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Al Arabiya has this report:

At least 300 killed in regime airstrike near Syrian bakery

SUNDAY, 23 December 2012 English

More than 300 people were reportedly killed in airstrike near a bakery in the town of Halfaya in the central Syrian province of Hama.

“There is no way to really know yet how many people were killed. When I got there, I could see piles of bodies all over the ground. There were women and children,” Samer al-Hamawi, an activist in the town of Halfaya, where the strike hit, told Reuters. “There are also dozens of wounded people”

Halfaya was seized by rebels last week as part of a campaign to push into new territories in the 21-month-old revolt against President Bashar al-Assad.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said “dozens of people were killed in an air strike on Halfaya.”

“In Halfaya, regime forces bombarded a bakery and committed a massacre that killed dozens of people, including women and children, and wounded many others,” said the Local Coordination Committees, a grassroots network of activists.

“A MiG (jet) has attacked! Look at (President Bashar al-) Assad’s weapons. Look, world, look at the Halfaya massacre,” says an unidentified cameraman shooting an amateur video distributed by the Observatory.

Activists said more than a thousand people had been queuing at the bakery. Shortages of fuel and flour have made bread production erratic across the country, and people often wait for hours to buy bread. More...

Reports of a new massacre in Syria are coming in at this hour. While details are still hard to nail down, apparently as many as 300 men, women and childern have been slaughtered by an Assad regime air strike while standing in a bread line in Halfaya, Syria.

LBC has this story:

Dozens killed in air strike on bakery in central Syria

23-12-2012   17:10
Dozens of people were killed and wounded in an air strike on a bakery in Syria's central Hama province, activists said, with some reporting up to 200 dead.                

"We cannot get an exact figure yet because we are still confused about which are dead and which are wounded," one activist said.                        

The strike hit Halfaya, a town recently seized by rebels in a new push to take territory in Hama.        More...

In another attack:

30 troops from the Presidential Guards defect | 23 Dec 2012

Warning Extremely Graphic Images below the fold

HOMS · 91,779 like this

This is what happened today 23-12-2012 in Halfaya town nearby #Hama #Syria, MIGs Bomb the town while people standing in line for bread, Massacring over 300 people!
Halfaya massacre by Assad's forces, over than 300 dead in one neighborhood can you imagine?

Just yesterday Human Rights Watch published this warning:

Additional Action Needed on Kidnapping, Attacks on Civilians
December 22, 2012

(New York) – The Syrian National Coalition (SNC) sent a clear signal that targeting civilians violates the laws of war. The coalition’s statement on December 19, 2012, condemned attacks on civilians, regardless of their nationality.

The coalition should use its influence to help release civilians kidnapped by groups across Syria and condemn attacks on civilians when they occur, Human Rights Watch said. The opposition Free Syrian Army, which is not controlled by the coalition, should take immediate steps to prevent violations of the laws of war, including taking appropriate action against those responsible for serious violations.

“The SNC moved quickly and decisively to reject the idea that civilians can be targeted based on their nationality,” said Sarah Leah Whitson, Middle East and North Africa director at Human Rights Watch. “By saying clearly there is no legitimate excuse for targeting civilians, the National Coalition sent a strong message to opposition fighters that such attacks violate the laws of war and those responsible should be held accountable.” More...

