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Syrian rebels renew chemical attacks in Aleppo
Today's Headlines
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Page 2: WoT Background
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Page 3: Non-WoT
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Page 4: Opinion
5 20:49 Blossom Unains5562 [371]
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Page 6: Politix
9 18:47 g(r)omgoru [367]
Noor says Afghan forces confronted ISIS loyalists in Balkh operations
[Khaama (Afghanistan)] The acting provincial governor of northern Balkh province Ata Mohammad Noor has confirmed that the Afghan forces confronted the loyalists of the Islamic State
...formerly ISIS or ISIL, depending on your preference. Before that al-Qaeda in Iraq, as shaped by Abu Musab Zarqawi. They're very devout, committing every atrocity they can find in the Koran and inventing a few more. They fling Allah around with every other sentence, but to hear the pols talk they're not really Moslems....
of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) terrorist group during clearance operations in this province.

Following the conclusion of clearance operations in Koshindih and Zareh districts, Noor said the snuffies cleared during the operations were connected both the Taliban and ISIS terrorist group.

Noor further added that the Afghan forces recovered both Taliban and ISIS flags during the operations which led to the clearance of the two districts.

He said at least 7 snuffies were killed, around 10 others were maimed and at least 20 others were nabbed
I ain't sayin' nuttin' widdout me mout'piece!
by the security forces during the operations.

According to Noor, the snuffies were looking to destabilize Balkh and infiltrate into northern Sar-e-Pul and Samangan provinces.

Noor said the snuffies were looking to start their operations from the mountainous terrai of Tanj and move towards the bustling provincial capital city, Mazar-e-Sharif and were their strategy was to move further towards Sholgara and then into Samangan and Sar-e-Pul provinces.

This comes as Noor said last week that the snuffies were looking to establish an operational base in Sizda village in the mountainous terrain of Balkh province, under the leadership of Mawlavi Abdul Bari in Sizda village which is a strategic area from the military point of view.

He said the group had started terrorizing the local residents as they were establishing the base, killing and torturing the residents and torching the houses in the area.

The operations were jointly conducted by the Afghan national security forces who were receiving close-air support by the Afghan Air Force, Noor added.

Posted by: Fred || 03/14/2016 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [137 views] Top|| File under: Islamic State

Gulbuddin’s Hezb-e-Islami says prepared for peace talks with Afghan govt
[Khaama (Afghanistan)] The Hezb-e-Islami party led by the notorious warlord Gulbuddin Hekmatyar
... who used to be known in intelligence circles as The Most Evil Man in the World but who now seems merely run-of-the-mill evil...
has announced the group is prepared to sit-in for peace talks with the Afghan government.

The group has released a statement saying they are prepared to participate in the peace talks in a bid to show to the nation that Hezb-e-Islami wants peace.

The party also condemned the inclusion of the group’s two members in the list of Specially Designated Global Terrorists (SDGTs) by the United States, saying the move by the US government comes amid calls by the Afghan government to start reconciliation process.

The US Department of State announced Friday "The Department of State has designated Abdullah Nowbahar and Abdul Saboor as Specially Designated Global Terrorists (SDGTs) under section 1(b) of Executive Order (E.O.) 13224, which imposes sanctions on foreign persons that have committed, or pose a serious risk of committing, acts of terrorism that threaten the security of U.S. nationals or the national security, foreign policy, or economy of the United States."

A statement by the State Department said the two Hezb-e-Islami group members, Abdullah Nowbahar and Abdul Saboor, are explosive experts for Hezb-e-Islami Gulbuddin (HIG).

The statement further added that both Nowbahar and Saboor participated in the September 18, 2012 attack on a bus carrying foreign employees of Kabul
...the capital of Afghanistan. Home to continuous fighting from 1992 to 1996 between the forces of would-be strongman and Pak ISI/Jamaat-e-Islami sock puppet Gulbuddin Hekmayar and the Northern Alliance, a period which won Hek the title Most Evil Man in the World and didn't do much for the reputations of the Northern Alliance guys either....
International Airport that killed 12 people.

