Results tagged “Syria”

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A mass grave holding 230 bodies was uncovered in Deir Ezzor province. Those killed, including many civilians, were members of the Shaitat tribe, which had resisted the Islamic State. The US conducted six airstrikes in Syria since Dec. 15; five near Kobane and one near Abu Kamal. Only about three percent of all airstrikes in Syria by the US-led coalition since the start of the campaign have not been conducted by the US. SOHR estimates that more than 120,000 regime fighters have been killed in the Syrian war. The UN is looking for $8.4 billion to aid Syrian refugees in 2015. Two Kurdish freelance journalists have been reported kidnapped by the Islamic State "on December 15 on the main road between Qamishli and Al-Yarubyia."

The Al Nusrah Front, Ahrar al Sham, and elements of the Free Syrian Army have taken two key regime bases in Idlib province. Al Nusrah has used an American TOW anti-tank missile against regime forces. The US-led coalition has conducted nine airstrikes in Syria since Dec. 13; eight of them "destroyed nine ISIL fighting positions, two ISIL buildings and two ISIL staging positions and also struck another ISIL fighting position" near Kobane; one destroyed an Islamic State vehicle near abu-Kamal. European Union countries have pledged to help rebuild Aleppo if a UN-proposed ceasefire is successful. The UN chief for humanitarian affairs "has run out of words" to describe the chaos in Syria.

Three opposition journalists were killed in Deraa when their car was hit by a missile. Israeli airstrikes in Dimas on Dec. 7 are reported to have targeted Iranian weapons intended for Hezbollah. Rebel commanders in northern Syria claim the US has stopped paying them. Twenty-eight countries have pledged to take in 100,000 Syrian refugees, doubling previous intake levels. The UN has resumed food aid to refugees after donations compensated for a budgetary shortfall. The foreign ministers of Iran, Iraq and the Syrian regime met in Tehran and pledged cooperation against the Islamic State. On Dec. 9, the Islamic State beheaded a man in Sulouk in northern Syria after charging him with 'blasphemy.'

Israel conducted two airstrikes near Damascus on Dec. 7; one took place near Dimas, which houses military facilities, and the other hit near Damascus International Airport. Both the Syrian regime and Iran condemned the attack. UN observers have documented numerous interactions between Israeli forces and Syrian rebels in the Golan Heights. Al Nusrah has reportedly taken control of a military residential compound in Deraa and is moving on the town of Azraa and the regime stronghold of Damascus province. The Syrian Army has beaten back an Islamic State assault on a military airport in Deir al-Zor.

The Islamic State attacked the sole remaining government air base in Deir el-Zour province; at least 19 regime troops and seven IS fighters have been killed thus far. The US accused the regime of continuing to use chemical weapons as recently as September. Syrian President Bashar al Assad declared US airstrikes against the Islamic State ineffective. Turkey and the US are moving toward an agreement that would establish a no-fly zone in northern Syria. The US has conducted 14 airstrikes in Syria since Dec. 1, all of them near Kobane.

CENTCOM stated that the US conducted 27 airstrikes in Syria since Nov. 28; 26 targeted the islamic State and one targeted Al Nusrah. The SOHR claims the US-led coalition conducted 30 airstrikes in Raqqah on Nov. 29. US-backed rebels are awaiting Western assistance. The UN World Food Programme has halted assistance to Syrian refugees due to lack of funding.

The UN is pushing for a humanitarian ceasefire in Syria for the delivery of aid. Regime airstrikes on the Islamic State's de facto capital of Raqqah killed at least 90 people and injured approximately 125 more. The Islamic State stoned to death two men accused of being gay in Deir Ezzor; the group also beheaded an Ismaili man for "apostasy." Western-backed rebels in Syria's south are reorganizing; training by Western forces is not slated to begin until next spring.

The US conducted another airstrike on the Al Nusrah Front, targeting a storage facility close to the town of Harem. A second French jihadist who took part in the Islamic State's latest execution was identified; according to the French prime minister, about 1,000 French nationals are fighting in Syria and "close to 50" have been killed. The US is tracking 150 people who have traveled from the US to Syria, many of them with the intent to fight. Turkey is pressuring the US-led coalition to support and train the FSA and to enact a no-fly zone in northern Syria. SOHR claims that a regime airstrike in Raqqa killed nine civilians and wounded 16.

