Syria Daily: Fleeing Civilians in East Aleppo Cut Down by Regime Shelling

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Opinion: The Failure Over Aleppo


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UPDATE 1230 GMT: The Russian and Turkish Foreign Ministers said on Thursday that they agreed on the need for a halt to fighting and the provision of aid in Aleppo, although deep divisions remain between them over the conflict.

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu and Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov held a joint news conference in the TUrkish town of Alanya on the Mediterranean.

“A ceasefire must be achieved in all of Syria, notably in Aleppo,” Çavusoğlu said, adding Ankara was in agreement with Russia in broad terms on the need for a truce, humanitarian aid, and political transition.

Lavrov said that the bloodshed must stop in Syria and the region, that Moscow was ready to talk to all parties in the war, and that it would continue cooperating with Turkey.

However, Lavrov also vowed that Russia would continue its operations in eastern Aleppo and would rescue the city from what he described as “terrorists”. He did not explain how this position was compatible with that for a ceasefire.

lavrov-cavusoglu-01-12-16

Since August, Turkish and Russian leaders have regularly discussed the situation in northern Syria. The encounters between Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Russia’s counterpart Vladimir Putin have fed claims that the two sides have struck a deal — Russia and the Assad regime can overrun eastern Aleppo city while Turkey, which launched its own military intervention on August 24, can help rebels take much of northern Aleppo Province.

Erdoğan and Putin talked for the third time in a week on Wednesday. They agreed on the need for a ceasefire, sources in Erdogan’s office said.


ORIGINAL ENTRY: Regime shelling killed 45 fleeing civilians in eastern Aleppo on Wednesday, as pro-Assad ground forces continued their attempt to break resistance in Syria’s largest city.

The civilians, leaving areas of fighting, were cut down by shelling of the Jub al-Qubba district. Videos and pictures showed bodies in the dust-filled rubble of the street.

Russia and the Assad regime have tried to maintain the line that their assault, which has taken about 1/3 of opposition territory since last territory, has freed civilians from being held hostage by “terrorists”. About 20,000 of the estimated 270,000 people in eastern Aleppo have left for either regime-held areas or the mainly-Kurdish district of Sheikh Maqsoud, but those remaining are trying to find security amid the air and ground attacks, often sheltering in basements.

Russian and Syrian State media have not mentioned any civilians killed by the bombing and shelling.

The president of the Aleppo local council, Brita Hagi Hasan, pleaded for a safe corridor for people to leave:

The civilians are calling for the world to help. In the name of humanity let the civilians leave the city. Help the civilians! Protect the civilians!

Hasan was appearing alongside French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault, who has led an effort for a UN Security Council resolution to halt the attacks. However, Russia has indicated that it will veto any measure.

Ayrault told the news conference:

Our priority first is to protect the civilian population and have some concrete measures in place.

We shall see what the members of the Security Council can do to save lives. Everyone is against the wall, but we can’t look the other way.

The UN’s head of humanitarian operations Stephen O’Brien told an emergency session of the Security Council on Wednesday, “For the sake of humanity, we call on, we plead, with the parties, and those with influence, to do everything in their power to protect civilians and enable access to the besieged part of eastern Aleppo before it becomes one giant graveyard.”

However, Russian Ambassador Vitaly Churkin said “counter-terrorist operations” will not be halted against “bandits” that the UK and France had “coddled and fuelled”. He added that UN resolutions calling for an end to the bloodshed are “a pointless tactic”.

Reports are continuing that hundreds of men have been seized by the pro-Assad forces, with friends and families fearing they will disappear in detention.

A regime “military source” insisted that displaced people whose identities were not known were being moved into “specific places” in safe areas of Aleppo.

Photographs brought out by a defecting military photographer established that the regime has tortured and killed thousands of detainees.

On Wednesday, pro-Assad forces tried to advance in Sheikh Saeed, on the southeastern edge of the remaining opposition territory. Regime media, citing a “military source”, said the district had been captured; however, a rebel official denied the claim.

“The regime entered Sheikh Saeed, and then the rebel factions pushed it out,” said Zakaria Malahifji of the Fastiqim group. “The factions took complete control of the district.”

Other reports said fierce fighting continued, with pro-Assad forces holding much of the neighborhood, which has been under attack by foreign forces and the Syrian army for weeks.

An image from Jub al-Qabba:

aleppo-shelling-30-11-16-2


Video: Profile of Frontline Journalist Hadi al-Abdallah

The New York Times profiles the work of Hadi al-Abdallah, who has spent years reporting from rebel frontlines and opposition territory.

Abdallah was critically injured in June and his friend and cameraman Khaled al-Issa killed by an improvised explosive attack. The reporter returned to the field this autumn.

