Results tagged “Syria”

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The US launched 14 air and cruise missile strikes against the Islamic State in Raqqah, Hasakah, and Dier al Zour, and eight more strikes against the Al Nusrah Front and the Khorasan Group near Aleppo. An Al Nusrah commander known as Abu Yusuf al Turki is reported to have been killed. More than 70 Islamic State and 50 Al Nusrah fighters and commanders, and eight civilians are reported to have been killed.

At least 18 Islamic State fighters, including one Chinese, were killed and five armored personnel carriers were destroyed by Kurdish forces in northern Syria, where the IS took over three more Kurdish villages, in addition to the over 60 villages already seized in the area. The IS executed 11 Kurds near Ayn al Arab, including two boys, and two other people in Manbej. Bombardment by the Lebanese Army in the Qalamoun wastelands killed 11 fighters from the Islamic Front and the Al Nusrah Front. Eleven Syrian officers and soldiers held captive by Al Nusrah begged for a prisoner exchange. The Brigade of Fallojet Horan clashed with Al Nusrah in Deraa.

The Islamic State is gaining ground in Aleppo province, where it has now captured 21 Kurdish villages in the north near the Turkish border, in an offensive that began in early July. Kurdish YPG forces defending the area claimed at the time that the IS had used chemical weapons against them. Regime airstrikes targeted IS-held areas of al Bab city in Aleppo, killing at least 15 people. The Al Nusrah Front and the Islamic Front continued to shell the Christian town of Maharde in Hama. Al Nusrah, the Islamic Front, Ansar al Din battalion, and rebels clashed with regime forces in Aleppo. An Al Nusrah court in Idlib executed a suspected spy. The head of the Free Syrian Army said it will stand by the US in fighting the "twin threats" of the Assad regime and the Islamic State. Since the US vowed on Sept. 10 to defeat the IS, some 162 fighters have joined its training camps in Aleppo, including 147 Syrians who previously fought for Al Nusrah and the Islamic Front, and four Australians who came through Turkey.

Syria's UN envoy said the Al Nusrah Front has seized all of the Syrian side of the Golan Heights, and that Al Nusrah militants are using UN vehicles, weapons, uniforms, and fighting positions against civilians as well as Syrian forces; he accused Qatar, Israel, and Jordan of allowing Al Nusrah to use the safe zone as a base from which to attack and destabilize Syria. The UN said the recent advance of "armed groups" had forced it to withdraw from the area. Syrian warplanes targeted Al Nusrah and the Islamic Front in the Golan area of Quneitra. The Ajnad al Sham Islamic Union began targeting presidential, security, and military areas in Damascus. Al Nusrah and the Islamic Front fought regime forces in Damascus. Al Nusrah agreed to meet the Syrian Revolutionaries Front in court in Idlib after clashing with the SRF in Hafer Saja. The Islamic State shot down a Syrian fighter jet that was conducting airstrikes over Raqqah city, the first such downing of regime aircraft. The IS also clashed with Kurdish YPG forces in Aleppo, and released a member of Al Nusrah's sharia committee in Deir Izzour.

The Syrian Revolutionaries Front displayed the dead bodies of two members of a four-man suicide bombing team who had tried to attack the SRF in Idlib. A regime airstrike on a dormitory at an IS training camp in Tibni in Deir Izzour killed 17 militants and a child. The IS issued a set of rules for Raqqah City, "the Stronghold of the Islamic State in Syria," declaring among other things that those who insist on apostasy will be murdered. The Kurdish YPG battled the IS in Hasakah. Militiamen in Reef Dimashq killed a member of the national reconciliation team along with his son and his brother. A suspected suicide bomber was executed and crucified by the Islam Army in Reef Dimashq. The Al Nusrah Front and an Islamic battalion clashed in Idlib. The Syrian National Coalition announced a plan to revamp and restructure the Free Syrian Army; SNC head Hadi el Bahra said the group would fight against both the Islamic State and the Assad regime.

State media claimed that Khaled Maarouf, a son of Syrian Revolutionaries Front leader Jamal Maarouf, was killed in a "terrorist attack" car bombing at an SRF checkpoint in Deir Sinbul in Idlib; another report said Jamal may also have been injured in the attack. The SRF recently agreed to a ceasefire with the Islamic State in Reef Dimashq. Regime forces clashed with the Islamic State in Deir Izzour near the military airport. The Islamic State is continuing to destroy Sufi shrines throughout Syria. Zahran Alloush, leader of the Islam Army, warned that the group will start executing captured Syrian pilots in response to regime airstrikes.

In the Damascus suburb of Hajar al-Aswad, the Islamic State entered into a ceasefire with moderate and Islamist rebels "because they consider the principal enemy to be the [Assad] regime." The Al Nusrah Front and the Islamic Front are continuing their advance in Quneitra, and now control as much as 80% of the province. Regime forces raised their flag in Halfaya in Hama after an agreement was reached with city leaders and Al Nusrah and the Islamic Front withdrew. Al Nusrah and the Islamic Front, along with Ansar al Din, clashed with regime forces in Aleppo, and regime airstrikes targeted IS-held areas of Aleppo in the east. The Islamic State arrested at least nine civilians in Deir Izzour.

