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Syria Direct: news update 2-2-2014

* Syrian air force helicopters continued to drop barrel bombs […]

2 February 2014

NewsUpdateFeb2014* Syrian air force helicopters continued to drop barrel bombs on neighborhoods in east Aleppo Sunday, a day after 90 civilians were killed by the unlawful makeshift devices, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported. 34 civilians were killed in the Tariq al-Bab neighborhood alone Saturday. Last week, Syrian forces launched an offensive in Aleppo, under rebel control since 2012, seizing the Karam al-Qaser neighborhood after moving west from the al-Nairab Miltary Base. Tariq al-Bab lies one kilometer west of Karam al-Qaser.

* Jabhat a-Nusra’s branch in Lebanon claimed responsibility for a suicide car bombing that killed 3 and injured 28 others in Hezbollah’s stronghold of Hermel in Lebanon’s Beqaa valley Saturday, Lebanon’s Now Media reported. Jabhat a-Nusra held its bombing came in response to Hezbollah’s interference in Syria, striking back at the “Party of Iran’s headquarter in Hermel.” In January, two car bombings rocked Hermel and the south Beirut suburb of Dahiya, another Hezbollah stronghold.

* The Islamic State in Iraq and a-Sham detonated two car bombs Saturday at Liwa a-Tawhid’s Aleppo headquarters at the Infantry School, killing commander Adnan Arour (Abu Hatim) and a group of combatants from the Islamic Front-affiliated battalion, Zaman al-Wasl reported. The cars were able to reach the Infantry School’s gate flying the banner of a-Tawhid ally Jabhat a-Nusra: both groups have been in open confrontation with ISIS. The suicide car bombing comes after Islamic Front combatants killed 20 ISIS fighter and imprisoned others during clashes in the town of al-Raee, near Syria’s northern border with Turkey in Aleppo province.

* A coalition of the Free Syrian Army’s (FSA) largest battalions in Daraa province announced they would begin a coordinated battle they will call “Geneva of Houran,” aiming to break the regime’s control over the city of Daraa. Free Syrian Army battalions and Jabhat a-Nusra control much of the Daraa countryside, but have been unable to cut off regime supply routes to the city. In videos published online Saturday, FSA brigades attacked the northern checkpoint in the village of Atman.

* A humanitarian aid convoy entered the besieged Yarmouk Palestinian Refugee Camp in Damascus Saturday, bringing 2,500 baskets of food into the camp and evacuating 450 sick and wounded individuals, the pro-regime Damascus Post reported Saturday. As many as 85 civilians starved to death in the 250,000-person camp in January.

Yarmouk camp Elderly residents of Yarmouk Camp, where pro-government sources report humanitarian groups brought in food aid and conducted an evacuation yesterday. Photo courtesy of Rami al-Sid. Photo courtesy of Rami al-Saed.

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