Rebels storm army positions near Damascus
- Rebel fighters made new gains in Damascus, Homs and Hasaka.
- Regime forces perpetrated mass slaughter near Hama.
- Syria’s economy struggles as gold and foreign currency prices continue to spiral out of control.
- Damascus: Dozens of mortar shells hit several areas in the heart of the capital, P2
- Damascus Suburb: Rebel fighters storm an army base in Adra and take over the military housing branch in Khan al-Sheih, P2
- Hamamiyat, Hama: Regime forces perpetrate another mass killing slaughtering at least seven civilians with knives
- Total Death Toll: 193
- Opposition Death Toll: 103 including 11 children, 7 women and 28 rebel fighters (Damascus and Suburbs: 39, Aleppo: 26, Homs: 15, Daraa: 9, Hama: 8, Idlib: 4, Deir Azzour: 2, Qunaitra: 1)
- Regime Soldiers & Militiamen Death Toll: +90
- Number of areas shelled: +234
- Number of People Wounded: +60
- Number of People Detained: +25
- FSA Key Operations:
- Stormed two regime positions in the suburb of Damascus.
- Stormed several checkpoints in the suburb of Homs.
- Destroyed three military tanks and captured two others.
Summary of Events
The rebels made new gains in Damascus and its suburbs, Homs and Hasaka as regime forces perpetrated mass killings in Damascus and near Hama.
The rebels stormed the base of the Popular Army in the Damascus suburb of Adra, capturing a military tank and dozens of military vehicles in addition to a big quantity of ammunitions and arms. They also stormed the military housing branch in the suburb of Khan al-Sheih on the border with the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights, destroying two military tanks and one armored vehicle in addition to killing at least 35 soldiers and detaining many others.
Rebel fighters continued to push into the heart of the capital from the eastern district of Abbasids where they killed at least 30 soldiers while attacking the “The Eighth of March” Tower and the nearby buildings. They also fired several mortar shells on the state security branch in the district of Fahama in central Damascus.
Twin car bomb explosions rocked a residential complex for army officers from the elite Fourth Division in the district of Somariya near the Mazeh Airbase. The explosions caused extensive material damages and left many people dead and wounded according to rebel sources.
In Homs, the rebels scored advances on various fronts, storming a checkpoint in the village of Jousiya in near the border with Lebanon in addition to three more checkpoints in the village of Abel in the southern suburb of Homs. They also seized control of the Kisein area in the town of Houla and continued to defend their bastions in the old city of Homs and the neighborhood of Khaldiya.
Tensions spiked in the mainly-Kurdish northeastern province of Hasaka as the Chief of Criminal Security Branch Colonel Mohammad Turkey Jadaan as well as the Head of Traffic Branch Colonel Hilal Taha Mahmoud in addition to a number of security and army personnel announced their defection to the rebels’ side. Meanwhile, the rebels interdicted the road linking the cities of Hasaka and Qamishly and stormed a checkpoint in the village of Milbiya, 10-km south of Hasaka city.
Regime forces continued their attacks on opposition-held areas across the country, shelling more than 234 locations, seven of which were pounded by fighter jets, one location was bombarded by Scud-type missile and one more was shelled with surface-to-surface missile. They also bombarded other locations using all sorts of heavy weaponry such as rocket launchers, heavy artillery, mortar shells, and cluster bombs, thus causing extensive material damages and leaving dozens of people dead and wounded.
More than 193 people died in Syria today. Regime forces and loyalist militiamen killed at least 103 people, including 11 children, seven women and 28 rebel fighters, whereas the rebels killed more than 90 soldiers and militiamen.
Several mortar shells landed in the neighborhoods of Bukhtiyar and Fahama in Damascus targeting a mosque and several governmental and residential buildings, leaving at least seven people, including three children dead and more than 50 others wounded.
Regime forces and loyalist militiamen continued their attack on the northeastern neighborhood of Barzeh for the third day in a raw, killing at least 11 people and firing dozens of mortar shells on residential houses as more military reinforcements arrives in preparation for a major military offensive.
The indiscriminate shelling killed at least eight people in the Damascus suburb of Khan al-Sheih and four more in the southern neighborhood of Yarmouk Refugee Camp.
Regime forces slashed six civilians with knives in the village of Hamamiyat in the suburb of Hama as eight unidentified bodies were discovered near the Shihan Roundabout in Aleppo city. Meanwhile, four people died as a result of the indiscriminate and intense shelling in the Homs suburbs of Rastan and Qusayr.
The two-year conflict continues to batter the Syrian economy. The gold price for the 21 Karat reached SYP 4,600 and SYP 3,943 for 18 Karat increasing by SYP 100 sine yesterday. The USD in the black market is set at 103 SYP for sale and 101 SYP for purchase, while the purchase price of Euro reached 133 SYP and the selling price hit 135 SYP, both currencies increased by more than 50% since the start the revolution.
Syrians killed: +72,420
Children killed: +4,968
Females killed: +3,947
Soldiers killed: +8,508
Protesters killed under torture: +1,582
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
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Selected Media Coverage
National Post: We must intervene in Syria to protect ourselves
Foreign Policy: How the Muslim Brotherhood Hijacked Syria’s Revolution
Christian Science Monitor: Terrorism and freedom fighting along the Syria-Iraq border
Aljazeera: Lebanon: Sibling of Syria
Reuters: In volatile border region, fear grips Syria’s minority
New York Times: Daily Life in Syria’s Civil War
Global Post: Saudi youth fighting against Assad regime in Syria
The Nation: The CIA Takes Opposite Sides in Syria and Iraq
March 16: Munich, Germany
A day for Syria
March 19: Prague, Czech Republic
Syrian in our hearts – a charity event for Syria
Aleppo Suburb: Rebels fire missiles at Kweires airbase
Rebels destroy a military tank in Daraa and another in Daraya, P2
Masaken Sabeel, Aleppo: Rebels fire an RPG on a school used by the military
Sbeineh: A man gets his head ripped off after been shot by heavy machine guns
Rankous: Scud missile passes overhead
Moadamiyat al-Sham: Houses set ablaze as a result of the intense shelling
Daraya: The devastating aftermath of the indiscriminate shelling
Tal Refaat: A rebel fighter dies during clashes with regime forces
Mennegh: Regime warplanes bombard the vicinity of Minneg airbase
Adnaniya: Residents discover two charred bodies believed to have been executed by regime forces
Rastan: A woman dies as a result of the indiscriminate shelling
Old City: The city comes under heavy shelling
Qusour: Regime shelling levels dozens of buildings to the ground
Khalidiya: A rebel fighter gets injured during clashes with regime forces
Kherbet Ghazala: A mosque partially destroyed after been hit by an artillery shell
Daraa Balad: Homes set ablaze as a result of the intense shelling
Jiza: The town comes under heavy shelling
Mseifra: The devastating aftermath of the indiscriminate shelling
Kafersajna: The devastating aftermath of the heavy aerial bombardments
Heish: Massive destruction caused by surface-to-surface missile
Jeser shoghour: Regime warplane bombards the area
Sermin: Houses destroyed as a result of the indiscriminate shelling
Sinaa: Smock billows from the neighborhood due to the intense shelling
Mreiya: A civilian dies after been caught by a mine explosion
Central City: Regime’s heavy artillery bombards the city
Demonstrations and Activities Abroad
UK: Humanitarian aid campaign for the disaster-stricken people of Syria