The upsurge of violence in Syria since the last week seems more and more to be an attempt to surround the Syrian capital from different axes. Three days later, it proved to be a failure.
However, by bombed-car attacks, explosives and shelling on certain neighborhoods of the capital and its province, it mercilessly claimed the lives of dozens of women and children.
Militiamen on the “List of Disgrace”
For the second time in less than a week, the United Nations Organization had raised its voice against the Syrian militias, threatening to embody them on the “List of Disgrace”, which punishes those who use children in the conflicts or expose them to dangers.
“The information we have received mention that the opposition is using children, and committing violence that affects them either by using those children in launching attacks or by attacking the regions were those children are found,” announced to Reuters Ms. Leila Zarrouki, the first Algerian women to occupy from two months the post of the Special Envoy of the UN Secretary General. She is in charge of releasing reports about the conditions of children in the countries where conflicts are ongoing, and presenting the UN General Assembly as well as the Security Council. Ms. Zarrouki added that the regular army was condemned in a primary report released in 2011, but was not embodied on the “List of Disgrace”.
Children and the Revolt
In fact, the presence of children in the Syrian ‘revolt’ is certain.
We find them by force in the demonstrations, or more correctly, they represent the majority of the participants.
Some media outlets indicated that the organizers of such demonstrations pay them about 500 S.L. (7 or 8 dollars) to participate or raise streamers.
Moreover, we can see those children carrying weapons among the militiamen.
Nowadays, they form the largest number of victims, noting that militiamen don’t hesitate setting car bombs in front of the schools, when they tend to target the neighborhoods of minorities, like what happened in Arous Al-Jabal on Monday, in Mazzé 89 last Tuesday, and in the Al-Zohour Neighborhood last Wednesday.
Al-Zohour Neighborhood Bloody, on Fire
Definitely, during the Tuesday-Wednesday night, a three-bomb booby-trapped car set in the Province of Damascus, precisely in Al-Zohour Neighborhood, killed 15 civilians, injured dozens. Not to mention, among the victims were women and children.
According to the Lebanese daily Al-Akhbar, this region is located between the eastern Al-Ghouta Road, and the Presidential Palace in Al-Mazzé, and occupied by the militiamen who are successively attacking it since it was surrounded by the regular army in the last June. As for the neighborhoods that used to embrace the FSA, they witnessed a radical change recently.
Similar to all regions and neighborhoods that became recently a target for the FSA, Qudsaya is inhabited by Syrian minorities, among who are the Charkas Christians, in addition to the Druze in Al-Golan.
Al-Zohour Neighborhood, the victim of the Tuesday night attack, is inhabited by the Alawis. In addition, Tuesday-Wednesday night witnessed another explosion but did not result in any injury.
Southeastern Palestinian Camps in the Center of Battle
As for the third explosion that occurred on the Tuesday-Wednesday night in Al-Yarmouk Camp, RPG bombs were bombarded. And in the other Palestinian camp, called Palestine, and located next to the first, the battles between the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine members and the militiamen remained in progress the whole night. According to Syrian documents, the militiamen killed ten Palestinians this Wednesday.
On the contrary, the regular army bombed the Beit Sham region, nearby the camp, killing ten Syrian members of the FSA and injuring thirty others. Also in the south, the regular army bombed the locales of the FSA. Consequently, violent clashes broke out in which a group of the militants were killed.
Bastion of Conflicts in Damascus, as well as the Northeast
In addition to the Southeast, in the area surrounding the Palestinian camps, it is in the Northeast of Damascus where the FSA’s attacks are concentrated. Clashes are situated along Douma, which is re-occupied by the militants.
According to Arabi-Press, three bombs hit Kafar Sousa in the morning, next to a commercial center known as “Sham Center”, but no injuries were recorded.
“Ossoud Allah”, literally the Lions of God, is the group affiliated with the “Ahrar Houran” brigade, (Liberals of Houran), that adopted the attack noting that it failed to hit the residence of the Prime Minister, but it indicated that it was able to hit the buildings of the presidential palace as well as the military airport.
Arabi-Press noted that the four-bomb attack against the Mazzé 86 neighborhood that killed 3 persons and injured 7 others was the second in less than 24 hours.
Misinformation or Decided Prediction… Al-Arabiyya
This campaign against the Northeast is accompanied with a media campaign launched by the Saudi channel, Al-Arabiyya.
