"Two things know no limit: Syrian bravery and world hypocrisy." @Ugaritian
While the actual fighting and dying in Syria has increased dramatically in the past week, it has been dampened down in the MSM lately, even Al Jazeera has failed to cover the things that are happening on the ground. Most of what is reported in my blog today most certainly is BREAKING NEWS in the sense that it has yet to be covered by Al Jazeera English of anyone else in the TV MSM.
The attack this weekend on Douma, a community of half a million people, got very little coverage, for while the murder of one family and the attack on the funeral were covered, one would not know from this coverage that a generalized attack by Syrian forces on opposition strongholds is taking place.
Frankly, I think most imperialist diplomats want Assad to stay in power, even Clinton and Obama, They may try to sound differently because they claim to stand for human rights and because when Assad goes down, they want a place at the table in Syria, but I've seen no proof that they have really done anything to help the opposition but work their mouths and they were so kind as to tell Assad early on that there wouldn't be a military response to his killing spree. That already was a green light. Whenever before has a US president explicitly taken the "military option" off the table?
For example the NY Times recently did a major piece about Obama administration support for the rebels and all it amounted to was:
A small number of C.I.A. officers are operating secretly in southern Turkey, helping allies decide which Syrian opposition fighters across the border will receive arms to fight the Syrian government, according to American officials and Arab intelligence officers.The article says they have only been there a few weeks, aren't actually supplying any arms, just trying to make sure no weapons being supplied by others fall into Al Qaeda's hands, and
The clandestine intelligence-gathering effort is the most detailed known instance of the limited American support for the military campaign against the Syrian government.Which basically means there has been no military support for Assad's opposition from the US.
What the UN did on Saturday was to stab the Syrian people in the back. They are trying to force Assad down their throats in spite of the fact that he clearly is a mass murderer and war criminal many times over. Everybody wants the "stability" he has brought, everybody except the Syrians, who have stepped up their fight to overthrow the Assad regime as more forces leave the Syrian Army that kills its own soldiers for refusing to kill and join the Free Syrian Army.
All the great powers may be hoping Bashar al-Assad will survive, even the US, UK and Israel, but he will be taken down and by his own people. More and more, even his own army is turning against him.
Most of what I am reporting today was compiled by EAWorldView.
Two insurgents try to destroy a regime armoured vehicle with an RPG in Deir Ez Zor July 1, 2012
1518 GMT: Syria. More signs that the Syrian military is worried about its border - this video reportedly shows a report from a Free Syrian Army fighter in western Idlib, near the border with Turkey. He reports that the fires behind him are the result of helicopter attacks against insurgent positions, an attempt to shut the Free Syrian Army off from their supply lines in Turkey. According to the report, the attacks started at 6 AM
The regime is taking a calculated risk - it could spark tensions with Turkey, particularly if the trees burn across the border, as wildfires are a threat in the area. It's a sign that the Free Syrian Army is enough of a threat to merit the risk.
Thanks to super-activist Zilal for translation help today.
1510 GMT: Syria. With so much violence in the eastern suburbs of Damascus, they're still finding bodies in the streets of Douma (map). A graphic video shows the body of someone who appears as though they were riding their motorbike when killed. Another terrible video claims to show the youth of the city collecting bodies that were buried in the rubble.
1503 GMT: Syria. Perhaps the most important location of today's fighting is in Aleppo province. The countryside is virtually overrun by insurgents, and Syria's largest city is nearly surrounded by the Free Syrian Army, but the military is fighting back, and both civilians and insurgents are paying the price.
So far, heavy gunfire and snipers are reported in Al Bab (map). In Al Atareb (map), videos show widespread destruction after heavy shelling. And this video shows a tank, reportedly destroyed by the Free Syrian Army:
Azaz and Tal Rifat were also, shelled, [guardian] (map), and this video reportedly shows fighting between insurgents and regime military in Haritan (map), matching reports we received earlier:
A graphic video shows a body on the street and a car full of wounded, reportedly hit by gunfire in Anadan, north of Aleppo (map).
However, the battle in Anadan has not been all one sided. Translated by super-activist Zilal, this video claims to show the body of a colonel, Ahmad Sleiman , killed on the road, a direct retaliation by the FSA's Ansar Allah and Ahfad Omar brigades for the murder of so many who were killed in Zamalka on Saturday.
The entire region of Aleppo is witnessing heavy fighting, a sign of just how fast the regime appears to be losing ground.
1417 GMT: Syria. With hundreds dying every day, the streets of many cities are regularly filled with funeral processions, and as such the protest movement is once again surging, every funeral an excuse to voice opposition to the regime whom so many hold responsible for the deaths.
People protested deep into the night last night in the important Salah el Dine district of Aleppo (map):
Today's protests in Kafer Zita, north of Hama (map):
A large protest in the small town of Altimanah, in Idlib province (map):
Every protester in the street is another reminder of Assad's lack of support among the people of Syria.
