Tag Archives: Hassake

Syria Update, November 25, 2013 (Institute of Middle Eastern, Islamic and Strategic Studies. By Sherifa Zuhur)

26 Nov

Syria Update November 25, 2013. (Institute of Middle Eastern, Islamic and Strategic Studies. By Sherifa Zuhur)

Death toll: 200 were killed on Friday (11/22/13) including 49 civilians

At least 160 opposition fighters were killed over two days (Saturday and Sunday) in an effort to break the regime siege on areas of southern Damascus. No estimates given on regime soldiers casualties, as yet.

11 deaths reported in Aleppo today.

Reaction from the opposition on the planned Geneva II talks http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/world/2013/11/25/syria-geneva-un-peace-talks/3695995/

11,420 children have been killed in Syria: http://www.imra.org.il/story.php3?id=62449

The Free Syrian Athletes Union mourned the death of Mustafa Al-Nakdali, Syrian wrestling champion, killed while fighting alongside opposition forces against regular troops in the eastern Al-Ghouta, in Rif Dimashq on Sunday.

Iranian fighters are shown here in Syria (along with fingers of the cameraman). You can briefly hear them communicating in Farsi. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gsh59Gxg8ig

Sunday, An assassination attempt on Syria’s Reconciliation Minister, Ali Haidar, killed his driver, but Haidar was not in the car according to the Syrian state news agency http://rt.com/news/minister-assassination-syria-negotiations-215/
However, the opposition said that Haidar was wounded in the attack.

An unsympathetic portrait of the changes in several of the largest salafi-jihadist fighting groups. http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2013/11/21/rebels_inc?page=full

4 British Muslims have been identified as among those killed fighting in Syria. http://europenews.dk/en/node/74498

A newly-leaked cable (from 2010) on U.S.-Syrian intelligence cooperation. Suggests that Syria was exploiting U.S. fears of salafi-jihadist groups even then. Mamlouk claimed Syria was successful because “In principle, we don’t attack or kill them immediately. Instead, we embed ourselves in them and only at the opportune moment do we move.” http://www.theguardian.com/world/us-embassy-cables-documents/250462

Refugees and Relief:

Some Syrian victims of the fighting are being treated in Israel http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-24998618

Book by a teen-age refugee: http://www.dailystar.com.lb/Culture/Books/2013/Nov-21/238607-the-heartbreaking-story-of-a-courageous-teenage-refugee.ashx#axzz2laQfx6Ib

Kidnappings:

Jamie Dettmer, a Beast reporter tells how he was almost kidnapped by Syrian soldiers in Qamishli and much about the three-way struggle (rebels, Kurdish forces, Assad’s forces in the area, see below under Hassake) http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2013/11/25/how-i-escaped-assad-s-army-in-syria.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

11 were killed in Aleppo as rebels fired on Jamilia and 20 were injured according to SANA. http://www.dailystar.com.lb/News/Middle-East/2013/Nov-25/238878-11-dead-in-mortar-fire-on-aleppo-city-syria-state-media.ashx#axzz2lhn9HuAG

Today, the FSA blew up a building in Sheikh Maqsud with a mine.
Yesterday opposition battalions (of ISIS and Ahrar al-Sham in the new Islamic Movement alliance) strengthened their control over multiple villages in the southern Aleppo countryside, following a few days of fierce battles. Opposition forces gained control over the towns of Rasm Al-Sheikh, Rasm Ikerish, Yaman and Rasm Al-Helou, in addition to Sad’aya and Mazare’a Azan, among other towns. http://syrianewsdesk.com/en/2013/11/24/news-opposition-forces-seize-multiple-towns-southern-aleppo
Yamen Naddaf, a media activist was killed yesterday in Sheikh Saeed. http://syrianewsdesk.com/en/2013/11/24/news-media-activist-yamen-naddaf-killed-aleppo
Yesterday, the FSA targeted Brigade 80, targeted the towns of Nubl and Zahra and both military airports Alnayrab Kweiris
. The FSA shot at regime forces in the neighborhood of Ashrafieh
Fighting also focused on Khanaser.
On Saturday, regime airstrikes killed at least 40 in Aleppo. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-25068112

