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Syria Direct: News Update 12-15-2013

* Five have been killed and dozens wounded Sunday by […]

15 December 2013

NewsUpdateDec2013* Five have been killed and dozens wounded Sunday by Syrian air force strikes on the city of Dumeir, 46 kilometers (30 miles) west of Damascus, Zaman al-Wasl reported.

* 73 kidnapped Kurdish citizens remain held by Islamic State in Iraq and a-Sham Sunday after ISIS seized the town of Ihras outside Aleppo and kidnapped 120 residents Friday. ISIS released 47 of the hostages the same day, reported the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. On December 2nd, ISIS kidnapped 51 Kurdish citizens from the Menbej, a northern border town that has been seen as a model community for Syria’s transition.

* Dozens of diesel heaters were distributed at Lebanon’s Arsal refugee camp Saturday. Bassam Yusuf, head of the Syrian National Coalition’s Emergency Committee, denied reports of weather related infant deaths at the Bekaa Valley camp, now home to some 40,000-refugee refugees. An unnamed Lebanese security source had been quoted in regional media Friday reporting a three-month-old infant had frozen to death as snowstorm Alexa began to paralyze the Levant on Thursday. Heaters have been delivered to Za’atari refugee camp in Jordan but have yet to be distributed to residents, a UNHCR spokesperson told Syria Direct.

* “Ismael Hassan Aboud, a son of the Yarmouk Refugee camp, died under torture in a Syrian prison,” announced the Working Group for Palestinians in Syria Sunday. In an announcement on its Facebook page the organization reported that Syrian government forces about a year and a half ago had arrested Aboud, an employee of the Palestinian Embassy in Damascus, released, and detained him again.

* Saddam al-Jamal, a leading Free Syrian Army figure and Vice President of the Supreme Military Council in Deir e-Zor, announced Friday he had defected from the FSA and joined ISIS, surrendering himself on December 1. In a video posted online, al-Jamal was named an ISIS Emir of Eastern Syria as he accused the FSA of combatting Islamists. He was previously a battalion leader in the Ahfad al-Rasul Brigades.

FSA defector ISIS

 Sadam al-Jamal announced Friday he had defected from the Free Syrian Army-affiliated Ahfad al-Rasul Brigades to join ISIS.

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