Here are my related diaries on Syria:
BREAKING: Chemical weapons first use reported in Syria
BREAKING: Russia takes control of Syrian chemical weapons
Syria: Assad Regime enters the Deathwatch Phase
SecState[?] John Kerry and his 'dear friend' Bashar Assad
A Libyan rebel speaks out on Jihadists in Syria
Does what Obama said at Newtown apply to Syria?
BREAKING: Heavy fighting in Damascus as coup attempt reported in progress
Assad's jets bomb Palestinian refugee camp
Jabhat al-Nusra is a Threat to the Syrian Revolution
AP weighs in on Obama's Green Light for Assad's slaughter in Syria
Syrian opposition says "Thanks but No Thanks!" to foreign intervention
BREAKING: Assad firing Scud missiles at Syria
Is Assad using white phosphorus in Syria?
BREAKING: Obama recognizes opposition in Syria
Speaking for the murderous regime in Syria
State of the war in Syria: Most of Damascus now in FSA hands!
Syria: Obama's moves Assad's "red line" back as SOHR reports 42,000 dead!
UPDATED: Syria goes dark as "cleansing" begins in Damascus
BREAKING: Assad's Troops Wipe Out a Playground Full of Children in #Syria
BREAKING: Russia denies Syrian army on brink of collapse
BREAKING in Syria: Explosion rocks Damascus as people use "Truce Day" to protest regime
We condemn Israel. So why the silence on Syria?
Norodom Sihanouk at his finest & more on Syria
Meet a Syrian who doesn't think both sides are equally bad and is betting her life on it!
Two statements about Syria
Syria Today: New videos from the revolutionary war
Syrian Defector: Assad behind "terrorist" bombs
How Assad fights "terrorism" in Syria
REVISITED: FSA says it killed Russian General in Syria
Turkey attacks Syria
Truth Out: How Assad helped France kill Qaddafi
Panetta: Unilateral U.S. Military Intervention in Syria Would Be a Serious Mistake
BREAKING: 305 Syrians slaughtered in bloodiest day yet
Syria: Secret source of rebel arms revealed
BREAKING: Amnesty on Syria - Assad Regime guilty on indiscriminate slaughter
Syrian Revolution Digest shows "disgusting" photos!
Syria: The Killing Field the World is Learning to Live With
Barack Obama's Courtship of Bashar al-Assad
LIVE VIDEO: “World Silence is Killing Syria” Rally in #DC
Free #Syria responds to Robert Fisk
UPDATED: #Assad: "#Syria doesn't need a green light!"
Obama opposes French support for #Assad's opposition in #Syria
BREAKING: Amnesty site hacked, Assad propaganda posted
BREAKING: 630 Slaughtered in new massacre in Syria
Special message from Syrian children to Obama
Assad's Redline and Obama's Greenlight!
General Meade at Gettysburg
Tell US gov't to stop endangering Syrian activists
UPDATED: Obama "green lights" #Assad's slaughter in Syria
Syria: Turning Battlegrounds into Playgrounds
BREAKING: Bashar al-Assad is alive as deaths in Syria reach 25,000
The Left and the Arab Spring
Iran increasing its intervention in Syria
Syria: Images from the Battle of Aleppo
Fears grow of WMD attack in Syria
UPDATED: FSA says it killed Russian General in Syria
BREAKING: Syria releases new images of Bashar al- Assad | Are they fakes?
NOT BREAKING NEWS: Just another massacre in Syria
UPDATED: Syrian prime minister defects
Syria: FSA says Iranian pilgrims really Republican Guard
Syria: Aleppo under Siege!
BREAKING: UN votes to condemn Assad Regime as Reuters posts false story on Syria
BREAKING: Kofi Annan resigns as envoy to Syria
Syria: Bashar al-Assad not heard from on Armed Forces Day!
BREAKING: Senior Syrian diplomat to Armenia defects
BREAKING: Big Explosion hits #Damascus #Syria
UPDATED: Syria's Charge D'Affaires Quits London Post
BREAKING: Ground assault on Aleppo begins!
BREAKING: Protests across Syria in spite of Assad regime violence
ALEPPO: Step outside the Matrix and witness the Horror
UPDATED: US fears massacre in #Aleppo, #Syria
BREAKING: Reports of clashes between Jordan Army & Assad's Syrian army
BRAKING: Obama stops Putin from re-arming Assad in Syria
Syria: Foreign meddling increases as crisis builds
BREAKING: Aleppo, Syria bombed with fighter jets
BREAKING: Syria issues a correction, it has no WMD to use
BREAKING: Arab League asks Assad to step down!
Bashar al-Assad: New images released as slaughter continues in Syria
no blood for oil
BREAKING: Activists report toxic gas attack in Deir ez-Zor, Syria
Glenn Greenwald sees Islamist Terrorism as main issue in Syria
Will Syria's Assad make a chemical attack in Damascus on Saturday?
BREAKING: I know where Syria's President Bashar al-Assad is!
BREAKING: Massive Fire near #Assad's Presidential Palace in #Damascus, #Syria
BREAKING: Is Syria's Bashar al-Assad dead or dying?
BREAKING: Damascus explosion kills Defense Minister, other key figures
The battle for Damascus is coming
BREAKING: General Strike in Damascus
BREAKING: Intense fighting reported in Damascus now!
BREAKING: Syrian defector spills beans as important new defection reported.
Does Syria's Assad have something on Kofi Annan?
Tremseh Massacre in Syria: What we know
BREAKING: ~227 reported massacred by Assad's forces in Tremseh, Syria today!
Syria: Is Assad regime on the verge of collapse?
BREAKING: Russian Warships reported in Syria
BREAKING: #Russia changing on #Assad but not as fast as conditions in #Syria
UN Observers say violence in Syria is ‘Unprecedented’
BREAKING: Defection of major Assad insider reported in Syria
BREAKING: WikiLeaks releases 2.4 million #Syria emails
When did "Never Again" become "Whenever?" | #Douma
BREAKING: Incredible mass rally in Aleppo, Syria today!
BREAKING: HRW releases torture report on Syria
BREAKING: Syrian General defects with 293 to Turkey
BREAKING: Items not in the MSM 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
Syria is bleeding
Syria: Ceasefire faltering as mass protests breakout
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Comment Preferences

