douma, the orchards al-Maliha, and the eastern Ghouta towns and villages.

The regime forces bombarded the area between the Qaboun neighbourhood and the city of Erbin city, by the south ring road, with rockets. Clashes continued there and the opposition destroyed a tank.

Clashes took place after midnight in the orchards of the Barzeh neighburhood, with reports of losses on both sides.

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 forces have launched fierce rocket and heavy artillery shelling on Tariq Assed district, the Refugee Camp in Dar’aa al-Mattah and several districts in Dar’aa al-Balad. Clashes took place at dawn near the Bina’ al-shabab checkpoint in Dara`a al-Balad. An explosion rocked the town of Busra al-Sham after midnight, reports indicate that it was an attack on a regime position. A car-bomb exploded in the village of Alqin mainly inhabited by Alawi and Murshidi civilians. It injured 10 civilians.

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

Regime heavy artillery shelling on al-Hamidiyyah and Shaikh Yaseen

Clashes took place in the al-Resafa neighborhood, and the regime air force bombarded it and also the Hamidiya, Rushdiya, al-Jbeila and al-Matar al-Qadim neighborhoods of Deir az-Zur in the 372nd day of its siege of the city. One opposition fighter was killed by clashes in al-Jbeila.

On Thursday, the following were killed: Tawfiq Sulaiman Almonawer

Saad Ibrahim Al-Alusi; Hassan Obaid Al-Hussein



Mohammed Shaher Hussein

Ammar Abdul-Razzaq al-Hayes; Ahmed Ghallab Al-Abdan; Mahmoud Ali Hassoun

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

Clashes took place between regime forces and opposition fighters, near the village of Qasr Ibn Wardan in eastern Rif Hama with casualties on both sides.

10 dead Syrian troops were discovered near the town of Mas`ud in two caves and house where regime forces had buried them.

Regime forces stormed the village of Soha in eastern Rif Hama, and burned many houses.

Opposition fighters launched several rockets on the 66th battalion in eastern Rif Hama. The regime forces bombarded areas in the town of Qastoun.

Hassake 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

Demonstration in al-Qamishli on 21 June, 2013: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=aenPA4Rkoe8

Demonstration in Amuda on 19 June, 2013: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OkUFkFmfHOU&feature=share

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

Eight civilians including a woman from the city of Hama were summarily executed by a pro-regime “people’s committee” in the Hola area of Homs province as they returned from Lebanon. The city of al-Rastan and the Hola area of Reef Homs were bombarded by regime forces.

Civilians held protests in al-Fardus street and from al-Omari mosque, demanding the fall of the regime at all costs.

The al- Omari mosque protest:

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 town of Ihsim in Reef Idlib is under bombardment by mortar. Regime forces bombarded the periphery of the town of al-Bara, and the city of Ma`arat al-Nu`man. Regime forces bombarded Ma’arat Masrin, Mseibin, Habit, Ma’asran and Kurin over the night (from Thursday into Friday). Heavy shelling on Kurin tonight as well. Regime forces also bombarded Kafarsajna.

Sign in Kafranbel.

Friday demonstration in Bennish:

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

Regime forces bombarded the town of Salma.

This video shows regime shelling of villages in Latakia:

Unconfirmed reports by regime-funded sources that opposition troops had been killed in towns of Talla, Shahroora and al-Sukkariyya, listing the dead and calling them “rats” and “rodents.”

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, regime warplanes attacked the National Hospital in al-Raqqa. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DKIw4fnOeAs&feature=youtu.be

Complaints against Jabhat al-Nusra in al-Raqqa on 6/18. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DKIw4fnOeAs&feature=youtu.be

Women continued their sit-in against Jabhat al-Nusra on 6/19
http://syrianewsdesk.com/en/news/al-raqqa-women-persist-their-sit-near-al-nusra-headquarters

Tartous province. http://maps.google.com/maps?hl=en&bav=on.2,or.r_qf.&bvm=bv.46865395,d.dmg&biw=1024&bih=633&q=Tartus+governorate+Google+maps&um=1&ie=UTF-8&hq=&hnear=0x15217de6195521ad:0x22456cab24b7bb7d,Tartus+Governorate,+Syria&gl=us&sa=X&ei=KH2dUdqEDu2j4AO27oCoCw&ved=0CC4Q8gEwAA

Regime forces raided homes in al-Bayda on Wednesday and Thursday. The bodies of two young men from al-Bayda who had been tortured to death were returned to their families there.