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 rebel forces are taking over villages and checkpoints in the Eastern Ghouta in an advance. http://reliefweb.int/report/syrian-arab-republic/syria-rebels-press-advance-around-damascus-aleppo-monitor

Yesterday, the FSA hit the regime forces’ barracks at Kamal Masharaqah in Jobar
 with Grad missiles; also Dumayr military airport, and targeted regime forces’ enclaves in Barzeh
. The FSA targeted the vehicles administration [building] in Harasta, and the Republican Guard headquarters on Mount Qasioun.

Rebel forces’ consolidated their grip on the international highway #Homs to #Damascus in #Qalamoun area http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=96kAHXcl9RM

The much-touted “Qalamoun offensive” (reported on by various journalists for about a month) may not start for a while. (Some on the Web claim it started on 11/15.) http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/security/2013/11/syria-opposition-qalamoun-battle-war.html?utm_source=&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=8604

However, 20 regime air strikes hit al-Nabk in al-Qalamoun on Saturday.

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

HRW’s Nadim Houry on Dara`a: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kd3D3rhO7YU&feature=youtu.be

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

Rebels gained control of the al-Omar oilfield and a number of tanks and vehicles, killing a number of soldiers.

On the seizure of the oil field: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/11/24/world/middleeast/syria.html?partner=rss&emc=rss&smid=tw-nytimes&_r=0

From Qanat Deir al-Zur:

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

Yesterday: The FSA controlled the villages of Asafra and Albarghotah in the countryside east of Hama. 
The FSA fired mortars at the Alhamamyat checkpoint and the Saman checkpoint killing regime forces. The FSA 
liberated the Abidha checkpoint and also inflicted casualties there.

Saturday: Four martyrs are listed in (from) Hama — Abdul Kader Ahmad al Sayfi killed in shelling onto Hama countryside.
 2. Ahmad Faisal Yousuf al Hasan killed in a battle at al-Quneitra
http://goo.gl/aVVJ8u
http://goo.gl/DbRLhL
3. Khaled Sha’ban of the FSA killed in the clashes in the city of Douma. 
4. Jameel Shaleesh killed by regime forces in Harem
Regime forces stormed al Faraya neighborhood blocking all entrances, and arrested many young men.
 Regime forces made many arrests in Tareeq Halab al-Qadim and took them to al A’laf checkpoint.

There was shelling with barrel bombs on the town of Eqerebat. And al-Hamadaniyya. Intense shelling from the al-Rahjan checkpoint onto the villages outside of Salamiyya. Shelling with barrel bombs on the mosques of Kaferzeita.
Helicopters (regime) flew over and dropped barrel bombs on the mosque of Kafrenboda.
Western Hama province: Shelling from al Azezya , al Nahel and Joreen checkpoints onto the villages of al-Salhia and Zayzoon villages and al Jood farm.
Southern Hama province: Heavy shelling by the regime from checkpoint in the loyalist villages on the town of Aqrab
The FSA forces liberated Asmad , al Barghoteya , al Asafra villages and killed 35 regime troops near Abu Balaya, also inflicting casualties with a bomb to the east of Ma’ar Shohur. There were heavy clashes at the al-Kafer checkpoint to the west of Taib al-Imam.
The FSA liberated the checkpoint of al Webda farms inflicting casualties and taking cars and ammunition; also the checkpoint of Ibn al-Noona

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

Sunday: The FSA destroyed the PKK barrier in the village of al-Moharraket near alQahtaniyah.

Saturday: Was al-Hassakeh Martyrs Day – activists documented the killing of three villagers of Alaguebash who had been detained by shabiha of the PKK. They were among 30 detainees who were charged with cooperating with the FSA (the FSA killed 21 on the other side).
Major bombings in the city of Qamishli and 2 explosions inside of the city (believed to be at the headquarters of the Worker’s Party and also a car bomb).
Another car bomb hit a checkpoint 10 km. southeast of the outskirts of Qahtaniyya. Hospitals in the city were full. (Much of this report was unclear as posted, so not including it)

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

FSA targeted a regime forces compound in the refinery yesterday.

