Monday, October 20, 2014
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Abu Abdullah, director of Damascus Center for Strategic Studies
2014.09.25 03:49:43

"If the United States really focus on counter-terrorism, why don't they negotiate with Syria? Why don't they coordinate with Iran, Russia and China? They are all important forces in exerting influence over regional situation. So they should at least pass a UN Security Council resolution.

Why should the United States act unilaterally? Behind this is its own interests. What we have to be concerned about now is issues such as setting up no-fly zone. Currently Israel and Turkey have already had such plans."

[Source: APTN]

Tags: Syria | Islamic State | United States

Hits: 204 |

Australia's parliament
2014.09.25 03:48:26

Tougher counter-terror laws are to be introduced to Australia's parliament on Wednesday would make it a crime to travel to places considered "terror hotspots", punishable by up to 10 years' jail.

[Source: AFP]

Tags: Syria | Islamic State | Iraq | Australia

Hits: 219 |

US campaign against ISIL
2014.09.25 03:33:18

A prominent Syrian analyst spoke of his concerns about the US campaign against ISIL, a day after the United States and its Arab allies launched airstrikes against ISIL targets in Syria.

Bassam Abu Abdullah, director of the Damascus Center for Strategic Studies, accused the United States of double standards in the counter-terrorism efforts.

Tags: Syria | Islamic State | United States

Hits: 195 |

PM retires top generals
2014.09.25 03:31:18

Prime Minister Haider al-Abbadi has retired two top generals from the army - part of plans to restructure the military after ISIL seized control of part of the country.

Abbadi's decision to remove the two generals followed a ISIL assault on an Iraqi army base in Saqlawiya in western Anbar province on the weekend. A senior Iraqi security official said the attack left 400 to 600 soldiers dead or captured.

State television announced that General Abboud Qanbar, the defence ministry's acting secretary-general, and General Ali Ghaidan, the former ground commander of the armed forces, had been put on pension.

Ghaidan was retired earlier this summer after ISIL took control of northern Iraq's biggest city Mosul in June, but was then quietly restored to duty. Ghaidan and Qanbar had until Tuesday managed to survive their role in the military's disastrous summer losses to Islamic State.

Abbadi's media office also announced that changes were being made to the office of commander in chief, the disputed military bureau created by former leader Nouri al-Maliki. The security official said he expected the bureau's top officers to be dismissed or reassigned.

State television said the office of commander in chief was being abolished, but Abbadi's office said only that an overhaul was under way.


Tags: Iraq | Islamic State

Hits: 248 |

US President Barack Obama's comments on Ukraine at UNGA
2014.09.25 03:30:23

Russia’s actions in Ukraine challenge this post-war order.

After the people of Ukraine mobilized popular protests and calls for reform, their corrupt President fled.

Against the will of the government in Kiev, Crimea was annexed. Russia poured arms into Eastern Ukraine, fueling violent separatists and a conflict that has killed thousands.

When a civilian airliner was shot down from areas that these proxies controlled, they refused to allow access to the crash for days. When Ukraine started to reassert control over its territory, Russia gave up the pretense of merely supporting the separatists, and moved troops across the border.

Tags: Ukraine | Russia | United States | Barack Obama

Hits: 334 |

Staffan de Mistura, United Nations Special Envoy to Syria
2014.09.25 02:46:40

"There was obviously a discussion about the issue about terrorism and how to fight or limit terrorism. And in that context, there was, and there is, a plan by me to push as well for the issue about political dialogue. Fighting terrorism needs to be accompanied with a genuine process, a political process, including all Syrians."

[Source: APTN]

Tags: Syria

Hits: 237 |

Baghdad blast kills 21, wounds 50
2014.09.25 02:45:22

Residents of Sadr City, a Shia district of eastern Baghdad, assessed the damage on Wednesday after a deadly car bomb late on Tuesday.

At least 21 people were killed and more than 50 were wounded, officials said.

Several shops were damaged by the blast, which took place in a busy commercial area.


Tags: Iraq

Hits: 274 |

NATO sees significant pullback of Russian troops from Ukraine
2014.09.25 02:44:30

NATO has observed a significant withdrawal of Russian forces from inside Ukraine, but many Russian troops remain stationed near the border, an alliance military spokesman told the Reuters news agency.

Lieutenant-Colonel Jay Janzen said in an e-mailed response to a request from Reuters for comment:

There has been a significant pullback of Russian conventional forces from inside Ukraine, but many thousands are still deployed in the vicinity of the border.

[Source: Reuters]

Tags: Ukraine | Russia | NATO

Hits: 373 |

ISIL Vehicle Staging Ground
2014.09.25 02:26:40

The US Central command has released a video showing a airstrike against an alleged ISIL area near Abu Kamal in Syria.

Tags: Syria | Islamic State | United States

Hits: 179 |

France vows not to give in to blackmail over Algeria hostage
2014.09.25 02:25:03

French President Francois Hollande has vowed not to give in to threats made by a group affiliated to the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) to kill a French hostage in Algeria, as troops raced against time to find him.

"As grave as this situation is, we will not give in to any blackmail, any pressure, any ultimatum, no matter how odious, how despicable," Hollande said in New York, where he is due to attend the annual UN General Assembly.

"What is at stake here is our liberty, our security and sovereignty. No terrorist group can influence the will, position or freedom of France," he added.

Algerian military planes were combing the mountainous eastern Tizi Ouzou region backing elite anti-terrorist units on the ground in a desperate bid to find 55-year-old Herve Gourdel, a security source said.

The kidnapping was claimed by Soldiers of the Caliphate, a group linked to ISIL, that has vowed to kill the hostage by Tuesday night if Paris did not stop air strikes in Iraq.

