Saturday, December 29, 2012

Our Blood-Soaked Bread!

Will the world ever forgive us for having nothing to offer these days but our blood-soaked bread? We’re usually much more generous than this. But our blood is fast becoming one of our very few sources of currency.

Friday December 28, 2012Today’s rallies were dedicated to the blood-soaked bread, in honor of the countless victims murdered at breadlines by militias loyal to the Assad regime.

Today’s Death Toll: 137, including 9 children and 17 women:, 38 in Damascus and Suburbs, 30 in Aleppo (16 in Sfeira massacre), 18 in Daraa, 17 in Homs, 9 in Idlib, 9 in Quneitra, 8 in Deir Ezzor, 4 in Hama, 3 in Raqqa, 2 in Swaida and 1 in Lattakia. Rallies: 302: 68 in Deir Ezzor, 57 in Hama, 54 in Aleppo, 41 in Damascus and Suburbs, 34 in Idlib, 23 in Daraa, 14 in Homs, 7 in Hassakeh, 3 in Raqqah, and 1 in Lattakia. Points of Random Shelling: 125. Clashes: 127. In Deir Ezzor, rebels gained control of Tanak Oil Field. In Aleppo, they gained control of Tal Annajar Battalion. In Daraa, rebels liberated Jaziya checkpoint, arresting many loyalist soldiers and capturing much in terms of weapons and ammunition. In Damascus, rebels gained control of Bijo checkpoint in Sbeineh, meanwhile, around 50 soldiers from the 4th Division taking part in the siege of the town of Zabadani defected and joined the rebels. In Hama, rebels took control of the Jinan checkpoint.  Finally, in Raqqa, rebels gained control of Msheirfeh checkpoint arresting many loyalist soldiers in the process (LCCs).

Syria opposition leader rejects Moscow invitation  In an interview on Al Jazeera television, Alkhatib said he had already ruled out such a trip and wanted an apology from Moscow for its support for Assad. "We have clearly said we will not go to Moscow. We could meet in an Arab country if there was a clear agenda," he said. "Now we also want an apology from (Russian Foreign Minister Sergei) Lavrov because all this time he said that the people will decide their destiny, without foreign intervention. Russia is intervening and meanwhile all these massacres of the Syrian people have happened, treated as if they were a picnic." "If we don't represent the Syrian people, why do they invite us?" Alkhatib said. "And if we do represent the Syrian people why doesn't Russia respond and issue a clear condemnation of the barbarity of the regime and make a clear call for Assad to step down? This is the basic condition for any negotiations."
Rebels besiege airports in northern Syria This push in many ways represents the mismatched nature of Syria's civil war, with numerous but lightly armed rebels fighting a highly sophisticated army, albeit one badly weakened by defections. Rebels say they have surrounded four airports in the northern province of Aleppo. In recent days, they have posted dozens of videos online showing fighters shooting mortars, homemade rockets and sniper rifles at targets inside the bases. It remains unclear whether rebels will be able to seize any of the bases soon, but they have managed to stop air traffic at one and limit movement at others by firing on all approaching aircraft with heavy machine guns.
U.N. to convene pledging conference for Syria aid The United Nations will convene a pledging conference in Kuwait next month to try to secure more than $1.5 billion to help save the lives of millions of Syrians facing a "rapidly deteriorating humanitarian situation," the world body said on Friday. The conference will take place on January 30 in Kuwait City and will be chaired by Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, the U.N. press office said in a statement.
Syria shells Damascus area as protests surge Planes pound capital and outlying zones, as anti-regime rallies erupt across country and two generals reportedly defect.

Special Reports
Abu Ali Sulaibi was one of the first people to take up arms in Aleppo. Now he controls two shattered blocks on the frontline where he lives with his wife, four children and Squirrel the cat
As President Bashar Assad's regime becomes increasingly isolated, Iranian officials and clerics appear divided on how to respond to their longtime ally… On Tuesday, the pro-government paper Etellaat, whose editor is selected by Khamenei, published a story saying that the U.S. and Russia had crafted a joint plan for a transitional government in Syria, which both countries have denied. It included a call by a senior Hamas leader for Assad to be removed from power. "In the beginning we supported the Syrian government extensively and ignored the opposition and even called them terrorists. It has cost Iran a lot among the Muslims," Abbas Abdi, a leader of the hostage-taking at the U.S. Embassy in 1979, said in the reformist daily Etemad last weekend. Abdi said he believed Iran's new peace plan could have made a difference if it had come earlier, but now it was too little, too late. He called his piece: "Feeling sorry for the lost opportunity in Syria."
"It's understood that Bashar al-Assad's regime will not last long," said Georgy Mirsky, a Middle East expert at the Institute for World Economy and International Relations in Moscow. "But this does not mean that Russia is ready to join the West, the Turks and the Arabs and demand that Assad go? That would be senseless. Syria is lost (to Russia) anyway," he said. At least Russia "will be able to say that we do not abandon our friends," Mirsky said.
A Syrian coalition that provides physical and political protection for the Alawites and Syria’s other minorities, while reflecting the Sunni majority’s new power, could convince Russia and Iran that they could maintain some influence — however reduced that influence should and would be. (Paradoxically, such a coalition might also quiet Israel’s apprehensions about the strong presence of Islamic jihadists in the rebel movement and exert moderating influence on Egypt’s growing derogation of minority rights.)
The growing challenge to Bashar al-Assad's regime raises the issue of Syria's chemical weapons, and whether there are any feasible military options in addressing it. Here, the decisions of the United States and Israel will be crucial.

Video Highlights

Leaked video: Loyalist militias abuse the bodies of two dead rebels

A tank high-noon showdown in the Damascene suburb of Daraya forces loyalist militias to flee paving the way for aerial bombings ,

Meanwhile, the pounding of the towns of Eastern Ghoutah, continues: Douma Elsewhere clashes continue including in the camp of Yarmouk ,

Pro-Assad militias intensify their use of incendiary cluster bombs and rockets in the pounding of the town of Mourek in Hama Province

Rebels survey the bodies of the dead loyalist soldiers  in the Tanak oilfield, Deir Ezzor, that they have succeeded in taking over Rebels showcase their gains Shortly after, regimes fighter jets pound the compound

In Da’el, Daraa, and on the underreported side of this war, local activists produce their local newspaper “Out for Freedom.” In song, they tell all about the different sections of the paper In the town of Kafrenbel, Idlib Province, local activists are working on a draft constitution for the country (English translation provided)

Rallies like these took place all over the country under the slogan “Our Blood-Soaked Bread” – Jobar, Damascus City Deir Hafer, Aleppo Menbej, Aleppo Khirbet Ghazaleh, Daraa Wa’er, Homs City Salqeen, Idib