International:

U.S. Secretary of State, John Kerry has traveled to Qatar to discuss aid to the Syrian opposition with the Friends of Syria. http://www.dailystar.com.lb/News/Middle-East/2013/Jun-21/221143-kerry-heads-to-qatar-to-talk-syria-rebel-support.ashx#axzz2WsH0Rbyg

Jordanians demonstrated against Assad and Hizbullah in Amman. http://www.naharnet.com/stories/en/87740-jordanian-protesters-rally-against-hizbullah-assad

Two brothers from east London denied kidnapping journalists in Syria: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-23004079

The Philippines may pull its peacekeepers out of the Golan Heights.
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/06/21/world/middleeast/philippines-warns-that-it-may-pull-peacekeepers-out-of-golan.html?src=recg&gwh=673ADC35B3074FA7D6B62A5F7226C249

The Lebanese army sealed off the area near Parliament after Syria-related demonstrations became violent on Thursday night. Demonstrators opposed a decision to postpone parliamentary elections. The new Lebanese government has been unable to form because of divisions over Syria. http://www.arabnews.com/news/455765

Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov says Russia will sell Syria S-300 missiles as promised. http://www.haaretz.com/news/middle-east/russia-stands-by-its-contract-to-sell-s-300-air-defense-missiles-to-syria-1.530977

Spanish authorities arrested eight people in Ceuta suspected of recruiting fighters to jihad in Syria. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-22999619

Appendix: Some information on the Murshdis of Syria, a sub-sect of the Alawis:
http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/store/10.1111/j.1478-1913.2012.01416.x/asset/muwo1416.pdf;jsessionid=76BA911E3A427F7BFE23EE071FB7AA48.d01t03?v=1&t=hi7r5ywe&s=89bda5d6d4c7eff8493ba6cb547c1e69052ab301

UNESCO put six Syrian sites on its endangered World Heritage list: Damascus, Bosra, the oasis of Palmyra, the castles of Qal`at Salahaddin and Crac des Chevaliers, and the ancient villages of northern Syria:
http://www.aljazeera.com/news/middleeast/2013/06/2013620525729467.html

Some 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 Zahariya library; 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.

Syria Update, June 16, 2013 (Institute of Middle Eastern, Islamic and Strategic Studies. By Sherifa Zuhur)

17 Jun

Syria Update June 16, 2013. (Institute of Middle Eastern, Islamic and Strategic Studies. By Sherifa Zuhur)

Death toll:  140 including 52 civilians.

U.S. military proposal calls for a no-fly zone inside Syria to be enforced from Jordan. http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887323734304578543761501124132.html

The Syrian opposition fought Hizbullah brigades loyal to Bashar al-Assad on Sunday, in Aleppo, trying to take back territory lost to the regime forces. http://news.yahoo.com/rebel-brigades-check-loyalist-advances-aleppo-opposition-154205539.html

Refugees and Relief:

Canada pledged 25 million Canadian dollars to aid Syrian refugees in Jordan. http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5j1R-Hk_jRmzjZw7m7AjQdxlsxNXQ?docId=CNG.291f7198f79dfb18227784dffcad7b20.2d1

Michel Platini, the president of European football’s UEFA toured the Zaatari camp and pledged to help Syrian refugees. http://ph.sports.yahoo.com/news/platini-vows-help-young-syrian-refugees-184624621.html

Will the United States allow more Syrian refugees to be resettled in

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

As explained above, the Syrian regime forces and Hizbullah fighters battled the opposition in Aleppo today as the latter attempted to re-seize territory. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3gJDgtpnqBU

The body of a civilian from the town of A’zaz was found in a well in the Ard al-Hamra neighbourhood, having been tortured and shot. A mortar shell fell on the Qadi Askar neighborhood. Clashes took place in the Ashrafiya neighborhood.

2 men from the city of al-Sfeira were killed and regime forces bombarded al-Sfeira. Regime forces used fighter jets with machine guns on the town of Tel Rif’at. Clashes took place between opposition and regime forces, with support from the Popular Committee militia from the towns of Nubul and al-Zahra’. Clashes in Jabal Shweina killed one opposition fighter from Qubtan. Regime forces targeted and burned the farmland near Anadan.

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

20 regular soldiers were reportedly killed or wounded in an explosion targeting a military checkpoint near the Mazza military airport. This video shows the explosion at Mezzeh (it may or may not load): http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=U4nHvXw4Bf4

Regime forces bombarded areas in the Jobar neighborhood and clashes occurred there.

Opposition fighters from the Barza neighborhood targeted A’sh al-Warwar. At least 20 regular soldiers were killed in clashes in the southern neighborhoods. 1 child was killed and others when IED that had been planted by the sand barrier by the al-Madrasa part of Yarmouk camp exploded. Regime forces shelled the Yarmouk camp at dawn, and clashes were fought near the camp’s entrance.. 2 mortar rockets fell on the al-Bawaba al-Qariba in the Midan neighborhood.

