Syria Update, September 11 2012

Syria Update, September 11 2012 (Institute of Middle Eastern, Islamic and Strategic Studies. By Sherifa Zuhur)

Current death toll is more than 140 including 95 unarmed civilians.

Defectors:

Many soldiers in the Syrian military forces are waiting for a chance to desert or defect and join the FSA. In some cases, the opposition launches fake attacks to provide cover for soldiers to flee. Others have been kept isolated in their barracks to prevent them from defecting. http://www.dailystar.com.lb/News/Middle-East/2012/Sep-11/187517-steady-stream-of-syria-army-defectors-feeds-rebels.ashx#axzz26BjTJcPT

Aleppo province:

Syrian government forces shelled the neighborhoods of Sha`ar, Masaken Hanano, al-Maysar, al-Haydariyya and al-Sakhur. Ten people were killed and 20 injured in the shelling of al-Haydariyya. Shelling of al-Sakhur in the morning killed 2 civilians. The government forces have pushed back the opposition’s efforts to enter al-Midan. Water has been restored to areas of the city.

The Syrian military shelled the city of al-Bab and the towns and villages of Darat I’zza, Kafarhamra, al-Khafsa, and Kafarhalab.

An Islamic court is adjudicating in the town of al-Bab. Residents and opposition fighters elected a civilian council, a military council and the Islamic court to manage disputes in the opposition-held town. http://en.tengrinews.kz/unrest/Liberated-town-turns-to-Islamic-law-until-end-of-Syria-chaos–12853/

Syrian military shelling of the town of Mare` killed 5 men and injured others. Syrian government forces killed one man in Anjara.

Damascus province:

Violent clashes occurred in the Uruba area of the Yarmouk camp in Damascus. 1 civilian died in the Yarmouk hospital. The SAA engaged in heavy shelling on the Hajar al-Aswad area (which has been ongoing for 2 days). The SAA shelled the last remaining surgical private hospital here which had 30 beds, killing 2 persons and wounding 24. 3 men were reported to have been killed in the neighborhood. The SAA also shelled the al-Qadam neighborhood. A businessman in al-Qaboun interviewed by Mona Mahmood (see Guardian blog) described how the regime forces leveled his auto shop a month ago and since have totally destroyed 500 shops or businesses and detained some shop owners. He believes that informers have tipped off the army that the area supports FSA and they are trying to punish all the residents.

The SAA also raided homes in the Nashr Eisha neighborhood and clashes continued in Tadomon.

There were clashes which killed 1 civilian in the town of Zabadani and clashes and shelling which killed two opposition fighters in the town of Yalda. The Syrian military moved into the al-Thiyabiya area with tanks and trucks. Clashes took place in al-Babila.

A video showed opposition fighters capturing 6 air defense force members in al-Ghuta al-Sharqiyya.

Deir az-Zur province:

Clashes took place between the regime forces and opposition fighters as the former tried to raid the al-A’rdi neighborhood of Deir az-Zur city. The Syrian military bombed neighborhoods of the city using warplanes including the al-Sheikh Yasin area and the Hamidiyya neighborhood where a rocket hit a house. Several persons were killed in the shelling of al-Baghour and 2 children killed in the shelling of al-Sheil.

The SAA also shelled the Erdi neighborhood of Deir az-Zur where clashes occurred. Syrian fighter jets bombed the city of al-Boukamal earlier today.

Hama province: Additional deaths from the shelling of Kafr Zeita — the toll is now up to 8.

Clashes took place at the Hama military airport and there were reports of defections.

Homs province:
Opposition fighters in Homs announced the formation of a joint revolutionary military council. A similar council formed one week ago in Aleppo. Other military councils are already operative in Syria including a joint military command council which denounced extrajudicial killings earlier in August.

Idlib province: Violent clashes were reported near the entry points to the town of Salqeen and that the Sryian military used helicopters to fire on the town, The city of Saraqeeb was shelled killing 1 civilian. Warplanes fired on Sanjar killing another civilian. The Syrian military bombarded the towns of Jabal al-Zawiya and Sarya.

Refugees/Other: 300 Filipino workers, all women and domestic workers, were repatriated and arrived in Manila today after Philippine Foreign Secretary del Rosario obtained a waiver of exit fees. 600 more want to return home.

International:

Lebanese security forces freed 4 Syrian hostages in a midnight raid who had been kidnapped by the Meqdad clan. The 4 had been tortured and forced to confess they were rebels on al-Mayadeen television, although one is not a fighter, just an expatriate worker. The remaining Turkish hostage (in this report it is claimed that he was wounded) was released later today. http://thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2012/9/12/worldupdates/2012-09-11T172133Z_1_BRE88A13N_RTROPTT_0_UK-LEBANON-SECURITY-RAID&sec=Worldupdates

A Syrian warplane was reported to have entered Turkey’s air space today.

Tarek Jacerevic, a World Health Organization spokesperson gave a briefing in Geneva on a WHO team’s visit to Homs province. 550,000 need humanitarian aid
The largest hospital (350 beds) was destroyed. Half the public hospitals and ¾ of the private hosptals are closed and the others are overwhelmed and there are reportedly only 3 surgeons. Also food, water, sanitation, education are all needed.
http://www.trust.org/alertnet/news/who-finds-medical-emergency-in-syrias-shattered-homs/

On the tail of an initial meeting of a 4 nation “contact group” in Cairo on the Syrian crisis, Iran’s Deputy Foreign Minister, Amir Abdolahian says Iran wants Iraq and Venezuela to join the group, thereby allowing Iran to more firmly resist the 3 country partners – Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Turkey – who have called for Bashar al-Assad to step down. The foreign ministers of the original four country contact group are supposed to meet soon, perhaps by next week.

Former Belgian premier and European lawmaker Guy Verhofstadt called for a European Union humanitarian intervention in Syria by creating a no-fly zone to inhibit attacks on civilians.

The British foreign secretary William Hague was scheduled to meet with Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi today in Cairo.

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