Syria, Egypt & Beyond-School playground bombed & opposition demo Tuesday
- From the Adam Clark Estes, the Atlantic Wire, 25 November
At a certain point, it seemed like much of the world grew numb to the
violence in Syria. But it’s hard not to be disturbed by a new video showing
a street littered with children’s bloody bodies.The scene is from Deir
al-Asafir, a rebel-held town in the outskirts of Damascus where a Syrian
government airstrike killed as many as ten children on Sunday. Opposition
sources told both
planes flown by Assad loyalists peppered the suburb with cluster bombs, one
of which hit a playground full of children playing. A YouTube video shows
the aftermath <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f4fAWhYkKZc&feature=youtu.be>.
(Be careful clicking through to that video — It is disturbing and graphic.)
[image: Post image for #Assad’s Troops Wipe Out a Playground Full of
Children in #Syria by @ClayClai] <http://www.thenorthstar.info/?p=3562>
Egypt opposition prepares for Tuesday rallies against Morsi decree
Zeinab El Gundy , Monday 26 Nov 2012
Parties, groups from across Egypt's political opposition plan for
nationwide demonstrations to protest President Morsi's divisive
Opposition parties and groups have called for mass rallies and
'million-man' marches on Tuesday in protest at the recent presidential
constitutional declaration. A sit-in has been ongoing in Tahrir Square
since Friday, in protest at President Mohamed Morsi's Thursday declaration
which "gives the president Pharaoh-like powers,”according to protesters.
The Muslim Brotherhood had called on its supporters to protest tomorrow in
support of the declaration, which renders Morsi's decisions immune from
legal challenge for the next six months, andprotects the Islamist-led
Constituent Assembly, tasked with drafting a new constitution, from
dissolution by court order. However, late on Monday night, it was reported
that the Brotherhood had cancelled all protests planned for Tuesday by
Political parties and movements opposed to the declaration held a press
conference on Monday at the headquarters of the Socialist Popular Alliance
Party in Downtown Cairo to publicise plans for Tuesday's rallies and
Haitham Mohamedeen of the Revolutionary Socialists read the statement
issued by the coalition of groups, which stated that Morsi and the Ministry
of Interior are responsible for the recent deaths of two teenage
protesters, Islam Masoud and Gaber 'Jika' Salah.
Salah, a 16-year-old member of the 6 April Youth Movement, was seriously
injured in clashes in Mohamed Mahmoud Street last week prior to the
announcement of the constitutional declaration, and later died of his
injuries. Masoud, 15, was reportedly a Muslim Brotherhood supporter, and
was killed in recent fighting between Muslim Brotherhood supporters and
opponents in the Nile Delta city of Damanhour.
"The statement issued by the presidency last night was not acceptable. It
did not present anything new concerning the clear demand by national and
revolutionary political powers to cancel the constitutional declaration,"
read the groups' statement.
The parties are demanding that Morsi cancels the declaration, puts in place
a serious project for ensuring transitional justice which will guarantee
the rights of the slain protesters, and gets rid of exceptional laws which
restrict freedoms – particularly the recent 'protecting the revolution' law
that was widely criticised by liberal and opposition figures.
The parties are also calling for a restructuring and purging of the
ministry of interior, and for reselecting the members of the Constituent
Assembly in a way that assures proper representation of Egyptian society
and political dynamics.
Mohamed Abdel Aziz of the Egyptian Popular Current stated that there would
be three major rallies in Cairo and Giza that will head to central Tahrir
Square on Tuesday.
"There will be rallies from Mostafa Mahmoud Mosque in Mohandeseen, from
El-Fatah Mosque in Giza Square and from Shubra roundabout, which will head
to Tahrir at 5pm."
There will be two further marches to Tahrir in the afternoon; one from the
lawyers syndicate and the other from the journalists' syndicate, at 1pm
Similar rallies will be organised in various other governorates, including
Alexandria, Fayoum, Kafr El-Sheikh, Sohag, Damietta and Sharm El-Sheikh.
The political groups participating in the rallies against the
constitutional declaration include the Egyptian Popular Current, the
Constitution Party, the Socialist Popular Alliance Party, the Egyptian
Social Democratic Party, the Karama Party, the Free Egyptians Party, the
Freedom Egypt Party, the Revolutionary Socialists movement, the National
Front for Justice and Democracy, the Maspero Youth Union, the "Ahmed Maher
Front and Democratic Front", part of the April 6 Youth Movement, the Youth
for Justice and Freedom Movement, the Free Egyptian Movement, the National
Association for Change, the Kifeya Movement, the Free Front for Peaceful
Change and the Lotus Revolution movement
There have been a series of demonstrations and rallies organised by the
Brotherhood since last Thursday, in solidarity with President Morsi's
Spokesmen for the president and for the Muslim Brotherhood insist that the
powers conferred by the decree are temporary.