Clashes took place on the Damascus-Dar`a highway near al-Qadam in which 2 opposition fighters were killed, a tank was destroyed and there were also losses by regime forces. Regime forces opened fire with machine-guns on the orchards of Barzeh.

Regime bombardment on Erbin killed three children and the rest of their family were injured. Regime forces blew up and destroyed homes on the western side of city of Harasta, near the highway. Regime forces bombarded areas of Bebila, al-Sabina, Hazza, Mou’adamiya, Yalda, towns, southern and western areas of Darayya, the Ahmadiya area, and the road linking Kafarbatna and Hazza. Regime forces bombarded areas in Beit Sahm and there were clashes there nearthe airport highway, reports of losses on both sides. Regime forces positioned in buildings in Jaramana also fired locations in Beit Sahm. A man from Zabadani was tortured to death after being detained by a military checkpoint several days ago.

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

An opposition fighter from Jabhat al-Nusra from the town of Mzeyrib was killed during clashes with regime forces in Dara`a today. Regime bombardment killed 1 civilian in Inkhil. Regime forces killed a woman from Da’el who worked as an emergency paramedic. In the al-Kashif neighborhood there was a report of the discovery of 6 more bodies of men tortured to death by the Syrian authorities.

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

Unknown gunmen assassinated the head of the Farmers Union in the city of Deir al-Zur. One fighter was killed in clashes with regular forces in the al-Rashdiyya neighorhood in the midst of artillery bombardment on al-Hamdiyya.

Unknown gunmen kidnapped opposition media activist Amer al-Huweidi two days ago in Deir az-Zur.

Fighters of the Islamic State of Iraq destroyed a Shi’i Husseiniyya in the village of Hatla village. (Hatla is where 60 Shi`i Syrians were killed on Tuesday.)

Fighters from the Jabhat al-Nusra and the Murabitun brigade reportedly took over military court building and the Bimo bank building in Deir Ezzour following violent clashes with regime forces.

Regime forces bombarded in the city of Muhassan.

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

Regime forces carried out a campaign of raids and arrests in the village of Safeena, taking away 2 persons, one of them a refugee. 3 civilians and 6 rebel fighters were killed. A man and woman from the village al-A’lbawi village near Salamiya were shot by regular forces at the Salba checkpoint. Regular forces tortured to death a man from al-Hmeidiya in Hama after detaining him. Aeriel bombardment on a location in the countryside in Hama killed 1 opposition fighter from al-Sanida. Regime forces killed 5 opposition fighters, including a commander in an ambush in the southern part of Rif Hama.

Hassake 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

Helicopters bombarded parts of the town of Tel Hamis, damaging properties.

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 bombarded the town of al-Ghento town and several people were injured. Regime forces are bombarding the neighborhoods of al-Qusoor and Jourat al-Shayyah in Homs with mortars. Regular forces tortured to death a man from the Karm al-Shami neighborhood; A sniper shot a man in al-Wa’r neighborhood days earlier; a sniper shot a man in the al-Hola area. Regime forces tortured to death a man from al-Qreitin. Regime bombardment killed a child in al-Rastan. In clashes in the neighborhoods of Homs, 5 opposition fighters were killed.

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

Regime forces bombarded parts of the town of Ma’arat Masrin, killing two civilians (one a child) and injuring others. Regime forces bombarded the towns of Telmnis and al-Dana, killing a man in al-Dana.

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

An opposition leader was killed by clashes with regime forces by the 17th division. Helicopters bombarded the area, dropping explosive barrels. The air force bombarded parts of the city of al-Raqqah, targeting a building by the traffic police building.

Tartous province. http://maps.google.com/maps?hl=en&bav=on.2,or.r_qf.&bvm=bv.46865395,d.dmg&biw=1024&bih=633&q=Tartus+governorate+Google+maps&um=1&ie=UTF-8&hq=&hnear=0x15217de6195521ad:0x22456cab24b7bb7d,Tartus+Governorate,+Syria&gl=us&sa=X&ei=KH2dUdqEDu2j4AO27oCoCw&ved=0CC4Q8gEwAA

This article does not acknowledge the fighting that has taken place in Tartous – see previous Syria Updates.

