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Entries in Riad al-Asaad (12)


Syria Live Coverage: Who Represents the Opposition?

1840 GMT: Rebel Victories Outside Damascus. In Otaybah (map), site of last week's reported chemical attack, the rebels have been killing Assad tanks and beating back his attacks for days. Today, they destroyed more tanks and armored vehicles

What's interesting - the fighter in the video is holding an M 79 Osa, one of the Croatian weapons that is part of the shipment from the international effort to arm the Syrian rebels:

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Syria Interview: Free Syrian Army Commander Riad Al-Asaad "The Revolution is on the Right Track Now" 

From the beginning when we established the Free Syrian Army, our goal was to unify the fighters. It has a great name and we kept working on it --- we did a really good job....Until recent months, when some people appeared and tried to hijack the revolution or use it....We really don’t know what their aim was.

So they accused us, and tried to cut off all our support from the outside, but thank God they couldn’t cut it....We are calling for unity. We are the ones who want unity. If anybody wants unity, it’s the Free Syrian Army.

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Syria (and Beyond) Live Coverage: The Start of a "Decisive Battle" for Aleppo?

2225 GMT: Bahrain. We close our coverage tonight with news 17 year old Ali Hussain Neama has been shot and killed by security forces in Sadad tonight. Details are still emerging.

Said Yousif Almuhafda, Head of Monitoring at the Bahrain Center for Human Rights, tweeted the following picture of Ali:

He adds:

The Ministry of Interior has confirmed the death in a tweet, referring to the incident that killed Ali as a "terrorist attack".

2054 GMT: Syria. According to the Local Coordination Committees, at least 160 people have been killed by the Assad regime so far today:

55 martyrs were reported in Aleppo; including 25 who were field executed in Rashedeen, 48 in Damascus and its Subrubs (including 10 martyrs who were field-executed in Barzeh, and 17 in Qudsaya), 20 in Deir Ezzor, 13 in Idlib, 10 in Daraa; including two people who were martyred in Damascus, 7 in Hama, 4 in Homs, 2 in Raqqa, and 1 in Lattakia.

See our note on the casualty figures put out by the LCC.

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Libya, Syria (and Beyond) Live Coverage: Protesters Take Over Militia Bases in Benghazi

Police arrest protester during Friday demonstration in the Bahraini capital Manama --- 29 people were detained (Photo: Mahmood Alshaikh)

See also Syria Video Documentary: "The Heart of the Battle"
Bahrain Letter: Detained Zainab Alkhawaja Accepts Freedom Award "For The People Who Fight Against All Odds"
Friday's Syria (and Beyond) Live Coverage: Assad Proclaims, "We Will Defeat Armed Groups", as His Planes Kill 100s of Civilians

1940 GMT: Syria. Residents and activists report fighting and snipers throughout Aleppo today.

In Suleiman al-Halabi, one of Aleppo's main streets, the army prevented residents from venturing into the area amid steady gunfire in the third day of fighting.

One resident said, "Almost 80 percent of the people in Suleiman al-Halabi left their homes after rebels entered the area."

Locals warned of snipers in the adjacent neighborhood of Midan, held by the regime, as streets were empty, shops were locked up, and several buildings and apartments were destroyed.

"The battle is now between snipers," Sheikh Walid, the head of an insurgent brigade in the southern Amiriya district said, as only few hundred meters separated the rival forces.

In Maysar, nine people were reportedly killed, including five members of the same family. Residents said insurgents reinforcements were pouring into the eastern district of Sakhur and Shaar.

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Syria Feature: Saudi Arabia v. Qatar in the Arming of the Insurgents (Abouzeid)

Disorder and distrust plague two of the rebels’ international patrons: Saudi Arabia and Qatar. The two Gulf powerhouses are no longer on the same page when it comes to determining who among the plethora of mushrooming Syrian rebel groups should be armed. The rift surfaced in August, with the alleged Saudi and Qatari representatives in charge of funneling free weaponry to the rebels clearly backing different factions among the groups — including various shades of secular and Islamist militias — under the broad umbrella that is the Free Syrian Army (FSA).

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Syria Special: 16 Months Later, A History of the Insurgency --- And What It Foreshadows for the Regime

Free Syrian Army fighters celebrate their overrunning of regime soldiers and destruction of armoured vehicles

Nothing in Syria is certain but Death and Protests. The debate about whether the Free Syrian Army is good for Syria, or whether they can be trusted, or whether they will harbor extremists, will likely continue. However, as the conflict drags on, this debate is becoming increasingly academic, as are the efforts by Kofi Annan and others to negotiate a peace. No fighters, and no commanders, in the Free Syrian Army are in a position to agree this: why should they, as they ride a series of military victories?

Peace is not in Syria's immediate future, nor is the dissolution of its insurgency. The only questions that remain are how long the Assad regime can last, who will fill the void when he is gone, and what will be left of Syria when all that transpires.

