"And I have found both freedom and safety in my madness, the freedom of loneliness and the safety from being understood, for those who understand us enslave something in us. But let me not be too proud of my safety. Even a Thief in a jail is safe from another thief. "

Khalil Gibran (How I Became a Madman)

Lübnan Marunîleri / Yasin Atlıoğlu


Friday, October 31, 2014

“Unprecedented” flow of foreign jihadists to Syria, Iraq: UN- Al-Akhbar

Foreign jihadists from more than 80 countries have flocked to fight in Iraq and Syria on an "unprecedented scale,” according to extracts of a UN report published by Britain's Guardian newspaper on Friday, which raises questions about the effectiveness of the US anti-terrorism campaign since 2001.
Around 15,000 people have travelled to fight alongside Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) and other hardcore militant groups from "countries that have not previously faced challenges relating to al-Qaeda," said the report.
The number of foreign jihadists travelling to fight since 2010 exceeds the cumulative total of the 20 preceding years "many times,” the Security Council study said.
"There are instances of foreign terrorist fighters from France, the Russian Federation and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland operating together," it said, according to the Guardian.

Syria IS: Iraq Peshmerga fighters 'cross into Kobane'- BBC News

Iraqi Kurdish Peshmerga fighters have crossed the Turkish border to help defend the Syrian town of Kobane from Islamic State.
Sources inside the town told BBC Arabic the unit was heading to the frontline about 4km west of Kobane.
Turkey finally authorised the Iraqi Kurds to cross the border last week.
Kobane has been under siege for six weeks in a battle that has left 800 dead and forced more than 200,000 to flee across the Turkish border.
Some 150 Peshmerga fighters had mustered at a holding station about 8 km (5 miles) from Kobane three days ago and on Friday set off towards the town in a dozen jeeps, escorted by armoured vehicles.

Are anti-ISIS airstrikes in Syria aiding Assad?- CNN

(CNN) -- After several months of airstrikes, the international coalition's operation against ISIS in Syria has failed to dismantle the group's structure of command and has pushed its militants further beyond the country's borders.

Civilians and opposition rebel forces have been left frustrated by the coalition's narrow focus, lack of a clear agenda and apparent failure to take into consideration the dynamics of the wider Syrian conflict.

US continues airstrikes in Kobane ahead of peshmerga deployment- Al-Akhbar

US-led airstrikes hit Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) positions around the Syrian border town of Kobane on Friday in an apparent bid to pave the way for heavily-armed Kurdish peshmerga forces to enter from neighboring Turkey.
The predominantly Kurdish town, besieged for more than 40 days, has become the focus of a global war against the insurgents, who have captured expanses of Iraq and Syria and declared an Islamic "caliphate" straddling the two.
Its fighters have slaughtered or driven away thousands who do not share their ultra-radical brand of Sunni Islam. They executed at least 220 Iraqis in retaliation against opposition to their takeover of territory west of Baghdad this week.

Brighton jihadi vows to fight to the death in Syria despite family pleas- The Guardian

A British jihadi whose two brothers have been killed fighting in Syria has said he is ignoring pleas from his father to return home and will continue to battle pro-Bashar al-Assad forces “till death”.
Amer Deghayes, 20, the last surviving member of a group of four jihadis from Brighton who secretly travelled to Syria this year to fight for al-Qaida-affiliate Jabhat al-Nusra, told the Guardian: “I didn’t come here ... [for the] experience,” adding that he was praying for his “ending to be the best martyrdom in the front lines”.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

U.S. airstrikes probably didn't take out terror targets in Syria, officials say- CNN

(CNN) -- The U.S. intelligence community now believes two key terrorist operatives targeted by the United States in the opening night of attacks in Syria are still alive and could be actively plotting, multiple officials tell CNN.


Many killed in Syria barrel bomb 'massacre'- Al-Jazeera

A Syrian government helicopter has dropped two barrel bombs on a camp for people displaced by fighting in the country's north, reportedly killing dozens and charring some bodies beyond recognition.

Activists in Syria told Al Jazeera that 40 people were killed as the bombs were dropped on a camp near al-Habeet in the northern province of Idlib on Wednesday.

