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Russia's Lavrov questions legality of US strikes on Syria
2014.09.28 02:07:54

Russia questioned on Friday the legality of US and Arab air strikes in Syria to target ISIL because the action was taken without the approval and cooperation of Moscow's ally Damascus.

"We believe that any action taken globally, including use of force, to overcome terrorist threats should be done in accordance with international law," Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov told reporters on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly.

Lavrov said that approval was also needed of the country where the action was to take place.

"It's very important that such cooperation with Syrian authorities is established, even now that it's an accomplished fact," Lavrov said.

"Excluding Syrian authorities from the struggle that is taking place on their territory not only goes against international law but undermines the efficiency of the effort." [Reuters]

Tags: Syria | Islamic State | United States | Russia

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US government condemns execution of Iraqi human rights lawyer
2014.09.28 01:58:52

The United States government has condemned the killing of an Iraqi human rights lawyer.

The White House issued the following statement:

"The United States condemns in the strongest possible terms the torture and murder of Iraqi human rights lawyer Samira Salih al-Nuaimi by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL). We extend our heartfelt condolences to her family and friends and to the people of Iraq, whose future she was trying to make brighter.

"Ms. al-Nuaimi and other women and girls in Iraq and Syria have been killed for refusing to abide by ISIL’s draconian efforts to strip them of their rights.  ISIL’s gruesome tactics, particularly its oppression of women, once again reveal that this cruel and barbaric terrorist organization seeks to inflict violence and fear through its distortion of faith.

"After ISIL attacked Mosul, Ms. al-Nuaimi courageously continued her legal and humanitarian work there – despite the serious risks to her safety – because she believed in exposing injustice and helping those in need.  As we mourn her tragic loss, the international community must carry on her legacy by speaking with a strong, united voice to condemn and counter ISIL’s lies and to combat its tormented and divisive ideology in the same brave way as Samira Salih al-Nuaimi."

Tags: Iraq | Islamic State | United States | Syria

Hits: 2453 |

New wave of US air strikes in Syria
2014.09.28 01:47:35

US aircraft have launched a fresh wave of bombing raids against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant in Syria, in the fifth consecutive day of air strikes in the country, a defense official told AFP.

"I can confirm US air operations are ongoing in Syria," said the senior official, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

The mission is now similar to US-led air raids undertaken in Iraq, with "near continuous" combat flight operations over Syria, the official said.

The US military's Central Command, which leads American forces in the Middle East, did not issue any details of the latest air strikes.

Earlier, Pentagon chief Chuck Hagel told reporters that US and Arab coalition warplanes have carried out more than 40 bombing strikes this week against ISIL, including attacks on the organization's oil refineries.

Tags: Syria | Islamic State | United States

Hits: 2488 |

12,000 to 15,000 required to retake areas of eastern Syria
2014.09.27 03:12:17

A Western-backed opposition force of around 12,000 to 15,000 would be required to retake areas of eastern Syria now controlled by the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant, the top US military officer said on Friday.

"Five thousand has never been the end state ... Twelve to 15,000 is what we believe they would need to recapture lost territory in eastern Syria," General Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

Last week, Congress gave temporary approval to a plan for the United States to train members of Syria's moderate opposition to combat ISIL, which is seeking to expand its hardline rule from a base in eastern Syria. The initial number of opposition fighters to be trained by the United States is expected to be around 5,000.


Tags: Syria | Islamic State | United States

Hits: 2934 |

US-led coalition has launched 43 strikes on Syria
2014.09.27 03:10:15

The pentagon spokesperson says the US-led coalition has launched 43 strikes on Syria since the operation against ISIL there began on Tuesday overnight.

Tags: Syria | Islamic State | United States

Hits: 2616 |

Protests against US-led air strikes
2014.09.27 03:09:25

Protests marches against the strikes on ISIL and the Nusra Front have been held in several parts of Syria today.

In Kafr Daryan, a village in Idlib that was targeted by coalition strikes, protesters held banners that read "Stop shelling civilians" and "Nusra Front represents me".

Tags: Syria | Islamic State | United States

Hits: 2926 |

No for war against rebels
2014.09.27 03:07:48

In Taqad village, in Aleppo province, people chanted for the Nusra Front, "No for war against rebels, the biggest criminal is Assad".

Tags: Syria | Islamic State | United States

Hits: 2920 |

Barrel bombs dropped on Aleppo
2014.09.27 03:06:00

Activists say seven people have been killed after a government helicopter dropped barrel bombs at al-Sakhur district in a rebel-held part of Aleppo city.

Tags: Syria

Hits: 2620 |

New recruits join ISIL
2014.09.27 02:50:37

More than 200 fighters have joined ISIL in Aleppo province since President Obama said the US would strike the group in Syria, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says.

At least 162 people joined the group in northeast and eastern Aleppo in the week after Obama's speech on September 10, the Observatory said.

An additional 73 men had joined the group on September 23 and 24 in the northeast Aleppo countryside since the start of the strikes, the Observatory said.

Rami Abdelrahman who runs the Observatory said most of the new men came from the Nusra Front and were mostly Syrian, and the men who joined in the week after Obama's speech  included 15 nationalities.


