Sunday, January 29, 2012

The Unraveling!

The current battles taking place in and around Damascus may not yet lead to the unraveling of the regime, but the illusion of normalcy that the Assads have sought hard to maintain in the capital since the beginning of the Revolution has surely unraveled. Once illusions unravel reality soon follows.

Saturday 28, 2012 – Today was dedicated to showing solidarity with the people of Aleppo City and Nawa.

Today’s death toll: 65, including 3 children, a woman, 89 defectors and 4 who died under torture. The Breakdown: 23 in Homs (including a child, a woman and 2 victims of torture), 4 in the town of Rastan in Homs Province, 16 in Rural Damascus, 7 in Deraa Province (including 4 defectors), 7 in Hama City (including a child, 2 defectors and 2 victims of torture), and 2 in Damascus itself (including a child)…

Links
From the basement office of his home in the U.S., Ammar Abdulhamid does his part to support what he calls the Syrian revolution.  Like many Syrian expatriates, Abdulhamid keeps in regular contact with people inside the country, following events and forwarding what he learns through his blog: Syrian Revolution Digest (Video)

Too many tragic developments have been taken place simultaneously, it’s getting extremely hard to keep up and sift through the various reports of pounding, deaths and mayhem. But, it seems that the increased bloodshed has had a ripple effect within the upper ranks of the army, a fact that was reflected in increased confusion within the ranks of loyalist troops on the ground. The ability of defectors to hold their ground, despite all the violence has exacerbated the situation as well.

The towns of Rankous and Assal Al-Ward in the Qalamoun Region in northern Damascus have been under siege and pounding for almost 10 days now, but the intensity of the pounding has increased dramatically over the last 2 days, with dozens of reported deaths and wounded in both communities. But loyalist troops are still being kept at bay.

More significantly, in the Damascene region of Eastern Ghoutah, local members of the FSA seem to have halted once again the advance of loyalist troops in their territories benefiting from major defections in the ranks of loyalists amounting to more than 300 soldiers and a number of high level officers, including a major general. Defectors claim to have taken 4 tanks with them. In the process, defectors destroyed a number of tanks and armored vehicles and caused numerous casualties. Reports from the region now speak of active negotiations between the two sides, and internal bickering within the ranks of loyalists. Meanwhile reinforcements are being sent to loyalist troops fighting in Kafar Batna and nearby communities.

Clashes between loyalists and defectors have taken place as well in the town of Rastan in the Homs Province, where defectors managed to repel the loyalist attack. Meanwhile, the towns of Saraqib and Khan Shaikhoon in Idlib Province have reportedly also come under attack.

The only reason the Assads are now able to fight this multifocal war is the recent arms shipments they received from the Russians and the Iranians.

Homs

The City

Deir Baalbah: at dawn, the neighborhood comes under automatic gunfire http://youtu.be/ZBXQHTR3hMA

Baba Amr: the neighborhood gets pounded again http://youtu.be/38TIyQf8TUg , http://youtu.be/jtR-5e2uTm8 , http://youtu.be/p7DSJ6ClVEk , http://youtu.be/mK03NQWRlE8 , http://youtu.be/tbZcEuNyd3c , http://youtu.be/vZ_Iza2Ie3M , http://youtu.be/ez7uhBfmj1g Martyr http://youtu.be/y0pW3ozosx8 Still, local take to the streets at night led by local activist Khalid about Salah who leads them in prayer for the victims of massacres in Aleppo City. For even in their hour of need, protesters remain mindful of the suffering of their colleagues elsewhere http://youtu.be/wdS87XUtTVA

Khalidyeh:  A martyr http://youtu.be/R5myLbHFFno Bayadah: a mother mourns her son http://youtu.be/ItdtdWKalw8

Insha’aat: a local hospital was damaged by the pounding http://youtu.be/Tst_LcyzsKU

Asheerah: impact of pounding on the neighborhood http://youtu.be/uTy3Txsknb8 , http://youtu.be/1y_1xBoEH6o Rescuing a wounded http://youtu.be/U_vvjW17VkE


Malaab: mass funeral for a child and his mother http://youtu.be/JQXaD7go1T8 , http://youtu.be/6e6NrJM76TQ Meanwhile, in the local mosque, worshippers call for declaring holy war against the Assads http://youtu.be/TXE-agIgnZw Attacks by sniper killed the occupants of this car http://youtu.be/0PjllNve6D8

Bab Tadmor: the search for bodies under the rubble continues http://youtu.be/kbGLq5RlApo

Midan: the neighborhood comes under automatic gunfire at night http://youtu.be/L7j0ljAfniQ

Bab Houd: nighttime protesters ignore the bullets and keep chanting http://youtu.be/LTvySYW6R0M

