Prisoner Swap Proves Assad Regime Controlled by Foreign Powers
In latest prisoner swap with the Free Syrian Arm, Assad swapped Syrian female prisoners for Lebanese Hezbollah militia soldiers. The female prisoners were detained by Assad for organizing peaceful demonstrations against the regime. Hisham Marwa, Legal Committee Member of the Syrian Coalition, described “the Assad Regime’s swapping of Hezbollah militia prisoners for detained Syrian females” as a shameful act. He added that “the spies of Assad’s allies are more important Syrians who Assad claims to protect.” He pointed out that “this prisoner swap is clear evidence foreign powers controlling the Assad Regime. Furthermore, Assad’s disingenuous claims of nationalism and resistance against Israel are false propaganda coupled with his repeated accusations the opposition being allied with foreign powers.”
The FSA will also swap Turkish pilots abducted by Hezbollah militia in Lebanon for other detained Hezbollah militia. The FSA kidnapped Hezbollah operatives in the town of Azaz near the Turkish border 16 months ago. They were spying on the revolutionary fighting brigades in the area.
The Lebanese Interior Minister, Marwan Charbel, said that the female detainees have crossed the Syrian border into southern Turkey after their release. The minister also said that the “the story of the abducted Lebanese individuals is over and they are on their way to Turkey and will return to Lebanon in the next 24 hours.” He explained that “we should wait for the Assad Regime to release the prisoners” to complete the exchange which “is scheduled to take place in Turkey.” (Source: Syrian Coalition)
The Syrian National Council Thanks the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia For Rejecting Security Council Seat
The Syrian National Council sent a thank you letter to the Saudi Foreign Minister Saud al Faisal stressing the important historical position taken by the KSA. The KSA has recently refused a seat in the Security Council due to the reluctance to punish Assad, for the usage of chemical weapons and many massacres committed against the Syrian people. The Syrian National Council thanked Prince Saud al Faisal and “The Saudi people and the Government that Serves the Two Holy Mosques on their position holds the highest meaning of Arab, Muslim, and Humanitarian solidarity with the Syrian people who are experiencing the ugliest massacre by Bashar al Assad’s regime and sectarian supporters” (Source: Syrian Coalition)
Twenty Five Dead in Syria, Final Death Toll – 49 Yesterday.
Local Coordination Committees in Syria documented 49 dead in Syria yesterday, 25 dead by this evening, among them four women and three children. Also, 12 people died in Aleppo, 10 in Damascus, two in Daraa, and one in Homs. (Source: Local Coordination Committees)
FSA Takes Control of Tamiko
The Free Syrian Army has gained control of the Tamiko Compound in al Mleiha in Damascus. The regime used this facility to house regime soldiers, Hezbollah militia, and Abu al Fadl al Abbas Brigade militia. They also launched military operations on Damascus from this site. The FSA used a car bomb to target the largest checkpoint in the compound killing a large number of regime soldiers and Hezbollah militants in this special mission. Fierce clashes continued for many hours finishing with the FSA announcing their victory. The FSA also freed Al Nour Checkpoint near the Tamiko compound on the outskirts after clashes during which the FSA used light and medium weapons killing a number of regime soldiers and injuring others. The checkpoint is a strategic point that divides Ghouta and the center of Damascus. The city of Jaramana falls in between the two areas. Residents of the city consider it to be a safe area since the residents of surrounding cities and towns are consistently shelled by Assad regime forces. It should be noted that Christians form a majority of the residents of this area, and the Assyrian Council warned the regime not to target this area to avoid sectarian conflict. The politics of creating sectarian divisions is Assad’s most important technique to delegitimize the Syrian peoples’ demands, according to analysts. (Source: Syrian Coalition)
Assad Forces Shell Civilians in al Yarmouk Camp
Assad forces attacked al Yarmouk Camp in Damascus with three surface to surface missiles injuring many people and destroying many historical residential buildings. This came as regime forces continued shelling the besieged camp for more than six months and is suffering from a lack of medical supplies, no electricity, and a lack of communication. Regime forces also shelled Joubar and al Qaboun in Damascus with rockets and artillery. Fierce clashes also took place between the Free Syrian Army and regime forces, backed by Hezbollah militants, on the outskirts of Barzah during the regime’s last attempt to raid the area. (Source: Syrian Coalition)
Assad Shells Civilians in Homs, FSA and Regime Forces Clash In Aleppo
Regime fighter jets struck Tareeq al Baba in Aleppo with explosive barrels destroying a residential building. The building housed residents killing 10 people and injuring many others. Fierce shelling has continued on the area for more than a week in preparation for a regime raid on the area.
Regime forces also shelled al Sakhoor and Bustan al Qasr with mortar and artillery shells injuring many people and destroying many residential buildings.
