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Syria Daily, Jan 7: 114 Killed Amid Concerns for Evacuees Near Damascus

Syria Daily, Jan 7: 114 Killed Amid Concerns for Evacuees Near Damascus
January 07
05:44 2014

LATEST: Islamic State of Iraq Responds to Jabhat al-Nusra Message — “Only Way is Through Blood, Flesh, and Skulls


While headlines in Syria have been seized since Friday by the fight between insurgents and the Islamic State of Iraq and as-Sham, the Local Coordination Committees issued a reminder on Monday about the daily toll from the civil war.

The LCC said 114 people were killed on Monday, including 61 in Aleppo Province and 20 in Damascus and its suburbs.

Meanwhile, concern over evacuees near Damascus grew with reports of the detention, abuse, and even killing of civilians on the Yalda-Hajeira road.

Activists said 1200 people were harassed by regime forces and a pro-Assad Iraqi militia, with some men detained and women abused and stripped of their documents of identity.

Video supported claims of casualties, although initial assertions of 300-400 appear to be wildly inflated.

One source said, “They did worse than killing them [the evacuees], they humiliated them. They threw dried bread for them, poking fun at them when they ate it.”

Near Adra, north of the capital, the Syrian Red Crescent expressed concern that thousands of evacuees, who fled fighting last month, are still in the open air.

The civilians are being kept on the grounds of a cement factory.

Islamic State of Iraq Responds to Jabhat al-Nusra Message: “Only Way is Through Blood, Flesh, and Skulls”

A spokesman for the Islamic State of Iraq and as-Sham, Abu Mohammad al-Adnani, has responded to Tuesday’s audio message of the leader of Jabhat al-Nusra, Abu Mohammad al-Joulani, as well as to the conflict in Iraq:

The ISIS spokesman, replying to al-Joulani’s call for a cessation of “in-fighting”, said that “jihad is the only way” in Syria and Iraq. He asserted that, as the US and Israel will not allow the Islamic State to rise again, “the only way is through blood, flesh, and skulls”.

Videos: Aftermath of Regime Airstrike on Damascus Suburb of Douma

Casualties pulled from rubble:

Video: 10-Year-Old Freed from Detention by Islamic State of Iraq

SRF Leader Maarouf Calls On Syrians, Foreign Fighters To Defect From ISIS

The leader of the FSA-aligned Syrian Revolutionaries Front (SRF), Jamal Maarouf, talks about his organization’s recent campaign against ISIS in northern Syria, and urges Syrians and foreign fighters to “defect from ISIS.”

Russian Source: Lavrov, Kerry Planning To Meet In Paris On January 13

RIA Novosti is citing an anonymous Russian political source as saying that Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov is planning to meet his US counterpart, John Kerry, in Paris on January 13, ahead of the planned January 22 Geneva-II peace conference.

Lavrov has been silent for weeks about the Geneva II conference, which the Russian Foreign Ministry had previously been pushing on an almost daily basis.

Video: Ahrar as-Sham & Islamic State of Iraq Reach Truce in Eastern Syria

Claimed video of a truce signed between Ahrar as-Sham, a key group in the Islamic Front, and the Islamic State of Iraq and as-Sham in eastern Syria:

The truce does not affect north or northwest Syria, where clashes between insurgents and ISIS are reportedly continuing.

1st Chemical Stocks Leave Syria

A Danish ship has taken the first consignment of chemical stocks from Syria.

The ship, which left the port of Latakia, is being escorted by Chinese, Danish, Norwegian and Russian frigates. It will take the chemical toxins to Italy, where they will be loaded on to a US Navy ship and carried into international waters for destruction.

The original deadline for transport of the chemical material was December 31, but transport across Syria was delayed by logistics and security concerns.

Jabhat al-Nusra Leader Calls for Halt to “In-Fighting”

A claimed audio statement from the leader of the Islamist faction Jabhat al-Nusra, Abu Mohammad al-Joulani has called for an immediate cessation of fighting between insurgents and the Islamic State of Iraq and as-Sham (see Arabic transcript).

