Sunday, September 14, 2014
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

Bombings, clashes leave Syria truce in tatters

By
From page A2 | October 28, 2012 |

BEIRUT (AP) — A Syrian warplane flattened a three-story building, suspected rebels detonated a deadly car bomb and both sides traded gunfire in several hotspots across the country Saturday, activists said, leaving a U.N.-backed holiday truce in tatters on its second day.

The unraveling of the cease-fire marked the latest setback to ending Syria’s civil war through diplomacy. Foreign military intervention is unlikely, raising the grim prospect of a drawn-out war of attrition between President Bashar Assad and those trying to topple him.

The proposed four-day truce during the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Adha had been a long shot from the start since international mediator Lakhdar Brahimi failed to get solid commitments from all combatants. Fighting dropped off in the first hours of the cease-fire Friday, but by the end of the day, activists said 151 people had been killed in bombings and shootings, a standard daily toll in Syria.

On Saturday, the first regime airstrike since the start of the truce reduced a three-story building in the Arbeen suburb of the capital, Damascus to rubble, killing at least eight men, said the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which compiles reports from activists.

In the remote eastern town of Deir el-Zour, assailants detonated a car bomb near a military police compound, then opened fire at those rushing to the scene, killing a total of eight people and causing extensive damage, the Observatory said. Syrian media denied there were casualties. The attack bore the hallmarks of Jabhat al-Nusra, a radical rebel-allied Islamic group that has rejected the cease-fire.

The Syrian air force also bombed rebel positions Saturday during a fierce battle for control over the main road linking Aleppo, Syria’s largest city, with the capital, activists said. Earlier this month, rebels seized Maaret al-Numan, a town along the highway and besieged a nearby military base, disrupting regime supplies to embattled Aleppo. The Syrian air force has responded with sustained bombing raids on area villages.

By late Saturday, at least 76 people had been killed across Syria, including 20 Syrian soldiers, activists said. The Observatory reported deadly regime shelling and sniper attacks in several locations, while Syrian state-media said rebels ambushed a number of military positions.

Military analyst Joe Holliday said neither side has an incentive to halt fighting, noting that rebels have disrupted regime supply routes to the northern provinces of Aleppo and Idlib. “The regime can’t accept the current military status quo without a fight and the rebels have no reason to since they believe they have the momentum,” said Holliday, a researcher at the Institute for the Study of War in Washington.

Brahimi’s spokesman declined comment Saturday on the apparent failure of his initiative. It’s not clear what Brahimi’s next move could be, since the international community is divided over the Syria conflict that erupted 19 months ago.

Assad allies Russia and China have shielded the regime against harsher U.N. Security Council sanctions, while the rebels’ foreign backers have shied away from military intervention.

The U.S., meanwhile, is averse to sending strategic weapons to help the rebels break the battlefield stalemate, fearing they will fall into the hands of militant Islamists, who are increasingly active in rebel ranks. The al-Qaida-inspired Jabhat al-Nusra, for example, is believed to be on the front lines in Aleppo and near Maaret al-Numan.

When Brahimi, the U.N.-Arab League envoy, first floated the idea of a holiday truce, he did not say what his long-term plan was. Even a temporary reduction in violence during such a truce would not have been a springboard for talks between Assad and the opposition on ending the war. Syria’s opposition says it will only negotiate if Assad resigns, a step the Syrian leader has refused to take.

Some said Brahimi’s initiative allowed a paralyzed international community to show briefly that it was doing something to try to end the war that has claimed more than 35,000 lives and displaced hundreds of thousands.

Shadi Hamid of the Brookings Doha Center said the truce at least “provides the illusion of movement, that something is being done, that the international community is still trying to find a solution.”

The U.S. said Friday that both sides have violated the holiday cease-fire, but singled out the regime. In the previous attempted truce six months ago, the Syrian military violated key provisions, such as withdrawing troops from urban centers, and was widely held responsible for the collapse of the cease-fire.

Syrian Foreign Ministry spokesman Jihad Makdessi on Saturday accused the U.S. of being one-sided. He said Syria remains committed to halting military operations. He said all cease-fire violations were the result of attacks, most of them carried out by organizations that originally rejected the truce, an apparent reference to Jabhat al-Nusra. The spokesman said Syria has sent messages to the U.N. Security Council concerning the violations.

Syrian state media accused the rebels of breaking the truce from the start.

One of the deadliest attacks Friday was a car bomb attack in a residential area of Damascus.

The state-run news agency SANA on Saturday quoted the director of Damascus Hospital, Dr. Adib Mahmoud, as saying the hospital received 15 dead civilians, including eight children, and 92 wounded, among them 65 children. Activists had put the death toll at 11.