The correspondent was awarded Reporters Without Borders’ 2016 Press Freedom Award earlier this month.

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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.

29 COMMENTS

  1. Why would the SAA and Russia target fleeing Aleppo residents? For months they’ve been asking the residents to leave and they did provide safe passages. It’s the SAA interest that the residents leave. Any logic, beyond crude Islamist brobaganda?
    Also, Hadi al-Abdullah is a great, very brave, very dedicated young dude, but journalist he is not.

      • Because I expect a journalist to keep his political / religious affiliations and his opinions on the subjects he covers, to himself.
        You can call him a pro-rebel pro-Islamists, war-documentarist. That’s fine

      • Also, your truth is not my truth. We live in a multi-truths world. Truth is not more than a fluid suggestion. Everyone, in our new world, chooses the truth that she or he likes

        • “Truth is not more than a fluid suggestion. Everyone, in our new world, chooses the truth that she or he likes”
          .
          Wow – great to know. I was always wondering why when we jump, we come back to the ground. Then I discovered that these pro-rebel people talking about something called gravity — and indoctrinating us with this untruth. Marhaba – now I realize that all truth is relative, and gravity does not exist, but invented to facilitate US imperialism and colonialism.
          .
          May I suggest that you walk out of a 3rd story window, and discover for yourself that gravity is a meme perpetrated by western colonialist Yankees enriching themselves against the downtrodden and exploited masses of humanity?

            • Yes I do know and I am happy that you are not confusing truth with facts (BTW in Arabic, there is no distinction between truth and fact – showing the poverty of their language). There are however a class of leftwing social constructionists who actually claim that gravity and other physical phenomena are constructed socially and do not exist – that these constructed phenomena are to empower the rich and the already powerful.

              This said, the truth of a matter is not entirely subjective or relative. With careful and rigorous examination of the evidence and using rigorous logic, one can arrive at the truth of the matter in many cases. It is simply wrong to say that Assad is as good as the rebels are for Syria, or that journalists are insensitive to the truth or can never arrive at the truth — simply based on an argument from relativism.

    • Did they provide safe passages ? I think they only said they did.
      .
      And why would they not target fleeing civilians ? They have been killing these people for months, so why would they not carry on killing ?

  2. #Aleppo: 1) This following statement is linked to the second update from Aleppo “Armed opposition groups in Eastern Aleppo pocket form unified “Aleppo Army” (جيش حلب) to resist further regime advances.” – tobiaschneider
    .
    2) ” FSA pushed the Regime out of Sheikh Said, Masaken Shababi at al Buhuth al Elmiya destroying one tank and seizing an abandoned one.” – CombatChris1
    .
    And.
    .
    3) “Opposition halt a Regime force attempt to advance on the city’s #Bustan_Qasr neighborhood killing and wounding dozens of them.” – CombatChris1
    .
    Also.
    .
    4) “Rebels seized a tank & took back several areas inside Masaraniyah’s Youth Housing after its takeover by pro-Regime forces.” – QalaatAlMudiq
    .
    Look at the difference unity made? Unified command structure creates better coordination and more efficient use of resources. Alloush did miracles in Damascus and rebels in Aleppo need a miracle to survive through this current horrific siege.

  3. After he embarrassed them more than once too often, Europeón MEPs are starting to focus their lasers on Tayyip [who BTW can conveniently serve as a partial scapegoat for their ‘loss’ of Syria]:
    https://twitter.com/abdbozkurt/status/803517937047007232
    https://twitter.com/abdbozkurt/status/803515532112723968
    .
    Meanwhile, as the Turkish Lira plumbs record depths agains the € and US$, Tayyip senses the encroaching Crusader Conspiracy and wisely ups the ante by seizing assets of German companies and threatening to reopen the refugee floodgates:
    http://turkeypurge.com/german-company-victim-of-govt-purge-as-local-partner-seized
    .
    However, after a chat with Putin on the phone, he has reeled in his neck and retracted his recent blurtings regarding Syria:
    https://www.turkishminute.com/2016/12/01/erdogan-corrects-turkeys-target-syria-terrorism/

    • Sultan Erdo rightfully considers Assad and his death squads as a terror organization.

      Extra judicial killings, bombing of civilians, torture, genocide, shelling of civilians, massacres, toxic gas weapons, foreign agents, funded from abroad, etc.

      Is this the SAA or ISIS? I guess Marxists love the first but not the second – selectively? But then Marxists love Hamas and Hezbollah, PFLP and other terror groups.

  4. #International: “Turkish police raid pro-#SDF al-Ghad office(#Syrian org.)office in #Gaziantep &arrest several for connection with #YPG ” – metesohtaoglu
    .
    I’m surprised it took the Turks this long.

