LATEST: Supreme Military Council Calls for Unity After Insurgent Break-Away
SUMMARY: With the threat of US military action gone, President Assad used an interview with a Turkish TV channel to taunt Ankara,. one of the leading backers of intervention.
“You cannot hide terrorists in your pocket. They are like a scorpion, which will eventually sting you,” Assad said in comments broadcast by Halk TV on Friday.
He continued, “In the near future, these terrorists will have an impact and Turkey will pay a heavy price for it.”
The Syrian President also had some sharp words for Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan: “Before the crisis, Erdogan had never mentioned reforms or democracy, he was never interested in these issues. Erdogan only wanted the Muslim Brotherhood to return to Syria, that was his main and core aim.”
The words drew an immediate response from protesters across Syria, who labelled their Friday demonstrations, “Thank You, Turkey”.
The march in the Tariq al Bab section of Aleppo:
That might not concern Assad, who has shown little regard for past protests. However, a response by Turkey could.
While Ankara’s involvement in a no-fly zone rested on the now-evaporated US action, it could turn a blind eye to an acceleration of arms and supplies across its border for the insurgency.
Indeed, it could go farther. There is some evidence that Turkey has been backing the recent boost of Saudi-funded deliveries into northern Syria.
Video: Regime Airstrikes In Daraa Al Balad
Regime warplanes continue to target insurgent-controlled areas in the key neighborhood of Daraa Al Balad in Daraa City on Saturday. Insurgents from the Free Syrian Army, Jabhat Al Nusra and Ahrar Ash Sham collaborated last week to take the Old Customs Area and the old Daraa-Ramtha border crossing to Jordan, a blow for the regime.
Video: Large Fire In Homs’ Al Waer Neighborhood After Heavy Regime Shelling
Activists in the densely-populated Al Waer neighborhood of Homs report that several civilians were killed on Saturday after a regime surface-to-surface missile targeted the residential area.
This footage from Saturday shows a large fire in the neighborhood, the result of intense regime shelling with surfae-to-surface rockets:
Supreme Military Council Calls for Unity After Insurgent Break-Away
The opposition Supreme Military Council called for unity on Saturday after last month’s break-away by 13 insurgent groups.
The Council said it had decided to “issue a call for closing ranks, renouncing division, and…rejecting all kinds of dissension caused by trying to separate the political wing [Syrian National Coalition] from the military one.”
Last month, the 13 groups — including prominent groups of the Free Syrian Army who had worked with the Military Council — rejected the authority of the Coalition.
The groups also included the leading factions Liwa al-Tawhid, Ahrar al-Sham, Liwa al-Islam, and Jabhat al-Nusra said the Coalition “does not represent us, nor do we recognize it”. Many observers also saw the move as an expression of dissatisfaction with the Supreme Military Council.
The Council statement reiterated “the need to respect institutions of the Syrian Revolution; primarily the Syrian Coalition”.
Video: Statement By Military Council In Ar Rastan, Homs, Ending Dispute With ISIS, Jabhat Al Nusra
A video statement released on Saturday by the military council in Ar-Rastan, Homs Province, agreeing to end the dispute between the Free Syrian Army, the Islamic State of Iraq and Ash Sham and Jabhat Al Nusra. The agreement states that the parties are fighting the Assad regime and that they will stand side by side on the battlefield.
Jabhat Al Nusra Propaganda Video — Distributing Clothes In Damascus
The latest propaganda video from Jabhat Al Nusra’s media agency, Hemm, shows the Islamist faction distributing clothing in Damascus.
The Local Coordination Committees claim 81 people were killed on Friday, including 20 in Daraa Province, 17 in Damascus and its suburbs and 11 in Aleppo Province.
The Violations Documentation Center puts the number of dead at 74,861 since the conflict began in March 2011, an increase of 84 from Friday. Of the dead, 55,896 are civilians, a rise of 50 from yesterday.