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Entries in Navi Pillay (28)


Syria Today: The Civilians Trapped in Qusayr

A spokesman for insurgents tours the besieged city of Qusayr

Claimed Footage of Scud Strike in Kafar Hamra Section of Aleppo

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Syria Today: Russia Holds Off US and British Political Approach

The moment one of two car bombs went off in Reyhanli in Turkey, near the Syrian border, killing more than 40

See also Friday's Syria Today: Turkey "Backs US-Enforced No-Fly Zone"
Friday's Syria Today: Turkey "Backs US-Enforced No-Fly Zone"

1610 GMT: Deadly Bombing Inside Turkey on the Border

Leading Turkish officials have been issuing statements as the death toll from the two car bombs in Reyhanli, just inside Turkey on the Syrian border, passed 40 with more than 100 injured.

President Abdullah Gul said, "We should be careful against provocations," while Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan declared:

These actions could have been taken to raise sensitivity in Hatay Province. Twenty to twenty-five thousand refugees live in camps and others are our guests.

The culprits could be those who could not digest this. Or it could be those who want to provoke this fact.

I think we need to be very careful and patient.

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Syria Live Coverage: Hezbollah Emerges in the Conflict

2336 GMT: Scud Strikes - Aleppo City. This video, one of several similar, reportedly shows part of one of the buildings that collapsed in the Jabal Badro district of Aleppo, reportedly after the fall of at least one SCUD missile:

2315 GMT: Scud Strikes. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights has released a statement about tonight's alleged SCUD attacks:

8 civilians, including a child, were killed by the bombardment on Jabal Badro, in the Tariq al-Bab neighbourhood of Aleppo. It is thought that the bombs were a surface-to-surface missile. the number of dead is likely to rise due to the large amount of casualties and that there are several people still under the rubble of destroyed buildings. An SOHR activist in the Tariq al-Bab neighbourhood witnessed the desperate cries of a man who had 15 of his family members under the rubble of their house; he also reported witnessing the body of a child being pulled out of a building, the head was detached from the body. Violent clashes are taking place by the police branch in the Zebdiya neighbourhood, also clashes in Bustan al-Qasr. The Jazmatiya neighbourhood was bombarded by the airforce.

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Syria Live Coverage: UN Human Rights Chief Calls for War Crimes Investigation

Claimed footage of a regime tank firing in the Damascus suburb of Darayya

See also Algeria (and Beyond) Coverage: Hostage Situation Continues at Gas Plant
Friday's Syria Live Coverage: Another Mass Killing, Another Dispute of Responsibility

2146 GMT: Regime Calls on Insurgents to Stop Fighting. Foreign Minister Walid al-Moallem has called on insurgents to lay down their weapons and take part in a national dialogue, saying everyone who participates will be included in a new Cabinet with wide executive powers.

"I tell the young men who carried arms to change and reform, take part in the dialogue for a new Syria and you will be a partner in building it. Why carry arms," al-Moallem said in an hour-long interview. "Those who want foreign intervention will not be among us."

The Foreign Minister accused Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey of arming and financing insurgents. He asserted that the Islamist faction Jabhat al-Nusra, which the US has declared a terrorist organisation, has brought fighters from 27 countries.

Meanwhile, Turkey's State news agency Anadolu said the Assad air force killed and wounded dozens on people when it targeted a mosque and a school building that was sheltering displaced Syrians in the town of Salqin, about four miles (six kilometres) from the border with Turkey in Idlib Province.

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Syria (and Beyond) Coverage: UN --- Death Toll Passes 60,000

People run from a regime airstrike on the Damascus suburb of Douma --- activists report that there were 20 deaths

See also Libya Satire: A Beginner's Guide to Democacy...and Slapstick
Wednesday's Syria (and Beyond) Live Coverage: Aleppo Airport Is Briefly Closed

2044 GMT: Syria. An airstrike on the Jobar section of Homs today:

1726 GMT: Syria. Insurgents drive a captured regime in the Jabal al-Zawiya area:

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The Latest from Iran (16 November): Taking Advantage of Gaza

15 June 2009: Protesters in Tehran, "No to Gaza, No Lebanon, My Life Only for Iran"

See also Iran Analysis: The Resurrection of Ahmadinejad's Right-Hand Man?
The Latest from Iran (15 November): Tehran's Open Call for Nuclear Talks

1641 GMT: Julian Borger of The Guardian offers the first soundbite from the latest International Atomic Energy Agency report on Iran's nuclear programme:

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Syria (and Beyond) Live Coverage: Re-Focusing on the Conflict

The moment that crowds charged the US Embassy in Yemen on Thursday

See also Iran Propaganda Feature: Fars News Makes Up Interview with "Bahrain Opposition Leader
Thursday's Libya, Syria (and Beyond) Live Coverage: Extraordinary Death, "Everyday" Death
MENA Video Special: The Biggest and Most Important Protests are in Syria

2146 GMT: Syria. Earlier we reported that the Free Syrian Army conducted an offensive against Assad positions in the Saleh el Dine district of Aleppo. We also reported that there were rumors that the Assad military retreated after the battle. Now, we've found many videos showing fighters inside the district today, claiming that they have captured the entire area. But this may be the most compelling evidence.

