The Iraqi government launched a new offensive against the Islamic State in the Hawijah pocket earlier today. Hawijah is considered one of the group’s two remaining strongholds inside Iraq. The other is in the western Anbar province, where the Iraqi government began new operations on Sept. 19.
The Islamic State has rescinded a May 17 memo that even some of the group’s ideologues considered too extreme in its religious rulings. The memo reportedly exacerbated leadership disputes within the self-declared caliphate.
After pro-Syrian regime forces broke the siege of Deir Ezzor city this month, Lebanese Hezbollah media outlet Al Mayadeen released a rare interview with Hezbollah field commander “al Haj Abu Mustafa,” crediting the gray-bearded, southern Lebanese native with playing a key role in leading the defense against the Islamic State.
The Islamic State claims its “soldiers” carried out the London tube bombing earlier today. Twenty-nine people were injured in the attack. Earlier this month, the British government reported a surge in terror-related arrests. As of June 30, 204 people were in custody in the UK for suspected terrorism-related offenses and the “majority” of them, 91 percent, hold “Islamist extremist views.”
The US-led coalition has announced a new offensive against the Islamic State in eastern Syria. The offensive, named “Operation Jazeera Storm,” aims to clear the so-called caliphate out of territory north of the city of Deir Ezzor.
Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) has promoted its drone strikes against the Islamic State near the Iraqi border in Syria. The IRGC says the strikes were carried out as “revenge” for an Iranian soldier who was beheaded by the so-called caliphate.
Hezbollah forces and its militia allies can be seen parading in the streets of Deir Ezzor after lifting the siege of the city. Syrian regime soldiers, who had been under the siege since 2014, praise Hezbollah and Hassan Nasrallah for their role in the operation.
The US-led coalition carried out an air strike to block Islamic State fighters from reaching eastern Syria after they were evacuated from Lebanon. As part of the deal, the Islamic State was to hand over the body of an IRGC fighter who has become a household name in Iran.