05/18/2013 - #Syria - Aleppo - Plane drops ammunition in hands of rebels instead of Assad’s forces
05/16/2013 - #Syria - Aleppo - Battle to release the prisoners at Aleppo central prison, heavy clashes
05/11/2013 - #Syria - Dar’aa - FSA deny regime control of Kherbet Ghazali:
We deny all the rumors that Assad’s forces took control of Kerbet Ghazali, or that the FSA has withdrawn from the area.
Where are we guys? Kherbet Ghazali!
Syria’s main rebel Free Syrian Army on Wednesday rejected calls for Jihad by radical Sunni sheikhs from neighboring Lebanon.
“Our official position as the Supreme Military Command of the Free Syrian Army… is that we thank them but we reject any calls for Jihad in Syria,” FSA political and media coordinator Louay Almokdad told AFP.
“We reject any presence of foreign fighters, regardless of where they are from. We have said that what we are missing in Syria is weapons, not men,” he added.
Thousands of foreign fighters have joined Syrian rebels pitted against the regime of President Bashar al-Assad.
Two Lebanese Salafist sheikhs have called on their followers to join rebels fighting in Syria and to support Sunni residents of the embattled central province of Homs.
Their calls come after Syria’s opposition and a monitoring group accused Lebanese Shiite movement Hezbollah of fighting in Homs alongside troops loyal to Assad’s regime.
In a speech on Monday, controversial Lebanese Salafist leader Sheikh Ahmad al-Assir announced the establishment of “free resistance battalions” in Sidon, the southern city where he is based.
“There is a religious duty on every Muslim who is able to do so… to enter into Syria in order to defend its people, its mosques and religious shrines, especially in Qusayr and Homs,” he told supporters.
Known for his hostility to Hezbollah, Assir said his call comes after Shiite group chief Hassan “Nasrallah and his shabiha [pro-Assad militia] have taken the decision to enter into these areas in order to massacre the oppressed people there”.
04/24/2013 - AFP
Syria rebels were early Wednesday battling regime troops inside the Minnigh military airport in the north of the country for the first time, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.
“The rebels, who have laid siege to the airport for months now, entered it for the first time around dawn,” Observatory director Rami Abdel Rahman told AFP.
“Heavy fighting is still taking place this morning inside the grounds of the airport,” he said.
The rebels on Tuesday took a key military position outside the airport, in Aleppo province, which allowed them to launch a raid on the facility.
A group of regime-allied fighters who attempted to reach the airport to boost government troops there were intercepted by Kurdish fighters who killed nine of them, the Observatory said.
Rebel fighters have tried multiple times to take the Minnigh airport, a key military facility in Aleppo province.
Since the beginning of the year, rebel forces have been fighting what they call the “battle of the airports in Aleppo” in a bid to deprive the regime of a key supply route.
Rebels have set their sights on the Aleppo international airport, along with the Jarrah, Kwiyres, Minnigh and Nayrab military airports. They took the Jarrah military airport on February 12.
04/24/2013 - NOW
Syrian activists on Monday voiced fear that a week of clashes in Jdaidet Artouz and Jdaidet al-Fadel outside Damascus might have left hundreds dead, the Associated Press reported.
The news agency cited the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights as saying the toll could be as high as 250.
“Rami Abdul-Rahman, who heads the Observatory, said the group has documented 80 names of those killed but fears a much higher toll.”
Meanwhile, the Local Coordination Committees “said the death toll was 483 and that most of the victims were killed in Jdaidet Artouz.”
As activists raised alarm over the humanitarian situation in the Damascus suburbs, the Syrian regime’s state press agency SANA said that government soldiers “inflicted heavy losses” on rebels in the areas.
Syrian troops stormed Jdaidet al-Fadl on Sunday amid reports of the discovery of scores of bodies.
Jdaidet al-Fadl is located in an area southwest of Damascus that is home to several communities, including Sunnis, Druze and Christians.
Since last year, the army has tried to root out rebels positioned southwest and east of Damascus, in a bid to secure the capital.
04/22/2013 - NOW
Opposition fighters say they overran army garrison that defends the country’s main southern border crossing into Jordan.
Syrian rebels say they have overrun an army garrison that defends the main southern border crossing with Jordan on Friday and vowed to press on to take control of the major transit route.
Fighters from the Free Syrian Army said on Friday that they captured the Um al-Mayathen post on the main Damascus-Jordan highway in heavy fighting overnight that ended a more than week-long siege.
Dozens died in the clashes, they added.
“It [the garrison] is a major defence and now we will lay siege to the border crossing and cut their [the government’s] supply lines,” Abu Omar, commander of the Lions of the Sunna Brigade, told the Reuters news agency by phone.
Confirming the development, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) said: “Rebel fighters took control of the Um al-Mayathen military checkpoint … in Deraa province in clashes with regime forces.
“Two fighters were killed and others wounded.”
The UK-based watchdog group said there was no immediate word on any army casualties.
