Sunday, December 16, 2012

The Ring of Fire!

As the ring of fire grows tighter and tighter around Damascus, there are still those who think the fire is containable. This revolution might have shattered some illusions for some people, but others seem to cherish their illusions more than life and reason. For them, catastrophe is not an option they are willing to consider, which is why catastrophe becomes inevitable. The aftermath is dawning upon us, and if we think things are messy now, we don’t have long to wait before we discover how wrong we are. Still, it was all worth it, no matter the price.  

Saturday December 15, 2012

Today’s Death Toll: 131, including 5 women and 6 children: 36 in Damascus and suburbs, 26 in Aleppo, 18 in Homs (mostly in Rastan), 17 in Idlib, 12 in Daraa, 6 in Deir Ezzor, 8 in Hama and 3 in Raqqa. Points of Random Shelling: 256. Clashes: 103. Rebels brought down a helicopter in Hassakeh and captured loyalist soldiers in Deir Ezzor as well as a major arms depot in Aleppo (LCC).

In Jordan, officials who defected from the Syrian government announced that they had formed a new opposition group led by Mr. Assad’s former prime minister, Riyad Farid Hijab, one of the highest-ranking officials to desert during the conflict. The group, called the National Free Coalition of the Workers of Syrian Government Institutions, aims to keep state structures intact if Mr. Assad’s government falls, Reuters reported.

News

Special Reports
In August, the prominent doctors, engineers, pharmacists and businessmen sheltering here established the Aleppo Transitional Revolutionary Council, a kind of city government in exile for the liberated portions of the city. Mr. Khanji, 67, a civil engineer with a long history of opposing the Syrian government, serves as its president.
"I feel so much ashamed of myself, being in a warm place and having my violin with me and playing music while people have to stand in long queues in order to have something to eat," he says.
The Sahel al Ghab plain, in Hama province, used to be one of Syria’s richest agricultural regions, producing grain, olives, rice, cotton and sugar. But this year has been disastrous because of the war. Several people from the area said their land wasn’t being farmed because of shellfire from regime-loyal villages.

Syria Deeply
Jabhat Al Nusra, now a U.S.-designated terrorist group believed to have links with Al Qaeda, still wins fans in Syria for its disciplined, ferocious fighters. It is considered the most effective fighting force against the Assad regime, and its latest film highlighting attacks in and around Aleppo seeks to bolster that reputation. In an hour-long video… Jabhat al Nusra takes us behind the scenes of its suicide bombings and attacks on military bases, demonstrating its craft and explaining the reasons behind what it describes as jihad against the Assad regime.

Video Highlights

Rebel leader Abu Furat hours before his martyrdom http://youtu.be/x9hhQ2NDxco Before his death, Abu Furat sent a message to the Alawite community in Syria, telling them that in spite of Assad, Sunnis and Alawites will always live in peace and harmony http://youtu.be/1qeUf_7MJhQ Abu Furat made his address while greeting an Alawite defector.

Rebels in Khan Touman, Aleppo, take control of a major arms storage depot http://youtu.be/POIvEO48hLo , http://youtu.be/BxVoIbmmskY , http://youtu.be/5UCSmGeRw9w

Rebels in Deir Ezzor capture soldiers from the units protecting the Mayadin Military Airport http://youtu.be/pKOwvZR-cvo Sounds of clashes in Deir Ezzor City http://youtu.be/7-ahVqA_3RM The pounding of the city continues as well http://youtu.be/icROGHY6-EQ

Kurdish opposition launch a new political union in Qamislo, Hassakeh Province http://youtu.be/ed3iuEj5rMU

Locals in Beit Sahem, Damascus, pull bodies from under the rubble after an aerial raid on their town http://youtu.be/OBmP-RcZ7uM

To the south, rebels and loyalists clash in Moadamia, Damascus http://youtu.be/qGbFwB2hW2U In Al-Hajar Al-Aswad, shelling leaves several buildings on fire http://youtu.be/ZWnpN1f4L7c To the east, aerial raids against the towns and villages of Eastern Ghoutah continues http://youtu.be/MnyrWZr28-U , http://youtu.be/yrQAzej76wE To the north of Damascus City, MiGs pound the town of Yabroud http://youtu.be/r8ExVRY9UaY To the West, the pounding of the town of Zabadani along the border with Lebanon continues http://youtu.be/M1iFZHu_2VI