Regime air strike hit a bakery in Halfaya killing more than 60
[Pak Daily Times] More than 60 people were killed in a regime air strike on a bakery in a rebel-held town on Sunday, monitors said, as peace envoy Lakhdar Brahimi launched a new bid to resolve Syria's brutal 21-month conflict.

In one of the deadliest incidents of the conflict, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the strike hit a bakery in Halfaya in the central province of Hama, killing more than 60 people and wounding at least 50.

Many of the maimed were at death's door, the monitoring group said, adding that the corpse count was likely to rise.

"In Halfaya, regime forces bombarded a bakery and committed a massacre that killed dozens of people, including women and kiddies, and maimed many others," said the Local Coordination Committees, a grassroots network of activists.

"A MiG (jet) has attacked! Look at (President Bashar al-) Assad's weapons. Look, world, look at the Halfaya massacre," says an unidentified cameraman shooting an amateur video distributed by the Observatory.

The footage showed a bombed one-storey block and a crater in the road.

Bloodied bodies lay on the road, while others could be seen in the rubble. Men carried victims out on their backs, among them at least one woman, the video showed.

On Monday, rebels launched an all-out assault on army positions across Hama, which is home to strong anti-regime sentiment. During the summer, rights groups accused government forces of committing war crimes by dropping bombs and using artillery on or near several bakeries in the northern province of Aleppo
...For centuries, Aleppo was Greater Syria's largest city and the Ottoman Empire's third, after Constantinople and Cairo. Although relatively close to Damascus in distance, Aleppans regard Damascenes as country cousins...
. Another of the bloodiest attacks in the Syrian conflict was on a bread line in the Qadi Askar district of Aleppo city on August 16 that left 60 people dead, according to local hospital records. International envoy Brahimi, meanwhile, travelled to Damascus
...Capital of the last remaining Baathist regime in the world...
overland from neighbouring Leb on a previously unannounced visit, officials said.

The UN-Arab League
...an organization of Arabic-speaking states with 22 member countries and four observers. The League tries to achieve Arab consensus on issues, which usually leaves them doing nothing but a bit of grimacing and mustache cursing...
envoy last visited on October 19, but since then there has been fighting between government forces and rebels on the road to Damascus airport.

During his October visit he met Hereditary President-for-Life Bashir Pencilneck al-Assad
The Scourge of Hama...
and other officials to clinch a temporary ceasefire for the Mohammedan feast of Eidul Azha. Despite pledges, the truce did not hold. At least 44,000 people have been killed in violence across Syria since the outbreak of the anti-regime revolt in March 2011, according to the Britannia-based Syrian Observatory. Shortly before Sunday's air strike, Information Minister Omran al Zohbi reiterated calls for national dialogue.

Apart from those killed in Halfaya, at least 49 others were killed on Sunday in violence across Syria, said the Observatory.

Other air strikes included a raid in Aleppo province. "At least 13 people were killed in an air raid on the town of Sfeira," said the group, which relies on a network of doctors, activists and lawyers for its information.

Warplanes also hit the town of Saqba in Damascus province, just north of the road linking the capital to the international airport, the Observatory added.
Posted by: Fred 2012-12-24