Results tagged “Syria”
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Al Qaeda emir Ayman al Zawahiri issued an audio statement urging jihadist groups in Syria to avoid "partisan fanaticism" and focus on their common enemies, to submit themselves to a shared sharia court with enforcement powers, and to feel free to name a leader for themselves. An opposition activist group claimed that 1,400 people have been killed in clashes between the Islamic State of Iraq and the Sham and rebel forces over the past month. US Secretary of State Kerry called President Assad "the single biggest magnet for terrorists" and said Hezbollah is the "principal difference" in the current fighting in Syria. The Al Nusrah Front claimed two bombings in Hama and a rocket attack in Idlib.
In Reef Dimashq near the town of Sahem, regime forces, including Hezbollah, battled the Islamic State of Iraq and the Sham, the Al Nusrah Front, Islamic battalion fighters, and rebels. In Aleppo province, the ISIS took over much of Menbej city and clashed with rebel and Islamic battalions in Azaz city and al Bab, and Al Nusrah fought against regime forces in southern Aleppo. ISIS fighters in Idlib vowed to avenge the death of a Saudi preacher who had been killed and dragged through the streets of Saraqeb by rebels. Assad regime and opposition figures traded accusations on the opening day of the Geneva II talks, but a UN mediator said both sides might discuss prisoner swaps, local ceasefires, and access to humanitarian aid. US Secretary of State Kerry said the Syrian conflict could not be resolved while Assad was in power; the Syrian Foreign Minister Mouallem disagreed and accused the West of "fight[ing] terrorism while they feed it secretly."
Three Islamist fighting groups, including the large Islamic Front coalition as well as the Islamic Union of the Soldiers of al-Sham and the Army of the Mujahideen, issued a statement yesterday rejecting the Geneva II talks and vowing to fight on; they also thanked Turkey and Qatar for their support. In an effort to combat the Islamic State of Iraq and the Sham, the US, Saudi Arabia, and Qatar have reportedly been funneling cash and weapons to rebel groups, including the Syrian Revolutionary Front and the Army of Islam. Five ISIS fighters were killed in clashes with regime forces in al Balat in Aleppo; ISIS fighters reportedly refused command orders to pull back and go to Menbej city, where earlier ISIS clashed with Islamic battalion fighters. ISIS closed educational institutions in Raqqah city and took over the western part of the 17th division in Raqqah province. A senior Russian official said the first round of Geneva II talks between Syria and the opposition will last seven to 10 days. Two months after declaring self-rule in parts of the northeast, Syrian Kurds formed a municipal council in Jazeera in Hasakah, and announced plans to do the same in Afrin and Kobani.
The Islamic State of Iraq and the Sham has imposed a harsh version of Islam throughout Raqqah city and destroyed shrines in a mosque; the ISIS issued four decrees for Syrians in areas under its control in Raqqah province. ISIS took over the al Jarah military airport in Aleppo from an Islamic movement, and clashed with Islamic and rebel battalions outside Menbej city. Regime forces battled the Al Nusrah Front and an Islamic battalion in Deir Izzour. Regime forces killed at least 15 Islamic battalion fighters in Reef Dimashq yesterday. Three car bombs detonated in Aleppo and Idlib. State media claimed that regime forces killed a number of Islamic Front fighters in Adra, clashed with Al Nusrah in Deir Izzour, and killed Al Nusrah commanders Ziad Abu al-Qaqa'a and Abu al-Yaman al-Jaza'ri in Idlib. President Assad claimed that extremist terrorists have wiped out the Free Syrian Army over the past few months, and that some opposition groups were recently created by foreign intelligence agencies. Rebel activists and Western intelligence agencies accused the Assad regime of using al Qaeda forces to gain an advantage in the civil war; and a recent Qatar-funded report appears to detail the systematic abuse and killing of thousands of detainees by the regime.