Results tagged “Syria”
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The first week of Geneva II talks ended with no progress. A rights organization accused the Assad regime of deliberately destroying thousands of homes in Damascus and Hama over the past two years. The mother of a British doctor who died in regime custody said regime officials admitted to killing him. The OPCW told the regime it must speed up the process of moving its chemical arsenal out of the country for disposal, which is already weeks behind schedule. UN food aid was distributed in the besieged Yarmouk camp for the second day in a row. The Islamic State of Iraq and the Sham issued a statement on Jan. 27 saying the cessation of jihadist infighting depends on the rejection of democracy and secularism and the adoption of sharia in Syria. The Al Nusrah Front released photos of its attack on an alleged Kurdistan Workers' Party village in Hasakah that involved a suicide bombing. A jihadist announced a campaign to hack 50 websites in order to garner support for ISIS; so far three Danish websites and an Egyptian site have been hacked to promote ISIS.
The Islamic State of the Sham clashed with Islamic battalions and rebels in Aleppo, and killed five regime forces in Damascus. Syrian officials said "certain security threats" have delayed the transfer of Syrian chemical weapons out of the country, according to the OPCW. At the Geneva II talks, the Assad regime presented a resolution that called on all states to "prevent and stop the funding of terrorist acts" and said every Syrian has a duty to drive terrorists out of Syria; the opposition rejected the resolution. US intelligence said al Qaeda emir Ayman al Zawahiri has not yet called on the Syrian branches to attack US targets, allowing them to focus on fighting the regime. The Al Nusrah Front claimed a joint assault with the Ajnad al-Sham Brigades in Hama that involved two suicide car bombers.
US intelligence estimates that over 7,000 foreign fighters from 50 countries are now fighting the Assad regime in Syria. Regime forces dropped barrel bombs on rebel-held areas of Aleppo, killing 13 people. Turkish forces attacked an Islamic State of Iraq and the Sham convoy in Syria near the border after ISIS opened fire on a border post yesterday. After four days of clashes with Kurdish YPG forces, fighters from ISIS, the Al Nusrah Front, and Islamic battalions withdrew from Al-Manajeer in Hasakah yesterday. ISIS blew up the Raqqah house of a regime forces member suspected of stealing. The Syrian National Coalition is being aided by Western media strategists. A top official in Ahrar al Sham and the Islamic Front criticized ISIS and its emir, Abu Bakr al Baghdadi.
An Al Nusrah Front suicide bomber killed 13 soldiers in an attack Rahjan, Hama, the ancestral home of Defense Minister al Freij. An Islamic judge for Al Nusrah, Turki al-Ashaari, was reportedly killed in Hama. A UN aid convoy to Homs stalled as the Syrian government demanded assurances that the aid did not go to "terrorists." The governor of Homs said the UN is negotiating with rebels to allow the evacuation of civilians from Homs; he also said the International Red Cross has been asked to help with the evacuation of a Dutch priest from the city. At least two senior Islamic State of Iraq and the Sham commanders have reportedly been captured by rebels in Aleppo, including an "emir" named Ahmad Jamal Nayef. ISIS reportedly flogged a teenager for not going to prayers. Syrian peace talks broke off for a day as the regime denounced the US' resumption of the supply of weapons and aid to the rebels.
The US is providing light arms, including antitank rockets, to "moderate" rebels in southern Syria. The US has also resumed the shipment of nonlethal aid, including vehicles and communications equipment, to Syrian rebels in the north, a month after shipments were suspended following the seizure of Free Syrian Army warehouses by Islamist rebels. A recent effort to unify jihadist ranks split by infighting with the Islamic State of Iraq and the Sham has temporarily stalled. ISIS raised its flag in Tal Abyad city in Raqqah. The Syrian opposition called the regime's offer to allow women and children to leave Homs a ploy. The second batch of Syria's chemical weapons left Syria from the port of Latakia. Israeli missiles reportedly struck warehouses in Latakia containing Russian S-300 missiles last night. Abdullah Suleiman Salih al-Dhabah a.k.a. Abu Ali al-Qasimi, an al Qaeda-linked jihadist on the Saudi Arabian list of most-wanted terrorists, was reported killed in Aleppo earlier this month. Haji Bakr a.k.a. Sameer Abid Mohammed al-Halefawi, a key ISIS official, is said to have been killed in a dispute between ISIS and rebel groups in Aleppo. A new study estimates that 11,000 non-Syrians are now fighting in the country, including 2,000 Muslims from Europe and the US, and that a significant number are expected to return home radicalized.