...back at the wreckage, Captain Poindexter wished he had a cup of coffee. Even instant would do...
the announcement by Hezb-e-Islami to participate in the peace talks comes as the Taliban group has rejected to sit-in for peace talks, insisting on group’s pre-conditions to hold talks.

The Afghan government was expecting to start face to face talks with the Taliban group at the first week of this month following the conclusion of the Quadrilateral Coordination Group (QCG) meeting last month where calls were made for direct talks.

Posted by: Fred || 03/14/2016 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [149 views] Top|| File under: Hizb-i-Islami-Hekmatyar

Bomb blast kills child in Helmand
[Khaama (Afghanistan)] A child has lost life and three others sustained injuries in a kaboom in southern Helmand
...an Afghan province populated mostly by Pashtuns, adjacent to Injun country in Pak Balochistan...
province, an official said on Sunday.

Omar Zwak, spokesperson for the governor told Azadi Radio that the incident took place in Khanashin district late yesterday.

He said two of the three children maimed in the blast are at death's door.

According to the governor’s spokesperson, the bomb had been planted by armed opponents for security forces but it went off on civilians.

When Helmand officials say armed opponents they usually mean Taliban.

man does not live by words alone, despite the fact that sometimes he has to eat them...
the group’s spokesperson has not yet commented on the report.

Taliban group has a strong presence in Helmand province and currently there are heavy festivities between them and security forces in part of this restive province.
Posted by: Fred || 03/14/2016 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [139 views] Top|| File under: Taliban

26 militants killed in Afghan forces air and ground operations: MoD
[Khaama (Afghanistan)] An Afghan Air Force aerial gunner communicates with the pilot of an Mi-17, owned and operated by the Kandahar Air Wing, before an engine run-up at Kandahar Airfield, March 2, 2016. Members of the AAF work closely with Train Advise Assist Command -- Air, a U.S.-run functional command, that assists our Afghan partners to develop a professional, capable and sustainable force. (U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Robert Cloys)

At least 26 anti-government armed turbans were killed in the air and ground operations of the Afghan national security forces in the past 24 hours.

The Ministry of Defense (MoD) said the operations were conducted in the various parts of the country, involving securit personnel from different security institutions, including the Afghan Air Force.

According to an operational update by MoD, at least 12 of the turbans were killed in air and ground offensive in Shindand district of Herat
...a venerable old Persian-speaking city in western Afghanistan, populated mostly by Tadjiks, which is why it's not as blood-soaked as areas controlled by Pashtuns...
province and 7 others were maimed.

MoD further added that 6 turbans were killed during the clearance operations in Nad-e-Ali district of southern Helmand
...an Afghan province populated mostly by Pashtuns, adjacent to Injun country in Pak Balochistan...

At least 7 turbans were killed during a seprate operation in Charchino district of Uruzgan province, MoD said, adding that several villages were cleared of the turbans during the ongoing operations in Dand-e-Ghori and Dand-e-Shahabuddin in Baghlan province.

MoD also added that various types of weapons, ammunition and explosives were seized after an explosives cache was seized from the residence of a Taliban capo in Dand-e-Ghori and Dand-e-Shabauddin where 7 safe havens of the turbans were destroyed.

A Taliban capo identified as Rohani was also killed during an operation in Nejrab district of Kapisa province and two of his lover companions were maimed, MoD added.

The anti-government armed Death Eater groups have not commented regarding the operations so far.
Posted by: Fred || 03/14/2016 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [164 views] Top|| File under: Taliban

Africa Horn
KDF launches airstrike on Al shabaab base in Gedo
A top Somali army official says Kenyan air-force jets have carried out an airborne attack against Al shabaab stronghold in the country’s south-western Gedo region on Saturday. Col Mohamed Hassan, a senior military commander in Gedo region said the Kenyan warplanes pounded Rays-Qode, targeting a key Al shabaab base near the strategic town of Garbaharey town.