However the British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which tracks violence in the civil war, said 10 civilians died.

Al Jazeera cannot independently confirm the number of casualties. 

One activist told Al Jazeera that mostly women and children were killed and that no presence of armed groups was reported in the vicinity of the camp. 

Is Syrian army heading for victory in Aleppo?- Al-Monitor

HAMA, Syria — Violent battles erupted between opposition forces — namely the Hazm Movement and Jabhat al-Nusra — and the Syrian army, before the latter on Oct. 23 took control over the strategic town of Murak in Hama’s northern countryside, where the flags of the opposition were taken down and Syria's flag with the two green stars rose in the town’s main square.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Syrian Army Captures Strategic Checkpoint in Deir Ezzor- Al-Masdar News

The 104th Airborne Brigade of the Syrian Arab Army captured the strategic Feela Al-‘Ameed Checkpoint on Sakr Island (Hajeewa Sakr) in the Deir Ezzor Governorate after violent clashes with the Islamic State of Iraq and Al-Sham today. According to a military source, two dozen ISIS militants were killed during the clashes, including a field commander from Morocco. He also added that the 104th Brigade suffered 3 casualties during the operation to capture the checkpoint.

Nusra Front seizes territory from moderate Syrian group- Daily Star

BEIRUT/AMMAN: Fighters linked to Al-Qaeda have seized territory from a moderate Syrian rebel group in a three-day campaign that has expanded their control into one of the few areas of northern Syria not held by hardline Islamists.
Syrian opposition activist and a military commander said the Nusra Front had taken several villages in Idlib province from the Syria Revolutionaries' Front led by Jamal Maarouf, a prominent figure in the moderate opposition to President Bashar Assad.
"This has happened before and we came through it. But this time the mobilisation is very large," said a military official in the Syria Revolutionaries' Front.
Twenty of the group's fighters had been killed on Monday, the official said.
"Jamal remains steadfast," said the official, who declined to be named because he is not an official spokesman for the group. Speaking via Skype, he added that the Syria Revolutionaries' Front had taken 25 Nusra fighters prisoner.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

U.S. wants Syria rebels to fight ISIS, not Assad: report- Daily Star

BEIRUT: The United States does not expect Syrian rebels it plans to train to fight ISIS militants to also take on President Bashar Assad’s forces, but sees them as a crucial part of a political solution to end the war, the Asharq al-Awsat newspaper quoted a senior U.S. official as saying.
The United States, which is leading an international coalition bombing ISIS in Syria, has said it wants to train and equip “moderate” rebels to fight the militant group which has seized tracts of land in Syria and neighboring Iraq.
Asked whether those rebel Free Syrian Army units would ultimately go on to fight Syrian government forces, John Allen, the U.S. representative to the coalition, told the Asharq al-Awsat daily: “No.”
“What we would like to see is for the FSA and the forces that we will ultimately generate, train and equip to become the credible force that the Assad government ultimately has to acknowledge and recognize,” he added.

Syria militants briefly seize parts of Idlib- Al-Arabiya

The al-Nusra Front, an al-Qaeda affiliated militant group in Syria, attacked the government-held city of Idlib Monday and briefly seized a number of state buildings, the BBC reported.
Government forces blocked the offensive, pushing back the rebels, who claimed had killed dozens of regime soldiers.
Syrian government forces have maintained control of Idlib since the north-western city was briefly taken by rebel groups in 2012.
The Nusra Front launched its offensive on the town from all sides, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR), a London-based group monitoring the conflict in Syria, said.

Kurds’ own affairs do not concern Erdoğan, says PYD- Hürrriyet Daily News

It is incomprehensible why Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan continues to meddle in the details of a security arrangement between Syrian and Iraqi Kurds given that it is an intra-Kurdish matter, Democratic Union Party (PYD) co-head Salih Muslim has said.

“Mr. Erdoğan is constantly saying things. We don’t understand why an issue between Kurds concerns his,” Muslim told Hürriyet on Oct. 27, insisting that the details of the transfer of Peshmerga forces to Kobane are issues that should be dealt with only by Iraqi and Syrian Kurdish parties.

“Mr. Erdoğan wants to be the one who decides everything. But not everything is in his power,” he added. 

