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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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Belgium's first bombing raid in Iraq
2014.10.07 01:20:52

An F-16 fighter jet has carried out Belgium's first bombing raid in Iraq in the fight against the Islamist State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) group, the defense ministry said.

Belgium has contributed six F-16 bombers to the US-led air campaign against fighters, backing up Iraqi and Kurdish troops on the ground.

Two of the Belgian jets were flying their first reconnaissance missions over Iraqi territory on Sunday when they were called to action.

"After the positive identification of a terrorist element attacking Iraqi security forces... The Belgian aircraft intervened with a GPS-guided bomb, resulting in the immediate neutralization of the enemy threat," the ministry said in a statement.

[AFP]



Tags: Iraq | Islamic State | Belgium

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Injuries as mortar lands in Turkey
2014.10.06 03:11:25

A mortar that crashed into a house on Turkish territory just a few kilometers from a border area inside Syria where Kurdish fighters are battling ISIL has wounded five people, medical sources told Reuters.



Tags: Syria | Islamic State | Turkey

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Joe Biden has apologized to Recep Erdogan
2014.10.05 02:52:59

Joe Biden has apologized to Recep Erdogan for saying the Turkish leader had conceded that his country mistakenly assisted foreign fighters, including ISIL, in seeking to depose the Syrian regime.

The White House said Biden spoke to Erdogan on Saturday "to clarify comments" he made on Thursday at Harvard University.

The White House says Biden apologized "for any implication'' that Turkey or other allies had intentionally supplied or helped in the growth of ISIL or other groups in Syria.

Biden on Thursday said Erdogan had admitted that Turkey made mistakes by helping armed groups in Syria.

Erdogan denied saying that and countered that Biden would become "history to me" over the comments.

- AP



Tags: Syria | Islamic State | United States | Turkey | Joe Biden

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American citizen Jordan Matson
2014.10.05 02:45:33

Rohani TV, a Kurdish television channel, interviews an American citizen, Jordan Matson, who says he has joined Kurdish YPG fighters battling ISIL in northern Syria. He's been in the country for two weeks and was injured in battle, he says. A curious interview.

"I got sick of watching so many innocent people be killed. I got sick of everybody saying how bad it was and doing nothing about it. So I made up my own mind to come over here and do something about it."



Tags: Syria | Islamic State | United States

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Turkey criticized comments by the US vice-president
2014.10.05 02:26:07

Turkey has today criticized comments by the US vice-president, Joe Biden, that the US's allies were "the biggest problem" in Syria and that Turkey had let too many people slip into Syria to fight.

Turkey's president Recep Tayyip Erdogan says Turkey has never allowed foreign fighters through to Syria or supported ISIL.

Erdogan said: "Biden is history to me if he really used those words on this subject... we have never provided any support to ISIL nor any terror group during that period when I was prime minister. No one can prove that we did".

Biden, known his counter-intuitive statements, made his speech on October 2 at the Kennedy Forum at Harvard University. Here's the speech, but be warned: it's long. For wonks only.



Tags: Syria | Islamic State | United States | Turkey | Joe Biden

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ISIL fighters pressed further towards Kobane
2014.10.05 02:15:46

ISIL fighters are reported to have pressed further towards Kobane, the Syrian border town near Turkey.

Our correspondent on the Turkish side of the border reports heavy shelling and gunfire today.Our sister channel AJ Arabic says that four US-led air attacks on ISIL stopped the group pushing into the town last night.

Here's our latest story.



Tags: Syria | Islamic State

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Aerial bombardment
2014.10.05 02:07:13

Activists say aerial bombardment with barrel bombs on the town of Saraqeb, in Idlib, targeting mosques, killed one man and caused huge destruction. The video purports to show one of the strikes.



Tags: Syria

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Tear gas on Turkey border
2014.10.05 01:53:00

Turkish military police has just used tear gas to disperse a group of Kurdish protesters who gathered at the Turkey-Syria border chanting slogans in support of Kobane, under attack from ISIL.



Tags: Syria | Islamic State | Turkey

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#Turkey to do 'everything' for Kobane not to fall
2014.10.04 01:32:54

Turkey will do whatever it can to prevent the Kurdish town of Kobane falling to ISIL, Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said after the Turkish parliament gave the green light for military action.

