Results tagged “Syria”
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Al Qaeda emir Ayman al Zawahiri issued a statement calling Muslims to fight for the establishment of a jihadi Islamic state in Syria, in order to bring back the Caliphate and "liberate" Jerusalem; he warned against dealing with secularists and American agents, and urged jihadists to rise above "organizational affiliations and partisan prejudices." He issued a similar call in June. After three days of clashes between the Islamic State of Iraq and the Sham and the Free Syrian Army's Abail brigade in Aleppo, ISIL has taken over several neighborhoods; some 50 fighters have been killed. Regime forces aided by NDF, Hezbollah, and Shia militias clashed with rebels in Reef Dimashq. Rebel mortars landed near the Agriculture Ministry and a school in central Damascus, killing a child. A strategist for the Syrian National Coalition said the awarding of the Nobel Peace Prize to the OPCW was premature.
Human Rights Watch reported that Syrian rebels led by al Qaeda affiliates the Al Nusrah Front and the Islamic State of Iraq and the Sham committed numerous atrocities in Latakia in August, including the taking of over 200 civilian hostages, mainly women and children, who still have not been released. The OPCW, which is undertaking the disposal of Syria's chemical weapons, was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. Regime airstrikes targeted rebel-held areas in Safira controlled by the Al Nusrah Front and ISIS, in an effort to regain the town and retain control of the Safira military complex, which contains chemical weapon facilities. The presence of the Islamist fighters is said to obstruct OPCW access to the complex. ISIS took over three neighborhoods in Aleppo. Islamic chants were imposed in schools in Aleppo's al-Bab city.
A senior member of OPCW said the agency has been told that "most" of the sites and facilities it needs to inspect are under regime control. The head of the OPCW called for "temporary ceasefires" between regime and rebel forces so that the chemical weapons teams can have access to all sites. Scores were killed in clashes between rebels and regime forces south of Damascus. Rebels seized the Hajanah military post on the Jordanian border near Deraa after a two-month seige, and now control border territory from outside Deraa to the edge of the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights. Islamist forces recently claimed to have killed over 70 regime fighters in Deraa, in a battle in which the "general emir and the military emir" of Deraa also died. A son of the head of the Kurdish PYD was killed in clashes with the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant in Raqqah. Rebel shelling in Homs set fire to one of Syria's two main oil refineries.
US intelligence sources said up to 35 percent of the Syrian rebel force consists of al Qaeda and allies, and that as many as 500 foreign jihadists arrive in Syria every month. A member of the Supreme Military Council said most of the support from Arab and Western countries ends up going to the Al Nusrah Front. In Aleppo, the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant launched rockets at Efrin city and detained three citizens of Azaz, which it has taken over. ISIL clashed with a rebel group in Raqqah, seizing its base and several of its members. Regime airstrikes in Idlib attempted to repel an assault on two military bases by rebel forces that include Islamist groups. Regime sources said a Saudi officer in the Al Nusrah Front was killed near Aleppo in September. The OCPW has deployed a second team of experts to continue with the disposal of Syria's chemical weapons.
The opposition Syrian National Coalition said it would not participate in Geneva II peace talks unless Hezbollah leaves Syria and the talks are not mediated by Iran; the SNC also said it would not talk with the Assad regime. The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant clashed with a tribal group in Raqqah. The Al Nusrah Front, ISIL, and rebel fighters control al-Shdadi city in Hasakah. Rebels along with the largely Libyan al-Umma brigade are fighting regime forces in Idlib. Kurdish YPG forces clashed with ISIL and rebel fighters in Aleppo. ISIL claimed a three-man suicide attack on Sept. 19 against Kurdish forces in Irbil. The Al Nusrah Front claimed attacks in Aleppo on Sept. 29 and Oct. 1, and a joint assault with Ahrar al Sham in Deraa on Sept. 30 that involved a suicide bomber and allegedly killed over 70 people.
The eradication of Syria's chemical weapons arsenal has begun, with the destruction of missile warheads, aerial bombs, and mobile and static mixing and filling units; the OPCW said work will continue for the next few days. UN Arab League peace envoy Brahimi called for peace talks "without pre-conditions" in November. Kurdish YPG fighters in Aleppo clashed with fighters from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, who were supported by rebel fighters. Grad rockets were launched by rebel forces at the Hama military airport. YPG fighters continued to clash with the Al Nusrah Front, ISIL, and rebel forces in Hasakah. A rebel battalion and four rebel brigades established Tajamo' Amjad al-Islam ("gathering of Islamic glories") in Damascus and Reef Dimashq in order to increase unity among fighters.