Wednesday, January 23, 2013

“Kleptocrats of the World, Unite!”

Russian FM cannot make head or tail of that “obsession” prevalent in rebel circuits with Assad’s removal. His own obsession with defending kleptocratic regimes, on the other hand, makes perfect sense, being a card-carrying member of one such regime himself. And that’s a far greater obstacle to peace than our insistence on Assad’s removal.

Wednesday January 23, 2013

Today’s Death Toll: By end of Wednesday, the LCC documented 146 deaths, including 15 children and 13 women: 74 martyrs fell in Aleppo, 23 martyrs in Damascus and its Suburbs, 12 martyrs in Homs, 11 martyrs in Daraa, 9 martyrs in Hama, 6 martyrs in Hasakeh, 2 martyrs in each of Deir Ezzor and Lattakia, and one martyr in each of Raqa and Swaida (LCCs).

Points of Random Shelling: The LCC also documented 253 different points of shelling, 19 of which were hit by aerial strikes from war planes and choppers, 2 were hit by thermobaric bombs, and one area was hit by both thermobaric and phosphorus bombs. Artillery shelling targeted 112 points: 75 of which were hit by mortars and 66 by missiles (LCCs).

Clashes: Free Syrian Army rebels clashed with regime forces in 109 different points, liberating police station No. 25 at the Jordanian borders, and seizing the Samad and Mothalath checkpoints in Daraa. They also managed to push back a military attack on Mleiha town in Damascus Suburbs (LCCs).

News

Syria rebels accused of looting churches Rights group says fighters have burned and looted Christian and Shia places of worship, increasing sectarian fears.
Walkie-talkies as lifeline in wartime Syria Hand-held transceivers help residents to communicate and also keep track of impending attacks in absence of other means.


Special Reports
Syria's economy is buckling under the twin strains of violence and sanctions that have sapped the government's finances, devastated the nation's cities and left its industry and infrastructure in ruins… With the economy in tatters and work hard to come by as the war grinds on, many families don't have the deep pockets for anything other than the cheapest option. One woman said she waited for four hours to get a pack of subsidized bread.
Almost two years into Syria’s uprising, now a full-blown civil war, misery and despair are growing across the land. Lakhdar Brahimi, the joint envoy of the UN and Arab League who is trying to mediate, is making no progress. A military solution looks far off too. Though rebel fighters continue to make advances in the north and east of the country, Mr Assad’s forces are consolidating along the north-south axis from the capital, Damascus, to the coastal heartland of his Alawite sect. “This is never going to end,” says a usually hopeful rebel commander from the eastern province of Raqqa.
More and more groups are being dragged into a conflict that no-one is destined to win… The Christians and Druze minorities would have preferred to stay on the side lines, but the lines have been crossed and the war taken to them.
We can’t say that helping the Syrian rebels didn’t work, because it has never really been tried.

Video Highlights

Russian TV shows a reportage on the training of an all-female pro-Assad militias “We will only choose: God, Syria and Bashar.” http://youtu.be/f8q5ocsksuY

Regime tanks pound rebel strongholds and residential neighborhoods in Daraa City http://youtu.be/NZw3i6y_lzY , http://youtu.be/6WHM5BK-ggA Still, local rebels managed to destroy this loyalist headquarters http://youtu.be/uBLCp_L0fH0

Meanwhile, pro-Assad militias pounded mercilessly the nearby town of Basr Al-Harir http://youtu.be/dQFSv99Anmg But rebels remained dug in http://youtu.be/UXiDOoVvMEY

Elsewhere in the province, rebels manage to liberate huge sections of the town of Bosra Al-Sham http://youtu.be/kmE6pVgtc7g

The pounding of the towns of Eastern Ghoutah in Damascus Suburbs continues: Dhiabiyeh http://youtu.be/b5efuotQMiI Hamouriyeh http://youtu.be/fuVZ2BfRU-0

To the West, the pounding of the town of Daraya with MiGs continues http://youtu.be/rM76SwIF8Ow

To the north, the town of Yabroud was also pounded http://youtu.be/MyonpSp3VOg

MiGs continue their pounding of the restive neighborhoods in Homs City, including Jobar http://youtu.be/IhukvvlOB74 , http://youtu.be/36T4DaoJgMI Elsewhere, activists carry out a series of interviews with the older generation still eking out a haphazard subsistence in the city despite all the violence taking place http://youtu.be/_YuMLfLa9m0

In Aleppo City, rebels and loyalists clash in Sheikh Saeed neighborhood http://youtu.be/nQHyZgtaSMY , http://youtu.be/3X4xFgraTTI  A rocket falls on the inhabitant of Al-Sukkari Neighborhood http://youtu.be/CgyZQT02x2k