The video below claims to show the district being shelled, an activity that would not be possible if Assad troops were still in the district. Another video shows fires burning there, reportedly the result of the shelling:

The key to winning any battle is to maintain the initiative. The Assad regime is failing to do that. The FSA is mixing up attacks in the east with assaults on the military airport, and really disrupted the pattern of battle last weekend when they briefly captured a major military base in the heart of the city. The center of the city has been shelled for four days, and now this turn of events suggests that, at least for the moment, the Assad regime is more content to sit back and shell opposition forces than fight them on the streets.

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Syria (and Beyond) Live Coverage: Deaths and Executions on Both Sides

Claimed footage of an attack on a building of the security forces in Zabadani in Syria

See also Syria Video Feature: Does the Free Syrian Army Represent The People?
Monday's Syria (and Beyond) Live Coverage: Deaths and Executions on Both Sides

2010 GMT: Syria. According to the Local Coordination Committees, 115 people have been killed by regime forces today:

40 martyrs were reported in Aleppo; 25 in Damascus and its suburbs; 23 Hama including martyrs from Kafarzeta and Halfaya; 11 in Deir Ezzor, among them 4 in the shelling of Shehail and 4 in Bokmal; 6 in Daraa; 5 in Idlib; 2 in Lattakia;2 in Banyas 1 in Homs.

See our note on the numbers release by the LCCs.

As you can see, the deaths in Aleppo today have been very high, with Damascus and Hama (particularly Kafer Zita, as we noted earlier) accounting for most of the rest of the fatalities today.

We saw a continuation of a pattern that has become familiar - the regime is using longer-range artillery, and air strikes, to inflict much of this damage, both to buildings and to lives. However, after several weeks of intensification, there are no signs that either the Free Syrian Army, nor the peaceful protesters, show any sign of giving up their resistance to President Bashar al Assad.

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Syria (and Beyond) Live Coverage: The Renewed Battle in Aleppo

1919 GMT: Syria. According to Russian Vice Minister Mikhail Bogdanov, Syrian President Bashar al Assad would step down if he lost an election:

French newspaper Le Figaro quoted Bogdanov as saying in an interview after meeting Syrian dissidents in Paris that the "regime is still solid" and supported by an important part of the population who feared those who could take his place.

"Assad told us himself. But I don't know how sincere he is," Bogdanov said. "But he clearly told us that if the people didn't want him, and if they chose a different leader in an election, he would go."

1608 GMT: Syria. The LCC's death toll has now reached 102:

67 martyrs were reported in Damascus and its Suburbs (including 36 who were field-executed in Tadamun, 17 martyrs were found in Zamalka, and 3 who were field-executed in Mouadamiyeh), 16 in Aleppo, 6 in Hama, 4 in Daraa, 4 in Idlib, 2 in Homs, 2 in Lattakia, and 1 in Deir Ezzor.

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The Latest from Iran (21 August): All Hail the Supreme Leader

2214 GMT: Military Watch. An Iranian commander, Mohammad Hosseini, has said that the Islamic Republic has started construction of its largest air defence base.

Hosseini said the base in Fars Province in southern Iran would be built at the cost of $300 million and will have 6,000 personnel.

Rahim Zare', an MP for the area, said, "This air defense site will be the product of the achievements gained in all areas of science in the world."

2206 GMT: Human Rights Watch. Iranian officials have written the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay, to call on the UN Human Rights Council to investigate the alleged support of Western states for "terrorists" in Syria.

"It is much clear that certain western countries along with their regional allies intend to change the Syrian government at any price and they don't pay any heed to the bloody and inhumane consequences of this seditious measure whose painful manifestations are already evident," the letter asserted. "We demand your Excellency to compile a report on the role of such countries in equipping and arming the terrorists in Syria, which has had a direct effect in increasing the number of human rights violation cases in the country and committing of crimes against humanity, and inform the world of its results."

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