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Entries in Lakhdar Brahimi (41)


Syria Today: More Noise About "Peace Talks" --- But Does It Matter?

Claimed footage of insurgents moving from Aleppo to the embattled town of Qusayr near the Lebanese border --- see The Battle of Qusayr update below

Almost 40% of Population In Need of Aid

Senior United Nations official Panos Moumtzis has said that the total number of people in need of assistance is now 8.3 million, about 38% of Syria's population.

Moumtsis, the regional coordinator for Syrian refugees, said about 6.8 million people were in need inside the country while 1.5 million have sought refuge in neighbouring countries.

Moumtzis said the humanitarian situation in Syria has been “rapidly spiralling downwards” since the start of the year: “UNHCR [UN High Commission for Refugees] is now very much worried about the coming summer months and in particular the increase in temperatures and the associated health problems linked to water and sanitation."

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Syria Live Coverage: 21 UN Peacekeepers Freed

Release of 21 United Nations peacekeepers at the Jordanian border on Saturday

See also Egypt (and Beyond) Live Coverage: Fighting in Cairo Kills 3 After Port Said Court Verdicts
Saturday's Syria Live Coverage: Regime Shelling Prevents Release of 21 UN Peacekeepers

1826 GMT: View from a Regime Tank. "Tank's-eye" footage of the devasted Damascus suburb of Darayya:

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Syria Live Coverage: Fighting Escalates Near Damascus

A regime tank fires from a main highway into Jobar, near Damascus

See also Syria 1st-Hand: Battle in Damascus Takes Toll on Regime Soldiers (New York Times)
Syria Analysis: Dissecting The Washington Post's Scary "Iran-Hezbollah 50,000 Militiamen in Syria " Story
Egypt (and Beyond) Live Coverage: The 2nd Anniversary of Mubarak's Fall
Sunday's Syria Live Coverage: Assad Changes His Ministers Amid Economic Crisis

1930 GMT: Car Bombs. Footage has been posted of the aftermath of today's explosions at the Turkish border, with smoke rising and victims screaming.

1800 GMT: Negotiations. Ali Haidar, the Minister for National Reconciliation, has told a British journalist, "I am willing to meet [head of opposition National Moaz] al-Khatib in any foreign city where I can go in order to discuss preparations for a national dialogue."

Al-Khatib said earlier this month that he will enter discussions with the Assad regime if it meets conditions such as the release of political prisoners.

Haidar, without making commitments, said the discussion could lead to political reforms:

The dialogue is a means to provide a mechanism for reaching free parliamentary and presidential elections. This is one of the subjects which will be discussed at the table. Such a thing could be the result of negotiations, but not a precondition.

We reject a dialogue that is just to hand power from one side to another.

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Syria Live Coverage: Diplomatic Breakthrough? Opposition Leader Meets Russia & Iran Foreign Ministers

Claimed footage of the moment that a mortar strike killed three activists in the Damascus suburb of Eastern Ghouta

See also Iraq (and Beyond) Live Coverage: Dozens Killed in Attack on Police Headquarters
Saturday's Syria Live Coverage: Aid Reaches an Opposition-Held Town

1926 GMT: Casualties. Claimed footage from the al-Ansari section of Aleppo of men digging for survivors in a collapsed building, reportedly struck by a by regime shelling:

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Syria Live Coverage: Fighting in and Near Damascus 


Syria Live Coverage: At Least 80 Dead in Mass Killing in Aleppo

1655 GMT: Rebels Advance in Northeastern Damascus. According to the Local Coordination Committees, rebel forces have stormed the "Vehicle Directorate" in Harasta. The building has been under siege for many weeks. It is at the northern border of a large military complex located in the city (map).

We'll monitor the situation as the day progresses, but if this building has fallen, so close to such a large military base, it could be another sign of how weak Assad is in the northeast suburbs of Damascus.

1636 GMT: Why Did Israel Strike Now? There's growing evidence (though it's all indirect evidence) that Israel did in fact conduct an airstrike against a military convoy west of Damascus. However, why would such a strike happen now? The Associated Press reports that sources have told them sophisticated weapons, like the SA-17 anti-aircraft system, were being delivered to Hezbollah as part of the convoy:

They said the shipment included sophisticated, Russian-made SA-17 anti-aircraft missiles, which would be strategically "game-changing" in the hands of Hezbollah.

