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Syria Direct: News Update 9-22-2013

* Free Syrian Army’s Northern Storm Battalion slams Islamic State […]

22 September 2013

NewsUpdateSept2013* Free Syrian Army’s Northern Storm Battalion slams Islamic State in Iraq and Levant for violating cease-fire terms in the village of Azzaz near the Turkish border. Sunday’s statement sets a 24-hour deadline for the jihadists to release abducted fighters or face attacks on all ISIS bases in Aleppo province. Meanwhile Al-Manar reports ongoing clashes between ISIS and the FSA in Latakia province and ISIS and PKK, a Kurdish party, in a-Raqqa province.

* Over the weekend, the “mainstream” Free Syrian Army Lewa al-Islam Brigades in East Ghouta distanced itself from calls by some armed groups on social media for mandatory conscription on men born between 1983 and 1994. Mohammad Aloush, Battalion Leader of Lewa al-Islam in the northeast Damascus suburbs, the largest FSA-affiliated group in the region, said his group was not responsible for and did not support the call. “Compulsory service needs to be studied militarily, in regards to Sharia, and socially before the law is implemented,” Aloush announced on his group’s Facebook page. 

* Russia Today: “I’m speaking theoretically and hypothetically, but if it appears certain to us that Assad is cheating, we may change our position,” said the head of the Russian Presidential Administration Sergey Ivanov. Ivanov’s statement came in a discussion of the regime’s upcoming plan to disclose the full extent of their chemical weapons arsenal at the International Institute for Strategic Studies in Stockholm.

* A delegation from the Christian village of Maaloula met with Michel Aoun, the President of the Change and Reform Bloc in Lebanon. According to SANA the delegation alleged that Al-Nusra entered Maloula, destroyed  churches, the monastery and homes and made efforts to forcibly convert the residents. The delegation also told the Beirut politician that 450 families have fled from Maloula into Damascus, Deer al-Mukhlis and Lebanon.

* The Syrian Coalition dismisses President Rouhani’s offer Saturday to  “facilitate dialogue” citing Iran’s continued political, economic, and military support to the Assad regime.

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