* Regime and rebel forces clashed in the city of Nabek as the battle for the Qalamoun region north of Damascus continued Wednesday. The clashes, centered around the city’s Qalamoun Hospital, pit fighters from ISIS, Jabhat a-Nusra and the Islamic Front against government troops and Lebanese Hezbollah fighters.
* Four people were killed and seventeen others injured Tuesday in a suicide bombing in the Jisr al-Abiad neighborhood of Damascus, reported Syrian state television. “A terrorist blew himself up with an explosive built in the Jisr al-Abiad neighborhood, resulting in the martyrdom of four citizens, one of them a woman,” said the report. Rami Abdulrahman of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the attack took place in front of the Syrian Ministry of Defense.
* A bystander and two militants from the Islamic State in Iraq and a-Sham, originally from Belgium and Tunisia, were killed Tuesday after clashes between ISIS and the Islamic Front at an Islamic Front checkpoint in the town of Hazano, outside Idlib, reported pro-opposition website All4Syria. Three fighters of different nationalities and another bystander were injured during the fighting.
* “We interfered in Syria logically and realistically. We did not interfere in Syria on the decision of Iran but through our own decision,” Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah said in an interview on the Lebanese television channel OTV Tuesday. “Our presence in Syria is limited to Damascus, Homs and the areas neighboring Lebanon,” he added.
* 12 nuns kidnapped from a monastery by Islamist rebels in the Christian village of Maloula have been moved to the nearby rebel-held town of Yabroud in Qalamoun, north of Damascus, the General Committee of the Syrian Revolution said in a statement on Tuesday.
A statue of Mary overlooks the Christian village of Maloula. Photo courtesy of Sana-Revo.