Meanwhile, the Strong Egypt Party, founded by moderate Islamist and former
Brotherhood leader Abdel-Moneim Abul-Fotouh, announced an initiative to end
the tensions, demanding the president amend the declaration and initiate a
process of national dialogue.
The party also called on all groups to avoid escalations and not to
participate in rallies, whether for or against the constitution
Following the deaths of Salah and Massoud, as well the ongoing clashes that
have continued for days between protesters and Brotherhood supporters in
several governorates, tensions are expected on Tuesday.
Cairo University has reportedly given students the day off on Tuesday, to
avoid any potential clashes. Several businesses in Downtown Cairo will also
take Tuesday off.
The minister of education has, however, denied reports that schools will
close on Tuesday.
At time of publication, a meeting was ongoing between the president and
senior members of Egypt's Supreme Judicial Council, to look at possible
solutions to the crisis. Judges have been among the most vocal opponents of
Thursday's decree, arguing that it threatens judicial independence.
Egypt, Syria (and Beyond) Live Coverage: Morsi Backing Away from
Monday, November 26, 2012 at 17:20
James Miller in Ahmed Gamal Eddin, Ahmed Masharawi, Avigdor Lieberman, EA
Live, EA Middle East and Turkey, Egypt, Ehud Barak, Jehad Masharawi, Middle
East and Iran, Mohamed Morsi, Omar Masharawi, Supreme Judicial Council,
*See also Egypt 1st-Hand: "Do I Now Regret Voting for Morsi?
EA Video Analysis: Gaza --- The Israeli Military's YouTube
Syria Feature: How Russia Flew In Tons of Money to Keep Damascus
Bahrain Propaganda 101: The Regime Turns Britain's Criticism Into
Sunday's Egypt, Syria (and Beyond) Live Coverage: Morsi Faces a Protest of
Judges and Tents<http://www.enduringamerica.com/home/2012/11/25/egypt-syria-and-beyond-live-coverage-morsi-faces-a-protest-o.html>
2140 GMT: *Egypt.* Mohamed al-Qamash, a journalist for Al-Siyasi magazine,
has reportedly been arrested near the US embassy in
Qamash was reportedly in Simon Bolivar Square, near a protest for Gaber
Salah who was killed on Sunday, when a fire broke out. According to the
report, he was beaten and his cell phone was confiscated.
2105 GMT: *Syria.* Earlier today, the CFDPC, a coalition of activists who
report on Damascus and its suburbs, posted this dire
with accompanying video, about the largest suburbs west of Damascus,
A new massacre was committed by regime forces that arrested and killed at
least 30 displaced people who fled their homes in Daraya and found refuge
in the nearby areas. The victims were also tortured.
The LCC has reported that there were 28 bodies, and they have identified 6
They were martyred after they had beed arrested a few days ago on the
borders of the town while they were trying to flee the shelling of their
2047 GMT: *Syria.* In the past, insurgents have used car bombs, and even
remote-controlled cars, to attack military checkpoints in Syria. There has
not been a lot of that lately, as efforts by the FSA have been more focused
on attacking and capturing territory through more traditional means.
However, there are often rumors of attacks away from the cameras. It's been
a long time since we've seen anything quite like this, however.
According to sources<https://twitter.com/YallaSouriya/status/272780969721856001>,
the Ahrar AlSham brigade used this remote-controlled vehicle to destroy a
military checkpoint on the road to Idlib city, which now seems to be firmly
in the crosshairs of the Syrian insurgency. It appears as though some sort
of heav ordnance, possibly captured from one of the military bases that has
fallen, was used as the primary charge:
The video is dated November 23.
2040 GMT: *Egypt.* Morsi has agreed to limit the powers he granted himself
on Thursday. According to the New York
he has reached an agreement with the Judiciary:
The agreement, reached with top judicial authorities, would leave most of
Mr. Morsi’s actions subject to review by the courts, but preserve a crucial
power: protecting the constitutional council from being dissolved by the
courts before it finishes its work.
The Constitutional Council, however, was a key part of people's anger at
Morsi. Not only was he effectively placing himself above the control of the
judiciary, something this settlement may fix, but the Constitutional
Council has been widely criticized for having too strong a presence of
Muslim Brothers. With large protests scheduled tomorrow, it is unclear
whether this will temper the anti-Morsi firestorm that has taken hold in
Tahrir Square since Thursday.
