Thursday, August 2, 2012

Slaughter in Damascus!

According to some pundits, Obama’s approach to Syria is working. Indeed, if the goal is to have more daily massacres, ensure the implosion of the country into myriad warring enclaves, and encourage another generation of Middle Eastern activists to grow hating the West and feeling betrayed by it, again, at a time when they were so willing to believe that things can be different, then Obama’s strategy is working perfectly. Hail to the Chief!

Wednesday August 1, 2012

Today’s Death toll: 180. The Breakdown: 104 in Damascus and Suburbs (massacres in Jdeidet Artouz, 58, Yelda, 27, Moadamia), 23 in Aleppo, 14 in Idlib, 13 in Homs, 13 in Deir Ezzor, 8 in Daraa, 3 in Hama and 2 in Lattakia.

Cities & Towns Under Shelling: Harasta, Arbeen, Moadamiah, Harran Al-Awameed, Ain Terma, Zabadani, Madaya, Eltal, Dmeir, Hameh, Yelda, Rankous, Qarrah (Damascus Suburbs), Sit Zeinab, Al-Qadam, Midan, 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, Al-Ghanto, Al-Bouaydah, 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, Ma’rrat Al-Nouman, Saraqib, Maar Shoureen, Ariha, Kafroumah, Al-Rami, Khan Shaikhoon (Idlib).

News
Video from Aleppo, Syria, draws condemnation of rebels Video apparently shows rebels executing loyalists of President Bashar Assad in the key northern city of Aleppo, where fighting continues to rage.


Syria's Jumah blocks out turmoil at home Syrian swimmer Bayan Jumah on Wednesday said she did not let the conflict in her country affect her training or performance at the London Olympics, even as helicopter gunships attack rebel fighters in her besieged home city of Aleppo.


Op-Eds & Special Reports
Turkey's Syria Dilemma On the one hand Turkish government wants the Assad regime to go, for ideological, humanitarian and security reasons. But on the other hand it does not want Syria to break into pieces and become a three-region state where one unit might become a safe haven for terrorist activities. Turkey is still pushing the SNC to be the central power in a future Syria. But this looks unlikely, because of the SNC's sharp internal divisions. The 2003 Iraq war left a bad taste for Turkey, leaving behind a fragile security zone. Syria might end up being worse.

Inside the administration's 'new' approach on Syria There are some signs that the administration is taking steps to aid the rebels indirectly. The Wall Street Journal reported this week that the Treasury Department's Office of Foreign Assets Control has issued a license for the Syrian Support Group, a Washington-based opposition group, to send money to the internal Syrian opposition

Bashar al-Assad not seen in public for more than two weeks Syrian president, who has sent written message to armed forces, likely to come under pressure to demonstrate leadership.

The Stakes in Aleppo: A potentially decisive moment in the battle for Syria. How much of this Administration's foreign policy calculations are a matter of strategy, and how much of election-year convenience, remains an open question. How Mr. Obama acts over Aleppo will provide an answer.

'What will happen to us?': Loyalists fear rebel attacks In Aleppo, Kim Sengupta finds members of pro-Assad tribes hiding behind closed doors in fear of revenge raids.

Can flamboyant defector Tlass speak for Syria's silent elite? Flamboyant Syrian defector Manaf Tlass has been widely dismissed as a tainted figure too close to the Syrian regime. But experts claim that he appeals to Syria's middle and upper classes, who have not yet voiced their opposition to the regime.

Is Manaf Tlas the man for Syria? …despite his potential shortcomings, Tlas is better placed than anyone who has broken ranks with al-Assad to offer insights into the regime and the running of the military. Unless the SNC can pull together and develop a realistic blueprint for a unified Syria, the West and other outsiders might feel no choice but to lend their support to Manaf Tlas. (My comment: why not deign to reach out to the people making it all happen on the ground, they seem to have a better idea on how to get things done?)

In cooperation with Impunity Watch and the Summer Institute for Human Rights and Genocide Studies in Buffalo, it's my pleasure to announce the launch of the "I Am Syria" Campaign - an effort designed to raise awareness in the U.S. and the world regarding the revolution in Syria and the massacres perpetrated daily by pro-Assad militias and troops, highlighting the need for immediate international action. You can follow our activities on YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and our official website. Please, "Like" us and spread the word…

Insider Information

While many expect the General Assembly to pass a resolution calling on Assad to step down, friends at the UN tell me that the paragraph calling on Assad to step down was actually removed following pressures from India, South Africa and Brazil, among others.

The recent decision by the U.S. Treasury Department to allow for the Syrian Support Group to gather funds on behalf of the Free Syrian Army falls strictly under the nonlethal assistance policy, so no weapons can be purchased using any funds collected by the Group.

