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Situation in Syria / ISIS

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#1041 amor de cosmos

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Posted 30 September 2017 - 06:58 AM

Cairo- UN-recognized government’s Defense Ministry Spokesman Brigadier General Mohammed Al-Ghasri, speaking in Sirte on Friday, reiterated that ISIS has become a global threat.

On that note, the US military has conducted airstrikes against ISIS in Libya this week. Two airstrikes 100 miles southeast of Sirte on Tuesday left “several” ISIS militants dead, the US Africa Command (AFRICOM), which oversees American military activities on the continent, said in a statement.

Six other US airstrikes last Friday killed 17 ISIS members and destroyed three vehicles in a desert camp approximately 150 miles southeast of Sirte, according to AFRICOM.

ISIS considers southeast Sirte an important region for its operations because it is home to several major oil fields like al-Bayda, Mabruk, Bahi, and Fida.

ISIS in Libya is reorganizing on the outskirts of Sirte, on the gulf by the same name, under the name “army of the desert”, the head of investigations at the Libyan prosecutor general’s office, Siddiq al-Sour, was quoted as saying by the BBC’s website.

The report is one of many released by the magistrate and based on statements made by ISIS militants questioned by investigators. Al-Sour explained the settlement of ISIS in Libya with the financial support that the “Libyan government” granted in the past to militants of the now-dissolved Ansar Al-Sharia and Al Qaeda. The funding then allegedly changed hands from Ansar to ISIS.


#1042 amor de cosmos

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Posted 14 October 2017 - 07:49 AM

ISIL is on the verge of defeat in Syria's Raqqa and the city may finally be cleared of the group's fighters on Saturday or Sunday, the Syrian Kurdish YPG militia said.

"The battles are continuing in Raqqa city. Daesh (Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant) is on the verge of being finished. Today or tomorrow the city may be liberated," YPG spokesman Nouri Mahmoud told Reuters news agency by telephone.

The YPG dominates the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), an alliance of Arab and Kurdish militias that has been battling since June to defeat ISIL at Raqqa, which served as the group's de facto capital in Syria.

Al Jazeera's Hashem Ahelbarra, reporting from Antakya in Turkey, said only about seven percent of the city was still under control of ISIL on Saturday.

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#1043 amor de cosmos

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Posted 17 October 2017 - 07:05 AM

A commander with the U.S.-backed Syrian forces battling the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) says the city of Raqqa has been liberated from militants, and combing operations are underway to clear the city of land mines and extremist sleeper cells.

Brig.-Gen. Talal Sillo told The Associated Press on Tuesday that there are no longer clashes in the city.

Sillo said a formal declaration will follow befitting "the fall of the capital of terrorism."


The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, also known as ISIS) group seized control of two villages west of Kirkuk following the retreat of Kurdish Peshmerga fighters from the area.

The villages of Taweeli'ah and al-Maliha, in northwestern Dibis province, were under complete control by ISIL on Tuesday, an Al Jazeera correspondent based in Erbil quoted security sources as saying.

ISIL infiltrated the villages from the desert of the Anbar and Salahuddin provinces, taking advantage of the security vacuum left by the Peshmerga's retreat.

Kurdish forces seized control of disputed areas in the provinces of Kirkuk, Nineveh, Diyala and Salahuddin when ISIL swept through northern Iraq in 2014 after the army collapsed.

ISIL's gains came as the Iraqi military continued its major operation to retake the oil-rich province of Kirkuk amid an escalating dispute in the wake of a controversial September 25 referendum on Kurdish secession that Baghdad declared illegal.


Edited by amor de cosmos, 17 October 2017 - 08:36 AM.

#1044 amor de cosmos

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Posted 21 October 2017 - 05:36 PM

#1045 Sparky


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Posted 22 October 2017 - 05:17 AM

^ Wow, that is one messed up part of the world. Thank you for not letting us forget that this is going on everyday.

