Syria: Violence slams Damascus area as refugees hit one million mark in Lebanon

The UN states the Syrian refugee population in Lebanon has hit the one million mark.

As the one millionth refugee registers with the United Nations and Lebanon, it makes the Syrian refugee population 1/4th of the entire Lebanese population. The country is currently struggling as it is overwhelmed by the number of people streaming in:

Last month the Lebanese foreign minister said the crisis was “threatening the existence” of his country. “The Lebanese people have shown striking generosity, but are struggling to cope,” Mr Guterres said.

The UN’s refugee agency, UNHCR, notes that the influx of refugees is accelerating. “Every day, UNHCR in Lebanon registers 2,500 new refugees: more than one person a minute,” the agency said in a statement.

International aid agencies are finding it increasingly difficult to cope with the flow of refugees. UNHCR has only received 14% of the $6.5bn (£4bn; 4.7bn euros) funding it has asked for.

The United Nations has commented on the development, stating the number is a “devastating milestone.” They say Lebanon currently hosts “the highest per capita concentration of refugees worldwide.”

On the ground

Damascus has been hit by violence yet again, in the capital and in surrounding suburbs this week. Rebel and government force clashes are reported to be ongoing in Jobar, Douma, Milha, Morek, Deraa, Swaida, Dama, Harwan and Hama. Further violence is reported to also be occurring in other Damascus area cities.

Mortar shell fire killed six people in Damascus on Thursday, both activists and state media report. The attacks were found to be hitting various parts of the capital city.

Fighting has jump-started yet again over the Latakia province by the Mediterranean coastline Wednesday and Thursday. Rebels have focused on trying to recapture Observatory 45, which is between Latakia, an Assad stronghold, and Kessab, an Armenian town by the Turkish border now under rebel control.

“Since last night, the fighting has been focused on Observatory 45. The army advances and takes over, then the rebels advance and push them back out,” said [Syrian Observatory for Human Rights] director Rami Abdel Rahman.

Government warplanes hit rebel-controlled Jabal Akrad area near the Observatory 45 hill area by Kessab.

The United Nations comments on the war destruction of Syrian cities, stating in a new report, “some districts of Damascus three quarters of homes have been damaged and more than 90 percent of residents say they need help to survive.”

Through talks

Iran’s foreign minister declares that its government, a long-time ally of Syria’s, does not encourage an indefinite role of power for President Bashar al-Assad in Syria. They are okay with the idea of him out of his office but they do not want terror organizations to take control of the country if Assad is to not be president anymore.

Syria’s government is accusing rebels of planning a chemical weapons attack near the capital of Damascus by way of a letter to the United Nations Security Council. Ambassador Bashar Ja’afari claims the country has credible evidence rebels will follow through with this, just as diplomats are disputing its validity.

Daily reminder

The death toll out of Syria’s ongoing deadly civil war has reached the 150,000 mark, the Syria Observatory for Human Rights states in a report.

Referring to an effort to record all the deaths from the war, the organization has found 150,344 people dead since the conflict started March 2011. They say “51,212 of them civilians, including nearly 7,985 children” are a part of the updated death toll.


Russia’s Putin is still supplying Assad with arms for the his government forces. Military officials suspect Putin is now sending “more and more dangerous” arms just as Syria troops are gaining ground across the country.

Wounded Syrians, now in hospitals abroad, are learning how to live life without limbs.

Lebanese forces shot one Syrian dead and wound another two on the Lebanese-Syrian border Thursday.

Security forces in Lebanon claim al-Qaida backed al-Nusra fighters are now staging and planning next steps in Lebanon.


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