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Syria Blog

Updates on the situation in Syria, as attacks on ISIL by the US and its allies add a new dimension to the civil war that began in 2011 and has killed more than 190,000 people.


  • Bushra Kaake walks with her husband beside the Syrian government's air intelligence centre in Aleppo. Bushra Kaake, also known as Om Saeed, is a member along with her husband of the Free Syrian Army. [Reuters]

  • Al Jazeera World - Syria: The Reckoning - Episode 2

  • WATCH | Al Jazeera World - Syria: The Reckoning - Episode 2


    Since its independence from France in 1946, Syria has been rocked by periods of political instability.

    As the colonial hold of the great powers began to fade and the region witnessed a wave of Arab nationalism, Syria shifted through a succession of military coups.

    But in 1970, Hafez al-Assad, an ambitious minister of defence, seized control. Rising from a humble background in western Syria, he was to rule the country for 30 years.

    His was an autocratic one-party state in which any dissent was ruthlessly suppressed. Following the death of Hafez in 2000, father was succeeded by son - Bashar al-Assad took the reigns and a dynasty was born.

    In 2011, with the region in revolt, the al-Assad regime was challenged.
  • UN chief meets Syrian opposition leader

    Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon has met the President of the National Coalition for
    the Syrian opposition forces, the UN  has said.


    by AJE Staff
    The UN  said in a written statement issued on Saturday that  Ban underlined to Ahmad al-Jarba the the suffering of the Syrian people on all sides, as a result of the conflict, and also the hardship of the neighbouring countries hosting Syrian refugees.

    The Secretary-General welcomed
    al-Jarba's commitment to send a delegation to the Geneva Conference, and urged the National Coalition to reach out to other opposition groups and agree on a representative and united delegation.

    The UN statement said that Ban stressed the paramount importance of embarking on serious dialogue as soon as possible, as well as the need to ensure accountability for war crimes. [Photo: 
     Getty Images/ AFP/ Spencer Platt]

  • Inside Syria - Hezbollah and Assad: An unbreakable alliance?

  • by AJE Staff

    Syria
    chemical clean-up the biggest ever staged


    International chemical weapon troubleshooters will enter war-torn Syria on
    Tuesday to start one of the
    biggest and most dangerous disarmament
    operations ever staged.

    With more than 1,000 tonnes of sarin, mustard gas and
    other banned horror
    chemicals stocked across the country, the UN  and the global chemical weapons watchdog have launched an urgent appeal for
    scarce experts to
    join the mission.

    Applicants must be ready to face
    mortal risks and an impossible deadline.


    UN leader Ban Ki-moon called the
    operation "daunting" after the UN Security  
    Council voted Friday to eliminate
    President Bashar al-Assad's chemical arms.

    UN needs 200 inspectors

    The mission by the Organisation
    for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons
    (OPCW), which polices the 1993
    Chemical Weapons Convention, will run in
    parallel to a UN investigation into
    a huge sarin gas attack in Damascus in
    August and other suspected
    attacks.

    Final details of a US-Russia plan to dispose of stockpiles at an
    estimated
    45 sites have still not been agreed, UN diplomats
    said.

    Clean-ups of chemicals have been staged in Iraq and Libya, but
    never
    in the middle of a raging war.

    Experts say the OPCW will need up to 200
    inspectors for the Syria force. It
    has less than half that number
    who already have a heavy regular
    workload. 

    The watchdog has had to appeal to
    the major powers to send scientists.


    Those who go will become a new target in
    the 30-month-old conflict and the
    strife means the noxious potions will have
    to be moved out of Syria to be
    destroyed. - AFP [Photo: EPA/ Youssef Badawi]

  • NGO: Air strike kills nine in Syria high school

    Children were among nine people killed in an air strike on a high school in a rebel-held city of northern Syria on Sunday, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

    "The Syrian air force bombed a technical high school in the city of Raqa, killing nine people, among them children under 18, and wounding several other people," the Britain-based watchdog said.

    Raqa, on the Euphrates valley 160km east of the main northern city of Aleppo, is the only provincial capital entirely in rebel hands.

    Captured from government forces on March 6, the city is now largely controlled by al-Qaeda loyalists of the Islamic State of Iraq and Levant (ISIL), an armed group operating in Syria and a US-designated "terrorist organisation".

