PHOTO: Syrian National Coalition head Ahmed Jarba
ALSO IN SATURDAY’S FORECAST
Battle Continues for Insurgent Base Near Aleppo International Airport
The opposition Syrian National Coalition has again told US officials that they will not attend international “peace” talks in Geneva.
American envoy Robert Ford, who has been trying to bring Syria’s opposition and regime to the conference table, met the Coalition’s senior leadership in Istanbul.
The Coalition’s representatives, who formally decide their position today, have held out against any talks unless President Assad promises to leave power.
While the US has tried to break that resistance, Saudi Arabia has given full backing to both the opposition and the insurgency.
One Coalition source said:
We feel we are being used as a scapegoat while the big powers themselves are in disagreement. How are we expected to go to talks for which we do not know the agenda?
Ford is trying hard. But things are in flux. Saudi Arabia is angry and no one really knows in which direction the Coalition will go.
The US and Russia, which first proposed the conference in April, had hoped to bring together the Syrian parties on November 23.
Insurgents Reclaim “Brigade 80” Base Near Aleppo International Airport
Insurgents appear to have re-taken the “Brigade 80” base near Aleppo International Airport, a day after it was seized by regime forces.
The Syrian military claimed the capture of the position, a regime air defence base taken by the insurgency in February, but the opposition Shaam News Network asserted early this morning:
After hours of clashes with regime forces, the Free Syrian Army (FSA), in cooperation with Islamic battalions, recaptured the 80th Brigade about an hour ago….A number of regime tanks and military vehicles were destroyed during the clashes.
A well-placed EA correspondent offers the latest:
Reinforcements from Aleppo brought the regime offensive to a halt and regained ground. Some Free Syrian Army units are advancing, and it seems today that Assad forces will be back at their former positions.
Assad assault was in parts at least led by Hezbollah, which took many casualties.
As far as I know, there is still fighting but the offensive has been stopped.
Claimed footage of reinforcements from the Islamic State and as-Sham arriving for the battle:
Liwa al-Tawhid fire on regime aircraft supporting ground attacks:
Message of Defiance in Friday Protests
Friday protests continued through Syria, with one theme being the defiance of the regime’s sieges of insurgent-held Damascus suburbs. This message came from supporters in the Saqba section of the capital:
Saqba: "The siege is a lost cause. We may starve, get cold, get sick, die; but other than to God we will not kneel." pic.twitter.com/dRIL0MdUs4
— Omar (@omarsyria) November 9, 2013
A rally in Daraa Province: