Heavy casualties in Qalamoun
Racha Abi Haidar

The Syrian army and Hezbollah are in a state of alert and readiness in Qalamoun and its surroundings, especially the regions of al-Jebbah and Assal al-Ward in the northern countryside around Damascus after the fierce attack launched by militant groups led by the emir of Jabhat al-Nusra in Qalamoun, Abu Malik Talli, a few days ago.
The signs of the battles are still apparent; the bodies of insurgents lay on the ground, covered with sand, at the entrance Assal al-Ward, along with destroyed military equipment. Dense apple orchards spread out both sides of the road in Assal al-Ward — known for its apples — separating the road leading to one of the most important military points between al-Jebbah and Assal al-Ward. The point reached by As-Safir is a dangerous front line, especially since the region has witnessed heavy fighting and may be attacked at any time. The Syrian army and the (pro-regime) resistance fighters are deployed here overlooking militants infiltration points. From here the scene of the attack is clearer. This point has contributed significantly to the direct hits in the militants' ranks, in a fierce battle that lasted from the early morning until night. This battle benefited from heavy fire support — through the use of all kinds of missiles including TOW, Cornet and Concourse, in addition to the artillery rockets. The sounds of artillery shelling targeting militants deployed in the barren lands could be heard from other sites.

Salih Muslim calls for action to avoid Kobani 'slaughter'
Wassim Ibrahim

The Syrian Kurds are currently facing a life-or-death battle against the Islamic State (IS). Their city, Ayn al-Arab (Kobani), awaits “a new massacre,” unless a change is brought about, according to Salih Muslim, leader of the [Syrian Kurdish] Democratic Union Party (PYD). Muslim has been shocked by the international silence concerning the plight of Kurds in Syria.
In an interview with As-Safir, he expressed concern that IS is too free to use its heavy weapons to besiege their city, which is already encircled by Turkey. In his opinion, it’s ironic that IS is besieging them thanks to US weapons, while the latter is leading an international coalition against IS, without aiming to lift the blockade. These doubts culminated with Turkey's quest to establish a buffer zone that will be fought by the PYD, believing it to be an occupation.
In a press conference at the European Parliament on Wednesday [Sept. 24], Muslim made a distress call. The experienced Syrian oppositionist did not get nervous. He remained calm and logical, even though he was witnessing the doom of his hometown.
The besieged Kurds were supposed to take a deep relaxing breath with the international coalition’s airstrikes. The PYD has welcomed them, but has questioned why IS forces besieging Kobani have not been bombed. The PYD has openly offered to be a backup force for the operations against the international “enemy,” since hard work is underway to find parallel ground forces, yet there has been no response to the offer.

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