Muslim also repeated accusations that Turkey is supporting the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant’s (ISIL) assault on Kobane by allowing jihadists to cross its borders. Erdoğan had previously accused the Kurdish group of “scheming along the Turkish border.”

Violent Clashes Reported in Deir Ezzor; 44 ISIS Militants Identified Among the Dead- Al-Masdar News

Earlier today, a large explosion rocked Hajeewa Sakr (Sakr Island) as an Islamic State of Iraq and Al-Sham (ISIS) militant detonated a car bomb near a residential neighborhood, killing 3 civilians and wounding 11 others in the process. The 104th Airborne Brigade of the Republican Guard, led by Brigadier General Issam Zahreddine (pictured above), responded promptly to this terrorist act, attacking ISIS militants on the northeastern end of the Island.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Will European ambassadors return to Syria?- Al-Monitor

DAMASCUS, Syria — One cannot help but smile at the sight of a Syrian traffic policeman standing behind his radar gun, looking for violators of the speed limit indicated on the new sign on the side of the Beirut-Damascus highway.

That smile might become even broader when the driver taking you from Beirut to Damascus says that you are passing through the city of al-Zabadani, where armed opposition militants are stationed on both sides of the road, even if Syrian army units have managed to push them a few meters away from it. The first idea that crosses your mind is to ask the driver to speed up, because you couldn't care less about the policeman who is registering the plate numbers of the cars exceeding the speed limit!
Perhaps the speed radar has been carefully and deliberately placed there to detect the speed of cars, a few minutes after they enter Syrian territory. It is the best way to convey the message that the Syrian state is doing well and that you are entering the scope of a fully sovereign state, regardless of the turn of events that have marked the past 3½ years.

British teacher pleads guilty over terrorism offences- The Guardian

A chemistry teacher from Bolton accused of supporting Islamic State (Isis) in Syria could be facing a life sentence after admitting terrorism offences.
Jamshed Javeed, 30, who taught pupils aged 11-16, admitted he was on the verge of going to the conflict-torn country to fight before he was arrested in December. His family, having noticed a change in his appearance and behaviour, had tried to stop him, even hiding his passport to prevent him leaving the UK, but he told them he wanted to go regardless of their wishes and applied for a new one.
On Monday, Javeed pleaded guilty to two acts of engaging in conduct in preparation for undertaking terrorist acts in Syria, including providing funding and buying equipment to help others to commit acts of terrorism there. Each of the counts carry a maximum life sentence.
Javeed, who appeared in court flanked by two security guards will be sentenced on 12 December.

Syria conflict: Nusra Front rebels attack Idlib- BBC News

Al-Qaeda-affiliated militants and other Syrian rebel groups have attacked the government-held city of Idlib, briefly seizing several official buildings.
The Nusra Front said its fighters killed dozens of government soldiers before being pushed back.
The Syrian government has maintained control of Idlib city in the country's north-west since it was briefly taken over by rebel groups in 2012.
Syria's civil war, in its fourth year, has claimed more than 200,000 lives.

Battle Map Update: Syrian Army Controls 80 Percent of Sakr Island in Deir Ezzor- Al-Masdar News

The Syrian Arab Army’s 104th Airborne Brigade of the Republican Guard carried out a number of raids on Islamic State of Iraq and Al-Sham (ISIS) positions in Haweeja Sakr (Sakr Island), killing scores of militants and taking control of the suspension bridge linking the island to the eastern mainland. According to a military source in Deir Ezzor, the 104th Brigade is now in control of 80 percent of Sakr Island and possesses access to the bridges that link the island.


Jabhat Al-Nusra Storms Idlib City and Suffers Devastating Losses- Al-Masdar News

Contingents from Jabhat Al-Nusra stormed the heavily fortified provincial capital of the Idlib Governorate, attempting to breach the Syrian Arab Army’s (SAA) frontline defenses in the western end of the city – the attack was repulsed. Jund Al-Aqsa participated in the attack with Jabhat Al-Nusra; their sleeper cells inside of Idlib City led to the brief infiltration into the western outskirts and the capture of 2 checkpoints near the Corniche.

