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Entries in Laurent Fabius (11)


Syria Today: Regime Claims Control of Qusayr

Reports Of Breadlines In Largely Kurdish Town Of Efrin Near Aleppo

A Kurdish activist group claims that Kurds in Efrin near Aleppo in northern Syria are suffering because of an ongoing siege by the Free Syrian Army.

Activists on Wednesday tweeted images purportedly of breadlines in the town.

There were sustained reports last month of clashes between the FSA and local Kurdish militia.

Claimed footage, from "Daraa City" activists, of insurgents evacuating women and children from Qusayr

See also Middle East Today: Turkey --- Deputy PM Apologises for "Excessive Violence"...But Will PM Erdogan?
Tuesday's Syria Today: More Than 100 Claimed Deaths on a "Quiet" Monday

Insurgent Withdrawal from Qusayr

Reuters, citing an "opposition group" from Qusayr, said more than 500 insurgents died in the three weeks of the regime assault, with a further 1,000 wounded, leaving just 400 outgunned men struggling to hold onto the town.

Survivors decided to escape in the night through a corridor that regime attackers said they had deliberately left open to encourage flight.

Hezbollah’s Deputy Secretary General Sheikh Naim Qassem said, “The Al-Qusayr accomplishment is a severe blow to the project of the American-Israeli-Takfiri [infidel] trio and a glowing point for the project of the resistance in Syria.

Qassem continued, “Today, it has been proven that betting on the fall of the resisting Syrian [regime] is an illusion....Building political stances on the accomplishments of the American-Israeli project is unsuccessful.”

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Iraq (and Beyond) Live Coverage: At Least 25 Killed in Attack on Campaign Rally

Syria Live: A Funding Crisis for the Refugees
Friday's Turkey (and Beyond) Live: A Peace Deal with the PKK?

1959 GMT: Lebanon. New Prime Minister Tammam Salam has said he will work to unite the country and prevent the civil war in Syria from spilling over the border.

Salam, a former Minister of Culture, was named Prime Minister after receiving the support of 124 of 128 MPs. He was chosen after two days of consultations, following last month's resignation of Najib Mikati.

“I start from the necessity of taking Lebanon out of divisions and political tensions that were reflected in the security situation,” Salam said in his first public statement after being chosen.

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Syria Live Coverage: Britain and France to Lift Arms Embargo on Insurgents?

1832 GMT: Massacre in Daraa. The Daraa Coordination Committee reports that at least 20 people have been found dead near a checkpoint in Daraa after they were arrested:

20 People from Daraa Mahata were martyred under torture at Hamida Taher checkpoint. Their bodies were moved to the national hospital; of which the following martyrs were identified: Sheik Walid al-Sari Abazeed, Mujahed Abazeed, Sheik Musleh Ayyash, Sheik Rabea al-Kakouni, Waseem Ali al-Falouji, Nassar Abu-Nabbout, Youssef al-Mefalani, Abu-Moayad Labash al-Abazeed.

At this point, 5 graphic videos posted to the Daraa Committee's Youtube channel show bodies of men that have some of the hallmark's of torture. Beatings, bruises, what may be burn marks or puncture wounds, black eyes, broken noses, gunshots to the head... the videos are ugly.

The Hamida Tahrir district is just north of Daraa Albalad, the southern half of Daraa that is still in rebel control (map). The checkpoint here, however, is under government control. It has reportedly been used to ensure that rebel spies, sympathizers, and defectors do not reach rebel territory or ferry information back and forth.

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Syria Live Coverage: The Bodies in Aleppo's "River of Martyrs"

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:

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Mali (and Beyond) Live Coverage: French Warplanes Continue Attacks


Syria Live Coverage: Uncertainty Over the Mass Killing in Aqrab

1946 GMT: Syrian Media, SANA, now reports that three different explosions resulted in "martyring of a number of people and the injuring of others" at the Interior Ministry in Damascus. SANA does not say whether any officials have been injured, though rumors are flying, rumors which State TV has already denied. They have posted several pictures, two of which we post here (click for full size):

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Egypt, Syria (and Beyond) Live Coverage: Will Morsi Give Back His New Powers?

2356 GMT: Syria. Another video claims to show the downing of a helicopter - with an interesting twist. In the video, this vehicle opens fire on a helicopter, but the pilots have already jumped out and their parachutes appear to be visible:

We believe this is the same helicopter we documented earlier today, shot down west of Aleppo. We believe that it was hit by a SAM missile, and then it took time to crash, then the pilots jumped, and then nearby anti-aircraft guns opened fire.

