At least 100 martyrs today, mostly in Damascus and Aleppo. The defection of a group of Assad’s forces in the village of Zakiya, South of Damascus led to shelling and fighting, spreading to Artouz in which at least 17 martyrs (9 civilians, 8 FSA) were killed. Around 21 Republican Guards have reportedly been killed in the suburb of Qudsaya which is surrounded by bases and housing of the elite force and has seen heavy shelling and fighting for several days. Meanwhile, Russia was visibly pulling the regime’s strings in dealing with the diplomatic fallout from the killing of 5 Turkish civilians yesterday while the Turkish Parliament approved military action to deter more violations. See the map for more info.