The Assad regime warned that any action in Syria without its approval would be regarded as aggression, but offered to work with any country fighting the Islamic State in Syria or Iraq. UN mediator Stefan de Mistura met with President Assad. The Al Nusrah Front released the 45 Fijian UN peacekeepers it kidnapped two weeks ago; it is unclear if any of its demands were met, but Sheik Abu Muhammad al Maqdisi was involved in the negotiations, as was Qatar. The UN said no ransom was paid for the Fijians' release. The Islamic State began evacuating positions in al Bab in Aleppo, reportedly to spare civilians from injury in the case of regime or US airstrikes. The IS has seized 13 towns in northern Aleppo since mid-August. A Jordanian sharia judge for Al Nusrah was assassinated in Idlib. Regime forces clashed with the Islamic State in Deir Izzour. The OPCW is investigating reports of toxic material being dropped from helicopters, as recently as Aug. 28 in Kafr Zeita in Hama.

The Ahrar al Sham said that Hashem al-Sheikh a.k.a. Abu Jaber will take over as leader, and Abu Saleh Tahan will become the group's military commander following the killing of 47 commanders in an explosion in Idlib. A number of the commanders were said to have died of asphyxiation while trapped in an underground bunker following the blast. The Al Nusrah Front released a eulogy for the slain Ahrar al Sham leaders. The Fijian military backtracked from its earlier assurance that Al Nusrah would soon release the 45 kidnapped Fijian peacekeepers; Al Nusrah released a video of the captives. The Kurdish YPG formed a coalition with seven other groups to fight the Islamic State in Syria. The OPCW confirmed the use of chlorine in eight attacks on three villages in northern Syria in April. A reconnaissance aircraft was spotted over Raqqah city.

A suicide bombing in Idlib killed Hassan Abboud, who is the head of Ahar al Sham and the Islamic Front's political leader, along with more than a dozen other leaders among some 50 said to be attending a meeting. Influential al Qaeda leaders mourned the deaths; one said Abboud had been in direct contact with al Qaeda emir Ayman al Zawahiri. A military emir for the Al Nusrah Front was killed by regime forces during a clash in Hama. Al Nusrah and the Islamic Front continued to fight regime forces in Quneitra, and took over the al Mal hill as well as the town of Kafar Nasig on the border with Deraa. The head of the Fijian military claimed that the Al Nusrah Front told the UN that the 45 kidnapped Fijian peacekeepers will be released in a few days. The Islamic State battled regime forces near the airbase in Deir Izzour.

Reconnaissance aircraft at high altitudes were spotted in Hasakah and Raqqah where the Islamic State is operating. At least 10 fighters from the Al Nusrah Front and the Islamic Front were killed in clashes with regime forces in Reef Dimashq, where Al Nusrah executed a man accused of spying for the regime. In Hama, an Al Nusrah commander was killed by militiamen in an area controlled by the Islamic State, and Al Nusrah and the Islamic Front continued their assault on the Christian town of Mharde. Al Nusrah and the Islamic Front also clashed with regime forces in Quneitra.

Regime aircraft carried out airstrikes for a second day on an Islamic State training camp in Raqqah, killing at least six fighters; 31 people, including at least eight civilians, were killed by a strike on a bakery in Raqqah. The Islamic State captured and then released an Al Nusrah Front commander in Deir Izzour. Regime officials and representatives from Daraya in East Ghouta held reconciliation talks in Reef Dimashq. Regime forces continued to clash with the Al Nusrah Front and the Islamic Front in Quneitra. Veteran al Qaeda jihadist Abu Firas al Suri said that Al Nusrah's capture of 45 Fijian UN peacekeepers is governed by sharia.

In Raqqah, airstrikes hit the al Takae camp, the Islamic State's largest camp in the province, causing massive explosions. IS fighters targeted an "unknown reconnaissance aircraft" over Raqqah city without hitting it; activists claimed it was a US drone. In Deir Izzour, regime aircraft killed 18 IS fighters and commanders; among them was an American jihadist. The IS is requiring women to adopt Islamic dressing in Deir Izzour. Regime forces continued to clash with the Islamic Front and the Al Nusrah Front in Quneitra.

This Islamic State has executed 31 people in Syria over the last 10 days of August, in Deir Ezzor, Aleppo, and Raqqah. Regime forces carried out an "unprecedented" 25 airstrikes in the rebel-held Jobar district of Damascus today, targeting the Islamic Front and the Al Nusrah Front. Regime forces also clashed with Al Nusrah near the Christian town of Mharde in Hama. The Islamic Front used an American-made TOW missile to destroy a regime tank in Aleppo. State media claimed that terrorists, including a number of foreigners, were targeted and killed in operations in Damascus, Deir Izzour, Deraa, Homs, Idlib, and Quneitra.

