Aleppo, 18 Rabiul Awwal 1434/30 January 2013 (MINA) –  The bodies of at least 80 men), many of them with their hands bound behind their back, were found on the muddy banks of a small river Tuesday (29/1) in the northern city of Aleppo.

      “The bodies, almost all of men in their 20s and 30s (one of them is 12 years old), were discovered in the contested neighborhood of Bustan Al-Qasr,” the director of the Britain-based Observatory for Human Rights, Rami Abdul-Rahman said, according to Arab News report received by Mi’raj News Agency (MINA) Wednesday (30/1).

       Abdul-Rahman said it was not clear who was behind the killings. Intense clashes between oposition  and government troops have raged in the district since July.

       Another activists believes the government led by Assad was responsible for the killing, but there was no immediate comment from Syrian authorities on the bodies discovered Tuesday.

       Since the Syrian uprising began in March 2011, there have been several cases of alleged mass killings. The oposition and the government routinely blame each other for the deaths.

      An amateur video posted online showed dozens of bodies placed in rows on the ground and wrapped in blue blankets. A crowd of men, many of them covering their nose with a scarf, walk among the bodies, apparently trying to identify them.

       A voice in the background says “number them,” while another says “pray for them.”
       At one point, a man stops at a body and breaks down into tears, shouting: “he’s my brother.”

      The violence came as President Barack Obama authorized an additional $155 million in humanitarian aid for the Syrian people Tuesday (29/1). Obama announced the additional funding Tuesday in a video directed at the Syrian people.

     “The relief we send doesn’t say ‘Made in America,’ but make no mistake — our aid reflects the commitment of the American people,” Obama said in the video, which was posted on the White House website.

     The fresh funding brings the total US humanitarian aid to Syria over two years to $365 million, according to the White House. Officials said the money was being used to immunize one million Syrian children, purchase winter supplies for a half million people, and to help alleviate food shortages.

     The US has long called for Syrian President Bashar Assad to leave power and says the fall of his regime is inevitable. In addition to the humanitarian aid, the White House has also ratcheted up economic sanctions on Assad’s regime and recognized the rebel-led Syrian Opposition Council as the legitimate representative of the Syrian people.

     Also, EU humanitarian aid Commissioner Kristalina Georgieva said the EU committed another 100 million euros ($134 million) in help, bringing the overall EU total so far to 360 million euros.

     Earlier in the day, Syrian opposition  stormed a government intelligence complex in the oil-rich east of the country, freeing at least 11 people held in a prison at the facility, activists said.

     After five days of heavy clashes around the intelligence compound in the city of Deir el-Zour, opposition  finally overran the complex early Tuesday.  It was not immediately clear whether those freed from the compound’s prison Tuesday were fighters or activists.

     The activists said the compound was run by the Political Security Department, one of Syria’s four most powerful intelligence agencies.

Amateur videos showed oppsotion raising an Islamic flag on top of the three-story building as fighters carted away rifles and boxes of ammunition.

     Deir el-Zour has been the scene of heavy fighting since the uprising against Assad began in March 2011. The province, which goes by the same name as the city, is located along Syria’s border with Iraq and includes several oil installations that the opposition have repeatedly targeted.

     The aid group Doctors Without Borders said last month that government forces are shelling and bombing Deir el-Zour almost daily. It said tens of thousands of Syrians, many of them wounded, remain trapped in the city.

     Also Tuesday, regime warplanes also carried several airstrikes on Opposition locations in restive towns and villages around Damascus, including eastern Ghouta and Yalda.

     After capturing several major army bases and government outposts, the opposistion control large swathes of land in northeastern Syria. Assad’s troops, however, continue to strike after nearly two years of conflict.(T/P03E1)


Mi’raj News Agency (MINA)

Related Posts

Leave a Reply