LATEST: Video — Regime Airstrike on Krak Des Chevaliers in Homs Province
We start Tuesday on the economic front, with Prime Minister Wael al-Halqi insisting that the Assad regime will maintain its provision of food, energy, and health care despite the ongoing conflict.
Al-Halqi used an address to the Dentists’ Syndicate to assure: “Syria is passing through a global feverish war which affected the resources of the state’s treasury, but in spite of this fact, the government has been able to adapt with the conditions and challenges as well as providing the citizens with their basic needs of food and oil products.”
The Prime Minister declared the Government will not abandon subsidies, allocating 12 billion Syrian Pounds ($11 billion at official rate; far less at open-market rate) to support supply of food and oil to Syrians.
He added that Syria is among the “advanced countries” in health care in the Mediterranean care, with its large number of hospitals and health centers with up-to-date equipment.
Footage posted on Sunday and Tuesday shows insurgents using BMPs to storm a checkpoint in Daraa’s Mahatta neighborhood.
Footage has been uploaded of a regime airstrike — the observer yells, “MiG plane! MiG plane!” — on the 12-century castle, the Krak Des Chevaliers.
Insurgents have been trying to restrict artillery fire on the castle and other points in and near Homs by attacking regime checkpoints, but this can do little to halt the air bombardment.
Amid an influx of more than 30,000 Syrian refugees since Thursday, the Iraqi Kurdistan Regional Government has put in place a daily quota of 3,000, aid agencies said on Tuesday.
“The Kurdistan regional government authorities have put a daily quota for those refugees who will be allowed in. Today they will allow 3,000 persons in, but yesterday a similar quota of 3,000 was set but at the end of the day, 5,000 refugees were allowed to cross,” Jumbe Omari Jumbe of the International Organization for Migration said.
The exodus has been spurred by fighting in northern Syria, including between Kurdish militias and insurgents, and by the opening of a post on the border.
Video: State Media Claim Civilian Casualties As Insurgents Target Regime Positions In Abbasiyeen, Damascus
The report comes as activist footage shows insurgents from the Islamist Liwa Fustat al-Muslimeen targeting the regime Civil Defense Office in Al Abbasyeen including with Croatian M79-Osa anti-tank weapons.
The insurgents are firing from the neighboring area of Jobar, a front that has seen heavy clashes for months now.
Homs activist Abdullah Homsi has made a series of videos showing the extent of destruction in the Bab Houd neighborhood, which has seen intense regime shelling.
Video footage posted by activists on Tuesday shows the state of local schools in Aleppo’s Marjeh district. The schools have been destroyed by regime shelling.
The video talks about the painful and difficult process of rehabilitating schools.
Reconstruction poses a major difficulty for both the regime and insurgent-controlled areas.
The regime has emphasized reconstruction in areas it controls including towns like Qusayr that were captured from insurgent hands.
The Gulf Cooperation Council has criticised Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah for threatening to send more fighters to Syria following last week’s car bomb attack that hit a Hezbollah stronghold in southern Beirut, killing 27 people and injuring at least 336.
In a statement released late yesterday, GCC secretary general Abdullatif al-Zayani said “At the same time that he calls for self restraint, he threatens the Syrians that his party will be more involved in fighting them.”
It added, “This is a flagrant meddling in their (Syrians’) internal affairs and an obvious violation of the Syrian sovereignty,” and called Nasrallah’s speech “irresponsible.”
“Nasrallah continues to boast about the participation of his militia in slaughtering children, women and innocent Syrians, and destroying their towns and property,” Zayani said.
He even boasts that he is “ready to double the number of his militia fighters and even to join the fight himself against the Syrian people,” Zayani added.
The Local Coordination Committees claim 70 people were killed on Monday, including 19 in Aleppo Province, 16 in Damascus and its suburbs, 11 in Idlib Province, and 11 in Daraa Province.
The Violations Documentation Center puts the number of dead at 70,079 since the start of the conflict, a rise of 93 since Monday. Of these, 52,930 are civilians, an increase of 59 from yesterday.