Isis attack on Idlib: Assad's army leaders 'slaughtered' as jihadists nearly take Syrian provincial capital- The Independent

Syria almost lost its second city to the jihadists of Isis and Jabhat al-Nusra last night when hundreds of fighters stormed into the provincial capital, Idlib, captured the newly installed governor’s office and began beheading Syrian army officers. By the time government troops recaptured the building, at least 70 soldiers – many senior officers – had been executed, leaving one of the oldest cities in Syria in chaos. “They were slaughtered,” a message to Damascus said before the army was able to declare Idlib saved.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Army Deploys in Tripoli's Souks, Pursues Gunmen after Clashes Kill 4, Wound 20- Naharnet

Two civilians and two gunmen were killed as 20 troops and civilians were wounded in armed clashes in the old souks of the northern city of Tripoli that erupted Friday evening and continued until Saturday afternoon.
In the evening, the army said its units completed their deployment in the old souks and the al-Zahriyeh neighborhood after arresting several gunmen and wounding many others.
“Quantities of arms, ammunition and explosives were seized in their possession, while a number of militants fled from the area and army units are pursuing them in order to arrest them,” the army added.
Later on Saturday, state-run National News Agency said "an exchange of gunfire erupted between the army and gunmen near al-Walid supermarket in Bab al-Tabbaneh."
And MTV said "the clashes zone has expanded in Bab al-Tabbaneh."

Friday, October 24, 2014

The Lebanese Communist Party: The secret to constant failure- Al-Akhbar

The Lebanese Communist Party (LCP) is one of the most influential political groups in the Arab Levant – established and rooted in an environment of cultural enlightenment imbued with a humanitarian and revivalist spirit, under the shadow of a liberal regime. This was characteristic of Lebanon in the past century. But the LCP was unique among Arab communist parties for its cultural and intellectual output, on one hand, and involvement in armed resistance, on the other. This gave it a glorious image in Lebanon and in the Arab world.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Syria army regains full control of Morek- PRESS TV

The Syrian army has flushed out Takfiri militants from a strategic town nine months after it was seized by the terrorists.

The so-called Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said on Thursday that Syrian ground forces backed by airstrikes liberated the town of Morek from the militants belonging to the al-Qaeda-linked al-Nusra Front.

Syrian forces “took back total control of Morek in the north of Hama countryside, after fierce battles that have raged” since Wednesday night, the UK-based Syrian opposition group said.

There has been no report on the number of the casualties of the fighting.

Morek is considered a significant town as it is located on the main road linking the Syrian capital city, Damascus, to the country’s largest city of Aleppo in the northwest.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Syria army locates infiltration tunnels near Damascus- PRESS TV

Soldiers of the Syrian army have located tunnels through which militants infiltrated into a region near the capital Damascus, Press TV reports.

The soldiers found the tunnels in the Jobar district, two kilometers northeast of the Old City walls, on Wednesday.

Hundred of militants are said to have used the tunnel to cross into the region and as a gateway to flee the army’s strikes.

The militants, who were from radical groups such as the so-called Ajnad al-Sham Islamic Union, aimed at breaching the parameter the Syrian army has enforced in the area.

Islamic State 'retreating' in key Syria town of Kobane- BBC News

Islamic State militants are retreating in parts of the northern Syrian town of Kobane in the face of US-led air strikes, a Kurdish official has said.
Idriss Nassan told the BBC IS had lost control of more than 20% of the town on the border with Turkey in recent days.
Activists say more than 600 people have been killed since the jihadist group launched its assault a month ago.
On Wednesday, US and European leaders agreed on the need to do more to stop the advance of IS in Iraq and Syria.
In a video conference, US President Barack Obama and the leaders of the UK, France, Germany and Italy said they would step up support for an "inclusive political approach" in Iraq and training for local forces.

