Syria Today, Dec 18: Regime Continues Deadly Bombing of Aleppo

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LATEST: Insurgents Capture Regime Outpost Near Deir Ez Zor

WEDNESDAY FEATURES

Syria’s military continued its escalation of airstrikes on insurgent-held areas in and near Aleppo for a 4th straight day on Tuesday.

More than 200 civilians have died in the bombardment, the motive for which is still unclear. The Local Coordination Committees reported 73 deaths across Aleppo Province on Tuesday, out of a total of 128 across Syria.

Medecins Sans Frontieres said on Tuesday that it can confirm more than 100 deaths in Aleppo since the weekend.

See also Mass Death in Aleppo; Insurgent Advance Near Damascus
Regime Resumes Bombing of Aleppo, After 100+ Killed at Weekend

Footage posted on Wednesday of the aftermath of a bomb on the Hanano section of Aleppo:

And in Jazmati, where three people were reportedly killed:


Insurgents Capture Regime Outpost Near Deir Ez Zor

Insurgents have captured an outpost near the Syrian military’s Brigade 137 arms depot in Deir Ez Zor Province — a fighter raises a flag above one of the buildings:

Activists: Regime Killed Dozens Trying to Leave Damascus Suburb

Activists are claiming a mass killing of residents in Bait Sahm, south of the capital:

A Facebook page covering Damascus claims more than 30 people were slain, with dozens injured and dozens missing.

US & Russia to Handle Transport of Chemical Stocks Across Syria

The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons has confirmed that the US and Russia will provide transportation of chemicals from Syria’s storage sites to the port of Latakia.

The US is supplying GPS locators, loading, transportation, and decontamination equipment, while Russia is providing large capacity and armoured trucks, water tanks, and other logistical supplies, as well as indicating the possibility of further monetary or material assistance and security for cargo operations at the port and in Syrian territorial waters.

Denmark and Norway will provide vessels and military escorts for the maritime
transportation of the Syrian chemicals to a US ship which neutralise the priority
chemicals.

Finland, China, and Italy are also assisting the operation.

Videos: Insurgents Claim Advances in East Ghouta

One of the most dramatic of the recently-released videos of the insurgent offensive in East Ghouta near Damascus — insurgents move into Deir Salman, one of at least two towns they claim to have taken in the campaign to break the regime’s seize of opposition-held areas:

An insurgent attack on a base of the National Defense Forces:

See also Analysis: Insurgent Breakthrough in East Ghouta, Near Damascus?
Videos: Insurgents Claim Victory in “Phase 1″ of East Ghouta Offensive

Iranian TV Fakes Footage to Claim “Massacre” by Insurgents in Adra

Iran’s Al-Alam TV, supporting the Syrian regime’s declarations, is claiming that insurgents killed scores of civilians in the fight for control of Adra, on the Damascus-to-Homs highway northeast of the capital.

However, an observer is noting on social media that at least one of the images (0:18 in the video) is actually from Homs in April 2012.

Other images (1:15-1:20) were posted on a pro-regime blog in May 2012.

SYRIA FAKE ADRA PIC --- 18-12-13

Islamic Front: We Evacuated Civilians from Adra to Protect Them From Regime Shelling

The Islamic Front says it has taken civilians from Adra, 12 miles northeast of Damascus, to protect them from regime shelling amid the fight for control of the town.

Insurgents claimed this weekend that they have advanced in Adra and taken almost all of it.

The regime and insurgency have accused each other of mass killing of civilians in the town. Damascus’ most recent claim is that the bodies of 80 people slain by opposition fighters have been discovered.

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Scott Lucas is Professor of International Politics at the University of Birmingham and editor-in-chief of EA WorldView. He is a specialist in US and British foreign policy and international relations, especially the Middle East and Iran. Formerly he worked as a journalist in the US, writing for newspapers including the Guardian and The Independent and was an essayist for The New Statesman before he founded EA WorldView in November 2008.

