Sunday, September 21, 2014
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US state department document
2014.09.17 01:31:02

The US state department has released a document updating the situation within the coalition. We thought we'd share it. The yellow bits are highlighted by the department as additions to the list as of Sept 12.

Tags: Iraq | Islamic State | United States

Hits: 327 |

16 civilians were killed by barrel bombs
2014.09.16 02:51:10

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported that 16 civilians were killed as government forces dropped barrel bombs on the town of Talbisa in Homs province.

Meanwhile the Observatory also said 6 people were killed in Ghouta outside of Damascus.

Tags: Syria

Hits: 228 |

Airstrikes by the Syrian warplanes
2014.09.16 02:49:54

Local activists in Aleppo said that 11 civilians, including a child and a woman were killed during airstrikes carried out by the Syrian regime's warplanes on Marja district in Aleppo.

Two other people were killed when regime helicopters dropped barrel bombs on Haj bridge in Aleppo on Monday.

Tags: Syria

Hits: 206 |

Syrian opposition groups clashed with regime forces
2014.09.16 02:48:31

Syrian activists said that Al-Nusra front fighters and other Syrian opposition groups clashed with regime forces near the checkpoint of Marina in central Damascus.

Tags: Syria

Hits: 215 |

UN peacekeepers in the Golan Heights
2014.09.16 02:47:43

UN peacekeepers in the Golan Heights are being relocated from four positions and one camp on the Syrian side of the Syrian-Israeli border, a diplomatic source said on Monday after recent clashes with al-Qaeda-linked fighters.

The Syrian armed groups posed "a direct threat to the safety and security" of the troops from the UN Disengagement Observer Force, said UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric.


Tags: Syria | Israel | Golan Heights

Hits: 220 |

France begins reconnaissance flights over Iraq
2014.09.16 02:46:44

French planes have carried out their first reconnaissance flights over Iraq in support of the US-led campaign against the group calling itself the Islamic State (IS).

An AFP correspondent saw two French Rafale fighter jets equipped with high-precision cameras take off from the Al-Dhafra base in the United Arab Emirates during a visit by French Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian.

Le Drian said his trip to the base "comes at a time of extreme seriousness"  over the threat posed by IS.

"We must be ready to intervene," he told French troops at the base.

"France stands ready at a time that is decisive for its security - because it is also France's security that is threatened by this... pseudo-Islamic State," Le Drian said.

The Defense Minister's visit came as Paris hosted an international conference on a fightback against militants of the Islamic State, who have seized swathes of Iraq and neighboring Syria.


Tags: Iraq | Islamic State | France | Syria

Hits: 217 |

British hostage being threatened by Islamic State fighter
2014.09.16 02:45:18

The British hostage being threatened by Islamic State fighters is a taxi driver from northern England who volunteered to drive a humanitarian aid convoy to Syria for a Muslim charity.

The 47-year-old father of two teenage children, was shown in the same video released on Saturday that documented the murder of Briton David Haines.

He was kidnapped in December as he was driving with an unofficial aid convoy to a camp for internally displaced people in Syria.

Tags: Syria | Islamic State | United Kingdom | David Haines

Hits: 172 |

Khamenei: Iran rejects US request for cooperation against IS group
2014.09.16 02:35:59

Iran has rejected a US request for cooperation against the IS group early in its advance in Iraq and Syria, supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said on Monday.

Khamenei said in a statement on his official website:

"Right from the start, the United States asked through its ambassador in Iraq whether we could cooperate against Daesh (Arabic acronym for IS)."

"I said no, because they have dirty hands."

"Secretary of State (John Kerry) personally asked (Iranian counterpart) Mohammad Javad Zarif and he rejected the request."

Tags: Iraq | Islamic State | United States | Iran | Syria

Hits: 417 |

Limited self-rule
2014.09.16 02:33:37

President Petro Poroshenko has offered parts of the ex-Soviet country's separatist east limited self-rule for three years under the terms of a peace plan reached with Russia.

Poroshenko's official website said the pro-Western leader told top lawmakers the proposal would be part of a broader deal with pro-Russian rebels signed on September 5. He intended to formally submit it to parliament on Tuesday.

The bill also extends the right of people in the rebel-held Lugansk and Donetsk regions to use Russian in state institutions and conduct local elections on November 9, according to media reports.