    The air strike came after rebels launched an overnight attack on army positions in Nasseriya al-Qalamun, north of Damascus, killing at least 19 soldiers and wounding 60, the Observatory said.

    "There were also losses in the ranks of the rebels, who succeeded in capturing several positions," it added, without giving a figure.
  • Syrian President Bashar al-Assad told Italian TV his country will respect the UN agreement on the destruction Syria's chemical weapons stockpile.

    [Reuters]
  • A Syrian photographer has been killed by shelling in the eastern city of Deir Ezzor.

    Murhaf al-Modahi, known by the pseudonym Abu Shuja, was killed on Saturday in fighting between rebels and troops loyal to President Bashar al-Assad, a fellow photographer from Deir Ezzor said.

    Al-Modahi had contributed work to AFP news agency. AFP's photography director for the Middle East and North Africa Patrick Baz said he had trained Abu Shuja in June, and that "he had made huge progress".

    Abu Shuja "was part of this new generation of Syrian photojournalists" born of the country's brutal conflict.

    The main opposition National Coalition also reported Abu Shuja's death, saying in a statement that he "died while carrying out his duty as a journalist".

    The Coalition said he "picked up a camera and started documenting (the Syrian revolt) as soon as the first protests broke out in Deir Ezzor.

    "He continued to work under the bullets, bombs and tank shells, defying the regime's military might."
    International press freedom watchdog Reporters Without Borders (RSF) describes Syria as the world's most dangerous country for journalists to work in.

    It says that 25 journalists have been killed there, as have 26 citizen journalists, since March 2011 when the Syrian revolt began.

    [AFP]
  • 43 rebel groups fighting on the outskirts of Damascus have merged to form a new front against President Bashar al-Assad. They are calling themselves the Islam Army.

    The group will be the biggest operating in the area, leaving the Free Syrian Army, the military wing of the internationally recognised National Coalition of opposition parties, more isolated than ever.

    Al Jazeera's Hashem Ahelbarra explains.

  • Photojournalist and media activist Murhaf al-Modhi, known by the pseudonym of Abo Shuja, was killed in shelling during fighting between rebels and pro-Syrian government forces in Deir Ezzor on Saturday. [AFP]
    by AJE Staff

  • Syria attack probe wraps up ahead of disarmament mission

    UN experts have wrapped up their investigation of seven alleged chemical attacks in Syria as disarmament teams prepared to visit the country to inspect its arsenal of the banned weapons.

    Syria's President Bashar al-Assad has insisted his country will comply with a UN resolution under which his regime must turn over its chemical weapons for destruction.

    But the violence on the ground continued, with at least 16 people - 10 of them students - killed when a regime air raid hit a high school in the northern rebel-held city of Raqa.

    The UN's six-person team of chemical weapons experts, which is on its second mission to Syria to investigate alleged attacks, is scheduled to leave the country on Monday.

    The team has said it hopes to present a final report on the alleged attacks by late October, following an interim report submitted this month which confirmed the use of the nerve agent sarin in an August 21 attack in the suburbs of Damascus.

    [Source: AFP]
  • UN: Syria refugee crisis threatens region's economic development

    The administrator of the United Nations Development Programme is warning that Syria's refugee crisis is threatening economic development throughout the region because host countries cannot cope with the influx.

    Helen Clark told a meeting in Geneva on Monday that the situation not only poses a humanitarian crisis but also threatens economies of neighboring countries including Jordan, Lebanon, Iraq and Turkey due to its impact on trade, agriculture, tourism, employment and demands on water use.

    She said that by the end of the year, nearly 25 percent of Lebanon's population will be made up of refugees. The figure has already reached 10 percent in Jordan. Clark added that "clearly the costs on host communities and countries cannot be borne by them alone." [AP; Photo credit: AP]

    by AJE Staff

  • A team of inspectors charged with overseeing the destruction of Syria's chemical weapons arrived in Beirut on Monday, ahead of their trip to Damascus, an airport source told AFP news agency.

    The group of 20 experts from the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons arrived on a private plane, Lebanon's state news agency said, and is scheduled to travel to Syria on Tuesday. [AFP]
  • Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Muallem is addressing the UN's General Assembly in New York City. You can watch his address live here.
  • Syria's foreign minister has accused regional and Western powers of providing chemical weapons to the armed opposition, alleging that those weapons were used in an August attack that killed hundreds.