2019 GMT: *Egypt.* Tomorrow's anti-Morsi protest will not have any
competition from the Muslim Brotherhood, which has cancelled its official
demonstration tomorrow <http://english.ahram.org.eg/News/59247.aspx>:
The Muslim Brotherhood has decided to postpone a mass protest it had called
for Tuesday in Cairo in the interest of preventing violence, an official
from the Islamist group's Freedom and Justice Party said on Misr 25 TV
2012 GMT: *Syria/Iran.* Scott Lucas writes on our Iran live
Gaza Watch. Mousa Abu Marzouk, the deputy political director of Hamas, has
said that Tehran must reconsider its
the Syrian regime if it does not want to alienate Arab public opinion:
“Iran’s position in the Arab world, it’s no longer a good position.”
Marzouk added, “It has to address its position, so as not to lose public
Hamas has relocated its leadership abroad from Damascus to Qatar and Egypt
amid the conflict in Syria that began with mass protests against the Assad
regime last year.
Marzouk asserted, “Iran asked Hamas to adopt a closer position to Syria.
Hamas refused, and this has affected our relationship with Iran.
1946 GMT: *Syria.* Al Arabaya and the AFP report that regime warplanes
bombed a refugee
a very short distance from the border with Turkey.
A Syrian warplane also launched three bombs or rockets at a rebel command
center in the northwest of the country near the Turkish border on Monday
without causing casualties, an AFP journalist said.
The aerial attack on the town of Atme occurred around 10:00 am (0800 GMT),
the reporter said from the site. The target was a school that houses a
military command and the Damascus Eagles rebel brigade.
The reporter said three houses, a garden and a road were damaged. Residents
spoke of three bombs while others said rockets caused the damage.
A prominent activist adds context, adding that the part of the camp that
was hit was under construction:
most from atmeh refugee camp trying to go to turkey. that camp is horrible,
the facilities in it are not good but turks said it would b safe
26 Nov 12 <https://twitter.com/HamaEcho/statuses/273081705915617282>
refugee camp near bab al hawa is mainly destroyed, it was nearly finished.
thankfully not used yet so no injury or death. atmeh camp is fine
26 Nov 12 <https://twitter.com/HamaEcho/statuses/273086844026114048>
one of the bombings:
Describing the bombing of the FSA base, opposition activist Ahmed, who
lives within a few blocks of it, said: “Two Syrian fighter jets came and
fired five rockets. Three have hit farm areas and another two hit buildings
near the base.”
Monday’s strike was one of the closest to the Turkish border carried out by
Syrian jets. Ahmed said it was the first time they targeted the FSA base
set up by senior rebel Mustafa al-Sheikh when he crossed over to Syria from
Turkey two months ago.
Rebels fired anti-aircraft guns at the jets but they were flying too high
to be hit, activists said. “I think the reason for the raid may have
something to do with increased weapons movements (from Turkey),” Ahmed said.
The story is interesting for many reasons. First of all, it is the first
time since Turkey started to return fire at the Assad regime that the
regime has conducted an attack this close to the border. For months, the
FSA has operated in northern Turkey in an apparent no-fly zone, as the
regime has been scared to touch FSA positions this close to the border.
This was a test - and though it missed its targets, it perhaps proved that
Turkey is not as trigger-happy as the Syrian regime had feared.
This also comes just after Turkey announced plans to set up Patriot
missiles on the other side of the border, a move that Turkey
not for the purposes of establishing a no-fly zone in Syria. Once these
missiles are in place, a bombing raid this close to the border would be
very risky for Assad's air force.
1725 GMT: *Israel and Gaza*. Israel Defense Forces are playing up the
shooting and killing of a Bedouin as an "attempted terror
after he broke into a house in the southern border community of Sde Avraham
and stabbed a woman.
The IDF have not ruled out a "simple robbery", but spokeswoman Avital
Leibovich is keen to portray this as a Gazan breach of the border:
Today,a Palestinian man infiltrated from
into a house and stabbed a woman living there. Was targeted by
26 Nov 12 <https://twitter.com/AvitalLeibovich/statuses/273100902964002816>
The woman is a mother of 4 kids. She was trying to protect her children as
the #*Gazan* <https://twitter.com/search/%23Gazan> man infiltrated and
broke into her home.