The bill further permits the regions to "strengthen good neighborly relations" between local authorities and their counterparts in Russia.

It protects from criminal prosecution "participants of events in the Donetsk and Lugansk regions" -- appearing to apply to both the insurgents and Ukrainian government troops -- and allows regional councils to appoint local judges and prosecutors.

The bill also promises to help restore damaged infrastructure and to provide social an economic assistance to particularly hard-hit areas.Poroshenko had promised to offer parts of the war-torn industrial east broader autonomy under the terms of the truce agreed earlier this month with the Kremlin and two separatist leaders.

He urged parliamentary faction leaders Monday to quickly back his efforts to end five months of fighting that have killed more than 2,700 people and forced more than half a million from their homes.

Poroshenko said his proposals guaranteed "the sovereignty, territorial integrity and independence of our state".

The presidential website said the three years of limited self-rule would give his government a chance to implement "deep-rooted decentralization, which will be the subject of corresponding constitutional changes".


Tags: Ukraine | Russia

Hits: 161 |

Syrian special forces
2014.09.16 02:32:15

Syrian special forces on Monday destroyed a bridge over the Euphrates River used by Islamic State to move supplies in eastern Syria, media run by Hezbollah said, a blow to the group in the swathe of Syrian territory it controls near Iraq.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said an explosion had destroyed the bridge in Deir Ezzor city that is of vital importance to Islamic State as the only way for it to move into parts of the city it controls.


Tags: Syria | Islamic State

Hits: 137 |

More quotes from French president
2014.09.16 02:16:11

More quotes from French president Francois Hollande's statement in Paris

We must do everything to fight against indoctrination of our young people to prevent them from joining this jihadi movement and we should punish those who have been associated with it, closely or distantly.

In holding this conference, the countries meeting today are showing their solidarity...they show the will to protect themselves against terrorism.

Tags: Iraq | Islamic State | France

Hits: 143 |

Strategy against Islamic State
2014.09.16 02:14:37

Top officials from around the world, including US Secretary of State John Kerry, met in Paris Monday to fine-tune their strategy against Islamic State fighters.

France announced it was joining Britain in carrying out reconnaissance flights in support of the US air campaign against the IS.


Tags: Syria | Islamic State | United States | Iraq | France

Hits: 142 |

Arab countries crucial in fight against IS
2014.09.16 02:13:07

Bringing in other Arab countries in terms of action against the IS group in Iraq is crucial to provide legitimacy, according to Ibrahim Sharqieh of the Brookings Institute.

Gulf countries are key in this intervention. They have announced their support... the other major country is Jordan. No surprise that Francois Hollande mentioned Jordan in his speech because they bring with them many is legitimacy, then intelligence, and finally the strength of security forces and their ability to deal with situation.

Tags: Iraq | Islamic State

Hits: 140 |

Austria launches crackdown against IS sympathisers
2014.09.16 02:11:58

Austria says it plans to revoke the citizenship of people who travel abroad to fight with jihadists, amid calls to ban symbols of the group calling itself the Islamic State (IS), in a crackdown announced by conservative government ministers.

Interior Minister Johanna Mikl-Leitner stressed a need for a zero-tolerance policy against jihadist sympathizers.

Her ministry was working on legislation to revoke citizenship from "foreign fighters" and to prevent minors traveling outside the European Union without the consent of their guardians.

"There is no place in our society for IS symbols on T-shirts and flags, so we want to ban IS symbols," she added.

Justice Minister Wolfgang Brandstetter said the government would tighten hate crimes law so that people who urge violence against certain groups could be charged if their message reaches just 10 people instead of the current guideline of around 150.

Police should also be able to get telephone and Internet usage data on suspects in serious cases as long as a judge approves, he said, adding, "Whoever sows hate and violence in Austria will reap prison."


Tags: Syria | Islamic State | Iraq | Austria

Hits: 130 |

Fouad Massoum statement from Paris conference on IS
2014.09.16 02:01:21

Iraqi president Fouad Massoum statement from Paris conference on IS

We would like to thank the US, countries in the European Union, especially Iran, Turkey, for all the humanitarian aid, all those who have been detained...all the security forces...This solidarity and humanitarian work. We should also spend more efforts, and therefore we ask to continue the air strikes against the terrorist positions...we will not give them any safe haven.