Mr Hassan said several Al shabaab combatants were killed in the KDF airstrike, which was the latest in series of retaliatory bombing on Al shabaab bases in southern Somalia since El Adde attack in January 15.

At least two civilians were wounded in Kenyan airstrike on Rays-Qode area, according to the Somali army commander. Al shabaab and Kenya did not comment on the attack so far.

The Al-Shabaab has launched several deadly attacks against KDF and AMISOM military installations, including Leego, Janale and El Adde attack in southern Somalia within the last several months.
Posted by: Steve White || 03/14/2016 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [151 views] Top|| File under: al-Shabaab

Africa North
Army to evacuate remaining families in Benghazi’s embattled Gwarsha district
The Libyan army has said it will evacuate families trapped in Benghazi’s Gwarsha district, scene of continued fighting between itself and Islamist militants. The south Benghazi area, along with neighbouring Garyounis and Tika, are the militants’ last stronghold in the city.

The army says that it will supervise the evacuation but that all males over 15 years of age who leave will be investigated.

The announcement follows a call by the UN Humanitarian Coordinator for Libya for a ceasefire in Benghazi to ensure that civilians unable to leave areas where there is fighting can do so if they wish. In his call, the coordinator, Ali Al-Za’tari, specifically named Gwarsha as one area where families were trapped.

He pointed out that both sides in the fighting, the army as well as the militiants, had a legal obligation to respect international humanitarian human rights laws “at all times”.

For his part, Thinni government spokesman Hatem Oraibi questioned whether those being allowed to leave Gwarsha were civilians. He suggested that some would be militants trying to escape. Claiming that the army had told civilians some time ago to leave battle zones, he called on United Nations and all interested in combating terrorism to visit Benghazi and see for themselves how she it had become.
Posted by: badanov || 03/14/2016 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [141 views] Top|| File under:

Tripoli fertile ground for western intel operations
Tripoli- Capital city and largest city of Libya, Tripoli has become no short than a grazing land for militias, military arsenal, western intelligence agents, and some private security companies coming from countries like the U.S., Britain, France, and Italy.

Security companies are managing to coexist together and are collecting data on developments. Doubts indicating the West soon intervening in Libya to fight ISIS, are rising.

Starting March 13, Asharq Al-Awsat will launch a series of investigations in Tripoli, Libya. With all the spread militia and warlords, the Libyan largest city seems to have become the capital for terrorism. Based on documents, observations, and testimonies, a case of rage and confusion among warlords and anti-army leaderships was exposed. The off-board militants, leaders, groups and factions all fear a soon-coming international intervention.

After convening, a number of groups and leaderships went as far as resorting to cooperate with ISIS.

Western security companies have assumed their work, centering themselves in villas resting on the coasts of Tripoli. From within the housing units rose the sound of light music and the scent of Libyan cuisine cooking. The residents allegedly are retired Western officers who formerly worked for Western armies and intelligence.

In contrast, all militias are cooperating and saving no effort in guarding the newcomers. With no significant impact, it seems that for the time being militias and security agents are coexisting with each other.

For four years now warlords occupied Tripoli, and have rendered hopeless on achieving any victories with the national army is continuously advancing and ISIS growing influence across the capital. Even factions formerly belonging to the late Col. Muammar Gaddafi are participating in the war against militants.