    Addressing the UN General Assembly on Monday, Walid al-Muallem further alleged that while the Syrian government had co-operated with a UN inverstigation into the August 21 attack near Damascus, the commission was "prevented" from investigating who perpetrated the attack by the US and its allies. 

    Read more here[Photo Credit: AP]

    by AJE Staff

  • Russia wants to revive plans for a conference on ridding the Middle East of weapons of mass destruction now that Syria has pledged to abandon its chemical arms, according to Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.

    "We will seek to have this conference take place," Lavrov said in an interview on Monday with the Russian daily Kommersant. Lavrov said Syria's agreement to destroy its chemical weapons by next June should trigger a broader effort.

    Such a move could put Moscow at odds with Washington which announced the conference would be delayed last year. Analysts said it feared the event would be used to criticise its ally Israel, believed to be the region's only nuclear-armed state. [Reuters]
  • A Free Syrian Army fighter uses a sling to launch stones towards Assad forces in the al-Khalidiya neighbourhood of Aleppo [Reuters]
    by AJE Staff


    A Free Syrian Army fighter mans an anti-aircraft gun on a truck in Deir al-Zor [Reuters]
    by AJE Staff

  • France to investigate Assad uncle's assets

    Paris prosecutors have opened a preliminary investigation into the assets of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's uncle, whom anti-corruption groups accuse of illegally obtaining a vast fortune and property empire.

    A judicial source told AFP news agency the investigation had been opened on Monday into Rifaat al-Assad, the brother of Bashar al-Assad's father Hafez, after a criminal complaint filed on September 13.

    The complaint, by anti-corruption groups Sherpa and Transparency International, alleges the 76-year-old illegally acquired "extraordinary wealth" in France through corrupt schemes and embezzlement.

    Once a stalwart of the Syrian authorities, Rifaat al-Assad broke with his brother's government in 1984 and reportedly has no links with the current regime. [AFP]
  • Turkey parliament to discuss strikes against Syria

    Turkey's parliament will discuss a government motion authorising military strikes against Syria on Thursday, the deputy prime minister said. 

    Bulent Arinc declined to comment on its scope while speaking to reporters after a weekly cabinet meeting on Monday.

    Turkey authorised military action against Syria shortly after a mortar attack fired from the neighbouring territory killed five of its civilians in October. 

    Since then, the Turkish military has retaliated in kind for every Syrian shell that has landed on its soil. [AFP]
  • A disarmament team is to reach Damascus on a mission to destroy Syria's chemical arsenal, a day after UN experts wrapped up their investigation of alleged gas attacks.

    The team of 20 inspectors from The Hague-based Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) is implementing a UN resolution that ordered the elimination of Syria's chemical arms starting from Tuesday.

    The operation to rid Syria of chemical weapons by a target date of mid-2014 will be one of the largest and most dangerous of its kind.

    The arsenal is believed to include more than 1,000 tonnes of sarin, mustard gas and other banned chemicals stored at an estimated 45 sites across the war-torn country. [AFP]
  • China has said a mortar shell that landed in its embassy compound in Syria's capital Damascus has injured a Syrian employee and caused a small amount of damage to the property.

    Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei also said on Tuesday that "China is shocked at the attack and strongly condemns" it.

    The attack came days after shells hit the Iraqi and Russian missions in central Damascus. The governments of China, Russia and Iraq are strong backers of Assad's government.

    Hong says that China urged all parties in Syria to halt violence and start talks on restoring peace. [AP]
  • The al-Qaeda linked Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant spokesman Abu Mohamad Al Adnani Alshami has issued a statement accusing media of "distorting" the group's reputation.

    The statement (in Arabic) reported by Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, denied that the group's fighters were centered in the liberated areas and not fighting against Syrian regime.

    ISIS also said that the FSA group's Ahfad al Rasoul visited France to get support to fight ISIL.

    The statement can be found here: www.youtube.com
  • Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has said that it is unclear whether western nations will be able to bring representatives of the Syrian opposition to a planned international peace conference by a target date of mid-November.
     