Also Saturday, Lebanese broadcaster LBC TV said journalist Fidaa Itani, one of its employees covering Syria’s civil war, was detained by the rebels and is being held in the town of Azaz near the Turkish border.

The station quoted a local rebel leader in Azaz, Abu Ibrahim, as saying that rebels suspected Itani after he filmed many videos of rebels operations in Aleppo. Itani’s Lebanese cellphone was closed when The Associated Press tried to reach him.

The area also was the site of the May kidnapping of 11 Shiite Lebanese pilgrims who were on their way home from Iran. Two have been released while rebels say they will hold the others until Sheik Hassan Nasrallah, the leader of Lebanon’s militant Hezbollah group, apologizes to the Syrian people for supporting Assad.

————

By Karin Laub. Associated Press writer Bassem Mroue in Beirut contributed to this report.

Comments

comments

The Associated Press

.

News

Well levels drop around the county as drought presses on

By Elizabeth Case | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Snyder pleads no contest in UCD explosives case

By Lauren Keene | From Page: A1

Psychologist casts doubt on Marsh insanity defense

By Lauren Keene | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Looking for a few good residents

By Dave Ryan | From Page: A1 | Gallery

Try yoga, meditation at Holistic Health Center

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A2

 
Sign up now for free Community Yard Sale

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A2

Friday night robbery leads to arrests, dog bite

By Elizabeth Case | From Page: A2

 
Bob Dunning: Now the weather nut is all grown up

By Bob Dunning | From Page: A2

Video shows slaying of British aid worker

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
West Nile virus holds strong in Davis area

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

 
Davis Neighbors’ Night Out brings residents together

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

Saylor meets constituents at Peet’s

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

 
Hawaiian Luau set at Covell Gardens

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

Portuguese breakfast set in Woodland

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

 
Youths can learn from DHS cheerleaders

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

Logos plans four events for October

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

 
White, Gaard will lead Yolo Superior Court in 2015-16

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4 | Gallery

Fourth annual Capay Crush celebrates farm life

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4 | Gallery

 
Climate change rally planned in Central Park

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

Downtown history tour planned in October

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

 
Gibson House hosts plant sale and workshop

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

Farmers Market sets Fall Festival

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

 
Memorial playground approaches goal

By Lily Holmes | From Page: A4

Renée Thompson to discuss her novel for Woodland Reads project

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A6

 
Day of the Dead altar makers sought

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A6 | Gallery

MCCC will present justice awards at luncheon

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A6

 
New class offers parenting strategies

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A6

Genealogy club presents virtual tour of local resource

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A7

 
University Farm Circle reaches out to newcomers

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A8

Garden doctor: Our trees are getting thirsty

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A11 | Gallery

 
Public invited to 2014 Yolo Aging Summit

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11

.

Forum

Preventing RSV infections in our kids

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A5

 
She’s getting all the blame

By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B5

The sacrificial lamb on the altar of denial

By Debra DeAngelo | From Page: A5

 
They don’t want him around

By Creators Syndicate | From Page: A5

Unexpected treasures from the summer

By Marion Franck | From Page: A5

 
A bad vote for our water

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A12

Bloggers, beware: They might be out to get you

By Derrick Bang | From Page: A12

 
Bob Englehart cartoon

By Debbie Davis | From Page: A12

Davis has options on innovation

By Our View | From Page: A12

 
Archer has worked hard for us

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A12

Is history repeating itself?

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A12

 
Time for a progressive PD

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A12

Speak out

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A13

 
.

Sports

No more FBS, but UCD’s tough schedule continues

By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1

 
DHS boys get a nice win with two big games looming

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

Vintage pounds DHS on the ground

By Spencer Ault | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Aggie offense is there, but UCD can’t stop Rams

By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Unlikely hero powers Republic in playoff opener

By Evan Ream | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
JV Blue Devils drop a high-scoring affair

By Spencer Ault | From Page: B3

UCD roundup: Dons do just enough to edge Aggie women

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B4 | Gallery

 
Sports briefs: Blue Devils net a tournament win at home

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B8 | Gallery

Baseball roundup: A’s get a much-needed win in Seattle

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

 
.

Features

.

Arts

Apply now for Davis Community Idol

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11

 
.

Business

Nugget Markets’ cheese specialists achieve certified professional status

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A9 | Gallery

 
Talks continue for proposed Old Soul site

By Wendy Weitzel | From Page: A9

Yolo County real estate sales

By Zoe Juanitas | From Page: A9

 
University lights way for hospital energy savings

By Kat Kerlin | From Page: A14 | Gallery

Davis leaders celebrate Engage3′s advances

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A14 | Gallery

 
Doby Fleeman: The opportunity is ours

By Doby Fleeman | From Page: A14

.

Obituaries

Virnelle Triebsch

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

 
.

Comics

Comics: Sunday, September 14, 2014

By Creator | From Page: B8