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Entries in SANA (8)


Syria All-Is-Well Snapshot: "All Food Items Available at Moderate Prices"

State news agency SANA puts claims of inflation and shortages in Syria to rest:

Prime Minister, Dr. Wael al-Halki, said that all food items are available in the governmental sale centers at moderate prices.

During a tour of a number of sale centers on Thursday, al-Halki said that are diverse food items, including vegetables, fruit, meat and oil, since they are domestic industries that are a source of power for Syria in the face of schemes to subdue the Syrian people.

Dr. al-Halki stressed that the national economy is robust and capable of withstanding the economic sanctions against the Syrian people.


Syria (and Beyond) Live Coverage: Elections Today --- Sham or Substance?

2046 GMT: Syria. It's too late to get accurate reports of casualties, but even at this late hour there are reports of gunfire, and many injuries, in both Aleppo and in Tafas, in Daraa province. This video, shared by the LCCS but posted by a Youtube account that we are not familiar with, reportedly shows the gunfire in Tafas tonight.

1943 GMT: Syria. Whether the elections were well-attended or not (see previous update) or whether they are rigged or not, the head of the UN, Ban Ki-moon, doesn't believe that they should have taken place without the Syrian government taking the lead and abiding by the ceasefire:

"Only a comprehensive and inclusive political dialogue can lead to a genuine democratic future in Syria," Ban said through his spokesperson Martin Nesirky. "These elections are not taking place within that framework.

"Moreover, a democratic process cannot be successful while violence is still ongoing," he added.

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Syria Video Special: Homs is Still Burning

On Friday we documented the Syrian military assault on Homs, a city of 1.2 million civilians. The noose has been tightening for weeks, as the Syrian military first laid siege to Al Rastan, and many of the other suburbs, but what has happened since Friday can only be described as the slow destruction of the third largest city in Syria.

The siege did not end on Friday. On Saturday, the Syrian military rolled tanks into the center of the city, intimidating residents and making many arrests. But on Sunday, and again today, the artillery and tank shells once again ripped through the streets and exploded over the rooftops.

We don't wish to give the impression that the syrian military's brutal tactics are limited to Homs, but the city has become a symbol, of sorts, of what the Assad regime is capable of, the lengths they are willing to go to to cling to power.

Below is a collection of videos from Monday, Sunday, and Friday. If the media is unwilling to catalog the attack on the city of Homs, then EA will gladly follow the story:

This is just a small sampling of the videos that we have seen.

See Also, Syria Video Essay: The Military Assault on Homs


Deir Bielbe, Homs. Before the tank fires, you can hear children scream, and nearby gunfire:

Deir Bielbe, Homs. Gunfire and explosions can be heard, while several of the buildings and vehicles appear to have been destroyed by shelling. Some protesters point out the spent ammunition on the ground. At the end of the video, a tank can be seen rolling through the streets:

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Syria, Libya (and Beyond) Liveblog: Pulling Out of Deir Ez Zor?

See Also, Syria Video Special: This is What Assad Calls "Withdrawing"

2100 GMT: It is claimed that 10 Turkish F-16s have bombed several PKK camps in northern Iraq. However, no official confirmation has come from Ankara yet. 

1929 GMT: In our separate video entry, we've posted a clip claiming to show Syrian soldiers breaking in and looting a store in Hama.

1900 GMT: The number of killed Turkish soldiers has risen to 12. Meanwhile, the so-called "second man" of PKK, claimed to have been captured by Iranian forces, announced that PM Erdogan's "no tolerance" speech is nothing short of a declaration of war! He went further and threatened Ankara:

PM shall know that we have not used even five percent of our forces. We are waging a controlled defensive war now. If we take an official decision of war and order accordingly, then Ankara will be upside down. 

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Syria Video Analysis: Assessing Propaganda and "Truth" on Both Sides

Some news agencies have occasionally been duped by propaganda promoted by individual "activists", but those observers tuned in, after months of experience, to the claims of the activists now know which individuals or groups produce credible information, and they know when to be extra-sceptical about reports. However, many of these claims are reliable, and the media who drop in on the Syria story need to pay attention to the journalists who are working hard to separate the "good" reports from the "bad".

Because in Syria --- to take a position --- one side is lying, one side is mostly truthful, and thousands of lives are in the balance of the two.

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Syria (and Beyond) LiveBlog: A Blogger is Detained

2015 GMT: Claimed footage of protest tonight in Homs in Syria:

1915 GMT: In Morocco, thousands of people have marched in Casablanca and the capital Rabat, demanding political change and greater social justice.

In Casablanca, more than 8000 people, chanted slogans such as "Less corruption and a fair distribution of wealth", "Sovereignty to the people", and "We want more equality".

The protest in the Oulfa quarter of Casablanca:

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Syria, Yemen, Libya (and Beyond) LiveBlog: A Massacre --- But Who and How Many?

2030 GMT: Video of the march to the Acting President's house in the Yemeni capital Sana'a today:

2025 GMT: The Syrian Ambassador to France, Lamia Chakkour, has denied in a phone call to Al Jazeera Arabic that she has resigned.

Earlier today (see 1814 GMT), a person claiming to be Chakkour told France 24 that she had quit Syria's diplomatic service. However, the Ambassador is now saying that she will sue France 24 for the erroneous report.

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Yemen, Syria, Libya (and Beyond) LiveBlog: City on Fire

2115 GMT: We'll be shutting down the liveblog for the night. We'll be back at 0530 GMT tomorrow.

Here is a roundup of the news.

In Syria, protesters took to the streets all across the country during what protesters were calling "Children's Friday." Reports were that these wre the largest protests yet, but the internet was almost completely shut off. Still, we have many videos posted in a separate section:

Latest Syria Video: Protesters Defy the Internet Blockout

The scale of the protests would have been major news, but they were overshadowed by violence. Protesters were killed in Taiz, security forces continued to shell Al Rastan, but the big news was that the military opened fire on a crowd of 50,000 peaceful demonstrators in Hama, killing at least 70.

In Yemen, the big news of the day was the rocket attack which hit the Presidential palace and wounded President Saleh and an unknown number of his advisors. However, there were also protests elsewhere, and at least 4 civilians were killed by government air strikes in Abyan. 

Latest Yemen Video: Protests Among the Chaos in Sana'a

In Libya, the rebels have made significant advances, and now threaten the city of Tripoli.

In Bahrain, there were major protests and clashes with security forces (video below).

Just another Arab Spring Friday.

2059: Another country heard from...

Breaking news: Protests have erupted in Egypt over the death of a microbus driver in Azbakeya. He was arrested yesterday for a traffic violation, and died in custody. There is a report that he attacked one of the officers, though details are all emerging from Twitter right now. 

There is also a report that a gunfight between the relatives of the man and police was the ultimate catalyst.

There appear to be clashes between protesters and security forces in Azbakeya and Ramses. Below is a picture of a truck lit on fire in Ramses.

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