Sunday, April 30, 2017

Tag: Raqqa

More Special Operations forces are headed to Syria. Here’s what they’re going to do.

As Syrian fighters push toward the Islamic State’s de-facto capital of Raqqa in northern Syria, Defense Secretary Ashton B. Carter announced Saturday that additional U.S. Special Operations forces will head into the country to help the fledgling offensive. The additional 200 troops will bolster the 300 or so already in...

What is Turkey up to in northern Syria?

The Oct. 25 bombing by President Bashar al-Assad’s forces supporting the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) against the Turkish-backed Free Syrian Army (FSA), which is leading Operation Euphrates Shield, is symptomatic of the struggle currently taking place in northern Syria on the al-Bab/Manbij axis. It also underlines the geopolitical conflict pitting...

Turkey demands role in Mosul battle, but coalition unconvinced

With US-led operations against the Islamic State’s strongholds of Raqqa in Syria and Mosul in Iraq looming, Ankara and Washington are engaged in intense talks to determine Turkey's involvement in them. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has indicated that Turkey wants in on both operations, declaring that US President Barack Obama called for...

About 450 More US Troops Arrive in Iraq to Back Mosul Drive

About 450 more U.S. troops have arrived in Iraq in the past week to support the imminent offensive to drive ISIS from Mosul, the chief U.S. military spokesman in Baghdad said Thursday. Air Force Col. John Dorrian, spokesman for Combined Joint Task Force-Operation Inherent Resolve, declined to give a time...

Losing ground, fighters and morale – is it all over for ISIS?

The self-styled caliphate has been in rapid decline since Turkey joined the war in northern Syria. But if the jihadis refocus their efforts on acts of terrorism in the west, victory may be short lived. It has been a bad few months for Islamic State (Isis). For the first time...

Tehran drags Moscow deeper into Syria

For Iran, the ongoing war in Syria is no longer a matter of regional security. The conflict now has direct effects and implications for Iran's national security. This perspective is clear in the daily statements coming from Tehran, from the images of slain Iranian soldiers and high-ranking officers laid to rest in the Iranian capital...

U.S. State Department Officials Call for Strikes Against Syria’s Assad

Dozens of officials sign confidential document protesting Obama administration policy, urge regime change. BEIRUT—Dozens of State Department officials this week protested against U.S. policy in Syria, signing an internal document that calls for targeted military strikes against the Damascus government and urging regime change as the only way to defeat...

Assad: “Syria will be liberated, Aleppo will be the graveyard of Erdogan’s dreams”

Earlier today, in a speech addressing the Syrian parliament in Damascus, President Bashar Al-Assad praised the parliamentary elections that were held earlier this year, stressing the fact that an unprecedented number of voters had turned out at the ballot box despite the dangers of participation during the war, with...

The battle for Falluja: If they lose it, Isis is finished

Tens of thousands of lives – and the future of Iraq – are at stake as the country’s forces and Shia militias fight Isis for the city. On a narrow dirt road in the village of Sijar, a column of green Toyota pick-up trucks carrying Shia paramilitaries and rocket launchers...

Isis faces likely defeat in battles across Iraq and Syria – but what happens...

In the second of a four-part series examining Isis, Patrick Cockburn says the terror group may be under threat, but regaining the terrority it captured would not necessarily stabilise the region. Isis is under attack in and around the last three big cities it holds in Iraq and Syria –...

American Green Berets in Syria are wearing Kurdish militia insignia on their uniforms

Photos have emerged of American special operations troops in Syria wearing uniform insignia affiliated with a Kurdish rebel group known as the YPG, whose connection to Turkish terrorists could could fuel tension between the U.S. and a key ally in the Islamic State fight. The images were taken in a...

Obama outlines plans to expand U.S. Special Operations forces in Syria

HANOVER, Germany — President Obama outlined plans Monday to bolster U.S. Special Operations forces in Syria, raising their number to as many as 300 troops in a move he said was needed to keep pressure on the Islamic State. The president noted gains made by the current 50 special operators...

Russia has evidence Turkish troops in Syria, Lavrov says

Russia has evidence that Turkish troops are on Syrian territory, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said in an interview broadcast on Sunday, accusing Turkey of a "creeping expansion" on its border with Syria. The comments by Lavrov are the latest confrontation between Moscow and Ankara, after Turkish jets shot down...

Isis ran sophisticated immigration operation on Turkey-Syria border

Passenger manifests seized by Kurdish forces at Tel Abyad have same stamp marks as other Isis documents the Guardian has been able to verify. Islamic State ran a sophisticated immigration operation through a Syrian border town with Turkey until its defeat in the area by Kurds this summer, documents obtained...

Eyewitness Accounts from Recent Defectors from Islamic State: Why They Joined, What They Saw,...

Abstract This Research Note reports on preliminary results of the Islamic State Interviews Project, based here on a sample of thirteen Syrian IS defectors who spoke on life inside the “Islamic State”(IS). A fuller and more systematic account will be published in early 2016 in book form. According to what...

Is Turkey The Real ISIS?

The Syrian crisis has just seen a drastic escalation in the potential for what could essentially turn into World War 3 with the Turkish military’s downing of a Russian jet over Syria under the guise of protecting Turkish airspace. The Turks have argued that the Russian jet violated Turkish airspace,...

NATO is harbouring the Islamic State

Why France’s brave new war on ISIS is a sick joke, and an insult to the victims of the Paris attacks. This exclusive is published by INSURGE INTELLIGENCE, a crowd-funded investigative journalism project “We stand alongside Turkey in its efforts in protecting its national security and fighting against terrorism. France and...

ISIS Sees Turkey as Its Ally: Former Islamic State Member Reveals Turkish Army Cooperation

A former member of ISIS has revealed the extent to which the cooperation of the Turkish military allows the terrorist group, who now control large parts of Iraq and Syria, to travel through Turkish territory to reinforce fighters battling Kurdish forces. A reluctant former communications technician working for Islamic State,...

Taking Stock of ISIS Oil: Part 2

Matthew M. Reed is Vice President of Foreign Reports, Inc., a Washington, DC-based consulting firm focused on oil and politics in the Middle East. Connecting the dots when it comes to ISIS oil is no easy task. As Part 1 made clear, we’re left with rough estimates at best for...

Anti-ISIS Coalition Uses ISIS to Fight Assad in Favor of the Rebels

The Islamic State of Iraq and Al-Sham (ISIS) has wrecked havoc in both Syria and Iraq with their merciless terrorist attacks, massacres against minority groups (ethnic and religious), depravation of social liberties, and unmitigated corruption; it is not a far cry to label them a plague that spread through...

14 maps that explain ISIS

The Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), which now controls a vast swath of both countries and is at war with nearly every government in the region as well as the United States, did not come from nowhere. Its rise is rooted in history, in the wars that have torn apart governments and societies in the region, and in a series of disastrous choices made by the very forces now fighting ISIS.

Islamic State uses US-made anti-tank missiles in Hasakah offensive

The Islamic State has released photographs from its offensive in the eastern Syrian city of Hasakah. Two of the photos detail the use of the US-made BGM-71 TOW anti-tank missile. The current offensive in Hasakah is happening concurrently with an offensive in Kobane in northern Syria, and a renewed push...

Our Next Mideast War – Syria

Jeb Bush has spent the week debating with himself over whether he would have started the war his brother launched on Iraq. When he figures it out, hopefully, our would-be president will focus in on the campaign to drag us into yet another Mideast war – this time to bring...

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