Results tagged “Syria”
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The Islamic Front seized the Baba al-Hawa crossing on the Turkish border from Free Syrian Army forces after having taken over their nearby warehouse and arms depots last week. The US suspended all shipments of nonlethal aid to the Free Syrian Army in the north as a result of Islamist gains. Suspected Islamist gunmen abducted a leading Syrian human rights lawyer, her husband, and two associates from her office in the Damascus suburb of Douma. A number of activists have disappeared in recent months in areas controlled by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Sham. The families of two Spanish journalists kidnapped by ISIS appealed for their release. ISIS released a video featuring Anwar al Awlaki speaking about the establishment of an Islamic state. The Islamic Front's Ahrar al Sham released a video on its website about a joint operation in Damascus conducted by Ahrar al Sham, the Al Nusrah Front, and ISIS.
The Islamic State of Iraq and the Sham executed a mentally disabled man in Idlib for swearing. ISIS continued its attacks on Syrian Kurds in Aleppo, taking over homes and turning them into bases. Regime forces detained the wife of a nonviolent opposition activist in Damascus who is currently being detained. The Supreme Military Council is starting a 'hearts and minds' campaign in rebel-held areas of Aleppo, Idlib, and Damascus to provide humanitarian assistance and wean civilians away from al Qaeda's outreach efforts. A Spanish news outlet revealed that two Spanish journalists were kidnapped in September by ISIS in Raqqah.
Regime troops and Hezbollah allies advanced against fighters from the Al Nusrah Front and the Islamic State of Iraq and the Sham in the town of Nabek near the Lebanon border. A senior Hezbollah commander was killed in the fighting in Nabek. The Damascus-Homs highway has reportedly been taken by regime forces.
Regime forces continued to battle the Islamic State of Iraq and the Sham, the Al Nusrah Front, and allied rebels on the Damascus-Homs highway in Reef Dimashq near Nabek. The Syrian National Coalition said the bodies of 40 men, women, and children were found near the city. In Idlib, the Islamic Front took over the bases and arms depots of the Free Syrian Army's Supreme Military Council at the Baba el-Hawa crossing between Syria and Turkey. The FSA said two of its commanders were seized and secretly executed by ISIS as they were leading an aid convoy from Turkey to northern Syria; their bodies were found in Azaz, near Aleppo. Three rebel fighters, including an officer, were executed by an unknown group in Mayer in Aleppo.
The previously unknown Ahrar Al-Qalamoun Brigade reportedly conveyed the Al Nusrah Front's demands to the Assad regime via the Vatican that 12 nuns kidnapped from Maaloula will be released only if conditions are met, including that the regime release 1,000 female prisoners and suspend its siege on a number of strategic areas, such as Ghouta in eastern Damascus. The Islamic State of Iraq and the Sham is said to be gaining ground from rebel groups in Syria, and to have about 5,500 foreign fighters, including 250 Chechens in Aleppo, and 17,000 Syrian fighters. A suicide attack in Hasakah killed five people and wounded 10 more. The OPCW verified that all of Syria's unfilled chemical weapons munitions have been destroyed; the US plans to destroy the chemical weapons at sea by early 2014.
The Islamic State of Iraq and the Sham, the Al Nusrah Front, and Islamic groups clashed with regime forces on the Damascus-Homs highway in Reef Dimashq. Regime forces battled Al Nusrah and Islamic battalions on the outskirts of Maaloula. ISIS has kidnapped 51 Kurdish civilians in and around Minbej city in Aleppo, and has seized Kurdish shops. Gunmen assassinated a rebel leader in the Yarmouk camp in Damascus. Suspected ISIS gunmen stopped a journalist's car at a checkpoint in Idlib and shot into the car; the journalist's fate is unknown. Two Norwegian sisters of Somali origin who traveled to Syria for jihad are being held in Syria, and one has been injured.
General Salim Idriss, head of the Free Syrian Army, denied saying that his forces would fight against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Sham or cooperate with regime forces in doing so. Pope Francis called for prayers for 12 nuns taken by armed men from a convent in Maaloula; the nuns are said to be detained by the Al Nusrah Front in the rebel-held city of Yabroud. A suicide car bomber detonated at a checkpoint in Hama, and Islamic battalions clashed with regime forces at that checkpoint and another in the province. ISIS, Al Nusrah, and Islamic battalions clashed with regime forces in Reef Dimashq. ISIS detained 34 Kurdish civilians, including children, in the Minbej city area. Gunmen kidnapped and killed a leader of Aleppo's military council. Al Nusrah, ISIS, and Islamic factions are battling regime forces in Aleppo. ISIS displayed its banners on two churches in Raqqah two months after Tunisian ISIS fighters took over the churches and destroyed their contents. Al Nusrah released video of its siege on the 38th Brigade in Deraa in March.
