TODAY’S MESOP SYRIA INSIGHT – KERRY’S TURN : ISLAMISTS OUT – HEZBOLLAH & IRAN IN
Fighting has continued Monday between Syrian rebel groups in the northern Idlib and Aleppo provinces. Clashes were sparked on Friday after residents accused ISIL militants of killing a popular doctor. According to opposition activists, ISIL began pulling out from al-Dana and Atma in Idlib province Sunday, as fighters from al-Nusra Front and Ahrar al-Sham entered. Fighting between ISIL fighters and brigades from the Islamic Front spread into Raqqa and Tal Abyad Sunday night. In Aleppo, ISIL forces threatened to leave the city to government forces unless rival fighters stop their attacks. Meanwhile, the opposition Syrian National Council said it would not participate in the Geneva II peace conference set to begin in Switzerland on January 22, claiming the Assad regime has not been committed to the goals of the original Geneva talks.