A regime airstrike killed at least 13 people and wounded 20 in Aleppo, according to SOHR. Kurdish forces captured six buildings used by the Islamic State and significant weapons and ammunition near Kobane; the US-led coalition conducted seven airstrikes overnight near the embattled city. Jihadists and US-backed rebels have reportedly aligned in the battle for Aleppo; meanwhile "a ranking Turkish source" claims that the Free Syrian Army has abandoned its bid for Aleppo. Syrian rebels have made recent gains in southwestern Daraa province. A majority of the 1,500 people executed by the Islamic State in Syria over the past five months were Sunni civilians, according to SOHR. The Red Cross and Red Crescent have called for increased aid as Syria's 10.4 million refugees face the winter. A prominent Syrian Sunni cleric has declared that Islamic State emir Baghdadi is "going to hell" after the execution of US aid worker Peter Kassig. Syria has been ranked 5th on the Global Terrorism Index.

Rebel sources are claiming that leaders from the Islamic State and the Al Nusrah Front have agreed to a truce in light of Western intervention. The US launched another round of airstrikes against Al Nusrah, targeting "at least one top operative" of the Khorasan Group. Western airstrikes on the Islamic State in Raqqa have reportedly disrupted the group but have angered some residents. Syrian regime airstrikes killed nine people, including three children, in the town of Saqba near Damascus. Western-backed rebels called for food aid to forestall a looming humanitarian crisis. The Islamic State announced that it will be printing currency in Syria and Iraq, stating its aim to "emancipate itself from the satanic global economic system." Some factions of the Syrian opposition have expressed cautious support of a UN-proposed ceasefire in Aleppo, on the heels of Free Syrian Army factions rejecting the plan.

US and allied forces conducted 16 airstrikes in Syria since Nov. 10; 10 of them near Kobane. US President Barack Obama has requested a review of policy towards Syria and may be open to the deposition of the Assad regime, according to senior officials interviewed by CNN. The Kurdish YPG is angling for self-rule in Syria in return for cooperation with Western interests against the Islamic State; Kurdish volunteer units are patrolling the Turkish border to prevent the transit of jihadists and supplies. Moderate rebels in the south of the country are the last remnants of the West's proxy strategy after the collapse of US-backed groups in the north. The Free Syrian Army has rejected a UN-proposed truce in Aleppo; the Assad regime had expressed "positive signals" about the plan to a UN envoy on Nov. 11.

A UN envoy to Syria claims that regime officials gave him "positive signals" regarding a proposal for a ceasefire in Aleppo. The SOHR has stated that more than 860 have been killed since the start of US and allied airstrikes in Syria, including 746 Islamic State fighters, 68 members of Nusrah and at least 50 civilians. An activist group claims that children in a jihadist training camp were compelled to behead captured Syrian soldiers on Aug. 28. Hezbollah blamed Israel for the assassination of five nuclear engineers on Nov. 10 in Damascus. The UN estimates that 7.2 million people have been displaced by the war in Syria. "Moderate" rebels have been defecting to the Islamic State, citing a lack of western support; a truce has reportedly been brokered by Ahrar ash-Sham between "the Syria Revolutionaries Front, Hazzm Movement, Al-Nusra Front and Jund al-Aqsa" in Idlib province. The largest group of Uzbek jihadists fighting in Syria has sworn allegiance to Taliban leader Mullah Omar. Kurdish forces blocked a strategic road that Islamic State fighters have used for resupply in Kobane.

Unidentified gunmen killed five nuclear engineers, one of them Iranian, near Damascus, according to SOHR. The Lebanese Army arrested a Free Syrian Army commander attempting to enter the country with false paperwork. The president of the Western-backed Syrian National Coalition said that Western airstrikes are weakening support of non-extremists. At least 21 people were killed and about 100 injured after a Syrian regime airstrike near Aleppo. Bashar al Assad labeled a UN-proposed ceasefire in Aleppo "worth studying." US and coalition forces conducted 23 airstrikes from Nov. 7-10; 13 conducted near Kobane struck an Islamic State vehicle, five small units, an ammunition dump, a command and control building, and nine fighting positions.

