You picked a fine time to go broke UN. Then again, we all go for broke these days. Killers who don’t want to stop, governments that don’t want to intervene, governments that do want to intervene, and rebels who cannot afford to give up. Meanwhile, there is this little miracle child in North Korea who feels left out. What can a UN do?
Below the Radar
* The Kurdish Majority city of Qamishly in the northeast corner of Syria has been ben witnessing some interesting developments of late. The city, in a sense, is being administered in accordance to an unofficial power-sharing arrangement of sorts allowing both regime representatives as well as leaders of local Kurdish parties, especially the PYD to take part in administering the city and its surroundings. Both sides in fact maintain a strong military presence on the city, the Kurds through the Popular Defense Committees (YPGs), and the regime through the local police force and loyalist militias. But power is really on the side of the Kurds, if the YPGs wanted to take complete control of the city, they could probably do it with minimal resistance. Indeed, yesterday, following an incident in which pro-regime forces killed three Kurdish activists, Kurdish groups held a major funeral in which thousands of people showed bearing arms. The YPGs also attacked several regime checkpoints killing three and arresting 7. The situation remains tense. http://youtu.be/Iii7MaGA0M0
* Meanwhile, in the Arab-majority city of Deir Ezzor also in the northeast, a new rebel group has been making a name for itself and is projecting itself as a tribal alternative to Jabhat Al-Nusra (JAN). Its founders, said to be Syrians based in Saudi Arabia and are disciples of the late Syrian religious scholar, Nasser Al-Din Al-Albani, seem to be trying to imitate the Sahwa movement in Iraq that challenged Al-Qaeda’s dominance in Sunni majority areas there. The group is called Jabhat Al-Assalah wa Al-Tanmiya (JAT), or the Front for Authenticity and Development, but it has so far garnered little attention beyond the borders of Deir Ezzor. This video shows a recent “exploit” by JAT members against their loyalist prisoners http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=493388297388460 JAT was formed in early November 2012. This is their YouTube channel http://www.youtube.com/user/alasalawatanmya This is their Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/alasalawatanmya?fref=ts
Like marauding killer sharks, pro-regime tanks keep roving around the outskirts of the town of Daraya in Damascus Suburbs http://youtu.be/W25DzJVO9NY Pounding their way in http://youtu.be/VCs0ognV_5w and out http://youtu.be/vhqpRha8IQg Other parts of town are targeted by missile launchers http://youtu.be/RjKuzVFbuXg , http://youtu.be/EHfbI2BGHX0 The result a wasteland http://youtu.be/9TA587zQ40E
To the East, the town of Eastern Ghoutah continue to come under aerial bombardment and missile attacks: Saqba http://youtu.be/OdQDH2AKiR0 Kafar Batna http://youtu.be/UhN82JQkzWg , http://youtu.be/7pv3Kj33q8g Zamalka http://youtu.be/X7kbLmZbkTM Jisreen http://youtu.be/gjQVBljS7Ss The pounding reaches the neighborhood of Jobar in Damascus City http://youtu.be/Txs29FU_3Zc , http://youtu.be/8I52ZGJ3vnU
In Aleppo City, clashes in and around the Kurdish-majority neighborhood of Sheikh Maqsoud intensify http://youtu.be/TKBsaXfmXPM Despite the climate of panic that ensue following attacks, people rush to help the wounded http://youtu.be/Vn8SDZBFj-o
Elsewhere in Aleppo and across Syria, rallies like this one in Boustan Al-Qasr http://youtu.be/Aqx84g0oIFk and this one in Al-Wa’er neighborhood (Homs City) http://youtu.be/5yl7-zbOqaU took place as is the case on Fridays.