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

Rebels blew up the Haboosh checkpoint; casualties reported. They also shelled he brick factory.
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 rebels targeted the military airport and also shelled regiment 17.
International:

Pope Francis (along with Putin, with whom he is meeting) calls for a negotiated settlement in Syria. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/09/05/pope-francis-syria_n_3872435.html

2 Swedish journalists have been kidnapped in Syria http://www.taiwannews.com.tw/etn/news_content.php?id=2353580

John Kerry, U.S. Secretary of State says a peace conference planned for January 22, 2014 in Geneva is the best opportunity to form a “new transitional governing body.” http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/11/25/us-syria-crisis-talks-kerry-idUSBRE9AO0P420131125

At Geneva, the parties are supposed to work out a way to implement the principles in this full final communiqué for the Action Group for Syria (from June) http://www.un.org/News/dh/infocus/Syria/FinalCommuniqueActionGroupforSyria.pdf

Opinions:

From Amal Hanano
http://www.thenational.ae/article/20131123/OPINION/131129704

That the Iran-US agreement will not likely affect the Syrian revolution:
http://www.arabnews.com/news/483181

That the Iran-US agreement will not help negotiations on Syria
http://www.csmonitor.com/World/Security-Watch/Backchannels/2013/1125/Does-Iran-nuclear-deal-pave-way-for-Syria-compromise-Not-so-fast

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

22 Nov

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.

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

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.

International:

Turkey has accused Assad of stepping up attacks during this period as the Geneva talks are delayed and calls for Geneva to be convened.
http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/11/20/us-syria-crisis-turkey-idUSBRE9AJ0PY20131120

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”.

http://www.allvoices.com/contributed-news/16000234-president-gauck-talks-with-syrian-refugees

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

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 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, May 14, 2013 (Institute of Middle Eastern, Islamic and Strategic Studies, [IMEISS] by Sherifa Zuhu).

15 May

Syria Update May 14, 2013. (Institute of Middle Eastern, Islamic and Strategic Studies. By Sherifa Zuhur)

Death toll:

The SOHR, based on newly-received reports of previously undocumented deaths now estimates the documented casualties since the beginning of the Syrian uprising as being more than 94,000. It estimates the actual # of violent deaths at more than 120,000.

A new Syrian opposition group, the Union of Syrian Democrats has formed, according to media sources, to counter the influence of the Muslim Brotherhood in the National Council. The leadership includes Michel Kilo, Christian writer and human activist. http://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2013/05/14/New-Syrian-opposition-group-formed.html

This video showing a person called “Abu Sakkar” (identified in Time as Khalid al-Hamad) in Homs from the independent Omar al-Farouq brigade eating the heart and liver of a Syrian soldier has circulated to disgust and criticism. He says “”I swear to God we will eat your hearts and your livers, you soldiers of Bashar the dog,”http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iFZBxT7JHZw

Here HRW comments: http://www.hrw.org/news/2013/05/13/syria-brigade-fighting-homs-implicated-atrocities

The Syrian National Coalition discuss their efforts to impact the rules of war followed by the Syrian opposition and as shown in videos online. http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=zrqC6OKLEng

The Assad family’s portrait artist tells people to go ahead and destroy his paintings. http://www.latimes.com/news/columnone/la-fg-syria-artist-20130514-dto,0,5930524.htmlstory?fb_action_ids=10200968829763553&fb_action_types=og.recommends&fb_ref=s%3DshowShareBarUI%3Ap%3Dfacebook-like&fb_source=other_multiline&action_object_map=%7B%2210200968829763553%22%3A344206152369464%7D&action_type_map=%7B%2210200968829763553%22%3A%22og.recommends%22%7D&action_ref_map=%7B%2210200968829763553%22%3A%22s%3DshowShareBarUI%3Ap%3Dfacebook-like%22%7D

A tribute to the women of the Syrian revolution here collected by Mohja Kahf.
https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10150591186772016.374857.667627015&type=1