The army post is several miles from Syria’s Nasib border crossing which, before the two-year-old civil war broke out, handled billions of dollars of trade between Gulf countries, Turkey and Europe.
Deraa has seen fierce fighting throughout the uprising against President Bashar al-Assad.
Rebels fighting the regime of President Bashar al-Assad on Saturday seized a key air base in the southern Syrian province of Daraa after two weeks of fierce battles with loyalist troops, a watchdog said.
Elsewhere, at least 35 rebels were killed in battles against troops loyal to Damascus that raged near the sensitive ceasefire line with Israel, in the southern province of Quneitra.
“Opposition fighters loyal to Al-Nusra Front, Al-Yarmuk Brigade and other rebel groups seized air defense Base 38 near the town of Saida, on the road linking Damascus to Amman, in the province of Daraa,” said the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.
The seizure came “after 16 days of fighting,” the Britain-based monitoring group added.
At least seven rebels were killed in their final assault on the base, said the Observatory, which also documented the deaths of at least eight regime troops including an officer.
“Dozens of prisoners were freed from the base’s headquarters,” the watchdog added.
Amateur video filmed by rebels and distributed by the Observatory showed the bloodied, mutilated corpse of a man identified as Mahmud Darwish, an officer.
Activists also distributed footage showing a group of men, most of them bearded, being freed.
The Syrian Revolution General Commission, a network of activists on the ground, meanwhile reported the rebel capture of a checkpoint in the town of Sahem al-Golan, also in Daraa.
Amateur video showed rebels seizing at least two regime tanks and several military vehicles after they captured the checkpoint.
“I swear to God, we are coming for you, O Bashar” al-Assad, according to one rebel fighter shown in a video distributed by anti-regime activists.
In Quneitra meanwhile, at least 35 rebels were killed on Wednesday and Thursday fighting troops loyal to Assad, said the Observatory.
Some 20 other fighters were also believed dead after battles in majority Druze villages in Quneitra province, which lays on the sensitive ceasefire line with Israel.
The Observatory’s reports came a day after at least 128 people were killed across Syria — 38 troops, 53 insurgents and 37 civilians.
At least 70,000 people have been killed in Syria since the an anti-regime revolt that broke out in March 2011 morphed into an insurgency after the regime unleashed a brutal crackdown on dissent, the UN says.
Syrian rebels overran the northern city of Raqa on Monday, scoring their biggest victory since the outbreak of a revolt against President Bashar al-Assad almost two years ago.
In central Syria, insurgents battled a major army offensive to capture rebel-held areas of the city of Homs, a watchdog reported, as the US said it would work to “empower” the opposition.
Reflecting the regional spillover from the conflict, dozens of unarmed and wounded Syrian soldiers who had crossed the border to escape weekend fighting were killed in western Iraq along with nine Iraqis as gunmen from Syria ambushed their convoy, Iraqi officials said.
After days of fierce clashes, the rebels were now in “near-total control” of Raqa, “except for some regime positions, including the military security and Baath Party headquarters,” the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.
The Syrian province of Raqa will be freed of regime forces in the coming two days, the director of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights told NOW.
“When the city of Al-Tabaqa was freed, we said that within a few weeks the district of Raqa would be the first to be completely freed from Syrian troops, and we will see this happen within the coming 48 hours,” Abdel Rahman added.
A member of the rebel Ahrar al-Sham Brigade told NOW that the “liberation operation began at midnight on Sunday when a number of rebel brigades attacked the entrance of Raqa city from the eastern side” and took over three army checkpoints.
Another activist said that protesters took down a statue of late President Hafez al-Assad, after the rebels took over the air force intelligence building.
“The rebels also took over the governor’s headquarters that looks over the February 23 Street,” the activist added.
Raqa was once home to 240,000 residents, but around 800,000 people forced to flee violence in other parts of Syria have sought shelter there since the start of the conflict, which has claimed more than 70,000 lives, according to the UN.
On Monday alone, at least 105 people were killed across Syria, said the Observatory, adding that 30 of them were civilians.
In the central city of Homs, insurgents fought a fierce army onslaught aimed at crushing rebel enclaves in what activists have dubbed “the capital of the revolution.”
The fighting in Homs “is the worst fighting in months and there are dozens of dead and wounded among the assailants,” said the Observatory, which relies on a network of medics and activists on the ground for its information.
Regular troops backed by pro-regime militiamen attacked the center of Homs where rebels are holed up, including the Old City and neighborhoods of Jouret al-Shiah, Khaldiyeh and Qarabees, it said.
And in Iraq, the prime minister’s spokesperson said unidentified armed men ambushed a convoy carrying Syrian soldiers who had entered via the Yaarubiyeh border crossing, the site of weekend fighting, killing 48 Syrian and nine Iraqi soldiers.
“This confirms our fears of the attempt of some to move the conflict to Iraq, but we will face these attempts by all sides with all of our power,” Ali Mussawi, Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki’s spokesperson, told AFP.
Iraq’s Defense Ministry said a Syrian “terrorist group that infiltrated into Iraqi territory” carried out the attack.