Article on Assad loyalists in Tartous.
http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/world/middleeast/la-fg-syria-loyalists-20130616,0,1279686.story?page=1&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+latimes%2Fmiddleeast+%28L.A.+Times+-+Middle+East%29&utm_source=feedburner&track=rss

International:

Syria’s Assad congratulates Hassan Rowhani on his victory as Iran’s new president. http://en.ria.ru/world/20130616/181699320/Syrias-Assad-Seeks-to-Bolster-Iran-Ties-after-Rouhani-Win.html

Earlier, the Independent reported that Iran will be sending 4,000 troops to Syria. However, there has been criticism of this report by Robert Fisk suggesting that there are no sources for the story. Including here for the sake of full disclosure.
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/iran-to-send-4000-troops-to-aid-president-assad-forces-in-syria-8660358.html

Four Lebanese Shi`i men were killed near R’as Ba`lbak apparently in connection with the Syrian conflict. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/06/16/lebanese-shiites-killed-near-syria_n_3450298.html

UNESCO is holding its annual meeting in Cambodia amid concern for archaeological and historical treasures in Syria. Six Syrian sites may be put on an endangered list by the body: http://www.couriermail.com.au/news/breaking-news/unesco-world-heritage-meeting-eyes-syria/story-e6freoo6-1226664703774

Some 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 Zahariya library; 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.

Syria Update, June 13, 2013 (Institute of Middle Eastern, Islamic and Strategic Studies. By Sherifa Zuhur)

14 Jun

Syria Update, June 13, 2013. (Institute of Middle Eastern, Islamic and Strategic Studies. By Sherifa Zuhur)

Death toll: The UN says the death toll in Syria now exceeds 93,000 and may have even exceeded 100,000.

The U.S. government reported that it would be providing military support to the Syrian opposition although the details are not all clear. The decision was made based on the evidence that the Assad government has used chemical weapons. http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=yPPUl_s4Ljc

The opposition seized Quneitra on Thursday, a U.N.-manned border crossing between Israel and Syria.

Egypt’s, Saudi Arabia’s and Qatar’s top clerics declare jihad in Syria. Islamic scholars agreed to a bayan (proclamation) read by Shaykh Muhammad Hassan, a prominent Egyptian preacher: “Jihad is necessary for the victory of our brothers in Syria – jihad with mind, money, weapons; all forms of jihad.”
Hassan said that more than 70 organisations represented had called for “support, whatever will save the Syrian people”.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kIsL6gGUxgY&feature=youtu.be

Refugees and Relief:

UNHCR replaces a doll left behind by a little Syrian girl thanks to another little girl living in Thailand. http://www.unhcr.org/51b837789.html

About 840 Syrians flooded into Jordan bringing the number over the last 2 days to more than 1,300 as the FSA and Hizbullah exchanged fire in Dar`a province.
http://jordantimes.com/refugees-flood-jordan-as-hizbollah-engages-with-rebels-across-border

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

Extremely violent clashes took place outside al-Sakhour in Aleppo as regular forces tried to storm the neighborhood from the al-Shaykh al-Khudur side and the side where the electricity company is located. A tank was destroyed and several regular troops were killed and injured. The regime forces shelled the neighborhood, killing two men. Regular forces also bombarded Tariq al-Bab, Jabal Badro, and Tariq al-Hamra. Rockets fell on the al-Jazmati neighborhood and at its outskirts, regime forces bombarded the village of Hamima. Clashes took place in Salahadin and as the opposition targeted the artillery battalion in the al-Zahra neighborhood.
Clashes occurred in the town of Ma’arat al-Artiq. The outskirts of the Kweiris military airport was subject to aerial bombardment. Regime bombardment of the city of al-Bab killed 4 children under the age of 14 . Regime forces also bombarded Kafarhamra, Rasm Assan, al-Safeera and Ma’arat al-Artiq. There were reports that the opposition shot down a helicopter that was dropping bags of food to the regime forces in the town of Nubul.
Clashes took place in the Sleiman al-Halabi neighbourhood, and alongside mortar and tank fire on the Sheikh Khudur neighborhood. The regime forces bombarded Sheikh Maqsoud. One source reported that the opposition freed Bab Jnen. A mortar shell was launched into the area near the al-Ba’ath party branch in the Jamiliya neighborhood. Violent clashes took place by the traffic police branch in Bab Antakya, between rebels and regime and pro-regime militia as the opposition tried to break into the neighborhood. Violent clashes took place near the Aleppo International airport, and the Syrian airforce bombarded rebel positions; there were reports of injuries.
On Wednesday, the body of a man was found with gunshots to his head and neck near a mosque in al-Bab city. Unknown gunmen had thrown his body by the mosque. Local activists reported that the man was detained several months ago by the Shari’a Council of al-Bab, in a theft case.
Syrian rebels had made advances on Monday in their battle to seize the Minnigh airbase, by taking the radar tower.
A 15 year old (some sources wrote 14 year old) boy, Muhammad al-Qatta was executed by opposition fighters in the Sha’ar neighborhood of Aleppo on Monday. Fighters from the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham’s Shari’a Committee detained the young boy at 10 p.m. where he worked selling coffee in the Sad al-Lawz area of al-Sha’ar, they captured him for blaspheming during an argument while he was working; apparently in response to a customer who wanted to be served on credit, he said “even if Muhammed comes back to life, I won’t [do it]”.

