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Syria Direct: News Update 2-4-2014

* The Syrian regime’s delegation will attend the next phase […]

4 February 2014

* The Syrian regime’s delegation will attend the next phase of the Geneva II peace talks set to begin on February 10th, Russian Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov announced Tuesday. Bogdanov’s announcement came as he prepared to meet with Syrian National Coalition (SNC) President Ahmad Jarba in Moscow; Jarba announced Sunday the SNC would attend the next phase of Geneva II. In Moscow, Jarba will “demand Russia stop supporting the Assad regime,” the SNC said in a statement, in the hopes of “transforming its support [for Assad] to the great Syrian people.” 

* The Syrian air force’s continued barrel bombing in Aleppo has created a wave of displacement, a citizen journalist in Aleppo told Syria Direct Tuesday. Citizens fleeing Syria’s second-largest city are headed to “either the Syrian border with Turkey, or remote areas in the [Aleppo] countryside,” he said. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported that 30 citizens died yesterday in the bombing campaign, while entire neighborhoods were destroyed.fleeing aleppo

Citizens flee Aleppo province amidst the Syrian air force’s barrel bomb campaign. Photo courtesy of the Aleppo Media Center.

* The Islamic State of Iraq and a-Sham (ISIS) gained full control over the town of al-Ra’ee in northern Aleppo Monday, one day after an ISIS combatant negotiating with the Islamic Front’s Liwa a-Tawheed blew himself up during negotiations that had aimed to halt bloodshed in the town, Haleb Today reported. Before ISIS gained complete control, Liwa a-Tawheed had moved a number of detained ISIS combatants out of the village to an unknown location, Haleb News added.

* The Free Syrian Army-affiliated Civilian’s Protection Commission killed 10 government troops at the al-Suman and al-Mudajin checkpoints in eastern Hama province Monday, a battalion spokesperson told Syria Direct. Regime troops had reinforced the checkpoints, which were under rebel siege for several days. Battles have been raging in northeastern Hama since early January, with the FSA’s Civilian’s Protection Committee coordinating with the Islamic Front and Jabhat a-Nusra in attacking regime positions.

* Following a long quiet spell in East Ghouta, Feilaq al-Rahman, a brigade in Damascus and the Damascus suburbs, announced Monday that it had killed more than 85 regime troops when it blew up a building near the General Air Defense Administration building in the Damascus suburb of al-Maliha. The official Syrian news agencies made no mention of the reported attack, while pro-government al-Jahina News reported government troops had killed “40 terrorists” in al-Maliha. 

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