200 Dead, Many Children, in Syrian aerial bombing of Halfaya

Opposition forces said that Syrian fighter jets bombed the town of Halfaya near Hama on Sunday. The bombs struck a crowd standing in line to buy bread, and some 200 victims are said to have been killed, and dozens more injured.

The attack on Halfaya likely was the regime’s response to its fighters confronting the pro-government shabiha militias based in two largely Christian towns nearby. The shabiha death squads are formed of Alawi Shiite criminal gangs who used to be used by members of the ruling al-Assad family for smuggling and extortion. The upper echelons of Syria’s Baath government are filled by members of the Alawi Shiite minority, which forms about 10 percent of the population. Most Syrians are Sunni Arabs, but about 35% belong to religious or ethnic minorities.

Arabic language reports allege that most of the victims were children. Videotape of the horrible death toll emerged on the web, though as with all news from Syria it cannot be independently verified.

That many victims were children does make sense, since it is common in the Levant for families to send them with some coins to buy bread.

Aljazeera English has a video report:

Also over the weekend, opposition fighters in Aleppo took over yet another regime military base, using the cover of a heavy fog. The al-Hawa base had housed 120 infantrymen. They regime’s position in the north of the country seems to be collapsing, since it has lost control of trunk roads leading north from the capital of Damascus, cutting remaining troops off from resupply. The regime also now faces difficulty in receiving Russian and Iranian weaponry and ammunition, because of the fighting at Damascus airport.

UN special envoy Lakhdar Brahimi went back to Damascus on Sunday, but had to fly into Beirut and go overland because of clashes near Damascus’s international airport. Opposition leaders told the Arabic press that the time for a political solution has long since passed.

With every passing month, the Syrian state seems to control less and less territory and to hold the loyalty of fewer and fewer of its citizens. The only question seems to be when Damascus will finally rise up and move against the presidential palace.

Posted in Syria | 10 Responses | Print |

10 Responses

  1. I assume the US government will not do anything to stop the Syrian government from bombing and killing innocent children and adults, standing in line to buy bread.

    I assume the jet fighters were made in America and supplied by the US government or US corporations.

    Oh, the US only supplies 60% of the military equipment being used by both sides in the Middle East wars and feuds.

    If you’re not sick and tired of the corrupt US government, you’re either totally dumb, brain washed by the corrupt mass news media, uninformed or too busy to give a damn.

    • Perhaps before you accuse others of being “totally dumb,” you could good “Syria jet fighters,” at which point you will discover that, no, the United States has not sold weapons to Syria, and that their air force consists of Russian planes.

      Perhaps you were too brainwashed, uniformed, or busy to look this up.

      • I’m fed up with all the illegal, legal or justified wars in the Middle East and was too tired early this morning to look it up info who supplied the jets. Read that the US government and corporations supply 60% of the military equipment/supplies that are used in fighting the Middle East wars. The Rich get richer.

        I make mistakes. But, does it really matter who supplies the military equipment since it’s going to be used to kill and put the rich in control. For Pete’s sake, if the US would have invested half of the trillions of dollars spent in the Middle East wars, most of the countries would have raised their standard of living for the common people.

        Possible reasons for wars include eliminating tyrants, helping a the common people and last but not least making the corrupt Rich richer.

        The US government is very corrupt. It does not relate to nor represent the 99% of Americans.

        Here’s a quick review of US Government Corruption 101:

        1. Money rules elections. Obama’s father was not a US citizen. When Romney became a possible presidential candidate I googled his work with Bain. He made millions of dollars by consolidating businesses, some thrived and some went bankrupt resulting in layoffs of tens and perhaps hundreds of thousands of workers and those businesses supporting the workers. There are now new ghost towns in America.

        2. The Federal Reserve is a private corporation that illegally controls money and creates depressions which produce more millionaires and makes the Rich richer. Both President Kennedy and his brother Robert wanted to nationalize the Fed, shut it down. Hint, both were assassinated.

        Educate yourself about the Fed, watch the real story in the movie, “International Banking Cartel (II)” which came out on Thanksgiving Day 2012.

        link to knowingtest.blogspot.com

        3. The Military Industrial Complex is stronger than ever and very corrupt. Look at the failures of the generals in winning any of the Middle East illegal wars and other wars.

        4. The corrupt mass news media keeps Americans dumb.

        5. Guess who is controlling the Fed; the MIC; the mass news media; most of the major corporations and industries including entertainment and health care; the FDA, aka Federal Death Administration; the Supreme Court, etc?

        The corrupt Billionaires and their old families, corporations, and their puppet millionaires including Congress. Half of Congress are corrupt millionaires and the other half are becoming millionaires and more corrupt.

        6. The Presidents and Congress for the last 30 years have been supporting offshore transfer of many big American industries that were providing jobs to millions of Americans and the income bases for many cities, some which are now ghosts towns. Congress made it easy for companies and did not bother to increase profit taxes nor place tariffs on materials made using foreign workers. Studies show that Coca Cola did not hire more people in America with the extra profit. More crap from corporations.

