Introduction – July 30, 2012
Note that the “director of the British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights” is disputing Syrian government claims reported below.
Don’t ask us how the head of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, Rami Abdul-Rahman would be in a position to know what was happening in Aleppo when he is in fact located in Coventry, Britain. Unless he has some inside intelligence, which is quite possible given that many ‘Syrian opposition activists’ have been linked to Western intelligence.
Nonetheless, the Coventry-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights is quoted in the following report as some sort of authority on events unfolding in Aleppo.
As to the identity of “Mohammed Saeed, who is based in the embattled city”: he has been quoted extensively by Western news agencies, none of which have offered anything to further corroborate his identity. Given that fog of war hangs thickly over Aleppo at the moment he could just as easily be in the pay of Western intelligence.
More significantly perhaps, and not mentioned below, are reports that Chinese warships are sailing toward the eastern Mediterranean, possibly en route to Syria. If so they will meet up with a substantial flotilla of Russian warships off the Syrian coast.
Both Russia and China have vetoed the imposition of United Nations sanctions on Syria, much to the West’s dismay, and the arrival of the naval contingent signals how much further they are prepared to go in support of Syria’s Assad.
Both sides claim victory in Aleppo
(UKPA) – July 30, 2012
Syrian government forces have battled rebels over one of their strongholds in the northern city of Aleppo, with each side claiming victory.
The Syrian government announced late on Sunday that it had “purged” the district of Salaheddine and inflicted “great losses” upon the rebels – a claim which opposition activists dispute.
“They were just in part of Salaheddine, not in the centre,” said Rami Abdul-Rahman, director of the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.
Activists on the ground in Aleppo confirmed that the fighting was continuing and no government forces were in the Salaheddine area, one of the first to revolt against the government in the city of three million people.
“They have tanks in nearby Hamdaniya and there is fighting, and there have been random bombardments of Salaheddine,” said Mohammed Saeed, who is based in the embattled city.
The government has massed forces outside Aleppo and began an assault over the weekend to retake the commercial hub. The international community has expressed fears over a possible massacre of civilians if the fighting escalates.
Meanwhile, the US Defence Secretary began a tour of the Middle East by criticising Syrian President Bashar Assad’s use of heavy weapons in putting down the rebellion.
While giving no indication that Barack Obama’s administration is contemplating military intervention, Leon Panetta said it is increasingly clear that the Syrian crisis is deepening and that Assad is hastening his own demise.
“If they continue this kind of tragic attack on their own people… I think it ultimately will be a nail in Assad’s coffin,” Mr Panetta told reporters travelling with him from Washington.
“His regime is coming to an end.”