Syria Update, October 12, 2012

Syria Update, October 12, 2012 (Institute of Middle Eastern, Islamic and Strategic Studies. By Sherifa Zuhur)

Early death toll: 51, most in Idlib province
Thursday’s death toll: More than 260 people were killed including 86 civilians. 92 Syrian military troops and 11 defected soldiers were killed. 60 opposition fighters were killed.

October 20 will be observed as a Global Day of Solidarity with the People of Syria

http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/10/12/us-syria-crisis-idUSBRE88J0X720121012

Anti-regime Demonstrations took place today all over Syria as they have on virtually every Friday afternoon following the congregational prayer. Here is just one of them in Talbisa in Homs. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yiie_2Z-lWA&feature=youtu.be

Aleppo province: The body of the director of the Aleppo University Hospital, Dr. Mahmoud Tsasabehji, apparently assassinated, was found near Aleppo by state security forces. One of Hizbullah’s news sites says that he had been kidnapped weeks ago by gunmen on his way to work.
The Syrian military fired on a demonstration in Bustan al-Qasr killing 10 persons. The Syrian military shelled the neighborhoods of al-Naqarin, al-Sakhour, and al-Sha`ar. Clashes are ongoing in al-Sakhour.

The Syrian military shelled the town of Khan al-A’sal.

Damascus province: 5 unidentified corpses were found in the Baraza neighborhood. Syrian military forces shelled Daraya and Masraba causing injuries. The Syrian military shelled the city of Douma, the towns of Rankous and KafrBatna and the agricultural areas around it. The Syrian military shelled Harasta, using military helicopters. Clashes took place between the Syrian military and opposition fighters in the al-Ghouta al-Sharqiya in an attempt by regime forces to storm the area. The Syrian military also shelled the fields of the Ghouta al-Sharqiyya.

Dara`a province: The Syrian opposition killed 14 Syrian military troops as they attacked an army checkpoint at Khirbata, and 6 of the opposition were killed in this operation. The Syrian military shelled the towns of Dael, Azra and Al-Jiza, causing injuries and destroying homes.

Hama province: The Syrian military shelled the town of Ashrana killing 1. Syrian regime forces detained a civilian from al-Shiha, and tortured him to death.

Idlib province: The Syrian military shelled the towns of Heish and Kafrsajna killing 3 civilians, including 2 children. Clashes took place on the outskirts of Ma`arat al-Nu`man and 3 opposition fighters including a commander were killed. Heavy clashes took place by the Wadi al-Dayf military barracks, near Ma`arat al-Nu`man. The Syrian military shelled M’arshourin and M’arshshamsha.

Tartous province: The 8 workers shot here by unknown gunmen yesterday as they returned from Lebanon were Syrian Kurds from the A’frin area of Aleppo province.

Opposition-held areas face a law and order challenge. Here, a look at Minbej: http://reliefweb.int/report/syrian-arab-republic/tough-task-syria-rebels-try-restore-law-and-order

Refugees: Internally displaced Syrian will face harsh conditions in the winter months. Many have no housing, others lost their temporary shelter in schools when they opened last month. Most cannot afford fees for medical treatment. http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/10/12/syria-crisis-displaced-idUSL6E8L9NYJ20121012?type=marketsNews

International:

Turkey sent two fighter planes to the Syrian border with Syria after a Syrian military helicopter bombed the Syrian border town of Azmarin.

The Turkish prime minister announced that Russian munitions intended for the Syrian government were found by Turkish authorities on a Syrian Arab Airlines flight which was forced to land on Wednesday in Ankara while traveling from Moscow to Damascus. The Syrian government reacted angrily claiming that Turkey acted improperly by using military aircraft to force the plane to land, and that it was carrying no weapons and that Erdogan was lying. http://www.nytimes.com/2012/10/12/world/middleeast/syria.html

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-19912534

Germany’s Foreign Minister, Guido Westerwelle is traveling to Turkey to hear for himself what was seized or involved in the downing of the Syrian commercial jet, and to attend meetings on the Syrian conflict and Turkish-Syrian tensions.

The Qatari foreign minister, Khalid bin Mohammad al-Attiya says his country is not sending arms to the Syrian opposition nor money to purchase arms, but that the United Nations should allow countries to provide such support and create a no-fly zone to protect civilians. He said that Qatar is supplying food and medicine to the opposition.
Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel’s prime minister, has denied details of a news story in Yediot Ahranot on Israel’s involvement in secret peace talks with Syria between 2010 and 2011 via an American mediator. The story claimed that Netenyahu had offered to return the Golan Heights and retreat to the northern shore of the Kinneret (the Sea of Galilee). Netanyahu’s office said that the withdrawal offer was part of a U.S. initiative. http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/10/12/us-israel-syria-idUSBRE89B0O320121012
Upcoming Events:
October 20: Global day of solidarity with the people of Syria. See events in your own country. For example: October 20 – 20:00 in UTC+02 at World Wide, España-GRANADA: PLAZA NUEVA; Paris, France 
Demonstration in solidarity with the Syrian revolution
A book review of interest: http://politique-etrangere.com/2012/10/04/syrie-letat-de-barbarie/

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