  •  You know, even as Middle-Eastern dictators go (7+ / 0-)

    Assad is seriously a piece of shit.

    A thousand Sharkeys are invading a thousand Shires every day across our country.--James Wells

    by SouthernLiberalinMD on Sun Dec 23, 2012 at 12:31:48 PM PST

    •  umm, duh. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Someone who participated in our rendition-and-torture regime isn't exactly sweetness and light.

      This much said, he's probably less bad than the jihadi terrorists sponsored by SA, Qatar, and others of our bestest friends in the region, and who have pretty much hijacked whatever there was of a peaceful pro-democracy movement at the start.

      Even? -- especially the Israelis know that.

  •  These cowardly massacres must be stopped. (5+ / 0-)

    It's beyond time for the international community to unite in ousting this brutal regime.

    (I must say your opening tweet is odd, though. I think we can embrace the idea of gun control and the idea that mass slaughter of civilians is atrocious at the same time.)

  •  Don you have any confirmation for this (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    corvo, allenjo

    sensationalistic war propaganda?  Where did you get the 300 figure?  As far as I can tell the BBC is the only one reporting this "unconfirmed" incident that also has two sides to the story, i.e., the Syrian govt is blaming it on a terrorist group.  

    "The Global War on Terror is a justification for U.S. Imperialism. It must be stopped."

    by BigAlinWashSt on Sun Dec 23, 2012 at 02:11:01 PM PST

    •  correction , "Do you have". (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      corvo, allenjo

      "The Global War on Terror is a justification for U.S. Imperialism. It must be stopped."

      by BigAlinWashSt on Sun Dec 23, 2012 at 02:11:30 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Wait a few weeks, Al, and see nothing's been (0+ / 0-)


    •  jesus christ, Al--do you hate Clay so much that (4+ / 0-)

      you won't even accept reality?

      If you're this dense then criticism of you (and others like Blue Wind) of being so anti-'war' you become pro-Assad are completely accurate.

      Watch the news, man.  Follow twitter.  Do SOMETHING.  Just get out of this hyper-isolationist, anti-imperialist--whateveryou call it mindset of yours and figure out what's going on.

      A bakery got bombed by a plane.  Scores are dead.  That's the story.  whether it's 100 or 300 I don't know--but it's at least 90.

      •  Shove it. I was asking for confimation, not a (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        corvo, protectspice

        lecture.  I don't watch the news, man.

        "The Global War on Terror is a justification for U.S. Imperialism. It must be stopped."

        by BigAlinWashSt on Sun Dec 23, 2012 at 02:26:24 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  You 'Don't Watch The News'....and yet you come (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          killjoy, Clay Claiborne

          into these threads with your vehement anti-MIC tirades..;

          without knowing what the hell you're talking about?

          Maybe you should see some news for a change before yammering on EVERY SINGLE M.E.N.A. thread.

          No wonder no one gets through to you.

          I don't agree with most of Clay's post because they're very one-sided--but at least they're researched.

          •  Ever heard of reading? (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            protectspice, mickT, corvo, allenjo

            Look, I haven't come into Clay's diaries for months, just a few recently.  I quit writing diaries over 8 months ago, just to please people like you.
            Now I ask for confimation of a headline that says 300 people were killed by a Syrian warplane, as reported by "activists", of which the Syrian govt is denying, and you want to get on me.
            Yet you don't criticize someone who is spouting neocon talking points constantly.  
            Fine, tell you what, I won't talk to you of which I've already made it a point not to up to today.  Please don't talk to me.

            "The Global War on Terror is a justification for U.S. Imperialism. It must be stopped."

            by BigAlinWashSt on Sun Dec 23, 2012 at 02:40:55 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  ignoring the 'don't talk to me line' I'll say this (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              volleyboy1, Clay Claiborne

              the headlines on this story are pretty much everywhere.  It's the top story in hundreds of international news outlets.  If you're going to question something like that, at least do yourself (and people who  may read/respond to your comments) a service and read a bit of what's going on.  Otherwise, in questioning this story you do a disservice to some 100 + civilians killed in this attack.

