Entries in Filippo Grandi (4)
2040 GMT: Large Rockets Fired Towards Central Damascus. In the last video we posted a video that shows the remains of a rocket that landed in Ein Tarma, a district in southern Damascus. Eliot Higgins and I have reviewed the image, and we are in agreement that what we are looking at matches the very unique tail end of a Frog-7 rocket. The picture on the left in the debris in Damascus, and the picture on the right is a Frog-7 on a truck launcher:
The Frog-7 has a range of 70 kilometers, and has an average margin of error of 500-700 meters. Ein Tarma is only 1.2 kilometers by 800 meters, and is situated an alarming-close 2.7-3 kilometers from the very center of Damascus:
Anti-regime protest in Binnish in Idlib Province today
See also Syria Audio Feature: Why US and Russia Suddenly Met Thursday --- Scott Lucas with Monocle 24 br>
Syria Opinion: "The US Must Act Soon" --- James Miller in The American Prospect br>
Egypt (and Beyond) Live Coverage: Morsi Defies Protesters and Warns "Infiltrators" br>
Thursday's Egypt, Syria (and Beyond) Live Coverage: Protests and Fighting at the Presidential Palace
Lattakia: Faranlaq: Fierce clashes between the FSA and regime forces amid attempts by the regime forces to storm the district and the FSA is blocking it.
What's interesting is that we did not know where Faranlaq was, nor were we able to find it on a map. The reason - Faranlaq is not a town or district, but a forest, only 5 milometers north of Lattakia city (approximate location on map).
Usually, fighting in "Lattakia" is in the mountains to the east, many miles from the city, often considered a stronghold of the Assad regime. However, this fighting is located between the city and an important naval base.
How "fierce" are the clashes? We don't know. We have also not independently confirmed the news. If true, it is becoming clear, however, even Assad's strongholds are not immune from the insurgent advance.
2000 GMT: Former political advisor of PM Erdogan Cuneyd Zapsu says: "Syria will be a great market for Turkey as the administration in Damascus will change this year."
1730 GMT: Hossein Ali, a member of the Kurdistan Alliance group --- an alliance between Kurdistan Democratic Party and Patriotic Union of Kurdistan --- in the Iraqi parliament, said:
The Iraqi Kurds' reliance on Turkey can jeopardize the political future of the Kurdistan region. All throughout history, Turkey has never been and never will be a point of reliance for Iraqi Kurds.
1600 GMT: Deputy Prime Minister Bulent Arinc says the dismissal of Undersecretary of Public Security and Order Murat Ozcelik is out of the question.
1445 GMT: Among those 100 journalists and 35 distributors who have been in jail since January 2012, 21 including 12 journalists have been put on trial for 254 years in prison, with charge of making "terrorism propaganda". By April 2011, only 47 journalists were in jail.
Besides, 120 summary of proceedings have been prepared for 24 MPs of Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) by prosecutors.
1400 GMT: Turkish Foreign Ministry reiterates the conditions of a possible rapprochement with Israel.
On its Twitter account, the Ministry says Israel shall apologize, pay compensation to the families of those Turkish citizens killed on board of the Humanitarian Aid Convoy and lift the "inhuman blockade" of the Gaza Strip as soon as possible.