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Situation in Syria / ISIS


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#1101 Mike K.

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Posted 28 June 2018 - 10:35 AM

Is protection or ransom money avoidable in those areas, though?

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#1102 Mattjvd

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Posted 28 June 2018 - 10:51 AM

Cement giant Lafarge under investigation for terrorism financing

 

https://www.theglobe...allegations-of/

 

'A panel of magistrates in France has put cement giant LafargeHolcim under formal investigation over allegations of terrorist financing, violating international sanctions and committing crimes against humanity.

The case centres around allegations that Lafarge paid the Islamic State and other terrorist groups in Syria more than US$15-million between 2011 and 2014 for supplies and assurances they wouldn’t attack the company’s new plant near Raqqa.'

 

 

Is protection or ransom money avoidable in those areas, though?

 

Interesting. 

 

Yeah it's hard to say without more information if they had any alternatives. Is the company a victim of racketeering, or is it more nefarious?



#1103 Mike K.

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Posted 28 June 2018 - 12:20 PM

From a December 2017 NYT piece:

 

"Lafarge, a sprawling French multinational with operations in 80 countries, has said that its employees were motivated to keep the Syrian plant running by a “can-do” approach. But critics have accused the company of trying to maintain profitability and a presence there, despite the growing danger to its employees."

 

...

 

Mr. Olsen resigned as chief executive in April [I guess that April, 2017?] after an internal inquiry found that managers of Lafarge’s Syrian plant had paid armed groups to allow employees to move to and from the factory so that it could continue operating. Lafarge concluded at the time that Mr. Olsen was not responsible for, or aware of, the activity.

 

Since then, French judges have been examining the extent to which top Lafarge executives knew about the payments, and whether the company may have bought oil linked to the Islamic State, also known as ISIS, in violation of United Nation sanctions and a 2011 European Union embargo. The group seized the plant in September 2014, forcing the Lafarge employees who were there at the time to abandon it. ...


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#1104 Bingo

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Posted 28 June 2018 - 12:52 PM

Interesting. 

 

Yeah it's hard to say without more information if they had any alternatives. Is the company a victim of racketeering, or is it more nefarious?

 

Probably nefarious. How much protection does 15 million buy...6mo...a year before you have to pay again?

It they are using that concrete for fighter hangers, a few cruise missiles will even things out.



#1105 Mike K.

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Posted 28 June 2018 - 12:58 PM

Right, the big question now is who their clients were/are.


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#1106 Mattjvd

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Posted 28 June 2018 - 12:58 PM

Probably nefarious. How much protection does 15 million buy...6mo...a year before you have to pay again?

It they are using that concrete for fighter hangers, a few cruise missiles will even things out.

Well they'd have to make it less expensive and less of a hassle than hiring a very well trained and armed private security team. 15 million can get you some great defense contractors.



#1107 amor de cosmos

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Posted 09 August 2018 - 08:50 AM

The fourth anniversary of the international war against so-called Islamic State sees the terror group nearly ousted as a territorial entity from both Iraq and Syria, according to US-led Coalition forces and local monitors. The removal of the group has helped lead to significant recovery in some areas, particularly in Iraq. However the cost for civilians of ISIS’s defeat has also been high.

The conflict – which has drawn 14 international powers into a major fighting alliance since August 8th 2014 – has seen almost 30,000 Coalition air and artillery strikes and more than 108,000 munitions dropped from the air on ISIS forces. Those combat partners known to be still active are the United States, the UK, France and the Netherlands.

International airpower has played a huge role in defeating ISIS. The first US airstrike took place near Erbil in Iraq, on August 8th 2014. Exactly 1,462 days of war later, and Washington’s intervention has now lasted longer than the American Civil War, and the US’s participation in both the First and Second World Wars.

The present best estimate by Airwars is that between 6,500 and 10,000 civilians have likely been killed in Coalition actions in four years of fighting – with the alliance itself presently conceding more than 1,000 non-combatants deaths from its air and artillery strikes.

The last public costings for the war, published 13 months ago, declared that the US had already spent $14bn in its fight against ISIS. More than 70,000 ISIS fighters have been alleged killed by the US-led campaign according to anonymous officials – though recently the Coalition has been more tight lipped in estimating the number of enemy fighters killed.

At its height, ISIS had held much of northern and central Iraq, and swathes of Syria. Yet today, only a hard core of about 1,500 ISIS fighters is thought to remain around Hajin in the Euphrates Valley near the Syrian-Iraqi border, among them senior figures possibly including leader Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi. Other fighters have been driven into more remote desert areas on both the Syrian and Iraqi sides of the border.

