Syria, July 3: “Security and Stability” near Damascus?

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LATEST: Video: Celebrations In Raqqa After Insurgents Seize Tanks From Syrian Army

PHOTO: Regime tank in Qaboun near Damascus

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On a Tuesday with little apparent movement in the political and military situation, this announcement from State news agency SANA caught the eye:

Units of the army restored on Tuesday security and stability to most areas in Jobar, including the Musical barracks, al-Masalekh, al-Afran, the soap factory, Pullman roundabout, Syriatel and its surrounding, in addition to 75% of al-Manashir roundabout after eliminating scores of terrorists and destroying their weapons and equipment.

An official source told SANA reporter that the army razed the last whereabouts of terrorists in the majority of Jobar areas, in addition to destroying their weapons and equipment.

The article is notable not as a sign of any change, but as a testament to the Groundhog’s-Day ritual via regime outlets of “restoring security and stability”. SANA’s proclamation comes amid continued fighting in Jobar in Damascus and in suburbs like Qaboun, Barzeh, Darayya, and East Ghouta.

Claimed footage from insurgents of a regime tank burning in Jobar:

Items elsewhere on SANA inadvertently undercut its message:

Three citizens were martyred, others were injured due to mortar shells fired by terrorists on the residential al-Kabas area in Damascus….

Ten citizens were injured, among them 3 children, by terrorists’ mortar attack on a residential area in al-Tadamun in Damascus on Tuesday.


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Footage: Bus Hit By Mortar In Aleppo’s Al-Shaar District

This video posted on Wednesday is claimed footage of a bus hit by a mortar in Aleppo’s Al Shaar District.

In this video, an insurgent talks about the incident:

Footage: Raqqa — Remains Of Tank Convoy Seized By Insurgents

Footage posted on Wednesday shows what remains of a regime tank convoy from the Syrian Army’s 93rd Division, which was ambushed by insurgents near Raqqa earlier this week. Insurgents managed to seize two tanks and other weapons. Earlier on Wednesday, activists posted footage of street demonstrations in Raqqa to celebrate the captures.

Focus On Deir Ez Zor — As Regime Pounds City, Insurgents Build Barricades To Protect Civilians

Fierce clashes continue on Wednesday in Deir Ez Zor in eastern Syria.

Amateur video by insurgents and activists in the city show that regime forces have stationed artillery on the surrounding hills and are firing on the city; other footage shows regime air forces landing in the nearby military airport.

In this video, a Free Syrian Army officer calls on regime forces in the city’s Al Jebaylah neighborhood to defect.

Amateur video also captures the effects of the continued fighting on the lives of ordinary residents.

Here, insurgents build a makeshift barricade in an attempt to protect civilians from shelling:

This footage, from Wednesday, shows a school that has been severely damaged by shelling. While most classrooms are reduced to rubble, in some parts of the school, children’s artwork remains on the walls, a sad testimony to what life must have been like here before the fighting started.

This footage from Tuesday shows the minaret of the Taqwa Mosque collapsing after regime shelling, and the video below shows the garden of another mosque that has been damaged:

There have been violent clashes between regime and insurgent forces in and around the city, Syria’s sixth largest, throughout June, including an alleged mass killing — death toll never confirmed — by insurgents of pro-regime Shia Muslims.

Map Of Deir Ez Zor:

Footage: FSA Ninth Division Targets Military Facility With Grads

The FSA’s Ninth Division — formed in mid-June in Aleppo under the command of General Idriss — is seen in these videos using grads and other weapons to target Assad’s forces in Aleppo’s Khan Al Asal district (see map).

The Ninth Division appears to be at least mostly secular and includes defectors from the Syrian Army, leading to speculation that it may be eligible to receive weapons and training from the West.

Video: FSA Leadership announces formation of the Ninth Division in Aleppo and the Thirteenth Division in Idlib:

Footage: Celebrations In Raqqa After Insurgents Seize Tanks From Syrian Army

Residents in Raqqa in north central Syria, demonstrated on Tuesday night in support of insurgents who had captured tanks and other weapons from a Syrian Army convoy. Footage of the captured tanks can be seen here in Tuesday’s Syria coverage.

Demonstrators wave Syrian opposition flags — notably there are few if any Islamist faction flags to be seen among the crowd.

Casualties

The Local Coordination Committees claim 84 people were killed on Tuesday, including 38 in Damascus and its suburbs and 21 in Aleppo Province.

The Violations Documentation Center reports that 65,231 people have been slain since the start of the conflict in March 2011, an increase of 85 since Tuesday. Of these, 49,947 were civilians, a rise of 41 from yesterday.

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6 COMMENTS

  1. Re:Focus On Deir Ez Zor — As Regime Pounds City, Insurgents Build Barricades To Protect Civilians

    At what point does the video suggest that the barricades are being built to protect civilians? To me this looks very much like another “Groundhog Day” propaganda ritual, this time by the opposition. But do let us know if you privy to information that your readers are not.

    • The Arabic caption to the video explains that youth are making the barricades to protect civilians from sniper fire.

      • Yes, and the Sana article states that “the army restored on Tuesday security and stability to most areas in Jobar…”

        My question is: what makes Sana’s statement another “Groundhog day” propaganda ritual, when at the same time the video is taken at face value? There is zero evidence in the actual video to suggest that the barricades are being built to protect civilians, and your interpretation is entirely dependent on a caption whose source and veracity is debatable – no different to Sana.

        I then question, based on this assessment, whether you are privy to information that your readers are not.

        • SANA is known to be a lying propaganda mouthpiece of assad’s regime and not to be trusted. This video May not be telling the truth, however the producers of this video do not have a track record of lying……until I find out otherwise it’s believable.

  2. SEVEN REASONS why Islamists may now be losing ground among Syria’s rebels (A roundup post)

    http://iranian.com/posts/view/post/16841

    Note: You’ll have to wait until the above is approved since I just posted it. Later I’ll add updates after research. Updates too need approval so you’ll need to check back if interested.

    • TWO SERIOUSLY HUGE BREAKING NEWS ITEMS….ASIDE FROM WHAT IS HAPPENING IN EGYPT

      ITEM Qatar gives Qaradhawi the boot. If the new emir is turning on the Brotherhood and it could have repercussions on whom Qatar backs in Syria.

      ITEM: Serious rebel gains in Aleppo today seem to be creating a panic online among pro-regime facebook entries. Large number of regime forces may be trapped.

      These are the first two items in an update I’ve just posted at the above roundup. They’ll be available as soon as posts are approved. Moderator is sometimes away.

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