#1046 amor de cosmos

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Posted 22 October 2017 - 07:46 AM

US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces have announced the capture of Raqqa from so called Islamic State (ISIS) fighters — and while Coalition officials say small pockets of resistance remain, it is now possible to assess the significant civilian toll of the four month battle.

Some 200,000 civilians by some estimates were in the city when operations to dislodge ISIS began on June 6th. Though the SDF and Coalition appeared at times to give conflicting instructions to civilians, most were able to flee – including several thousand during the last week of fighting, following an agreement that also saw the surrender and evacuation of around 275 ISIS fighters.

But among those who were trapped at various points since June, Airwars estimates that at least 1,300 civilians likely died as a result of Coalition strikes (more than 3.200 such deaths have been alleged in total.). At least 700 victims have so far been locally named. Some were hit in their homes, some as they fled or reportedly tried to retrieve bodies. Throughout the battle, as in Mosul, ISIS put civilians in incredible danger, employing them as human shields to ward off fire — or worse, ensure their deaths.

Overall, local monitors say at least 1,800 civilians were killed in the fighting. Fadel Abdul Ghany, Director of the Syrian Network for Human Rights, said his researchers estimated a civilian death toll in Raqqa since June of 1,854, of which 1,058 were the responsibility of Coalition forces. According to the Network’s estimates, ISIS was responsible for 311 deaths, and SDF ground forces for 191 civilian fatalities.



holy moly

SDF announce full control of al-Omar oil field

The SDF have captured As-Shuhail town, the historical HQs of An-Nusra (Al-Qaeda) in Syria after defeating DAESH.

Syrian army encircled city of Mahkan and entered Al Quriyah in Eastern Deir-ez-Zur

SDF advances in the area of the Shuhail between the Busayrah - Deban, without any resistance by ISIS

SDF has taken all the villages from Shiekh Hamad until the village of Al-Rughay,thus cutting off all roads to Markada

Government Forces have captured Al-Quriyah from ISIS

SDF has captured Tayyibat Al-Fal from ISIS

ISIS withdrawal from Namliyah and Al-Hurayji


The "War after ISIS" begins in Iraq
by: Jennifer Cafarella and Omer Kassim with Najjam Malik

Key Takeaway: A battle is underway between the Iraqi Government, backed by Iran, and Iraqi Kurds for control of Kirkuk, Iraq. Iraqi Security Forces (ISF), Counterterrorism Services (CTS), Federal Police, and Iranian-backed popular mobilization forces (PMF) launched a combined offensive with intent to seize the K1 military base, the Kirkuk airport, and Kirkuk’s oilfields from Kurdish Peshmerga forces at 2:00 a.m. on October 15th. The offensive follows two days of failed negotiations after the government of Iraq (GOI), backed by Iran, demanded Kurdish forces withdraw. US efforts to de-escalate failed. Iran’s role in the offensive further strengthens its influence within Iraq, sidelines the U.S., and will increase Arab Shiite popular support for Iranian-backed candidates in Iraq’s upcoming elections, currently scheduled for April 2018. Iran’s use of an Explosively Formed Penetrator (EFP) against U.S. forces in Salah al Din Province, southwest of Kirkuk, on October 1 likely signals Iran’s resolve to use force to deter the U.S. from taking a direct military role. ISW is monitoring the situation and will provide regular updates.


BEIRUT (Reuters) - U.S.-backed militias said they captured Syria’s largest oil field on Sunday, pressing their assault against Islamic State in the east of the country.

The Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) said they took al-Omar field on the eastern bank of the Euphrates river in the early hours. “Our forces managed to liberate the fields without notable damages,” said Lilwa al-Abdallah, spokeswoman for the offensive in Deir al-Zor province.

The jihadists holed up in buildings in a nearby district, where the SDF was trying to hunt them down, she said.

With U.S.-led jets and special forces, the SDF has been battling in Deir al-Zor bordering Iraq. The alliance of Kurdish and Arab militias has focused on territory east of the river, which bisects the oil-rich province.