              With respect to the diarist--his is not a neocon approach--simply a one-sided response to a humanitarian crisis in Syria--much of which is justified, but much of which is also biased.  He treats the regime vs. rebels as a black and white issue which of course it isn't--and is quicker to advocate intervention than most others on this site--but I don't see nefarious intent there--just bias.

          •  Can you confirm Claiborne's statement (4+ / 0-)
            "300 killed in air strike on breadline in #Syria"
            The very pro-rebel Al Jazeera puts it at about 90.

            Only the Saudi controlled Al Arabiya puts it at 300. Al Arabiya is notorious for spreading disinformation about the Syrian conflict.

            •  300 may be overstated. It is at least 90 w/ (0+ / 0-)

              300 wounded.  I was questioning Al's implicit assumption that since Clay reported it, it's a propaganda myth.

              •  It's the BLAME the anti-Syrian propagandists (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:

                misplace almost ALWAYS, in retrospect. Why aren't they being called on it? For all of the obvious reasons, of course.

                Do you honestly believe all of the worst massacres, all close range and targeting government supporters and Alawites are actually Assad's work?

                Don't forget that the rebels have long had heavy artillery.

                •  please don't confuse me with the diarist. (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  volleyboy1, angry marmot

                  he has an agenda.  I don't have that agenda.  I have not supported intervention.  I place far MORE blame on the Assad regime than on the myriad rebel groups for the scale of death in Syria (the regime has the upper hand (i.e. the military) by default).  That's not to say that there havent' been several terrorist attacks/massacres within fringe groups amongst the rebels.

                  I am familar with the nuances and have followed these stories/developments for two years--while I'm not Syrian or Egyptian, I have a pretty good idea what's going on.

                  Most of the anti-war propagandists who come and post on these threads have zero idea what's going on.

                  •  I guess it depends on which stories (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    corvo, joanneleon

                    you've "followed".

                  •  Not sure I agree... I think they have a lot (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:

                    of idea about what is going on it's just in their interests to see certain people lose and certain people win. I don't think they are "anti-War" at all. They are just anti-U.S. and anti-West. To them, the U.S. is "Teh Ebilz" and anything that runs counter the U.S. must be good or at least less objectionable than the U.S. and/or it's allies.

                    Why do I say they are not "anti-War"? Because, notice no complaints about Iranian Revolutionary Guard activity in Syria (something the Iranians gladly admit), no word about Hizbollah Fighters involvement... Nothing. They are perfectly fine with outsiders helping the regime, just not the people fighting the regime (who, by the way, are certainly not any better) Syria is just a crappy situation and the populace is caught in the middle.

                    Oh and right now the figure is about 100+ dead, not 300 and not Zero.

                    "'Touch it dude' - President Barack Obama"

                    by volleyboy1 on Sun Dec 23, 2012 at 03:36:14 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

            •  He finds the highest number in the media, (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              mickT, corvo, joanneleon

              and repeats all initial "rebel" claims of it being an "airstrike" or a "shabiha" action regardless of eyewitness accounts. Pretty much standard gulf monarch propaganda, in service of broader western interests.

              Standard MSM cut and paste job iow.  

    •  terrorist group with mig jets? (0+ / 0-)

      Glad to know you are here to question the numbers and present Assad's side of the story.

      Confirmation is in the videos and multiple reports.

      Over a thousand were in the crowd that was bombed, so the death count is a moving object still, but it goes only one way.

      Remember history, Clay Claiborne, Director Vietnam: American Holocaust - narrated by Martin Sheen

      by Clay Claiborne on Sun Dec 23, 2012 at 05:34:51 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Another massacre just as the UN shows up to (5+ / 0-)

    negotiate with Assad?

    Open your eyes, people. I can't be the only one here who's noticed this pattern.

    And why is there a bread line in the first place? Hint : WESTERN SANCTIONS.

  •  So what's your solution? Rebels don't want the (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Claudius Bombarnac, volleyboy1

    invasion so that's out. What else?

  •  Associated Press is a lttle less sure (6+ / 0-)
    It was unclear from the videos if the building was indeed a bakery. Nearly all the dead and wounded appeared to be men, some wore camouflage, raising the possibility that the jet had targeted a rebel gathering.
    •  I've watched 8 videos of the event and agree (4+ / 0-)

      that almost all the wounded and dead were young men of fighting age - many wearing camouflage. I'm sure if there were more women and children they would have been displayed prominently for propaganda purposes.