Refugees and Relief:
The ICG’s report on Syrians in Lebanon. http://www.crisisgroup.org/en/regions/middle-east-north-africa/egypt-syria-lebanon/lebanon/141-too-close-for-comfort-syrians-in-lebanon.aspx?utm_source=lebanon-syria-report&utm_medium=1&utm_campaign=mremail

Andrew Harper, the UNHCR’s representative to Jordan tweeted that “Last night another 1,314 #syrian @refugees x’d to the safety of #jordan. This incl. over 700 children who have fled the fighting.”
Here you can see the physical enlargement of the Zaatari camp in Jordan. http://reliefweb.int/map/jordan/evolution-al-zaatari-refugee-camp-mafraq-governorate-jordan-14-may-2013

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

Clashes broke out today between opposition fighters from the Ghuraba’ al-Sham battalion and those opposition battalions which follow the Shari’a council (al-Hay’a al-Shari`a) These clashes occurred on the airport road, between Tariq al-Bab and Jabal Badro, and in the souq, after the fighters f the Shari’a council arrived to open the road which provides access to the northern countryside. The Ghuraba’ al-Sham had closed the road in retaliation to the Shar’a council battalions closing up their bases. Tensions also arose between the militias after the Shari’a council detained the leader of Ghuraba’ al-Sham.

The Ghuraba’ al-Sham and the al-Hay’a al-Shar’ia fighters kept on clashing as the Hay’a rebels stormed several houses near of the Ghuraba’ battalion leaders’ bases, using mortar and tank shells. One child was injured by the rebel fighting in Tariq al-Bab.

Tank shell shrapnel killed a rebel in Sheikh Maqsoud. Regime forces based in Sleiman al-Halabi fired a tank shell on the Sakhour neighborhood. Several mortar shells fell on the Bab Qinsreen neighborhood, reports of injuries and houses were damaged. Rocket bombardment injured residents of Kafar Kalbein village. The regime forces bombarded the area around the Mengh military airport, which is surrounded by rebels.

Clashes in the Jeb al-Jebli area resulted in opposition fighters taking some buildings from regime forces a defected officer was killed and there were other casualties on both sides. Several regular soldiers were killed when rebels launched mortar rockets on their position by the al-Hatab square in the al-Jdeeda neighborhood. Clashes took place in the town of Aziza.

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 regime forces hit the Qaboun and Tadamun neighbourhoods with mortars and multiple rocket launchers, several people were injured

In Wadi Barada, the Free Syrian Army responded to the regime forces attack in the village of Efrah. They destroyed three tanks and a Dushka and the SOHR reported that 300 soldiers were killed or injured (this seems a very high number, worth re-checking for accuracy).

The regime forces shelled the Fakhor area and resumed shelling of the orchards around Zabadani and Harasta. There were heavy clashes near the airforce intelligence branch in the town of al-Sabina. Clashes in al-Maliha resulted in the death of one opposition fighters. The regime forces shelled the city of Zabadani. Military helicopters bombarded Yabrud, and the town of Zabdeen was hit as well. Regime forces bombarded al-Nabk and there were clashes near the al-Nabk bridge. One opposition fighter was killed outside of Daraya. Some areas of the eastern Ghouta were heavily bombarded by the Syrian airforce.

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

Raef Mofid Al Masri, a child, killed by regime forces’ shelling of Dara`a.

The regime forces carried out artillery shelling at al-Karak al-Sharki resulting in casualties and injuries.

According to Naharnet, Hizbullah fighters have advanced to Dara`a
http://www.naharnet.com/stories/en/82909

The bodies of 4 men were found killed with their hands bound in the al-Bakar area of Yarmouk valley. The regime forces shelled towns of al-Herak and Da’el.

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

On Monday
Farouq Al-Hama of the FSA was killed during clashes at Deir Ezzor Military Airport

The regime forces shelled the city of Deir az-Zur with artillery and missiles in these areas: al-Urthi, al-Jbeili, Sheikh Yasin, al-Omal and Hawiqeh.





