Rebel fighters push to seize Taftanaz airbase in Idlib
Today's Top Stories
-Regime supporters angered with a prisoner swap deal that involved Iranian hostages only.
-Car bomb explosion left dozens of people dead and injured in the Damascus suburb of Moadamiyat al-Sham.
-Rebel fighters stormed the helicopter airbase of Taftanaz in Idlib.
Today's Top Videos
Damascus Suburb: Regime releases Syrian prisoners in exchange for the Iranian hostages, P2
Taftanaz, Idlib: Rebel fighters storm the helicopter airbase of Taftanaz, P2
Moadamiyat al-Sham, Damascus Suburb: Dozens of people killed and injured in a massive car bomb explosion, P2
Total Death Toll: 123
Opposition Death Toll: 98 including 6 women, 4 children and 14 rebel fighters (Aleppo: 27, Damascus and Suburbs: 22, Hama: 15, Idlib: 9, Homs: 8, Deir Azzour: 5, Raqa: 5, Daraa: 4, Suweida: 2)
Regime Soldiers & Militiamen Death Toll: +25
Number of areas shelled: +180
Number of People Wounded: +40
Number of People Detained: 0
FSA Key Operations:
Stormed the helicopter airbase of Taftanaz in Idlib.
Destroyed four military tanks in Damascus, Daraa and Aleppo.
Summary of Events
Al-Baraa Brigade, one of the strongest rebel forces in Damascus, released the 48 Iranian hostages in exchange for 2163 Syrian and Turkishprisoners, including 73 women. The deal brokered with the help of Turkey and Qatar, marked the biggest prisoner swap in the 22-month uprising. The 48 Iranians, who are accused of being members of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard, were taken hostage in August near the town of Sayeda Zeinab in the suburb of Damascus. This deal provoked a wave of angry comments on social media websites by the regime’s supporters, accusing the regime of placing the freedom of the Iranian hostages above the release of thousands of Syrian loyalist soldiers currently in rebel custody. Some even announced switching to the opposition side against aregime that does not care about those who sacrificed their lives for it, according to what they said.
At least 12 people were killed and 50 more were injured in car bomb explosion that targeted a residential area in the town of Moadamiyat al-Sham near Damascus. Activists said that the car was driven into the town by members of what’s so called the popular committees, a pro-regime civil militias. Meanwhile, five civilians were killed “execution style” in the neighborhoods of Qabun and Qadam in Damascus.
In Aleppo, some 12 unidentified bodies were discovered in the cemetery of al-Shuhadaa near the government-controlled premises of the Scientific Research Department in central Aleppo. Meanwhile, dozens of people havebeen killed and injured due to the indiscriminate rocket and artillery shelling that targeted the neighbourhoods of Jab al-Qubba and Maadi.
Some 12 civilians, including four members from a Christian family, a couple and their two children, from the city of Hama, were executed after three days of been kidnapped by pro-regime militias in the western Homs suburb of Msharfeh while on their way to Lebanon. Activists also reported that four men were summarily executed in the town of Khalkhala near the southern city of Suweida.
Dozens of civilians and rebel fighters were killed and injured due to the violent shelling and clashes that took place throughout Idlib, Homs, Daraa, Deir Azzour and Raqa.
Regime forces shelled as many as 180 different locations across the country using all sort of heavy weaponry, including cluster and explosive bombs. Some 42 locations were shelled by mortar shells and 86 others were pounded by heavy artillery. More than 51 locations came under rocket shelling as fighter jets struck two others.
Violence left at least 123 people dead today. Some 98 were killed by regime forces including six women, four children and 14 rebel fighters, whereas more than 25 regime soldiers and militiamen were killed by the rebels.
The rebels stormed the helicopter airbase of Taftanaz located in the north-eastern suburb of Idlib, seizing control of several buildings and destroying a number of armoured vehicles in addition to killing and injuring many regime soldiers. The rebels also resumed their attacks on the airbases of Quwayres, Menneg and Jarah in the suburbs of Aleppo as well as the Deir Azzour airbase in the eastern province of Deir Azzour.