    Syria's pledge to abandon its chemical arsenal has rekindled hopes that an international conference proposed by Russia and the United States in May could materialise, and UN Security Council powers hope it can be held in mid-November. 
    [Reuters] 
    by AJE Staff

  • Syria's President Bashar al-Assad will remain in office, and has the right to decide to run for reelection next year, Information Minister Omran al-Zohbi has said.

    "Syria is staying put: the state, the nation, the people and the president. This is the Syrians' choice," Zohbi told journalists on Tuesday.

    "All the people call for President Bashar al-Assad to be president of this state, whatever the opposition, the Americans and the traitors say," he added.

    Zohbi said it is "the president's right to take a decision" on whether he will run for a new term in mid-2014, when his mandate is set to expire.

    In Tuesday's speech, Zohbi said the opposition "does not have the courage to go to the polls", and that "had it had the courage, we would not have reached this point".
    [AFP]

  • by AJE Staff

    Free Syrian Army (FSA) rebels 
    prepare mortar launchers during what they said is an offensive in Aleppo on Tuesday. [Source: Reuters]
  • The UN chemical weapons inspectors have crossed into Syria  from neighboring Lebanon.

    Twenty inspectors from a Netherlands-based chemical weapons watchdog are traveling to Damascus to begin a complex mission of finding and dismantling an estimated 1,000-ton chemical arsenal as the civil war rages in Syria.

    The inspectors have about nine months to complete their task to have the Syrian regime destroy its chemical stockpile by mid-2014.

    The first group of experts from the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons entered Syria Tuesday through the Masnaa border crossing with Lebanon.

    They are expected to meet with Syrian Foreign Ministry officials on arrival in the capital, Damascus. [AP] 

    A convoy (below) believed to be carrying UN chemical inspectors leaves Beirut international airport. [Source: Reuters]

    by AJE Staff
  • A Free Syrian Army fighter rests near Nairab military airport, which is controlled by forces loyal to Syria's President Bashar al-Assad, in Aleppo [Reuters]


    by azad.essa



  • An advance group of international inspectors charged with overseeing the destruction of Syria's chemical weapons have crossed into the country from neighbouring Lebanon.

    Twenty inspectors from a Netherlands-based chemical weapons watchdog, the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), entered Syria on Tuesday through the Masnaa border crossing with Lebanon.

    They are travelling to Damascus to begin a complex mission of finding and dismantling an estimated 1,000-ton chemical arsenal as the civil war rages in Syria.

    Responding to this development, Bouthaina Shaaban, Political and Media Adviser to Syrian President Bashar Assad, said:

    "The Syrian government has been very cooperative, it is the party that volunteered joining the organisation for non-proliferation of chemical weapons, and therefore all this rhetoric about forcing the Syrian government, or making sure that the Syrian government, all this rhetoric in order to show as if Syria is not the one who wanted to do this - and this proves that the Syrian government never used, would never use, such weapons against its own citizens."

    [Source: APTN]
  • At least 115,206 people have been killed in Syria's devastating 30-month conflict, most of them fighters from both sides, a monitoring group said on Tuesday.

    "The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights has documented the deaths of 115,206 people from the start of Syria's revolution on March 18, 2011 to September 30, 2013," the Britain-based group said.

    Among the dead were 47,206 fighters loyal to President Bashar al-Assad's regime and 23,707 rebels seeking his ouster.

    Of those, 28,804 were regular troops, another 18,228 were pro-regime militiamen and "informants" and 174 were members of the pro-Damascus Lebanese Shia movement Hezbollah, the group said.

    On the rebel side, 17,071 were civilians who picked up weapons to join the insurgency, 2,176 were army defectors and 4,460 were either foreign or unidentified fighters killed in battle.

    Another 41,533 civilians lost their lives in the war, among them 6,087 children and 4,079 women, said the Observatory.

    The group also said it has documented the deaths of an additional 2,760 unidentified victims, who it was not possible to identify as either civilians, rebels or regime forces.

    The figures exclude people being held by the regime, who activists have said number in the tens of thousands.

    [Source: AFP]
  • In a rebel-held village in Syria's northern Idlib province, some 200 children returned to school last week to resume their lessons a year after violence forced their school to close its doors.

    But in the village of Madaya the children are haunted by the threat of bombardment by Syrian government forces which residents say is a daily occurrence.

    "We go to school in fear," said 12-year old Abdo Al Fikri, who arrived to school clutching the books close to his chest and keeping a protective arm around his younger brother's shoulders.

