Tuesday, January 15, 2013

We Don’t Need No Education!

The massacre at Aleppo University will not deter her students from remaining active supporters of the revolutionary ethos and nonviolent ethics. Some dig in their heels, others dig up their graves – the Revolution goes on.

Tuesday January 15, 2013

Today’s Death Toll: 237, including 15 children and 10 women. 99 martyrs were reported in Aleppo, most of them due to the shelling of the University; 65 in Homs most of them in Houla and Hasouba; 31 in Damascus and its Suburbs, 17 in Hama, 15 in Daraa, 6 in Idlib, 2 in Deir Ezzor and 2 in Raqqa  (LCCs).

Points of Random Shelling: 351: including 24 points that were shelled by warplanes, 5 point using cluster bombs,1 point with barrel bombs, 138 points using mortar, 120 points with heavy caliber artillery and 62 using rockets and missiles (LCCs).

Clashes: 143 (LCCs).

Blasts at Aleppo university kill more than 80 people, activists say Anti-regime activists trying to topple President Bashar Assad’s regime said his forces carried out two airstrikes. Syrian state media, for its part, blamed rebels fighting the Syrian government, saying they fired rockets that struck the campus… The competing narratives of the two blasts at the city’s main university highlight the difficulty of confirming reports from inside Syria… The scale of destruction in videos shot at the site, however, suggested more powerful explosives had been used than the rockets the rebels are known to possess.
Video purports to show Syrian officers begging al-Assad for help "I urge you, Mr. President, are the Syrian officers considered to be nothing and less important than some Iranian citizens?" Raeidi said, his voice cracking, "Or (does) the foreign policy ... force us to remain victims and remain in captivity?" He adds, "Thanks for listening."
Mass Grave Found in Aleppo Amid Fierce Fighting Like so much of the Syrian civil war, this slice of horror will remain a mystery. One can glean only so much from the tip of a pallid nose. The bodies would have been buried by now, with no autopsy or investigation, catalogued only in the minds of those who in this particular atrocity happened to lose a loved one. As a journalist, I could do little but snap a few photos. The story, whatever it is, will be entombed with the victims under a slab of concrete.
Russia says against referring Syria crisis to war crimes court Permanent U.N. Security Council member Russia said in a Foreign Ministry statement on Tuesday that an effort by dozens of countries to refer the Syrian crisis to the International Criminal Court was "ill-timed and counterproductive".
Moscow suspends consular operations in Aleppo "The operations of the Russian Federation's Consulate General in Aleppo have been suspended," the statement said. "Regarding all issues, contact the consular department of the Russian Embassy in Damascus."
Arming Syria rebels an option - Hague "Our efforts are directed at a peaceful political solution. We are sending some practical help to opposition groups, but not arms, and we have taken no decision to change that, but we do want the flexibility to change that if necessary," he said.
Report says Assad residing on warship Syrian President Bashar Assad and his family have been living on a warship, with security provided by Russia, intelligence sources told a Saudi newspaper.
Syrians set for ballot in Turkish refugee camps Syrians head to the polls this week to elect new local administrators from among their peers at refugee camps in Kilis in southeastern Turkey

Special Reports
The situation in the war-torn Syrian city of Aleppo is much less dire than it was a month ago. Food stalls are full of produce, albeit at much higher prices than before, and the bread crisis has been somewhat averted. The fighting is now centered on airbases on the outskirts of the city.
Saladin Brigade, which includes Arab members in its ranks, says its alliance with Islamists is a way to pay its dues to the revolution. Its leaders hope to bring down the Assad regime and play an influential, and moderating, role in a future Syria. “We want a civil, democratic government which treats everyone equally,” said Colonel Shawqi Othman, 43, who heads the brigade.
The vast majority of displaced Syrians now aren't in camps; instead, they're "urban refugees," the IRC said. And because most of them fled their previous lives with few belongings and little money, many have built up crushing debt. The IRC heard accounts of desperate women trading sex for food, children being forced to work in exploitative or dangerous jobs and families selling girls into early marriage to reduce household numbers or pay rent.
On January 9th Thaer al-Waqqas, the local commander of the northern Farouq brigade, was killed in Sarmada, his hometown. Locals say he was shot by a Tunisian fighter. Mr Waqqas was involved in the killing in September of Firas al-Absi, aka Abu Mohammed, a Saudi-born Syrian jihadi who had teamed up with foreign fighter friends from Libya to Afghanistan… The brigades have always competed for their members' loyalty and for turf; now they must also jockey for the support of Syrian civilians who are beginning to differentiate more strongly between the various groups.
Sooner or later, the war will end and Syrians will have to sit down and talk about the future of their state. Here's a roadmap.
“The opposition is in fact helping to hold the regime together,” said Peter Harling, an analyst with the International Crisis Group who meets in Syria with people on all sides of the conflict. “It seems to have no strategy to speak of when it comes to preserving what’s left of the state, wooing the Alawites within the regime or reaching out to those who don’t know who to hate most, the regime or the opposition.”

