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Syria Direct: News Update 9-26-2013

* The opposition’s top political and military leaders are shifting […]

26 September 2013

NewsUpdateSept2013* The opposition’s top political and military leaders are shifting from lobbying for outside help to quelling unrest among their own ranks inside Syria. Al-Arabiya reports that Ahmad al-Jarba is on his way to Syria today to discuss the crises between the exiled politicians and fighting groups, while a coalition spokeswoman tweets that General Selim Idris is also changing travel plans to engage disaffected battalions. 

* Bashar al-Assad continued his TV tour with an interview on Venezuela’s Tele Sur on Wednesday, in which he insisted Obama has no credibility and that Geneva 2 does not replace the internal discussion in Syria. In separate remarks to visiting Lebanese politicians reported by Al-Mayadin TV also on Wednesday, Assad declared “chemical weapons were burdening Syria, but not anymore.”

* FSA’s Liwa al-Tawheed brokered a ceasefire between ISIS and the Northern Storm brigades who have been clashing near the Turkish border. The deal calls for a prisoner exchange and the return of personal property confiscated by fighters.  Meanwhile, Syria Live reports continuing clashes between FSA and PYD in Atama village near Bab al-Hawa in outer Aleppo. The Syrian Observatory tallied several casualties including civilians hit in sniper fire between Kurdish and ISIS Forces.

* Intense fighting in the southern province of Daraa on Thursday includes regime airstrikes on several regional towns as well as clashes at the old customs area adjacent to the Jordanian border. The violence in the area had prevented thousands of refugees fleeing from Damascus suburbs to safety in Jordan according to Ahmad Al Saad, activist with the Local Coordination Committee in the border town of Tal Shihab.

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