- Russia: Foreign Ministry Condemns Iraq Violence As “Primarily Associated With Syria”
- Moadamiya – “If You Back the Revolution You Will Starve To Death”
- Week Past, Week Ahead: Syria — Insurgents Fight Islamic State of Iraq
- The Supreme Military Council, Its PR Outlet, & Its Criticism of Obama
For the third day in a row, news from Syria has been dominated by the confrontation between insurgents and the Islamic State of Iraq in the north of the country.
Reports indicated that ISIS had withdrawn without a fight from al-Dana — the first town in northwest Syria where it had taken control — and Atmeh, near a key border crossing with Turkey. Unconfirmed claims said ISIS had also been evicted from its headquarters in Raqqa, the largest city held by the insurgency.
Men, held by ISIS, freed from detention in Raqqa:
At the same time, some activists said that the “withdrawn” ISIS fighters were moving to Aleppo. If true, that could point to a showdown in insurgent-held areas of Syria’s largest city.
There is a third option between withdrawal and fight: ISIS could accept terms offered by insurgents such as the Islamic Front and re-join the insurgency. So far, however, there is no sign of an accommodation.
A march of ISIS supporters in Aleppo:
Video: Islamic Front Claim Victory over Kurdish Militias in Tel Brak in Hasakeh Province
Red Crescent Concerned About 1000s of Evacuees in Open Air
The Syrian Red Crescent has expressed concern about thousands of civilians who have left Adra, northeast of Damascus, to escape fighting.
The regime claims that it carried out a humanitarian mission in moving 6,000 people; however, opposition activists say the civilians are being kept in the open on the grounds of a cement plant.
We have serious concerns about the adequacy of shelters provided to people exited from #Adra & freedom of leaving it!
— Syrian Red Crescent (@SYRedCrescent) January 6, 2014
Headless Corpses Found In ISIS Base Near Kafranbel
Insurgents near Kafranbel say they have found headless corpses in an Islamic State of Iraq and ash-Sham base near the Idlib village.
Damascus Suffering “Water Crisis”, Electricity Cuts
The activist site Syria Newsdesk claims “the worst water crisis in three years” in Damascus, with rationing lasting for days in some neighborhoods.
Hussam Hreideen, the head of the Institution of Water Supply and Sanitation, has blamed the water cuts on the scarcity of electricity feeding the turbines that pump water to the capital.
Hreideen said, “Everything will be back to normal, as soon as the electricity issue is sorted out.”
However, sources inside Syria note that insurgents are likely to continue their recurrent attacks on the gas pipelines to Damascus.
Reports: More than 1200 Evacuees Attacked and Detained South of Damascus
The Local Coordination Committees of Syria are claiming that more than 1200 people evacuating suburbs south of Damascus have been attacked and held by regime forces, supported by an Iraqi militia.
The LCC said the evacuees were on the Yalda-Hajeira road, when all the men were arrested and women were abused and robbed of their documents of identity.
Sources confirm that some evacuees have been killed and injured:
Footage, posted on Saturday, of people trying to leave Yalda:
Insurgents: Islamic State of Iraq Killed Up to 38 Prisoners in Harem in Idlib Province
Video has been posted to support a claim by insurgents that the Islamic State of Iraq and as-Sham killed up to 38 prisoners as it withdrew from Harem in Idlib Province.
Opposition sources claim that many of the detainees belonged to insurgent groups.
Freed Turkish Photojournalist: “Islamic Front Saved Me From ISIS”
Turkish photojournalist Bunyamin Aygun, freed on Sunday from a two-month abduction in Syria, has credited a key group in the Islamic Front with his release.
Aygun, who works for the Turkish daily Milliyet, said he was kidnapped by the Islamic State of Syria and as-Sham. He appears to have been freed as insurgents hit back at ISIS across northern Syria:
Ahrar al-Sham group [a member of the Islamic Front] has saved me today.
After the Turkish Foreign Ministry stepped in, the group has put important pressure on the ones in the house they [ISIS] was holding me. They also captured the ones who hold me captive.
Opposition Coalition Re-Elects Jarba as Head
The Syrian National Coalition elected Ahmad al-Jarba to his second sixth-month term on Sunday.
In a General Assembly meeting in Istanbul, al-Jarba won 65-52 against former Syrian Prime Minister Riad Hijab.