Four rebel battalions in Idlib-- al-Ansar, al-Naser al-Qadem, al-Naser, and al-Muntaser Billah -- split from the Ahfad al-Rasoul brigade and declared they would proceed independently with "armed jihadist struggle" against the Assad regime. A suicide bomber detonated in central Damascus. The Islamic State of Iraq and the Sham confiscated a coal-laden truck and an excavator machine destined for displaced civilians in Deir Izzour. An American ISIS fighter was killed fighting against regime troops in eastern Hama; Islamic groups and regime forces also clashed in the Mourk area. The Al Nusrah Front, ISIS, and Islamic battalions clashed with regime forces in Nabek and Ghouta in Reef Dimashq. The fate of some nuns from Maaloula is uncertain. ISIS, Al Nusrah, and Islamic battalions clashed with regime forces in Aleppo. ISIS reportedly released a video featuring rebel commander Saddam al-Jamal, who defected to ISIS from the Qatar-linked Liwa Ahfad Al Rasoul brigade of the Free Syrian Army and the FSA's Supreme Military Council.
The UN Human Rights Commission said large-scale human rights abuses have been perpetrated by both sides in the Syrian conflict, and that evidence implicates the highest level of government. Fighters from the Al Nusrah Front, Kabhat Tahrir al-Qalamoun, the al-Ghuraba' brigade, the Tahrir al-sham brigade, and the al-Umariya brigade have taken over the ancient Christian town of Maaloula in Reef Dimashq. A terrorism court in Damascus executed 12 men for "crimes against the nation." The Islamic State of Iraq and the Sham, which took over the Church of Armenian Martyrs in Raqqah, has converted it into a proselytizing office. Al Nusrah, Islamic Bayt al-Maqdis, Amud Houran brigade, al-Umari brigade, and the Badr Horan brigade seized an armament battalion base in Deraa. An activist group estimates that more than 5,000 regular soldiers and pro-regime militants are being held captive by rebel fighters and ISIS. A video featuring a German jihadist urging Germans to fight in Syria was released by ISIS.
The Al Nusrah Front killed at least five regime troops in a suicide car bombing at a police checkpoint near Nabuk. Regime aircraft dropped barrel bombs in rebel-held areas of Al Bab outside Aleppo, apparently targeting a rebel headquarters, and killed at least 20 people. A similar air raid in Al Bab yesterday killed at least 26 people. Deputy Foreign Minister Muqdad said no solution discussed at the forthcoming Geneva peace talks would be implemented without President Assad's approval. Muqdad also said Turkey's policy on Syria has begun to evolve from "the stupid Turkish policy which has compromised the Turkish people... by attracting al Qaeda" to Turkey.
The Al Nusrah Front and rebels clashed with regime forces in Maaloula in an attempt to retake the town. Al Nusrah and allied Islamist factions battled regime forces in al-Nabek in Reef Dimashq. Over 400 people have reportedly been killed during fighting in Syria since Nov. 28, many of them in Ghouta and Qalamoun. ISIS released video of its fighters attacking Sufi shrines in Aleppo and sniping at regime forces in Hama. Al Nusrah released video claiming that its fighters and "Islamic brigades" captured Syria's largest oil field, and that it executed five regime helpers in Damascus.
The Islamic State of Iraq and the Sham, the Al Nusrah Front, and Islamic battalions clashed with regime forces in Reef Dimashq. ISIS, Al Nusrah, and rebel battalions attacked military residential facilities in Aleppo. ISIS and Al Nusah also attacked Kurdish YPG checkpoints in Aleppo. Al Nusrah, Ahrar al Sham, Jaish al Islam issued a statement calling for ISIS to resolve a dispute in sharia court with them over the Koniko gas facility in Deir Izzour. A spokesman for the Syrian National Coalition estimated that the newly formed Islamic Front controls up to 60 percent of the Syrian rebels; the head of the Free Syrian Army's Supreme Military Council has pledged cooperation with the Islamic Front. An FSA spokesman called the Islamic Front fighters "brothers and jihadists who have made considerable sacrifices for the revolution."
Selim Idriss, the head of the Free Syrian Army's Supreme Military Council, pledged cooperation with the newly formed Islamic Front coalition. Kurdish YPG forces took control of three villages in Hasakah after clashes with the Al Nusrah Front, the Islamic State of Iraq and the Sham, and rebel battalions. The Fajer al-Sham Islamic battalion, Ahrar al-Sham Islamic battalion, and the ISIS clashed with regime forces in Aleppo. Eleven "Islamic fighters" were killed while fighting regime and Hezbollah forces in Reef Dimashq. Regime forces recaptured Deir Atiyeh after the ISIS withdrew. State media claimed that terrorists murdered five doctors, five nurses, and two ambulance drivers in Deir Atiyeh. The nephew of a Lebanese Hezbollah minister was killed fighting in Syria. A mortar attack on the Russian Embassy in Damascus killed a man and wounded nine embassy guards.