ISIL has now advanced to a few kilometers from Kobane, known as Ain al-Arab in Arabic, which lies just across the Turkish border.

"We do not want Kobane to fall. We opened our arms to our brothers from Kobane," Davutoglu said in an interview with A Haber-ATV television. "We will do do whatever we can so that Kobane does not fall."

[AFP]



Tags: Syria | Islamic State | Turkey

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admin
More air strikes reported
2014.10.04 01:07:48

Activists report coalition strikes targeting ISIL-held areas overnight that resulted in causalities in al-Mayadeen in Deir ez-Zour, Manbij and Jarablus in northeastern Aleppo, and Tal Abyad in Raqqa, near the Turkish border.



Tags: Syria | Islamic State | United States

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Rights groups call for lawyer's release
2014.10.04 00:54:37

More than two dozen rights groups have called for the release of Syrian human rights lawyer Khalil Maatouq, two years after his "enforced disappearance" in Damascus.

The appeal was co-signed by 26 human rights organizations, including Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, Reporters Without Borders and several regional watchdogs.

Maatouq, executive director of the Syrian Center for Legal Studies and Research, and his assistant Mohammad Zaza disappeared two years ago as they were heading to their office in the Syrian capital.

"It is believed that they were arrested at a government security checkpoint solely due to his legitimate and peaceful work in human rights," said the joint statement.

"Multiple reports have confirmed that the two men are being held by the Syrian authorities, who appear to move them among various detention facilities in Damascus, including the 'Palestine Branch', a detention center run by military intelligence," it added.

[AFP]



Tags: Syria

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Opposition officials sacked over vaccination deaths
2014.10.03 02:06:14

The Syrian National Coalition has issued a statement apologizing to the Syrian people for the Measles vaccination campaign that killed at least 15 children in the Idlib town of Jarjanaz in September.

Several officials were sacked, including Dr Adnan Hazuri, health minister in the interim government for opposition-held territory and Suhair Atassi, who headed a coalition body distributing international funding involved in the vaccination campaign.



Tags: Syria

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PKK leader warns that ISIL victory would end Turkey peace process
2014.10.03 01:39:19

The jailed leader of Turkey's outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), which has waged a 30-year insurgency for self-rule, has warned that the peace process could collapse if ISIL seizes Kobane.

"The siege of Kobane is far from being just an ordinary siege," PKK leader Abdullah Ocalan said in a message relayed by supporters from his prison on the island of Imrali.

"It does not only target the democratic gains of the Kurdish people but would lead Turkey to a new era of coups.

"If this attempt at a massacre succeeds, it will not only end the peace process, but will also pave the way for a new and long-lasting coup," he said, according to the pro-Kurdish Firat news agency.

[AFP]



Tags: Syria | Islamic State | Turkey | PKK

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admin
Clashes near Kobane
2014.10.03 00:57:57

Last night clashes between Kurdish YPG fighters and ISIL reached closer than 1km to Kobane, according to YPG activists in the town..

The YPG command said they managed to repel the ISIL attack and pushed the group back.

YPG say they have set up strong defenses in Kobane, including trenches around the town, planting booby traps at the entrances and inside the town, and deploying snipers on the southern hills.

The activists also say one civilian was killed and other injured as a result of ISIL artillery shelling on Kobane yesterday.



Tags: Syria | Islamic State

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admin
US rebel training could 'take years'
2014.10.03 00:44:18

Retired US general John Allen, who is leading the international effort against ISIL, has said that the training of Syrian rebels would be a slow process.

"It is going to take a while, it could take years, actually," Allen said in an interview with CNN. "We have to manage our expectations."

The US Congress has approved the training and equipping of moderate Syrian rebel units as part of an international plan to defeat ISIL in Iraq and Syria.

Allen said the training of Syrian rebels was already under way.

"The process of getting that unfolded is occurring right now with the idea of locating training camps and beginning to accumulate the Syrian elements that will go into those training camps," he said.

[AFP]



Tags: Syria | Islamic State | United States | Iraq

Hits: 460 | Read more...


 
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