Avaaz Syria update – Friday February 3, 2012

Friday February 3, 2012

Avaaz Syria update

Humanitarian crisis grips Homs as victims of crisis face severe food & fuel shortages
‘Intense suffering’ in Karm Zeitoun – citizen journalists report families on brink of starvation


Avaaz activists reported continuing battles between regime forces and the Free Syrian Army in Homs today. Activist “Abu Rabih” told Avaaz today: “Security forces and the Syrian Army have no control over any of the neighbourhoods in Homs except for the loyalist ones. The army is concentrated in the vicinity of the major streets in Homs whilst Baba Amr is under the full control of the FSA, and and the Syrian Army has retreated to the outskirts of the neighbourhoods of Bab al-Dreib and Bustan Diwan.”

Food and fuel crisis:

Activist “Basil” from Baba Amr told Avaaz that the humanitarian situation in the neighbourhood is “very poor”. He said: “Since this morning, the sound of gunfire hasn’t subsided in Baba Amr. There’s an acute shortage of diesel fuel for heating as well as shortages of bread and medical supplies”. Demonstrations took place in the neighbourhood under the theme of “Forgive us Hama, we are sorry” – which was adopted in protests across Syria today.

There is a severe shortage of bread throughout Homs, either due to a shortage of flour or because bakeries have shut in many neighbourhoods, amid continuing violence. Avaaz citizen journalists have reported crowds and scrambles outside open bakeries each morning as residents attempt to buy bread.

‘Intense suffering’ in Karm Zeitoun:

Avaaz activist “Abu Rabih” reported today the death of Mamdouh Osman, aged 57, in the neighbourhood of Jab Jandali in Bab al-Dreib. Mamdouh died of his wounds after being shot by a sniper 4 days ago. Abu Rabih also spoke of the intense suffering in the neighbourhood of Karam Zeytoun where it has been cut off from electricity, telecommunications, and water and where food and medical supplies are in shortage. The neighbourhood, he said, is “very vulnerable to attack by Shabiha militiamen stationed in the loyalist neighbourhoods that border Karam Zeytouon”. At least 4 were wounded by a mortar shell that fell on the southern part of the neighbourhood today.

Avaaz activist ‘Omar’ visited Karm Zeitoun this week, and described the appalling conditions in the neighbourhood: “I saw 4 families living in just 3 small rooms. There were around 25 people in this small house, which had been shelled by regime mortars. The little kids were sitting in the rubble, freezing and starving. They only had soup to eat and were sharing a single loaf of bread between all 25 of them. When I saw them I cried.
“We need helicopters to reach these areas and get them out – the situation is hopeless. They have virtually no food, water or fuel for heating. We have to send them food urgently otherwise they will die of starvation. We are bringing in water containers for them but the regime are shooting at the containers so the water leaks away. In areas like Karm Zeitoun they can’t clean the streets as snipers are everywhere and shoot at anyone in the street, so rubbish has piled up everywhere and is rotting. We are now very concerned about the spread of disease as a result. People are starting to get skin conditions. Karm Zeitoun is really so bad because there are no jobs, no shops, nothing to live from. No income. Karm Zeitoun was one of the first to join the uprising so the regime hit them hard. Lots of the houses have been destroyed by mortars. They use the big mortars which cause a lot of damage. They have nothing.”

The body of Mamdouh Osman: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j250wQqfdWQ&feature=youtu.be

Massive demonstrations took off in the town of Talbeesa today. Syrian security forces responded with gunfire and indiscriminate shelling of the neighbourhood with heavy artillery and mortar fire. Activist ‘Abu Yazen’ reported to Avaaz that at least 5 shells fell in the centre of the town, leaving at least 3 injured.

Demonstrations in Homs today:

al-Waer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FxYutKdxDKo&feature=youtu.be
Deir Baalba: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LbEmdMrlaSI&feature=g-u-u&context=G26bcce1FUAAAAAAAAAA
al-Houla: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YsUF0zTJ6ZY&feature=g-all-u&context=G23b9b4bFAAAAAAAABAA
Baba Amr: http://youtu.be/eZNLQG86oko
Bab Sibaa: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tXShampuAWQ&feature=youtu.be

High res stills photography from Homs today: http://www.4shared.com/rar/HVx31H2m/______3-2-2012.html


Activist ‘Noureddine’, member of the Jabal al-Zawiyeh coordinating committee, reported to Avaaz the death of two children in the town of Takharam in Idlib. Noureddine said: “The children died when a roadside bomb that had been planted near the cultural centre of the town went off.” The activist asserted that the bomb had been left behind by the Syrian Army when they withdrew from the town. Noureddine said “the bomb blew apart the two children on the spot, so their families identified them with great difficulty.”


Demonstrations took place in a number of neighbourhoods in Aleppo, where they were met with gunfire from security forces. Activists from Aleppo told Avaaz that at least 6 civilians were killed in the neighbourhood of al-Marja after being shot when clashes took place between the demonstrators and the security forces and the Shabiha militiamen that tried to disperse them. Demonstrators succeeded in maintaining control of the Marja roundabout prompting the security forces to call in reinforcements and insist on opening fire at the protesters.

Demonstrators charge at the security forces: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eipkwcUmZvc&feature=youtu.be
Demonstrators at the Marja roundabout and security forces opening fire at them: http://youtu.be/p7BI1pLVHjY
Casualties in al-Marja http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=youtube_gdata_player&v=PmR7Y8PcnY8

In the neighbourhood of al-Halek, at least one civilian was killed when security forces opened fire at demonstrators chanting to topple the regime. Demonstrators clashed with security forces and Shabiha militiamen, where demonstrators threw rocks, smashing a bus transporting security forces.

In the town of Afreen in rural Aleppo, security forces and Shabiha militiamen attacked a demonstration that began in the town this morning. At least 25 civilians were wounded, some critically.

Demonstration in Afreen: http://youtu.be/P5xTsfZMyp4
Security forces storm the demonstration: http://youtu.be/54NIHpFIJQY


Demonstrations took place across the city of Hama on the 30th anniversary of the massacre that took place in the city in 1982. Activist “Kamal al-Hamwi” told Avaaz that at least three were killed in the city today when security forces opened fire on a rally in the southern part of the neighbourhood of al-Malaab. At least 5 were wounded. Several demonstrators were also wounded from security forces attacks in the neighbourhoods of Baath and Shayzar.


Avaaz activists reported the deaths of at least 5 civilians in the town of Daraya when security forces opened on demonstrators.

For further information please contact Will Davies on +447855 419901 or will@avaaz.org

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