Syrian Revolution News Round- up / Day 637  – Kurdish National Council joins the opposition coalition, foreign reserves shrink / Syrian protesters raising the flags of Kurdistan and the Syrian revolution

11-12-2012 – MESOP  – The Kurdish National Council lead by Faisal Yusuf has accepted an offer to join the Syrian National Coalition for Revolutionary and Opposition Forces after receiving assurances from the coalition leader to meet their prerequisites which include removing the sole-Arab identify of Syria and appointing a Syrian Kurd as a deputy leader of the coalition where 15% of its total members must be Kurds.

Heavy fighting renewed in the heart of the Syrian capital with the rebels clashing with security forces as they carried out a major operation in the nonviolent neighborhoods of Salhiya, Ruken al-Din and Mihi al-Din. Clashes left many rebels and security forces dead and wounded. Clashes also erupted in the neighborhoods of Qabun, Tishrin, Qadam and Asalay. The rebels also fired mortar shells into the Mazeh military air base.  The Syrian army received another painful blow following the defection of more than 390 soldiers including senior officers. This includes 300 soldiers which defected from the Abu al-Zohour airbase in the suburb of Idlib, 50 others including a colonel defected from the Mennege airbase in the suburb of Aleppo, 15 more defected from each of the 154th regiment in the Hasaka suburb of Qamihsly as well as in the neighborhood of Ghasan Aboud in Deir Azzour while nine more defected from the Air Technical School in the suburb of Alepp.

The rebels took over the oil field of Abyad in the eastern province of Hasaka as they continued pushing into the infantry academy in the western suburb of Aleppo. They also detained 155 soldiers as they took over the 111th regiment in the suburb of Aleppo yesterday and 16 more in neighbourhood of al-Matar in the city of Deir Azzour.

Regime forces continued their violent military campaigns on opposition-held areas throughout the country. Their warplanes used cluster bombs while bombarding the village of Khadra in Latakia as well as the Homs suburbs of Houla and Talbisa. They also dropped white phosphorous bombs on the Damascus suburb of Erbin.

Regime forcs shelled as many as 213 different areas, 69 of which were shelled by mortar shells while 106 others were pounded by heavy artillery. Some 38 areas came under rocket shelling as fighter jets bombarded more than 10 others, mainly in the suburbs of Damascus. Helicopter gunships also dropped barrel bombs on seven areas thus causing extensive damage to residential buildings and leaving scores of people dead and injured.

Regime forces killed as many as 136 people, including 11 children, eight women and 22 rebel fighters. Aleppo has seen one of its bloodiest days in the 21-month uprising with a death toll of 55, including 27 civilians who were summarily executed and their bodies were abandoned for days before been discovered in the neighbourhood of Aameriya. Meanwhile, dozens of people were killed and many more were injured due to the indiscriminate shelling in the neighbourhoods of Sheikh Maqsoud and Masaken Hanaon. In Damascus and its suburbs, at least 52 people died, six of whom died during clashes in the neighbourhood of Salhiya while eight others were summarily executed in the provincial town of Harasta. Dozens others were killed during violent shelling in the Damascus suburbs of Moadamiyat al-Sham, Erbin, Saqba, Daraya, Douma and Haran Awamid. Meanwhile, regime forces also killed ten people in Daraa, five of whom were summarily executed in the provincial towns of Taffas and Qaniya. Rocket shelling left many people dead and more injured in the Idlib suburb of Ma’arrat Noman while four more civilians, including a child and a woman died in a similar attack on the Homs suburbs of Qusayr and Houla.

Syria’s economy will shrink by a fifth in 2012 and all its foreign reserves could be spent by the end of next year, a global finance industry association said on Monday. Inflation has risen to 40% since march 2011 and the Syrian pound’s official exchange rate against the dollar fallen by 50%, the Institute for International Finance said.