The US widened airstrikes to target Ahrar al Sham and the Al Nusrah Front in Syria; highly-sought French bomb maker David Drugeon is reported to have been killed by a drone attack. Jihadists are using cruise lines to get to Syria. Iran is working to organize Shiite militias fighting in Syria. The Islamic State remains in a stalemate at Kobane. Eleven children were killed when mortar rounds struck a school in Damascus. The regime has requested expedited air defense capability from Russia in anticipation of potential US strikes after the midterm election.

Mortar rounds crashed into a school in the rebel-held town of Qaboun, killing at least 11 children. Some ethnic Kurds are aiding the Islamic State near Kobane, according to Kurdish officials. Islamic State fighters have vowed to continue fighting in Kobane, as the outcome of the battle remains uncertain. US strategy in Syria is in doubt after the collapse of moderate rebel groups. The Al Nusrah Front threatened Lebanon over Hezbollah's involvement in Syria. The US has not ruled out expanding airstrikes to target Al Nusrah in Syria.

The members of several US-backed rebel groups, including Harakat Hazm and the Syrian Revolutionary Front, surrendered, fled, or defected over the weekend in the face of an offensive by the Al Nusrah Front in Idlib province. Bases and weapons, likely including US-supplied TOW missile systems, were seized by the jihadist group. The Islamic State has captured the Jahar gas field and large portions of the Shaer gas field in Homs over the past week. The Free Syrian Army "is coaxing Islamist opposition forces to leave the border area with Israel." A diminished Syrian regime "carries on." According to SOHR, the regime has dropped 401 barrel bombs in since Oct. 20, killing 232 civilians. The US conducted seven air strikes in Syria over the weekend, five of them near Kobane.

Iraqi Peshmerga forces have begun to arrive in Kobane to reinforce Syrian Kurds; about 50 free Syrian Fighters have also joined the fight against the Islamic State. Ten of 12 US airstrikes in Syria on Wednesday were dropped near Kobane. Twenty to 30 former Guantanamo Bay detainees are suspected to have joined jihadist groups in Syria, according to Defense and intelligence officials. Ten to 40 civilians died after a regime helicopter dropped two barrel bombs on a displaced persons camp in northern Idlib province. A Syrian regime general states that there is no communication with the US about Western air strikes.

150 Iraqi Kurdish Peshmerga departed for Syria (via Turkey) to join the fight in Kobane. The US conducted four airstrikes near Kobane, "destroying a small Islamic State unit and four fighting positions." Turkey has named conditions for assisting the West in the battle for Kobane, insisting on Free Syrian Army leadership instead of "Kurdish 'terrorists.'" Moderate rebels battled the Al Nusrah Front in Idlib province, resulting in the moderates' loss of several villages. Al Nusrah also attacked regime forces in the city of Idlib, seizing a number of government buildings before being driven back. "At least 70" Syrian army soldiers, many senior officers, were reportedly executed before regime forces recaptured the city.

The death toll in Kobane has surpassed 800 after 40 days of fighting; the tally includes 481 Islamic State fighters, 302 Kurdish YPG, and 21 civilians. The US carried out five airstrikes near Kobane over the weekend, as Kurdish forces repelled four consecutive days of jihadist assaults on the Turkish border crossing near the town. Syrian regime airstrikes in the town of Talbisseh in central Homs over the weekend killed 31, including 13 children, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. The Al Nusrah Front attacked government forces and militias in the regime-held city of Idlib in northern Syria today.

King's College in London estimates that one British jihadi is killed in Syria or Iraq every three weeks. US officials stated that the town of Kobane is less likely to fall to the Islamic State and the "battle line has kind of stabilized" since Kurdish forces received US air support. Smugglers are selling passage into Syria from Turkey for as little as $20. The Syrian Army under Bashar al Assad claimed to have retaken the city of Morek in western Syria today.