We have to hurry up and take decisive actions against all sorts of terrorist action and any ideology.

Victims of IS are from all faiths.

We came here after the success of performing a national government, which is represented by all different factions, which support the unity of Iraq, which is facing the biggest enemy which is trying to destroy Iraq.

These criminals are expert in brainwashing young people.

They have target the Kurdish army. They have targeted the Shia and Sunni. The only ideology is to get people to change the religion. With this criminal nature, they end up killing and beheading and imprisoning children.

Tags: Iraq | Islamic State | France

Hits: 139 |

Kurdish forces advance against Islamic State fighters in Syria
2014.09.16 01:57:49

An activist group and a Kurdish official say heavy clashes are taking place in northeastern Syria, with Kurdish fighters capturing about a dozen villages from the group calling itself the Islamic State (IS).

Nawaf Khalil, a spokesman for Syria's powerful Kurdish Democratic Union Party (YPK), told The Associated Press news agency on Monday that YPK forces have captured at least 10 villages in the northeastern province of Hassakeh.

Kurdish fighters have been battling IS each other for more than a year in northern Syria.

The latest round of violence between the two sides began Saturday, when members of the Kurdish-led People's Protection Units, captured about 14 villages, according to the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

[Associated Press]

Tags: Syria | Islamic State

Hits: 133 |

Francois Hollande statement from Paris conference on IS
2014.09.16 01:21:21

French president Francois Hollande statement from Paris conference on IS

We cannot waste any time. This aid must be humanitarian aid.

Around 200 million people have been displaced. In Erbil, I saw the distress of those who have abandoned everything. We must undertake an unusual and exceptional effort...set up a humanitarian bridge.

The purpose of the conference is to collect funds from friendly countries, to send necessary equipment, food. Iraq also needs military support. France for its part, has already delivered some, in conjunction with other countries. This is what Pres Obama has done...many countries have reacted inside the region and outside. threatens the whole of the Middle East.

Tags: Iraq | Islamic State | France

Hits: 136 |

Germany tries first 'Islamic State jihadist'
2014.09.16 01:19:16

An alleged German jihadist has gone on trial accused of fighting in Syria for the group calling itself the Islamic State, amid calls for tougher action to prevent attacks in Europe by the group.

In the first German criminal proceedings involving IS, Kreshnik Berisha, a 20-year-old born to a family from Kosovo, has been charged with membership of a foreign terrorist organization.

Federal prosecutors say Berisha traveled to Syria in July 2013, planning to join the fighting to create a "caliphate" straddling Syria and Iraq.

Soon after his arrival, Berisha allegedly underwent firearms training and was put to work as a medic and a guard.

In the six months he spent in Syria, he is believed to have fought in at least three battles with IS against President Bashar al-Assad's troops.

He could face 10 years in prison if convicted by the city's superior regional court.


Tags: Syria | Islamic State | Germany

Hits: 140 |

France begins spy flights to Iraq
2014.09.16 01:04:23

France has joined Britain in carrying out reconnaissance or surveillance flights in support of the US air campaign against armed groups in Iraq, the defense minister said on Monday.

"This very morning, the first reconnaissance flights will be carried out in agreement with the Iraqi and Emirati authorities," Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian told French troops, including pilots, at the Al-Dhafra base in the United Arab Emirates.

Le Drian's visit to the base came as Paris prepared to host an international conference on a fightback against the IS group, who have seized swathes of Iraq and neighboring Syria.

[Source: AFP]

Tags: Iraq | Islamic State | France

Hits: 136 |

US, Austria launch efforts to halt Islamic State group recruitments
2014.09.16 00:46:00

The US Justice Department has said it is launching a series of pilot programs to deal with American citizens intent on joining the Islamic State group fighting in Syria and Iraq.

Attorney General Eric Holder says in a video message released Monday that the programs will involve religious leaders, prosecutors and community representatives.

Meanwhile, Austria has said it plans to introduce a law banning symbols of the Islamic State group and 18 other armed groups.

Interior Minister Johanna Mikl-Leitner also says that dual nationals will lose their Austrian citizenship upon joining any foreign paramilitary organization.

[Source: AP]

Tags: Iraq | Islamic State | United States | Austria | Syria

Hits: 139 |

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