They later returned with the boy to the area, the child’s shirt was covering his head and he had been beaten and tortured. The fighters then publicly announced (speaking not in a Syrian accent but in a classical Arabic one) that apostasy and cursing the prophet is a terrible vice and that anyone who does so will face similar fate. They then shot the boy twice with a automatic rifle in front of the gathered crowd, in the neck and the head.

The Shari’a court of Aleppo has a security branch in the area but did not stop the summary execution of the boy. Despite complaints, no investigation has been undertaken so the SOHR made known which factions which were involved.

Testimony by the father of Muhammad Qatta (who was present)

Testimony of the mother of Muhammad Qatta

Testimony of the younger brother of Muhammad Qatta and a passerby by Muhammad’s coffee stand, who were present during the detention and execution:

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-Zahira al-Qadima, near the entrance to the Yarmouk camp. Another mortar fell on the Tadamun neighbourhood, and the Qaboun neighborhood was bombarded which caused the death of one man. A sniper shot a woman from Qaboun. Violent clashes broke out between opposition and regular forces at the entrance to the al-Yarmouk camp. Mortar shells fell on the al-Rawda area of Jaramana.

Opposition fighters bombarded the Damascus International Airport. Mortars fired caused delays of two landings and one take-off, and an airport worker was wounded.

On Wednesday, 10 unidentified bodies were found in the Qadam neighbourhood, activists said that they were summarily executed by regime forces.

How people are carrying on with their daily lives behind the battle lines in Damascus. https://twitter.com/BBCWorld/status/344754752460050432/photo/1

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
Free Syrian Army forces and Hizbollah fighters traded fire for several hours on the outskirts of Daraa late Wednesday, marking the first clashes between rebel forces and the Lebanese Shiite group since their arrival in southern Syria 8,000 Hizbollah and Iranian fighters had encircled Daraa in a bid to lay siege to one of the final rebel strongholds in southern Syria.

Clashes took place north of Jasim city between rebels and a regime motorcade that was heading to Jasim, reports that a tank was destroyed. Clashes by the Der’a refugee camp, as regime forces try to storm the camp, they are bombarding parts. Regime forces renewed mortar bombardment on the south-western parts of al-Hara city, no reports of casualties. 1 woman from the town of Sheikh Miskeen was killed by a regime sniper by the al-Dawwar checkpoint.

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

The village of Hatla is under regime bombardment, 2 men were killed as a result. 1 man from the town of Buqrus was killed by a regime sniper in the Husseiniya area. The Sheikh Yassin and Hamidiya neighbourhoods of Deir az-Zur were bombarded by regime forces – this was the 365th consecutive day that the Assad regime bombarded the city of Deir az-Zur.

These individuals were killed today: Adel Al-Mehia, civilian killed in shelling on the village of Alsalhea; Ali Al-Hebish, a civilian from Boqros Town, killed by a sniper in the village of al-Husainiyya.

– Muhannad Sobhi Hasan Aljaruo, martyred in Hatla Village because of shelling

Abdelnaser Hasan Aljaruo and Ahmad Nuri al-Jablan, both civilians killed in shelling of the village of Hatla.

Salah Jasem al-Ammash, defected soldier from the regime army, was tortured to death today by regime forces who arrested him 4 months ago.

Ahmad al-Thiban, of the FSA, killed in chashes in al-Rasafa.

Mohammad Touma, a defected soldier from the eastern Ghouta was killed in clashes in al-Rasafa.

Anas Aysar Saqur, and Aysar Saqur both of the FSA were killed in shelling on al-Hamidiyya.

A sniper shot an unidentified truck driver on al-Siysiya bridge.

Opposition fighters from several factions had captured the Hatla village, inhabited by Shi`a, following clashes, shellings and attacks on at least 60 Shi`a. It was alleged that most were fighters armed by the Assad regime. Some Shi’i civilians fled to the nearby villages At least 10 opposition fighters were killed in the clashes which erupted on Monday night when Shi’i fighters attacked an opposition battalion, killing 2 fighters and injured 8. After this, thousands of fighters attacked Hatla, they were in turn bombarded by Syrian regular forces stationed at the Deir Izzor military airport.

