* United Nations Envoy Lakhdar Brahimi arrives in Damascus Monday, where he will meet with a number of representatives from “national” opposition groups to discuss contours of Geneva II conference, scheduled for November, reports pro-regime newspaper Al Watan Sunday. Brahimi’s arrival coincides with increased speculation that the conference will be postponed until next year, at the request of the United States as mainstream opposition has refrained from forming a delegation.
* Kurdish fighters seized control of the Al-Yarubiyeh border crossing with Iraq in eastern Syria Saturday, following deadly clashes with Islamic State in Iraq and al Sham, Jabhat al Nusra and other battalions, reports the official website of the opposition Syrian Coalition. Islamic State in Iraq and al Sham seized the border crossing from regime forces in March.
* The Syrian Deputy Prime Minister for Economic Affairs Qadri Jamil confirmed his participation in Geneva II as a representative of the internal opposition in an television interview with Russian channel Russia Today Saturday. Ali Haider, the Minister of National Reconciliation and an ally of Jamil’s in the Front for Change, stated recently that Jamil would be taking formal leave without pay in Moscow for a period, suggesting his possible cleavage with the Syrian regime.
* On Saturday, The Shariah Commission, the political authority of armed opposition groups in control of wide swaths of Aleppo, prevented the sale of basic foodstuffs at the city’s Karaj Al-Hajez crossing, which sits between the regime-held Mushariqa neighborhood and opposition-controlled Bustan al-Qasr district. The prohibition includes bread and flour, as well as fuel and gas. A statement published on the commission website said distribution of any of those materials requires written permission. Their statement comes after the Shariah Commission’s armed groups consolidated control over the crossing.
The Shariah Commission’s headquarters in Aleppo. Photo courtesy of the Shariah Commission.
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