It seems only tricks can get us notice: The 6 Best Dresses At The Golden Globes.

The Syrian military used an exotic chemical weapon on rebels during an attack in the city of Homs, some U.S. officials now believe.

The conclusion — first reported by Foreign Policy’s Josh Rogin and laid out in a secret cable from the U.S. consul general in Istanbul — contradicts preliminary estimates made by American officials in the hours after the December 23 strike. But after interviews with Syrian activists, doctors, and defectors, American diplomats in Turkey have apparently rendered a different verdict. It’s important to note, however, that this was the conclusion of a single consulate within the State Department, and there is still wide disagreement within the U.S. government over whether the Homs attack should be characterized as a chemical weapons incident….

Something horrible happened in Homs on December 23. Exactly what that horrible event was still isn’t clear.

The cable, signed by the U.S. consul general in Istanbul, Scott Frederic Kilner, and sent to State Department headquarters in Washington last week, outlined the results of the consulate's investigation into reports from inside Syria that chemical weapons had been used in the city of Homs on Dec. 23... To date, the administration has not initiated any major policy changes in response to the classified cable, but a Deputies Committee meeting of top administration officials is scheduled for this week.

 A before-and-during for 16-year old Tariq Shahoud. This picture was smuggled from the security headquarters where he is still held. Children like Tariq are often used to blackmail their parents, becoming source for income for security officers.

Video Highlights

We are the children of Syria – A video http://youtu.be/Of9dkAVzaFw

Aleppo University Bombing: First video showing the second missile hit http://youtu.be/SFigDPLRmu4 “Video filmed from a distance seconds after the University complex was attacked by Syrian Military Aircraft, trail of jet fighter is seen clearly in the sky.” http://youtu.be/Ge501gDA6y8 Aftermath http://youtu.be/Ej4ITWVeWKQ , http://youtu.be/EOK5IxuJqHw

In the town of Maadan, Raqqah, rebels shell pro-regime positions forcing them to withdraw http://youtu.be/kP9qtHQpoLw , http://youtu.be/5YL7d8F9OWo , http://youtu.be/WG7qlzvaeok

In Houleh, Homs, shelling left many children injured and terrified http://youtu.be/rU8EXXlwDSI , http://youtu.be/Yy2NY1PYwNE and leaves some dead http://youtu.be/ez_LOiXpsOo , http://youtu.be/KEIdC1qVQJA Anger and grief of locals as the bodies of their loved ones lay strewn in the streets http://youtu.be/_7I94qfI8e8

The pounding of the town of Rastan, Homs, continues http://youtu.be/4xCTmbpRNQQ , http://youtu.be/tscNnPW-P9M Talbisseh is pounded with incendiary cluster bombs http://youtu.be/iWnuICP_6T8 , http://youtu.be/wGpAb4M6v38

In Elbab, Aleppo local look for bodies under the rubble in the aftermath of a bombing raid http://youtu.be/geBxy6nqQIo , http://youtu.be/QfBYULRwRVg

The pounding of the town of Douma in Eastern Ghouta, Damascus, continues http://youtu.be/_AEZSGDWuaE , http://youtu.be/J-2omdmU-Gc Some of today’s dead http://youtu.be/MZroQ7oP1uo

The pounding touches neighborhoods inside Damascus City as well, including Qaboun http://youtu.be/D_soOOC_tXM , http://youtu.be/TaiwovsvS_U