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Syria Direct: news Update 9-22-2014

Regime expands outer Damascus front The Assad regime struck the […]

22 September 2014

Regime expands outer Damascus front

The Assad regime struck the rebel-controlled city of Adra in the outskirts of Damascus with nine air raids Monday as part of its attempt to open a new battlefront in the surrounding East Ghouta area, the pro-opposition news agency Adra Media Office reported.

“The Syrian army continues to impose control over Adra,” reported pro-regime newspaper Al-Watan Sunday, “located on the road to the heart of East Ghouta where the rebels form their military operations.” 

Until the attacks on Adra, most of the regime’s efforts to penetrate into East Ghouta have come by means of encirclement and repeated bombardment on places southwest of the area near Damascus, such as Jobar and Mleiha.

Prior to Monday, Adra, 10 kilometers northeast of Douma along the Damascus-Aleppo M5 highway, had been hit by 25 aerial attacks since Saturday, according to pro-opposition news agency All4Syria.

Additional fighting between anti-Assad Palestinian militias and the regime in the city have caused a large number of Adra residents to flee, added All4Syria.

Adra9-22 The regime attempts to open a new path into East Ghouta. Photo courtesy of @AlMayadeenNews.

New truce in holdout neighborhood Al-Waer

Rebels in Al-Waer, the last opposition-controlled neighborhood in Homs city, tentatively agreed to a truce with the regime Sunday in the latest round of negotiations between the two sides, reported pro-opposition Smart News Agency.

The regime has sealed off Al-Waer, home to around 300,000 residents, for nearly a year. Last week, the Syrian government escalated its attacks on the neighborhood, increasing the pressure on the rebels to accept a truce.

The agreement, a source in the negotiations told Smart News, stipulates a ceasefire from all sides, the opening of roads into Al-Waer and the release of prisoners by the regime. In turn, rebel fighters would be escorted out of the city, in a similar fashion to an agreement that ended the regime siege on Old Homs this past spring.

“A delegate from the Republican Palace [regime] met with a number of sheikhs and senior leaders, who then agreed on a number of items in the truce,” said the Union for Syrian Youth, a local pro-opposition group, Sunday.

The regime and Al-Waer have agreed upon ceasefires in the past that allow in humanitarian aid, but those collapsed, with each party accusing the other of being at fault.

Islamic State threatens US allies

Abu Muhammad al-Adnani, the official spokesman for the Islamic State (IS), threatened nationals from the more than 40 countries who recently allied against IS under American leadership, in an audio recording circulated widely on YouTube and social media websites on Sunday.

“If you are able to kill an American or European kafir (disbeliever)…kill him with any means possible…whether civilian or soldier, for both are the same,” al-Adnani told IS sympathizers.

“If you don’t have a bomb or a gun…slaughter him with a knife, run him over with your car, push him off a cliff, poison him.”

This, while Jordanian authorities recently arrested 11 members of a cell with ties to IS who were planning on carrying out an attack within the Hashemite Kingdom, after one member accidentally blew up his house as he was making explosives, government news agency Petra reported Monday.

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