On Tuesday, this video was posted, and in it a man says they’ve burned all the houses of the Shi`a apostates. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h5kgnh2SCMY&feature=youtu.be

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

Regime forces bombarded the village of Atshan and the farmlands by the city of Latamneh. Helicopters dropped explosive barrels on the village of al-Na’imiya, as regime forces also bombarded on the ground.

Violent clashes broke out at dawn today between opposition fighters and regular forces near a military stronghold at the southern outskirts of the town of Mourk town which that lies on the Damascus-Aleppo international road. Opposition fighters took hold of the stronghold, seized weapons and ammunition and killed at least 6 regular soldiers.

Regime forces bombarded the town of Kafrnbouda at dawn on Thursday.

Hassake 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

An armed group kidnapped 10 Kurdish civilians in the al-Busra roundabout from a bus belonging the al-Rafidein company and also stole the bus.

Clashes took place this morning between opposition and regime forces who manned the Kherab Askar checkpoint, south of Tel Hamis town. The opposition forces took over the checkpoint.

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

Two civilians from the We’er neighbor hood of Homs were killed, 1 was shot by a sniper and the other died from wounds received in a sniper attack two weeks ago. Clashes took place in the Wadi al-Sayeh neighborhood. Regime forces and Hizbullah forces have stormed the village al-Husseiniya village.

A husband and wife were killed in an airstrike on Old Homs.
Moving a little girl to a field hospital after she’s hit in an airstrike in Old Homs. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U4Kkkim93yQ

On Sunday, shabiha (militia members) were brought by bus by the regime into al-Qusayr to hold a rally for the President. https://twitter.com/Abukraim/status/343735942227578880/photo/1

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

Regime fighter planes carried out an air raid on the Taftanaz military airport. Regime forces bombarded the towns of Deir al-Sharqi and Deir al-Gharbi, causing injuries.

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

Regime forces bombarded the villages of Ara and al-Maroniyat, near the town of Salma as well as Nahiyat Rabi’a.

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 leader of a Syrian Kurdish rebel faction from Kobani was killed when regime forces bombarded a sugar storage space in the city of Raqqah city yesterday setting it on fire. The airforce bombarded the area by the 17th division, north of Raqqah. Fires broke out in the Tabqa military airport. Seven rebel fighters, including a field commander were reportedly killed in the clashes by the 17th division.

A mortar shell fell near the al-Asfar warehouse by the al-Qitaran station, and it was reported that 7 were injured.

International:

Egyptians are told they may go to Syria to fight the Assad regime as Sunni clerics call for jihad. http://www.newser.com/article/da6t0hho0/egypts-presidency-says-it-citizens-free-to-fight-in-syria-as-sunni-clerics-call-for-jihad.html

U.S. Deputy national security advisor for strategic communications Ben Rhodes issued a formal statement on the U.S. governments position on Assad’s use of chemical weapons and will now be assisting the Supreme Military Council of the Syrian opposition. http://blogs.wsj.com/washwire/2013/06/13/white-house-statement-on-use-of-chemical-weapons-in-syria/

U.S. Senators McCain and Graham call for a no-fly zone in Syria. http://thehill.com/blogs/floor-action/senate/305495-mccain-graham-called-on-obama-to-establish-no-fly-zone-in-syria

Former U.S. President Clinton expresses comments critical of Obama’s sitting on the sidelines in Syria (if he continues to do so). http://www.slate.com/blogs/the_slatest/2013/06/13/bill_clinton_on_syria_obama_risks_looking_like_a_fool_and_a_wuss.html

Kuwait’s parliament condemned sectarian rhetoric over the Syrian conflict today, apparently in response to an anti-Hizbullah demonstration outside the Lebanese embassy where a fiery speech was given by a Muslim cleric against Hizbullah’s involvement. http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/06/13/us-syria-kuwait-idUSBRE95C1BP20130613

Basic Facts about Syria:

Population: 22,530,746
 (minus 93,000 to 100,000) 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.

Syria Update, May 23, 2013 (Institute of Middle Eastern, Islamic and Strategic Studies. By Sherifa Zuhur)

23 May

Syria Update May 23, 2013. (Institute of Middle Eastern, Islamic and Strategic Studies. By Sherifa Zuhur)

Monday’s death toll: More than 130, including 44 civilians.

