Fighting rages in Damascus as regime calls up reserve personnel
- Tensions spiked in Damascus as heavy clashes broke out between pro and anti-regime militiamen.
- The Syrian army declared ”state of general alert”, more Russian citizens evacuated.
- Rebels bombed a checkpoint in Idlib city and made new gains in Deir Azzour.
- Kafrnbouda, Hama: Civilians take refuge in caves and graves fleeing the regime’s indiscriminate shelling
- Sinaa, Deir Azzour: Rebel fighters storm the technical institute, P2
- Heish, Idlib: Regime warplane drops ordnances on the village causing massive explosions
- Total Death Toll: 150
- Opposition Death Toll: 75 including 6 women, 3 children and 20 rebel fighters (Damascus and Suburbs: 23, Aleppo: 17, Homs: 13, Daraa: 12, Hama: 7, Qunaitra: 1, Hasaka: 1, Latakia: 1)
- Regime Soldiers & Militiamen Death Toll: +75
- Number of areas shelled: +276
- Number of People Wounded: +60
- Number of People Detained: +25
- FSA Key Operations:
- Stormed a school and hospital in Deir Azzour city.
- Bombed a military checkpoint in Idlib city.
- Stormed several checkpoints in the suburbs of Daraa and Aleppo.
- Seized control of the Hasaka suburb of Tal Barrak.
Summary of Events
Fighting raged in the north of Damascus between rebel fighters and pro-regime militia, as regime declared the state of general alert and Russia evacuated more of its citizens.
Regime militiamen, known as Popular Committees, coming from the mainly Alawite neighborhood of Ush al-Warwar, northeast of Damascus and backed by regime forces, launched a ground assault on the nearby neighborhood of Barzeh where they faced fierce resistance by the rebels who managed to pushed them back. This came as both sides exchanged mortar fire from within their neighborhoods, causing several casualties from both sides.
Activists said that the Syrian army called up its reservists up to 35 years of age, declaring a ”state of general alert”. This included the cancellation of military service postponement to students, some of whom were arrested at checkpoints and sent immediately to join the army.
A Russian Emergency Situations Ministry aircraft that delivered humanitarian aid to Syria today carried over 100 citizens of Russia and other CIS countries wishing to leave Syria back to Moscow, Emergency Situations Ministry spokesperson Irina Rossius said today.
Heavy fighting continued across the country between the rebels and regime armed forces. The rebels used a car bomb to destroy a checkpoint near the premises of the Military Housing Department in the city of Idlib, leaving dozens of regime soldiers dead and wounded.
In Deir Azzour, the rebels stormed the technical institute in the neighborhood of Sinaa as well as the Deir Azzour National Hospital, killing more than 25 soldiers and injuring many others. They also stormed two checkpoints in the Daraa suburb of Naima and in the village of Um Aamoud in the suburb of Aleppo.
Moreover, the rebels used military tanks as they launched a major attack on the Army Reserves headquarters in the Damascus suburb of Adra killing at least 11 soldiers including four officers. They also seized control of the provincial town of Tal Barrack in the suburb of Hasaka after storming all security and military premises and checkpoints.
Regime forces continued their attacks on opposition-held areas across the country, shelling more than 276 locations, 21 of which were pounded by fighter jets, three were bombarded by Scud-type missiles and seven others were shelled with surface-to-surface missiles. They also bombarded other locations using all sorts of heavy weaponry such as rocket launchers, heavy artillery, thermobaric, cluster, phosphorus and TNT bombs, thus causing extensive material damages and leaving dozens of people dead and wounded.
More than 150 people died in Syria today. Regime forces and loyalist militiamen killed at least 75 people, including six women, three children and 20 rebel fighters, whereas the rebels killed more than 75 soldiers and militiamen.
In Damascus and its suburbs, at least 12 people died due to the intense shelling that targeted the Yarmouk Refugee Camp as well as the provincial towns of Douma, Ashrafiya and Daraya. Some six people were killed in the neighborhood of Barzeh as five others died under torture while in regime’s custody.