#1047 amor de cosmos

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Posted 24 October 2017 - 09:16 AM

Al-Qaryatayn town, which was captured by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, also known as ISIS) group in early October, was retaken by troops loyal to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad on Saturday.

According to the UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, at least 128 people were killed by ISIL fighters in the three weeks before their withdrawal from the town in Homs province on Friday.

The civilians were killed on accusations of collaborating with the Syrian government, activists said.

Mohammed al-Homsi, a member of the Palmyra Coordination Committee, told Al Jazeera that a list containing the names of at least 90 people who were confirmed dead would be released soon.

"It is taking us a while because we want to double check the names of the people who were killed," al-Homsi said.

"Most of the casualties were men, but there are some children among them."

Al Jazeera's Hashem Ahelbarra, reporting from the Turkish city of Gaziantep on the border with Syria, said that thousands of civilians concerned about their safety wanted to flee Qaryatayn during its siege, but were blocked by ISIL.


Seven Expert Opinions On The Kirkuk Crisis

In the after math of the September 2017 Kurdish independence referedum, Prime Minister Haidar Abadi demanded that the Kurds relinquish control of the areas it occupied in Kirkuk during the summer of 2014. This could have led to a war with the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) across northern Iraq. Instead, divisions within the two main Kurdish parties the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) and Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) led to the Peshmerga not only giving up the territory the premier demanded, but Kirkuk city and disputed areas they took in Diyala and Ninewa. There were some armed clashes as well. To try to give perspective to this shocking series of events are several experts giving their personal views.

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#1048 amor de cosmos

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Posted 31 October 2017 - 07:50 AM

Istanbul police have increased its ongoing fight against the Daesh terrorist organization since August last year, carrying out over 100 operations and nabbing close to 1,000 suspects.

The Istanbul Police Department's Counter-Terrorism Unit teams carried out 136 operations across the city between Aug. 15, 2016, and Oct. 30, 2017, apprehending 968 suspects linked to the group, according to information gathered by Anadolu Agency.

Operations were also launched at Istanbul's International Ataturk and Sabiha Gokcen Airports as well as the main coach station on the European side in an effort to apprehend foreign terrorists.

During the operations, a suspect was also neutralized after resisting arrest while 940 people were deported.


In a series of new details, the police told Anadolu Agency the group was planning four suicide attacks at different locations in the city on the same day.

Police acted after the suspects attempted to destroy two safe houses on Friday.

In a property in Istanbul's Esenyurt district, police found four gas canisters, two plastic jerrycans full of chemicals, two more of gasoline, large amounts of ammonium nitrate, steel ball bearings and other bomb-making materials.

On Friday, in another property in the city’s Arnavutkoy district, police also seized similar equipment the gang had attempted to destroy.

The suspects tried to destroy evidence, the source said, by attempting to burn the safe houses after they prepared the car bomb.

Four suicide vests, two firearms, ammunition and ammonium nitrate were also found in the vehicle and motorcycle seized by police on Saturday.

The suspects will be questioned in the coming days, police sources said.


Key Takeaway: Iraq and Iran rejected a Kurdish ceasefire offer and launched a new phase of their military campaign against Iraqi Kurdistan. Iraqi forces and Iran’s proxies are prepared for new military operations to seize Iraqi Kurdistan's border crossings if Kurdish forces do not relinquish them. Iranian proxy leaders are coordinating with Iraqi Security Forces (ISF) commanders and may even direct the military operation, if it occurs. It will begin at the Fishkhabur crossing between Iraqi Kurdistan and Syria, where Iran's proxies including the Badr Organization and Asa'ib Ahl al Haq are deployed. Negotiations are underway after Prime Minister Abadi set a deadline for the handover of the crossings on October 28th, but there has been no sign of a Kurdish withdrawal. Kurdistan Regional Government President Masoud Barzani announced he will not seek an extension of his term past November 1st in a letter to the Kurdish Parliament on October 29th.


