LATEST: Insurgent Fighting with Kurdish PKK in Aleppo Province

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With fierce fighting across Syria on Thursday, the regime continued to emphasize its line that it is in control of events:

Popular delegation from al-Harah town in Daraa countryside expressed appreciation of the army, government and Political leadership for restoring security and stability to their town.

During a meeting with Prime Minister Dr. Wael al-Halqi, members of the delegation affirmed that most of the terrorists who were spreading havoc in their town were non-Syrians, hoping they return to their homes and rebuild what has been sabotaged by the terrorists.

For his part, al-Halqi affirmed that the government will restore security to all Syria and pursue terrorists wherever they were.

The article does not mention the recent fighting in Daraa Province, including this month’s claims of insurgent advances and regime shelling of Nawa, just to the south of al-Harah.

Instead, it concludes:

[The Prime Minister} pointed out that the government will rebuild what was ruined by terrorists in al-Harah town and rehabilitate the services of electricity, communication, drinking water , in addition to ensuring safe return to all displaced citizens of al-Harah.

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ISIS Propaganda Video Shows “Military Exercise With Night Goggles”

English Video Feature: Girls From Ar-Rastan, Homs, Say They Want To Go Back To School

Media activists from the Shaam English News Network have created this English-language subtitled video report of an interview with schoolgirls from the besieged city of Ar-Rastan, 25 kilometers north of Homs. The girls talk to a reporter from the Arrastan Media Center about their desire to go back to a regular school where they can learn all subjects.

The girls say that right now, they cannot go back to school because the regime bombardment on the city has either killed or wounded all their teachers or destroyed their schools.

Interview filmed August 15, 2013 inside a makeshift classroom.

Video: More Graphic Scenes From Aftermath Of Regime Bombing Of Bustan Al Qasr, Aleppo

Warning — Graphic Footage Of Dead Body.

Footage of a civilian victim of Friday’s regime airstrike of Bustan Al Qasr, Aleppo. The man was pulled from the rubble but was already dead by the time rescuers could reach him. Note that there appears to be a very limited professional rescue service on hand to assist in the recovery operation.

The death toll from the bombing is not known.

Rescuers and locals help pull out a victim from the rubble and stretcher him away:

More footage from the area after the attack:

Video: Protesters In Al Wa’er Homs, Wave Enormous Opposition Flag In Defiance Of Regime Attacks

Demonstrators in the Al Wa’er district of Homs, which has been subjected to intensive regime bombardment, came out onto the streets on Friday to protest in defiance of the regime.

Protesters, including children, waved an enormous opposition flag — which could certainly be spotted by any regime warplanes flying overhead. The protest is taking place in front of the Omari Mosque.

Video: Protesters In Aleppo Chant In Support Of Egyptian People

Footage from Friday shows protesters in the Bayadeen District chanting in support of the Egyptian people and for unity. It is noticeable that, unlike in the Tareeq Al Bab district, here there are more FSA flags than Islamist flags:

Videos: Massive Destruction, Panic After Regime Airstrike On Bustan Al Qasr, Aleppo

Footage from Friday shows extensive destruction and mass panic in what appears to be a residential building in Aleppo’s Bustan Al Qasr neighborhood. The neighborhood is under insurgent control and is the site of the only checkpoint crossing between insurgent-controlled and regime-held Aleppo:

A woman is pulled out from under the rubble. Activists say that there are many people — some alive and some dead — still trapped:

A bulldozer arrives to try to help clear rubble and release trapped civilians:

Footage taken just after the strike:

Videos: Heavy ISIS Presence At Friday Protests In Tareeq Al Bab, Aleppo

Footage from Friday protests in Aleppo’s Tareeq Al Bab neighborhood show a heavy presence of Islamic State of Iraq and As-Sham flags:

This footage of the protest shows what appears to be an entirely ISIS-dominated demonstration:

Videos: Insurgents In Talla, Latakia, Use Konkurs Anti-Tank Missiles

A video from Wednesday shows insurgents in the village of Talla, Latakia, using Konkurs anti-tank weapons. It is not clear if the weapons were obtained from foreign sources or are captured regime stock. There is a regime controlled military observatory point on the hillside at Talla:

Screen Shot 2013-08-16 at 2.05.03 PM

Insurgent Fighting with Kurdish PKK in Aleppo Province

Activists are claiming an attack by insurgents from against the Kurdish PKK in Aleppo Province.

On Thursday, we noted the attack by insurgents — we did not know then which factions were involved — against a group of alleged PKK members accused of siding with the regime, and who were hiding out in a farmhouse north of Aleppo. We showed footage of the insurgents using a BMP to break down the outer wall of the farmhouse.

On Friday, activist al-Gharib said that there were several groups involved in the attack including were the Kurdish Islamic Front, Liwaa al-Tawheed (the Tawhid Brigade), Ahrar al-Sham, Jabhat al-Nusra, Kurdish Koma, Al Fajer 8- Other FSA faction

In this footage, the insurgents blow up the farmhouse:

There are also reports that insurgents targeted and burned cars from a PKK convoy:

Activists Report Regime Dropping TNT Barrels In Latakia

Activists on Friday report that regime warplanes are dropping explosive TNT barrels on residential areas of the village of Bait Shakohi in Latakia, which was captured by insurgent forces last week.

Activists from the Sham News Network write:

Fierce clashes are taking place between the Free Syrian Army and Assad forces who try to storm into Bait Shakohi liberated village in rural Latakia amid fierce regime shelling on Salma town and others liberated villages in the region. Regime warplanes are hovering over the region and dropping TNT explosive barrels on residential areas.

Video: Aleppo – Regime Targets Civilians As They Help Pull Victims From Under Rubble

Footage posted on Friday purports to show shelling of civilians in Aleppo’s Kallaseh neighborhood, adjacent to Bustan Al Qasr:

Pulling out victims from beneath piles of rubble:

Syrian Coalition Urges FSA In Raqqa To Take Steps To Ensure Father Paolo’s Safe Return

In the wake of activist reports on Thursday that Father Paolo, the Jesuit priest who disappeared last month in Raqqa, the Syrian Coalition on Friday urged FSA battalions and the Local Council in Raqqa to take any possible steps to ensure his safe return.

Implicitly criticizing the Islamic State of Iraq and As-Sham — the Islamist faction whom Father Paolo visited prior to his disappearance — the Coalition added that “all Revolutionary Forces” should “commit to the guiding principles of the Syrian Revolution including protecting civilians as well as journalists and clerics.”


The Local Coordination Committees claim that 51 people were killed on Thursday, including 18 in Damascus and its suburbs and 14 in Aleppo Province.

The Violations Documentation Center puts the number of dead at 69,627 since the start of the conflict, a rise of 90 since Thursday. Of these, 52,588 are civilians, an increase of 48 from yesterday.