By Peter Clifford © (http://www.petercliffordonline.com/syria-news-3)
President Assad’s genocidal barrel-bombing campaign on Aleppo province continued over the weekend, killing an estimated 93 people, in addition to the 200+ killed in the previous 5 days.
These Children Got a Special Delivery from Assad at Their School
The total of those injured now well exceeds 1,000. At least 28 of the latest deaths are thought to be those of children.
Over 2 days, Assad’s aircraft have dropped at least 25 barrel-bombs on 5 different districts, hitting a school, a market and a line of 10 vehicles including a bus. All those inside the bus were killed.
Hassoun Abu Faisal, an activist with the Aleppo Media Center said, “The medics say they are removing people in parts; they aren’t sure how many there are.”
The main districts affected were Hanano, Al-Ahmadiya, Sakhour, Baideen, and Ard al-Hamra, plus the countryside villages of Marea and Atarib.
In Marea children were hurt while classes were in progress, and in Aleppo city itself 2 of the victims killed were ambulance workers rushing to help the injured.
Vehicles burning after the airstrike on Hananao can be seen HERE: and in the Al-Muslimiyah neighbourhood a train was hit with a shell, HERE:
At Hreatan, which was struck by barrel-bombs on Friday and Saturday, this little boy was found alive under the rubble, HERE: and this little boy calls for his rescued sister in a collapse building, HERE:
Latest reports, today, Monday, say that 300 people have been killed by barrel-bombs in Aleppo in 8 days, including 87 children, 30 women and 30 Opposition fighters. (EDITOR: Frankly, never mind the ICC – Send Assad straight to Hell is my vote!)
OPPOSITION TAKE CONTROL OF REMAINS OF KINDI HOSPITAL IN ALEPPO AND CLOSE IN ON CENTRAL PRISON:
Al-Kindi Hospital Before and After its use as an Assad Base
Finally on Saturday, Opposition fighters gained control of Al-Kindi Hospital (or what was left of it), which the regime had been using as a barracks.
This video (Arabic only) has good visuals of what the building now looks like inside, HERE: Formerly it was a modern hospital before it became an Army base.
Commenting on the attack, Syrian Minister of Higher Education Malek Ali, estimated the damage at 1.5 billion Syrian pounds – nothing of course against the damage wrought by Assad’s Army on most Opposition held areas of Syria’s main towns and cities.
Killed while covering the attack on Al-Kindi hospital at the end of last week was teenager, Molhem Barakat, variously reported to be 17 or 18 years of age.
Molhem had already established himself as a Reuters photographer, numerous photographs taken by him in Syria distributed worldwide by the news agency since last May.
Molhem was killed alongside his brother, an Opposition fighter, while they were taking cover in a carpet factory near to the hospital. You can see some of Molhem’s best pictures, HERE:
The fall of Al-Kindi leaves only Aleppo Central Prison as a regime stronghold in the north of the city. The prison remains under siege and updated news is waited expectantly.
Last Pictures of Molhem Barakat R.I.P.
In the meantime, the Syrian Red Crescent has continued its operation of bringing out prison detainees and taking in food. They successfully brought out another 7 prisoners who had served their term at the weekend, though their vehicle was shot at by unknown gunmen on its way in. Currently the Free Syrian Army and other Opposition units are targeting Assad’s Political Security Branch in Aleppo.
OPPOSITION FIGHTERS STRIKE REGIME RESOURCES NEAR DAMASCUS AND GET EVEN NEARER TO THE INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT:
In Damascus, Opposition fighters destroyed a gas pipeline near the International Airport on Friday night, resulting in widespread power outages across the capital. And east of Damascus, the fighters went on to capture an Army base at Qasimiyeh, taking control of several T-72 tanks, a BMP armoured vehicle and weapons and equipment,HERE: and HERE:
The Opposition have also destroyed a Shabiha (Assad armed militia) hideout in the Jobar district of the capital,HERE: and activist sources are also claiming the killing of up to 50 of Assad’s troops after an attack on a troop convoy at Khan Ash-Shih to the south-west of Damascus.
