2 min read  | Damascus, Politics

Syria Direct: News update 11-21-2013

November 21, 2013

NewsUpdateNov2013* Clashes continued between regime troops and rebel forces Thursday near Division 17 outside of Tabaqa city at one of the Assad regime’s sole remaining military installations in A-Raqqa province, pro-opposition Sham News Network reported. On Wednesday, Jabhat a-Nusra hung a banner over a Shi’ite shrine in A-Raqqa city, announcing themselves as al-Qaeda’s representative in Syria, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported.

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Jabhat al-Nusra hung a banner announcing themselves as al-Qaeda’s representative in Syria over a Shi’ite shrine in Raqqa city. Photo courtesy of the Syrian Observatory of Human Rights.

* Al Watan, a civil society NGO affiliated with pro-revolution Syrians, opened an office in the southern Turkish city of Gaziantep on Wednesday.

* Five civilians were injured and one was killed after rebel-launched mortar shells fell on King Feisal Street and Umayyad Square in Damascus’s Qissa’a neighborhood on Wednesday, official news agency SANA reports. The shelling coincided with clashes between government and rebel forces in neighborhood near Qissa’a, including Barza, Qaboun and Jobar, reported pro-government Syria News.

* A spokesman for the Qalamoun Media Center told Syria Direct on Wednesday that violent clashes are ongoing along the Damascus-Homs highway, which the FSA has declared a military zone, and especially the town of Deir Attiya. “Deir Attiya is being shelled heavily, particularly after FSA forces withdrew there from Qara,” he said.

* Islamist rebel groups launched four suicide attacks on regime targets Wednesday in the Qalamoun mountains, reported state news agency SANA and the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. SANA reported two attacks in Deir Attiya, while the Observatory reported two others in Nabek. The attacks are believed to have killed at least seven regime soldiers, and were claimed by the Islamic State of Iraq and Sham (ISIS) and Jabhat a-Nusra. They come a day after regime forces claimed the strategically valuable town of Qara in Qalamoun.

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