    "They shell us with rockets, airplanes and missiles," Abdo said.

    Although, some children were schooled at home during the most intense fighting between Free Syrian Army and government troops, most had their education disrupted for more than a year.

    It was dangerous to walk to school and children were unable to concentrate on their studies because of fear of shelling.

    [Source: APTN]
  • A chemical weapons disarmament team arrived in Damascus on Tuesday to begin evaluating the country's arsenal of the banned weapons.

    The 19-member team traveled to Syria to begin an inspection mission before the arms are turned over for destruction under UN Security Council resolution 2118 adopted last week.
  • Fighting rages on in Syria's southern city of Deraa and other flashpoint areas.

    Videos posted by rebels appear to show bodies of government soldiers killed while trying to launch attacks on Barzeh, a suburb of Damascus.

    The rebels set up new training units to consolidate their gains in Damascus.

    Al Jazeera's Hashem Ahelbarra reports.

    Syria rebels seek to consolidate their gains
    by AlJazeeraEnglish via YouTube on 7:24 PM



  • Syria's currency has recovered some of the heavy losses inflicted over two years of civil war and sanctions, helped by a US decision not to pursue military action against Damascus.

    Traders said the pound, which traded at 47 to the dollar before protests against President Bashar al-Assad erupted in March 2011, was trading at 167 to the dollar on Tuesday, its strongest level since June - partly due to the return of some refugees with dollars to change.

    That has helped make the pound worth nearly twice as much as in July when it briefly hit record lows of around 300 per dollar.

    "There is less psychological pressure because the scare about a strike has gone," said a Damascus based banker, adding that the central bank's readiness to inject more dollars was also supporting the pound.

    The pound's value has also revived somewhat after the arrest of dozens of dealers and the closure of several exchange houses which officials blamed for its wild fluctuations, dealers said.

    It sank to 235 after President Barack Obama announced that Washington wanted to strike Syrian targets in response to a deadly chemical attack but has appreciated again helped by central bank intervention in the market and, dealers say, by the return of some refugees who have bought pounds.

    "A lot of people who had left were returning and there is more demand because they are bringing dollars and spending in Syrian pounds. We are feeling their presence," said a dealer in a licensed firm located in one of the main Damascus trading areas.

    Other moves such as eased restrictions on banks selling dollars was helping to bolster the pound, one banker said, adding that the central bank was meeting most of their foreign currency needs.

    Dealers said the central bank was expected to announce plans in the next few days to lift a $10,000 ceiling on dollar purchases by ordinary Syrians for non-trading purposes.

    (Reuters)
  • Syria's foreign reserves crashed by more than a third in the year to the end of 2011, figures published by the central bank showed, giving a rare glimpse into the war-stricken country's finances.

    An undated report on Syria's central bank website showed foreign reserves fell to about 158 billion Syrian pounds at the end of 2011 from around 242 billion a year earlier - the most up-to-date figures published since the crisis started.

    The figures were converted to pounds at an old official rate the report listed as 11.2 pounds to the dollar, vastly different from the current unofficial rate of around 167 to the dollar.

    While the numbers are too old to indicate Syria's current reserve levels, they suggest reserves were dropping at a rapid pace even during the conflict's early days when fighting was relatively limited.

    Economists estimated foreign reserves at about $16-18bn before the crisis, when Syria was earning some $2.5bn a year from oil exports. Most of the oil revenues dried up in late 2011 when the European Union imposed sanctions on Syrian crude purchases.
    [Reuters]
  • A Free Syrian Army fighter holds his weapon as he stands next to a hairdresser shop in Sheikh Maksoud area in Aleppo on October 1. [REUTERS]
    by AJE Staff


  • UN asks Kuwait to host second donors meet for Syria

    UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon has called on the emir of Kuwait to host a second donors' conference to raise aid for Syrian refugees, the official KUNA agency said on Wednesday.

    Kuwait hosted the first donors' conference in January, when participating nations pledged $1.5bn for Syrian refugees.

    Emir Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad Al-Sabah, who is on a private visit to the United States, received a phone call late on Tuesday from Ban who "expressed hopes... for Kuwait to host the second donors' conference to support the humanitarian situation in Syria," KUNA said.