The Assad regime said it would participate in the Jan. 22 peace talks in Geneva but would not "hand over power." The head of the Free Syrian Army said it was not the right time for peace talks and asked for more arms and ammunition. The Chechen-led Emigrants' Army swore allegiance to the Islamic State of Iraq and the Sham. ISIS, the Al Nusrah Front, and Islamic battalions clashed with regime forces in Aleppo. ISIS executed a rebel battalion leader for "apostasy" and six other fighters in Aleppo,and Al Nusrah executed two soldiers and three alleged regime "collaborators" in Damascus. Kurdish YPG forces took over several towns in Hasakah and clashed with ISIS and Al Nusrah in al-Tweina town, where the two al Qaeda branches have a base. Islamist rebels killed an NDF commander who lived in Tartous province. Al Nusrah released video of recent operations in al-Rashidiya in Deir Izzour, claiming to have killed over 250 regime forces.
Rebel groups advanced in eastern Damascus and southeast Aleppo; the Syrian National Coalition said it was due to the recent merger of Islamist groups into the Islamic Front. A human rights organization condemned abuses against women in Syria, including rape, kidnapping, and use as human shields. The UN set a Jan. 22 date for the next round of Geneva peace talks on Syria.
The Islamic State of Iraq and the Sham captured a Free Syrian Army supplies distribution warehouse in Atmeh, seized four tent-laden trucks, and hauled the warehouse's three FSA officers and a Suqour al Sham commander into sharia court in Dana on the Turkish border. Fighting raged in East Ghouta over the weekend, where at least 100 rebels and 60 regime troops were reportedly killed. Rebel missiles targeting an oil refinery in Homs started a fire.
The Al Nusrah Front and other Islamist groups captured Syria's largest oilfield, in Deir Azzour province; it is not known if it is operational. Regime airstrikes in Aleppo killed 40 civilians. Gunmen in Hama failed to assassinate National Reconciliation Minister Ali Haidar but killed his driver.
Seven large Islamist groups, amounting to about 45,000 fighters -- Ahrar al-Sham, Jaysh al-Islam, Suqour al-Sham, Liwa al-Tawhid, Liwa al-Haqq, Ansar al-Sham, and the Kurdish Islamic Front -- announced their "gradual merger" into an Islamic Front to battle the Assad regime and create an Islamic state. The group's spokesman said the Al Nusrah Front wanted the seven groups under its banner. The Islamic Front's leader previously headed the Syrian Islamic Liberation Front, which is aligned to the Free Syrian Army's Supreme Military Council. Regime forces battled in the Qalamoun region against Al Nusrah and the Islamic State of Iraq and the Sham. ISIS stormed the headquarters of the moderate rebel group Suqour al-Islam in the town of Atma near the Turkish border. Islamist fighters in Raqqah began taxing civilians for electricity. Two rebel brigades in Reef Dimashq withdrew from the Military Council and joined with other battalions to form the al-Rahman Corps. Hundreds of fighters from ISIS, Al Nusrah, and other Islamist groups stormed Deir A'tiya city. ISIS, Al Nusrah, and other Islamic battalions clashed with regime forces in Aleppo. Regime and Islamist fighters clashed in Hama. An ISIS video featured a slain American jihadist.
The Islamic State of Iraq and the Sham clashed with rebels in Idlib. ISIS imposed 'sharia' restrictions on clothing for schoolgirls in Idlib. ISIS, the Al Nusrah Front, and other Islamist rebels clashed with regime forces in east Reef Aleppo and near the 80th brigade base. Gunmen kidnapped a media activist in Deir Hafer in Aleppo. The head of the dissident National Coordination Committee for Democratic Change said he did not know why regime forces kidnapped party secretary Rajaa Nasser, but that he and Nasser had been planning to meet with Russia's foreign minister on Nov. 26 in Geneva.
The Islamic State of Iraq and the Sham, along with the Al Nusrah Front, carried out four suicide car bombings today in the Qalamoun region, killing at least seven regime soldiers. ISIS, Al Nusrah, and two allied rebel groups attacked regime positions in Reef Dimashq. Regime forces in Damascus reportedly detained Raja al-Nasser, the General Secretary of the National Coordination Body for Democratic Change in Syria. Al Nusrah raised its flag over a Shiite shrine in Raqqah after the rebel group controlling the area pledged allegiance to Al Nusrah. ISIS publicly executed two captive Kurdish YPG fighters in Raqqah. ISIS, Al Nusrah, and rebels killed several YPG supporters in attacks on two villages in Hasakah. A British Muslim from London is said to have died fighting for al Qaeda forces in Syria. US intelligence officials expressed concerns about the hundreds of jihadists drawn to fight in Syria and the rise of "migrant brigades" among the rebel forces. Al Nusrah claimed to have killed at least 145 regime fighters in Aleppo between Nov. 7 and Nov. 17 with help of the Ahrar al-Sham Islamic Movement and the al-Fajr Movement.