Syria: Jihadist Rebels Execute 10 Soldiers

October 19, 2013  

Syrian jihadists on Friday executed 10 soldiers in the eastern city of Deir Ezzor during fierce clashes, AFP reports.

The jihadist rebels who carried out the executions are members of Al-Nusra Front, which has pledged allegiance to Al-Qaeda.

“Clashes took place overnight between rebels and regime forces in several neighborhoods in the city of Deir Ezzor,” the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said, according to AFP.

The Britain-based group also reported regime air strikes on the city of Deir Ezzor, which lies in the eastern province of the same name, on Friday morning.

The strikes left people wounded and destroyed several houses, the Observatory said.

The group, which relies on a network of activists, doctors and lawyers on the ground, said initial reports suggested rebels had taken an area near the Rashdiya district that had been under government control.

“Fighters from the Al-Nusra Front executed 10 soldiers from the regime forces after they captured them following clashes in Rashdiya,” the Observatory said.

The executions come a day after Syrian rebels killed a top intelligence officer in the same region.

“Major General Jamaa Jamaa was martyred while carrying out his national duties to defend Syria and its people and pursuing terrorists in Deir Ezzor,” state television said.

Jamaa was head of military intelligence in the province, where the regime has been battling armed opposition fighters seeking to overthrow President Bashar Al-Assad.

Fighting also continued in the Aleppo province, where the Observatory said that dozens of people were killed.

The deaths include 12 Kurds killed by regime shelling in the town of Tal-Aran, where nine people died the same way on Thursday.

The town lies on a strategic route between Aleppo city and Sfeirah, a town under rebel control near a military base where the regime is believed to store some of its chemical arsenal.

Elsewhere in the province, the Observatory said at least 20 regime troops and seven rebels were killed after opposition forces attacked an air defense base southwest of Aleppo city.

Since July last year, Aleppo’s east district has been held by the rebels, and the west has been held by forces loyal to Assad.

The 13-member Islamic Front for the Liberation of Syria, which split off from the Syrian National Council opposition force, declared Aleppo to be an independent Islamist state months ago.

Earlier this week, Syrian rebels assaulted the regime-controlled central prison in Aleppo.

As the fighting goes on, the West led by the U.S. and Russia is continuing to push for peace talks in Geneva between the Syrian regime and the rebels.

Syrian Deputy Prime Minister Qadri Jamil said on Thursday that the international conference aimed at seeking an end to the country’s civil war is scheduled to be held between November 23-24. The question remains, however, whether the regime will find anyone to talk to at that conference.

The cracks among the rebels fighting Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad have deepened. Several days ago, a key group within the opposition Syrian National Coalition said it would not attend proposed peace talks in Geneva and would quit the Coalition if it participated.

The president of the Syrian National Council, the biggest member of the opposition Coalition, said that it was impossible to carry out negotiations given the suffering of people on the ground.

To make matters worse, on Wednesday 70 groups of rebels in southern Syria said that the National Coalition had “failed” and announced they no longer recognize the Western-backed group.

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