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Entries in Al Farouk Brigade (4)


Syria Analysis: A New Insurgent Alliance --- With New Weapons --- Is Changing the War 

Rebel fighters gather men and firepower, including a Yugoslavian M-60 recoilless rifle, to attack the Hamidiyah base near Ma'arrat al Nouman.

Yesterday's dramatic news was the insurgency['s capture of an airbase, complete with working fighter jets, in Aleppo Province and the assault against the largest Assad base in the north, near Aleppo International Airport.

This surge is at least partially the result of new weapons and new organisation of insurgency groups in Daraa and Damascus, with ample evidence that the boost in arms is courtesy of foreign powers.

Now a new piece of evidence bolsters the assessment that these weapons are coming from outside Syria, and also gives insight into the modified organisation of insurgent groups. Eliot Higgins presents this video:

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US Politics Opinion: A Few Things the Foreign Policy Debate Will Get Wrong

Many things will likely be talked about at today's debate. While there will be plenty of fact-checking and analysis in the coming days, there will be a few misconceptions spread, awkward truths ignored, and key concepts that one or both candidates are going to get wrong tonight.

Below is a real brief list:

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Syria Feature: A Beginner's Guide --- Who is Arming Whom? (Chulov)

Russia has retained its historical role as the key weapons supplier to Bashar al-Assad's regime over the past 18 months. It is believed to have sent at least three shipments of heavy ammunition to the jointly run port of Tartous in northern Syria. Other Russian supplies are thought to have been flown in.

In late September, Russian envoys around the world were summoned to Moscow for an annual gathering. One ambassador present said the unexpected presence of Soviet hardliners, including Yevgeny Primakov, meant no imminent change in Russia's support, or let-up in weapons supplies.

Moscow has refurbished Syrian attack helicopters, but has been unable to deliver some of them after interference from western Europe.

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Syria Video Special: Free Syrian Army Captures "Iranian Soldiers"

UPDATE 1705 GMT: The Iranians in Syria. Press TV claims, from "a tribal figure in northern Lebanon", that five Iranians --- engineers, according to Tehran; soldiers, according to the Free Syria Army, who seized the men --- have been moved to the area.

Press TV does not indicate if two other Iranians, who were seized when they tried to obtain information about the missing men, have also been relocated.

The Al Farouk Brigade, which claims to hold the five Iranians and put them on a video which was released last week, is based in Homs, near where the men were abducted.

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