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Syria Direct: News Update 9-29-2013


September 29, 2013

NewsUpdateSept2013* Al Manar reports remarks by UN Ambassador Bashar al-Jaafari that the Security Council’s decision “is a step toward stabilizing the political situation in Syria.” Al-Jaafari added that United States, UK and France will “no longer dare to deploy the language of military attack or military intervention against Syria.”

* Al-Arabiya claims international chemical weapons experts will begin their work in Syria as soon as Tuesday. The channel sited western intelligence agencies assessments that Syria possesses 1000 tons of Sarin, Mustard gas and V.X nerve gas distributed at dozens of sites. The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons briefs journalists on its Syria mission Sunday afternoon in The Hague.

* Syrian National Coalition announced a statement condemning ISIS’s attack on the Saidat al-Basharah Church in a-Raqqa and the seizure of the sacred space as base for their fighters. The statement said ISIS’ behavior contradicts Islamic values and clarifies again that the Al-Qaeda linked group is not included in the ranks of the Syrian Coalition.

* Voting continues Sunday in Istanbul as the Syrian Democratic Union selects its’ president. Conference chairman Michel Kilo is competing for the position with other opposition politicians. According to Zaman Al Wasil, the union includes around 350 Syrian opposition figures belonging to multiple organizations including the National Coalition, the National Council, LCCs and smaller democratic parties.

*Colonel Riad al-Asa’ad, the founder of the FSA, refuses any attempts to settle differences or pursue negotiations with the regime. In a statement published on his facebook page Saturday, al-Asa’ad writes  “Media transmitted that some opposition scarecrows [Leaders] are ready to go to Geneva 2 and now they are going to visit Washington to arrange this, and this is a huge deviation from the will of the Syrian people who reject all negotiations and compromises with Assad’s criminal regime.”

*Syrian Army units made significant progress in the Qabon – Zamalka – Jobar axis in Outer Damascus, according to SANA, which quoted a field commander claiming “our units tightened control along 1.5 Km from al-Qabon industrial area toward Zamalka and cut the supply road for terrorist groups transporting weapons and ammunition between Zamalka, Jobar and Arbien.” Damascus area LCCs reported heavy clashes Sunday between the FSA and the government troops in the Tishreen neighborhood of Birza and Douma and heavy shelling of Zamalka in Outer Damascus.

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