Skip to main content

What you need to know about Syria today

By the CNN Wire Staff
updated 8:54 PM EDT, Fri August 31, 2012
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • U.N. refugee agency reports a rise in Syrians entering eastern Lebanon
  • Clashes between regime forces and rebels are reported in Aleppo, Homs and Daraa
  • Shells fired from across the border land in Lebanon, security forces say
  • 30 regime soldiers killed in fighting with rebel forces, opposition group says

(CNN) -- Clashes were reported Friday in Aleppo and Homs, two centers of opposition to Syrian government forces.

The Local Coordination Committees of Syria, an opposition group, reported 112 deaths throughout the country Friday, including 38 in and around Damascus.

Here are the latest key developments in the nearly 18-month crisis:

On the ground: Shelling, violence continue

In Aleppo, scene of fierce fighting in recent weeks, rebel fighters clashed with government forces in the Saif al-Dawla, Hanano and Sakhour neighborhoods, the opposition Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

Regime forces shelled several neighborhoods, it said.

In this photo provided by the anti-government activist group Aleppo Media Center, Syrian men help survivors out of a building in Aleppo after it was bombed, allegedly by a Syrian regime warplane on Saturday, February 8. The United Nations estimates more than 100,000 people have been killed since the Syrian conflict began in March 2011. Click through to see the most compelling images taken during the conflict, which is now a civil war: In this photo provided by the anti-government activist group Aleppo Media Center, Syrian men help survivors out of a building in Aleppo after it was bombed, allegedly by a Syrian regime warplane on Saturday, February 8. The United Nations estimates more than 100,000 people have been killed since the Syrian conflict began in March 2011. Click through to see the most compelling images taken during the conflict, which is now a civil war:
Syrian civil war in photos
HIDE CAPTION
<<
<
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
>
>>
Syrian civil war in photos Syrian civil war in photos
Turkey minister: UN must act in Syria
Gerges: Assad not backing down
Syrian activist: Three types of beatings

The Local Coordination Committees of Syria network also reported clashes involving rebel forces in Aleppo's Ithaa neighborhood, in which a regime officer and 30 soldiers were reportedly killed.

Government forces killed a "large number of terrorists" heading from the countryside toward Aleppo on Thursday and destroyed their armed vehicles, the state-run Syrian Arab News Agency reported Friday.

Elsewhere, heavy artillery shelling by regime forces pummeled the town of Eastern Bowaida, in Homs province, the LCC said. At least 12 people were injured and a number of homes destroyed, it said.

Syrian state TV said government forces had clashed with an "armed terrorist group" in Homs and had inflicted big losses. Government forces also raided a "terrorist den" in Homs province, where they seized weapons, ammunition and communication devices, SANA reported.

Clashes were also reported by the LCC in Harasta, in the Damascus suburbs, and in parts of Daraa.

The region: Shells hit Lebanon

Shells fired from Syria landed in the region of Akkar, in northern Lebanon, early Friday, Lebanese Internal Security Forces said. A Lebanese soldier was wounded and three villages were damaged.

Meanwhile, the United Nations refugee agency cited a rise in the number of Syrian refugees arriving in eastern Lebanon's Bekaa Valley, with about 2,200 people reportedly settling in the area over the past week.

About 400 people a week are arriving in northern Lebanon, U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees spokesman Adrian Edwards said Friday in Geneva.

Many refugees are staying in schools that are meant to reopen for the new school term shortly, the agency says, highlighting the need for alternative shelter to be found.

Diplomacy: Buffer zone debated

The idea of a United Nations-sanctioned buffer zone inside Syria to provide refugees with a haven and help distribute humanitarian aid was raised at a U.N. Security Council meeting in New York on Thursday, but received a lukewarm response.

Deputy U.N. Secretary-General Jan Eliasson said that it was "a subject for careful and critical consideration," but that the difficulty of ensuring protection for those within such a zone and the diplomatic implications of such a step would make it a tricky proposition for the Security Council.

Al-Assad blames Turkey for Syria killings

U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees Antonio Guterres said he was in favor of more humanitarian aid for all areas of Syria, but "all borders should remain open to protect those who would seek international protection," or asylum.

Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu suggested certain "practical steps" should be taken by the Security Council to deal with the humanitarian disaster in Syria, including a visit to refugee camps in neighboring countries.

So far, about 80,000 Syrian refugees have sought sanctuary in Turkey.

Meanwhile, the Non-Aligned Movement summit continued Friday in Iran, whose theocratic Shiite regime backs Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. Egyptian President Mohamed Morsy slammed al-Assad's government in his remarks at the summit Thursday, saying it was "an oppressive regime that has lost its legitimacy."

CNN's Hamdi Alkhshali and Nada Husseini contributed to this report.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
Syrian crisis
updated 8:43 AM EDT, Thu June 26, 2014
Jihadists have kidnapped over 140 Kurdish boys to "brainwash" them. But a few boys made a daring escape.
updated 8:48 AM EDT, Thu June 26, 2014
Reports that Syrian warplanes carried out a cross-border attack on Iraqi towns is further evidence of the blurring of the two countries' borders.
updated 5:33 PM EDT, Tue June 24, 2014
CNN's Atika Shubert speaks to a father whose teenage son joined the Jihad movement in Syria.
updated 7:41 AM EDT, Mon June 23, 2014
At the start of Syria's civil unrest, Omar would rally against the government alongside his schoolmates, later taking to the streets in his hometown of Salqin.
updated 5:17 PM EDT, Mon June 23, 2014
Atika Shubert looks at the rise of European jihadists traveling to Syria and whether they soon could join ISIS in Iraq.
updated 10:53 AM EDT, Mon June 23, 2014
The final stockpile of Syria's chemical weapons has been shipped out of the country, according to the OPCW, the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons.
updated 4:25 PM EDT, Wed June 25, 2014
The US isn't doing airstrikes in Iraq. Is there a vacuum for Syria and Iran to step in? CNN's Fareed Zakaria weighs in.
updated 4:04 AM EDT, Tue June 10, 2014
CNN's Nick Paton Walsh reports on Syrian rebels using underground explosions against the better-equipped regime.
updated 7:51 AM EDT, Mon June 9, 2014
CNN's Nick Paton Walsh returns to the besieged rebel areas of Aleppo, a pale skeleton of a city that has had the life bombed out of it.
updated 7:51 AM EDT, Mon June 2, 2014
Syria may be embroiled in a brutal three-year civil war, but that's not stopping the government from holding presidential elections.
updated 7:23 AM EDT, Tue June 3, 2014
CNN's Nick Paton Walsh meets an ISIS defector in hiding and gets a rare look into the group's recruitment process.
updated 12:10 PM EDT, Thu June 5, 2014
Over a thousand Syrian refugees have turned an abandoned shopping mall in Lebanon into makeshift living quarters.
updated 5:19 PM EDT, Wed May 28, 2014
What caught our experts' ears was as much about what he didn't address as much as what he did.
updated 6:19 AM EDT, Tue May 20, 2014
The three-year war in Syria has claimed 162,402 lives, an opposition group said Monday, as the raging conflict shows no signs of abating.
updated 9:41 PM EDT, Fri May 30, 2014
Official: The U.S. believes a jihadi featured in a suicide bombing video in Syria is Moner Mohammad Abu-Salha who grew up in Florida.
updated 10:37 AM EDT, Tue May 20, 2014
For the first time, Britain has convicted someone of a terrorism offense related to the Syrian civil war.
ADVERTISEMENT