The decision will not have much of an impact when it comes to reality on the ground for two more reasons. First, many Syrian-American are already sending funds to the FSA even without such approval, and second, Syrian-American donations will remain a drop in the bucket in comparison to what can be collected from Gulf supporters. Saudi donors just collected $100 million meant to support the Syrian rebels, following a five-day fundraising marathon.

It should be noted in this connection that reports claiming that rebels got their hands on MANPADS from external sources, have been vehemently refuted by rebel leaders on the ground.

The Obama Administration is still MIA in Syria, and although some pundits applaud that, but they seem to have a different endgame in sight where a protracted civil war in Syria and its eventual implosion may not be such a terrible development, the human cost notwithstanding.

Damascus

58 people were reportedly slaughtered in a raid by pro-Assad militias in the Damascene Suburb of Jdeidet Artouz http://youtu.be/myOUBXYYHlQ , http://youtu.be/jWYNIeQWNLA , http://youtu.be/SP8s6Pda6YA , http://youtu.be/gB_X1m0CwIY A hasty funeral takes place for some of the victims http://youtu.be/_S6mN4UmesY People chant “By God, we will have our revenge, from Maher and Bashar” http://youtu.be/ltS5ZUOsYdk Burying the dead http://youtu.be/eIr1aSghZTg Earlier in the day, a tank led the assault on the suburb http://youtu.be/l24ynjD9KLg

A massacre in Yelda, Eastern Ghoutah Region, Damascus Suburbs, due to continued shelling of the town by tanks and helicopter gunships, followed by a raid by pro-Assad militias: The shelling http://youtu.be/qq4FpVV5_1E The injured http://youtu.be/dJVYMHDRyRE The dead http://youtu.be/kG1ffN0B2Tc , http://youtu.be/gLuDPmHXa6g , http://youtu.be/3FQCkww8uP4 , http://youtu.be/jO5B5tgG8MA , http://youtu.be/k7Y5yfL8rpk , http://youtu.be/bVaGFRBvmrg , http://youtu.be/55nK8ujEY_o , http://youtu.be/RbOFqGzeY0E The burial http://youtu.be/hfLIl-KSvKM

A similar massacre takes in Arbeen http://youtu.be/H3jfru2s4nM A similar development in Moadamia, Damascus Suburbs http://youtu.be/sCK-hBXc0FU

The neighborhood of Tadamon in Damascus City is pounded by heavy artillery during the day http://youtu.be/Lj-X75hG6sg and at night http://youtu.be/re9f12FrNmY

A leaked video from Adra shows pro-Assad militias gloating over dead bodies http://youtu.be/5CFVMQFHs7M

But rebels in Damascus keep forming more brigades in preparation for another round http://youtu.be/nz3sXVebcLA

Idlib


Aleppo

Due to the shutting down of internet and communication services in Aleppo City, fewer videos made it out of the city, but shelling was reported in Salaheddine, Kallaseh, and Al-Sukkari neighborhoods.

Salaheddine, Aleppo City: The indiscriminate shelling continues http://youtu.be/1ylmmFnvhMs , http://youtu.be/GQH41BWLL2U , http://youtu.be/_xxo1xLkSxs

Rebels ransack the home of the Zeino Birri, the Shabbiha commander killed yesterday http://youtu.be/HnvxjGyiTlA

A family of six, including three children, was killed when a house was hit by mortar round in Ibbeen, Aleppo Province http://youtu.be/VrLTVOgyPVk  , http://youtu.be/fcuIoFCHIyk

Daraa

A helicopter gunship drops heavy bombs on the town of Taybah http://youtu.be/cuzLwE9fibQhttp://youtu.be/nJsp7VrPij8 , http://youtu.be/cuzLwE9fibQ

Homs

The pounding of old neighborhoods in Homs City continues http://youtu.be/7l44LgIq-sY , http://youtu.be/RO5hXLbdbUU

Videos captured 2 weeks ago during a brief incursion into the Central Prison in Homs City by few local activists, shortly after a prison riot http://youtu.be/rXrxxqk05NI , http://youtu.be/cYru_M8RADU , http://youtu.be/pvk8zRKieCw , http://youtu.be/lDbXZgIudW4

The pounding of Rastan continues http://youtu.be/mhal_ieCrh0

In Qusayr, destruction http://youtu.be/Yw_Jy2XcX60 martyrdom http://youtu.be/-Qi86p6ZU7Q and hasty goodbyes http://youtu.be/1rPz3CEcx5Q

Deir Ezzor

The pounding of Deir Ezzor City continues http://youtu.be/nGeW1_uj1es

In Albou Kamal, the local FSA unit builds and tests an IED device http://youtu.be/YBxpZSYxwxA and takes control of a tank http://youtu.be/zZ3au4lc1XA

Raqqah

Local rebels take over the recently abandoned police checkpoint of Abteen, Raqqah Province http://youtu.be/cotI0Qln1yQ