Hizbullah’s actions in Syria may hurt the movement in Lebanon. http://www.economist.com/blogs/pomegranate/2013/05/lebanon-and-syria

How and why Syria’s Rebels are NOT winning the war. Means vs. ends. Anatomy of a failed offensive in Idlib. Assad loyalists disguise themselves as opposition and massacre the latter. http://world.time.com/2013/05/20/how-syrias-rebels-arent-winning-the-war-the-anatomy-of-a-battle/

The Syrian government decided on a price increase for gas (used as fuel) – however there was an internal dispute over the decision. http://aliqtisadi.com/index.php?mode=article&id=32490

Refugees and Relief:

Palestinian refugees re-displaced http://al-shabaka.org/price-statelessness-palestinian-refugees-syria?page=show

UNHCR’s latest data on Syrian refugees: http://data.unhcr.org/syrianrefugees/country.php?id=107

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

Intermittent clashes were fought in the Salah al-Din neighbourhood of Aleppo.

A bus was targeted on the Aleppo-Afrin road killing a girl and a child and injuring others. The Syrian air force bombarded Deir Hafer from military helicopters. The regular Syrian military capturedthe village of A’beida village in the countryside outside al-Safira. They are trying to control the village of al-Shahid to ensure military reinforcements can travel between Khanaser and the Ma’amel al-Difa’. In clashes at Minagh military airport, an opposition commander was killed.

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

Damascus – now

Syrian regular forces bombarded the southern areas of Damascus. One member of the pro-regime popular defense committees was killed in clashes with opposition fighters in Barza. In clashes in Jobar, three opposition fighters were killed.

Six opposition fighters were killed by in clashes with the Syrian military in Harasta. In clashes in Daraya, one opposition fighter was killed and one fighter was killed in clashes A’dra. Clashes took place on the outskirts of Beit Sahem, along with regime bombardment on that area. Shells fell on the outskirts of al-Nabek. Opposition fighters killed a lieutenant in the Syrian military in Deir Atiya.

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

A sniper killed a child in the al-Sweidan market of the city of Dar`a on Tuesday. Also on Tuesday, a violent explosion shook the area near the sewage pump east of al-Hara, this was targeting a military vehicle. Regular forces bombarded areas in the town of al-Mseifra and areas in the al-Ghariyya al-Sharqiyya. Opposition forces bombarded the police station (branch 27) on the Syrian-Jordanian border with mortar shells. The 15th battalion of Syrian regular forces bombarded the al-Saraya area and town of Barqa. Opposition fighters supported the defection of 3 soldiers from the al-Mjaimer checkpoint in the Busra al-Sham.

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

The Syrian regime forces bombarded the neighbourhoods of al-Hmeidiya and al-Hweiqa in the 344th consecutive day of its military campaign against the city of Deir az-Zur. A rebel fighter from the Hajin town of Reef Deir Izzor was killed in clashes with regular forces in the al-Sina’a neighborhood.

From the Deir az-Zur military airport. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ag2149RY2DA&feature=youtu.be&noredirect=1

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

Syrian regime forces summarily executed 5 men in the town of Halfaya. It was also reported that a family of 5 (a man, his wife and 3 children) were killed.
Regular forces bombarded the town of Kafrnbouda. Mortar shells fell on the town of Aqrab. Clashes broke out between rebel and regular forces near the village of al-Fan village in the eastern part of Hama provice as opposition fighters tried to take over the village.

Hassake 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

Twenty young men from the Islamic Movement of Iraq, originally from Halabja city, entered Hassake to pursue jihad (Kurdish sources confirmed this report). Clashes broke out between rebel fighters and jihadists from al-Nusra front yesterday in al-Mahatta in R’as al-`Ain. An opposition commander was killed. Kurdish Defense Committees (YPG) strengthened their forces and military checkpoints in the areas and villages south of Karki Laki (M’abda).

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

40 Hizbullah fighters and 15 shabiha killed in al-Qusayr, yesterday. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ulUbVixAyE0

The Syrian regular military bombarded al-Qusayr. Clashes took place at the town of Shamsin. There were conflicting reports about the fate of a Lebanese salafi shaykh’s son who was wounded in the clashes in al-Qusayr.

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 Shari`ah court of Saraqeb sentenced and carried out a public lashing of two civilian men for moral vice. Ahmad al-Ra’i was lashed 50 times for permitting his daughter to be remarried prior to the mandatory `iddah or 3 month waiting period after divorce. The groom was also sentenced to 40 lashes since the marriage is invalidated by the court. Apparently, the court reduced the punishments as a compromise. This occurred a few days ago.

Opposition fighters of the al-Nusra front and other opposition took over the al-Shabiba military camp, near al-Nirab town, and nearby military checkpoints. This followed on two weeks of violent clashes.