#1049 SimonH

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Posted 31 October 2017 - 04:32 PM

Is this the start of the war on Kurds, you know the bit when the West turns their backs and lets Turks, Iraqi's and Iranians slaughter the Kurds ?

#1050 lanforod

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Posted 01 November 2017 - 09:02 AM

That was my thought too. So another civil war in Iraq (I don't really consider the ISIS war a civil war).

#1051 Hotel Mike

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Posted 01 November 2017 - 03:04 PM

That's what I fear as well SimonH. Everyone was friends with the Kurds when the peshmerga and the Kurdish women were bravely battling ISIS. Now? Who will stand up for them?

Don't be so sure.:cool:

#1052 amor de cosmos

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Posted 03 November 2017 - 08:46 AM

At least 741 civilians died in "execution-style killings" by Islamic State militants during the battle for the Iraqi city of Mosul, the UN says.

The jihadists are also alleged to have carried out mass abductions, used human shields, intentionally shelled homes, and targeted people trying to flee.

"Those responsible must answer for their heinous crimes," said UN human rights chief Zeid Raad Al Hussein.

He also called for alleged violations by Iraqi forces to be investigated.

The UN says another 461 civilians died as a result of Iraqi military and US-led coalition air strikes during the most intensive phase of the battle, which lasted from November 2016 to July 2017.


The Raqqa Civil Council, whose membership was decided by the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), received the second batch of vehicles for rubble removal from the International Coalition last Thursday. This batch included 12 large trucks, three small bobcats, eight tipper trucks, and three water tanks. It is worth mentioning that the first batch received by the council was for Tabqa city and it consisted of 56 rubble removal vehicles.

The mine removal process is being supervised by three organizations: Tatritk, Mac, and Rouj. These three organizations have indicated that there remain a large number of mines remaining in the northern part of the city as well as the city center. According to the organizations, the number of mines left is estimated to be around eight thousand, and the time needed to finish the work of removal should be approximately six months.

The rubble removal work is to be done in tandem with a medical team. This team will remove dead bodies from the streets and document it with assistance from a forensic committee. This team is responsible for removing the dead bodies from the rubble as well. It is estimated that hundreds of dead bodies are trapped beneath the rubble, as a strong smell of decay is pervasive throughout the city.

Due to dire circumstances faced by those who have been displaced, some civilians are trying to return to their homes in the city. In the process, several civilians have died because of the remaining mines. It is reported that the total number of civilian killed by the mines since the beginning of the battle is around 114.


The Syrian army said Friday it had liberated from ISIS the long-contested eastern city of Deir al-Zor, one of the militant group's last remaining urban strongholds in Syria and Iraq.

The recapture of Deir al-Zor on the west bank of the Euphrates River is another victory for President Bashar al-Assad's forces in the Syrian military's bigger fight to capture most of the oil-rich province along the border with Iraq.

Deir al-Zor, which had been divided into a government-held and an ISIS-held part for nearly three years, is the largest city in eastern Syria and the capital of the province with the same name. It is also the largest city the Syrian government has retaken from the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria.


#1053 amor de cosmos

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Posted 09 November 2017 - 09:15 AM

Post-ISIS Insurgency Looms in Northern Syria
By Genevieve Casagrande and the ISW Syria Team

Key Takeaway: Resistance to the Kurdish political project in northern Syria is increasing the risk of an insurgency that would reverse U.S. gains against ISIS and facilitate the return of Salafi-jihadi groups to the area. Turkey and ISIS are exacerbating tensions between local Sunni Arabs and the Syrian Kurdish YPG, which dominates the U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF). Turkish support to anti-Kurdish insurgent groups in SDF-held areas may support the reemergence of Al Qaeda, which also seeks to exploit ethnic strife and hostility toward the SDF, in northern Syria.