Smoke rising from the State Security building.

The regime forces shelled the city of Mouhassan with artillery fire from Deir Ezzor military airport (also on Monday).

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 attacked al-Furiya village. They burned down houses, causing the residents to flee. Regime forces stormed houses in the Manakh neighbourhood of the city of Hama. Clashes continue in eastern part of Hama province between armed men from the al-Zeghba village and regime forces. The airforce also bombed the area. 1 rebel was killed in clashes yesterday (Monday) in Helfaya. Bombardment was resumed on Helfaya on Tuesday.

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

Regime forces stationed in the Qamishli airport bombarded several surrounding villages with multiple rocket launchers. Several rockets fell on the village of Khirbet Hatem.

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

At Bustan al-Qasr a nighttime demonstration: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=naqsDGk9Jj8

In the Qusayr area, the regime troops captured three villages.
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/gallery/2013/may/14/syria-middle-east-troops-qusayr-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

Violent clashes occurred around the Qarmid and Shabiba military camps. The regime forces bombarded the Jabal Arb’een area and the villages of Bzaboor and Ma’arbleet.

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

Seven civilians were killed as they ran to Salma seeking safety.

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 demonstration in Raqqa this evening http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dORbUcF9JCY&feature=youtu.be
In the city of Raqqa, the Islamic State in Iraq and Bilad al-Sham summarily executed three officers of the Syrian army. https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=369179069857104&set=a.150495128392167.28686.121855461256134&type=1&theater

Tartous province.
https://maps.google.com/maps?hl=en&q=tartous+syria&ie=UTF-8&hq=&hnear=0x15217e77890fb9a3:0xa072a491096e24b,Tartus%E2%80%8E,+Syria&gl=us&ei=LvGSUYanIc-n4APeo4H4Dg&sqi=2&ved=0CKABELYD

In Tartous, Omar lost count of the bodies after 46.
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/05/15/world/middleeast/grisly-killings-in-syrian-towns-dim-hopes-for-peace-talks.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

International:

Russia and the United States plan talks on Syria which have been pushed ahead to June. https://now.mmedia.me/lb/en/nowsyrialatestnews/us-russia-plan-for-syria-talks-slipping-to-june

The Jordanian foreign ministry announced that Jordan will host “Friends of Syria” meetings next week. http://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2013/05/14/Jordan-to-host-Friends-Of-Syria-next-week-ministry-says.html

Britain and France have postponed a Syrian request that the United Nations designate the al-Nusra Front a terrorist group because Britain and France want the group to be listed as an alias of al-Qaeda, diplomats said on Tuesday.
The death toll from twin car bombings in Reyhanli has risen to 51. Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan rejected the idea of a Syrian-Turish investigation into the bombings. He said: “The administration in power in Damascus is illegal … how can we recognize a structure that isn’t even recognized by its own citizens.” Erdogan will meet U.S President Barack Obama in Washington on Thursday.

Among Syria’s Creative Figures:

Muhammad al-Maghut, poet, noted for his free verse (1934 -2006) born in Salamiyya to an Isma’ili family.

Nizar al-Qabbani, 1923-1998, born in Damascus. His sister, ten years his senior, committed suicide rather than marry a man she did not love and the theme of women’s oppression entered his work as a poet, whose work sharply criticized Arab society and politics of his time. He was also a diplomat and a publisher.

Zakariyya Tamir, born in 1931 in Damascus, famed for short stories, for adults and children. He supports the Syrian revolution and hopes that Syria will be liberated from “tyranny and horror.” http://freesyriantranslators.net/2012/07/22/a-dialogue-with-zakaria-tamer-2/

Ali Farzat, born in 1951 in Hama, a cartoonist. He was attacked by thugs who broke his hands. He is on Facebook and his cartoons of “Highlander” comment on Syria.

Duraid Lahham born in 1934 in Damascus. A comedian and director known for his character, “Ghawwar al-Toushe.” He was a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador in 1999 and is considered to be a supporter of Bashar al-Assad and not of the opposition.

