Syria Daily, April 13: 100+ Killed on Sunday as Regime Bombs Across Aleppo

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Syria’s death toll topped 100 on Sunday as the regime bombed across Aleppo Province, hoping to disrupt rebel ground attacks.

The Local Coordinating Committees reported 102 people killed, with 82 of the casualties in and near Aleppo in northwest Syria.

The toll included at least 10 people killed by a vacuum bomb on an elementary school in Aleppo city. Another 30 people were wounded, according to Syrian civil defense. All schools in opposition-held areas have now been closed indefinitely.

Video of the bombed elementary school, including images of victims beheaded by the blast (Warning: Very Graphic Footage):

In the past week, rebels have stepped up attacks on regime checkpoints in several areas of divided Aleppo, Syria’s largest city, including the areas of Bab Hadeed, Bawabet al-Fateh in the Old City, Maysaloun, and Suleimaniyah.

State media proclaims that “the armed forces carried out…accurate operations against gatherings of terrorists in a number of neighborhoods in Aleppo city”. The Foreign Ministry protested to the UN that rebel mortar and rocket attacks last week left “at least 19 civilians dead and scores of others wounded”.

Aftermath of one of the airstrikes:

Catholic priest Michel Oubaji, who met rebels for Easter days before he was killed in an airstrike, is buried in Aleppo:


Rebel Coalition Strikes Islamic State South of Damascus

Countering the Islamic State’s entry into Yarmouk in southern Damascus, rebel factions have struck the jihadists in nearby areas, inflicting casualties.

Local sources say at least 10 Islamic State fighters were killed, most in the suburb of al-Hajar al-Aswad, the main site of the jihadists.

A local activist, Abu Marem al-Jolani, says the rebels — led by Jaish al-Islam — infiltrated the neighborhood of Zain with several IS checkpoints. The area is between al-Hajar al-Aswad and the suburb of Yelda, where hundreds of Palestinian refugees from Yarmouk have fled.

Jaish al-Islam spokesman Islam Alloush claimed on Twitter, “A raid on al-Hajar al-Aswad, complete control of Zain neighborhood and the killing of many [Islamic State fighters].”

“Members of Jaish al-Islam are stationed in buildings in the Zain district, and there are still snipers from both Islamic State and Jaish al-Islam in the area,” said Matar Ismael, a Yarmouk-based activist.

Rebels Inflict Heavy Losses on Regime Forces Near Zabadani in South, Win Victories In and Near Damascus

Opposition media claim a rebel victory pushing back this month’s regime offensive near Zabadani in Damascus Province.

Outlets say rebel battalions took control of two regime checkpoints around the western mountain of Zabadani after intense fighting. They claim 40 Syrian troops were killed or wounded. Heavy and medium weapons were captured, including two T-72 tanks, two BMP armored vehicles, mortars, 30 Konkurs missiles with a launching pad, and medium machine guns.

Syrian forces have been tried to seize territory around Zabadani to cut off the town, held by the opposition since January 2012. However, rebels have unified under the Islamic Front bloc to improve fighting capability.

Local sources report the rebels have also inflict losses on the regime in the Tishreen and Wafidi camps in Damascus Province. The website of the Syrian National Coalition says the opposition has taken Zamalka Bridge, connecting Jobar with central Damascus, as well as several regime checkpoints on the periphery of the northeast part of the capital.

Regime Swaps Detainees in South After Pressure from Druze Sheikhs

The regime has exchanged three female detainees from Daraa Province in southern Syria for three rebel-held Druze prisoners from neighboring Suwayda Province after it was pressured by local Druze sheikhs, according to pro-opposition Orient News.

Suwayda Druze leader Sheikh Balaous said that he had warned the Suwayda Governor of hostile action if the Daraa detainees were not released.

“This is a warning I want to be spread as much as possible,” Balaous said. “If the girls are not released from the security branch that they are held in, no one blame us. We sent people to the governor and to the security council, and if they do not release them, we did our part and there is no blame on us.”