1403 GMT: Syria. More death in Syria - according to the LCC, 73 people have been killed so far today:
In Homs, there were 23 martyrs, 19 in Hama, 16 in Damascus suburbs most of them in the city of Douma, 7 in Deir Ezzor, 3 in Aleppo, 2 in Daraa, 2 in Damascus and 1 martyr in Lattakia.This video shows a home burning in tje Al Qusour district of Homs, near Khalidiyeh (map):
1353 GMT: Syria. The Guardian notes that things between Turkey and Syria have become more tense in recent days:
Turkey scrambled six F-16 warplanes in three separate incidents yesterday, Today's Zaman reports citing military sources.With Syrian attack helicopters and artillery hitting targets that are only a few kilometers from the border with Turkey, the stakes are high, as are the chances for another accident that could spark an international crisis.
Turkey's armed forces command said the fighter jets were scrambled from Incirlik air base in response to Syrian helicopters flying south of the Turkish province of Hatay, within two to 2.5 miles of the Turkish border.
In similar incidents on Saturday, Syrian helicopters were said to have come as close as four miles from the border.
James Miller takes over today's live coverage. Thanks to Scott Lucas for getting us through the morning.
1245 GMT: Syria. Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov, quoted by the RIA Novosti agency, has said Moscow will hold talks with two Syrian opposition groups, officials from the Assad regime, and United Nations envoy Kofi Annan this.
Bogdanov saud the first group, headed by opposition leader Michel Kilowill, will arrive later this week, while another group with Syrian National Council head Abdulbaset Sieda will visit Moscow after 10 July.
1240 GMT: Syria. Lebanon's General Security agency has announced, "On Monday at dawn, gunmen fired a rocket from Bqaiaa, in Lebanese territory, towards Syria, hitting a Syrian immigration post and wounding two border police."
The statement continued, "The Syrians pursued the gunmen and, during the pursuit, a Lebanese General Security post was hit. A Syrian unit arrived at the Lebanese post and apprehended two members of General Security, taking them into Syrian territory before releasing them."
The men who fired the rocket managed to escape, a General Security spokesperson said.
1235 GMT: Syria. Insurgents film a destroyed regime tank in Atareb in Aleppo Province:
1230 GMT: Syria. Ghatan Sleiba, a long-time anchor and reporter for the pro-regime Addounia TV station, has defected to the opposition and revealed he secretly provided intelligence to insurgents for the past seven months.Al Harra Daraa Ugarit hot Horan, the funeral of the martyr Uday Alalosh July 2, 2012
Sleiba, 33, who arrived in Turkey last Wednesday, said, "There are some others who also want to run, but there are more who love the regime from the depths of their hearts."
The journalist claimed insurgents were now in control of much of eastern Syria, especially the countryside surrounding major towns and cities: "This is one of the things that they never wanted us to talk about. What we were doing was not reporting. It was simply acting as the tongue of the regime."
1220 GMT: Syria. Back from an academic break to find that the main opposition groups in exile are holding a two-day meeting in Cairo to forge a common line for a political transition.
The Arab League's Secretary-General, Nabil Al Araby, who chaired the meeting of about 250 opposition figures, urged participants "not to waste this opportunity...[to] unite". He stressed the need for "a pluralist democratic system that does not discriminate between Syrians."
Nasser al-Qudwa, the deputy to United Nations envoy Kofi Annan, echoed the call: "Unify your vision and your performance....This is not a choice, but a necessity if the opposition wants to gain the trust of its people in Syria,"
Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu warned that a “weak and disorganised” opposition would only benefit the Assad regime while assuring:
There will be a transition and change in Syria. It is inevitable, and there will be a new administration and democratic regime in Syria eventually. It must be clear that only the Syrian people are to decide about the future of any agreement on their own country.The foreign ministers of Turkey, Iraq and Kuwait were also present.
Mortars fired on the Damascus neighborhood of Ugarit July 2, 2012
Here are my related diaries on Syria:
My response to Phyllis Bennis: Where is the non-violent opposition in Syria?
BREAKING: Syrian Air Force attacks Douma, 10m from Damascus, thousands flee
BREAKING: As Syria Burns, UN Blows More Smoke
BREAKING: Kofi Annan to propose Syrian unity gov't sans Assad!
BREAKING: Douma, Syria under massive attack, another massacre feared
BREAKING: Another mass defection from Syrian army
BREAKING: #NATO says No War in #Syria shoot down of #Turkey jet
NATO meetup tomorrow as more defect from Syria
BREAKING: Turkey calls for NATO consult on downing of jet by Syria
BREAKING: Senior Syrian Officers Defect
UPDATED: Russia reported to be preparing to evacuate from Syria
BREAKING: Syria fighter pilot defects
BREAKING: Britain stops Russian ship carrying attack helicopters for Syria
BREAKING: Russian troops headed to Syria
Qaddafi forces Strike Back in Libya
BREAKING: UN suspends mission in Syria
Libya & Syria - two videos - no comment
BREAKING: Russia denies supplying Syria with NEW attack helicopters
Syrian people rise up against the massacre
Another "Houla style" massacre in Syria
Fake Houla Massacre Photo: Was the BBC set up?
Idlib, Syria protest today on anniversary of Kent State killings
BREAKING: Massive protests in Syria following Friday pray
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Syria: Ceasefire faltering as mass protests breakout