The lesson of the minaret: every tyrant will fall and the city remains. History has taught us that the people find a way to pick up the pieces of their city and rebuild. One thousand years from now, these years will be a chapter in history books. The future people of Aleppo will visit this sacred site and will feel the calm and peace once more. The stone will be old again. They will point to the square tower and whisper to their children the tale of this minaret that falls every few centuries when the lesson of tyranny must be taught to a people who had forgotten. Those people of the future are lucky. They will be unaware of the pain of living those years, unaware of the shame of writing this chapter. History is abstract and seamless to them, like it once was for us. It is merely a story they can recite while they trace their fingers over the stone and remember without consequence. I envy them.
Entries in Ummayad Mosque (3)
Claimed footage of the destruction of the Ummayad Mosque in Aleppo
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1740 GMT: Chemical Weapons. Two significant updates about our previous story that the US now says Assad has used chemical weapons in Syria....
Danger Room reports that there is clear and unambiguous evidence, based on blood samples of the victims, that sarin gas was used by the Assad regime, according to an unnamed American intelligence official:
“This is more than one organization representing that they have more than one sample from more than one attack,” the source tells Danger Room. “But we can’t confirm anything because no is really sure what’s going on in country.”
What’s clear is that the samples are authentic, and that the weapons were almost certainly employed by the Assad regime, which began months ago mixing up quantities of sarin’s chemical precursors for an potential attack, as Danger Room first reported.
“It would be very, very difficult for the opposition to fake this. Not only would they need the wherewithal to steal it or brew it up themselves. Then they’d need volunteers who would notionally agree to a possibly lethal exposure,” the source adds.
This assessment sounds definitive, as if the US is certain sarin was used. It is also a lot stronger rhetoric than the official statement originally leaked through Secretary of Defense Hagel.
Regime’s forces executed 72 martyrs from Malkieh village western of Sfeereh. 49 were identified while 23 martyrs remain unknown. Their bodies were burned.
Al Safira is the site of heavy fighting between the rebels and the regime. The rebel efforts there are being led by Jabhat al Nusra. The nearby chemical weapons depot is thought to be one of the largest of such facilities in the entire Middle East, and has been fiercely guarded by Assad's military.
As of now we have no pictures or videos of the incident, but we are looking. As such we have not independently confirmed the details of this story.
According to the LCC, 188 people have been killed nationwide today:
99 martyrs were reported in Aleppo, including 72 executed in Sfeereh ; 59 martyrs in Damascus and its Suburbs; 11 in Idlib; 8 in Hama; 4 in Homs; 3 in Daraa; 3 in Deir Ezzor and 1 in Raqqa.