The Free Syrian Army destroyed a regime base in Suleiman al Halabi District. The FSA also targeted regime strongholds at the entrances of al Sakhoor in Aleppo with mortar shells and home made rockets killing a number of regime soldiers and injuring others as clashes continued around Aleppo central prison. The prison is currently occupied by the FSA and other fighting brigades in an attempt to free more than 4,000 prisoners. The Free Syrian Army increased military operations around the prison a week ago, and has executed a mission in the courtyard of the prison killing 50 regime soldiers and Hezbollah militants. (Source: Syrian Coalition)
The Free Syrian Army Proclaims Tareeq Ezzor a Military Zone
The Free Syrian Army warns civilians from coming from coming near the international highway between Deir Ezzor and Damascus as there are ongoing clashes between the FSA and Regime Forces. The FSA has overtaken large stretches of road also freeing several regime checkpoints, two of the most important in the town of al Sukhna in rural Homs. This was a main launching point for Regime Forces and Hezbollah militants to conduct their operations in Deir Ezzor. Deir Ezzor has witnessed increased military activity and fierce shelling by fighter jets and rockets after the FSA conducted various missions killing Maj. Gen. Jamea Jamea, head of the Military Security Branch. He is responsible for the massacres that occurred in Deir Ezzor. He also headed many missions that took the lives of hundreds of civilians in the city. (Source: Syrian Coalition)
The US Presses Assad to Allow Aid into Areas Experiencing Starvation
The US pressed Assad to immediately allow aid convoys to reach besieged civilians in the Damascus suburbs under Free Syrian Army control. Washington confirmed, in a report, that the regime is using starvation to punish the residents of the Ghoutas who were also targeted by a chemical weapons attack recently.
In its report, Washington conveyed that the besieged areas are only kilometers away from the Presidential Palace where Bashar al Assad lives. Humanitarian organizations were able to transport 1000 residents out of Muadhamiya last week, which is considered the most important areas in the besieged Ghouta. The Syrian Coalition considers this action as insufficient to deal with the humanitarian crisis faced by Muadhamiya. It is noteworthy that the Syrian Coalition has reminded the international community time and time again about the necessities of putting immediate pressure on Assad and forcing him to open humanitarian corridors which can secure the food and humanitarian aid to the besieged Ghoutas and southern Damascus. However, analysts have said, “the chemical weapons deal was a carrot which Bashar Assad presented in the form of an agreement with Iran and Russia to the international community to take the attention off of the politics of starvation and besieging targeting the social popularity of the Syrian revolution”. (Source: Syrian Coalition)
UN: Support Syrians, Assad Trying to Change Syria’s Demographics
The UNHCR representative called on European nations to grant asylum to Syrians escaping the massacres committed by the Assad Regime against the Syrian people. Melissa Fleming, the main spokesperson for the UNHCR states, “increasing numbers of Syrian people are crossing the Mediterranean Sea from Egypt to Italy due to the increasing concerns about security there and the increased instances of physical violence, verbal abuse, and forced exit.” It should be noted that a number of Syrians have drowned attempting to reach European countries on boats. Analysts have said that Assad has made it easy for Syrian families from a particular group to leave Syria, in order to change the demographic makeup in Syria. By doing this he wishes to change the majority to a minority by also giving a number of Iranian groups fighting in Syria Syrian citizenships. (Source: Syrian Coalition)
Russia Slams Saudi Arabia’s Rejection of a Security Council Seat
The Russian Foreign Ministry said that Saudi Arabia’s rejection of its seat in the Security Council is a rejection of group efforts in the Council. They expressed surprise about Riyadh’s position on this issue saying “Saudi’s accusations of the Security Council are surprising since the Council published resolution 2118 which puts forth a complete understanding of the Syrian reality.” On a side note, the spokesman of the United Nations, Afaf Konga Ban said “Saudi Arabia’s rejection of its seat in the Security Council is an executive decision that concerns only Saudi Arabia.” Turkey added that Saudi’s rejection of its seat in the Security Council takes away from the UN’s legitimacy which it enjoys around the world. The French Foreign Ministry announced that Paris supports Saudi Arabia’s handicapping the Security Council with its decision in the face of the horrific massacres committed by Assad against unarmed civilians.
(Source: Syrian Coalition)
Russia: Kerry Should Wait to Send Chemical Weapons out of Syria
The Russian Foreign Ministry considers Secretary of State John Kerry’s suggestion to send the chemical weapons out of Syria by sea as premature. Kerry announced the day before yesterday his suggestion that the Syrian chemical weapons arsenal could be “shipped by sea out of the area” in order to be destroyed safely. The Russian Foreign Ministry, responded that “experts are exploring various ways to destroy the Syrian chemical weapons, among the options is destroying the weapons outside Syria.” The Russian Foreign Ministry added, “this effort has not stopped as of yet, and it is premature to discuss any one particular option.” Furthermore, OPCW announced that since the inspectors’ arrival on the first of October to Damascus they have been able to visit about half of the sites that should be destroyed by mid 2014. The joint mission between the UN and OPCW was launched on July 14 as a result of a United States threat to militarily strike Assad’s Forces after the chemical weapons attack on Damascus and rural Damascus killing more than 1400 people.
(Source: Syrian Coalition + al Arabiya)