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Syria Direct: News Update 12-17-2013

* The Syrian air force targeted the al-Haidariyeh, al-Sha’ar and Bab […]

17 December 2013

* The Syrian air force targeted the al-Haidariyeh, al-Sha’ar and Bab al-Naireb neighborhoods of Aleppo Tuesday, continuing a days-long assault on rebel-held east Aleppo, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported. Rebels have accused Syrian helicopters of dropping barrel bombs – oil barrels filled with explosives – into civilian areas. 

Al-Shaar neighborhood

Destruction in the al-Sha’ar neighborhood of East Aleppo Tuesday. Photo courtesy of Haleb Today.

* A gas canister explosion killed two children, wounded four and sparked a fire in Zaatari refugee camp in northern Jordan on Monday, Jordanian newspaper Al Rai reported.

* The United Nations launched its largest-ever appeal for assistance Monday in response to the deteriorating humanitarian conditions for Syrians and Syrian refugees. In 2014, the U.N. says it will need $6.5 billion to support nearly three-quarters of the Syrian population,  $2.3 billion for 9.3 million Syrians inside Syria and the remainder for the more than 1.3 million who live outside Syria as refugees.

* Bread prices have shot up 500% since the beginning of the 33-month long conflict in Syria, the International Rescue Committee announced Monday. “Four out of five Syrians are worried about running out of food and bread prices have increased 500%,” the aid organization reported.

* The Free Syrian Army-affiliated Hudayfa Bin al-Yaman Battalions targeted one of the Syrian government’s last remaining outposts in a-Raqqa province Monday at the Division 17 base outside A-Raqqa city using locally-manufactured Hell mortars

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