As the deadline loomed, some 20 truckloads of paratroopers also joined the search, a witness said, and police set up roadblocks along the highway that snakes through the mountains.


Tags: Iraq | Islamic State | France | Syria | Algeria

Hits: 258 |

Japan slaps more sanctions in Russia
2014.09.25 02:22:46

Japan has hit Russia with further sanctions over the crisis in Ukraine. The latest oblige the Japanese government to enforce curbs on exports of weapons and other military equipment, as well as restricting the provision of arms technology.

The sanctions come a day after Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe reportedly dropped plans to host President Vladimir Putin later this year due to tensions over the conflict.

[Source: AFP]

Tags: Ukraine | Russia | Japan

Hits: 331 |

Saudi Arabia confirms role in strikes against #ISIL in #Syria
2014.09.25 02:07:49

Saudi Arabia has confirmed it participated in US-led bombing strikes against ISIL positions in Syria, the Kingdom's official news agency has said.

"An official source revealed that Saudi air forces took part in military operations in Syria against the Islamic State group and to support the moderate Syrian opposition, within an international coalition, to combat terrorism..., and to support the fraternal Syrian people in returning security, unity and development to this devastated country," the Saudi Press Agency (SPA) said.

Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal Al Saud told SPA that the kingdom needed to confront the threat of terrorism with "with full force."

"We are required to take serious policy decisions to confront this vicious attack with full force. We need to move with assertive steps and fast."


Tags: Syria | Islamic State | United States | Saudi Arabia

Hits: 415 |

#Iran criticizes US-led strikes on #Syria
2014.09.25 01:43:06

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has reportedly criticized the US for violating international law by launching strikes on Syria in the absence of the UN Security Council authorization.

"Isn't it ironic that the United States says it wants to fight with a terrorist group in Syria, while it creates terrorists and armed groups against the legitimate government of that country?" Rouhani told reporters on the sidelines of a meeting at the annual UN General Assembly.

Rouhani said stability in Syria would be impossible without the contribution of the government in Damascus.


Tags: Syria | Islamic State | United States | Iran

Hits: 399 |

US told #Iran of intent to strike #ISIL in #Syria
2014.09.25 01:33:37

The US informed Iran in advance of its intention to strike the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) and told Tehran that it would not target the forces of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, a senior Iranian official has told the Reuters news agency.

"This issue was first discussed in Geneva and then was discussed thoroughly in New York where Iran was assured that Assad and his government will not be targeted in case of any military action against [ISIL] in Syria," the official said on condition of anonymity. He added that Iran was informed separately in advance of the airstrike.

Asked about the assurance that Syrian government forces would not be targeted, a senior US State Department official told Reuters, "We communicated our intentions, but not specific timing or targets, to the Iranians. As we've said, we won't be coordinating military action with Iran. And of course we won't be sharing intelligence with Iran either."


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

Hits: 456 |

British aid worker held hostage in Syria
2014.09.24 04:42:44

The wife of a British aid worker held hostage in Syria by the Islamic State group has received an audio message from him pleading for his life.

Barbara Henning said she has been told that her husband, Alan, had been to a Sharia court, and that he was found innocent of being a spy.


Tags: Syria | Islamic State

Hits: 300 |

Local man in the Syrian town of Kfar Derian
2014.09.24 04:31:09

Local man in the Syrian town of Kfar Derian said in an interview :

"At 3 am this morning people were sleeping in this residential, under-privileged area. When we were sleeping, we were surprised by the sound of the bombs. We heard more than three big bombs and we have not heard such big bombs before."

But one of the rockets also hit a house that was a home to a displaced family from Aleppo, killing 13 people including three children.


Tags: Syria | Islamic State | United States

Hits: 348 |

European Union increases aid for Syrian refugee
2014.09.24 04:29:58

The European Union increases aid for Syrian refugees by $280 million.

The EU Commission said Tuesday the new funding includes 50 million euros for humanitarian aid and 165 million euros to support long-term development projects in Syria and the neighboring countries hosting hundreds of thousands of refugees.


Tags: Syria | European Union

Hits: 323 |

Kerry say that air strikes alone could not defeat Islamic State
2014.09.24 04:27:08

US Secretary of State John Kerry said on Tuesday that air strikes alone could not defeat Islamic State, and rallied allies to cooperate to stop the flow of foreign fighters joining the group and to disrupt their funding by not paying kidnapping ransoms.

"ISIL is an organization that knows no bounds, as it has proven," said Kerry.

"It brutalizes women and children and sells them off as slaves to jihadists, it forces grown men to their knees and ties their hands behind their back and shoots them in the head."

"This kind of barbarity simply has no place in the modern world and these cold blooded killers masquerading as a religious movement need to be stopped," he added.


Tags: Syria | Islamic State | United States | John Kerry | Iraq

Hits: 608 |

#Hezbollah opposed U.S-led air strikes on #Syria
2014.09.24 04:25:22

The leader of Hezbollah, Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, said on Tuesday his Lebanese Shia Muslim group opposed U.S-led air strikes on Syria.

"We are against American military intervention and an  international coalition in Syria, whether that (action) is against the regime or IS," Nasrallah said in a speech aired on Hezbollah-run al-Manar television.

Tags: Syria | Islamic State | United States | Hezbollah

Hits: 514 |

US Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power
2014.09.24 04:23:28

In a letter to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, US Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power wrote: "The Syrian regime has shown that it cannot and will not confront these safe havens effectively itself."

"States must be able to defend themselves ... when, as is the case here, the government of the state where the threat is located is unwilling or unable to prevent the use of its territory for such attacks," Power wrote in the letter obtained by Reuters.

Tags: Syria | Islamic State | United States | Samantha Power

Hits: 241 |

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