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Syria (and Beyond) Live Coverage: Bye-Bye to the Illusion of the Ceasefire

See Also, Wednesday's Syria (and Beyond) Live Coverage: Assad Shoos Away UN Envoy Annan

2100 GMT: Syria. The names of 12 of the 15 men whom, according to insurgents, were executed in a fertiliser plant outside Homs today:

1 - Mohammad Tawfik Bakkar
2 – Ibrahim Ismail Bakkar
3 – Khaled Abdel Najib Barro
4 – Adnan Omar al-Yassin
5 – Sulaiman Abdel Qader Satto
6 – Samer Mohammad Bakkar
7 – Abdel Kafi Hasan Bakkar
8 – Mohammad Abdo al-Zirai
9 – Maher Ahmad Taleb
10 – Hamed Saadiyeh
11 – Mohammad Mahmoud Satouf
12 – Yehia Sabri Buzan

1946 GMT: Syria. Insurgents claim 15 men have been executed at their workplace, a fertiliser plant, in Buwaydah Al Sharqiyah, outside Homs.

A Facebook account linked with the Free Syrian Army in Baba Amr claims that the FSA found the men:

This picture is from the first to arrive of the massacre committed in Albuweyda Alsharqiyah today where 15 men from the fertiliser plant were abducted by regime thugs, tortured and executed with close-range bullets.

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Yemen, Syria (and Beyond) Live Coverage: A Suicide Bombing in Sana'a

Al Jazeera's report on Monday on the suicide bombing in Yemen

See also Bahrain Live Coverage: Appearing Before the UN Human Rights Council
Monday's Syria (and Beyond) Live Coverage: Amidst the Assassination Rumors, 60 Die
Turkey Live Coverage (21 May): Regional and Global Dimensions of "Terrorism"

1735 GMT: Libya. Tunisian Prime Minister Hamadi Jebali said Tuesday that Tunis will soon extradite former Libyan Prime Minister Al-Baghdadi Al-Mahmoudi, after detaining him for eight months.

Al-Mahmoudi was arrested in September for illegally crossing the frontier into Tunisia as he tried to flee to Algeria.

"Tunisia will never be a refuge for those who represent a threat to Libya's security," said Jebali on Tuesday, following a visit by his Libyan counterpart, Abdurrahim el-Keib.

Lawyers and human rights groups had opposed the extradition, saying Al-Mahmoudi might be harmed by Libya's new ruling authorities.

1730 GMT: Syria. The Local Co-ordination Committees of Syria says 13 people have died today: three each in Hama, Deir Ez Zor, and Daraa Provinces, two in Homs Province, and one each in Aleppo and Idlib Provinces.

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Syria (and Beyond) Live Coverage: Amidst the Assassination Rumors, 60 Die

An anti-regime protest on Sunday night, with a song dedicated to the dead of Homs, in Mare near Aleppo in Syria

See also Syria Video Feature: What is the State of the Opposition?
Bahrain Live Coverage: The Regime's Strategy of Rolling Detention
Sunday's Syria Live Coverage: Obama Says "Assad Must Go" --- But How?

1939 GMT: Iraq. The central government warned authorities in the Kurdish region on Monday that their oil deals with Turkey must have Baghdad’s approval.

On Sunday, Iraqi Kurds announced a deal with Ankara that would allow them to export oil through Turkey to the international market, bypassing Baghdad.

The national government says the region has no right to sign deals unilaterally and that exports must go through state-run pipelines, but Kurds argue that the Constitution gives them the right to sign deals without consulting Baghdad.

Since the 2003 war that toppled Saddam Hussein, the Kurds have signed scores of oil deals. The central governmet considers the deals illegal and has blacklisted the companies involved.

In early 2011, the two sides agreed that the Kurds would send the oil to Baghdad, which would sell it, with an even split of the revenues. But last month the Kurds halted oil exports over a payment row

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Syria, Bahrain (and Beyond) LiveBlog: What Happens When the Observers Leave?

Protesters stand in front of massed ranks of police in Sitra in Bahrain today (Photo: Mazen Mahdi)

See also The Real Net Effect: Andy Carvin & the Power of Twitter
Saudi Arabia Feature: A Princess in London Calls for Reforms
Bahrain Feature: An Uprising In The NumbersBahrain 1st-Hand: Mariam Al Sarraj and the Raid on Salihiya
Tuesday's Syria, Bahrain (and Beyond) LiveBlog: Newsflash --- "The Killings Continue"

2115 GMT: The Arabic Network for Human Rights Information updates on four activists of the 6 April Movement who were detained on Monday for sticking up posters critical of the ruling Supreme Council of the Armed Forces. One was released today, but three remain in detention and will appear before judge on Thursday morning.

2035 GMT: More photographs from Mazen Mahdi of protest and police in Sitra today:

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