Protest in Kafranbel on Friday
"This is the 28th day the criminal [President Bahsar] al-Assad forces have attempted to break into the town," a statement claimed. “Daraya remains isolated from the outside world due to a communications and power cut for the past 37 days. With ongoing fuel cuts, there is an urgent need for supplies to be restored as winter sets in."
Al-Moallem called on the UN to condemn the sanctions and work toward lifting them.
Two weeks ago an alliance of FSA units, including fighters from the al-Tawhid brigade, and jihadists, fought with Kurdish militias in the town of Ras el Ain. They pushed the Kurds from the border crossing with Turkey.
In other parts of Syria, however, Kurds and Arabs co-exist in harmony. Qabbasin, north of Aleppo, is a model of inter-ethnic co-operation. The town has a permanent population of 18,000, split equally between Arabs and Kurds. The flag of Kurdistan – red, white, green with an orange sun in the middle – hangs in the town square next to the Syrian rebel tricolour. The walls of the local council office were repainted last week with friendly slogans in Kurdish and Arabic: "Kurd-Arab one heart."
"We are brothers," the Kurdish mayor Bashar Muslim said, pointing out that his deputy is an Arab. "There are no differences between us." But what about the violent clashes in Ifrin, Ras el Ain and Aleppo? These disputes began after Jabhat al-Nusra fighters erected checkpoints in Aleppo's al-Ashrafiya district; the Kurds, fearing that the regime would start shelling them, drove the jihadists out, with several killed. "It's nothing. We can sort it out," the mayor said.
0705 GMT: Friday’s protests illustrated the complexity of the politics and insurgency. Demonstrators had not only a message for the regime but also for the US, after its designation of the Islamist insurgents Jabhat al-Nusra as a global terrorist organisation, "The only terrorism in Syria is practiced by Assad." Supporters of the message argue that the US has a limited understanding both of the members of Jabhat al-Nusra and of attitudes towards it and that Washington, months late in providing aid to the insurgency, has brought "disdain and rejection" on itself.
Meanwhile, controversy swirled over the actions of both the insurgency and regime forces. Accounts continue to vary over who was responsible for the abuses and violence --- and how many people were slain --- in Aqrab early thi week. Footage circulated yesterday of an Islamist brigade of the Free Syrian Army burning a Shia mosque in Idlib Province.
The Local Coordination Committees claim 106 people were killed on Saturday, including 49 in Damascus and its suburbs and 21 in Idlib Province.