  5. As far as I’m concerned rebels outside of Aleppo city should start mass shelling western Aleppo with artillery/rockets (just like they’re doing Hama airbase) in solidarity with eastern Aleppo. If the regime is going to flatten eastern Aleppo then the rebels should threaten to do the same to 3000 apartments in western Aleppo (as well as Fuah and Kafraya?) even if that includes digging and placing multiple underground tunnel-mines underneath 3000 apartments, let the rich regime supporters in western Aleppo lose their homes also. Rebels don’t even need to capture territory in western Aleppo they just need to destroy enough buildings there that there’s nowhere for either regime supporters or regime fighters to hide. Rebels whilst shelling western Aleppo should try to move their camouflages artillery/rocket pieces around (ie a few kilometres north/south) every 2 or 3 hour and in their old positions placed fake/wooden artillery/rockets pieces so the Russian jets attack that instead.
    .
    In fact if rebels really want to get adventurous they could launch multiple mini diversionary night-time raids right across Ramouseh (planting IEDs on supply routes and concealed snipers, booby-trapping captured buildings or placing land-mines on known regime assembly points) just to divert regime troops away from eastern Aleppo so give rebel fighters in eastern Aleppo fewer regime troops to fight and thereby give those rebels in eastern Aleppo time to fortify their positions. Wadehi would be an ideal place (because even the possibility of losing Wadehi for a few days would panic the regime enough into sending whole brigades against the few battalions rebels sent there as part of their decoy offensive on Ramouseh) for such a hit if rebels outside Aleppo city can find the means to quickly isolate it.

  6. #International: So finally the news is leaking out “Afghan state television reports more than a thousand Afghan Shiite militiamen sent by Iran to Syria have been killed recently in #Aleppo.” – CombatChris1
    .
    But why is the Pakistani government still quite?
    .
    #Damascus: “Regime forces arrest many women and an entire family from the #Harna_Sharqia neighborhood of Tal.” – CombatChris1
    .
    To intimidate their men and to rape them. Despicable Assad and his disgusting mukhabarat That’s why special ops against Assadist intelligence officers and senior Republican Guards officers is so important because it not only disrupts regime military planning it also prevents these disgusting devils from organising the mass abduction and molestation of innocent women.

    • The Pakistani government is probably delighted about this development, so it if says anything it will be to encourage their disposal to continue at an increased pace.

      • Shock value and all, still not required. Wouldn’t want it to be mistaken as a celebration of the violence or to be portrayed as profiting, in some way, by publishing the photos in such prominent positions. Yellow journalism or some such

    • matt,

      Noted — this one was a tough call but thought that extent of mass killing and nature of story justified the inclusion of the photo.

      S.

    • The only saving grace left for Putin and his gang of left-nationalists is to put hydrogen bombs in orbit, in order to extort the world community. Such douchebaggery is par for the course for national socialists. They will continue spending on the space program as their lives and livelihood depends on it.

  7. The new secretary of defense. Nothing pro-Putin about him. Russia and Iran (and Assad) have a lot to fear.

    “He is known as one of the most influential military leaders of his generation, serving as a strategic thinker while occasionally drawing rebukes for his aggressive talk. Since retiring, he has served as a consultant and as a visiting fellow with the Hoover Institution, a think tank at Stanford University.

    Like Trump, Mattis favors a tougher stance against U.S. adversaries abroad, especially Iran. The general, speaking at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in April, said that while security discussions often focus on terrorist groups such as the Islamic State or al-Qaeda, the Iranian regime is “the single most enduring threat to stability and peace in the Middle East.”

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/trump-has-chosen-retired-marine-gen-james-mattis-for-secretary-of-defense/2016/12/01/6c6b3b74-aff9-11e6-be1c-8cec35b1ad25_story.html?utm_term=.172015162c11

  8. At Least 37 Pro-Turkey Rebels Killed by Syrian Democratic Forces North Aleppo
    .
    The Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) announced on Wednesday the death of at least 37 fighters from the Turkey-backed rebel group of the Euphrates Shield Brigade.
    .
    The pro-Turkey rebel fighters were killed during clashes with the Syrian Democratic Forces in the northern countryside of Aleppo.
    .
    “These Turkey-backed groups launched an offensive on the SDF-held town of Oulasha in an attempt to hit our security centre there. However, our forces were able to repel the attack after heavy clashes,” the SDF leadership said in a statement to ARA News.
    .
    “At least 37 members of the so-called Euphrates Shield Brigade were killed during the clashes, and four others were taken captive,” the SDF said, adding that their forces were prepared to face any such offensives by the Turkey-backed groups in northern Syria.
    http://kurdishquestion.com/article/3665-at-least-37-pro-turkey-rebels-killed-by-syrian-democratic-forces-north-aleppo 12/1/2016

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