Syrian Revolution News Round- up / Day 576

Regime forces continued a ‘scorched earth campaign’ in Damascus and its suburbs with focus on the eastern Ghouta district, committing more than seven massacres and leaving at least 50 people dead and dozens more wounded while arresting hundreds more. At least 17 bodies were discovered in a water well located at the town of Daraya, while four others were discovered in the town of Deir Asafir where more than 95% of its houses were burned down.

Meanwhile, at least eight civilians were executed in the town of Douma and seven more were murdered in the town of Jesrin. Many civilians were also executed in the town of Zebdin, Hamouriay and Mhemda.

The fierce and indiscriminate bombardment of residential areas left at least 23 civilians dead in the Idlib suburb of Khan Sheikhoun and 14 more in the Raqa suburb of Khirbet al-Rez. Regime forces also executed a number of civilians in the Daraa suburb of Ghariya Sharqiya, Karak Sharqi, Dael and Nima. Meanwhile, six bodies were discovered in the Homs suburb of Ghanto while four civilians were executed in the Homs suburb of Talbiseh. The regime’s helicopter gunships dropped cooking gas cylinders on the Idlib suburb of Kafarsanjeh.

Scores of civilians were also killed due to the indiscriminate and fierce shelling that targeted the neighbourhoods of Bab Janin, Jeser al-Haj, Karm Jabal, Qadi Askar and Sakhour in the city of Aleppo as fierce fighting continued throughout the city.

Regime forces continued their heavy bombardment in the old city of Homs and the neighbourhoods of Khaldiya, Qosour and Jouret Sheyah causing several deaths and injuries while leaving dozens of houses completely destroyed. The joint Syrian-Hezbollah forces continued their aerial attacks and ground assault on the Homs suburbs of Qosayr, Rastan, Talbiseh, Ghanto and Jousi.

Heavy fighting continued in the Idlib subursb of Sarmin, Jeser Shughour, Khan Sheikhoun and Ma’arrat Noman amid intensive aerial attacks by regime forces. Rebel fighters seized control of some villages in the district of Jeser Shughour and the military base of Wad Adayf east of Ma’arrat Noman. They also attacked military reinforcements in the town of Khan Sheikhoun while heading from Hama to Ma’arrat Noman. Rebel fighters seized control of the village of Zo’ayniya in the suburb of Latakia after fierce fighting that resulted in the destruction of two military tanks and the downing of a fighter jet. Colonel Zubaydah Almiqi, an Alawite female officer announced her defection from the Syria Army, marking the first defection among female officers since the start of the start of the revolution. Activists said that clashes renewed in Assad’s home town of Kerdaha of Latakia province, between pro-Assad Alawite militias form the al-Assad, Makhlouf and Shaleesh clans and anti-Assad Alawite militias from al-Khayer, Ismael, Othman and Aboud clans. Activists added that clashes occur on daily basis despite the presence of Republican Guard corps. Scores of civilians died and many more were injured while dozens of houses were destroyed, thus prompting a mass exodus as regime forces resumed their attacks on several areas in Damascus, Daraa, Deir Azzour, Hama, Latakia and Raqa. Syria has issued an international tender to purchase 100,000 tonnes of milling wheat, a commodity not subject to sanctions.