Al Qaeda Rebels Kill Free Syrian Army Commander

Assassination triggers third front in Syrian civil war

A key commander of the U.S.-backed Free Syrian Army was killed recently by Syria’s al Qaeda rebels, a sign the opposition to the Bashar al-Assad regime is fracturing and Islamist rebels are on the rise.

Kamal Hamami, the FSA commander, was killed as he went to a meeting of al Qaeda-backed rebels to discuss joint operations against the Syrian army, a U.S. official said, confirming Middle East press reports. Continue reading

Russia Docks Warships in Syria as NATO Arms Turkey

Russian warships docked at a naval base in Syria, according to reports on Wednesday, further separating Moscow from Western actions in the war-torn country.

The two ships made a rare call at the port in Tartus, Russia’s only remaining international military base since the Soviet Union collapsed, according to AFP and Interfax reports. Russian authorities claim the stop was only to load fuel and water and make “minor repairs.” This is the second time the Russian Navy has raised eyebrows in recent weeks, following reports that it docked warships off the coast of Gaza in late November, during the height of the fighting there with Israel. Continue reading