Al-Joulani says “criminals” — a possible reference to the Syrian Revolutionary Front as well as ISIS — have exploited the fighting for their own benefit. He declared that mujahideen (jihadist fighters) must avoid a conflict between the Syrian insurgency and muhajireen (foreign fighters).

Chechen Jihadi Site Slams “Lies” About Reasons Why Some North Caucasus Fighters Did Not Join ISIS

A jihadi website close to a leading Chechen faction in Syria has slammed rumors that the mostly-Chechen foreign fighter group, Jaish al-Muhajireen wal Ansar (JMA), refused to join ISIS because of the current fighting between ISIS and other insurgent groups.

The Usudusham site is linked to Seyfullakh al-Shishani, a former close ally of Abu Umar al-Shishani, and former second-in-command of JMA. Umar expelled Seyfullakh from JMA in the summer, accusing him of takfir. Seyfullakh and his followers have since pledged allegiance to Jabhat al-Nusra.

See also:

Chechen Amir Seyfullakh Shishani & Jaish Khilafatul Islamia Join Jabhat al-Nusra

According to Usudusham, the reason why JMA fighters refused to join Umar and pledge allegiance to ISIS was a disagreement over some aspects of the current situation in Syria.

Pro-Insurgency Activists on Defeat of Islamic State of Iraq in Raqqa

Pro-insurgency activists, quoted in The New York Times, on the defeat of the Islamic State of Iraq and as-Sham in Raqqa, the largest city in Syria held by the opposition:

Rebels from a Syrian Islamist group known as Ahrar al-Sham and from others battling the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria in Raqqa posted what they said was video of the freeing of 50 inmates from a makeshift ISIS prison. But hundreds more were said to still be held by the group, including members of rival rebel groups, civilians, and anti-government activists.

Abu Maya, an activist in Raqqa who is close to Ahrar al-Sham and the Nusra Front, said in a Skype interview that the 50 detainees had been held in the Vehicles Department building in Raqqa and that all were fighters and activists.

Abu Maya also said that two churches held by the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria were “liberated” by Nusra Front fighters on Monday, adding, “God willing, the churches will be restored and used again by Christians in Raqqa.”

He said that a leader of [Jabhat al-] Nusra in Raqqa had been imprisoned by the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria for four months. “They call for Shariah law, but their own interpretation,” he said. “Both Ahrar and the Nusra Front have decided to continue the fight against ISIS until it leaves the country and goes back to Iraq.”…

Abu Bakr, an activist in Raqqa from the Shaam News Network, an antigovernment organization, said via Skype that another homegrown Syrian Islamist rebel organization, the Tawhid Brigade, had helped drive the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria from many neighborhoods, and that Ahrar al-Sham fighters were “driving around the city to arrest any ISIS fighter they find,” with 50 detained in the past two days.

Video: In Aleppo, Kurdish Faction Jabhat al-Akrad Fights Islamic State of Iraq

Activists: Islamic State of Iraq Kills More Than 100 Prisoners

Activists are claiming that the Islamic State of Iraq, withdrawing from towns in northern Syria, is killing scores of its prisoners.

Some of the names of more than 50 claimed victims in Aleppo have been posted. Among the dead are 3 citizen journalists from Shada News and one working for Jabhat al-Nusra.

At least 30 detainees were reportedly slain in Idlib Province.

On Monday, activists posted video claiming 38 prisoners killed in Harem in Idlib Province as ISIS pulled out of the town, and the mass killing of detainees in Rastan in Homs Province.

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<a href="http://eaworldview.com/byline/joanna-paraszczuk/" rel="tag">Joanna Paraszczuk</a>, <a href="http://eaworldview.com/byline/scott-lucas/" rel="tag">Scott Lucas</a>


Scott Lucas is Professor of International Politics at the University of Birmingham and editor-in-chief of EA WorldView. He is a specialist in US and British foreign policy and international relations, especially the Middle East and Iran. Formerly he worked as a journalist in the US, writing for newspapers including the Guardian and The Independent and was an essayist for The New Statesman before he founded EA WorldView in November 2008.

