Syrian Revolution News Round- up / Day 546 / Rebels form the Revolutionary Military Council in Aleppo

Rebel fighters formed the Revolutionary Military Council as an umbrella organization that coordinates the work of most armed groups, battalions and brigades in the province of Aleppo including the Union Military Council, al-Tawheed brigade, al-Fateh brigade and Soqour Shahbaa brigade. The goal of the new council is to coalesce and organize armed resistance groups in accordance with international laws and conventions in order to avoid any further violations by rebel fighters.

Meanwhile, regime forces continued their heavy bombardment of the neighbourhoods of Bustan Qaser, Aameriya, Qadi Askar, Sakhour, Sukari, Masaken Hanano, Ansari and Maidan in the city of Aleppo, as well as its provincial towns of Dar Ezza, Deir Hafer and Qubtan Jabal. Regime forces mainly used barrel bombs dropped by fighter jets and helicopter gunships killing more than 30 civilians and wounding dozens more while destroying dozens of buildings.

Regime forces continued their massive military offensive in the neighbourhood of Tadamon in Damascus for the 6th consecutive day in an attempt to expel the rebels who continued to show strong resistance and inflict heavy losses on regime forces. Assad’s forces murdered more than 39 civilians including women and elderly. They bulldozed a cemetery, dug out corpses, and dumped them in garbage bins. They also burned down a mosque and a building that belongs to a charity organization in addition to arresting dozens of civilians.

In the capital, at least 17 unidentified bodies were found in the Damascus suburb of Zamalka while three more were summarily executed in the town of Moadamiya. Scores of civilians were also killed and more injured as regime forces resumed shelling the southern neighbourhoods of the capital, Hajar Aswad, and the Palestinian refugee camps of Yarmouk and Palestine as well as the provincial towns of Sayeda Zeinab, Yalda, Hamouriya, Zabadani, al-Tal and Ain Mneen.

In Daraa, regime forces launched a major military offensive in the Lajat district amid fierce shelling by heavy artillery and helicopter gunships. They also carried out sweeps and arbitrary arrests in the towns of Najih and Sahem Golan and resumed shelling the central area of Mahatta as well as the provincial towns of Tal Shehab, Bosra, Heit, Yadouda, Karak Sharqi and Naima.

Regime forces continued their massive military offensive throughout the country, killing dozens of civilians, wounding hundreds others and forcing thousands to flee their homes. Regime forces fiercely shelled the Homs suburbs of Qosayr, Talbiseh and Rastan as well as the Hama suburbs of Sahl al-Ghab. They also shelled the cities of Deir Azzour and Boukamal in the province of Deir Azzour, and heavily bombarded the Idlib suburb of Jeser Shoghour, Jabal Zawiya, Ma’arrat Noman, Ma’arshourin, and Taftanaz as well as the Latakia suburbs of Salma, Kansba and Rabea.

Syria posted a net trade deficit of USD 5.7 billion in 2011, according to the first data released on the country’s foreign trade performance last year. The figure appeared in the 2012 edition of the annual report of the Arab Investment and Export Guarantee Corporation. According to the report released at the end of August, Syria exported USD 10.7 billion worth of products in 2011, from USD 12.7 billion in 2010, and imported USD 16.4 billion last year from USD 17.4 billion a year earlier.