In Iraq itself ISIS is now defeated as a territorial entity – with only a limited number of Coalition airstrikes since the capture of Mosul in July 2017. However there are troubling signs of an emerging insurgency, with police and army units recently targeted.

etc
https://airwars.org/...t-at-what-cost/

#1108 amor de cosmos

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Posted 13 August 2018 - 03:47 PM

Washington, D.C., August 13, 2018 – U.S. Cyber Command’s strategy for curtailing ISIL’s ability to exploit the internet may at least partially be paying off, according to an analysis of recently declassified documents posted today by the nongovernmental National Security Archive.

The new documents, obtained under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) by Motherboard and the Archive, center around Operation GLOWING SYMPHONY, a USCYBERCOM activity authorized in late 2016 to deny the Islamic State use of the internet.

Correlating new information in the records with the results of public academic research allows for at least a partial, preliminary judgment about the operation’s success. Notably, research from the George Washington University Program on Extremism shows a sizable downtick in ISIL’s use of social media that tracks with the timing of GLOWING SYMPHONY’s launch.

While substantially redacted, the records offer other research benefits. For instance, they make it possible to trace the evolution of the mission from broad concept to a complete plan of operations and authorization. One overarching conclusion from this is that cyber may not be revolutionizing operational planning as much as is often assumed.

At the same time, the execution and impact of counter-terror operations in cyberspace, as evidenced in these documents, speaks to the ways cyber is changing both how terrorist groups conduct global operations and how sophisticated responses are becoming more lethal by integrating cyber with precision-strike tactics.

https://nsarchive.gw...ar-against-isil

#1109 Bingo

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Posted 18 September 2018 - 06:01 AM

 

Moscow (CNN)Syria inadvertently shot down a Russian military plane after an Israeli attack on Syrian positions, killing 15 people on board, Moscow said.

The Russian military said Tuesday that the Russian maritime patrol aircraft was shot by by Syrian regime anti-aircraft artillery amid the Israeli attack on Monday, state news agency RIA-Novosti reported.
Moscow blamed Israel for putting its aircraft in the line of fire, Russian state news agency RIA-Novosti reported.
"As a result of the irresponsible actions of the Israeli military, 15 Russian servicemen were killed, which is absolutely not in keeping with the spirit of Russian-Israeli partnership," said Russian Maj. Gen. Igor Konashenkov, spokesperson for the Russian military, according to RIA-Novosti.
 


#1110 amor de cosmos

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Posted 03 October 2018 - 07:25 AM

Key Takeaway: The Islamic State of Iraq and al Sham (ISIS) is reconstituting a capable insurgent force in Iraq and Syria despite efforts to prevent its recovery by the U.S. Anti-ISIS Coalition. The U.S. Department of Defense stated in August 2018 that ISIS retains nearly 30,000 fighters across Iraq and Syria and is “more capable” than Al-Qaeda in Iraq - ISIS’s predecessor - at its peak in 2006 - 2007. ISIS is waging an effective campaign to reestablish durable support zones while raising funds and rebuilding command-and-control over its remnant forces. On its current trajectory, ISIS could regain sufficient strength to mount a renewed insurgency that once again threatens to overmatch local security forces in both Iraq and Syria. The Institute for the Study of War (ISW) is issuing a map update depicting ISIS’s current operating areas based on an analysis of its activity from January 1, 2018 to October 1, 2018.

*snip*

ISIS’s resurgence will likely accelerate as the Anti-ISIS Campaign falls down the priority list of the Government of Iraq. Iraq shifted its focus towards Iraqi Kurdistan in October 2017 after the Iraqi Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) held a contested independence referendum in September 2017, triggering a military response from both Iraq and Iran in the contested city of Kirkuk. The subsequent military standoff between the Government of Iraq and Iraqi Kurdistan disrupted operations against ISIS and created opportunities for ISIS to expand in the Disputed Internal Boundaries (DIBs) with Iraqi Kurdistan.

Iraq’s May 2018 Parliamentary Elections and subsequent political developments have further disrupted the ability of the Government of Iraq to prioritize the Anti-ISIS Campaign. A growing protest movement in Southern Iraq divided the government and disrupted clearing operations against ISIS. Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi redeployed part of the elite Iraqi Counterterrorism Services (CTS) to secure government installations in Southern Iraq on July 13.[7] The CTS is the preeminent force against ISIS in Iraq and works closely with the U.S. Anti-ISIS Coalition. Abadi similarly redeployed part of the Iraqi Emergency Response Division from the DIBs to Southern Iraq on September 9, further degrading security in Northern Iraq.


ISW%2BMap%2B-%2BISIS%2BOperating%2BAreas

http://iswresearch.b...resurgence.html

#1111 amor de cosmos

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Posted 07 October 2018 - 08:51 AM

The Saturday evacuation is the latest in a series of airlifts coming amid the Syrian Army's ongoing offensive on jihadists who still control small pockets of Deir ez-Zor, much of them empty desert.

