05/22/2013 - #Syria - Aleppo - Burning of agriculture by regime
05/17/2013 - #Syria - Aleppo - Regime shells the outskirts of the prison with phosphorus (via @Syriansmurf)
05/16/2013 - #Syria - Aleppo - Battle to release the prisoners at Aleppo central prison, heavy clashes
The minaret of Aleppo’s ancient Umayyad mosque was destroyed on Wednesday, Syrian state media and a watchdog group reported, with the regime and rebels blaming each other.
“Terrorists from Jabhat al-Nusra blow up the minaret of the Grand Umayyad Mosque in Aleppo,” Syrian state television reported, saying rebels were seeking to “accuse the Syrian Arab Army” of carrying out the attack.
Activists uploaded video shot at the scene, showing the collapsed minaret, and rebels in the area said the army was responsible.
“Tanks began firing in the direction of the minaret until it was destroyed,” one rebel said in a video uploaded on YouTube, insisting that rebel snipers were not stationed inside the minaret.
“We were afraid that it would be targeted,” he said.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights confirmed the collapse of the minaret at the mosque, in Aleppo’s Old City.
“The minaret of the Umayyad Mosque, around which violent clashes have raged in recent weeks, collapsed,” the group said.
There was no video immediately available showing the moment the minaret collapsed.
An archaeological treasure in Aleppo’s UNESCO-listed Old City, the mosque has been the center of fighting in recent months and already suffered extensive damage.
It recently came back into rebel hands, but has been left pockmarked by bullets and stained with soot.
Antique furnishings and intricately sculpted colonnades have been charred, valuable Islamic relics ransacked and ancient artifacts — including a box purported to contain a strand of the Prophet Mohammed’s hair — looted.
Rebels say they have managed to salvage ancient handwritten Koranic manuscripts and have hidden them.
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
The Greek Orthodox Church’s Archbishop of Aleppo Boulos Yazigi and Syriac Orthodox Archbishop of Aleppo Yuhanna Ibrahim were abducted on Monday in Syria’s Aleppo.
The National News Agency reported that a group of gunmen stopped the car carrying the two Christian hierarchs, killed the driver and kidnapped the two religious leaders.
Ibrahim had picked up Yazigi from a town near the Turkish border, and when they reached the entrance to Aleppo, they were intercepted by the armed men.
Syria has been gripped by a violent uprising against the regime of President Bashar al-Assad since March 2011, and has so far claimed the lives of over 70,000 people.
04/23/2013 - NOW
A bombing the predominantly Kurdish neighborhood of Sheikh Maksoud in Aleppo has left at least 15 people dead.
Nine children were among at least 15 people killed in an air strike on a majority Kurdish district in the Syrian city of Aleppo on Saturday, a watchdog said.
“The number of people killed in an air strike on the western edges of Sheikh Maksoud has risen to 15… Among them were nine children aged under 18 years and three women,” said the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.
“Kurdish sources from the neighborhood have told the Observatory the number of fatalities may rise, as several people have suffered critical injuries,” added the Britain-based watchdog.
It is unclear whether any of the casualties were fighters from the Democratic Union Party (PYD), Syria’s branch of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), the Observatory said.
Reports of the strike come days into fierce fighting pitting Kurdish fighters against troops loyal to President Bashar al-Assad and the arrival of Syrian rebels in the neighborhood, the Observatory’s Rami Abdel Rahman told AFP.
The area targeted by the air strike is under control the PYD’s control, he said.
“We can see a clear drive by the army to attack the Kurds in recent days. The PYD is being dragged by the army into Syria’s conflict,” he added.
Up until now, Syria’s Kurds have been split over Syria’s bloody revolt, with most trying to maintain neutrality.
Amateur video shot in the neighborhood and distributed by the Syrian Revolution General Commission, a grass roots network of activists, showed burnt bodies lying in rubble.
The footage was reportedly filmed in the strike’s aftermath.
A second video showed a black cloud of smoke and flames rising above the presumed site of the strike.
Women can be heard screaming, while an unidentified cameraman says: “Right next to the PKK’s checkpoint, there’s corpses on the ground. Bring vehicles for the casualties, quick.”
The same video shows a woman scream out as she picks up the body of a young girl from the ground. It also shows the body of a boy lying next to a metal fence as residents rush to place several other children’s bodies on the back of a pick-up truck.
Elsewhere in Syria, the air force targeted Al-Hajar al-Aswad in southern Damascus and Qadam in the southwest, said the watchdog, which relies on a broad network of doctors, lawyers and activists for its reports.
Al-Hajar al-Aswad was also struck by mortar rounds and rockets, activists in the capital said.
Warplanes also raided Yabrud near Damascus and Qusayr in the central province of Homs, as tanks shelled rebel enclaves in Homs city.
In Damascus, mortar rounds hit Baramkeh in the heart of the city, said the Observatory, as rebels pressed their campaign to break into the regime’s key bastion.
Saturday’s violence comes a day after at least 94 people were killed across the country — 32 civilians, 36 rebels fighters and 26 soldiers — according to an Observatory count.
The UN says more than 70,000 people have been killed in Syria’s war, which broke out after the army unleashed a brutal crackdown against dissent, turning a peaceful uprising into a bloody insurgency.
NOW - 04/06/2013