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Two fresh strikes on ISIL positions
2014.10.10 02:29:57

The US-led coalition on Thursday carried out two fresh strikes on ISIL positions in the key Syrian town of Kobane, said an AFP reporter just across the border in Turkey.

The strikes targeted the city's southwest, which is under control of Kurdish forces who have been fighting off a three-week ISIL advance on the strategic town.

[AFP]



Tags: Syria | Islamic State | United States

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'Buffer zone' between Syria and Turkey
2014.10.10 02:17:43

The US and UK have said they are willing to examine the possibility of creating a "buffer zone" between Syria and Turkey as ISIL continues its assault on the border town of Kobane.

But the White House and US defense department said that while a buffer zone was not one of the military options under consideration, they were open to discuss it with Turkey.



Tags: Syria | Islamic State | United States | Turkey

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It is unlikely that Turkey would send ground troops
2014.10.10 02:02:10

Prof. Bessma Momani, a Middle East expert at the University of Waterloo in Canada, said that it is unlikely that Turkey would send ground troops, to prevent the fall of the Syrian town of Kobane into the hands of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant.

In an interview, she said that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is under intense pressure from Turkish majority, who are against more intervention in Syria.

"Ankara is stuck," she said referring to the Turkish government. "The domestic situation is really not in its favor."



Tags: Syria | Islamic State | Turkey

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US-led airstrikes on Kobane
2014.10.09 03:08:47

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the US-led airstrikes on Kobane have killed at least 45 ISIL fighters between late Tuesday and Wednesday.



Tags: Syria | Islamic State | United States

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US-led coalition airstrikes on al Tabqa airport
2014.10.09 03:07:43

The Syrian Observatory for Human rights is reporting US-led coalition airstrikes on al Tabqa airport in Al Raqqa.



Tags: Syria | Islamic State | United States

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US-led coalition bombed positions of ISIL near Kobani
2014.10.09 02:42:10

Warplanes believed to be of the US-led coalition bombed positions of ISIL near Kobani.

One airstrike, visible from the border, hit a hill and an open space near the town.

Meanwhile, heavy gunfire was heard from inside the town in a sign of fresh clashes. The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said most of the fighting as in the town's Kani Arban neighborhood.

[AP]



Tags: Syria | Islamic State | United States

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Islamic State withdrew from several areas
2014.10.09 02:25:13

Rami Abdel Rahman, director of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, said "fighters from the Islamic State withdrew overnight from several areas in the east of Ain al-Arab (Kobane) and the southwestern edges."

After the pullback, the group's fighters were present in eastern parts of the strategic town and its southern edges, but were no longer inside on the western front, Abdel Rahman said.



Tags: Syria | Islamic State

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Pro-Kurdish demonstration in southeast Turkey
2014.10.09 02:12:04

At least 14 people were killed in violent protests by pro-Kurdish demonstrators in southeast Turkey angry at the government's lack of action against ISIL in Syria, officials said Wednesday.

Eight of the deaths came in Turkey's main Kurdish city of Diyarbakir where the most intense rioting took place overnight Tuesday to Wednesday, a local security official told AFP.

The other deaths were reported in violent protests in Mardin, Siirt, Batman and Mus, all cities in the southeast of Turkey.



Tags: Syria | Islamic State | Turkey

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Syrian army has regained control
2014.10.09 02:02:15

The Syrian army has regained control of a previously rebel-held town near Damascus, turning the tide in an area that witnessed large scale insurgent attacks in September.

The attacks had slowed the Syrian army's advance in the countryside to the east of the capital and the latest movements come at a time when rebels have taken a strategic hill in Deraa Province to the south of the country.

A 400-meter long tunnel connecting the rebel-held area of Ein Tarma with Adukhania was found in the district.

[Reuters]



Tags: Syria

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More from Mistura
2014.10.08 03:40:11

"They are all Kurds - they have been defending themselves with great courage. But they are now very close to not being able to do so. They are fighting with normal weapons, whereas the ISIL has tanks and mortars.

"The international community needs to defend them. The international community cannot sustain another city falling under ISIS.

"What is needed now is concrete action.

"The world, all of us, will regret deeply if ISIL is able to take over. We need to act now."



Tags: Syria | Islamic State | United States

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US-led air attacks on #ISIL ineffective
2014.10.08 03:32:07

The international community should immediately act to defend the key Syrian border town of Kobane from ISIL, the UN's peace envoy to Syria has.

"The world has seen the images of what happens when a city in Syria or in Iraq is overtaken by the terrorist group called ISIL: massacres, humanitarian tragedies, rapes, horrific violence," Staffan de Mistura said.

"The world, all of us, will regret deeply if ISIL is able to take over a city which has defended itself with courage but is close to not being able to do so. We need to act now."