Regime forces executed three civilians and then burned their bodies in the Daraa suburb of Mhaja while three others died due to the indiscriminate shelling and sniping in the neighborhood of Bustan Qaser in Aleppo and two more died due to the indiscriminate shelling in the Hama suburb of Kernaz.
Syria is back on the oil trading map this year with more than a dozen shipments of gasoil reaching a government-controlled port in February, ending months of isolation as foreign sellers and officials say it is not their job to monitor private deals. The sales are worth over $100 million at current prices and are the clearest sign yet that oil dealers’ reluctance to supply the war-ravaged country is waning.
Syrians killed: +72,227
Children killed: +4,957
Females killed: +3,940
Soldiers killed: +8,480
Protesters killed under torture: +1,571
Protesters currently incarcerated: +200,000
Syrians injured: +137,000
Syrian refugees since March: +1,364,268
Refugees in Turkey: +400,000
Refugees in Lebanon: +336,997
Refugees in Jordan: +420,000
Refugees in Iraq: +107,271
Refugees in Egypt: +100,000International Reactions
France says Syria balance of power must be changed
Cameron hints UK could militarily intervene
Israel’s Peres urges Arab intervention in Syria
Russia: U.S. support for Syrian opposition complicates settlement
UNICEF: Syria’s Lost Generation
US: Syria might be prepared to use chemical and biological weapons
Selected Media Coverage
NPR: Should The US Arms Rebels In Syria?
New York Times: Syria Military Shows Strain in a War It Wasn’t Built to Fight
Telegraph: Can Syria’s children ever forget?
Middle East Online: Can Syria be Saved from Destruction?
UPI: U.S. again irked by Russian ties to Syria
Globe and Mail: Is justice for Syria held hostage by Canada’s stance on Israel?
March 16: Munich, Germany
A day for Syria
March 19: Prague, Czech Republic
Syrian in our hearts – a charity event for Syria
Qadam, Damascus: Rebels fire at a helicopter gunships while bombarding the area
Idlib: Rebel fighters fire missiles Sarhan checkpoint
Hama: Rebels capture a military tank after overrunning a checkpoint
Jobar: Clouds of smoke billow from the neighborhood as a result of the intense shelling
Qadam: Regime military tanks try to break into the neighborhood
Yarmouk Camp: The devastating aftermath of the indiscriminate shelling
Yalda: Regime shelling targets civilian houses
Moadamiyat al-Sham: A baby girl get injured as a result of the indiscriminate shelling
Daraya: Homes set ablaze after been bombarded by regime warplanes
Drousha: Smock billows from the area due to the intense shelling
Douma: The devastating aftermath of the indiscriminate shelling
Bustan Qasr: A civilian gets injured after been shot by a sniper
Shaar: Rebel fighters evacuate civilians from a building that was bombed by regime forces
Ashrafiya: Residents flee the neighborhood as shelling and fighting escalate, P2
Maree: Funeral procession of a rebel fighter
Atareb: Smock billows from the area as a result of intense shelling
Mayer: Rebel fighter dies during clashes with regime forces nea r Mennigh airbase
Hayan: Regime shelling causs massive destruction
Bowayda Sharqiya: Rebel fighter dies during clashes with regime forces
Dar Kabira: A man dies as a result of the indiscriminate shelling
Bab Tadmor: Houses set ablaze after been shelled by military tanks
Baba Amr: The neighborhood comes under heavy tanks shelling
Heesh: Regime helicopter gunship drops barrel bombs on the village
Rami: Regime shelling leaves many houses completely destroyed
Kafrenbol: Demonstration in solidarity with the areas under attack
Kafersajna: Massive explosion caused by a barrel bomb dropped by a helicopter gunship
Demonstrations and Activities Abroad
UK: Humanitarian aid campaign for the disaster-stricken people of Syria