      I'll wait for more info.

    •  They also have this: (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      volleyboy1, Clay Claiborne
      Airstrikes on the town of al-Safira, south of Aleppo, killed 13 people, including a mother and five daughters from one family
      Something tells me that if that had been the report following a US drone strike, you would be outraged. But if its alleged about Syria, well, that's just biased rebels.

      You never trust a millionaire/Quoting the sermon on the mount/I used to think I was not like them/But I'm beginning to have my doubts -- The Arcade Fire

      by tomjones on Sun Dec 23, 2012 at 06:20:29 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  yup. and God forbid if it were an artillery (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        volleyboy1, Clay Claiborne

        strike in Gaza where Hamas members are gathered in...say...a bakery...

        Impressive double standards in these here parts...

      •  The rebels are using the Allepians (0+ / 0-)

        as human shields, if you hadn't heard.

        They've also managed to destroy a large portion of the city and the residents have been very vocal in their opposition.

        •  Assad forces have been bombing and shelling (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          Aleppo for months, but the opposition has destroyed the city.

          Yeah, right.

          Remember history, Clay Claiborne, Director Vietnam: American Holocaust - narrated by Martin Sheen

          by Clay Claiborne on Sun Dec 23, 2012 at 10:22:33 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  The rebels did their fair share of destruction (0+ / 0-)

            The opposition has thousands of mortars, tens of tanks, many heavy guns and grad rockets which they are using. Why else do you think they are gaining ground (and ever greater numbers of weaponry)?

            Your one-sided diaries attempt to paint a false picture that the carnage going on in Syria is one sided. You know damn well that if the US was fighting insurgents embedded in a town, they would take out the entire town and the American people would not say a thing.

            Here's one report. There have been dozens of reports over the year showing the rebels using heavy weapons to bombard checkpoints and government strongholds within cities and towns which have killed civilians and destroyed property.

            Fierce fighting reported in Syria's Aleppo
            Battle for country's largest city intensifies after rebels declare major offensive against Assad government's forces.
            Last Modified: 29 Sep 2012

            Syrian rebels have unleashed an unprecedented barrage of mortar fire against government troops in Aleppo after announcing a "decisive" battle for Syria's second city, residents and activists say.

            Shells crashed down at a steady rate and clashes were widespread on Friday, leaving layers of dust and smoke over Aleppo, according to the residents and the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR), the UK-based opposition watchdog.

            "The fighting is unprecedented and has not stopped since Thursday. The clashes used to be limited to one or two blocks of a district, but now the fighting is on several fronts," the SOHR's Rami Abdel Rahman told AFP news agency.

            Residents of Aleppo neighbourhoods previously spared the worst of the two-month-old battle for the city told AFP the violence was "unprecedented".
            Abu Furat said that 25 soldiers were killed in the assault, while another rebel fighter said 20 of his comrades died on the battlefield and 60 were wounded.
            Afterwards, mortars were fired about every 15 minutes into army-held areas, including Sulimaniyeh and Sayyid Ali.

  •  Video showing bread being planted at bomb site (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    •  you're right. That proves the deaths were all (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:


      •  No. It just shows that someone wants to use (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        the attack for propaganda purposes. Just as Clay is reporting 300 killed waiting in a bread line instead of the 40 to 100 rebels killed by government forces. From the many videos I've viewed, I would put the toll closer to 40.

        Clay is too quick to post his "breaking" news which are mainly meant to demonize the Syrian regime by triggering an emotional response. By the time the truth is known, his diaries are long gone. Just have a look at his "breaking" posts for the last year or so.

        It takes time to dig out the truth. Unfortunately, DKos is meant for those with a short attention span. What's the average life of a diary? 2 hours? 4? Very few go beyond 8.

        BREAKING: Chemical weapons use reported in #Syria, Has Obama's red-line has been crossed?
        U.S. Officials Doubt Syrian Rebels’ Chemical Attack Claim
        U.S. officials note that several things about the video are inconsistent with a sarin strike. There are complaints of strong smells; sarin is odorless. There are reports that the victims inhaled large amounts of the chemical; a minuscule of amount of inhaled sarin can be fatal.

        “It just doesn’t jive with chemical weapons,” one U.S. official tells Danger Room.

        In fact, the symptoms shown in these videos might have been caused by other chemicals — possibly chlorine, phosgene, or cyanogen chloride, according to one independent review of the clips (.pdf). Or we might simply be seeing a severe asthma attack.

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