Farid al-Atrash, 1910 – 1974 was born in Suwayda to a Druze family associated with the independence struggle against the French. He became a composer, master oudist, singer and film star in Egypt, starring in 31 movies and recording more than 500 songs.

Asmahan. (Amal al-Atrash) 1912 (or 1915) – 1944 was born at sea as her family traveled from Turkey to Beirut. Sister of Farid al-Atrash, she became a renowned singer of Arabic compositions and an actress in Egypt and challenged conservative attitudes about women with her artistic life-style. Her musical talent was considered to rival that of Umm Kulthum and she sang the compositions of al-Qasabji, Riyadh al-Sunbati, her brother, Farid al-Atrash and others.

Sadeq Jalal al-Azm, philosopher and scholar was born in Damascus in 1934 and earned a Ph.D. in 1961 from Yale. His 1969 book, Naqd al-Fikr al-Dini in which he criticized the misuse of religion and caused his imprisonment in Lebanon. He wrote at least six books and many articles since, including a critique of ‘Orientalism.’ http://en.qantara.de/wcsite.php?wc_c=15850

Shadi Jamil, great Syrian singer of the Allepine qudud, born in 1955 in Aleppo.

Hamam Khairi, another singer of the Allepine qudud and muwashshahat, a student of Sabah Fakhri and Shaykh Omar al-Batsh.

Assala Nasri, born in 1969 in Damascus as the daughter of a Syrian composer, Mostafa Nasri. She has produced 23 albums and many singles including “Ah, law ha-l kursi bye7ki” and has a dramatic and powerful singing style. She supports the Syrian revolution.

Sabah Fakhri, born in 1933 in Aleppo is perhaps the greatest traditional-style singer of the Eastern Arab world, of muwashahhat and qudud Halabiyya. He did not follow the typical musical path of pursuing a singing career in Egypt, preferring to remain in Syria.

Mayada al-Hinnawi, born in 1957 in Aleppo. A great singer whose popularity peaked in the 1980s. She sang the compositions of Baligh Hamdi, Riyadg Sunbati, Mohammad Sultan, Hilmy Baker and others.

Adonis (Ali Ahmad Said), a poet, born in 1930 in al-Qassabin, Latakia to a farming family. After being imprisoned for a year, he left Syria in 1956 for Beirut. He has published many collections of poetry in which he experimented with various modernist forms and received numerous awards for his poetry. He lives in Paris. http://www.charlierose.com/view/interview/9297

Yasin al-Hajj Saleh, born in 1961, an author jailed when he was in his 20’s in 1980 until 1996. He began writing in prison in 1988. He published With Salvation O’Youth: 16 Years in Syrian Prison (al-Saqi, 2012).
http://www.aljadid.com/content/yassin-al-haj-saleh’s-taming-syrian-prison’s-beast

Hanna Mina, novelist, born in 1924 in Iskenderun and raised in Latakia, he would later be an exile in China. He described his education as the “university of dark poverty.” He wrote 40 novels including the autobiographical, The Swamp. http://english.al-akhbar.com/node/5584

Mohammad Malas, filmmaker, born in 1945 in Quneitra and studied cinema in Moscow. He won awards for his many films including Ahlam al-Madina, al-Layl and Bab al-Maqam.

Selwa al-Neimi, poet and author, was born in Damascus and left for Paris in the mid-70s. She has published three volumes of poetry, a collection of short stories and is best known for her erotic novel, The Proof of Honey.

Nihad Sirees, novelist, author of The Silence and the Roar. http://www.jadaliyya.com/pages/index/7006/writing-revolution-and-change-in-syria_an-intervie

Saadallah Wannous, 1941 – 1997, a playwright, born in Hussein al-Bahr near Tartus. His writing career began in the early 1960s. He introduced a “theater of politicization,” helped to found the Arab Festival for Theater Arts and the Higher Institute for Theater Arts (where he taught).

