* In the first media interview purportedly with one of the Islamic State of Iraq and Sham leaders on Tuesday, opposition news site Sana a-Thawra claims it interviewed an ISIS leader based in the south of Damascus. “We are the ones who fought the American army in Iraq, and who is now fighting the Maliki regime in Iraq and Assad in Syria.”
The site did not publish the name of the supposed leader, who stressed that ISIS troops will never leave Syria, even after getting rid of the Assad regime. “Our defense of Syria will not result in us leaving. It is a Muslim land for all Muslims.”
* Shells fell on the Aleppo suburb of a-Safira Tuesday, reports pro-opposition website Sham News Network. Meanwhile, the pro-regime al-Mayadin satellite channel and the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights both reported Monday that the Syrian army had seized control of the Suleimiyeh-Aleppo road. Rebels have controlled the strategic artery for two months, blocking supplies to regime forces that continue to battle opposition brigades in Aleppo.
* Hundreds of Syrian activists signed a statement Tuesday rejecting insurgent extremist group Islamic State in Iraq and Sham and demanding that all armed foreigners leave Syria. The statement echoes Sunday’s Free Syrian Army “Final Warning,” which ordered all armed alien fighters to leave the country.
* Syrian National Coalition President Ahmad al-Jarba is calling for Saudi, Jordanian, Qatari and Turkish governments to be drafted as active participants in the Geneva II process. This new precondition is added to the SNC’s existing demand that its participation in the conference be linked to Bashar al-Assad relinquishing power.
* Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad issued a decree Monday allowing university students who fail requirements in the 2013 academic year to gain credit as long as those students have finished eight core courses in previous years. The decree applies to the 2011, 2012 and 2013 academic years.
* The Syrian Observatory reported Monday that 792 members of the Free Syrian Army were killed this September.
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