Related Articles


  1. Catmari
    Catmari January 07, 12:39

    Radicals are Assad’s best friends
    Mohammed Habash, The National

    Reply to this comment
  2. Catmari
    Catmari January 07, 13:08

    Link to NYT artcile quoted above:
    Rebel Infighting Spreads to an Eastern Syrian City

    Reply to this comment
  3. Catmari
    Catmari January 07, 16:59

    The Trials of Being a Journalist in Aleppo
    Damascus Bureau
    Reporter describes harsh conditions for all those living amid conflict in Syrian city

    Reply to this comment
  4. Pak
    Pak January 07, 17:19

    Re: “Jabhat al-Nusra Leader Calls for Halt to In-Fighting”

    If you do not classify ISIS as part of the Syrian insurgency, then surely they are not “in” for it to become infighting. Freudian slip, or did the Nusra front use the term “infighting” themselves?

    Reply to this comment
  5. RedTornadoes
    RedTornadoes January 07, 17:25


    –Even with rebels fighting ISIS, the Sect arian Armed Forces have not gained an inch in Aleppo and are getting clobbered near Base 80.

    –The Homs/Damascus highwy remains closed more than a month now even under favorable circumstances.

    –Recall the five “terms of surrnder” recently signed in Barzem. If you missed them see:


    Here’s how a regime defender “spun” those terms: “the rebels surrendered to the government and now they have a power sharing system in barzeh, with the rebels stopping armed attacks on the government, and traffic passing by.”

    So today I’ve decided to play a news reporter for SANA giving an in-depth restatement of that spin:


    “In Barzeh the terrorists were losing badly to our glorious army and pleaded to surrender. Athough the regime is usually not inlclined to show mercy to terrorists, it made an exception in this case simply because our upper hand was so great.

    “aving more than enough power to crush the rebels in Berzeh and any fellow terrorists who might challenge us, the government agreed nevertheless to give away the store because we badly needed the rebels for protection and felt we could trust the terrorists to do so.”

    Reply to this comment
    • Genome45
      Genome45 January 07, 18:40

      The Homs-Damascus highway has been open without any problem since the fall of Nabek.

      I don’t even know what you are talking about now, it’s so ridiculous the way you are behind the events.

      Reply to this comment
      • RedTornadoes
        RedTornadoes January 07, 19:52

        You’ve claimed so since Day One. Rebels don’t need Nabek to target any convoy from the hills they control, along with the next town down which the regime has been trying to take, or the Adra area, or the area near Qaboun. So how many convoys have made it through safely in the last month? Next you”ll tell me the regime can safely use the roads to Palmyra either via Dumeir or via Homs.

        Reply to this comment
        • Richard Rittenburg
          Richard Rittenburg January 07, 22:20

          it seems that the rebels have ten liters worth of fighters but only a two liter bucket with which to arm and equip them. By contrast, the regime has a six liter bucket but only two liters worth of soldiers. IMO, no matter what the propaganda, the last bucket to run dry will win the war.

          Reply to this comment
  6. RedTornadoes
    RedTornadoes January 07, 18:07


    From James Milller: “Fake pictures, unverified witnesses in TV studios, and a lack of evidence—RT’s coverage of a massacre in Syria.

    The Massacre in Syria That Wasn’t: A Look at Russia Media Coverage of Adra


    Russia Times: “People put in ovens, entire families kidnapped, Christians and Alawites executed — These horrifying reports come to RT from the town of Adra…blah, blah, blah…Our crew spoke to some of the survivors.” (Sure your crew did!)

    Readers will recall how Russian coverage of the chemical missile attack resembled, SANA’s coverage exactly. Everyone knows how the rebels managed to sneak in among mountaintop positions of “elite” regime unit, borrow their equipment and bombard their own people, then sneak away with no one noticing. The odd thing is those rebels could easily have done far more damage by targeting the barracks of the 4th Amoured Division.

    Another similar between the Putin regime, the Alawite Regime and the IRI lies in the treatment of political opponents and journalists who fail to follow the universal ine. Either they get “death squad” treatment or wind up in prison. Of course these these bad guys support one another. Of course they fear democracy above all. The shameful thing is that our American’s president cuddles up with, aids and abets these Bad Guys as well on Chamberlain’s naïve theory that “If you are nice to Bad Buys they will be nice to you.”