Rebels from Daraa kidnapped three Druze civilians from a village in Suwayda Province last Tuesday to get leverage for the release of the Daraa detainees — held by the regime in Suwayda’s Airport Intelligence Branch — reported pro-opposition news agency Syria Mubasher.

The kidnapping came after previous rebel attempts to secure the women’s release failed.

Meanwhile, an estimated 250 people protested outside a State security branch in Suwayda city on Saturday, demanding the release of a man arrested for avoiding military service, according to local media.

UN Envoy: Let’s Listen More Closely to Russia About Syria

UN envoy Staffan de Mistura has said the world should listen more closely to Russia to resolve the Syrian conflict.

in an interview published on Monday, de Mistura said:

Russia has influence on Damascus, and it’s very important that they get involved.

The two countries’ relationship goes back to the time when Bashar al-Assad’s father was in power. Therefore the Russians do have a knowledge of the system and the way they think.

The envoy said that he had hoped the “outside threat” of the Islamic State “might produce some common understanding between those who were unable to turn around the conflict,…[but] I was wrong.”

Since his appointment last July, de Mistura has pushed a plan for a “freeze” in fighting in the divided city of Aleppo as the first step towards a political settlement; however, the proposal has failed to make headway, with rebels saying that a ceasefire might cover all of northwest Syria and the Assad regime resisting the idea.

“The Tiger” Arrives in Idlib Province — Can He Rescue The Regime’s Military Position?

Pro-Assad media are hailing the arrival of the prominent commander Colonel Soheil “The Tiger” Hassan in Idlib Province as the resurgence of the Syrian military after the loss of Idlib city and threats to nearby regime positions.

Footage shows Hassan and Lieutenant General Ali Abdullah Ayyoub, Syria’s Chief of General Staff, inspecting forces around Mastoumeh — the camp south of Idlib under opposition attack for weeks.

The loss of Mastoumeh would further threaten regime lines to Aleppo and Latakia Provinces in northwest Syria.

State news agency SANA says Ayoub lauded the “high morale” of troops and praised them “for the sacrifices they make and the heroic acts they perform in combating terrorists”.

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20 COMMENTS

    • A positive sign for sure that the regime is in trouble are the increase in these types of comments, including the likes of General Ziad (as I call him :).

      @Mike – I would invite you to drive your vehicle to Eastern Aleppo and stand out in the open space with a blindfold on. Please reply back after doing so and tell us about these non-existent barrel bombs over rebel held Aleppo. Actually, I take that back. The horrors that the people of East Aleppo face I would not wish on anyone in the entire world

        • No they are not. Assad and Khameini are wholly responsible for their own actions.

          A strange thing is that Assad says he is fighting to maintain secular government in Syria, and prevent a theocratic state; while he is being aided by just such a state.

          • Most Sunnis will disagree with you. They see how biased Obama has been toward Iran which includes his hands off guarantees to Khameni’s puppet Assad. Under Obama, the USA has become an ally of Khamenei in his war on Sunnis. What you and I think doesn’t matter but this is definitely the way most Sunnis see Obama. They’ve learned he is totally untrustworthy. Our allies and our enemies also look at him with scorn.

            Maybe, just maybe, there’s a good reason for that when a view is so widely shared.

            • “Most Sunnis will disagree with you”. And you know this because…

              Maybe you should say “most Wahhabi and Salafi sunnis” -wich are the only ones you seem to know-. You just simply ignore the existence of this vast traditional sunni world wich embraces -among others- let´s say India, Bangladesh, Indonesia and China.

            • The strategy of Assad and Khameini for defeating the rebels might be slightly different if Obama had strongly opposed them, but that doesn’t mean that Obama is driving their behaviour. Their decisions are based on their own beliefs, and in Syria particularly a well founded fear of a Muslim Brotherhood takeover — which would interfere with Iran’s plans.

              You are over-rating the importance of the US in the Middle East.

      • “General Ziad (as I call him :).” I prefer to call him UNcle Ziad. After all, that’s how most of the Syrian population refers to him.