It should be noted that in another video men driving a vehicle such as the one in this video take credit for the downing of the helicopter. This video explains why both claims that the FSA shot the helicopter down with a missile and claims that they shot it down with machineguns are consistent.

2340 GMT: Syria. Things have calmed a bit in Damascus - according to sources in the opposition, residents were on edge after unusually high volumes of violence, but the probability of anything dramatic happening tonight is dropping.

By morning we will know answers: Is the airport closed? Is the regime reinforcing the center of the city or the Presidential Palace? Is the FSA prepared to take the fight for Damascus into its final stage?

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Syria (and Beyond) Live Coverage: Insurgents Change the Situation on the Ground

Friday's attack on protesters in Aleppo in Syria

See also Israel-Palestine Live Coverage: Air Assault on Gaza Expands --- Ground War Next?
Friday's Syria (and Beyond) Live Coverage: International Meeting in London Discusses Support for "New" Opposition

2159 GMT: Syria.. he Local Coordination Committees report 120 people have been killed today, including 63 in Damascus and its suburbs.

2119 GMT: Syria The Local Coordiation Committee in Damascus, an opposition activist group, reports that of "several" injuries after 3 shells fell on Jalbout Building in Schools Street at the Palestinian refugee Yarmouk Camp in Damascus earlier today.

Claimed footage of the aftermath of the attack has been uploaded to YouTube by Ugrait news:

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Syria (and Beyond) Live Coverage: New Opposition Coalition Gathers International Support

Israeli military video of the airstrike that killed senior Hamas military commander Ahmed al-Jabari

See also Israel-Palestine Opinion: Why Obama's Re-election Offers Renewed Hope for an Agreement
Tuesday's Syria (and Beyond) Live Coverage: Fighting Escalates Near Damascus and in East

Today's live coverage is closed. Follow the story at Thursday's Israel-Palestine Live Coverage: Day 2 of Operation Pillar of Cloud

2228 GMT: Israel-Palestine. The number of rockets fired at Israel may wind up being in the hundreds (it's too early, but clearly many dozens have already been fired), yet the Israel Defense Forces are confident that their missile defense, Iron Dome, is working:

2220 GMT: Israel-Palestine. AlAkhbar reports:

Below are the names of Palestinians in Gaza who have been killed so far in this latest attack by Israel:

1. Ahmed al-Jaabari - Hamas leader - 52 years old

2. Mohammed al-Hams - 28 years old

3. Mohammed Kusaih - 18 years old

4. Esam Abu Meza - 19 years old

5. Heba al-Mashharawi - 19 years old

6. Renan Yousif Arafat - 3 years old

7. Omar al-Mashharawi - 11 months old

8. Mahmoud Abu Sawaween - 62 years old

The death toll is expected to rise even further.

More than 50 have been injured.

Many of the victims appear to be children:

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Syria (and Beyond) Live Coverage: New Opposition Leadership Named --- Now What?

See also Syria Audio Analysis: Evaluating the New Opposition Coalition --- Scott Lucas with Monocle 24
Sunday's Syria (and Beyond) Live Coverage: New Opposition Coalition Formed "In Principle"

2215 GMT: Syria. The Local Coordination Committees, who resigned from the Syrian National Council last week in protest, have released a statement that they support the new Syrian National Coalition, the new organization finalized in the last 24 hours:

This entity was established independently and outside the purview of any other nation. Moreover, the National Coalition was established in accordance with the principles and objectives of the Syrian revolution and activists’ demands to:

  • Oust the regime (including its symbols and pillars of support);
  • Dismantle the security services;
  • Unify and support the military councils of the Free Syrian Army;
  • Reject dialogue or negotiation with the criminal regime; and
  • Hold accountable those responsible for killing Syrians, destroying our country, and displacing our people.

The National Coalition, in adhering to and fulfilling these requirements, will serve as the legitimate representative of the revolution and the Syrian people in their quest for freedom. In turn, the National Coalition, whose legitimacy as the sole representative of the Syrian people is also affirmed by the Arab and international community, can obtain the necessary support to protect civilians, oust the criminal regime, and reach the revolution’ highest goals to transition to a state of human rights, freedom, and citizenship.

The LCC reaffirms its participation in the National Coalition. The LCC has worked hard, and will continue to spare no effort, to ensure the success of the National Coalition in its service to the revolution. We congratulate the Syrian people, who have held steadfast in their efforts to accomplish this critical step in our revolution for dignity and in Syria’s history. The LCC affirms that it will always remain true to the objectives of our revolution for dignity, and will honor the hopes and sacrifices of our great Syrian people.

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