7 COMMENTS

  1. Obama: “WE SHOULD REWARD, NOT PUNISH, ASSAD’S CRIMES BY MAKING HIM OUR AMERICA’S ALLY IN THE MIDDLE EAST”

    I’ve taken the liberty of translating a Reuters headine (see link below) into the way Sunnis are certain to interpret it. The actual headline reads “West Signals to Opposition that Assad May Stay.” “West” in this context clearly means the Rose Garden Backstabbler. No Alawite/Sunni alliance against Al Queda—the very reason for the deal–is conceivable so long as the regime is led by men with so much blood on their hands. Only a coup might achieve that goal. To expect Sunnis would fight for Assad against anyone—even the Devil himself– is totally naïve. Compared to Assad, the Islamists look like angels.

    (That’s the into to my latest Syria roundup today.

    http://iranian.com/FG3049

    • Those who run away from one dictator usually fall into another.
      Those who run towards a destination will often reach it.
      The leaders of this revolution have not defined their destination.
      The likely outcome is a reign of terror followed by another tyrant.

      Any politician who can be attached to Syrian reign of terror will be ruined for life. I do not agree with Obama. However, I understand his reasons. If he gets caught with his fingers in a syrian killing field then it may ruin both his political party.

      Thomas Jefferson copied the prophet’s final speech, called it a declaration of independence, and revolutionized the British empire. America is simply the prophet’s final speech turned into a government. The word “muslim” has been replaced with “human”.

      If you wanted to win western political support then just take the prophet’s final speech and make it a political manifesto. The people of the west would eat it up. It would transcend political parties and allow politicians to participate with minimal risk. Americans think Thomas Jefferson invented the ideas of equality and nothing taken without willing consent. They would never realize that you were feeding them Islam. However, I’m not sure how you would get the rebels to unify and agree. That bus may have left the station. Maybe Geneva II will create another opportunity?

      My point is. It may be more productive to choose a destination than to curse Obama. One may lead towards increased western support while the other leads away.

      • RE;I’m not sur how you coulkd get the muslims to agree:

        At the beginning of this revolution, rebels may not have been united poliically annd why would they be. The Assad regime as a dictatorship had a total advantage there. This wasn a sponstaneous, not a pre-planned revolution and it was caused by Assad’s initial vicolence. For some folks to blame rebels for “not being united politically” is rediculous.

        On one goal they were united–a demand for democracy and human rights.
        If they became less united as time passed, three parties are primarily responsible: Assad (who intentionally discourage disunity,, Gulf arabs who encounged extreme factions b financing and arming them, and Obama who did nothing to aid the moderates.

        What shows Assad’s contempt for Obama is the way he has stepped up crimes even as Obama takes steps to save his regime–the barrel bombing, the starvation, the daily massacres in Nabek. Yet right when such crimes are peaking, Obama takes this aproach. I can imagine he and Assad holding hands and kissing to seal the deal

        For Sunnis inside and outside Syria this is a crime
        This deal will is a Pearl Harbor-style attack by Obama (and the USA which he represents not just as the Syrian Sunni majority but indirectly on all Sunnis. Like it or not, that’s how it will be seen.

        If the intent is to force

  2. Concerned governments should take steps toward a comprehensive approach to accountability for the serious crimes committed in Syria, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. Policymakers and international donors who support credible criminal prosecutions for grave violations in Syria should learn from the successes and shortcomings of accountability efforts in other parts of the world.

    The 20-page report, “Syria: Criminal Justice for Serious Crimes under International Law,” underlines the urgent need for accountability and examines a number of concrete measures that would contribute to the fair investigation and prosecution, in a properly constituted court, of people responsible for abuses in Syria. The document outlines short-term actions as well as longer-term policies and practices that countries should adopt to demonstrate their commitment to justice.
    http://www.hrw.org/news/2013/12/17/syria-holistic-approach-needed-justice

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