PHOTO: The scene at the bombed market in Azaz (AFP/Getty)



Report: 178 Breaches of Ceasefire in 1st Week — 174 by Pro-Assad Forces

At least 60 people were killed on Saturday in a vehicle bombing in opposition-held Azaz in northwest Syria, according to a local doctor.

A fuel truck was detonated near a market and a courthouse in the town on the Turkish border.

The doctor also said at least 50 people were injured. Turkish media said 23 were taken across the border for treatment in Turkey, as local hospitals appealed for emergency donations of blood.

The Islamic State has carried out bombings in the area, but no group has claimed responsibility for yesterday’s blast.

Azaz has been a key town for the movement of men and supplies for most of Syria’s six-year conflict.


Pro-Assad Attacks Resume on Wadi Barada Near Damascus

After a brief easing on Saturday, the pro-Assad offensive to take Wadi Barada, northwest of Damascus, has resumed this morning.

Regime and Hezbollah forces limited their attacks yesterday amid discussions for access by Russian technicians to the water pumping facilities damaged by the pro-Assad assault. Wadi Barada’s al-Fija springs provide more than 60% of Damsascus’s water.

However, pro-opposition activists report a renewed attempt to overrun the area of 10 villages and betweeen 50,000 and 100,000 people.

Claimed footage of this morning’s attacks:

Among the latest casualties is one of the few medical staff remaining:

Footage of the damage at the facilities for the al-Fija springs:

In East Ghouta, northeast of Damascus, White Helmets evacuate families from the Marj area amid the pro-Assad attacks:

Rebels on the East Ghouta front, amid claims that they regained Hazrama village after pro-Assad forces briefly captured it:

Assad Regime Again Promises Aleppo “Renovation”

The Syrian regime has proclaimed yet again that it has a plan to restore services, industry, and security to Aleppo city, reoccupied by pro-Assad forces last month.

The Cabinet asserted that it will secure electricity, water and fuel supplies, assess which buildings could be repaired, and open roads so citizens can lead normal lives.

Much of eastern Aleppo city’s infrastructure — including almost every medical facility — was destroyed or damaged by Russian-regime bombing and shelling before the final offensive in the autumn. Aleppo had been divided since July 2012.

A statement said 50 schools in eastern Aleppo will be repaired within six months. It promised the revival of five health centers and two hospitals, renovation of Aleppo’s international airport, and repair of 18 km (11 miles) of train track.

A poster of Bashar al-Assad stands amid the devastation of a reoccupied district:


Last week Ministers made a public-relations visit to the city, meeting local businessmen and officials, to proclaim that Syria’s financial and commercial center will soon recover.


A Damascus Exhibition for “Export Mechanisms”

State media also hailed “the 1st exhibition for export mechanisms”, held at the Dama Rose Hotel in Damascus.

The three-day display, organized by the Syria Exporters Union, was attended by an Iraqi delegation of 200 traders and industrialists. State news agency SANA said products from 100 Syrian industrialists were featured, from sectors such as textile, agriculture, finance, chemistry, transportation, energy, and packaging.