The current status forced families belonging to military, political, and security leaders to evacuate the city. They have also left neighboring cities like Misurata, which is situated 187 km to the east of Tripoli.
Posted by: badanov || 03/14/2016 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [149 views] Top|| File under:

Africa Subsaharan
Ivory Coast gunmen who killed 16 had sights set on Obama official, source says
[FOXNEWS] A deadly attack on a popular Ivory Coast beach resort Sunday that killed at least 16 most likely targeted a U.S. delegation led by the assistant commerce secretary, who was visiting the country, a diplomatic source in the region told Fox News.
Now this makes sense. Qaeda hard boys hitting a beach in subsaharan Africa doesn't make sense. But if a U.S. delegation is going to be there? Major score...
There was no indication any Americans had been killed or maimed in the attack, according to the source.

Assistant Secretary of Commerce Marcus Jadotte was leading a group of Americans in Grand-Bassam, including college recruiters from the University of Florida. U.S. embassy officials from the capital city of Abidjan were also included in the group, according to the source. The delegation was supposed to arrive at the scene of the attack, Etoile du Sud, a hotel popular with Westerners. The delegation had not yet made it to the hotel when the attack occurred.

A jihadist group called Ansar Dine, or "defenders of the faith," linked to Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb was suspected of the attack, according to the source.Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb later grabbed credit for the attack, according to a Jihad monitoring website cited by the News Agency that Dare Not be Named.

The US Embassy in Ivory Coast instructed all Americans to "shelter in place."

The U.S. ambassador to the Ivory Coast was not in the country at the time of the attack having left to attend a conference in Washington led by Secretary of State John F. I was in Vietnam, you know Kerry
Former Senator-for-Life from Massachussetts, self-defined war hero, speaker of French, owner of a lucky hat, conqueror of Cambodia, and current Secretary of State...
But the deadly attack did leave 14 civilians and two special forces soldiers dead, as well as all six attackers, President Alassane Ouattara
...the current president-for-life of Ivory Coast. He actually beat his predecessor in an election before having to eject him from the presidential palazzo....
said, according to Rooters.

The attackers, who were "heavily armed and wearing balaclavas, fired at guests at the Etoile du Sud, a large hotel which was full of expats in the current heatwave," a witness told AFP.

Marcel Guy said he saw at least four gunnies with Kalashnikov rifles on the beach. He said one approached two children, and spoke in Arabic. One child knelt and prayed, the other child was rubbed out.
Rat bastards. Hunt them down.
"I was swimming when it started and I bravely ran away," said Dramane Kima, who showed video of the carnage to Rooters. He also took pictures of grenades and ammunition clips he believed were left behind by the gunnies.

Jacques Able, who identified himself as the owner of Etoile du Sud said one person had been killed at the hotel. A receptionist at Etoile du Sud hotel said the attacks happened on the beach.

"We don't know where they came from, and we don't know where they've gone," he said of the gunnies.
It gets more interesting, according to The Times of Israel:
In a message posted on its Telegram channels, Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) said three of its “heroes” had stormed the Grand-Bassam resort,
Who did the other three dead miscreants belong to?
according to SITE Intelligence Group, which is based just outside Washington.

“By the grace of Allah and His granting of success, three heroes from the knights of Qaedat al-Jihad in the Islamic Maghreb were able to storm the tourist resort ‘Grand Bassam,’ situated east of the city of Abidjan, in Ivory Coast,” the SITE Intelligence Group quoted AQIM as saying.
Posted by: Fred || 03/14/2016 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [186 views] Top|| File under: al-Qaeda in North Africa

Yemeni kops battle militants in Aden
Yemeni police clashed with Al Qaeda fighters on Saturday in second city Aden as pro-government forces pressed their offensive to break a rebel siege on third city Taez, security sources said.

In the internationally recognised government's temporary capital of Aden, fighting broke out in the Mansura residential district after security forces set up new checkpoints, they said.

Dozens of gunmen in balaclavas, carrying the Al Qaeda flag, were deployed to push back police trying to enter the neighbourhood, witnesses said.

Militants from Al Qaeda and Daesh have taken advantage of the conflict between Houthi insurgents and pro-government forces to reinforce their presence in the south, including the port city of Aden.