    No wonder many Ukrainians do not want to be assimilated into the “Great Backwardness!”

    Reply to this comment
    • Richard Rittenburg
      Richard Rittenburg January 07, 20:02

      Somebody identified the Adra photo’s used by russian and syrian state media as the exact same photos used last spring in a Homs massacre.

      Additionally if you examine the eyewitness testimony it is self conflicting.
      “They killed everybody in the police station! Now they are holding them hostage as human shields!!” (dead bodies for human shields? what good is that?)
      “They killed all the christians!” (really? there are only 70 christians in adra?)
      “They had lists and were taking anybody on the list!!” (well, duh! they had a list ashabiha and ba’ath).

      Actually, considering that they had a list of shabiha and ba’ath officers, 70 seems like a very low number. A massacre? If anything, they erred on the side of forgiveness.

      Reply to this comment
  7. Genome45
    Genome45 January 07, 18:35

    More than 270 rebels and ISIS fighters killed in only 4 days of fighting with hundreds more injured or captured.

    And this is continuing at the same pace, ISIS is still in Raqqa with reinforcements it seem and the fighting continue to escalate.

    The loss of manpower in rebel rank will be very heavy, alongside the disorganization and the distrust;

    One more month at this rythm and the rebellio will have self destructed by itself.

    Reply to this comment
    • RedTornadoes
      RedTornadoes January 07, 19:47

      Re:The loss of manpower in rebel rank will be very heavy, alongside the disorganization and the distrust;

      OPTIMISM BUSTER #!: Your 270 figure combines rebel losses and ISIS losses as if all were rebels. ISIS IS a regime ally and rebel killer, as well as a killer of journalists and democractic activists (folks the regime also treats as enemies by no coinciidence). Take way the ISIS losses (the greater portion) what remains is a mere drop in th bucket especially when the rebels vastly outnumber the regime when it comes to competent, super-motivated fighters. The non-ISIS KIA totals for rebels are less the lovely toll from one gorgeous JAN suicide bombing.

      OPTIMISM BUSTER #2: Worse yet, these miniscule rebel losses occurred in locations where the regime’s chances of winnig are equal to your chances of gettting all the numbers in the Powerball lottery–the north and east. Add the fact that it hasn’t gained an inch in those areas in consequence of the rebel infighting.

      OPTIMISIM BUSTER #3: If Isis is driven out of Syria it will be a catastrophe for the Assad regime and a huge plus for the rebels, making thier job so much easier in the future. abhat is appealing for a truce but neither securlar rebels and moderate to firm Islamists other than Al Queda shows the slightest interest. Any chance of that disappeared with the discovery of ISIS’ regime-like massacres with “regime-preferred” victims. Rebels will coordinate infinitely better with ISIS gone. Even Jabhat cooperates. Isus has been such a useful tool for Assad. Of course the regime did so much to nourish it. To do otherwise would be nuts.

      Reply to this comment
    • Caligola
      Caligola January 07, 19:50

      Keep dreaming. I see the opposite…..a great future for the oppo once ISIS is sent back in the stone ages.

      Reply to this comment
  8. gunniy
    gunniy January 07, 19:23

    Activists from the SOHR said on Monday that fighters from the FSA and Islamist factions have besieged the headquarters of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria in Raqqa, northeastern Syria.

    A military source on the FSA’s eastern front, speaking on the condition of anonymity, told Asharq Al-Awsat : “ISIS may lose control of Raqqa at any moment, exactly like the regime suddenly lost control of it.”

    The FSA has continued to attack ISIS in other areas in northern Syria. A senior member of the FSA’s local operations room, speaking on the condition of anonymity, told :

    “We are 72 hours away from liberating Idlib and Aleppo, after which we will aim to liberate the border crossings with Turkey if ISIS members have not already vacated them.”


    Reply to this comment
  9. gunniy
    gunniy January 07, 19:31

    In fighting that erupted on January 3, ISIL has been driven from several of its strongholds in northern Syria by rival rebel factions.

    Some ISIL fighters have been killed. Many others have been captured or forced to flee, defect, or hand over their headquarters to the Nusra Front, a closely related al-Qaeda faction that is not part of the fighting.


    Reply to this comment

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