        7. The banking industry and Wall Street knew what was going on with the phony mortgages and offshore industries. The Presidents, the Treasury Secretaries, the financial executives knew what was happening, all guilty of negligence of duty. The Fed loans more money to the US government and/or prints money backed by nothing, fractional reserves. More crap.

        Excuse my errors or mistakes, corrections are appreciated. I only have two degrees. But I’ve lived and worked in the Middle East for over 2 years, Vietnam vet 4 years and have done some world traveling.

        The controlled American mass news media does not educate Americans, it brain washes them and makes them dumb. And you hear that various news media are getting more consolidated and bigger. What’s happened to anti-trust regulations?

        • “I’m fed up with all the illegal, legal or justified wars in the Middle East and was too tired early this morning to look it up info who supplied the jets.”

          Then why asssume it was the United States? Nice try at finessing your obvious lack of knowledge about wars, armaments, and suppliers in the Middle East. Do some homework before making unsubstantiated accusations.

    • “If you’re not sick and tired of the corrupt US government, you’re either totally dumb, brain washed by the corrupt mass news media, uninformed or too busy to give a damn.”

      …said the totally uninformed poster who doesn’t know that the U.S. Government has not provided the Syrian government with weapons, and that the Syrian jet fighters are Russian.

      • Don’t we love the way Bill and Joe leap to impeach observations by others here (and elsewhere), wanting everyone else to believe that comments like Swimmer’s are “totally uninformed” for not “correctly” identifying the provenance of Syrian government aircraft. Here’s a link, for those who care to be suckered by that kind of impeachment smoke, to do a sort of fact check: link to en.wikipedia.org (Bill denies Wiki is “correct” on anything, of course).

        The substance of Swimmer’s observations seem pretty much accurate and on point. Kind of like Super390’s, which the Boys of Apologism seem to avoid picking at. Seems pretty clear that the apologistic impeachers want to make sure their version of “history” and the mythical and profitable “rights and wrongs” of the present state of the Great Game are protected against any kind of diminution or disconfabulation or illumination. The stuff these guys apologize for is just More Of The Same: more militarization, more security-state-ism, more corporatization, more obfuscation of efforts to escape the desiccated and deadly oxymorons of “neoliberalism” and protection of the heritage of Dulles and “Wild Bill” Donovan and all that goes with it. Stuff like this, link to thenation.com, and of course this, link to guardian.co.uk

        There IS, for example, a world-wide “aerospace industry” of post-national corporations that projects and protects the myths of inter-national conflicts in order to sell product, which they prodigally do, just like the Krupps did back at the beginning of all this, to almost all comers. Hence, the nominal “US” war industry congratulates itself on dominating the majority of the world military market, and US weapons, and often “advisers” and such poisonous dreck, appear on both sides of a whole lot of “conflicts,” which they often have triggered and more often exacerbate. And of course there’s a lot more to be very reasonably afraid of. Unless you are one of the tapeworms or tumors that feed off the human carcass, or are “uninformed” (or “uniformed”) enough to believe the crap that the marketeers of militarization and economic and political oppression have flooded the world with.

        Watch out for drive-by, snot-apitting, impeachments by these folks. They hardly, any more than the merde that Lockheed-Martin and Boeing and such-like put out, do a damn thing toward ensuring our national future, let alone the future of the species.

        • Swimmer’s remarks were not accurate in any sense. And he punctuated his remarks by insulting anyone who might disagree.

          His follow-up, a lengthy, incoherent rant of conspiracy theories has now been matched by your contribution.

  2. “The only question seems to be when Damascus will finally rise up and move against the presidential palace.”

    To install who or what? The terrible thing about a civil war is that it will only be over when the power vacuum is finally filled. In the end, it will matter less to the Syrian people WHO will be in charge as long as someone actually IS, so the killing will end.

    Mahatma Gandhi is certrainly right in that history teaches us that it teaches us nothing, but that doesn´t mean lessons from recent unpleasant experiences of our age are better to be forgot. How everyone went for the innocent-Syrian-youth-will-overthrow-Assad-bu…it! Don´t get me wrong here, I don´t say he is no criminal, but how long has there been evidence that the same accounts for driving forces behind the civil war? How long has the West cheered on the tragedy unraveling in Syria as if it were a football game over in a couple of weeks?
    I have no answer as to what we can do for the poor people from the outside, nobody has. But I suggest responsible reporting, which includes educating people in the West why well-meant interfering might as well turn out desastrous, and which foreign parties are interfering already.

  3. All I wish for is peace in Syria, but As’ad AbuKhilil has for months and months been pointing out how violent the Syrian government opposition is. Of course the Syrian government is violent, but if Professor AbuKhalil is right, as seems likely, the tragedy in Syria is at least as much a violent sectarian opposition.

    • There are certainly some scary elements in the Syrian opposition, but the claim “at least as much a violent sectarian opposition” cannot stand. When did the Syrian opposition kill 200 civilians in a single strike? The Assad regime is carrying out these massacres on a regular basis.

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