Daytime Rallies Wadi Arab http://youtu.be/U1pY75cOKsM Madentein http://youtu.be/iczTttSwfiA


The Province

Qseir (AKA Qusayr): The pounding of the town continues: http://youtu.be/KHcCHR4ZfDk A jet overflew the town http://youtu.be/18DdBuz8ppY

Talbisseh: the town gets pounded http://youtu.be/5oPVY6GJNQA , http://youtu.be/w0dPImu3s-4 Impact of shelling on homes http://youtu.be/ZokBPytUbtg

Houleh: A funeral http://youtu.be/JEWiLl7wQag for this martyr http://youtu.be/2b2gFNl3dng

Rastan: Tanks lay siege to the city http://youtu.be/RLQ0hWFBWjw Local members of the FSA take to the streets to defend the city from an impending attack by loyalist troops http://youtu.be/OS1SR4PjpIw The battle begins, defectors destroy several tanks belonging to the loyalist and manage to repel their attack http://youtu.be/iTAqKQL0P-g The aftermath of battle http://youtu.be/SO2oNlUA-Ks Wounded defector http://youtu.be/AjHa2AR86XA A member of the FSA explains what happens, and says that they have destroyed 7 BMPs http://youtu.be/uqudLcUjVbY


Damascus

The City

Midan: a child martyr http://youtu.be/bkhF_ov9uQE

Rallying has become so much ingrained in the popular culture that in the neighborhood Naher Eisheh it has become a favorite game for children http://youtu.be/zM3PRmvB52Q

Naher Eisheh: nighttime protesters http://youtu.be/kyD4Kf4UiRU come under fire but remain defiant and hurl stones the loyalist security forces http://youtu.be/5AId57A7ccU , http://youtu.be/g_-a5xIKExY

Daytime Rallies Midan http://youtu.be/bLA0COr09vI


Eastern Ghoutah

Clashes took place between loyalist troops and local members of the FSA in different communities, with rebels managing to hold off the advance of loyalists into their territories. Five tanks have reportedly been destroyed, 4 in Hamouriyeh and 1 in Arbeen.

The pounding of Eastern of Ghoutah can be heard from Central Damascus stripping once and for all the veneer of normality that the regime tried its best to maintain http://youtu.be/OHGgzvZdIx8


Hamouriyeh: mass funeral for one of yesterday’s martyrs http://youtu.be/7xlNvAhsEj8 , http://youtu.be/t902BsQ_xA0 But later, the local mosque comes under fire http://youtu.be/zYkhGH71GUw Targeting religious symbols continues to be a favorite tactic of the loyalists http://youtu.be/2-As63YtDc8


Saqba: black smoke rises over the skies of this suburb that received its fair share of pounding as well http://youtu.be/0ZCDozBRWSs CNN’s Arwa Damon was in the suburb just before the arrival of loyalist troops and produced this report http://youtu.be/Xr9GC5kqKmM

Zamalka: loyalist security officers storm the suburb http://youtu.be/ofZeKLLevQ0 A martyr http://youtu.be/BIdoctkv8WE A funeral http://youtu.be/UbQl4MP38CY

Douma: local FSA unit manages to repel an attack by loyalists. Loyalist on their in http://youtu.be/UMCkmvLrwwU and here they are on their out under heavy fire  http://youtu.be/8XYcsPtEfmE Leaked clip of a teenage martyr who fell on January 26 http://youtu.be/skHhhhvt-Lg

Hatetet Al-Turkman: black smoke over the skies of the neighborhood as it gets pounded http://youtu.be/LVjnpZmyEDw , http://youtu.be/Qc2Vs68vbqg Treating the wounded http://youtu.be/-37MetzRlgghttp://youtu.be/o0x7k0tEdRQ  

Ain Terma: a martyr http://youtu.be/8StOeYg4FHc


Damascus South

Moadamiyeh: a funeral http://youtu.be/8ftXOVrUXlQ , http://youtu.be/0z8QGJOuAGQ , http://youtu.be/9wgj4rQQWlk , http://youtu.be/aQlXjG7cfew , http://youtu.be/zccYHQhZlxw Crackdown on funeral by loyalists left many wounded http://youtu.be/kJrEiFTn8gI A drone overflies the neighborhood during the funeral http://youtu.be/mF6lyNwfShs Loyalists patrol the streets http://youtu.be/ypcvpyFMHy4

Nighttime Rallies Qatana http://youtu.be/E8a7Yyod-nM

West (Zabadani and Wadi Barada)


Zabadani: nighttime protesters burn Iranian flags http://youtu.be/BJOFAYtijQk

Nighttime Rallies Zabadani http://youtu.be/NLzrVuWg32c Hamah http://youtu.be/TMc_qBuG1CM

North (The Qalamoun Region )

Rankous: the pounding of the town continues http://youtu.be/dAIGLRZbwiU  Most of the 25,000 inhabitants have left, leaving less than 50 family behind and, of course, the local FSA unit. Casualty estimates vary, but the 2-day total is put around 40. We are told that journalists from NY Times have paid a visit to the town recently and had to be smuggled out.


