Iran Election Guide

Donate to EAWV

Or, click to learn more



Syria Live Coverage: Fighting Escalates Near Damascus 

See also Syria Feature: Remembering A Voice For the Syrian Revolution
Iraq (and Beyond) Coverage: At Least 10 Killed in Basra Bomb

1544 GMT: Insurgent Advance Near Golan Heights. Insurgents commanders said they have seized a Syrian military intelligence compound in the southern Hauran Plain near the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights.

The compound near the Yarmouk River in the town of Shagara, 8 kilomtetres (5 miles) from a cease-fire line with Israel, fell after a five-day siege, opposition sources said.

"We have completely taken over this security compound this morning. It's a command centre for the shabiha [pro-Assad militia]," said Abu Iyas al-Haurani, a member of the Yarmouk Martyrs Brigade. "Anyone who was arrested in the Yarmouk Valley was sent to this military intelligence headquarters to be tortured and it has a strategic importance. With its fall we have completed our liberation of the town of Shagara."

1238 GMT: Insurgents Take Arms Depots. A military source has said, "Opposition fighters gained control over weapons and ammunition stores in the village of Khan Toman in southern Aleppo Province on Saturday after fierce fighting that went on for more than three days."

He said the stores contained "a small number of ammunition boxes remaining after the main stock was transferred over a period of more than four months".

Activists claimed the opposition had taken control of "huge reserves", with video showing fighters examining dozens of crates containing weapons and ammunition inside one warehouse.

"Rockets, film these rockets," they say. "These are 107-mm calibre, made in Iran," men on the video said. "These are the rockets that Bashar al-Assad was hitting us with."

The video claimed the capture of the depots was led by the Martyrs of Syria and the Hittin Brigades of the Free Syrian Army.

0928 GMT: Al-Raqqa. Elizabeth O'Bagy and Joseph Holliday of the Institute for the Study of War assess this month's fall of al-Raqqa, Syria's sixth-largest city, to the insurgents. They conclude:

Until the fall of al-Raqqa, Assad had successfully prevented a rebel takeover in all of Syria’s major cities. Given the size of al-Raqqa’s population, this [capture by the insurgents] is a significant milestone for Syria’s opposition.

Even so, the rebel capture of al-Raqqa is largely due to the shifting loyalty of tribal leaders and minimal Syrian military presence, rather than a rebel military victory per se. Al-Raqqah will test the efficacy of Assad’s strategy of displacing populations and denying rebel governance through air power alone. It will also test the rebels’ ability to govern. Their treatment of loyalist and minority populations will have significant implications for the prospect of limited ceasefires and political settlements in the future.

0905 GMT: Lebanon. Lebanese President Michel Suleiman has said fighters must be prevented from crossing into Syria, after Damascus threatened to respond to cross-border infiltrations and started deploying troops on the Lebanese border.

Lebanon's stability depends "on all of us...not sending militants to Syria and not receiving them," Suleiman said. "We must commit ourselves to neutrality."

The President said he had tasked Lebanon's army with "the arrest of any militants intending to fight [in Syria], whether for the opposition or not".

Syria warned on Thursday that its forces would fire into Lebanon if "terrorist gangs" continued to infiltrate the country.

A Lebanese Government source said Beirut took the warning "very seriously": "Intensive consultations are underway to find the best way to control the border."

Meanwhile, the body of a Hezbollah member killed in fighting in Syria has been buried in southern Lebanon.

"The funeral of Hassan Nimr Shartuni, 25, was this morning in Mays al-Jabal after the arrival of his body from Syria where he was killed in fighting yesterday," one resident told AFP.

Two other residents, speaking on condition of anonymity, confirmed the details of Shartuni's burial.

0720 GMT: In Praise of Assad. The Syria Times, affiliated to the regime, posts 16 reasons to support the continued leadership of President Assad, beginning with this:

He is being targeted by America and the West. The access of evil [sic] does not want a president that maintains the sovereignty and independence of his country away from interfering in its internal affairs and its strategic and foreign policy.

Perhaps more significantly, the article points to the significance of the relationship with Tehran:

He established military ties with his ally Iran, has signed a joint defense agreement with it, and established economic relations with it, for it is superior in arms, and in space and nuclear technology, on the basis of transferring expertise.

0640 GMT: Casualties. The Local Coordination Committees claim 144 people were killed on Saturday, including 16 women and 13 children.

Forty-one of the deaths in Damascus and its suburbs; 26 in Aleppo Province, and 20 in Daraa Province.

The Violations Documentation Center records 52,722 deaths since the start of the conflict in March 2011, an increase of 112 from Saturday. Of the dead, 42.427 were civilians, an increase of 70 from yesterday.

0625 GMT: Damascus and its Suburbs. Maj. Gen. Mohammed Ezz al-Din Khalouf announced his defection from the Assad regime in a video aired Saturday on Al Arabiya TV.

Khalouf, the head of the army branch that deals with supplies and fuel. said that many of those with Assad's regime have lost faith in it, yet continue to do their jobs, allowing Assad to demonstrate broad support.

"It's not an issue of belief or practicing one's role," he said. "It's for appearance's sake, for the regime to present an image to the international community that it pulls together all parts of Syrian society under this regime."

The general said fighters from the Lebanese military group Hezbollah were fighting in Syria in "more than one place", but did not give further details.

Activist Seif al-Hourani said that Khalouf's son, who is an army captain and also appeared in Saturday's defection video, made contact with insurgents about six months ago and leaked information to them before he asked for help getting the family out of Syria.

Six days ago, insurgents smuggled Khalouf, his wife, and three of their children out of Damascus to the southern province of Sweida. Two days later, they moved them to Daraa. They waited there until late Friday when it was safe enough to drive them to the border and hand them to Jordanian authorities, al-Hourani said.

0605 GMT: Damascus and its Suburbs. Insurgents have reportedly advanced near the capital, extending their hold over the suburb of East Ghouta.

Clashes were reported in several areas, such as the Yarmouk camp, Jobar, Barzeh, and Qaboon. The Syrian Revolution General Commission reporting regime troop reinforcements being deployed in the southern suburb of Darayya. Fighting has also effectively shut down Damascus International Airport, south of the city, to all non-military flights.

Fighting was also reported in Aleppo, Syria's largest city, with the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights cliaming at least 12 insrugent were slain near the international airport. The SOHR also said there was heavy fighting in the Huweika district of Deir Ez Zor in eastern Syria, with a car bomb exploding near a building housing regime forces.

PrintView Printer Friendly Version

EmailEmail Article to Friend

« Turkey Special: Kurdish Leader Ocalan "Nearing Deal" with Erdogan | Main | Iran Live Coverage: Nuclear Talks in Istanbul »

References (10)

References allow you to track sources for this article, as well as articles that were written in response to this article.
  • Response
    Thanks for the information, I never thought about that!
  • Response
    qCFUjqe buy Winston cigarettes
  • Response
    Riverside city funeral homes
  • Response
    You must never promote a journey of revenge without giving a lunatic : Confucius
  • Response
    Hello; outstanding post for blogs writer . Your post has superior quality. I wish you have good posts on yours website. Xanax
  • Response
    ChQZohM Buy Valium
  • Response
    Thanks for sharing this link, but unfortunately it seems to be down Does anybody have a mirror or another source? Please reply to my post if you do!
  • Response
  • Response
    HRmnQKMx Cheap Valium
  • Response
    EA WorldView - Home - Syria Live Coverage: Fighting Escalates Near Damascus 

Reader Comments

There are no comments for this journal entry. To create a new comment, use the form below.

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.

My response is on my own website »
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong>