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Entries in Homs (58)


Syria Analysis: Could Hezbollah Involvement Spark Sectarian Violence?

Could increased involvement by Hezbollah transform the civil war between regime troops and the insurgency into a open Sunni-Shia/Alawite sectarian conflict, at least in the al-Qusair region?

Sectarianism has played a relatively small role in the Syrian civil war to date. Support for the insurgency, like support for Assad, is ethnically diverse. However, Hezbollah's incursions into the border region, and increasing lawlessness along the Lebanese border area, may be major catalysts for greater sectarian violence, at least between Al Qusayr and the border with Lebanon.

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Syria Live Coverage: The Regime's Shelling of Homs

2331 GMT: Governor of al Raqqah. A picture for comparison:

Jalali with Assad, for reference:

2303 GMT: Governor of Al Raqqah in Rebel Custody. Hassan Saleh Jalali, governor of Al Raqqah, appears to be in custody of the rebels. A video has been sent to us over Twitter, but several others have also been posted online:

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Syria Feature: Who Carried Out the Mass Killing in Haswiyeh?

1650 GMT: I've just finished a long conversation with ITV's Bill Neely, where we compared notes between his observations and BBC's Lyse Doucet's own reports.

Neely says that both reports seem similar. However, Neely has clarified many aspects of his report which I will summarize below:

Hasiyweh (here on the map) is a village primarily made of Sunnis. According to Neely, the river divides the village, half of which the rebels control and the other half of which the military controls. The rebels use the orchards and nearby homes to attack the Intelligence Headquarters to the east:

View Reported Massacres in Hama/Houla in a larger map

He says that the village has become host of refugees who have fled other parts of Homs, and it is a mix of people, including rebels.

Neely says that he talked to people away from the soldiers, and they made a compelling case. They said Jabhat al Nusra did this.

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Syria Live Coverage: "220 Executed" as Regime Advances in Homs

Rally in Deir Baalba in Syria, November 2011

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Saturday's Syria (and Beyond) Live Coverage: UN Envoy Brahimi's Mission is "Dead in the Water"

1735 GMT: Syria. Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan has told thousands of Syrian refugees that their country is preparing for a "sacred birth" replacing President Assad with the will of the people: "We can see very clearly that God's help is close. Don't forget victory comes to those who are patient."

Erdogan stood next to Moaz Al-Khatib, the head of the Syrian opposition National Coalition.

Refugee camps in Turkey host 150,000 Syrians who have fled the conflict.

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Syria Analysis: Was "Toxic Gas" Used in Homs on Sunday?

Testimony, with English translation, of victims of the incident in Homs on Sunday

In the last 24 hours or so, activists have claimed that some sort of "toxic gas" or "chemical weapon" has been used against the city of Homs. The allegation appears to be based on acute respiratory symptoms among victims, soon after a series of shellings, reportedly from weapons of the Assad regime.

At this point, the activists making the claims do not know the exact ailments of the victims or what weapons have been used, but their fear is genuine.

Below we post the information which we have.

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Syria Feature: Questions About the "Boy Beheads Two Regime Officers" Video

Yesterday we noted a claimed video of a group of men and a young boy beheading two men who were reportedly "Alawite officers" involved in the Houla massacre.

The video was reportedly taken on Sunday, provided to a journalist by a "commander in Homs".

By the end of the day, however, activists were claiming the discovery of footage, posted on a pro-regime YouTube channel months ago, that apparently had some of the images in the beheading video which emerged yesterday:


Syria Live Coverage: The Country Goes Dark as Internet Cut Off

A poster showing President Assad standing against the enemy militaries of the US, France, Britain, Turkey, and Arab States

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Thursday's Syria Live Coverage: Insurgents Take More Bases as Damascus Hit by Bombs

2121 GMT: Today is Friday, and while the world is focused on battles and meetings and organizations and diplomatic recognitions, on Friday there is always another story. Every Friday since March 2011, protesters have taken to the streets in Syria. Even in towns where bombs fall and bullets fly, somewhere close by it is possible to find an anti-government protest somewhere in Syria.

Also, every Friday has a theme, agreed upon by activists ahead of time by voting on Facebook. Today's theme does not translate well into English, but according to Zilal, it means roughly "the sign of victory over the palace" or "The Fingers of Victory over the palace." The meaning is clear --- the opposition believes it is winning, and is close to grabbing control from President Assad.

There were interesting twists this week.

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Syria (and Beyond) Live Coverage: Another Siege of Homs

2104 GMT: Syria. Parallel to the fighting between the Free Syrian Army and the regime is the relentless campaign of gunfire, shelling, and bombing that the citizens of Syria are subjected to on a daily basis by Assad forces. 140 people were killed today, according to the latest tally by the LCC, but that number will almost assuredly rise, as intense violence is reported in southern Damascus, and elsewhere across the country:

61 martyrs in Damascus and its suburbs, including 25 unidentified martyrs found between Daraya and Qadam and 10 martyrs slaughtered by knives in Deir Asafeer; 24 in Aleppo; 14 in Deir Ezzor; 13 in Homs, 11 in Idlib; 10 martyrs in Hama; 5 martyrs in Daraa; and 2 martyrs in Lattakia.

But it's not all death in Syria. This video reportedly shows a large anti-government protest tonight in Almouda, Hasakeh governorate:

2056 GMT: Syria. How significant was the FSA victory in Ma'arrat al Nouman? Significant enough that they held a victory parade with their newly captured Syrian Army vehicles:

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Syria Snapshot: The University Students Caught in the Conflict (Mohajer/Morris)

Students at Al Baath University in Homs burn their IDs and refuse to attend exams, 23 May 2011

Wedged between the Sunni neighbourhood of Baba Amr to the west and Alawite areas to the east, the Al Baath university campus is at the heart of the conflict that has ripped apart Syria's opposition stronghold of Homs.

It is a university in turmoil. Alawite students, from the same sect as the Syrian president, Bashar Al Assad, are pitched against Sunnis, who make up the bulk of the opposition.

But amid the tumult, many students are still desperately trying to complete their degrees, dodging violence and checkpoints to sit their end-of-year exams.

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Syria 1st-Hand: A Day's Existence in Homs (Big Al Brand)

Homs, Syria, 14 June 2012

This is the day that I lived today. It wasn’t all bad, but it was bad enough. Not every day is similar to this one, some days are better and some are much worse. I hope you got a glimpse of the kind of life we live here in Homs, and I hope you appreciate the little things in your life because you don’t know when they might go away.

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