Syria Direct: News Update 11-10-2013

NewsUpdateNov2013* A source in the northwest Damascus Qudsaiya district confirmed a partial lifting of a government blockade as a major road opened Sunday for the first time in nearly a month. Pro-regime Damascus Today reported the measure as resulting from weapons surrender by thirty-four neighborhood rebels on Saturday.  Accounts differ on the extent of the agreement to allow free movement of goods and people with Damascus Today claiming the end of the blockade and local activists insisting the measure is limited to pro-regime enclaves. “Until now they did not stop the blockade,” Mahmud 22, a local curtain installer told Syria Direct.  “They will open the hardest and main checkpoint in Qudsaiya, only if people accept regime demands which include flying their flag and displaying Bashar's photo”

* The FSA claimed control over the Brigade 80 military base in Outer Aleppo Sunday, reversing an advance launched Friday by government forces.  The pro-rebel Aleppo Media Center reported over one hundred government troops were killed in FSA ambushes over the weekend. State run SANA reported pro-Assad troops killed “large numbers of terrorists” in Aleppo area battles including the Old City and near the Kiwires airbase.

Clashes around Brigade 80

Rebels retake Aleppo's Brigade 80 base. Photo courtesy of AMC

* Photos displaying the corpse of Syrian politician Shabih Mejhim al-Saho were published on the official ISIS website Saturday. The group claims credit for the murder of Al-Saho, a member of parliament who was murdered after being identified at an ISIS checkpoint near Palmyra.

* The Syrian Coalition continued deliberations on Geneva II Sunday after its spokesman Khalid Saleh said at an Istanbul press conference Saturday that the opposition group still "is waiting to receive a formal invitation."

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