Here is the capture of the shabiha camp:

Clashes killed 14 opposition fighters, and at least 40 regular soldiers and members of the Popular Defense committees and destroyed several military vehicles. This camp had been a regime stronghold in Idlib province. It had also been used as a detention center.

Regular forces resumed their bombardment of M’aret Musrin and also shelled the village of al-Kastan. Regular Syrian forces bombarded the village of Mashemshan.

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

Maya Haidar here in an interview about her opposition to the regime, and what it has meant to her personally. Her father killed her mother, on account of her political stance. http://www.sasnews.net/sas/36-interviews/459-they-sent-me-a-message-saying-it-was-shameful-for-me-to-abandon-my-sect

Fierce shelling targeted al-Qastal and Marj Azzawiah on Mt Akrad in rural Latakia on Monday.

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

A shell fell on the al-Thakna neighborhood of the city of al-Raqqa today, killing a child and a woman. An armed group in the city of al-Raqqah kidnapped Abdullah Khalil, the head of the Raqqah local council, while he was leaving the council headquarters at dawn on Sunday.

The SOHR has denounced this action and demanded that Abdullah Khalil be returned to his family immediately.

Tartous province. http://maps.google.com/maps?hl=en&bav=on.2,or.r_qf.&bvm=bv.46865395,d.dmg&biw=1024&bih=633&q=Tartus+governorate+Google+maps&um=1&ie=UTF-8&hq=&hnear=0x15217de6195521ad:0x22456cab24b7bb7d,Tartus+Governorate,+Syria&gl=us&sa=X&ei=KH2dUdqEDu2j4AO27oCoCw&ved=0CC4Q8gEwAA

Assad loyalist militiamen set a civilian vehicle on fire and attacked a resident of Arab Ashataa in rural Tartous.

International:

United Nations is receiving increasing reports of the use of chemical weapons in Syria’s civil war as the violence escalates, a senior UN official said on Wednesday.
“The Secretary-General [Ban Ki-moon] remains gravely concerned about the allegations of the use of chemical weapons,” Robert Serry, the UN Middle East peace envoy, told the Security Council.

John Kerry, U.S. Secretary of State was in Amman for the Friends of Syria meeting and urged Assad to commit to peace in a news conference. http://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2013/05/22/Friends-of-Syria-to-press-for-peace-talks-in-Jordan-meet.html
Kerry also suggest that more aid could be forthcoming to the opposition if Assad will not agree to a political solution. http://in.reuters.com/article/2013/05/22/syria-crisis-idINDEE94L0AJ20130522
The U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee approved a bill to arm the opposition. http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2013/05/22/senate-moves-toward-arming-the-syrian-rebels.html
There are 14 dead and more than 100 wounded in Tripoli, Lebanon in the battle between Bab al-Tabanneh and Jabal Mohsen, rival neighborhoods on opposite sides of the Syrian conflict. Clashes continued after efforts at a ceasefire on Wednesday failed. http://www.dailystar.com.lb/News/Politics/2013/May-23/218051-tripoli-in-flames-as-truce-proves-elusive.ashx#axzz2U4wlcRqn
Turkey closed the border crossing to Syria at Yayladagi today, which leads into Latakia province. http://www.dw.de/turkey-shuts-border-battle-rages-for-qusair/a-16830302
The Change.org petition – Solidarity with the Syrian Struggle. Sign please. https://www.change.org/petitions/solidarity-with-the-syrian-struggle-for-dignity-and-freedom?utm_campaign=friend_inviter_chat&utm_medium=facebook&utm_source=share_petition&utm_term=permissions_dialog_false

Some 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 Zahariya library; 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.

Syria Update, April 21-22, 2013 (Institute of Middle Eastern, Islamic and Strategic Studies. By Sherifa Zuhur)

23 Apr

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.
https://now.mmedia.me/lb/en/nowsyrialatestnews/syria-rebels-warn-hezbollah-fight-role-declaration-of-war

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?
http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/04/21/us-syria-crisis-paramilitary-insight-idUSBRE93K02R20130421

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:

https://maps.google.com/maps?hl=en&q=Dayr+Az+Zor+province+map&ie=UTF-8&hq=&hnear=01548153314d3dbad:0x9d5a68804221c27f,Deir+ez-Zor+Governorate,+Syria&gl=us&ei=WtLLUJL5NanI0QGozIH4Bw&ved=0CDMQ8gEwAA

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.

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 towns of al-Khadra, al-Kabir, Salma and al-Rihaniya were bombarded by regime forces on Saturday.

International:

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.
http://www.euronews.com/2013/04/21/us-doubles-non-lethal-aid-to-syria-rebels/

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.