Tags: Syria | Islamic State | United States

Hits: 2795 |

Opposition groups say they'll join forces to fight ISIL
2014.09.27 02:49:27

The Free Syrian Army, Christian opposition fighters and some Kurdish armed groups have signed an agreement, coordinated by US officials who have been meeting with opposition representatives in Turkey for two days.

Tags: Syria | Islamic State

Hits: 2698 |

Shelling of Jobar, Damascus
2014.09.27 02:48:21

Activists are reporting that ground-to-ground missiles have been fired on Jobar, in eastern Damascus, for the first time since the beginning of the war. They also say regime fighter jets are shelling the district.

Tags: Syria

Hits: 2643 |

Warplanes attack on rebel-held areas
2014.09.27 02:47:12

Activists say regime warplanes have attacked rebel-held areas in Idlib province, including Saraqeb, Khan Sheikoun and Kafr Nabl. The video is said to show Khan Sheikhoun.

Tags: Syria

Hits: 2659 |

Red Cross appeal to spare civilians
2014.09.27 02:45:09

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) appealed on Friday to all parties in the widening conflicts in Syria and Iraq to spare civilians and let in aid.

The proliferation of armed groups and recent international air strikes in Iraq and Syria have "compounded the humanitarian consequences of the conflicts in both countries", the aid agency said in a statement.

"Under international humanitarian law, every party to these conflicts must refrain from harming civilians, must protect medical personnel and facilities, and must allow humanitarian workers to bring help," said Dominik Stillhart, ICRC director of operations.

Tags: Iraq | Islamic State | Syria | Red Cross

Hits: 2756 |

Lebanese border town hit by Syrian planes
2014.09.27 02:36:10

According to the municipality of Arsal, five air strikes by Syrian warplanes hit Rahwah on Arsal's outskirts. There are no reports of casualties as of yet. The strikes were said to target rebels in the mountainous terrain.

Tags: Syria | Lebanon

Hits: 2682 |

Russia and Ukraine agree on interim gas deal
2014.09.27 02:35:04

Russia is ready to resume gas deliveries to Ukraine if Kiev pays its energy giant Gazprom back debts worth $3.1bn by late December, European Energy Commissioner Guenther Oettinger said.

According to the interim agreement, which has to be approved by the governments in Moscow and Kiev, Gazprom is ready to deliver at least five billion cubic metres of gas in the coming months, Oettinger said after he met with both energy ministers in Berlin.

Gazprom will also want advance payments for the new gas at $385 per 1,000 cubic metres - less than the $485 that Gazprom had earlier demanded but  more than the price of around $268 it had charged before the change of government in Ukraine.

[Source: AFP]

Tags: Ukraine | Russia

Hits: 4010 |

Belgium joined the US-led coalition
2014.09.27 02:33:16

Belgium has joined the US-led coalition to fight the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant group in Iraq and will send six F-16 fighter planes to take part in the operation.

Belgian participation for one month was authorized by the country's Chamber of Representatives Friday afternoon after more than three hours of debate.

Further involvement will be subject to parliamentary evaluation and review.

The Belgian military contingent should number 120, including eight pilots. Defense Minister Pieter De Crem said the F-16 multirole fighters, to be based in Jordan, took off for a night stopover in Greece before the lawmakers voted so they would be ready to go into action as early as Saturday.


Tags: Iraq | Islamic State | United States | Belgium

Hits: 2762 |

Fresh US-led strikes reported
2014.09.27 02:19:32

Apparent strikes by US-led forces have again targeted oil facilities held by ISIL, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reports.

It said attacks overnight hit the al-Tanak oilfield area and the al-Quriyah area in Deir ez-Zour province. Other strikes hit an area in Hasakah, where the target was not immediately clear, the group said.

Tags: Syria | Islamic State | United States

Hits: 2588 |

Ukraine energy minister: No deal yet with Russia on gas price
2014.09.27 02:18:42

Ukraine Energy Minister Yuri Prodan said after gas talks with Russia and the European Commission in Berlin that the two countries had not reached a final agreement on the price of gas.

There were differences with Russia over payment of old debts, he said, but added Ukraine was prepared to compromise and he expected open questions over the proposed deal to be settled by next Tuesday.

[Source: AFP]

Tags: Ukraine | Russia

Hits: 4247 |

52 ISIL fighters killed near Iraq-Syria border
2014.09.27 02:15:50

The local police chief in the town of al-Qaim, on the Iraqi side of the border, says that US and French air strikes hit a university compound used as a hideout for ISIL fighters near the border crossing. He says 52 fighters were killed.

The al-Qaim crossing has been shut since 2012 but used by ISIL fighters to get from Iraq to Syria and vice versa.

Tags: Iraq | Islamic State | Syria

Hits: 2845 |

Footage of a strike on the Mayadeen modular oil refinery
2014.09.27 01:55:11

The US Central Command has released this footage of a strike on the Mayadeen modular oil refinery on Wednesday.

Modular refineries are prefabricated and constructed off-site so they can be transported and made operational quickly.

Tags: Syria | Islamic State | United States

Hits: 2858 |

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