The Russian government says that a gas leak was most likely responsible for an explosion at an apartment building in Magnitogorsk on Dec. 31. On Jan. 17, the Islamic State claimed that the incident was really an “operation” conducted by the Islamic State’s Caucasus province.
Hay’at Tahrir al Sham (HTS), the most powerful jihadist organization in Idlib province, has finally issued a statement addressing the agreement reached between Turkey and Russia last month. HTS vows to continue waging jihad, and warns that it doesn’t trust Russia’s “intentions,” but does not directly repudiate the Sochi accord.
The Islamic State claimed responsibility for a shooting at a church in Kizlyar, a town in Dagestan, earlier today. Russian officials have confirmed that at least five people were killed and four more wounded.
Iran’s Revolutionary Guard and Russia have spearheaded the operation to capture the Islamic State-held city of al Mayadeen in Deir Ezzor province, eastern Syria.
The US says that Russian forces struck and wounded several fighters belonging to the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF). The incident highlights the fact that despite “de-confliction,” the US and Russia are often not on the same page in Syria.
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.
Israel struck a suspected chemical weapons facility near Masyaf, Syria earlier today. The facility may have been run by the Syrian regime’s Scientific Studies and Research Center (SSRC), which has been sanctioned by the US government for its role in producing chemical weapons and the means to deploy them.
The blow comes just two weeks after President Trump called out Pakistan for providing “safe haven” for terrorist groups operating in the region and advocated for closer ties with India.