Berri: Lebanon needs more support in fight against terrorists- Daily Star

BEIRUT: Speaker Nabih Berri Wednesday called on the international community to support the region in its battle against terrorism, adding that Lebanon had not yet received enough aid to help it cope with the ongoing Syrian refugee crisis.
“We call for the support of efforts made by regional states to counter takfiri terrorism and attempts to displace certain segments of people, thus splitting the already divided regions in Syria and Iraq,” Berri said in a speech at the World Leaders’ Investment Summit, which was held in Geneva as part of the activities of the World Investment Forum 2014.
The speaker also called for Lebanon to be given more help in its war against terrorism in the region.
Lebanon is battling ISIS and Nusra Front jihadists holed up on its northeastern border. Militants from both groups briefly occupied the border town of Arsal in August and are still holding 27 servicemen they captured during the ensuing battle.

Syria ambassador urges Lebanon security cooperation- Daily Star

BEIRUT: Lebanon and Syria should coordinate their efforts in combating terrorism to better serve their mutual national interests and security, Syrian Ambassador to Lebanon Ali Abdel Karim Ali said, criticizing the Lebanese government’s reluctance to cooperate with his country.
“The (Lebanese) government’s hesitation regarding coordination with the Syrian government is not in its own interest or the interest of the (Lebanese) Army,” Ali said in comments to Hezbollah’s Al-Manar TV.
“The Lebanese popular base wants such coordination (with Syria) because they want security which could be achieved through the cooperation of the two armies to serve the interests of both Lebanon and Syria, and probably that of Lebanon first,” Ali added.

Kosovo 'jihad' boy home from Syria after secret operation- BBC News

An eight-year-old boy from Kosovo has been reunited with his mother after his jihadist father kept him for five months in Syria.
Kosovo's Prime Minister, Hashim Thaci, said the country's intelligence agency had found and rescued Erion Abazi with help from Turkish intelligence.
It was a "complicated and dangerous" operation, which followed careful analysis, Mr Thaci said in a statement.
About 200 Kosovans are believed to be with Islamist groups in Iraq and Syria.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Gunmen Assassinate Syria MP in Hama- Naharnet

Unidentified gunmen assassinated Syrian parliament member Waris al-Yunis in the central province of Hama, a parliamentary source told Agence France Presse on Wednesday.
"An armed group opened fire on MP Waris al-Yunis's car as it traveled on the Hama-Salamiyah road at around 9:00 pm (18:00 GMT) on Tuesday evening, killing him instantly," the source told AFP.
Yunis was a representative from the coastal province of Tartus, a stronghold of support for President Bashar Assad, and a bastion of the Alawite minority sect to which the embattled leader belongs.
Rami Abdel Rahman, director of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitoring group, said Yunis was a commander in the pro-regime National Defense Force militia

Zabadani back to the forefront of Syria war- Al-Monitor

The city of Zabadani has returned to the Syrian battle map after Jabhat al-Nusra in Qalamoun tried to penetrate Hezbollah’s sites in Lebanon’s Brital village. This highlights the attempt by the armed groups to open a supply route between Arsal and Zabadani that would go through the rest of the areas under their control in Qalamoun.

Kurds hold their own against ISIS militants in Syria- CBS News

MURSITPINAR, Turkey -- Intensified U.S.-led airstrikes and a determined Kurdish military force on the ground appear to have had some success in halting advances by Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) fighters on a strategic Kurdish town near Syria's border with Turkey -- at least for now.
On Wednesday, the Kurdish militiamen were fighting ferocious street battles with the Sunni extremists in Kobani and making advances on some fronts, hours after the U.S.-led coalition stepped up its aerial campaign.
In a surprising display of resilience, the Kurdish fighters have held out against the more experienced jihadists a month into the militants' offensive on the frontier town, hanging on to their territory against all expectations.
"People underestimate the power of determination," said Farhad Shami, a Kurdish activist in Kobani. "The Kurds have a cause and are prepared to die fighting for it."
They also have the advantage of fighting on familiar ground.

Syria harshly criticizes Turkey on buffer zones- Hurriyet Daily News

Syria has categorically rejected the establishment of buffer zones in any part of its territory “under whatever pretext,” rejecting any intervention of foreign forces in its land.

The war-hit country’s Foreign Ministry said on Oct. 15 that Syria “will take, in consultation with its friends, all of the necessary measures to preserve its national sovereignty and territorial integrity.”

The statement harshly criticized Turkish attempts to seek a buffer zone on its soil, calling it a “gross violation” of the principles, goals and Charter of the United Nations and international law.