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Syria (and Beyond) Live Coverage: Insurgents Advance While Brahimi Stalls

See also Egypt Feature: An Alternative Justice System in the Sinai
Syria 1st-Hand: The 11-Year-Old Fighting with the Insurgents
Friday's Syria Live Coverage: The End of the Brahimi Mission?
Friday's Bahrain (and Beyond) Live Coverage: An Activist Tries to Re-Enter the Kingdom

1729 GMT: Palestine. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has asked the Supreme Court to remove an injunction against his order to the military to overrun the new village of Bab al-Shams, on Palestinian territory near East Jerusalem.

Activists pitched tents to launch the new village on Friday. It is in the E1 area, where the Israeli Government is supporting the construction of new Jewish settlements.

Netanyahu ordered that the area be considered a "closed military zone", with all access cut off "to prevent gatherings".

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Syria Live Coverage: The End of the Brahimi Mission?

2024 GMT: State Department Weighs In. The US State Department spokesperson, Victoria Nuland, said that the capture of the Taftanaz airbase is a significant development:

"They are taking credit now for having taken the air base," U.S. State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland told reporters Friday. "And, as you know, we consider this significant on two fronts.

"First of all, to ground some of the air assets of the Assad regime that they've been using against civilians. And, secondly, to break their ability to resupply in the north."

There is a problem with statements like these - Taftanaz was captured primarily by Jabhat al Nusra and the Ahrar al Sham brigades, two Jihadi groups, and the State Department has already place Al Nusra on the terror list.

Meanwhile, as if to answer criticisms that the US is not doing enough to help the Syrian refugees affected by the worst weather in decades to hit the region, the State Department was pushing a summary of the humanitarian aid donated by the US government.

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Syria Live Coverage: The Insurgents Capture a Major Airbase

An insurgent-controlled tank forces its way into the Taftanaz airbase

See also Syria Audio Analysis: Swapping 2130 Civilian Prisoners for 48 Iranian "Pilgrims" --- Scott Lucas with Monocle 24
Turkey (and Beyond) Live Coverage: Three Kurdish Officials Killed in Paris Attack
Wednesday's Syria Live Coverage: A Mass Killing in Idlib Province?

1930 GMT: Taftanaz. Claimed footage of the insurgent attack on the last building held by regime forces on the Taftanaz airbase:

1910 GMT: Taftanaz. State news agency SANA dismisses reports of the insurgent takeover of Taftanaz airbase in a two-sentence report:

The guards of Taftanaz airport in Idleb countryside repelled a terrorist group that tried to storm into the airport on Thursday. The guards inflicted heavy losses upon the terrorists, killing and injuring a number of them, while the rest fled.

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Syria Live Coverage: A Mass Killing in Idlib Province?

2308 GMT: Summary - The LCC summarizes today's events:

By the end of Wednesday the LCC managed to document 92 martyrs (including 9 children and 4 women), 29 martyrs were reported in Damascus and its Suburbs, 27 martyrs in Aleppo, 14 martyrs in Hama, 7 martyrs in Idlib, 8 martyrs in Homs, 4 martyrs in Daraa and 3 martyrs in Deir Ezzor

The LCC also documented 180 points of shelling, 2 points were shelled by warplanes, Cluster Bombs were used in Teftenaz and Omar Oil Field in Deir Ezzor, 86 points were shelled by artillery (the fiercest was reported in Damascus Suburbs), 51 points by missiles and 42 points by mortars

The FSA clashed with the regime forces in 77 locations (the fiercest among them was reported in Damascus Suburbs, Idlib and Aleppo), the FSA stormed several buildings in Teftenaz Military Airport and targeted its main building, the FSA blocked many attmepts by the regime forces to storm Daraya, Mouadamiya in Damascus Suburbs and Basr Al-Harir in Daraa

The FSA also targeted Saman checkpoint in Taibat Al-Imam in Hama and destroyed several military vehicles in different parts of Syria

See our note on the information published by the LCC.

2208 GMT: Images of the Mastoomeh Massacre - The first video claiming to show some of the bodies of those killed in Mastoomeh has surfaced...

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