From the besieged district of Moadamiya, has emerged the story of General Hummel’s Pants, a pair of bespoke trousers made to order, which one brother has inherited from another. Good reading, HERE:
Assad’s Helicopters of Death With Barrel-Bombs
In the Damascus countryside fierce fighting, with heavy regime artillery fire, is also reported in and around the city of Adra.
In Deir El-Zour heavy fighting continues as Opposition forces continue to press Government troops in a number of locations. There is also a report today, Monday, that the Government have arrested 100 + soldiers in Qamishli to the north, after they refused to move to Deir El-Zour to reinforce the airport there.
This video was additionally released today of a direct hit on a Syrian Army 57mm artillery piece by the Opposition with their own recoilless gun, near Deir El-Zour airport, HERE:
In Homs province, Opposition fighters destroyed a tank in the countryside with an anti-tank missile HERE:
And on the other side of the coin, a Jihadist suicide bomber blew up a bomb laden truck near a primary school in the Shia town of Um al-Amad, killing 12 civilians, including 5 children.
The fighting also continues between the Jihadist group the Islamic State of Iraq and Levant (ISIL) and the Kurds, with the Kurds reported as killing an ISIL fighter in clashes and ISIL kidnapping yet another 50 Kurds on Saturday afternoon at Khan Al-Asal on the road between Damascus and Aleppo.
Earlier in December ISIL had released 71 Kurds kidnapped previously at the village of Ihris, but has kept all their identification papers, money and personal belongings.
On the chemical weapons front, Russia has airlifted in 10 flights to Latakia airport, 50 heavy duty Kamaz trucks and 25 armoured Ural vehicles to assist in the transport of chemical agents to ports in Latakia. The British have also volunteered the use of a Royal Navy vessel to escort their safe transportation once at sea.
The body of Dr. Abbas Khan, the UK doctor widely believed murdered by the Syrian regime just days before his scheduled release (scroll down – see below), has been repatriated to the UK where it will examined by a Home Office pathologist.
In a letter to the family, David Cameron, the British Prime Minister, called his death a “sickening and appalling tragedy” and said the Assad regime “should answer for his death”. The BBC has a video report, HERE:
At the same time, it has been revealed that Theresa May, the British Home Secretary, has removed British citizenship from 20 dual-nationals this year who are believed to be taking part in the Syrian conflict. EU law prevents her doing so for UK nationals of single nationality as she is not allowed to render them stateless.
160 doctors have died during the Syrian conflict, more than 90 of them assassinated, mainly by the Syrian Government for helping Opposition victims.
Despite this, and what happened to Dr. Khan, the Guardian reports that other British doctors are on their way, as is a UK aid convoy , HERE:
Although they may be hit by barrel-bombs like this:
Unexploded Barrel Bomb
And if their patients make it to refugee camps it could be like this:
Winter in Syrian Refugee Camps
However, there are still good news stories coming out of the Syrian disaster.
In Beirut, encouraged by UNHCR and a local restaurant owner, a group of Syrian refugee women, many of whom would never normally meet, have been empowered to produce their own food to sell using traditional recipes and to form their own company.
More “Christmas Cards” from Syria:
Of course, the Assad state media, SANA, still does not get it, tweeting this on Saturday with the attached picture (sickening to those living in rubble):
“SANA English @SANA_English 21 Dec #Syria: The Dama Rose Hotel in #Damascus is all set for Christmas!”:
Assad’s Unreal Christmas Celebrations
The Christmas Card From A War Zone
Christmas in A Tent
But lastly, another story of hope and survival as 2 more children were rescued from the rubble of Assad’s bombing in Ma’arat Al-Numan, Idlib province, HERE:
TO ALL OF YOU WHO CELEBRATE CHRISTMAS, I WISH YOU A VERY ENJOYABLE ONE.
TO THOSE OF YOU WHO DON’T, I WISH YOU MUCH PEACE AND CONTENTMENT IN 2014
TO SYRIANS, I WISH A RESOLUTION TO YOUR NATIONAL DISASTER AND A QUICK END (PREFERABLY WITH ASSAD GONE) TO THIS CONFLICT IN THE YEAR AHEAD.
EDITOR: I AM TAKING A BREAK FOR A FEW DAYS – BUT WILL BE BACK IN ACTION ON FRIDAY 28th DECEMBER.