Results tagged “Syria”
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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.
The OPCW's report on chemical weapons use in Syria found that such weapons were "probably used" in five of seven reported instances, and that in three of those five, soldiers were targeted. The instances of probable use were: Khan al-Assal, near Aleppo city, in March; Saraqeb, near Idlib city, in April; and in Jobar, Ashrafiat Sahnaya, and Ghouta, all near Damascus, in August. Fighters from the Islamic Front and the Al Nusrah Front killed at least 15 Druze and Alawite civilians in Adra, northeast of Damascus. The UN said the list of participants for the Jan. 22 Geneva II conference has not been finalized; a Dec. 27 deadline has been set for naming the delegations.
Islamist fighters attacked regime forces in Reef Dimashq. The Islamic State of Iraq and the Sham has kidnapped at least 62 Syrian Kurds, including women and children, in the cities of Menbej and Jarablus in Aleppo province; ISIS killed five men for taking food to besieged areas, and forcibly evicted 15 Kurdish families from their homes so they had to sleep out in the open. ISIS, the Al Nusrah Front, and allies continue to clash with Kurdish YPG forces in the area. Al Nusrah executed six rebels, including a defected officer, in Anadan in Reef Aleppo yesterday. Members of the Gulf Cooperation Council issued a statement calling for foreign forces, meaning Iranian-backed Iraqi Shiite militias and Lebanese Hezbollah, to withdraw from Syria; the Assad regime condemned the "inflammatory rhetoric" from countries that "support and practice terrorism."