Syria Update, September 16, 2012

Syria Update, September 16, 2012 (Institute of Middle Eastern, Islamic and Strategic Studies. By Sherifa Zuhur)

Current deathtoll: 93

The Syrian military and militias loyal to Bashar al-Assad are using rape as a method of torture and abuse against women, men and children. Rape takes place during raids on homes and other buildings, at checkpoints, and in detentions. A report by Women under Siege indicated that 90% of women arrested or detained are raped and that 42% were gang-raped. http://theconversation.edu.au/rape-in-syria-a-weapon-of-war-or-instrument-of-terror-8816

The Syrian military has utilized its air power against cities and towns in Syria for months killing thousands of civilians. Over the last month, the Syrian opposition began to try to fight back by directly attacking the air bases in Syria. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PYO0Cow5PJU

Aleppo province: The Syrian military attacked the opposition-held neighborhood of al-Shaar and killed eleven civilians. Syrian military shelling of al-Masakin al-Sha`biyya resulted in the deaths of two civilians (one a young girl). Shelling of the al-Maghayir neighborhood resulted in one death. Shelling in al-Sukkari neighborhood very late on Saturday caused the deaths of two opposition fighters and a sniper killed an opposition platoon leader in that area. Clashes in the Arquob neighborhood led to the deaths of three opposition fighters. The Syrian military also killed an opposition fighter in the Bab al-Nasr neighborhood. The Syrian military also shelled the Akramiyya, al-Asali, Fardows, al-Mayser, al-Sakhour, Qadi Askar, and the Masaken al-Sha`biyya neighborhoods. At least two civilians were killed in Masaken al-Sha`biyya including a child. Clashes took place in the Salahaddin neighborhood. Seventeen unidentified persons were executed in the al-Athamiyya neighborhood.
Violent clashes took place in the Salaheddin neighbourhood, there were casualties from both sides. A rebel fighter died of wounds in the Masakin Hanano neighbourhood.

The Syrian air force shelled a field hospital in al-Bab causing numerous injuries. The Syrian military heavily shelled al-Bab, al-Tawama, Darat Izza and Batbo. Many residents of Safeera fled in fear of the city.
Damascus province: Syrian government military forces continued shelling the al-Qadam and al-Hajar al-Aswad neighborhoods killing five civilians in Hajar al-Aswad. Six dead bodies in al-Qadam. They were individuals who had been detained yesterday and then shot to death. The Syrian military forces also shelled al-Asali killing one opposition fighter.
Clashes took place in the town of Hezze and the Syrian military shelled the town of Shab`a. The Syrian military heavily shelled Duma, Mu`adamiyya, Yabrud and al-Zabadani killing 3 in Mu`adamiyya. The Syrian military opened fire at checkpoints in Ma`adamiyya.
The Syrian military carried out raids, detentions and burnt homes in Hfeir. Explosions were reported in Harasta and Duma.
Dara`a province: An explosion targeted a bus on the Kharbat Ghazala road killing seven.
Deir az-Zur province: A sniper killed a civilian in the Wadi neighborhood of Deir az-Zur and a child was killed in the shelling of the city. A sniper killed an opposition fighter near the Ghassan Abboud circle in Deir az-Zur.

The Syrian military shelled the town of Boukamel killing 2 civilians.

Hama province: The Syrian military shot a civilian from Ma’rkaba in the military barracks near Tibat al-Amam.
Homs province: The Syrian military shelled al-Rastan which killed two civilians.
The Syrian military bombarded the towns and villages of Josieh, al-Nizariyya, Qal`at al-Husn and Talbiseh. The Syrian military has deployed in force in the town of Tadmur and carried out raids and arrests there.
Idlib province:

The Syrian military carried out a helicopter strike on the town of Kafr Aweid killing more than 10 civilians including 5 children and one woman.

International: General Muhammad Ali Jaafari, Commander of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard admits that the Revolutionary Guard has high-level advisors in place in Syria and Lebanon. http://www.boston.com/news/world/middle-east/2012/09/16/iran-guard-admits-advisers-syria-lebanon/1VvIwvXGB0I3tXj22sXleK/story.html

Pope Benedict XVI who is visiting Lebanon again called for peace in Syria.

Lakhdar Brahimi, the U.N.-Arab League special envoy to Syria has already left Syria. He only visited Damascus. During his 4 day stay at least 451 Syrians were killed, most of them civilians killed by the Syrian military. Free Syrian Army commander Abd al-Jabbar al-Okaidi said in an interview with AFP that they believe Brahimi’s mission will fail but that he, Col. Qassem Saadeddine, the FSA’s spokesperson and Colonel Khaled Hobous had spoken to Brahimi explaining that the international community should not push the opposition to engage in talks with the regime without convincing the government to cease its military actions.

Iraq’s vice-president, Tariq al-Hashmi, who is now a fugitive from Iraq, and in Turkey, said that Iranian arms and ammunition are moving into Syria via Iraq and that Iraq is allowing Iran to use its air space. He also claimed that thousands of Iraqi militia fighters were inside Syria, supporting Bashar al-Assad “and killing innocent people.” Iraqi militia fighters, had according to his information http://thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2012/9/17/worldupdates/2012-09-16T144000Z_1_BRE88F07X_RTROPTT_0_UK-IRAQ-HASHEMI&sec=Worldupdates

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