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Syria Direct: News Update 01-14-2014

* Clashes continued in the former Islamic State of Iraq […]

14 January 2014


* Clashes continued in the former Islamic State of Iraq and a-Sham (ISIS) stronghold of A-Raqqa between ISIS and factions aligned with Jabhat a-Nusra, with the fighting centered around an electricity company and a medical clinic, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. The Observatory also reported that Islamist factions had seized control of an ISIS-held prison in the Aleppo city of Jarabulus, freeing some 60 prisoners.

* Conditions continued to deteriorate in the besieged Yarmouk Palestinian refugee camp in south Damascus on Monday, with five civilians killed and dozens injured when regime forces opened fire on protestors demanding an end to the government’s siege and access to food supplies, according to the opposition Syrian National Coalition.Yarmouk Camp

People in the blockaded Yarmouk camp in south Damascus boil water with spices as their source of food. Photo courtesy of Lens young Dimashqi.

* In a forthcoming report based on information from regime defectors to be released on Wednesday, the Free Syrian Army claims that “the number of casualties from the Syrian regime’s army has reached roughly 65,000, including figures from the security forces, intelligence agencies, and loyalist militias.” The report adds that some 7,000 high ranking officers had defected from the regime, with roughly half of them leaving the country. It also claims that 277 of the regime’s original 360 fighter planes and helicopters have been destroyed, along with 2200 of an original 3600 tanks, and six military airports are no longer in service.

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