26 Nov 12 <https://twitter.com/AvitalLeibovich/statuses/273103740708478976>
1716 GMT: *Egypt*. Maan News Agency reports that Egyptian police have
seized a truck<http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=542156&utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter>
heavy weaponry in Suez, en route to the Sinai Peninsula.
The shipment included Grad rockets and other "high-grade weapons". Three
suspects were detained for questioning.
Insurgents have carried out a series of attacks against security forces in
the Peninsula, killing 16 border guards in one incident in August.
1702 GMT: *Syria.* Earlier the LCC reported
a checkpoint on the road between Deir Ez Zor and al Raqqah fell to the FSA.
Meanwhile, with the base of the 46th regiment having fallen into the FSA's
hands, the Tishrine Dam captured, the FSA maneuvering east, west, and north
of Aleppo, and the road from Aleppo being threatened by the FSA to the
south, the FSA's plan is increasingly clear - surround and isolate Aleppo,
so that even if the large bases inside the city stay in regime hands, they
will be isolated from the rest of the conflict:
View Syria - 2012 November 26 - EA
a larger map
1539 GMT: *Egypt.* We're all familiar with this chant - "the people want
the fall of the regime." We're also all familiar with the location - Tahrir
Square, and the surrounding streets, in Cairo. But this video is not from
January of 2011 - it's from this weekend:
1522 GMT: *Syria.* Back from a meeting to find a rapidly rising death toll
According to the Local Coordination Committees, 67 people have already been
29 martyrs were reported in Damascus and its Suburbs, 9 martyrs in Aleppo,
7 martyrs in Homs, 8 martyrs in Daraa, 4 martyrs in Hama, 4 martyrs in
Daraa, 4 martyrs in Quneitra and 2 martyrs in Deir Ezzor.
See our note on the casualty figures published by the
The numbers in an around Damascus are elevated, as sources report that many
of the suburbs have been hit by air strikes and shelling campaigns. This
video reportedly shows a home burning after an explosion in
a city just west of Damascus, one of the hardest hit places in recent weeks:
Smoke rising from Darayya, reportedly after many bombs were dropped by
1341 GMT: *Syria.* The *Associated Press* summarizes the latest
noting that the Free Syrian Army has captured the Tisreen Dam in Aleppo
province, have signed a truce with Kurdish PYD/PKK fighters in Ras al Ain,
on the border with Turkey, and (picking up on news we broke late Saturday)
the FSA has also captured a major helicopter base east of Damascus.
While the PYD/PKK truce is fragile, the significant news is the dam capture:
Amateur videos posted online showed gunmen inside the dam’s operations room
as an employee sat in front of five screens speaking by telephone about the
level of water behind the dam. Another video showed gunman in front of
dozens of green wooden boxes apparently full of munitions.
A gunman opened one of the boxes showing that it contained hand grenades.
‘‘The Free Syrian Army has fully liberated the Tishrin Dam,’’ one of the
rebels could be heard saying.
The Tishrin Dam is a significant power source for Aleppo province. This
potentially gives the FSA the ability to supply power to areas under their
control while cutting power to the areas still under regime control.
This morning, NPR carried a report from a recent defector from the FSA who
said that Assad is pulling his forces, especially tanks and aircraft, back
from the front lines and toward Damascus. This matches what our sources
have been reporting for more than a week. The increasing pace of FSA
victories against major bases in Deir Ez Zor and peripheral bases in Aleppo
is an indication that the FSA is taking advantage of Assad's withdrawal.
The interesting development, then, is that despite these moves to keep the
capital more secure, the FSA has still been able to capture several large
bases both east and west of Damascus.
And today there may have been another development. Though we have
independently verified this report, Sky News, citing the Syrian Observatory
for Human Rights, says that a major pro-Assad Palestinian refugee camp has
been captured <http://www.skynews.com.au/world/article.aspx?id=820317> by
the FSA in Damascus:
'Rebels stormed a Popular Front-General Command (PFLP-GC) training camp in
the Rihan area of Damascus province, after violent clashes with local
fighters,' the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said on Sunday.
The training camp 'functioned for over 30 years as a base of resistance,
graduating thousands of Palestinian youth and hundreds of guerrillas who
have humiliated the Zionist enemy with important operations,' the PFLP-GC
said in a statement condemning the attack on Saturday.
State news agency SANA quoted an official as saying that the attack was
'carried out by armed terrorist groups ... Mossad proxies working for the
Zionist enemy in response to operations carried out by the Front against
It should be noted that the PFLP-GC has claimed responsibility for the bus
attack in Tel Aviv that injured 29 Israeli's.
James Miller takes over today's live coverage. Thanks to Scott Lucas for
getting us started today.