According to the latter, the three attacks that took place in the morning targeted three official buildings of great importance. They are respectively: the Presidential Palace, the Military Airport in Mazzé, and the Intelligence Center. Along with images and videos taken from the Toile network, the channel broadcasted scenes from the Daraa’s battalion militia that adopted the attacks. Since we cannot see but the black smoke mounting to the sky, which does not show the place from where it originates, Al-Ikhbariyya, the official Syrian TV Channel, negated the news. It is noteworthy that the Saudi channel news is almost similar to the Ahrar Houran militia’s statement that adopted the attack against Mazzé 86 announcing that it hit the Presidential Palace, and the Military Airport, but it noted that the attack did not hit the Prime Minister’s residence also located in Mazzé.
Attacking Damascus from every Side
To explain what was going on, the Syrian Al-Watan newspaper mentioned that a security source stated that Security Forces confronted an attack against the Syrian capital waged by 4000 men.
“The armed groups tried to take control of a number of the neighborhoods in Damascus from different directions, such as Kfar Sousa, Al-Yarmouk Camp, Tadamon, and Joubar, reaching Harasta,” the newspaper stated.
According to this source, every group is formed of 100 or 150 militiamen. Last Tuesday, the Syrian army killed 120 militants.
Serial Killing Ongoing
Meanwhile, the serial killing of public sector officials or regime officials progressed in a normal pace. Lasts Wednesday, the victim was Judge Abad Nadwa who was killed by an explosive bomb set in a car nearby his home in Barzé Residence in Damascus.
Last Monday, it was the turn of the actors in this political methodology applied by the armed groups since the very beginning of the Syrian crisis, which killed many Syrians among whom were the son of the Syrian Mufti, the son of an official in the opposition that opposes armament, as well as journalists, sportsmen, professors, doctors, and others…
However, those crimes had escalated recently, especially by attacking the actor Mohammad Rafea that raised tension and outcry. Hence, the FSA tried to exonerate itself. According to his Chief of Military Staff, the dissenting Colonel Ahmad Hijazi said that his militants didn’t commit such acts because, as he said, those acts are not listed in his military strategy.
In Aleppo, the governmental forces attacked a bastion of the FSA in the Bustan Basha Neighborhood and killed 13 militants according to Syrian reports. A similar attack took place in the province against an armed group in the city of Haritane.
Clashes took place in Kafar-Naha region, and according to the rebels’ sources, they destroyed a tank that belongs to the army.
In Deir Ezzour, 15 militiamen who belong to the Kaakaa and Abou Soufiane groups were killed in combats with the regular army in both cities of Mayadine and Hajine, as well as the Acharat region.
In the Qoneitra province, nearby the Golan, the FSA’s militia targeted the Bir-Ajam village with an incursion. According to Syrian documents, the Red Crescent could not arrive to evacuate the under siege residents. Three persons were killed in an attack against a house, and a car that belongs to the UN Forces operating in the Golan Heights was also targeted by the FSA’s militants.
The AFP-SOHR Version
Combats, bombardments, and explosions in Damascus (NGO)
On Wednesday, Damascus was the victim of violent combats, bombardments, and explosions. The next day, mortal attacks took place in the territories nearby the capital, as the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported.
The SOHR, which depend on a wide network of physicians and activists, stated that a booby-trapped car exploded in the Qadam southern neighborhood during that night, adding, “The primary information says that the incident caused many deaths.”
The Mazzé neighborhood, where embassies and security centers are located, was targeted recently by a suicidal attack and mortar bombs that killed three civilians and injured 12 others, according to the SOHR. According to the same source, the neighborhood close to Kafar Soussa, located to the south of Damascus, was shelled with helicopters.
Not so far from the Hajar Al-Aswad neighborhood and the Al-Yarmouk Palestinian refugee camp, violent combats took place between the rebels and the combatants of the popular Palestinian committees, the allies of the regime. According to the SOHR, around half a million Palestinian refugees live in Syria, some of which are supporting the regime, and participating in its clashes, others are doing the same with the rebels.
Tuesday night, Qudsayya, a popular territory to the west of Damascus, witnessed three explosions that killed 19, injured more than 50 persons among whom were many of critical injuries, the SOHR stated.
According to the same source, a booby-trapped car exploded later on in Al-Moaddamiya, near Damascus, causing some injuries. Another car exploded in the Sayeda Zeinab region. Not to mention, any of those attacks was immediately adopted.
Airplanes bombed other regions in the country such as the city of Aleppo and its province. On the other side, soldiers and rebels clashed in several neighborhoods. A security car was targeted by a bomb in Idleb according to the Observatory, while primary information stated that the explosion killed one Security Forces member.
On the other hand, violent clashes took place in the eastern Raqa region between the rebels and the army. Militants threw a bomb on a pipeline near the borders with Jordan. The Tuesday violence all over the country resulted in more than 150 deaths (79 civilians, 48 soldiers, and 23 rebels) according to the SOHR, which estimated the death toll in Syria since March 2011 by more than 36000 persons.
Report translated from the Al-Manar’s French Website