LATEST: Turkish President Erdoğan: Still No Agreement With US on Safe Havens and No-Fly Zone

Visiting Tehran, Syria’s Foreign Minister Walid al-Moallem has offered “thanks and gratitude” to Iran’s Supreme Leader.

Iran’s political, economic, and military support has been increasingly important in propping up the Assad regime amid the 45-month Syrian conflict.

Moallem was speaking at a press conference with his Iranian counterpart Mohammad Javad Zarif, in which both men condemned Israeli airstrikes near Damascus International Airport and on a town near the Lebanese border.

The two men also “stressed that efforts will continue with the friendly countries to come to finding a political solution to the crisis in Syria”, saying it “should be based on dialogue among the Syrians without any foreign intervention”.

Moallem then put out a warning to the US and other countries:

We are facing a conspiracy whose parties rudely go on with their conspiring being led as sheep by the US and some European states and other known countries in the region such as Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar.

Those have still not grasped that by conspiring against Syria, they are actually driving terrorism into their very countries.Whether they know it or not, they stand in one trench along with Israel.

Turkish President Erdoğan: Still No Agreement With US on Safe Havens and No-Fly Zone

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has said Ankara and the US are “on the same page” about equipping and training “moderate” Syrian insurgents, but differences remain over safe havens and a no-fly zone and safe zone issues, preventing an agreement.

“No commitment has yet been given by the coalition powers, particularly about a no-fly zone and safe zone,” Erdoğan told reporters. “This is an issue being negotiated between our delegations. There seems to be a consensus in the equip-train [program], but unfortunately there has been no consensus over the two other issues yet.”

Erdoğan said, “Where the train-equip is or will be held has been determined between the parties and the program will start at these set locations when a full consensus is reached.”

Turkey has proposed safe havens in northwest Syria, offering ground troops for security if the US will agree to prevention of Syrian regime overflights.

Video: Fighting as Regime Tries to Close Off Northeastern Route to Insurgents in Aleppo

Footage of clashes in the Bureij area northeast of Aleppo, as regime forces try to close off a key route to insurgents in the eastern half of Syria’s largest city:

3 Journalists Killed By Regime Bombings of Sheikh Maskin, South of Damascus

Three journalists, working for the pro-opposition satellite channel Orient News, have been killed in regime bombardment of the town of Sheikh Maskin in Daraa Province.

Reporters Yousef al-Dayous and Rami Aassmi (Reporter) and cameraman Salem al-Khalil (Cameraman), were covering ongoing clashes for Sheikh Maskin, on the main highway between Damascus and the Jordanian border.

Photo: Islamic State Publicly Executes Man in Raqqa

The Islamic State executes a man in Raqqa in northern Syria, for allegedly cursing the Prophet Mohammad:


Largest Insurgent Bloc Meets With UN Envoy About Proposed “Freeze” for Aleppo

Syria’s largest insurgent bloc, the Revolutionary Command Council, has met with UN envoy Staffan de Mistura.

The Council said its chairman and another leader of the RCC met with de Mistura in Gaziantep in southeastern Turkey after the envoy requested the discussion.

The RCC said de Mistura “presented his initiative” for a “freeze” to the fighting in Aleppo, divided between the regime and opposition since July 2012, to allow humanitarian aid and open space for a political resolution.

The Council emphasized, “Just by meeting does not mean in any sort of way that the RCC agreed with this initiative.” It said there would be further discussion by members to “decide on a suitable position”.

It concluded, “The RCC is holding fast to the foundations of the revolution which was announced in our charter. The foremost is the fall of the regime and the refusal of any solution that does not meet this goal.”

The Council was organized in late November by 72 factions, including leading groups in the Islamic Front and elements of the Free Syrian Army.