Iran’s Role in the Kirkuk Operation in Iraq
By Jennifer Cafarella with Omer Kassim

Key Takeaway: Iran provided decisive military support to compel Iraqi Kurds to surrender in Kirkuk, Iraq, on October 16, 2017. Military forces from three major Iranian proxies participated in the operation: Kata'ib Hezbollah, Asa'ib Ahl al Haq, and the Badr Organization. Iran did not attempt to outshine Iraq’s Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi in public. Iran instead allowed Abadi to take credit, while quietly positioning its proxies to influence Kirkuk in the future. The Institute for the Study of War (ISW) conducted a rigorous study of social media activity and other reporting of troop movements in Iraq in order to assess the role of Iran’s proxies in Kirkuk and across Iraq’s disputed internal boundaries.


#1054 amor de cosmos

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Posted 11 November 2017 - 08:21 AM

A Hezbollah-run media unit said on Friday Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, leader of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), was reported to have been in the Syrian town of Boukamal during the Syrian army and its allies' operation to clear it.

The military unit did not say what had happened to al-Baghdadi, give further details, or identify its sources.

The U.S.-led coalition against ISIS said on Friday it had no "releasable information" on Baghdadi's whereabouts.

Syria's army declared victory over ISIS on Thursday, saying its capture of the jihadists' last town in the country marked the collapse of their three-year rule in the region. But the army and its allies are still fighting the militant group in desert areas close to Boukamal near the border with Iraq, the Syrian army said on Thursday.


#1055 amor de cosmos

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Posted 12 November 2017 - 08:34 AM

Iraqi forces have launched an offensive to recapture Rawa, the last town controlled by so-called Islamic State.

The town, and a few small parcels of land, are all that remains under the militants' control in Iraq, after the larger town of al-Qaim fell last week.

The group's last urban stronghold in Syria, Albu Kamal, fell afterwards.

Retaking Rawa in the offensive, which began on Saturday, would leave the jihadist group on the verge of complete defeat in Iraq.


#1056 amor de cosmos

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Posted 14 November 2017 - 08:33 AM

long story, not surprisingly

The BBC has uncovered details of a secret deal that let hundreds of IS fighters and their families escape from Raqqa, under the gaze of the US and British-led coalition and Kurdish-led forces who control the city.

A convoy included some of IS’s most notorious members and – despite reassurances – dozens of foreign fighters. Some of those have spread out across Syria, even making it as far as Turkey.


The deal to let IS fighters escape from Raqqa – de facto capital of their self-declared caliphate – had been arranged by local officials. It came after four months of fighting that left the city obliterated and almost devoid of people. It would spare lives and bring fighting to an end. The lives of the Arab, Kurdish and other fighters opposing IS would be spared.

But it also enabled many hundreds of IS fighters to escape from the city. At the time, neither the US and British-led coalition, nor the SDF, which it backs, wanted to admit their part.

Has the pact, which stood as Raqqa’s dirty secret, unleashed a threat to the outside world - one that has enabled militants to spread far and wide across Syria and beyond?

Great pains were taken to hide it from the world. But the BBC has spoken to dozens of people who were either on the convoy, or observed it, and to the men who negotiated the deal.


In light of the BBC investigation, the coalition now admits the part it played in the deal. Some 250 IS fighters were allowed to leave Raqqa, with 3,500 of their family members.

“We didn’t want anyone to leave,” says Col Ryan Dillon, spokesman for Operation Inherent Resolve, the Western coalition against IS.

“But this goes to the heart of our strategy, ‘by, with and through’ local leaders on the ground. It comes down to Syrians – they are the ones fighting and dying, they get to make the decisions regarding operations,” he says.

While a Western officer was present for the negotiations, they didn’t take an “active part” in the discussions. Col Dillon maintains, though, that only four foreign fighters left and they are now in SDF custody.


Edited by amor de cosmos, 14 November 2017 - 08:33 AM.


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