Syria Update, November 24, 2012

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Syria Update, November 24, 2012 (Institute of Middle Eastern Studies. By Sherifa Zuhur)

Early death toll: 62 including 19 civilians.

Yesterday’s death toll: 76 including 30 in Damascus and suburbs, 17 in Aleppo, 6 in Dara`a, 5 in Idlib, 4 in Deir az-Zur, 4 in Latakia, 4 in Hama, 2 in Homs, 2 in al-Raqqa, 1 in Banyas and 1 in Quneitra.

The opposition has a grave disadvantage – Assad’s air capabilities. Despite that, the FSA has made some gains through its ground strategies and is capturing DShk guns (dushkas) to target airplanes and helicopters. http://www.csmonitor.com/World/Middle-East/2012/1124/Against-the-odds-Syrian-rebels-begin-to-chip-away-at-regime-s-air-advantage

Aleppo province: The opposition surrounded and attacked Syrian military troops guarding the Tishrin Dam on the Euphrates river located between Aleppo and al-Raqqa provinces, about six miles away from Manbij. As the opposition already controls one main road to al-Raqqa, if they capture the dam, they would have a second route.

Following the anti-Assad forces’ seizure earlier this week of Base 46 west of the city of Aleppo, the opposition is pushing to capture Shaykh Suleiman base to the west of the city, in order to control a wider slice of territory extending from Aleppo up to the Turkish border. A sniper killed one civilian today in the city of Aleppo.

Damascus province: The opposition shot down a helicopter which was flying over Marj al-Sultan. Opposition fighters took control of parts of the Marj al-Sultan airbase. The Syrian military summarily executed a civilian in the Kafarsousa neighborhood. Clashes took place in western Kafarsousa. A loud explosion was reported in Tishreen near a military police headquarters. The Syrian military killed 2 opposition fighters in the al-Qadam and al-Qaboun neighborhoods.

The Syrian military began trying to storm Daraya today. The Syrian military shelled Duma, killing a man and woman and also it shelled Sabina, killing a man from Homs and his son. Two men were killed by gunfire in Bebila. The Syrian military killed one opposition fighter in Wadi Barada. 8 Syrian military troops were killed in actions in Damascus province (outside the city) and 2 were killed in the city of Damascus today.

Dara`a province: 1 civilian was killed at a checkpoint at the village of Qenya. The Syrian military’s shelling of Mzeyrib resulted in the death of one civilian.

Deir az-Zur province: An explanation of the battles in Deir az-Zur and strategy of the FSA: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XzaMjJKFGiU&feature=youtu.be
Clashes in the city of Deir az-Zur resulted in the death of an opposition fighter and one Syrian military soldier.

Hama province: The Syrian military fired at a protest in Bab Qamli, killing a civilian. The Syrian military killed another civilian at his workplace.

al-Hassake province: The fiercest fighting thus far was reported in Ra’s al-`Ain in the last 24 hours, as Kurdish fighters brought in reinforcements from Derik. These clashes are taking place between the Syrian opposition and Kurdish fighters, as the latter, having been promised a degree of autonomy by Assad’s government is essentially acting instead of Assad’s forces.

Homs province: One person was killed by gunfire in the city of Homs. Here is the aftermath of recent bombing near the Khalid ibn Walid mosque in Homs. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2YtQKZNDh8w
The Syrian military’s fierce bombardment on al-Rastan killed 1 woman. It is also shelling al-Qseir. Three opposition fighters were killed in al-Qseir.

Idlib province: A sniper killed a civilian near the military residences in the city of Idlib. 4 Syrian troops were killed in Idlib province today.

Latakia province: A defected soldier was killed by the Syrian military today in Latakia (outside the city).

Quneitra province: Yesterday, the Syrian military shelled Tal Ahmar heavily and there was a strong response by DSka carriers at Tel Ahmar. An assault against Jabata al-Khashab was reported.

al-Raqqa province: The opposition surrounded and attacked Syrian military troops guarding the Tishrin Dam on the Euphrates river located between Aleppo and al-Raqqa provinces, about six miles away from Manbij. As the opposition already controls one main road to al-Raqqa, if they capture the dam, they would have a second route. (also see Aleppo above)

Refugees: 112 Syrians reportedly fled the country last night from Bushra al-Sham and Tal Shihab, ranging in age from infants to one person, 78 years old.

The numbers of refugees at Atmeh, near the Syrian-Turkish border have doubled. They are struggling with mud, lack of water, food and fears that they are stuck here. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r6Hk0xj5asY

UNICEF is readying warm clothing kits and blankets for Syrian refugee children as winter approaches. Consider UNICEF for donations. http://www.unicef.org/media/media_66432.html

The Syrian government said on Friday that Turkey’s plan to place Patriot missiles at its borders is a “new act of provocation.” http://english.alarabiya.net/articles/2012/11/24/251519.html

International: Five Syrian nationals were arrested in Nabatiyeh, Lebanon on charges that they were planning a bomb attack to coincide with the Ashura mourning rituals as a form of revenge against Hizbullah’s backing of the Assad government and Hizbullah fighters participation in the Syrian campaign against the opposition. http://www.dailystar.com.lb/News/Local-News/2012/Nov-23/196008-army-arrests-5-syrians-over-ashoura-attack-plot.ashx#axzz2D4Mttr00

Georges Sabra, the president of the Syrian National Council was interviewed by Point of Order (al-Arabiyya) on the state of the opposition given the formation of the new National Coalition for the Syrian Revolution and Opposition. http://english.alarabiya.net/videos/20121123-pointoforder.html

The Hewlett Packard corporation responded to a request by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s Office of Global Security Risk to state whether HP products were sold to countries now subject to U.S. sanctions, including Syria. HP said that its products could have been delivered to Syria by distributors or resellers but that it did not sell directly to the country. The U.S. SEC made it clear that it was aware that the Italian company, Area SpA, installed HP products in Syria in surveillance and tracking system
that monitored Syrians, (and has presumably been used to capture, detain and torture them).

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