A number of wounded Daesh* terrorists militants have been evacuated by US helicopters from Syria's eastern Deir ez-Zor province, local sources said, as quoted by the Syrian news website Arabi Today.

On Saturday night, the militants were reportedly relocated from the town of al-Shaafah located near the Iraqi border to an unknown location.

It is not the first time that US military aircraft have been spotted transferring Daesh terrorists from embattled regions.

In late September, Syria's SANA news agency reported that the US-led coalition performed "an air landing operation" on the outskirts of al-Marashida in order to airlift terrorist leaders to an unknown destination.

https://sputniknews....sts-evacuation/

#1112 amor de cosmos

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Posted 10 October 2018 - 08:14 AM

The Islamic State has now lost most of its territory. The group has been relegated from controlling territory roughly equivalent to the size of Great Britain to attempting to survive while under siege in strongholds pockmarking the Euphrates River Valley. The Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS has destroyed the terrorist proto-state in the Middle East and denied its leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, his dreams of an Islamic caliphate in the heart of the region. Without access to territory, and thus a significantly reduced revenue stream from taxation, extortion, and the sale of oil, the Islamic State’s funding has already decreased precipitously.

The group, however, no longer relies on territory for its economic survival. In part, that’s because its surviving leadership may have smuggled as much as $400 million out of Iraq and Syria. The group’s extended network will seek to launder this money through front companies in the region, especially in Turkey. Some cash could be converted to gold and stockpiled for sale in the future.

*snip*

The Islamic State hasn’t ceased seeking to control territory. Around Deir Ezzor, in advance of the pending assault by the Syrian Democratic Forces, the Islamic State is seeking to regain control of oil assets. According to a United Nations Security Council report from July, the group has regained control of oil fields in northeastern Syria and continues to extract oil for use by its fighters—and to sell to locals. But even after these fields are inevitably reclaimed, with the help of U.S. forces, the Islamic State will simply revert back to criminal activities that do not require the maintenance of physical territory.

The combination of current assets and a future ability to earn money will allow the group to regroup and reorganize, which has already begun happening in various parts of Iraq and Syria. Throughout Kirkuk in northern Iraq, militants constructed fake checkpoints to ambush Iraqi security forces operating in the area earlier this year. In other parts of Iraq, including Diyala and Saladin, Islamic State sleeper cells are actively conducting surveillance and reconnaissance of these areas to determine how best to operate before reorganizing small formations of fighters. And despite the onslaught of U.S. bombing raids, pockets of militants remain holed up in Hajin, north of Abu Kamal, and Dashisha, in Syria.

https://foreignpolic...nd-wreak-havoc/

#1113 amor de cosmos

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Posted 12 October 2018 - 07:16 AM

ERBIL, Kurdistan Region – Kurdish and Iraqi forces, with coalition backing, arrested 10 members of an ISIS financial network in recent operations in Erbil and Baghdad.

"The arrests deal a major blow to ISIS's capacity to threaten and terrorize civilians," said Maj. Gen. Patrick B. Roberson, commander of special operations for the global coalition against ISIS.

The ten arrested were members of the al-Rawi financial network, the coalition stated. Eight of the arrests were previously announced by the Kurdistan Region counter-terror directorate.

Fawaz Muhammad Jubayr al-Rawi was killed by a coalition airstrike in Syria’s al-Boukamal on June 16, 2017.

The US Treasury slapped sanctions on Rawi in December 2016 for providing material and financial support to ISIS.

http://www.rudaw.net...istan/111020183

#1114 amor de cosmos

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Posted Yesterday, 07:36 AM

RAQQA, Syria — A year after a US-backed alliance of Syrian fighters drove the Islamic State group from the northern city of Raqqa, traumatised civilians still live in fear of near-daily bombings.

"Every day we wake up to the sound of an explosion," said resident Khaled al-Darwish.

"We're scared to send our children to school... there's no security," he added.

The jihadists' brutal rule in Raqqa was brought to an end in October 2017 after a months-long ground offensive by the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces supported by air strikes from a US-led coalition.

But despite manning roadblocks at every street corner, the SDF and the city's newly created Internal Security Forces are struggling to stem infiltration by IS sleeper cells.

At Raqqa's entrance, soldiers verify drivers' identity papers and carefully sift through lorry cargoes.

Inside the city, there are regular foot patrols and armoured vehicles sit at strategic points.

Women wearing the niqab are asked to show their faces to female security members before entering public buildings.

"If there wasn't fear about a return of IS, there wouldn't be this increased military presence," said Darwish, a father of two, speaking near the infamous Paradise Square.

It was here that IS carried out decapitations and other brutal punishments, earning the intersection a new name -- "the roundabout of hell".

http://www.rudaw.net.../syria/18102018

 



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