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Syria (and Beyond) Live Coverage: Insurgent Success on the Turkish Border

See also our live coverage of the Israel-Palestine conflict in Gaza, with links to our analysis.

1854 GMT: Syria The Local Coordination Committees claim 95 people have been killed by security forces today, including 45 in Damascus and its suburbs.

1728 GMT: Egypt. An Egyptian army source denies reports that the military is on alert in Sinai. Speaking to Ahram Online, the source also denied earlier rumours that additional troops had been dispatched to the border.

1636 GMT: Bahrain Bahrain state media reports that Khalil Marzouq, the Deputy Secretary General of main opposition society AlWefaq, was "summoned today by the General-Directorate of Crime Detection and Forensic Science". The official bulletin claims that Marzouq was questioned about "disseminating false information during an interview with a satellite channel broadcasting from outside" Bahrain. This is the latest step in a growing campaign against AlWefaq, thought to be led by hardliners in the regime. A fortnight ago, two former AlWefaq MPs were stripped of their Bahraini citizenship and are currently stateless in the UK.

Also today, speaking in advance of tomorrows UN International Day for Tolerance, the Human Rights Minister said, "Bahrain is proud to be a partner of the civilized world in respecting values of tolerance".

1601 GMT: Egypt Journalist Erin Cunningham reports on interesting comments by a politician from the Muslim Brotherhood's Freedom and Justice Party (FJP), who sits on the party's supreme committee in South Sinai:

Egypt is reportedly preparing for "emergency events" in the Sinai in light of the current events in Israel and Palestine.

1554 GMT: Bahrain/Kuwait EA's John Horne reports:

Dr Nada Dhaif, one of the Bahraini medics who was arrested, tortured and sentenced by a military court last year, was today refused entry to Kuwait. She was reportedly interrogated on arrival with her family, before being sent back to Bahrain. Dr Dhaif, who was cleared of all charges by a civilian court in June, is the chairperson of the Bahrain Rehabilitation and Anti-Violence Organisation (BRAVO). Five medics remain in jail after their guilty verdicts were upheld in October and they were arrested from their homes in dawn raids and returned to prison.

1550 GMT: Syria. Video emerges matching reports that we heard earlier that a MIG has been shot down in AlBukamal. An FSA 4x4 drags what appears to be part of a jet fuselage through the streets:

1422 GMT: Turkey/Syria. Turkey has officially recognized the Syrian opposition as the sole legitimate representatives of the Syrian people, according to recent statements made by Foreign Minister Davutoglu:

Davutoglu said the responsibility of the tragedy in Syria was solely on the Syrian regime which he said refused to meet legitimate demands of the Syrian people.

"The Syrian regime lost its legitimacy. Syrian opposition and people deserve more support," Davutoglu said.

Thanks to Jonas Renz for pointing this out.

Only two years ago Turkey was a close partner of the Assad regime's. Now, Turkey may be on the path to military intervention. Either way, this closes the door in Turkey's diplomatic relations with Assad. Turkey is a major NATO ally, so this is a major step towards intervention.

1356 GMT: Syria. A significant claim made by the LCC:

Deir Ezzor: Bokamal: The Free Syrian Army brought down a MiG 23 near Hazam. The warplane was shelling the city.

The claim is not yet verified, but there is evidence that it is possible. The FSA operating in the region have brought down several regime jet fighters in the last several months, and destroyed a regime helicopter just this week. Furthermore there are some reports (including these two videos, which were posted by two different Youtube accounts) that the FSA had captured a military checkpoint. Note the FSA's use of heavy armored vehicles:

1345 GMT: Syria. There's a story that has gone almost completely unreported, but in the last month and a half the Free Syrian Army and other insurgent groups have captured many large air-defense bases from the Assad military. In and of itself, this is a sign that the insurgents are much stronger than many analysts predicted they were only months earlier. Though in most cases, the FSA has withdrawn from these bases, the most significant thing about these victories are that each base contains air defense systems that have been captured by the insurgents. In many cases, these systems include MANPADS (man-portable air-defense systems), easily transported (and hidden) shoulder-fired weapons capable of destroying helicopters, and even jets, from the ground.

Blogger Brown Moses has collected the latest evidence that in the last week a large amount of these weapons have fallen into FSA hands. These weapons could be a major factor as the Assad regime has had to rely on air power for months to do the majority of the damage to the Syrian insurgency (to say nothing of the thousands of civilians who have been killed in air strikes in the process).

1340 GMT: Iraq EA's John Horne carries a report that was lost in the busy news cycle yesterday:

A series of bombings across the country killed at least 17 people on Wednesday, with dozens wounded. Six bombs were reported in the capital Baghdad and three in Kirkuk, with other bombings in Hawija, Hilla and Bald Ruz.

The attacks in Kirkuk took place near the offices of the Kurdistan Democratic Party. A car bomb outside the building drew people outside, which was followed by a second blast leading 5 dead and 34 wounded. AFP reports that one person at the scene was heard screaming, "My child was killed! His friends were killed! There is no security here, our homes were destroyed!"

1050 GMT: Egypt. The Muslim Brotherhood has called for protests in front of mosques across the country this afternoon, demanding that the Government sever diplomatic and trade ties with Israel.

The Brotherhood described Israeli attacks on Gaza as "crimes" threating regional stability. It also criticized the US for supporting Israel and blamed Arab countries for "doing nothing while watching the bloodshed in Palestine".

0705 GMT: Jordan. In a second day of protests over rising fuel prices, dozens of people were arrested, one was killed, and scores were injured.

Violence was most severe in the northern city of Irbid, where the authorities said a police station was attacked by armed demonstrators, leading to the fatal shooting of 22-year-old Qasi Omari, and injuries to a dozen police officers and four protesters.

Security sources said dozens of public buildings were vandalised from Irbid to the southern portcity of Aqaba over a Government decision on Tuesday to lift fuel subsidies. Police used tear gas to disperse protesters in Tafileh, Shobak, Maan, and Aqaba who allegedly ttempted to storm government buildings and target police vehicles. Security sources said live ammunition was fired at police squadrons in the central city of Madaba, while protesters set fire to a police kiosk and stormed the main police station in the central city of Theeban. They claimed demonstrators set fire to the governorate’s headquarters, a bank, several school buses, and other public vehicles in Karak throughout the day.

In the city of Maan, 250 kilometres south of Amman, one police officer suffered multiple bullet wounds after a group of rioters armed with automatic rifles stormed the governorate headquarters, according to the security forces' headquarters.

0615 GMT: Syria. The crisis in Syria was knocked off the headlines by Israel's attack on Gaza on Wednesday, but the fighting and deaths continued.

While the new opposition leadership, the Syrian National Coalition, pursued international support, the insurgents tried to change the situation on the ground. They continued to take more territory near Ras al-Ain, the town on the Turkish border captured last week, with the reported seizure of a military post and the killing of at least 18 regime soldiers.

The pattern of conflict continued near Damascus, with regime warplanes shelling insurgent positions in districts to the south and east of the capital.

The Local Coordination Committees claimed 100 people were killed by security forces on Wednesday, including 37 in Damasus and its suburbs.

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