Nabil Maleh, born in Damascus, film director since his first release “The Leopard” 1972, now living in the Gulf. http://www.jadaliyya.com/pages/index/9845/a-leopard-in-winter_an-interview-with-syrian-direc

Issa Touma is a photographer, curator and director of Le Pont Organization, who supports the revolution. http://english.ahram.org.eg/NewsContent/5/25/38262/Arts–Culture/Visual-Art/Art-sees-light-within-the-Syrian-Revolution.aspx

George Wassouf, born in Kafroun, Tartus in 1961, is a popular singer of Arabic music with more than 30 albums released. He has supported Bashar al-Assad and has been criticized for praising the Syrian army.

Samir Zikra, filmmaker, born in Beirut in 1945 and raised in Aleppo. His films include al-Sakran Yanfi (based on a Naguib Mahfouz novel) al-Matar Saba`in, Lan Nansa, al-Shuhud, `Anha, Hadithat al-Nusf Metr, Waqa`ih al-`Amm al-Muqbel. He coauthored a script for Baqaya Suwar (based on a Hanna Mina novel), coauthored the script for Mohammad Malas’ Ahlam al-Madina, and directed Turab al-Ghuraba (about Abd al-Rahman al-Kawakibi) in 1998 and `Alaqat `Ammah in 2005.

Some of the Syrian visual artists whose works include protest: http://www.npr.org/2012/05/14/152496317/even-under-threat-syrian-artists-paint-in-protest

Syria Update, April 14 2013 (Institute of Middle Eastern, Islamic and Strategic Studies. By Sherifa Zuhur)

15 Apr

Syria Update, April 14, 2013. (Institute of Middle Eastern, Islamic and Strategic Studies. By Sherifa Zuhur)

Early death toll: More than 130 killed including 33 children.

Saturday’s death toll: 160 killed including 65 civilians.

What might the United States do in Syria to hasten Assad’s departure?
http://security.blogs.cnn.com/2013/04/11/u-s-updates-military-options-for-syria/

An anti-regime demonstration today in Damascus

The Syrian government dismissed claims regarding chemical weapons use issued in the UK (see below) saying that if they had not consented to a soil sample, then the results have no validity. http://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2013/04/15/Syria-dismisses-unfounded-British-report-on-chemical-weapons.html

In areas seized from Assad, opposition groups disagree on the legal authority to be adopted – Islamic, pseudo-traditional or modern and civil-based. http://latitude.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/04/11/a-tale-of-two-courts/

UK’s Ministry of Defense says some kind of chemical weapons were used in Syria in December (as the opposition has claimed). http://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/news/world/middleeast/article3738391.ece

Italian journalists seized in Syria were released. Yesterday.
http://edition.cnn.com/2013/04/13/world/syria-italian-journalists-freed/index.html?iref=allsearch

Refugees and Relief:

Syrian refugees in Dohuk, Iraq.

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 car bomb attack on an intelligence center in al-Furqan near Nadi al-Dhabbat killed two and wounded 18, including 3 from al-Fada’iya’s team, Shadi Helw, the Aleppo correspondent, and two cameramen, Yahya Moussali and Ahmed Suleiman – Moussail was badly hurt and there were clashes at a nearby checkpoint.

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

One report says that 10 children were killed in al-Qaboun (another says 5 civilians, including 2 children) by aerial bombardment. The Syrian air force carried out air raids on the edges of the Jobar neighborhood.

Syrian military shelling on Jaraman killed 4 civilians and injured 20. The Syrian military shelled areas of Beit Sahm. Syrian government forces retreated from the town of Hafir al-Foqa in al-Qalamoun after they had previously stormed it some days ago, and there were clashes there with the opposition. The Syrian military shelled al-Thiyabiya and al-Ghouta al-Sharqiya with rocket launchers. Syrian helicopters and airplanes bombarded the town of al-Nashabiya town and the agricultural areas around Douma. Five men and 1 opposition fighter were killed by clashes with regular forces in the A’rbin town. Shelling on Hazrma killed one man. Four men from Zakiya town were tortured to death in government prisons.

Opposition fighters were clashing with regular forces in several areas of Daraya and regular forces shelled Harasta, Zamalka and al-Arqoub and carried out air raids on the village of Ghazal.
Warplanes bombarded the Sbeina and the Syrian military shelled the town of Babila.