The ministry accused the Turkish government of systematically carrying out “everything that could disrupt Syria’s stability and jeopardize its sovereignty and territorial integrity.”

Turkey’s government, the ministry added, has provided “all forms of political, military and logistic support to the armed terrorist groups whose members have come to Syria from over 83 countries, including shelter, training, funds and arms, as well as access into Syrian territory." 

American Civilians Take Up Arms in Syria, But With Whom?- ABC News

With the reported death over the weekend of another American member of the terror group ISIS and new reports of U.S. citizens taking up arms with Kurdish forces, it seems that the allegiances of the 100-plus Americans who security officials believe have gone to fight in Syria and Iraq are as diverse and complex as the conflict itself.
Far from a two-sided affair, numerous groups are vying for power and territory in Syria and Iraq, including the countries’ respective governments, an official al Qaeda affiliate, a powerful al Qaeda splinter group, “moderate” opposition forces, Kurdish forces and a myriad of militias everywhere in between.
As for the Americans joining up -- who are doing so in far smaller numbers than some European governments believe their own citizens are -- former Director of the National Counterterrorism Center Matthew Olsen said in July, “There’s no real pattern to the people who have gone from the United States to Syria. Some are ethnic Syrians, many are not. They come from all different parts of the country.”

Syria army retakes village near Aleppo- PRESS TV

The Syrian army has captured a village in the countryside of Aleppo, marking the latest gain in a push to control the key city.

According to reports on Wednesday, the Syrian army troops took control of Kfar Najad village as they fight to cut the last supply route for the foreign-backed militants in Aleppo.
Reports said that the army managed to kill many terrorists in the operation.

The recent gains enable the Syrian army to control the areas of the city that fell to the militants two years ago.

On October 12, the Syrian army engaged in fierce fighting with the Takfiri terrorists operating in the Ein Tarma valley, located in the eastern al-Ghouta region, and managed to push them back from the area.

Why Regime Change Won’t Stop ISIS in Syria- Global Research

US corporate-financier funded policy think tanks have been taking turns in recent weeks floating the narrative that the next logical step to stopping so-called “Islamic State” (ISIS) terrorists in Syria is removing the Syrian government from power – this despite the fact that the only cohesive, organized force in the region capable of fighting ISIS terrorists is the Syrian government and its Syrian Arab Army.
Kenneth M. Pollack a policy writer at the Brookings Institution and a signatory of the noxious 2009 “Which Path to Persia?” report Brookings produced which advocated arming and funding listed terrorist organizations to fight Iran under the cover of street protests (exactly how the US went about plunging Syria into its current crisis), has recently penned his thoughts on what should be done in Syria. Titled, “An Army to Defeat Assad: How to Turn Syria’s Opposition Into a Real Fighting Force,” Pollack claims:
…there is, in fact, a way that the United States could get what it wants in Syria — and, ultimately, in Iraq as well — without sending in U.S. forces: by building a new Syrian opposition army capable of defeating both President Bashar al-Assad and the more militant Islamists. 

Up to 30 British jihadists now dead in Syria but toll will rise with Isil lure- The Telegraph

Up to 30 British jihadists are now believed to have died fighting alongside Isil and other terror groups in Syria, latest estimates suggest.
The rising death toll is a sign that young British Muslims are still being sucked in by the warped ideology of Isil and are heading to the war-torn country in growing numbers.
Four British fanatics, including a teenager from Brighton, are said to have died in a single US air strike last month alone.
But the stream of reported deaths could serve as an inspiration for other would-be jihadists to head for Syria rather than as a deterrent, experts have warned.
The figures came as one academic said youngsters who flee Britain to fight jihad are just depressed and lonely and should be allowed to return without being criminalised.

US: Coalition airstrikes killed several hundred of ISIL militants in Syria- PRESS TV

The Pentagon has said ISIL still stands the chance of seizing the Syrian town of Kobani despite US-led airstrikes that have resulted in the deaths of “several hundred” ISIL terrorists.

"We believe that we have killed several hundred ISIL fighters in and around Kobani," Pentagon spokesman Rear Adm. John Kirby told reporters in Washington on Wednesday.

