Results tagged “Syria”
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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."
The Islamic Front seized the Bab al-Hawa crossing on the Turkish border from Free Syrian Army forces after having taken over their nearby warehouse and arms depots last week. The US suspended all shipments of nonlethal aid to the Free Syrian Army in the north as a result of Islamist gains. Suspected Islamist gunmen abducted a leading Syrian human rights lawyer, her husband, and two associates from her office in the Damascus suburb of Douma. A number of activists have disappeared in recent months in areas controlled by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Sham. The families of two Spanish journalists kidnapped by ISIS appealed for their release. ISIS released a video featuring Anwar al Awlaki speaking about the establishment of an Islamic state. The Islamic Front's Ahrar al Sham released a video on its website about a joint operation in Damascus conducted by Ahrar al Sham, the Al Nusrah Front, and ISIS.
The Islamic State of Iraq and the Sham executed a mentally disabled man in Idlib for swearing. ISIS continued its attacks on Syrian Kurds in Aleppo, taking over homes and turning them into bases. Regime forces detained the wife of a nonviolent opposition activist in Damascus who is currently being detained. The Supreme Military Council is starting a 'hearts and minds' campaign in rebel-held areas of Aleppo, Idlib, and Damascus to provide humanitarian assistance and wean civilians away from al Qaeda's outreach efforts. A Spanish news outlet revealed that two Spanish journalists were kidnapped in September by ISIS in Raqqah.
Regime troops and Hezbollah allies advanced against fighters from the Al Nusrah Front and the Islamic State of Iraq and the Sham in the town of Nabek near the Lebanon border. A senior Hezbollah commander was killed in the fighting in Nabek. The Damascus-Homs highway has reportedly been taken by regime forces.
Regime forces continued to battle the Islamic State of Iraq and the Sham, the Al Nusrah Front, and allied rebels on the Damascus-Homs highway in Reef Dimashq near Nabek. The Syrian National Coalition said the bodies of 40 men, women, and children were found near the city. In Idlib, the Islamic Front took over the bases and arms depots of the Free Syrian Army's Supreme Military Council at the Baba el-Hawa crossing between Syria and Turkey. The FSA said two of its commanders were seized and secretly executed by ISIS as they were leading an aid convoy from Turkey to northern Syria; their bodies were found in Azaz, near Aleppo. Three rebel fighters, including an officer, were executed by an unknown group in Mayer in Aleppo.