MonitorsPublished on Oct 31, 2013
Kurdish militants in Syria seized a border crossing with Iraq from Islamist rebels linked to al-Qaeda which had held the crossing since March, according to activists and an Iraqi official.
Kurdish militants take control of border crossing
< class="text1" align="justify">Syria

Kurdish militants in Syria seized a border crossing with Iraq from Islamist rebels linked to al-Qaeda which had held the crossing since March, according to activists and an Iraqi official.

The Yaarabiya post was captured in northeast Syria after days of clashes with several rebel groups. The clashes have left fighters dead on both sides according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

The post had been under Iraqi control till March when it was seized by Islamist forces.
< class="text11verdana">Source: Reuters, 26 October 2013; Al Jazeera, 27 October 2013; Reuters, 28 October 2013

< class="heading12boldGeorgia">Syrian rebels reject Geneva peace talks

The main Syrian rebel groups have announced their opposition to the Geneva 2 international peace conference if it does not result in the removal of President Bashar al-Assad. They are pressurising the political opposition to not attend, calling negotiation with the Assad government an act of betrayal.

The declaration was signed by 22, mostly Islamist, brigades. Several officials have said that the conference can be expected to take place on November 23 in Geneva. The United States, Russia and the United Nations, however, have said that no date has been officially set.
< class="text11verdana">Source: Al Jazeera, 27 October 2013; Reuters, 28 October 2013.

< class="heading12boldGeorgia">Rebels attack gas pipeline in Syria

Large parts of Syria were affected by a power cut after rebels attacked a gas pipeline. "A terrorist attack on a gas pipeline that feeds a power station in the south has led to a power outage in the provinces and work to repair it is in progress," Electricity Minister Emad Khamis told the state news agency, SANA.
< class="text11verdana">Source: Reuters, 24 October 2013.

< class="heading12boldGeorgia">Intelligence General killed in battle

General Jama’a Jama’a was shot dead by snipers during a battle with rebels including forces linked to Al Qaeda according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. His death was celebrated by rebels and opposition activists.

The death of one of President Bashar al ?Assad’s top military intelligence officers was followed by Syrian air force jets bombarding the eastern city of Deir al-Zor. Dozens on both sides have been killed this week in heavy fighting around the region.
< class="text11verdana">Source: Reuters, 18 October 2013.

< class="heading12boldGeorgia">Iranian President supports elections in Syria

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has supported free elections in Syrian with the participation of the entire Syrian population. He has affirmed that Syria’s destiny should be determined by the Syrian people.

He emphasised that a political solution is the best way to end the violence in the country and that Iran will spare no effort to help end the crisis.
< class="text11verdana">Source: Syrian Arab News Agency, 27 October 2013.

< class="heading12boldGeorgia">Syria submits plan to destroy chemical weapons

Syria submitted a detailed plan for the destruction of its chemical weapons stockpile according to the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW).
< class="text11verdana">Source: Syrian Arab News Agency, 27 October 2013.

Saudi Arabia
< class="heading12boldGeorgia">Saudi Arabia threatens rift with USA

Members of Saudi Arabia’s ruling family are threatening a rift with the United States of America because of disagreement with President Obama’s policies on Iran and Syria.

Saudi Arabia’s intelligence chief is stating that the kingdom will make a "major shift" in relations with the United States to protest what it perceives as America’s inaction over the Syrian civil war as well as the recent thaw in relations between the US and Iran.
< class="text11verdana">Source: Reuters, 23 October 2013.

< class="heading12boldGeorgia">Arab League chief supports Saudi rejection of UNSC seat

Nabil al-Arabi, the Arab League chief, has backed Saudi Arabia’s rejection of a seat on the United Nations Security Council. He said that the UN has failed its responsibility to the Arab world.

Egypt has also supported the decision.
< class="text11verdana">Source: Al Arabiya English, 20 October 2013; Reuters, 21 October 2013.

< class="heading12boldGeorgia">Iran continues 20% uranium enrichment

Senior Iranian lawmaker Alaeddin Boroujerdi has said that Iran is continuing to enrich uranium to the 20 percent purity level. The nuclear energy activities of the country are continuing at the Fordow nuclear facility.

He also said that the closure of this facility is one of the country’s redlines at the nuclear talks with the 5+1 world powers in Geneva, Switzerland on November 7-8.
< class="text11verdana">Source: Press TV, 26 October 2013; Press TV, 27 October 2013

< class="heading12boldGeorgia">Jaish-ul-Adl terrorist group responsible for deadly attack

The Pakistan-based Jaish-ul-Adl terrorist group is responsible for the recent attack on Iranian border guards according to Iran’s Border Police Commander Brigadier General Hossein Zolfaqari.

Fourteen Iranian border guards were killed and three others were wounded in a conflict with terrorists in the border region of Saravam in southeastern province of Sustan and Baluchestan in Iran on October 25.
< class="text11verdana">Source: Press TV, 29 October 2013.

< class="heading12boldGeorgia">Iran, IAEA hold talks

Iran and the International Atomic Energy Agency are holding talks that Iran’s ambassador to the IAEA says are "serious and progressive". Reza Najafi is heading the Iranian delegation while IAEA Deputy Director General and Head of the Department of Safeguards Herman Nackaerts leads the IAEA team.
< class="text11verdana">Source: Press TV, 29 October 2013.

< class="heading12boldGeorgia">Brahimi says Iran must participate in Geneva 2

UN Envoy to Syria, Lakhdar Brahimi, has requested everybody to work towards resolving the crisis in Syria peacefully. He also called Iran’s participation in the upcoming Geneva 2 conference "necessary and natural".

He said that the atrocities in Syria can stop only with an end to the crisis as a whole.
< class="text11verdana">Source: Syrian Arab News Agency, 26 October 2013.

< class="heading12boldGeorgia">Israel resumes cooperation with UNHRC

Israel will end its one and a half year boycott of the United Nations’ Human Rights Council by renewing its cooperation, according to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Israel will take part in the periodical hearing regarding human rights in Geneva.

This decision has been taken in light of pressure applied by the governments of USA and Germany.
< class="text11verdana">Source: Haaretz, 27 October 2013

< class="heading12boldGeorgia">Israel approves release of 26 Palestinian prisoners

Israel has approved the release of 26 Palestinian prisoners, the second group of four to be released as part of the agreement to renew negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority.

This decision has led to protests by thousands of Israelis outside the Ofer detention centre in the West Bank.
< class="text11verdana">Source: Haaretz, 27 October 2013; Haaretz, 28 October 2013.

(Prepared by Taruni Kumar, Research Intern, Observer Research Foundation, Delhi)

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