* Beirut daily Al-Nahar reports the arrival of a World Bank delegation Thursday to discuss Lebanon’s request for aid to cope with 775,000 displaced Syrians.
* Violent clashes between the Islamic State in Iraq and al Sham (ISIS) and the Free Syrian Army resumed near the Turkish border in northern Syria Wednesday as ISIS launched an offensive aimed at re-establishing control over the town of Azaz on the border. The Turkish government closed its border crossing approximately five kilometers from the town, according to Syria Direct reporter Nuha Shabaan.
* Syrian Information Minister Omran al-Zoubi denied a civil war is being waged in Syria during an interview Wednesday with Hezbollah television station Al-Manar. “Up until now, there has been no civil war, or religious, sectarian or ideological conflict in Syria,” al-Zoubi said
Meanwhile, pro-regime Syria News reports that new Prime Minister Wael al-Halqi committed to the regime’s participation in the Geneva II conference “without preconditions,” while asserting to the government’s position that Bashar al-Assad holds the presidency through elections in 2014 when he will run against the “national opposition.”
*Teams from the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) and the United Nations finished their first day of work inside Syria Wednesday, part of a process aiming to dismantle the regime’s chemical weapons arsenal by mid-2014.