Results tagged “Syria”
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Regime barrel bombing continued in Aleppo, killing 13 more civilians; barrel bombs were also dropped in the border city of Azaz, killing 15 people. The Islamic State of Iraq and the Sham, the Al Nusrah Front, and other Islamist forces battled regime troops in Aleppo, and rockets were fired by rebels at the Palace of Justice. President Assad claimed that Syria is facing a major offensive by Islamist extremists. Russia has sent 75 trucks to Syria to help with the removal of chemical weapons.
The Islamic State of Iraq and the Sham kidnapped at least 50 Syrian Kurdish civilians from a road near Khan al Asal. The rebel Liwa' al-Salajika group kidnapped seven civilians, including women, from a Kurdish village near al Bab city on Dec. 20. ISIS also kidnapped over 170 Kurdish civilians earlier this month. A truck bomb in a Shia town in Homs killed at least 12 civilians, including children. Regime barrel bombs in Aleppo reportedly killed 44 civilians, including children. The Red Crescent brought food into Aleppo Central Prison and took out seven inmates whose terms were finished. Kurdish YPG forces clashed with ISIS in Aleppo near Kobani city. Rebels launched rockets into the Shia towns of Nubul and Zahra.
The Al Nusrah Front carried out two suicide car bombings outside the al-Kandi hospital in Aleppo city. Islamists and al Qaeda-linked groups took over the hospital, which is near Aleppo Central Prison. Three Hezbollah fighters were killed in clashes with Al Nusrah, the Islamic State of Iraq and the Sham, and Islamic battalions in Reef Dimashq. Syria's prime minister blamed Lebanon for facilitating the entry of rebels into Syria, and credited Hezbollah with helping to prevent some of the terrorist activity along the border, particularly in Qusayr. Syrian National Coalition president Ahmed Al-Jarbat said Syrian Kurds would participate in Geneva II with two delegations, one with the opposition and the other with the regime.
Amnesty International released a report alleging that the Islamic State of Iraq and the Sham operates seven detention centers in Raqqah and Aleppo where civilians, including children, are flogged, tortured, and murdered. The rights group also called on Turkey to "prevent its territory being used by ISIS to bring in arms and recruits to Syria." A suicide bomber detonated in Deir Izzour, and gunmen killed a Kurdish intervention force commander in the Dulab al-Uweis area. The UK offered to help destroy Syria's chemical weapons.
In what was said to be his first-ever media interview, Abu Mohammed al Julani, the leader of the Al Nusrah Front, claimed that his fighters have now won 70 percent of the battle, and that the conflict will soon be over. Julani said the group was fighting to establish an Islamic state under sharia in Syria. He also said that Al Nusrah "rebuke[s] those who go to extremes in declaring takfir of people," distancing the group from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Sham, and claimed that the Syrian National Coalition has "no presence on the ground." Syria's deputy foreign minister said no one should dictate whether Assad can run for re-election; Russia's deputy foreign minister cautioned that all sides should avoid fanning tensions before the Geneva II talks.
US Ambassador Robert Ford said the Islamic Front flatly turned down the US' request for talks; Ford added that the US is "ready to sit with them because we talk to all parties and political groups in Syria." The Assad regime called the US offer "reprehensible" as the Islamic Front "agrees in principle, strategy, and goals with" the Al Nusrah Front, a US-designated terrorist group. Saudi Arabia signaled that it will 'go it alone' in Syria given the West's reluctance to arm the rebels. Five rebel fighters in Idlib were killed on Dec. 16 by the premature detonation of a car bomb they were assembling. The Moroccan jihadist group Sham al-Islam released a video showing its fighters participating in a raid on Aleppo Central Prison. The UN condemned recent attacks on UN peacekeepers in the Golan Heights by Syrians, blaming both opposition fighters and regime troops.