Saturday, July 21, 2012

The Ramadan of Our Discontent!

Ramadan has begun on an inauspicious note for Assad and family, but rather than soften, their stances might harden even more, paving the way for more and deadlier massacres. Another Red Ramadan is upon us.   

Friday July 20, 2012

Today’s Death toll: 215. The Breakdown: 55 in Damascus Suburbs, 28 in Aleppo, 28 in Idlib, 26 in Damascus City, 25 in Homs, 23 in Deir Ezzor, 20 in Daraa, 7 in Hama, 2 in Lattakia and 1 Sweida.

Cities & Towns Under Shelling: Harasta, Arbeen, Moadamiyah, Haran Al-Awameed, Zabadani, Madaya, Eltal, Dmeir, Hameh, Yelda, Rankous (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, Maarabah, Bostra Al-Sham (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 (Hama Province), Jabal Al-Zawiyeh, Maar’at Al-Nouman, Sraqib (Idlib)


Op-Eds & Special Reports
The Syrian Army Strikes Back: Eyewitness to Assad’s Retaliation on a Rebel Town Saraqeb rejoiced when the heart of the regime was struck. Then the President's soldiers hit back

Syria’s Next Act With the rebels moving deeper into Damascus, and the regime’s days appearing numbered, the CIA is racing to find Syria’s chemical and biological weapons before it’s too late.

Syria's Alawite Refuge "It's true that there aren't the right ingredients for a state, but the Syrian coast is basically the center of gravity for the sect," he says. "If the war continues in Syria, I'll be among the supporters of separation. There is enough blood."

Syria opposition has power struggles of its own As rebels risk their lives for a new government, some feel overshadowed by exiled dissidents, who the fighters say are out of touch with the real revolution.

The U.S. must help Syria Washington should work quickly in cooperation with our European allies to establish confidence and credibility in a national leader who is committed to democratic governance. We should put our shared diplomatic muscle behind credible parties with serious political and economic plans…

David Enders, special correspondent for McClatchy, based in Beirut, Lebanon, FDD fellows Ammar Abdulhamid, Syrian human rights and democracy activist and director of the Tharwa Foundation; John Hannah, former national security advisor to Vice President Cheney; and Reuel Marc Gerecht, former Iran analyst at the CIA’s Directorate of Operations.

General Highlights

Armed resistance groups in Northern Aleppo Province get unified under one command and one name, Al-Tawhid Brigade, then proceed to hold this impressive show of strength (July 18) Northern Aleppo Province has now fallen almost completely under the control of the resistance. But the resistance cannot fend off against missiles and mortar rounds.

Local resistance groups in the town of Elbab, Aleppo Province, storm the local security headquarters: the slain we see here are pro-Assad militias (July 19)

While eyes are focused on Damascus City, many important developments have been taken place in Aleppo City, where larger rallies have taken place and the loyalties of many neighborhoods seem to have completely shifted to the protest movement. The showdown in Salaheddine Neighborhood on Friday underscores this. The story started with a rally as usual , , , and ended with clashes between local resistance units and pro-Assad militias Culminating with the introduction in the neighborhoods for the first time And local Imams inviting their congregations to join the “Jihad” against Assad during their Friday sermons Some of today’s martyrs , , Protesters in Shaar Neighborhood also came under fire

Volunteers pour in the scores to Midan District to join the local resistance (July 19) In this interview with the local commander of the resistance in Midan, he claims that he commands over 4,000 troops But tanks lay siege to the neighborhood And they begin pounding , , Many fighters were forced to withdraw, but many remain trapped inside.

Resistance units from Daraa heads towards Damascus City

In Homs City, protesters in Al-Malaab sang a traditional Damascene song in honor and support of their Damascene colleagues currently under pounding by pro-Assad militias

Damascus Highlights

Black Smoke rises over Damascus City And over parts of the Mazzeh Neighborhood, one of the plushest Districts in Damascus where many embassies are located

But it was the neighborhood of Sit Zainab that seems to have received the bulk of pounding today , , , The pounding was done mostly by helicopter gunships Pulling the wounded and the dead from under the rubble ,

Protesters in Khalid Bin Al-Walid Street hold a rally near the local police station  They soon come under heavy gunfire Many were killed and injured, here we see two bodies lying in the street This is another take of the rally and the shooting , Local activists report that the wounded who were taking to the nearby hospital of Al-Mojtahed were soon arrested by loyalist security officers and transported to an unknown location. The bodies of the martyrs were also taken. Many doctors were arrested for providing medical assistance to the injured. Some of the Martyrs , , A child among the dead

Treating the wounded in Barzeh Taking over the local police station in Tadamon (July 19)

Boyadah and other Damascene suburb were subjected to pounding by helicopter gunships

The town of Dmeir, the pounding claimed many dead: a dead lies in amidst the rubble in the aftermath of an attack The martyrs of today’s pounding

In Harran Al-Awameed, Eastern Ghoutah, local inhabitants found bodies belonging to people who seem to have been tortured and burnt alive by pro-Assad militias IN Arbeen many were killed in today’s pounding as well

Other Highlights

The pounding in Tafas, Daraa Province, leaves many children dead , , The mass funeral

The pounding in Rastan, Homs Province, leaves many dead and wounded ,

The pounding of Albou Kamal claims a heavy toll

The sounds of pounding of Jabal Al-Akrad, Lattakia Province

Protesters in Tabaqa City, Raqqah Province, came under fire