    The United Nations launched a record $5.2bn aid appeal in June to fund operations in Syria and neighbouring countries, warning the number of Syrians needing help because of the conflict could rise to over 10 million by the end of 2013.

    The aid is for food, which accounts for one-fifth of the sum, clean water, medical care and schooling, as well as to build refugee camps.

    The UN appeal aims to raise $3.8bn for refugees and $1.4bn for operations in Syria.

    [Source: AFP]
  • Global powers are "on the right track" with a plan to eliminate Syria's chemical weapons arsenal, Russian President Vladimir Putin told an investment conference on Wednesday. [Reuters]
  • The UN Security Council on Wednesday agreed on a statement calling on the Syrian government to improve humanitarian aid access, diplomats said.

    The statement, which also includes a call for cross-border aid operations, is to be officially released later Wednesday, the diplomats told AFP news agency.

    [AFP]
  • Al Qaeda-linked fighters fought rival Syrian rebels near the border with Turkey on Wednesday, activists said, in an outbreak of violence driven by the divisions between factions battling President Bashar al-Assad.

    The al Qaeda-linked Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) took control of the northern border town of Azaz last month, kicking out rival rebels and prompting Turkey to shut the crossing about 5 km away.

    ISIL, which wants to merge Syria into a larger state ruled by Islamic law, has maintained control of the town since then and clashes have periodically erupted between it and fighters of the Northern Storm brigade that they had expelled to its outskirts.

    Activists said the latest fighting broke out on Tuesday night after a deadline ISIL had set for Northern Storm fighters to surrender their weapons came to an end.

    "There are very fierce clashes on the outskirts of Azaz. ISIL cut all roads leading to Turkey and the situation is very tense," said one rebel source, speaking from Turkey.

    Another activist from Azaz said ISIL had seized two checkpoints and a base from Northern Storm and had advanced toward the border. He said some ISIL fighters had been killed, but he did not know how many.

    [Reuters]
  • A court in Paris has opened an investigation into the French assets of Rifaat al-Assad, the uncle of the Syrian president.

    A number of French non-governmental associations accuse him of embezzlement.

    Rifaat al-Assad says he has done nothing wrong.

    Al Jazeera's Jacky Rowland reports from Paris.

  • Seventeen countries have agreed to take in refugees escaping the civil war in Syria.

    In total, 10,000 Syrians will be offered the right to resettle in countries including the United States, France and Australia next year.

    Many countries have been criticised for not doing enough to help at least 2m people who have been forced to leave their homes in Syria.

    Al Jazeera's Zeina Khodr reports from a refugee camp in Bekaa Valley, Lebanon.

  • Saudi Arabia's frustration at international inaction over Syria and the Palestinians led it to cancel its speech at the United Nations General Assembly for the first time ever this week, a diplomatic source said.

    Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal had been scheduled to deliver an address to the general assembly on Tuesday afternoon.

    By the standards of the world's top oil exporter and birthplace of Islam, which usually expresses diplomatic concerns only in private, the decision represented an unprecedented statement of discontent.

    "The Saudi decision... reflects the kingdom's dissatisfaction with the position of the UN on Arab and Islamic issues, particularly the issue of Palestine that the UN has not been able to solve in more than 60 years, as well as the Syrian crisis," said the source.

    The conservative Islamic kingdom is one of the main backers of rebels fighting Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in a civil war that has killed more than 100,000 people in two and a half years.

    It has repeatedly called for the international community to intervene on behalf of the rebels, whom it provides with weapons, and has said Assad must be toppled because Syrian government forces have bombarded civilian areas.

    [Reuters]
  • Welcome to Al Jazeera's new Syria blog. For our previous posts, please visit  our former blog.

    We would welcome comments and feedback on this new site. You can either submit a comment here or email philippa.stewart@aljazeera.net with your views.

    We'll be developing this blog over the next few weeks and then will be rolling out some more events on the live.aljazeera.com site.

    Thanks for reading, Al Jazeera's blog team.
  • This video purports to show a group of Syrian rebels preparing to blow up an armoured tank belonging to the Syrian Army.

    اقتحام مستودعات 555 للدبابات من قبل ابطال كتيبة الصديق
    by راياتك بالعالي ياسوريا via YouTube on 1:58 PM


    It is thought the video was filmed in the southern countryside of Aleppo.
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