6/10/2014

  • Mohammed al-Kholi, a 5 year-old Syrian refugee, was raped and stabbed to death by a Lebanese teenager, who then dumped the body in a waste disposal area near Beirut.
        • I really struggled over whether I should post this update, even though it is so short and grouped with so many other horrible incidents, since it was an incident in Lebanon and has little consequence to the overall war. But ultimately it represents the brutality that so many refugees and civilians face. Not posting about it doesn’t help future children who this might happen to, while posting about it might help some people see why this war needs to be brought to an end. I feel like too many people hear that so-and-so town was captured, or 10 civilians were killed in an airstrike, but they don’t actually put themselves in the place of the people who this is happening to, and so it just stays in their mind as endless names and numbers. That’s why I post some of the pictures that I do, and why I updated about Mohammed, who really has no direct affect on the conflict other than the further agony that his family has been put through. Hopefully if anything can be gained from photos and stories like his, it’s to drive home the reality of what’s happening to people who might otherwise ignore it.

syrian refugee child 6-9-2014


 

  • The Islamic Front claimed to have killed 6 government fighters after detonating a mine in old Aleppo.

  • 130,000 have fled the fighting between rebels and the ISIL in Deir Ez Zor since April 30, and 634 people have died.
        • Rebels lost 354 fighters, the ISIL lost 241. 39 civilians have been killed.

  • The ISIL attacked the al-Yaaroubia checkpoint with Iraq, one of the 4 crossings that the UN wants to enter Syria from, but was repelled by the YPG.

  • Due to the advances of the ISIL in Iraq the last few days, tensions between the ISIL and the YPG are rising now that the YPG faces threats from the ISIL in both countries.
        • The ISIL captured US-made equipment from the Iraqi army in Mosul, which might end up affecting the supply of weapons to Syrian rebels, since one of the main arguments against doing so is that the weapons might end up in “extremist” hands.
        • The YPG said it is ready to fight with the Iraqi army and Peshmurga (Kurdish fighters in Kurdistan) against the ISIL in Iraq.
        • Iraqi families fleeing Mosul to the Kurdistan region.

          Iraqi families fleeing Mosul to the Kurdistan region.

          ISIL with a US-made Humvee captured in Mosul.

          The ISIL with a US-made Humvee captured in Mosul.

          Kurdish officers holding the uniform of a 3 star general from the Iraqi army who stripped his uniform and fled from the ISIL.

          Kurdish officers holding the uniform of a 3 star general from the Iraqi army who stripped his uniform and fled from the ISIL.


  • The ISIL detained civilians in KhashamDeir Ez Zor, after raiding many houses in the town.

  • Ayman al-Asfari has emerged as a leading contender to replace Ahmad Jarba as the president of the Syrian National Coalition in the upcoming elections.
        • Jarba has served 2 terms, and so according to the constitution of the Coalition, he has to step down after the next election.
        • Al-Asfari is one of the top political and financial supporters of the Coalition. He is a 56 year-old Syrian-British businessman who lives in London. He founded and heads Petrofac, an oil and gas group that has about 12,000 employees ad is one of the top 100 British companies. He is the only Syrian listed in Forbes as one of the world’s wealthiest men.

  • Ali Sadreddine al-Bayanouni, a prominent Muslim Brotherhood figure in Syria, quit the Syrian National Coalition after Jarba congratulated Abdel al-Fattah El-Sisi on his inauguration as Egypt’s president.
        • Sisi deposed the elected brotherhood president last year, and killed hundreds of protesters in the streets, before running for the presidency in Egypt.

  • Anwar al-Bunni, a lawyer, said that the implementation of Assad’s amnesty decree has begun: “Dozens of prisoners began to be released from Adra prison (northeast of Damascus) yesterday and the releases will continue today”.
      • According to SANA:
          • The amnesty for detainees, which includes freedom and reduced sentences, was announced after last week’s election, and applies for all crimes except “terrorism”, although it also applies to kidnappers who release their hostages and to foreign fighters who joined the rebels within the last month.
          • Sentence reductions include death sentences being decreased to life with penal labor. Life sentences will be reduced to 20 years. Prisoners older than 70, or with terminal illnesses, will be freed.
      • It is important to note that in the past amnesties have been announced, but either not implemented or barely acted on.

  • Rebels are continuing their heavy assault on the Tel al-Jumou hilltop in Daraa.

  • A very near miss for a cameraman filming an airstrike in the Damascus suburb of Darayya: 


  • Walid Jumblatt, a leader of Lebanon’s minority Druze population, called Hezbollah’s decision to fight in Syria a historic and moral mistake.

  • The Carnegie Endowment for International Peace published figures backing up the accusations that the Syrian election was fraudulent: Assad currently controls around 60% of Syria’s 22 million citizens, 2/5’s of whom are underage. Even if every adult in government-held territory and every refugee abroad voted, they would amount to around a million less people that the 11,634,412 people  that the government claimed voted.

  • Rebels are currently fighting for control of the village of Um Sharshuh, which lies 10 kilometers north of Homs and 2 kilometers west of the M5 highway.
        • Rebels stormed the village on June 3rd, taking the high point of Um Sharshuh Castle from pro-government militias.
        • Currently the fighting has Jahbat al-Nusra, Ahrar ash-Sham (part of the Islamic Front), and local battalions fighting Shabiha and NDF forces. Rebels control around 60% of the village and have captured several weapons caches from the defending militias.
        • This is part of a larger fight to consolidate control over northern Homs.

  • SANA reported that the SAA killed 11 fighters from Jahbat al-Nusra in the town of Saraqeb, in Idlib province.

  • Jahbat al-Nusra, the Islamic Front, and several other groups have announced the Nahrawan al-Shaq offensive to remove the ISIL from the eastern countryside of Aleppo.
        • Ahl al-Sham claimed to have taken 4 villages (Sandara, Azziadiah, Suwesan, and Hazwan) and killed 17 ISIL fighters in the northern Aleppo countryside.

  • The SAA discovered a 300 meter-long tunnel that lay 14 meters under the surface in the area around the northern Damascus suburb of Harasta. The tunnel was equipped with electricity and video cameras. 


  • The aftermath of an airstrike in Deir Ez Zor.

    The aftermath of an airstrike in Deir Ez Zor.

    A 57 mm anti-aircraft shell produced in Syria by the Badr Brigade, part of the Islamic Front.

    A 57 mm anti-aircraft shell produced in Syria by the Badr Brigade, part of the Islamic Front.

    An ISIL celebration in Raqqa for their recent victories in Iraq.

    An ISIL celebration in Raqqa for their recent victories in Iraq.

    The ISIL confiscating smuggled cigarettes in Aleppo province.

    The ISIL confiscating smuggled cigarettes in Aleppo province.

    A map for current fighting in Raqqa province.

    A map for current fighting in Raqqa province.

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