Qatar is said to be mediating between Fiji and the Al Nusrah Front for the release of 44 Fijian UN peacekeeping troops seized by Al Nusrah in Quneitra near the Golan Heights. Al Nusrah has demanded compensation and support as well as the removal of its name from the UN's terrorist list. The Syrian army has been trying to retake the Quneitra border crossing from Al Nusrah and allied groups. The Islamic Front backed by Al Nusrah clashed with regime forces in Quneitra. State media claimed the army cut off a supply route in western Deraa used by terrorists coming from Jordan to Quneitra. The regime also condemned the European Union's alleged policies of arming terrorists and purchasing stolen Syrian oil from them. Regime forces clashed with the Islamic State in Deir Izzour and in Homs.

In Deir Izzour, the Islamic State continued preparations for an assault on the military airbase, and also executed five men on various charges, including "apostasy." Regime airstrikes targeted the IS in Raqqah. The Al Nusrah Front flogged a man for "insulting the divine" in Idlib. Kurdish YPG fighters battled IS in Hasakah. Al Nusrah, the Islamic Front, the al Akrad Front, and rebels clashed with the IS near the al Shahba Dam in Aleppo. Al Nusrah claimed to have captured 45 Fijian UN peacekeepers in Quneitra near the Golan Heights; 32 Philippine peacekeepers were rescued and another 40 Philippine troops escaped "during a ceasefire agreed with the armed elements."

All of the Philippine UN peacekeeping troops in the Golan area that were surrounded by the Al Nusrah Front were rescued after intervention by UN rapid response forces as well as distracting artillery fire by regime forces; Al Nusrah still holds 45 Fijian peacekeeping troops. Al Nusrah claimed that the troops were detained because the UN passed a resolution against the group, and also alleged that the UN colluded with the Assad regime and ignored the shedding of Muslim blood. The Islamic State is said to have sold 300 Yazidi women to its fighters in Syria. The IS also has established a new state called al-Furat straddling the border of Syria and Iraq, which includes al-Bokamal city and al-Qa'em city in Iraq as well as nearby towns in Deir Izzour.

The Islamic State was targeted by regime airstrikes, and clashed with Kurdish YPG fighters in Aleppo; was targeted by regime airstrikes while mobilizing for battle in Deir Izzour, where it also raided the houses of civilians; fought against the YPG in Hasakah, where a Tunisian IS emir is trying to make fighters in Gweran swear allegiance to the IS; and was targeted by regime aircraft in Raqqah, where an explosion was heard at an IS training camp near al Ekershi. The Al Nusrah Front and the Islamic Front battled regime forces in Aleppo, where they were joined by rebels and other Islamic groups; in Damascus; in Reef Dimashq; and in Hama. Al Nusrah said it had detained 43 UN peacekeepers because regime soldiers were being treated at a UN medical facility; the UN is in negotiations for the release of the 44 kidnapped Fijian peacekeepers and the lifting of "restrictions" on 72 Philippine peacekeepers who have been surrounded by the militants. Two Hezbollah fighters were killed and six were wounded during clashes in Qalamoun with the Islamic Front and Al Nusrah. The Islamic Front also battled regime forces in Deraa and Idlib.

The Islamic State battled regime forces in Aleppo, where it used US cannons seized in Iraq; and in Deir Izzour, where regime aircraft struck a meeting of IS leaders, killing a number of foreign fighters at the house of "the military commander of the Operation Chamber of the Airbase of Deir Ezzor which is affiliated to the Military Council which pledged allegiance to IS weeks ago." The IS also clashed with regime forces in Hama, where it executed an engineer; and in Raqqah, where the IS executed "dozens" of captured regime soldiers, reportedly killing over 160 in 24 hours. IS leader Abu Bakr al Baghdadi is said to be offering $1,200 and a furnished house to any IS fighter who agrees to marry. The IS also battled the Kurdish YPG in Hasakah, and clashed with the Islamic Front and the Jabhat al Akrad in Aleppo. The Al Nusrah Front and the Islamic Front fought regime forces in Damascus, blowing up tunnels under two regime buildings; in Reef Dimashq; in Hama; and in Quneitra, where Al Nusrah and the Islamic Front took over the Quneitra crossing to the Golan Heights yesterday. The UN said that 43 UN peacekeepers in the Golan Heights had been detained by "armed elements of the opposition" and that the movements of 81 other peacekeepers in the area have been restricted. The Islamic Front also fought regime forces in Idlib.

The Islamic State battled regime forces in Hama; Deir Izzour, where Shaitaat tribal officials begged forgiveness and mercy from the IS, and regime airstrikes targeted an IS training camp in the Tal Tabus area of al Shmeteyyi; and Raqqah, where the IS captured 20 soldiers and four civilians, including three women, and has executed other regime forces. The IS also clashed with the Islamic Front and the Kurdish YPG in Aleppo. The Al Nusrah Front and the Islamic Front fought regime forces in Quneitra, where they took over a border crossing to the Israel-occupied Golan Heights and battled over nearby towns. Al Nusrah and the IF also clashed with regime forces in Aleppo, Hama, and Reef Dimashq. The Islamic Front also battled regime forces in Damascus, where regime airstrikes blew up a tunnel with IF fighters inside; Deraa; Hama; Idlib; Latakia; and Reef Dimashq.