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Syria Today: The Civilians Trapped in Qusayr

A spokesman for insurgents tours the besieged city of Qusayr, greeting reinforcements from Aleppo

See also Middle East Today: Turkey --- Will the Protests Grow?
Saturday's Syria Today: The Battle for Qusayr Continues

The United Nations and human rights organisations have called again for evacuation of civilians trapped in the besieged town of Qusayr, near the Lebanese border.

Regime forces have tried for more than two weeks to take over the town, seen as a strategic gateway to Homs, Syria's third-largest city.

An estimated 40,000 people were believed to have lived in Qusayr before last month's assault, although thousands may have now left.

UN emergency relief coordinator Valerie Amos and High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay said, "We understand there may also be as many as 1,500 wounded people in urgent need of immediate evacuation for emergency medical treatment, and that the general situation in Qusayr is desperate."

Pillay's spokesman Rupert Coville added, "There should be a ceasefire at least and they let the civilians and the wounded get out and also let some aid in as well. Civilians who stay behind will need food and water. International law does require fighting forces to allow aid to civilians in this sort of situation."

Human Rights Watch has also expressed grave concern for the safety of the remaining civilians, as well as wounded and captured fighters on all sides. It cites claims from activists that about 8,000 civilians and another 1,200 wounded are in need of urgent assistance in and near Qusayr.

Claimed Footage of Scud Strike in Kafar Hamra Section of Aleppo

First claimed images of the devastation after a Scud missile hit a neighbourhood in Aleppo:

Other footage shows bodies of small children being carried from the site.

PR Video for Insurgents Moving from Deir Ez Zor Province to Besieged Qusayr

Deaths in Lebanon in Clashes Between Hezbollah and Syrian Insurgents

Lebanese security sources say that at least 15 Syrian insurgents and one Hezbollah member have been killed in clashes east of Baalbek in Lebanon, in the Bekaa Valley near Syria.

Regime Rebuffs UN Call for Aid to Civilians in Qusayr

Foreign Minister Walid al-Moallem has told United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon that the Red Cross will only be allowed to enter Qusayr to aid trapped civilians after the end of a regime assault on the town.

"Syrian authorities will allow the Red Cross in cooperation with the Syrian Red Crescent access to the area immediately after the end of military operations," al-Moallem said.

Ban had expressed concern about civilians trapped in the town near the Lebanese border, which regime forces have been trying to take for two weeks. Other UN officials and Human Rights Watch have called for urgent assistance and evacuation of civilians.

The Syrian Foreign Minister voiced "surprise at the concern being expressed over the situation in Qusayr, given that no one expressed this concern when terrorists took control of the city and the surrounding area".

He accused "terrorists" of "committing the most heinous crimes against citizens for the past 18 months".

Insurgent Reinforcements for Qusayr

The insurgent Liwa al-Tawhid Brigade posts videos of its men arriving to help the defence of Qusayr --- earlier this week, several hundred fighters broke through regime efforts to blockade the besieged town:

"8 Security Forces Killed" by Car Bomb

Activists are claiming that eight members of the security forces have been killed, with civilians wounded, by a car bomb near a police station in the Jobar section of Damascus.

Ironic Headline of the Day

State news agency SANA highlights a statement from Minister of Information Omran al-Zoubi on the protests in Turkey, "The Turkish People Don't Deserve [Prime Minister] Erdogan's Barbarity".


The Violations Documentation Center reports that 62,417 people have been killed in the Syrian conflict since March 2011, an increase of 134 from Saturday. Of the deaths, 48,353 were civilians, a rise of 113 from yesterday.

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