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1.8 million people displaced by violence in Iraq
2014.10.01 02:08:41

United Nations agencies are running out of funding to help the 1.8 million people displaced by violence in Iraq, UN humanitarian chief Valerie Amos said recently. [AFP]

Tags: Iraq

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Netanyahu warns the United Nations
2014.10.01 01:57:09

Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has warned the United Nations that a nuclear-armed Iran would pose a far greater threat than the armed group Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), which he compared to the Palestinian group Hamas.

Tags: Syria | Islamic State | Iraq | Iran | Israel | Benjamin Netanyahu | Hamas

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Wallid Muallem, in speech to UN General Assembly
2014.09.30 03:19:31

The Syrian Arab Republic reiterates that it stands with any international effort aimed at fighting and combating terrorism, and stresses that this must be done in full respect of the lives of innocent civilians and within the frame of full respect of national sovereignty, and in conformity with international conventions.

Tags: Syria

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US central command
2014.09.30 02:35:27

The US central command has just sent the world its latest report on attacks on ISIL.

Tags: Syria | Islamic State | United States | Iraq

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Regime air strikes in Raqqa
2014.09.29 03:30:46

The Local Coordination Committees activist network are now reporting that "[Assad] warplanes launched an air strike on al-Rashid secondary school's playground in Raqqa".

ISIL uses the building as one of its many headquarters. According to local activists, these offices were evacuated prior to the start of the US-led coalition air strikes.

Tags: Syria | Islamic State

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Clashes around Kobane
2014.09.29 03:12:31

Activists from the Kurdish YPG movement in Kobane (Ain al-Arab in Arabic) say heavy clashes with ISIL fighters are ongoing in villages outside the town. They say no side is advancing.

Tags: Syria | Islamic State

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'Oil refineries destroyed'
2014.09.29 02:46:28

The US-led coalition destroyed three makeshift oil refineries in rebel-held territory early on Sunday, Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

The coalition strikes hit close by the Turkish frontier, near the town of Tal Abyad.

The makeshift facilities where crude oil is refined with basic equipment are generally mobile and manned by local people, not ISIL fighters. The oil trade does however involve ISIL and the US says the group was earning as much as $3m a day from oil revenues before air strikes were launched.

Tags: Syria | Islamic State | United States

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Human Rights Watch demands probe of civilian deaths
2014.09.29 02:35:45

Human Rights Watch says apparent US missile strikes on Idlib that killed at least seven civilians should be investigated for possible violations of the laws of war.

In a statement, the group cited residents giving their accounts of the September 23 attack on Kafr Deryan. It said video footage corroborates witness accounts that civilians were killed by Tomahawk cruise missiles, which are in the US arsenal.

"The residents, who spoke via Skype to Human Rights Watch, said that at approximately 3:30am, a series of missiles struck a compound of the militant group Jabhat al-Nusra, including a weapons depot, about one kilometer from the village. Two of the residents said that shortly thereafter other missiles struck two homes in Kafr Deryan itself, killing at least five children, two women, and two men, all of whom they identified by name. While two of the residents said the men were civilians, the third said they were members of Jabhat al-Nusra."

Tags: Syria | Islamic State | United States

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Russia accuses the US and its Western allies
2014.09.29 02:33:29

Russia has accused the US and its Western allies of bossing the world around, saying that they were attempting to dictate to everyone "what is good and evil."

The speech by Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov at the UN General Assembly on Saturday to to the 193-nation assembly was the latest example of the deteriorating relations between Moscow and Western powers, which have imposed sanctions on Russia over the conflict in neighboring Ukraine.

"The US-led Western alliance that portrays itself as a champion of democracy, rule of law and human rights within individual countries ... (is) rejecting the democratic principle of sovereign equality of states enshrined in the U.N. Charter and trying to decide for everyone what is good or evil," he said.

"Washington has openly declared its right to unilateral use of force anywhere to uphold its own interests," Lavrov added.

"Military interference has become a norm - even despite the dismal outcome of all power operations that the US has carried out over the recent years."

