Monday, July 23, 2012

No Refuge!

Four of Assad’s top aides were killed, and several more injured, still the shelling and killing continue. There’s no denying it anymore: it’s Assad and his brother who are guiding this process. They are the main culprits, and they cannot be pardoned.

Sunday July 22, 2012

Today’s Death toll: 111. The Breakdown: 65 in Damascus and Suburbs, 13 in Daraa, 12 in idlib, 10 in Homs, 7 in Deir Ezzor, 5 in Hama, 3 in Aleppo, 2 in Quneitra, 1 in Lattakia, 1 in Banyas and 1 in Raqqah.

Cities & Towns Under Shelling: Harasta, Arbeen, Moadamiyah, Haran Al-Awameed, Zabadani, Madaya, Eltal, Dmeir, Hameh, Yelda, Rankous, Qarrah (Damascus Suburbs), Sit Zeinab, Al-Qadam, Modan, Al-Hajar Al-Aswad, Yarmouk, Kafar Sousseh, Mazzeh, Qaboun, Barzeh (Damascus City), Daraa City, Khirbet Al-Ghazaleh, Tafas, Bostra Al-Sham, Na’eemah, Mseifrah, Jimreen, Hraak (Daraa), Rastan, Talbisseh, Houla, Tal Kalakh, Al-Qusayr, Al-Hosn, Old Homs (Homs Province), Hreitan, Elbab, Eizaz, Marei, Bayanoun (Aleppo Province), Haffeh, Jabal Al-Akrad (Lattakia), Deir Ezzor City, Mouhassan, Albou Kamal (Deir Ezzor Province), Kafar Zeiteh, Hawash, Shahshabo, Hama City (Hama Province), Jabal Al-Zawiyeh, Maar’at Al-Nouman, Saraqib, Maar Shoureen (Idlib)

Turkish authorities use tear gas to disperse protests in the Syrian refugee camp in Kilis


Syrian forces execute 20 unarmed men in Damascus: activists (Reuters) - Syrian troops executed at least 20 unarmed men in the Damascus neighborhood of Mezzeh on Sunday who they suspected of aiding rebels in the area, opposition activists in the district said. (Video from activists)

Op-Eds & Special Reports

Syria's Kurds stand alone after rejecting rebels and regime As long as Turkey remains opposed to Kurdish independence and the KRG lacks opportunities to break its financial reliance on Baghdad, an independent Kurdistan will remain a remote prospect.

Lee Smith: No Sanctuary for Assad Almost everything that has unfolded in Syria over the last 16 months was predictable. The White House has failed repeatedly to take advantage of the Syrian dictator’s travails. Now with Assad fighting for his life, it’s time for the administration finally to show a killer instinct. If the regime takes flight from Damascus, it should never be allowed to reach safe haven in Latakia.

Where Can Syria’s Asma Assad Go? As her husband’s reign crumbles, rumors are flying that Syria’s first lady has fled to Russia—a state notorious for sheltering global outlaws.

By shelling the village of Jabatha Al-Khashab in Quneitra Province on the border of Israel, Assad officially violated the ceasefire agreement in place since 1974. The move, however, did not warrant any response from Israel, because Assad was still targeting his own people

Turks, Kurds, And Al-Qaeda

Kurdish activists say that this video shows Turkish troops arriving in Nusaybine The move seems to come in response to the recent takeover by Syrian Kurds of their communities in Syria, rather than to the anything else happening in Syria. No similar response took place when Syrian rebels aided by Al-Qaeda forces took over the border checkpoint of Bab Al-Hawa in the northwest.

Regarding Al-Qaeda’s and foreign fighters’ presence in northern Syria, AFP noted:

Rebel forces gained control of the Bab al-Hawa crossing on Thursday, but on Saturday, a group of some 150 foreign fighters were in control of the post, an AFP photographer said. Some fighters said they belonged to Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), while others claimed allegiance to a group called Shura Taliban. They were armed with Kalashnikov assault rifles, rocket launchers and improvised mines.

The world has waited too long, and the wrong forces rose up to fill up the vacuum. Indeed, while trying to downplay the role played by foreighn fighters and Al-Qaed ain Syria, spokesman for the FSA, Col. Malik Kurdi, noted that frustration with the international reposnse towards the situation in Syria and the refusal by the international community to arm the FSA have facilitated the rise of radical elements. But in order to contain this tendency, Col. Kurdi said, the FSA has to include these radical elements in its membership.

A New Twist

Hassam Hassam is a name familiar to those who followed developments related to the assassination of Former Lebanese PM, Rafic Al-Hairir. It’s the name of a Syrian intelligence officer who played a twisted role in the plot and who finally returned to Syria to resume his job. Hassam was captured on Saturday by Syrian rebels in Damascus City following an attack on a security headquarters. Upon his capture, Hassam identified himself and led his captors to a “treasure trove” of documents related to the Hariri assassination and in a video interview with his captors promised more sensational revelations. For their part, his captors promised to send Hassam to Saad Al-Hariri in Beirut as a gift And here is Haaretz report on this matter.

Video Highlights


Several neighborhoods in the Mazzeh District, Damascus City, were pounded today for the third consecutive day The neighborhoods that were pounded are close to the Canadian and the Iranian Embassies as well as Al-Razi Hospital. The local cactus groves (cactus is a popular fruit in the summer) were also pounded to prevent rebels from hiding there , But pounding was not enough, the regime soon sent in bulldozers to make sure that the groves are destroyed once and for all. Pro-Assad militias executed 20 local activists believe to have supported the rebels

Local rebels attack the police headquarters in Khalid Bin Al-Waleed Street armed with light weapons in retaliation for the massacre that took place there on Friday Here is the brigade patrolling free in the narrow streets of Old Damascus

In Qaboun Neighborhood, local activists found bodies belonging to people who were killed in their own home and people keep pulling burnt out bodies from under the rubble of buildings destroyed by the shelling Meanwhile, helicopter gunships pound the neighborhood of Barzeh

In Naher Eisheh, dozens of loyalist troops patrol the streets

The pounding of Zabadani, Damascus Suburbs, continues ,

In the town of Dmeir, local activists found several unidentified bodies in the streets in addition to one of their own all were obviously executed by pro0-Assad militias.


Rebels liberate the border crossing at Al-Salamah at the Syrian-Turkish borders The Jarablos crossing was also liberated

Rebels have established control over major parts of Aleppo City: Hanano Clashes continued in Haydariyeh , Tanks come in Seif Al-Dawleh The pounding of Al-Ard Al-Hamrah The pounding of Sakhour Clashes in Sakhour Rebels patrol the neighborhood Nighttime clashes take place in Salaheddine More reinforcements arrive to support the rebels in Aleppo City Taking Aleppo one checkpoint at a time

In Al-Atareb, Aleppo Province, local resistance groups storm the local police academy , , , In the town of Eizaz, rebels take control of a tank ,


The pounding of Rastan continues , Desolation But local rebels keep pushing back attempts at invading the city and keep pushing back all checkpoints ,

Pro-Assad militias are reportedly looting the treasures of Palmyra (Tadmor), Homs Province

Clashes in Tafas, Daraa Province, between rebels and loyalists

The pounding of Hawash, Hama Province, continues , ,

In the town of Armanaz, Idlib Province, local fighters manage to repel an attack by loyalist troops then proceed to take over the local police station

Jabal Al-Akrad, Lattakia Province: the regime tries to jumpstart fires by pounding the mountains where rebels are hiding