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Syria Direct: News Update 9-04-2013

* Zaman al-Wasl reports a deal between FSA and regime […]

4 September 2013

NewsUpdateSept2013* Zaman al-Wasl reports a deal between FSA and regime forces to exchange prisoners with rebels leveraging captured Assad troops from last month’s battle at Khan Assal in Aleppo province. Online video released today shows foreign fighters from Chechnya defection ISIS and disavowing ties to JAN. Another clip posted by armed opposition pictures defectors from government forces in Ghouta.

* Melkite Greek Catholic Patriarch Gregorios III tells AFP that 450,000 Syrian Christians displaced since start of conflict as Syrian Human Rights Network counts 2,964 people dead from torture in the government jails.

* Iranian Defense Minister to Al-Mayadin, “Syrian army owns sophisticated weapons and can confront any possible attack.” Meanwhile rebels in Deir a Zour release new video of recently acquired armaments including anti-aircraft missile launchers.

* On eve of G-20 meeting Putin tells Russia’s Channel One that Moscow has a signed contract with Damascus to deliver S-300 air defense missile complexes to Syria. “The S-300 system is kind of outdated, he said, “though they might be a little better than Patriot missiles.”

* Haaretz – American Jewish establishment jumps off the fence, comes out in full support of Congressional approval of President Obama’s plans to launch a military strike against Syria’s chemical weapon capacity.

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