Results tagged “Syria”
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A Syrian National Coalition source said Western nations are now signaling that they may prefer the Assad regime to remain for a transitional period in order to avoid possible chaos and an Islamist takeover. The Islamic Front denied reports it was meeting with the US ambassador; an Islamic Front official claimed that the group will not fight against al Qaeda. The Al Nusrah Front and rebels are besieging the Aleppo Central Prison area. Gunmen assassinated a leader of the al Tawhid brigade near Anadan in Aleppo. The OPCW said it was possible that the Dec. 31 deadline for moving all of Syria's chemical weapons out of the country may not be met, due to poor security. A study by a British research group reported that up to 11,000 fighters from over 70 nations have traveled to Syria since late 2011 to battle the Assad regime, and that of the 20 percent whose affiliation is known, most have joined the Al Nusrah Front or the Islamic State of Iraq and the Sham.
US Ambassador Robert Ford is said to be meeting with the Islamic Front tomorrow. The Assad regime complained to the UN that the Al Nusrah Front and the Islamic Front killed over 100 Syrians in the Damascus suburb of Adra last week. Rebel fighters are seeking to lift the siege of Eastern Ghouta. Recent regime airstrikes in rebel-held areas of Aleppo have reportedly killed over 100 people. Russia told the UN Security Council that the Aug. 21 chemical weapons attack in Ghouta was a provocation "staged" by the Syrian opposition; on Dec. 13, Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said whoever perpetrated the attacks should be held accountable. Russia offered to provide warships to escort vessels carrying chemical weapons out of Syria for destruction. Italy offered the use of a port for the transfer of Syrian chemical weapons between ships. The UN plans to lobby nations for $6.5 billion in humanitarian aid for Syria; some wealthy countries, such as Saudi Arabia and Qatar, have not donated to the UN for Syria, and China's donation has been very small.
The UN asked for more humanitarian assistance for Syria, where four million Syrian children are in need. The Syrian army is said to be preparing an offensive on Yabroud near the Lebanese border. A new sharia council, formed by the unification of several armed battalions into "The gathering of Mujahidi al-Qa'qa," took over the oilfields of Deir Azzour. The Al Nusrah Front and other Islamist factions killed at least 32 civilians, mainly Alawites, in Reef Dimashq. At least 22 civilians were killed by explosive barrels dropped by regime forces in Aleppo. Al Nusrah, the Islamic State of Iraq and the Sham, and other Islamist factions clashed with regime forces including Hezbollah and NDF fighters in both Reef Dimashq and Aleppo. In a response to a request from 13 news organizations, the Supreme Military Council of the Free Syrian Army said it would try to protect journalists in Syria.
A coalition of 15 armed rebel groups, including the Free Syrian Army's Supreme Military Council, reportedly joined together to form the "Syrian Rebels Front"; talks between the FSA and the Islamic Front have not produced an accord, and the FSA as a result sought to form a new military coalition to unify the Syrian rebels that support the FSA. In Idlib, the Islamic Front and the Free Syrian Army's Martyrs of Syria brigade remain at odds after the Islamic Front seized the Bab al-Hawa border crossing from the brigade as well as FSA warehouses and arms depots; the two groups are said to be holding some 100 captive fighters. Two Islamic State of Iraq and the Sham suicide car bombers died in attacks on checkpoints in Deir Izzour on Dec. 12. A Danish task force is preparing to begin taking the first cargo of chemical weapons out of Syria for destruction. The US is said to be planning on holding talks with the Islamic Front in the coming days in Turkey.