* Syrian government and allied Hezbollah and Iraqi troops fought Sunni rebel groups in the Damascus suburbs of East Ghouta on Tuesday. While the Syrian National Coalition announced the Free Syrian Army’s capture of seven villages in the area, regime media is disputing claims of rebel gains: Lebanese website Salab News declares a stalemate with “no change in positions on the ground in East Ghouta.”
* The Islamic State in Iraq and Sham seized clothing distributed to children by aid groups in the Idlib village of Hazano, reported the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. “Crusaders are the ones who sent the clothing,” an ISIS fighter said, condemning the distribution of foreign aid.
* The General Secretary of the United Nations Ban Ki Moon announced Monday the Geneva II conference will be scheduled for January 22nd, 2014. The Syrian National Coalition has previously said it will attend the conference but insisted it be based upon the departure of Bashar al-Assad. “Of course we welcome any meeting that will bring a solution to the crisis which is negatively impacting all Syrians and the surrounding countries,” Andrew Harper, the Representative for the United Nations High Comissioner for Refugees in Jordan, said in a statement.
* Five citizen journalists, Omar Tabajjow, Hassan Houran, Yassin Houran, Akram al-Saleek and Omar Khiti, “who showed extraordinary courage covering the battles aimed at lifting the siege on Eastern Ghouta” were killed over the weekend in East Ghouta, the Syrian National Coalition said in a statement Monday.
“The heroic journalist warrior Mohammed Saeed (Omar Tabajjow) was martyred with four other journalists for the Army of Islam on its front in al-Jaraba in East Ghouta,” Zahran Aloush, the military commander of the newly-formed Islamic Front, said on Twitter Sunday.
Citizen journalist Omar Tabajjow was killed in East Ghouta outside of Damascus.
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