* Free Syrian Army fighters fought the Syrian army in Nabek Thursday after nine days of siege by government troops on the Qalamoun town, which abuts the national highway between Damascus and Homs, a spokesperson for the Qalamoun Media Center told Syria Direct. “As there are no reinforcements on the way, I expect the FSA will withdraw eventually, and the Homs–Damascus highway will be opened again,” said the spokesperson. The Syrian army advanced into Deir Attiyeh Wednesday night after Islamic State in Iraq and Sham fighters withdrew from the village.
A man walks through Zabadani, a city in Qalamoun.
* Opposition spokesperson Qusai Zakarya has completed a 72-hour hunger strike to call attention to the Syrian government’s year-long blockade of Moadimiyet e-Sham, where some residents have had to forage for leaves for sustenance. “I call on people of conscience everywhere to pressure their governments to act to break Assad’s siege and let humanitarian agencies bring food and medicine into besieged areas,” said Zakarya, a resident of the besieged East Ghouta town, which was also hit with chemical weapons on August 21st.
* Fighters from the Islamic State in Iraq and Sham (ISIS) executed former leader of the Ghoraba al-Sham Brigade, Hassan Jazara, as well as six other militants, in front of ISIS headquarters in the Aleppo suburb of al-Attarib Wednesday, reported the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. Jazara was sentenced to death by ISIS’s Legislative Committee November 1st. It was not immediately clear why he received the death sentence, but earlier this month a picture surfaced online purporting to show the rebel commander with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. Jazara claimed the photograph was fake.
* “We are now ready to go to Geneva,” Syrian National Coalition President Ahmed al-Jarba announced Wednesday, adding the opposition-in-exile would seek “a genuine democratic transformation in Syria.” The Syrian Foreign Ministry announced Wednesday a government delegation would attend the long-delayed conference but would not hand over power.
* Bashar al-Assad spoke with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani Wednesday, congratulating him on the agreement reached between Tehran and the G5 + 1 countries on Iran’s uranium enrichment program, official news agency SANA reported. Al-Assad added that Iran’s achievement strengthens its position regionally and globally, “which in turn reflects on Syria by virtue of the strategic relationship between the two countries.”
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