LATEST: State Media Claim Regime Forces Capture Khalid bin Walid Mosque, Homs
Activists said at least 10 people were killed and 50 wounded when a regime surface-to-surface missile hit the Bab al-Nairab neighborhood in Aleppo on Friday night.
The incident was one of the deadliest in the latest shelling by the Syrian military of insurgent-held areas in Syria’s largest city, in a military stalemate since insurgents entered in July 2012.
Opposition forces have been tried to break the Syrian troops with a siege on the city, cutting off food and supplies to regime-held areas. The insurgency controls most of the countryside around Aleppo.
Smoke rising from the strike:
Syrian and Iranian State media claimed on Saturday that regime troops have recaptured the historic Khalid bin Walid mosque in Homs.
The mosque, an important Islamic landmark, has been under heavy shelling for weeks. Opposition activists and the Syrian National Opposition urged the international community to act after the mosque suffered extensive damage to both its interior and exterior.
State news agency SANA report that a “military source” had said that a regime army unit “seized full control over the area surrounding Khaled Ibn al-Walid Mosque after killing the terrorists in the area and dismantling the explosives they planted.”
— The 47th (@THE_47th) July 27, 2013
Franco-American photographer Jonathan Alpeyrie was freed from captivity in Syria last week after he was kidnapped by a “Syrian militia” and held for 81 days, his photo agency Polaris Images has said.
Alpeyrie was abducted on April 29 in the town of Yabrud, 75 kilometers north of Damascus.
On July 20, the photographer was released, driven to Lebanon, and then travelled to Paris.
It is unknown who — insurgents, regime forces, or criminals — seized Alpeyrie.
Syrian State media are claiming that insurgents killed many civilians and troops when they took over the strategic village of Khan al-Assal, near Aleppo, earlier this week.
State news agency SANA declared, “Armed terrorist groups committed a genocide against a number of civilians and military personnel.”
Videos posted on YouTube appear to show scores of bodies of Syrian troops and abuse of soldiers by insurgents after the opposition claimed the village — a gateway to the insurgency’s siege of Aleppo — on Tuesday.
Claimed footage posted on Thursday night shows insurgents attacking a regime-controlled border post — named as Border Post 34 — on the Syrian/ Jordanian border.
Firing rockets against regime forces stationed at the post:
Announcing the capture of the post:
The United Nations has issued a vague statement about “agreement on the way forward” with Damascus over inspection of chemical weapons claims, following two days of talks with the Syrian regime.
“The discussions were thorough and productive and led to an agreement on the way forward,” a statement declared, but did not say UN inspectors would be allowed into the country.
Syrian State media carried a similar statement on behalf of the Foreign Ministry.
Two UN envoys spent Tuesday and Wednesday in the Syrian capital, meeting the Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister.
The Assad regime has refused entry for months to UN inspectors, saying only that they can investigate the site at Khan al-Assal near Aleppo, where the regime and opposition have traded claims over an alleged chemical weapons attack on 19 March.
Even that offer was put into question this week, as insurgents took over Khan al-Assal after days of fighting with Syrian forces.
The recently-elected head of the opposition Syrian National Coalition, Ahmad Asi al-Jarba, met members of the United Nations Security Council on Friday, but the rhetoric offered little in political developments.
Jarba said, “”We need far more international pressure to force the Assad regime to accept a political transition.” He said Russia should stop providing weapons to the “criminal regime”.
Jarba made no direct appeal for arms, but said that “as long as the Assad regime is waging war against the Syrian people, the opposition must have the right to self-defense.”
The Coalition has been on a tour to press for foreign-supplied weapons, with Jarba seeing French President Francois Hollande in Paris on Wednesday and US Secretary of State John Kerry in New York on Thursday.
The Security Council held an informal discussion with the coalition, because Russia said an official meeting would confer recognition on the Coalition.
The Violations Documentation Center puts the number of dead at 67,524 since the start of the conflict, a rise of 116 since Friday. Of these, 51,317 are civilians, an increase of 72 from yesterday.
A man was killed and his three children wounded Friday in southeastern Turkey by a mortar shell fired from across the Syrian border.
The shell hit a garden in Ceylanpinar, a town directly across the border from the Syrian town of Ras al-Ain.
There has been sustained fighting in Ras al-Ain between Kurdish militia and insurgents for more than a week, part of clashes between the groups across northern Syria.
Last week one teenager was killed and one was mortally wounded by fire across the border into Turkey.