Syrian rebels have issued a list of demands for the release of United Nations peacekeepers stationed on the Golan Heights between Syria and Israel.
Fighting between Syrian President Bashar Assad’s forces and the opposition has reached a stalemate, and the regime plans on calling for a ceasefire at an upcoming conference in Geneva, Syria’s deputy prime minister has told the U.K.’s Guardian newspaper.
The Obama administration could decide this week to approve lethal aid for Syrian rebels and will weigh the merits of a less likely move to send U.S. airpower to enforce a no-fly zone over the nation ripped by two years of civil war, officials said Sunday.
A video of a Syrian rebel commander cutting the heart out of a soldier and biting into is emblematic of a civil war that has rapidly descended into sectarian hatred and revenge killings, Human Rights Watch said on Monday.
Syria’s government has withdrawn a significant number of troops from the Golan Heights, raising Western concerns.
Syrian rebels have seized a convoy of U.N. peacekeepers near the Golan Heights and say they will hold them captive until President Bashar al-Assad’s forces pull back from a rebel-held village which has seen heavy recent fighting.
Aleppo was once Syria’s second-largest city, storied for its ethnic diversity, including a large Jewish quarter. It’s now a pockmarked jumble of cratered ruins.
A rebel commander in Syria’s north claimed this week that the force is defeating government soldiers across the country, but it is failing to protect civilians from air strikes. Abu Maher, a commander in the region of Marea said the rebels lack the weapons to fight the regime’s air force. He said the violence that has gripped the county for almost two years will not stop until there is a change in Syria’s leadership.
Turkish fears are growing that Kurdish rebels seeking autonomy are being encouraged by the Kurdish minority in war torn Syria who have recently taken control of areas vacated by Bashar al-Assad’s troops. Early this week a bomb concealed in a vehicle killed nine people in the Turkish city of Gaziantep near the Syrian border. This attack comes as fighting between Turkish forces and Kurdish rebels has been increasing, including the kidnapping of a Turkish member of Parliament. Kurdistan, the cultural region where Kurds make up the majority of the population spans Turkey, Syria, Iraq, and Iran. Kurds make up around 20 percent of Turkey’s population, mostly living in the South Eastern portion of the country. In Iraq, the Kurds have managed to set up a self-governing region in the North of the country and many Kurds would like to see fully autonomous Kurdistan nation. The latest bombing is part of a long running conflict in Turkey that started in 1984.
The Turkish military is monitoring the Syrian border. Fighting continues in the city of Aleppo. Aleppo lies 40 kilometers from the Turkish border. Thousands of Syrians are fleeing into Turkey. Ferocious crackdown by Assad regime in Aleppo. Rebel forces continue to make inroads.