Kirby also said that most of the people living in Kobani have fled the town with the ISIL militants trying to seize the control of the mainly Kurdish town.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Battle rages for control of Syria's Kobane- Al-Jazeera

Battles have continued to rage on along Turkey's border between the Islamic State in Syria and the Levant (ISIL) fighters and Syrian Kurds as anti-ISIL coalition's military chiefs prepare to meet in the US capital.

Activists said the self-declared jihadist fighters fought their way on Monday into central Kobane in heavy clashes with the Syrian border town's Kurdish defenders, a day before a Washington DC meeting of the US-led coalition against the ISIL.

The offensive resulted in the ISIL claiming half of Kobane, despite more than three weeks of US-led air strikes in Syria aimed at stopping them and nearly a month after the fighters began their assault on the town.

US and Saudi fighter jets targeted seven sites around Kobane, the US military said on Monday, including ISIL staging posts used to try to cut Kobane from the outside world.

U.S. Holocaust museum to display Syria torture photos- Al-Arabiya

A handful from the thousands of photographs that surfaced in July allegedly showing starved, burned and bruised bodies of Syrian torture victims will go on display at the U.S. Holocaust Museum on Wednesday, Yahoo News reported.
The U.S. State Department obtained some 27,000 photographs in July showing tthe effects of torture in Syria's prisons on victims' bodies.
They were smuggled out of the war torn country by an official Syrian regime photographer who defected and is now living in Europe.
Caesar, the code name adopted by the photographer, testified in a closed-door session before the U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee in July.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Hariri to meet Rai in Rome for talks on presidential impasse- Daily Star

BEIRUT: Former Prime Minister Saad Hariri will meet Maronite Patriarch Beshara Rai in Rome Monday for talks centering on the nearly 5-month-old presidential deadlock, Future MP Ammar Houri said Sunday.
Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri, meanwhile, pleaded with the Lebanese to rally behind the Army in its battle against terrorist groups, saying the military’s role should be bolstered to protect Lebanon’s security and stability.
“The presidential election will be the main topic in the talks between [former] Prime Minister Hariri and Patriarch Rai,” Houri told The Daily Star.
The lawmaker reiterated the Future Movement’s demand for priority to be given to the election of a successor to former President Michel Sleiman, whose six-year term ended on May 25.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Siege of Kobani: Insider video shows ISIS militants advance- RT

As fierce fighting continues for the Kurdish city of Kobani near the Turkish-Syrian border, a video was posted online showing the advance of the jihadists. There are widespread fears the town’s capture may result in a bloody massacre.
A video has been posted online on Friday by a group connected to ISIS to show militants using rocket propelled grenades and sledgehammers while advancing inside the besieged city of Kobani.
As for Friday, the jihadists controlled 40 percent of the area.

Syria: Kobane siege death toll 'passes 500'- BBC News

At least 553 people are said to have died in a month of fighting for Kobane, the Kurdish town just inside Syria under Islamic State (IS) attack.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a UK-based Syrian opposition body which monitors the conflict, counted 298 IS fighters among the dead.
US aircraft have bombed IS positions as Kurdish fighters cling on to the town's vital border crossing with Turkey.
But the defenders say they are outgunned on the ground.
"The supply of fighters is very good..." Kobane official Idris Nassan told Reuters news agency. "But fighters coming without arms, without weaponry, is not going to make a critical difference."

Armed PKK militants back in Turkey, senior outlawed group leader says- Hürriyet Daily News

The Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) has deployed armed forces back to Turkey, said Cemil Bayık, a senior leader of the outlawed organization, also retreting his pessimism about the recent talks between the Turkish government and the PKK. 

The PKK will restart fights in case killings of Kurds continue in Kobane, the Syrian border town where the clashes between the armed Kurdish forces and Islamist State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) have contiued since more than three weeks. 

News agencies report that ISIL keeps advancing in and outside the town, from where more than 150,000 people fled to Turkey. 

"If things continue this way, the guerrilas will fight to defend our people. The core task of the guerillas is to defend the people," Bayık reportedly said. 