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 conducted air raids on Kherbet Ghazala. Regular forces bombarded the al-Qusour neighborhood, and shot to death a man from Tsil.

The Syrian military shot a man in al-Sheikh Muskin and they resumed the shelling
Clashes occurred between opposition and regular forces in al-Katiba and the Syrian air force carried out air raids on the town of A’lma.

The Syrian military destroyed the minaret of the historic al-`Umari mosque in the city of Dar`a on Saturday. The mosque dates back to the 7th century as it was built by Omar bin al-Khattab and had been targeted for several days. At the outset of the Syrian revolution, this mosque was where the first martyrs fell and demonstrations issued from it. http://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2013/04/14/Historic-mosque-in-Daraa-destroyed-in-Syrian-army-shelling-.html

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

Clashes took place between opposition and regime forces in the al-Hweiqa and al-Jbeila, along with regime bombardment on the al-Hweiqa in the city of Deir az-Zur.

Deir az-Zur in ruins: http://www.liberation.fr/monde/2013/04/13/syrie-deir-ezzor-champ-de-ruines_895742#s1

On Saturday, Islamists, including members of al-Nusra Front denouncing civil and democratic state. They announce that only an Islamic state (caliphate) and flag will be created once they enter Damascus.

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

The regime forces carried out an air strike that killed at least 16 people in a majority Kurdish village of Haddad (which lies approximately 20 kilometers south of Qahtaniyya and 60 km north of Qamishli) today including 3 children and 2 women. (16 according to SOHR, 11 according to Reuters) http://uk.reuters.com/article/2013/04/14/uk-syria-crisis-raid-idUKBRE93D0DW20130414
Syrian regime aircraft carried out several air raids on Umm Keif located on the Ras al-`Ain road. The Syrian military resumed its shelling of the town of Tal Hamees.

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 al-Khaldiya neighborhood of Homs was bombarded by regular forces with rocket launchers,

The opposition clashed with Hizbullah forces in Qusayr.

Syrian regular forces resumed the shelling of the city of al-Rastan. Clashes are took place between opposition fighters and regular forces supported by militants from the popular committees in several villages of al-Qseir.

Destruction in 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

Syrian troops broke through a lengthy opposition siege on two key military bases – Wadi ad-Dayf and Hamdiya killing at least 21 opposition fighters. The attack by the Syrian military focused on the village of Babulin and the residents of Babulin were shouting for the opposition to help them. Six cars with ammunition came from Sahyan to Hamidiyya following this breakthrough as regime forces delivered rmore reinforcements.

The regime forces bombarded the towns of Mer’yan, al-Tah and Kherbet Amouda. Violent clashes took place at the Zlito and A’in al-Sabil checkpoints resulting in casualities.

Clashes took place between opposition and regular forces on the outskirts of Baboulin village, along with helicopters hovering over the area. Regular forces bombarded the village of al-Janoudiya in the countryside of Jusr al-Shughour. Opposition fighters blew up a bridge on the Damascus-Ariha international road.

The Syrian military carried out an air raid on the outskirts of the city of Idlib.

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 Syrian regime forces bombarded the Rabi`a area and the Salma summer resort.

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

Syrian regime forces shelled the city of al-Raqqa.

The airforce executed several air raids near the 17th division resulting in injuries.

Shelling by the Syrian regime forces killed four children in the village of Hmeira al-Bweitiyya.

International:

Two were killed and four injured in the Lebanese border town of Qasr in the Hermel area when artillery shelling from Syria breached the border.
Around the same town, Hizbullah fighters (or Hizbullah-based fighters) were patrolling: http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/middle_east/lebanese-shiite-fighters-backed-by-hezbollah-fighting-inside-syria-near-border/2013/04/14/58b4e360-a53e-11e2-9e1c-bb0fb0c2edd9_story.html

Lakhdar Brahimi may step down as UN-Arab League envoy on Syria. http://www.thehindu.com/news/international/world/brahimi-may-quit-as-unarab-league-envoy-on-syria/article4614425.ece