Meanwhile, pro-government forces on Saturday pressed their offensive aimed at breaking the rebels' months-long siege of the southwestern city of Taez, military sources said.

Fighting raged north and east of the city, they said, a day after loyalists pushed the Iran-backed Houthis out of its western and southern suburbs. Forces loyal to President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi managed to "retake important positions" in a northern suburb where heavy clashes continued, one source said.

Al Arabiya sez 17 militants have died in recent festivities

Air strikes killed at least 17 suspected al-Qaeda militants overnight in the southern Yemeni port city of Aden, witnesses, medics and a security official said on Sunday.

The air strikes hit al-Mansoura district, a stronghold for militants and an area which has witnessed several attacks against local security officials since the Saudi-led coalition retook Aden last July from the Iran-allied Houthi militia.

The sources said at least 20 civilians and militants were wounded as well as three members of the security forces. The strikes targeted the militants who were sitting atop vehicles and one of the strikes hit a local government building. Intermittent clashes were still going on, they said.

There was tenuous calm in the district later in the district on Sunday, with streets leading out of the area closed off. A Reuters reporter saw the rubble of a butcher’s shop and the wreckages of destroyed cars. Electricity was cut across the district and food shops remained closed.

A security official said the strikes, thought to have been carried out by the Saudi-led coalition, were the “second stage” of retaking al-Mansoura from militants.

There was no immediate comment from the Saudi-led coalition on the strikes.

They took place a day after forces loyal to Yemen’s president broke a siege by the Houthis around Taiz, Yemen’s third biggest city, about 200 km (124 miles) northwest of Aden.

Yemen’s embattled government has been forced out of the capital Sanaa by the Houthi militias and is now based in Aden, but struggles to impose its authority even there.

The southern city has gone from being one of the world’s busiest ports as a former hub of the British empire to a backwater, and then in recent months, a conflict zone.

The coalition began a military campaign a year ago to prevent the Houthis from taking complete control of Yemen.
Posted by: badanov || 03/14/2016 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [136 views] Top|| File under: al-Qaeda in Arabia

Yemen denies human rights violation in Taiz
"Lies! All lies!"
Government of Yemen has denied the government forces and the popular resistance fighters violated human rights and international humanitarian law, following the liberation of Taiz province, south west of the country, from Al Houthi militia and Saleh group.

Yemen's Minister of Human Rights, Izz Al Din Al Asbahi, was quoted by the Yemeni official news agency as saying that the media elements belonging to the coup militia published fabricated photographs and actions they alleged to have been committed by the popular resistance in Taiz.

He added that those elements disseminated these fabricated images and rushed them to the diplomatic and international bodies on the ground that they reflect the behaviour of the popular resistance in Taiz against the militia. "Of course this is not true," the minister said, and noted that the popular resistance brushed aside such claims.

Al Asbahi said the national army and popular resistance fighters are aware that their victory in the moral front "is more important than any military achievement on the ground," and Taiz, which has resisted the fatal siege that lasted more than nine months would not seek any criminal reprisals against the coup militia that became professional murderers of civilians, and imposed the blockade on them.

He stressed the importance of a moral victory on the battlefield to liberate the country from the control of the Houthi militia and Saleh group, noting that any violation of the principles of human rights and international humanitarian law by any party, is not allowed.

The Yemeni Minister of Human Rights underlined that the popular resistance in Taiz, "cannot condone any actions outside the law, or slide in reactions and reprisals," adding that the popular resistance fighters embrace the principles of freedom, equality and peace they are fighting for.
Posted by: badanov || 03/14/2016 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [146 views] Top|| File under:

Yemeni pro-Hadi forces gain more power in Taiz
[ENGLISH.ALARABIYA.NET] Yemeni forces allied to internationally-recognized President Abdrabbu Mansour Hadi began consolidating over military and government buildings in regions recently liberated from militia groups in the southwestern province of Taiz, Al Arabiya News Channel reported on Sunday.