1003 GMT: *Egypt*. Minister of Interior Ahmed Gamal Eddin has denied
policemen have shot protesters near the ministry, claiming that victims
have been hit by fellow
The Ministry of Health has reports said that the one dead and many of the
dozens injured in clashes since last Monday have been hit by birdshot.
The fighting has come amid protests marking the one-year anniversary of the
deaths of more than 40 demonstrators outside Government buildings.
Gamal Eddin said that birdshot injuries sustained by protesters ---,
includng those suffered by the slain April 6 Youth Movement member Gaber
Salah --- reveal they had been hit at close range. indicating they were
shot by their colleagues.
“The [police] forces are the victims here,” the minister argued.
0943 GMT: *Turkey*. Turkish media report that six insurgents of the
Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), including a field commander, have been
an army raid in Diyarbakir Province in southeastern Turkey.
0938 GMT: *Egypt*. Reuters reports that the stock market, after a fall of
almost 10% on Sunday, has opened another 4% lower today.
0935 GMT: *Israel*. Minister of Defense Ehud Barak has
he is quitting politics and will leave his post after January's elections.
Barak is expected to be succeeded by current Foreign Minister Avigdor
Lieberman if the Netanyahu coalition wins a majority in the Parliamentary
0930 GMT: *Gaza*. The BBC's Paul Danahar brings news of another death from
last week's Israeli attacks:
The brother of BBC's Jehad Masharawi, whose baby boy was killed when a
shell hit his house in #*Gaza* <https://twitter.com/search/%23Gaza>, died
of his severe burn injuries today
26 Nov 12 <https://twitter.com/pdanahar/statuses/272981265991491584>
Ahmad Masharawi had been trying to carry 11 month old Omar to safety when
the house was hit engulfing them both in flames.
26 Nov 12 <https://twitter.com/pdanahar/statuses/272982147898417152>
0750 GMT: *Israel*. The Israeli military said it successfully tested its
newest missile defense
The "David's Sling" system, designed to stop mid-range missiles with ranges
of up to 300 kilometres (180 miles), downed its first target in a drill in
southern Israel, the military said.
Israel has already deployed Arrow systems for longer-range threats and the
Iron Dome system against short-range rockets.
The military said David's Sling, which is on schedule for deployment in
2014, would "provide an additional layer of defense against ballistic
missiles." The next generation of the Arrow, now in the development stage,
is set to be deployed in 2016.
0730 GMT: *Kuwait*. Ian Black of The Guardian posts an overview of the
political tension in Kuwait, "Emir's Change to Election Rules Stirs Signs
of Arab Spring<http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/nov/25/kuwait-elections-unrest-emir-change-voting-rules>
0720 GMT: *Syria*. The New York Times, finally noting the insurgent capture
of the Marj al Sultan airbase near Damascus, sets the development in wider
*The rebels have been gaining strength and becoming more organized, he
said, and the government forces have been slowly contracting under pressure.
The government’s continued loss of bases...raises questions about how long
it will be able to operate in the northern provinces of Idlib and Aleppo.
Ground supply routes linking those provinces to Damascus, the capital, have
slowly been cut off throughout the spring and summer, as rebels have
mastered the use of roadside bombs and gradually overrun government bases
and checkpoints along the way....
Rebels have assaulted Taftanaz air base in Idlib, and captured two major
bases and an oil field in the eastern province of Deir al-Zour and a large
base outside Aleppo, Syria’s largest city.
*Striking at government air power is militarily and psychologically
important for the rebels, for whom aircraft pose a significant threat
because of their firepower and unlimited reach. Yet the rebels have so far
been unable, because of international reluctance and opposition disunity,
to obtain significant amounts of antiaircraft weaponry that could help them
turn the tide in the conflict, which began as a protest movement and
gradually turned into a civil war after soldiers fired on demonstrators.*
0630 GMT: *Syria*. A Sunday marked by activist enthusiasm over another
victory --- the weekend capture of a major regime airbase, east of Damascus
--- was tempered by news of the killing of 10 children by a regime shell
that fell on a playground in a suburb of the capital.
The children were among 117 people slain on
according to the Local Coordination Committees. Fifty-five of the deaths
were in Damascus and its suburbs.
Thousands of protesters remain in Cairo's Tahrir Square, while clashes in
the Nile Delta town of Damanhour killed a 15-year-old Muslim Brotherhood
member and injured 60 others. More than 500 people have reportedly been
injured in fighting since last Thursday.
Article originally appeared on EA WorldView (http://www.enduringamerica.com/
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