  1. SAUDIS & TURKS DISCUSS MILITARY ALLIANCE TO GO AFTER ASSAD

    You could see this coming. It’s a no brainer. Our allies are tired of waiting for His Hesitancy in the White House.

    The talks are being brokered by Qatar. As the partnership is currently envisioned, Turkey would provide ground troops, supported by Saudi Arabian airstrikes, to assist moderate Syrian opposition fighters against Assad’s regime, according to one of the sources.

    If the talks between Turkey and Saudi Arabia proceed successfully, their intervention in Syria would go forward whether or not the U.S. offered support, said one source involved in the talks.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/04/12/saudi-arabia-turkey-syria_n_7012268.html

    Charles Lister tweets: Saudi, #Turkey & #Qatar all playing enhanced role in assisting #Syria opposition in recent wks. Big shifts inside. #Yemen was catalyst.

    (Even with tons of outside aid and endless volunteers the regime couldn’t beat the rebels before. How will it do so now? The Saudi Air Force is far superior to the Syrian Air Force. The Turks are perfectly located compared to Iran and can bring in tens of thousands of men, lots of artillery, etc. That’s bad news for ISIS near Aleppo and worse news for regime forces in the north. Assad will have his hands full in the south as well with the Saudis providing air cover)

    FACING FSA IN WEST & ISIS IN THE EAST WHO WILL DRUZE CHOOSE IN SWEIDA PROVINCE?

    Is it the case that Sweida is now caught in a pincer between IS advancing from the East (who considers the Druze to be heretics) and FSA/IF advancing from Daraa? What do Druze do?–Alexander Clarkson.

    The choice is a no brainer. Assad can’t protect them from ISIS and has played dirty tricks on the Druze in the past. The rebels can, especially fighting alongside Druze. Throw in the Saudi Air Force (far superior to the Syrian Air Force) and the Turkish army (large and well-located compared to Iran geographically) and how long can Assad last?

    REBELS HAVE A BIG DAY IN ZABADANI

    In Zabadani Rebels seized 2 T-72 tanks, 2 BMP,
    30 ATGM-missiles with starter, 7 heavy maschine guns, 100+ mortar rounds–Markito0171.

    Great news from Zabadani, oppo took control of al-Khazan, Qala’at al-Tal, al-Madiq & al-Taswina CPs from regime & Hezbollah militias. 40 regime/Hezbollah reportedly killed & some taken prisoner. Gifts left behind include a couple of T-72 tanks, BMPs & Kornet ATGMs–Sami

    IDLIB TO HAVE CIVIL GOVERNMENT

    Idlib city’s administration “will be run by civilians, not rebels,” says Ahrar a-Sham spokesman. That’s not what Assad was hoping for. Rebels are not going to play into the hands of his propagandists.

    http://syriadirect.org/main/36-interviews/1977-ahrar-a-sham-civilians-will-run-idlib-city

  2. could be major development, regime may lose west Aleppo

    @Abu_Ubayda2 39m39 minutes ago

    Allah Akbar

    #Aleppo|Air intelligence captured! also the Aytam building and Bashir mosque.

    verily the victory of Allah is near.

    Alexblx a Retweeté
    Kovan Direj ‏@kovandire 8 minil y a 8 minutesVoir la traduction
    Breaking
    #alnusra entered air force INTEL building in #Aleppo #TwitterKurds #Syria

    • I’m looking at the tweets as well. The remaining section of the air force intelligence building was destroyed. The rebels have now taken over the whole area around the air force intelligence building including the rubble of the Air Force Intelligence complex itself. These rebels are kicking some major ass lately.

      • @James; Do you think there was anything of value/intel left in these buildings or was the regime able to remove or destroy the contents?

        • I don’t think there is any Intel there. The area has been the frontline for over 2 years. They may have captured some weapons there though. We shall see

          • Careful not to get too RTmistic. AFI is only a fortified frontline position, there’s a lot of work still to be done, namely taking Khaldiyah district.

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