Heavy fighting also continued on various fronts in Damascus, Aleppo, Homs, Daraa and Hama where the rebels managed to destroy at least four military tanks in addition to killing and injuring scores of regime soldiers and militiamen.
Syrians killed: 61,195
Children killed: 4,042
Females killed: 3,961
Soldiers killed: 6,377
Protesters killed under torture: 1,394
Protesters currently incarcerated: +140,000
Syrians injured: +137,000
Syrian refugees since March: +607,053
Refugees in Turkey: +150,906
Refugees in Lebanon: +194,010
Refugees in Jordan: +176,569
Refugees in Iraq: +69,282
Refugees in Egypt: +13,292
Brahimi: Syrians believe 40 years of family rule is “too long”
Selected Media Coverage
Global Post: Syria spills into Lebanon
ABC Online: Wife fears for Australian abducted in Syria
The Economist: Just a game?
Reuters: Winter storm brings devastation to Syria and neighbors
Daily Beast: Winter Descends on Syria’s Refugees
Khaleej Times: Syria’s sorrow bites in winter
Huffington Post: Retribution or Reconciliation: On Syria’s Future
January 19: Global Sit-in to demand the international community to act toward ending the Syrian crisis
Damascus Suburb: Rebel fighters destroy a military tank
Khan Wazeera, Aleppo: Rebel fighters destroy a military tank
Qalamoun, Damascus Suburb: Dozens of soldiers defect to the rebels’ side
Sayeda Zeinab, Damascus: Rebel fighters attack military checkpoints manned by Hezbollah militiamen
Qadam: Residents discover two unidentified bodies that carry clear torture marks
Jobar: Despite the snowy weather, protesters take to the streets to demand the overthrow of the regime
Qabun: Residents discover three civilians that were field executed, P2
Daraya: Regime warplanes use incendiary weapons
Mleiha: Mass destruction caused by the indiscriminate rocket shelling
Thiyabiya: Regime forces destroy activist’s houses
Bouweda: Residents collect use trees for heating
Daraya: Leaked video shows Assad’s forces humiliating an elderly man after killing him
Jub al-Kouba: Dozens of people killed and wounded due to the indiscriminate shelling
Kalasa: Many civilians get injured due to the indiscriminate shelling that targeted a residential building
Khan Wazeer: An ancient souk severely damaged due to the indiscriminate shelling
Al-Bab: People wait in lines for long hours to get their bread
Khan Asal: Black cloud of smoke billow from a fuel tank due to the artillery shelling
Safeera: The town comes under heavy shelling
Old city: Bodies scattered everywhere as the shelling continues, P2
Waer: Despite the heavy snow, people take to the streets to demand Assad’s execution
Rastan: Regime shelling leaves many people dead and wounded
Baser Harir: Heavy shelling and fighting continue
Inkhel: Homes and possessions damaged due to the indiscriminate shelling
Bosra al-Sham: Protesters challenge the freezing weather and take to the streets to demand the overthrow of the regime
Kefrnobouda: The aftermath of the violent shelling
Tariq Halab: Protesters take to the streets to demand the overthrow of the regime
Binish: A number of rebel fighters get injured during clashes at Taftanaz airbase
Barisha Mountain: Children collect wood for heating purposes
Ma’arret Na’asan: A man and his family dodge a shell that destroyed their house
Atma Refugee Camp: Children face death amid freezing weather and lack of medical care
Sheikh Yaseen: The devastating aftermath of the daily shelling
Tayana: Funeral procession of a rebel fighter who was killed during clashes with regime forces
Mayadeen: A rebel fighter killed during clashes with regime forces
Howayqa: Clouds of smoke billow from the neighborhood due to the indiscriminate shelling
People stand outside the Syrian Police Headquarters in Damascus waiting for the release of the detainees
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