Hama

The City

Hamidiyeh: martyrs http://youtu.be/hVJK-GqoGP0 and loyalists http://youtu.be/ZZft7NzysuY

Daytime Rallies Al-Karameh http://youtu.be/zIkfvLXQMp8 Sawa’iq http://youtu.be/XYlTs_vs-1Y

Nighttime Rallies Janoub Al-Malaab http://youtu.be/9N7YjKbMk8g

The Province


Daytime Rallies Taybat Al-Imam http://youtu.be/jlYeqROUZxA

Idlib


Saraqib: the city comes under automatic gunfire from armored vehicles at night http://youtu.be/HreV-R1Ii7g


Mastoumeh: a martyr http://youtu.be/oysTOFcu2XE

Khan Shaikhoon gets pounded again http://youtu.be/VUFpld2z3Do

Kafar Takhareem: locals hold a rally under the protection of the local FSA unit http://youtu.be/KxAUNOF9zDA

Urm Al-Joz: funeral for a defector http://youtu.be/8CGUl_o-QlE

Daytime Rallies Kafroumah http://youtu.be/RHtX3a1r0YY


Deraa/Hauran

Deraa City


Hauran Province

Tafas: a child martyr http://youtu.be/t-za1LIYNLI his funeral http://youtu.be/Sujmt0pOqLc

Nahteh: a little girl is hit by a shrapnel http://youtu.be/L8b2H6wgo-M  



Aleppo

The City

Marjeh: The crackdown on yesterday’s rally in the neighborhood that left 15 dead did not have the desired effect of intimidating locals, who took to the streets again today saluting the FSA and calling for the Assad regime. The rally began near the house of one of yesterday’s martyrs http://youtu.be/8CZRD-D1Z80 The it moved to the main streets http://youtu.be/w6yKN_R9WRc , http://youtu.be/WCICVfYUi7c , http://youtu.be/Dtn7YYxlcSA , http://youtu.be/RXuodS3i0XA , http://youtu.be/A88Tn0iN8zs Protesters paraded a donkey around as a stand-in for Assad http://youtu.be/tcgcdO62Pko Naturally, loyalists opened fire on protesters today as well http://youtu.be/dnzEvsNPZRk , http://youtu.be/MeTElsMaVA8 , http://youtu.be/tFIiDrwyoTE A martyr http://youtu.be/EpvjzBopIiA Local take to the streets again at night http://youtu.be/Hi7slCEuydk And loyalists fired at them again http://youtu.be/l-3KRryVhIQ

Aleppo Province

Daytime Rallies Tal Rif’aat http://youtu.be/ip0C8M-BuEM


Deir Ezzor


Qourieyh (January 27): a nighttime rally comes under fire http://youtu.be/l9qYPJmtBSE , http://youtu.be/4Sm5uua5qJU Then the entire town comes under intensive pounding http://youtu.be/gOHEsvhht1U , http://youtu.be/_L5hv2HY-zo An explosion ruptures the pipelines that runs near the town http://youtu.be/6PrukROd_l4

Tayaneh: intensive nighttime clashes between local FSA unit and loyalist troops http://youtu.be/4Sm5uua5qJU , http://youtu.be/rHwoE5QbD28

Deir Ezzor City: students at the College of Literature stage a rally http://youtu.be/TChHGqNZ_3o


Nighttime Rallies Khareetah http://youtu.be/1Vn271Jg940 Deir Ezzor City (Hamidiyeh) http://youtu.be/IKuuElMEAHo (Takaya Street) http://youtu.be/lJaJppJIPN8 Shouaytat http://youtu.be/7cvhU6ezfI8
Quneitrah



Lattakia


Lattakia City: Despite heavy security measure, locals in Sleibeh neighborhood organized a mass rally, the first in months http://youtu.be/nvqYT2eVnFc , http://youtu.be/5xVF5ZaF29g , http://youtu.be/taObFIw9tY4 , http://youtu.be/Fne806MaPLM The rally was in fact a funeral for the children of a detained doctor and activist http://youtu.be/a1z0Emd3aK0 , http://youtu.be/aDobnReAdUI

Others expressed themselves within the relative safety of the Soufan Mosque http://youtu.be/d0sIKMemPUI Others took to Quwatli Street http://youtu.be/K5EG80hviaI