Taiz’s mayor Ali al-Muammari said that the Popular Resistance Units started handing out freed buildings to the pro-Hadi army.

The news comes after front man for the Saudi-led Arab Coalition Brig. Gen. Ahmed Al-Assiri announced on Saturday that pro-Hadi forces have claimed control over the interior of the city, vowing that the Iran-backed Houthi
...a Zaidi Shia insurgent group operating in Yemen. They have also been referred to as the Believing Youth. Hussein Badreddin al-Houthi is said to be the spiritual leader of the group and most of the military leaders are his relatives. The Yemeni government has accused the Houthis of having ties to the Iranian government, which wouldn't suprise most of us. The group has managed to gain control over all of Saada Governorate and parts of Amran, Al Jawf and Hajjah Governorates. Its slogan is God is Great, Death to America™, Death to Israel, a curse on the Jews ...
militias, who control the capital Sanaa and other areas, would be dislodged.

Since late March last year, the Saudi-led coalition has bombed Iranian-backed Houthi militias and forces allied to deposed leader President-for-Life Ali Abdullah Saleh
... Saleh initially took power as a strongman of North Yemen in 1977, when disco was in flower, but he didn't invite Donna Summer to the inauguration and Blondie couldn't make it...
, in a bid to put Hadi’s government back in power.

Sources also told Al Arabiya News Channel that the coalition forces have launched three consecutive strikes on "terrorists" targets in Al-Mansoura neighborhood in the southern port city of Aden.

Medical and security sources said 19 people - among them 17 from al-Qaeda - were killed in the raids.
Posted by: Fred || 03/14/2016 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [144 views] Top|| File under: Houthis

Machine-gun toting woman shot by Saudi forces hunting bombing suspect
[ENGLISH.ALARABIYA.NET] A woman armed with a machine gun was rubbed out by Saudi security forces during a raid to arrest a man suspected of involvement with an attack against Shiite Muslims in the kingdom, state news agency SPA reported on Sunday.

The woman had given Sweilem al-Ruwaili - one of 16 people wanted for links with two deadly bombings on Shiite mosques claimed by ISIS in May, a safe haven from authorities, according to the SPA report, which cited an interior ministry front man.

The parents of the woman, named as Banan Essa Hilal had not known her whereabouts for one and-a-half years.

But SPA also said Ruwaili had been hiding with one of his comrades from the "deviant group" in the northern al-Jawf region when he was captured in the raid on Thursday, in reference to either ISIS or al-Qaeda holy warriors.

The authorities offered a cash reward of $1.3 million for information leading to their arrest.
Posted by: Fred || 03/14/2016 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [179 views] Top|| File under: Islamic State

Celebrations in Yemen’s liberated Taez
[ENGLISH.ALARABIYA.NET] People gather around a tank used by pro-government fighters in the Bir Basha neighborhood, after they took the area from Houthi fighters in Yemen's southwestern city of Taiz March 11, 2016
Posted by: Fred || 03/14/2016 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [142 views] Top|| File under: Houthis

Caucasus/Russia/Central Asia
Azerbaijan border guards kill 5 on Iran border
[ENGLISH.ALARABIYA.NET] Azerbaijani borders guards on Sunday rubbed out five armed Bangladeshi and Azeri nationals who were trying to illegally cross the ex-Soviet republic's border with Iran, officials said.

The incident took place in the Yardymli district on Azerbaijan's southern border with Iran where a group of eight to 10 people were seen trying to cross into Iran, a statement from the border guard service said.

"The border violators ignored warning shots and opened fire. Five of them were killed in a shootout and two were detained," it said.

"The group consisted of Bangladeshi nationals and their Azerbaijani guides who were armed," it added, without giving further details.

Azerbaijani media had previously reported numerous arrests of Bangladeshi and Indian nationals on suspicion of drug trafficking through Azerbaijan's 661-kilometre (400-mile) border with Iran.