Here are the options:

Boots on the ground (ruled out)
Turkey invading Syria (ruled out)
US-led air attacks on ISIL (so far ineffective)



Tags: Syria | Islamic State | United States

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Syria has declared four chemical weapons facilities
2014.10.08 03:12:48

Syria has declared four chemical weapons facilities it hadn't mentioned before, a special representative of the UN secretary-general told the Security Council on Tuesday. The news heightened concerns that the Syrian government hasn't been fully open about its chemical weapons program.

Diplomats said Sigrid Kaag told them during closed consultations that three of the facilities are for research and development and one is for production, and that no new chemical agents have been associated with the four sites.

The US ambassador to the UN, Samantha Power, tweeted: "Must keep pressure on regime so it doesn't hide CW capability." [AP]



Tags: Syria

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#ISIL fighters in the streets of #Kobane
2014.10.08 02:50:45

The statement on this video, posted on Youtube today, says it shows ISIL fighters in the streets of Kobane. A colleague has pointed out that a fighter can be heard saying they are in Tal Arar in Aleppo.

We're trying to find the source and record date of the video.

Anyway, at 0.55 there is dark smoke, and ISIL fighters say they are inside the town. "We are being shelled from all sides, God is great".

At 2.04 a fighter says "the brothers already retreated behind the mountain and they are safe with the grace of God".



Tags: Syria | Islamic State

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German soldiers training Kurdish peshmerga fighters
2014.10.08 02:37:08

This video, released by the German army, shows German soldiers training Kurdish peshmerga fighters in Bavaria. They're being taught how to use Milan anti-tank missiles.



Tags: Iraq | Islamic State | Germany

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#Turkey 'can't do much'
2014.10.08 02:32:37

Hakan Yavuz, an expert on Turkish politics at the University of Utah in the US, said Turkey "can't do much" to stop the advance of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) in the Syrian town of Kobane at the border with Turkey.

In an interview, Yavuz said that Turkey cannot do the fighting against ISIL on behalf of the Syrian Kurds.

"It's doing enough just to stay out of the conflict and not to violate the territorial integrity of" Syria and Iraq, he said.

He also said that despite Turkish reluctance to join in the fight, it has opened its borders to over a million Syrian refugees fleeing the fighting.



Tags: Syria | Islamic State | Turkey

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Air power 'would be of little use'
2014.10.08 01:56:10

Douglas Ollivant, of Washington DC-based New America Foundation, has said that air power of the US and its Middle Eastern allies "would be of little use" now that the fighters of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant are in the Syrian city of Kobane.

In an interview Ollivant, who served as a former Director for Iraq at the US National Security Council, also said that it would be "conceivable" that NATO ground troops could be deployed if ISIL fighters attack neighboring Turkey, which is a member of NATO.



Tags: Syria | Islamic State | United States | NATO

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Syrian Kurdish town of Kobane
2014.10.08 01:44:18

Idris Nassan, a Kurdish politician, confirmed in an interview that armed fighters of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant have entered the eastern side of the Syrian Kurdish town of Kobane.

Nassan said that local Kurdish militia have put on a fight against ISIL, but added that more air strikes are necessary to drive out the armed fighters.

He also said that local militia need more firearms, and that ground forces are required to defeat ISIL.



Tags: Syria | Islamic State

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The parents of American hostage Peter Kassig
2014.10.07 02:19:17

The parents of American hostage Peter Kassig, who is being held by ISIL, have released a letter he wrote in June in which he said he was "scared to die."

The 26-year-old former US soldier was paraded at the end of an ISIL video last week that showed the murder of British aid worker Alan Henning.

Kassig's letter referred to his conversion to Islam during captivity, which his parents Ed and Paula Kassig said took place voluntarily at some point between October and December 2013 when he shared a cell with a devout Syrian Muslim.

[AFP]



Tags: Syria | Islamic State | United States | Peter Kassig

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Turkish security forces
2014.10.07 02:07:07

The Turkish security forces on Monday used tear gas to push dozens of reporters and Kurdish civilians away from the border zone close to intense fighting for the besieged Syrian town of Kobane.

The armed forces employed tear gas for the second day in a row to push people back from the border area which has become increasingly dangerous owing to mortars fired from Syria, an AFP correspondent reported.

[AFP]



Tags: Syria | Islamic State | Turkey

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Kurdish gunmen repelled a wide offensive by IS fighters
2014.10.07 01:33:49

An activist group and a Kurdish official say gunmen defending a Syrian town near the border with Turkey have repelled a wide offensive by IS fighters.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights and a statement by the Kurdish force, known as YPK, say more than 45 fighters on both sides were killed Sunday near the town of Kobani.

[AP]



Tags: Syria | Islamic State

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