Syria Update, October 2, 2012

Syria Update, October 2, 2012 (Institute of Middle Eastern, Islamic and Strategic Studies. By Sherifa Zuhur

Early death toll: More than 127 including 86 unarmed civilians.

The death toll for the Syrian conflict since its inception stands at 31, 022 – mostly civilians.

The video reported yesterday showing Austin Tice, the abducted American journalist in Syria is here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=dNdA0q9j040

Ali Hussein Nassif, a Hizbullah leader was buried in the Biqa` valley. He and two other fighters were traveling in a car near al-Qusair when the car was attacked by the opposition. This is the fate of other Hizbullah fighters recently who are being killed in Syria where they fight to aid the Bashar al-Assad government, yet their actions are not being made public since Hizbullah denies its support of the Syrian military. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-19801884

Aleppo province: Clashes between the Syrian military and the opposition continued for hours around the Aleppo International Airport and clashes also took place in the Sleiman al-Halabi neighborhood of Damascus. The Syria military shelled the neighborhoods of al-Aweija, Bustan al-Kasr, Karm al-Jabal, al-Kalasa, al-Marja, al-Mayser, al-Salhin. al-Sha`ar, and al-Sukari in Aleppo. The bodies of 15 who had been summarily executed were found in al-Zahra.

The Syrian military shelled the towns of al-Bab, Hreitan and KafrHalab causing the deaths of 4 civilians including 3 women in al-Bab. An anti-regime protest took place in the village of Masqan calling for an end to the current regime, the current president and demanding freedom.

Damascus province: The Syrian military shelled the Haramla area of the neibhorhood of al-Jobar in Damascus. The Syrian military and the opposition clashed in the Yarmouk camp today.

Syrian security forces detained Khalil Ma’touk, a prominent lawyer and legal activist in Sehnaya, and it is not known where he was taken. area of Reef Dimashq, he was taken to an unknown location.

The Syrian military heavily shelled the eastern part of the al-Ghouta area. Violent clashes took place in Zamalka. Syrian military shelling of the city of Harasta killed at least 11 people including 2 women. The Syrian military resumed its shelling of al-Zabadani, destroying houses there. A sniper killed a man from Deir al-Asafir on the highway to the airport. Reports of the Syrian military firing at will in the town of Hezza.

Dara`a province: In the Tariq al-Sad neighborhood of the city of Dara`a, a child was killed.

The Syrian military shelled the al-Lijah area and the town of Umm al-Mayathen. Syrian military searched through the areas around the town of A’lma seeking opposition fighters. An explosion near the al-Nakhle area killed 9 opposition fighters. Six civilians including a pregnant woman were killed in Dara`a’s refugee camp as well as three opposition fighters in that camp. One civilian was shot in the town of Seida.

Deir az-Zur province: The Syrian military shelled the town of al-Shahil, killing 3 civilians and injuring several others.

Hama province: A sniper shot a civilian in the neighborhood of Msha al-Arba`in. An anti-regime demonstration took place in the Tariq Halab neighborhood of Hama calling for an end to the regime, an end to the president and for freedom. The Syrian military shelled the town of Qala`at Madiq. The Syrian military also shelled the village of Buri al-Sharqi and tried to storm the village, although 12 regime troops were killed and an opposition fighter was killed. The Syrian military invaded the village of Suha. The Syrian military bombarded the towns of Aqeirbat, Mas`oud and Qabr Feda.

Hassake province: The Turkish army killed a Syrian Kurd who was a member of the Kurdish popular Defense Committtees as he patrolled the border near the village of Tel Liyoun and two other Kurds were wounded.

Homs province: The Syrian military shelled the town of al-Ghanto and al-Talbisa. Shabiha shot a civilian in the village of Jbourin. A defected soldier, Youssef Masalmeh (who came from Dara`a) was shot by the Syrian military while evacuated civilians from al-Ghento. The Syrian military killed 5 people as they shelled the village of Buwaida al-Sharqiyya in the city of Qusair and clashes took place in that city. A sniper shot a child in al-Hula.

Idlib province: The Syrian military clashed with the opposition killing one opposition fighter in the city of Idlib. The Syrian military shelled Deir Sunbul, Has, Kafranbel, and Sahl al-Roj. The Syrian military shelled the town of Taftanaz and troops at checkpoints in the town of Mhambal fired on civilians.

Quneitra province: The Syrian mitliary used machine guns on the tow of Jabata al-Khashab and the village of Taranja at the ceasefire line, where clashes have been taking place between the Syrian military and the opposition.

Raqqa province: Clashes took place between the Syrian military and the opposition at the checkpoints into the city of al-Tabqa.

More than 500,000 Syrians have fled to al-Raqqa to escape violence. The conflict has doubled this northern city’s population. However, this point of refuge has now increasingly become a hot spot in the conflict.

Regional:

The Syrian regime may have been deeply involved in stirring up conflict in northern Lebanon, more deeply than was thought previously. If the secret documents al-Arabiya claims to have are correct, then orders came from Syria to the Lebanese army to attack a known anti-Assad cleric in Lebanon. http://english.alarabiya.net/articles/2012/10/02/241431.html

International: Iraq stopped a cargo plane flying from Tehran to Damascus and searched it for weapons. The plane was allowed to continue as nothing prohibited was found according to Nasser Bandar, Iraq’s head of the civil aviation authority.

A week-long session of the U.N. General Assembly came up with no solution on the Syrian crisis although speech after speech alluded to the crisis. http://www.boston.com/news/world/united-nations/2012/10/02/syria-ever-present-general-assembly/cuKIeuqNqSbGdsz5rJWNuI/story.html

Russia warned or threatened NATO from intervening in Syria, citing tensions at the Syrian-Turkish border as a possible spark for a Turkish military response. http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/10/02/syria-crisis-russia-nato-idUSL6E8L29N520121002?type=marketsNews

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