ISIL is a US ‘proxy force’ to replace Syria’s Assad: Analyst- PRESS TV

The United States is using the ISIL terrorist group as a “proxy force” and “foot soldiers” to remove the Syrian government of President Bashar al-Assad, an author and radio host in Chicago says.

“What most people do not know, especially Americans, is that ISIL fighters are US allies, they were created by America, they’re US foot soldiers, US proxy forces,” Stephen Lendman told Press TV on Saturday.

“They’re being used by America in its war to replace the Assad government with a pro-Western stooge government, this is what the ‘dirty game’ is all about,” Lendman said.

The “dirty game” is to arouse more anger toward ISIL terrorists through beheadings and other brutal tactics in order to enlist more countries in President Barack Obama’s coalition against the Syrian government, he added.

ISIL militants have been trained by CIA operatives out of secret bases in Jordan and Turkey to destabilize Syria, Lendman noted.

Eğit-donat tamam, İncirlik sürüyor- Hürriyet

ABD ve Türkiye arasında Ankara’nın IŞİD’e karşı sağlayacağı askeri katkılar konusunda bir aydır süren müzakerelerde ilk somut mutabakata varıldı. Ankara 2 bin Suriyeli muhalife eğitim vermeyi kabul etti. İncirlik için görüşmeler ise sürüyor. ABD Dışişleri Bakanlığı Sözcü Yardımcısı Harf, "General Allen ve Büyükelçi McGurk'ün iki gün süren toplantılarının sonucu olarak, Türkiye Suriyeli ılımlı muhaliflere eğitim ve ekipman desteği vermeyi kabul etti" diyerek açıkladı.

ABD ve Türkiye’nin 5 Eylül’de Cumhurbaşkanı Tayyip Erdoğan ve ABD Başkanı Barack Obama arasında Galler’deki NATO Zirvesi sırasında yapılan toplantıdan beri sürdürdüğü IŞİD’e karşı kurulan küresel koalisyon müzakerelerinde, askeri katkı konusunda ilk somut mutabakat sağlandı. Cumhurbaşkanı Tayyip Erdoğan’ın BM Zirvesi için gittiği New York’ta 25 Eylül günü ABD Başkanı Barack Obama ve Başkan Yardımcısı Joe Biden ile yaptığı görüşmelerde de gündeme gelen, Suriyeli muhaliflerin eğitilip donatılmasında Türkiye ilk aşamada 2 bin kişiye eğitim sağlamayı kabul etti.

ABD’nin IŞİD’e karşı küresel koalisyon özel temsilcileri emekli Orgeneral John Allen ve Yardımcısı Brett McGurk’ün iki günlük Ankara temaslarından sonra sağlanan mutabakatı, ilk olarak ABD Dışişleri Sözcüsü Marie Harf açıkladı ve “Özellikle (IŞİD’e karşı) çabaların askeri kısmında Türkiye’nin katkı sağlayabileceği alanları ele aldık. Ve Allen ile MucGurk’ün son iki günlük toplantıları sonunda, anladığımız kadarıyla Türkiye ılımlı Suriye muhalefetini eğitip donatma çabalarını desteklemeyi kabul etti” dedi.

U.N. warns of massacre if Ain al-Arab falls to ISIS- Daily Star

GENEVA/MURSITPINAR, Turkey: Thousands of people “will most likely be massacred” if Ain al-Arab falls to ISIS fighters, a U.N. envoy said Friday, as militants fought deeper into the besieged Syrian Kurdish town in full view of Turkish tanks that have done nothing to intervene.
U.N. envoy Staffan de Mistura said Ain al-Arab could suffer the same fate as the Bosnian town of Srebrenica, where 8,000 Muslims were murdered by Serbs in 1995, Europe’s worst atrocity since World War II while U.N. peacekeepers failed to protect them.
“If this falls, the 700, plus perhaps the 12,000 people, apart from the fighters, will be most likely massacred,” he said. The United Nations believes 700 mainly elderly civilians are trapped in the town itself and 12,000 have left the center but not made it across the border into Turkey.
“Do you remember Srebrenica? We do. We never forgot and probably we never forgave ourselves,” said de Mistura, the U.N. peace envoy for Syria. “When there is an imminent threat to civilians, we cannot, we should not, be silent.”