Lavrov cited the 1999 NATO bombing of Yugoslavia during the Kosovo war, the 2003 invasion of Iraq, the war in Afghanistan, and the 2011 NATO intervention in Libya that led to the toppling and death of longtime Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi as examples of US failures.


Tags: Ukraine | Russia | United States | NATO

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Fresh coalition strikes reported
2014.09.29 02:21:02

Activists say the US-led coalition have carried out more strikes in Raqqa and Hasakeh provinces.

In Raqqa the attacks targeted al-Zarqawi training camp and oil facilities in Tal Abyad.

In southern Hasakeh, six people said to be oil workers were killed in al-Fedghmi village.

Tags: Syria | Islamic State | United States

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Video of an air strike on an ISIL compound
2014.09.29 02:13:21

The US Central Command has released a video of an air strike on an ISIL compound near Kobane, a Kurdish border town.

Tags: Syria | Islamic State | United States

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Nusra Front denounced US-led air strikes on Syria
2014.09.28 04:42:36

The al-Qaeda-linked Nusra Front denounced US-led air strikes on Syria, saying they amounted to a war against Islam and vowing to retaliate against Western and Arab countries that took part.

"We are in a long war. This war will not end in months nor years. This war could last for decades," group spokesman Abu Firas al-Suri said.

"It's not a war against Nusra Front, it's a war against Islam," he added in an audio message published on the group's social media network in its first reaction since the launch of the US-led strikes on Tuesday.

The air strikes that include some Gulf and European nations killed scores of Nusra fighters in an attack on a base in a rebel held area of northwestern Syria on the first day of the military campaign.

"These countries have done a despicable act that will put them on the list of those targeted by jihadist forces all over the world," the spokesman said.


Tags: Syria | Islamic State | United States

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Syrian army has retaken control of Adra al-Omalia
2014.09.28 03:08:07

The Syrian army has retaken control of Adra al-Omalia, northeast of Damascus, this week after rebels were forced to withdraw.

Activists say that now, the main rebel stronghold of Douma comes under direct threat of government attacks from the north.

State news agency SANA showed footage of the advance in Adra.

Tags: Syria

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From the BBC
2014.09.28 03:06:42

As at least 160,000 people have fled to Turkey from the Kurdish border town of Kobane, some fear a a repeat of the atrocities against the Yazidi community in northern Iraq. Correspondent Paul Wood has entered the town and sent a report from the frontline

Watch the report on

Tags: Syria | Islamic State | United States

Hits: 4150 |

US-led coalition hit ISIL targets in Homs
2014.09.28 03:05:27

The US-led coalition has hit ISIL targets in Homs for the first time Saturday, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported.

The coalition also targeted ISIL in the town of Minbej, east of Aleppo, for the first time, as well as multiple targets in the province of Raqqa, the monitoring group said.

Its director Rami Abdelrahman said the targets hit in Homs province were far away from the frontline with forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad.

Tags: Syria | Islamic State | United States

Hits: 4018 |

Strikes on Raqqa
2014.09.28 02:21:14

Activists in Raqqa report that multiple coalition attacks in the province have targeted ISIL positions and that dozens of fighters were killed.

Several attacks targeted Tabqa air base, which ISL captured from the regime last month. An ISIL training camp was also hit, as well as an ISIL checkpoint.

Tags: Syria | Islamic State | United States

Hits: 3901 |

Clashes between Kurdish fighters and ISIL are ongoing
2014.09.28 02:20:21

An activist from the Kurdish YPG group says that the US-led coalition launched four air strikes on ISIL locations in the eastern suburbs of Kobane, near the Turkish border, early this morning. The activist said one of the targets was the village of Alishera, where ISIL has a strong presence.

Clashes between Kurdish fighters and ISIL are ongoing around Kobane. Our correspondent Stefanie Dekker tweets from the Turkish side of the border.

Tags: Syria | Islamic State | United States

Hits: 3591 |

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

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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: 3365 |

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