Results tagged “Syria”
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Syrian rebels in Aleppo dispersed civilians protesting against a rebel blockade of food and medical supplies into government-held areas of the city; the head of the sharia council told rebels to allow food through the blockade. Protesters in Menbej city demanded that Islamic state of Iraq and al-Sham fighters leave. Influential Islamist cleric Sheikh Anas Ayrout, a member of the Syrian National Coalition and a commander of the Islamic Liberation Army Front, called on rebel forces to concentrate on Syria's Alawite heartland and "create a balance of terror." Al Nusrah Front forces in al Hasaka province tortured six civilians; one died and five were released. The World Food Programme said both sides in the conflict have blocked shipments of food aid in recent months.
At its first central party leadership committee meeting since 2005, the Assad regime's ruling Baath party replaced 16 of its top leaders, including Vice President Farouk al-Sharaa, who will nonetheless remain in office. Ghassan Hitto, prime minister of the rebel Syrian National Coalition, resigned today, citing an inability to form an interim government. Hitto is said to be closer to Islamists and less favored by Saudi Arabia, whose candidate, secular dissident Ahmad Assi Jarba, was selected two days ago to lead the Syrian National Coalition. Jarba said the rebels' position was weak and proposed a truce for Ramadan; the regime did not respond to the offer and is intensifying its attacks on Homs. A commander of the rebel Hamza Assad Allah Brigade testified that the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham had killed "tens of people" in al-Dana and decapitated the leader of the Hamza Assad Allah Brigade and his brother. Sources say none of the US arms promised to the rebels has arrived as Congress has delayed shipments due to fears the weapons will fall into the hands of al Qaeda-linked forces.
The rebel Syrian National Coalition chose a new leader, Ahmad Assi Jarba, a Syrian dissident with close ties to Saudi Arabia; he has previously been charged with obtaining arms for the Free Syrian Army. Both state and opposition media reported a clash near the Turkish border in the town of al-Dana between rebels and an Islamist group; 14 people were said to have been killed, and a local rebel commander and his brother were beheaded. Regime forces advanced on rebel-held areas of Homs.
A suicide bomber detonated in Aleppo. Regime forces increased shelling of Homs. Pro-regime forces along with Hezbollah clashed with rebels in Homs. Russia blocked a draft UN statement calling for humanitarian access to be granted "immediately "in Homs, and proposed instead that civilians be allowed to leave not only Homs but also Nubul and Zahra. Russia claimed that terrorist groups in Homs are holding civilians hostage. The Syrian National Coalition's meeting to name a new leader is deadlocked; the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood is said to play a key role in the decisionmaking process.
In official remarks, Bashar al-Assad called the overthrow of the Morsi government in Egypt a defeat for political Islam. The rebel Syrian National Coalition, which has been leaderless for months, is meeting in Istanbul today to name a new leader. A senior opposition source said the US and France are providing aid to rebel units in Aleppo, where new antitank weapons have been employed by rebel units. Activists claimed that Jordanian authorities tortured a Syrian civilian to death.
A Tunisian commander in the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham was killed in fighting with a military motorcade near Ein Issa in Raqqah. Regime forces assisted by Hezbollah fighters attempted to retake rebel-held areas in Homs, but despite fierce regime shelling did not advance. The six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council asked the UN to intervene to prevent a "massacre" in Homs. A video purporting to show the beheading of a Catholic priest and two other men by jihadists in Syria surfaced on the Internet.