France has signed a deal to sell $3 billion worth of military equipment to Beirut — paid for by Saudi Arabia: http://bit.ly/13hqrXc
BREAKING: #Turkish foreign minister says training and equipping of #Syrian opposition fighters may begin before March
A controversial draft law that curbs freedoms of expression and assembly has been resubmitted to the Iraqi parliament http://almon.co/2bkz
The Syrian government is expressing its concerns on the irregular supply of Iranian oil - http://almon.co/2bla
Oil Companies pledges to continue support and partnership with #KRG - #BasNews http://basnews.com/en/economy/2014/12/19/oil-companies-pledges-to-continue-support-and-partnership-with-krg/ … via @EnglishBasNews
#KRG to Export Close to 1M Barrels of Oil to #Turkey next Year - #BasNews http://basnews.com/en/economy/2014/12/19/krg-to-export-close-to-1m-barrels-of-oil-to-turkey-next-year/ … via @EnglishBasNews
Prime Minister Barzani Visits #Turkey - #BasNews http://basnews.com/en/news/2014/12/18/prime-minister-barzani-visits-turkey/ … via @EnglishBasNews
Turkish central bank injects 24 billion lira in repo, bids 46.5 bln http://english.alarabiya.net/en/business/banking-and-finance/2014/12/19/Turkish-central-bank-injects-24-billion-lira-in-repo-bids-46-5-bln.html …
Kuwait court jails three ISIS supporters http://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2014/12/19/Kuwait-court-jails-three-ISIS-supporters-.html …
Syria Deeply retweeted
[EXCLUSIVE] An influential, unpublished report looks to radically revise notions of how to achieve peace in Syria. http://atfp.co/1z1I2eX
INTERVIEW: @NoahBonsey talks Nusra, Ahrar and impact of US strikes on #Syria's jihadists http://syriadirect.org/main/36-interviews/1762-noah-bonsey-nusra-s-has-gained-strength-since-us-led-strikes-beganfor-more-from-syria-direct-like-us-on-facebook-or-follow-us-on-twitter … cc @aron_ld @joshua_landis
Amman // A fragile truce was holding on Syria’s southern front on Tuesday after Jabhat Al Nusra killed a senior commander in a western-backed rebel group, accusing his faction of being sleeper agents for ISIL.
Mousab Ali Qarfan, who also went by the name Mousab Zaytouneh, was a leading figure in the powerful Shuhada Al Yarmouk Brigades. He was killed by the Al Qaeda-affiliated Nusra in Sahem El Golan, along with three other fighters from his group, on Monday.
The Yarmouk Brigades are part of the western-affiliated rebel alliance, still commonly referred to as the Free Syrian Army (FSA), which have been supported by the Military Operations Command (MOC) in Amman.
According to opposition sources monitoring Al Nusra, and information published on social media by activists close to the Al Qaeda affiliate, senior Al Nusra commanders believed Zaytouneh was secretly in league with the extremist militant group ISIL.
The Yarmouk Brigades are headed by Mohammad Al Baridi, known as Al Khal. They operate in southern Syria, including suburbs of Damascus. The unit headed by Zaytouneh operates in the south-west region of Deraa province, near the borders with Jordan and Israel.
There have been persistent rumours in rebel circles that various FSA brigades have secretly aligned themselves with ISIL, although none have been publicly named.
Moderate rebel commanders on the southern front denied the allegations about Al Khal, some saying the killing was part of an effort by Al Nusra to weaken a strong moderate rebel front.
Others said the claims of an ISIL connection were part of a psychological warfare programme by forces loyal to President Bashar Al Assad, seeking to divide and weaken rebels as they make steady advances in the south.
Rebel commanders and activists in southern Syria said the situation was tense on Tuesday night, with fears moderate factions and Nusra were on the brink of war, fracturing what has been one of the most coherent fronts against Assad forces.