Syrian Revolution News Round-up
Day 494: Friday, 20 July 2012
Mass demonstrations in Syria in support of the rebels
Massive demonstrations broke out across the country to demand the overthrow of Assad’s regime and support the rebels fighting against it.
A funeral ceremony was held in Damascus for three of Assad’s senior security officials without Assad’s participation.
Rebels clashed with regime forces in the city of Aleppo, seized control of two more towns and captured a missile battalion in its suburbs.
Summary of Events
Despite the heavy clashes between rebels and regime forces, hundreds of demonstrations broke out across the country today to demand the downfall of Assad’s regime and support the rebels fighting against it. The majority of protests took place in the cities of Aleppo and Damascus where regime forces opened fire at protesters killing six in Khalid Bin Walid Street in Damascus.
The capital Damascus remains in a state of war as regime forces continued to use heavy artillery, military tanks and helicopters in its battle against rebels taking positions in the neighbourhoods of Ruken Addin, Maidan, Kafarsouseh and Mazeh. The rebels seized control of the Yarmouk refugee camp and the neighbourhood of Mazeh and launched attacks against on the Police General Command offices.
Bashar Assad was absent today atthe funeral ceremony that was held in Damascus for his top three security officials, his brother-in-law Assef Shawkat, Defence Minister Dawood Rajha and veteran army general Hassan Turkmani who were killed in an a blast that targeted the National Security building on Wednesday. The state television also confirmed the death of Syria's intelligence chief Hisham Bakhtiar who was injured on the day of the explosion.
The fighting has escalated in the city of Aleppo as rebels clashed with regime forces in the neighbourhood of Saladin. They also seized control of more territories such as Heraytan and captured a missile battalion in the town of Menbej in the province of Aleppo.
Regime forces killed more than 215 people today; forty-six died as a result of the heavy shelling that targeted the Damascus suburbs of Erbin, Sbaineh, Sayeda Zainab, Thiyabiya, Moadamiya, Yalda, Heran Awamid, Deir Asafir, Zabdin and Kafrin. Fourteen more were killed in Khalid Bin Walid Street and the neighbourhoods of Maidan, Barzeh, Kafarsouseh, Jobar, Yarmouk and Salhiya in the city of Damascus. Sixteen more died in the province of Daraa as a result of the heavy shelling that targeted the towns of Ibtaa, Inkhel, Khirbet Ghazaleh, Tafas, Om Walad and Karak Sharqi. Nineteen were killed in Homs due to the heavy shelling that targeted the neighbourhoods of Khaldiya, Khodor and Baba Amr and its provincial towns of Rastan, Talbiseh and Qasir. Seventeen died in Aleppo as regime forces opened fire at protesters in the neighbourhoods of Masaken Hanano, Sukari, al-Bab Road and Sha’ar and continued the heavy shelling of the provincial towns of Injara, Indan, Bayanoun and Heraytan. Sixteen more were killed in the province of Idlib due to the heavy gunfire that targeted the town of Kafarnabel and the heavy shelling that targeted the towns of Maghara, Mastouma, Salqin, Sarmin and Saraqeb. Five died in the Hama suburb of Kafarzeita. Five more died in the suburb of Latakia; while six more were killed in the heavy shelling that targeted the city of Boukamal in Deir Azzour province.
Regime forces continued to attack civilian areas in the neighbourhoods of Jobar, Sultaniya, Qosur, Qarabis and Jouret Sheyah in Homs and its provincial towns of Houleh, Qasir and Krak des Chevaliers as well as the city of Deir Azzour and its provincial towns of Shahil and Mohassan.
An army general and 21 other military officers fled to Turkey yesterday while defections in the Syrian army continued throughout the country.
European Union member states reached a deal Thursday on a significant new package of sanctions on Syria, including ordering member states to search ships and planes suspected of carrying arms to the country. Measures include sanctions on 26 individuals, most of whom will be subject to an asset freeze and visa ban for travel to Europe.
Syrians killed: 20,699
Children killed: 1,595
Females killed: 1,561
Soldiers killed: 1,594
Protestors killed under torture: 760
Protestors currently incarcerated: +216,000
Syrian refugees since March: +108,385
Refugees in Turkey: +37,353
Refugees in Lebanon: +29,986
Refugees in Jordan: +34,449
Refugees in Iraq: +6,547