The Caucasus nation of 9.4 million is a transit country for illicit narcotics by virtue of its location along major drug trafficking routes from Afghanistan and Iran to Europe and Russia, the US Department of State said in its 2016 International Narcotics Control Strategy Report.
Posted by: Fred || 03/14/2016 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [165 views] Top|| File under:

The Grand Turk
Car bomb in Turkey's capital kills at least 27, wounds 75
Details on the story mentioned yesterday afternoon. Body count now 34/125 per Trend-Azerbaijan...
ANKARA, Turkey -- A car bomb went off near bus stops in the heart of Turkey's capital on Sunday, killing at least 27 people and wounded around 75 others, officials said. The blast occurred on the city's main boulevard, Ataturk Bulvari, close to Ankara's main square, Kizilay, and a park.

The private NTV news channel said a car, believed to be laden with explosives, detonated close to a bus. Several vehicles then caught fire, it said. The area is close to government offices, including ministries. Riot police buses are usually stationed in the area, but didn't appear to be the target of the attack.

Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu convened an emergency security meeting after the bombing, which also shattered the windows of shops that line the boulevard and the square.

Police sealed off the area and pushed onlookers and journalists back, warning there could be a second bomb.
Fair point...
No one has claimed responsibility for the attack, although Kurdish militants and the Islamic State group have carried out bombings in the city recently. A far-left militant group is also active in Turkey.

The bombing is the third in the city in five months and comes as Turkey is faced with an array of issues, including renewed fighting with the Kurdish rebels, threats from the Islamic State group and a Syrian refugee crisis.

It occurred just three weeks after a suicide car bombing in the capital targeted buses carrying military personnel, killing 29 people. A Kurdish militant group which is an offshoot of the outlawed Kurdish rebel group, the Kurdistan Workers' Party, or PKK, claimed responsibility for the Feb. 17 attack. The government, however, said that attack was carried out by a Syrian Kurdish militia group in concert with the PKK, which has waged a 30-year insurgency.
No independent verification of that claim, but it allowed the Turks to hit two birds with one stone...
Sunday's attack also came two days after the U.S. Embassy issued a security warning about a potential plot to attack Turkish government buildings and housing in one Ankara neighborhood and asked its citizens to avoid those areas.

As with the previous bombings, Turkish authorities quickly imposed a ban Sunday preventing media organizations from broadcasting or publishing graphic images of the blast or from the scene.

The country's pro-Kurdish party, the Peoples' Democratic Party, condemned the attack the attack and said it shares "the huge pain felt along with our citizens." The statement was significant because the party is frequently accused of being the armed wing of the PKK — an accusation it denies — and of not speaking out against PKK violence.
Someone at the link, in a comment, must be a Rantburg reader: "Those damned Amish!"
Posted by: Steve White || 03/14/2016 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [145 views] Top|| File under:

FC kills 5 suspected militants in Dera Bugti
QUETTA: The security forces in Balochistan claimed on Sunday to have killed five suspected militants in Balochistan's troubled Dera Bugti district, DawnNews reported.

A suspected militant was also arrested during the security operation carried out by Frontier Corps personnel in Dera Bugti.

The spokesperson for FC, Khan Wasey, aid forces launched an operation against suspects allegedly involved in carrying attacks at security forces and important national installations in the area.

Wasey claimed “the security forces also destroyed the sanctuary of miscreants during the targeted operation”.

He said a sanctuary of miscreants was also demolished during the targeted operation. Wasey stated that the dead miscreants were involved in attacks at security forces and vital national installations including gas pipelines in Balochistan's Dera Bugti district.

In another operation, FC personnel acted on a tip off and defused an improvised explosives device near a railway track in Sibi.

The train service was temporarily suspended as result of the bomb, however, it was restored following the security clearance from the authorities.
Posted by: badanov || 03/14/2016 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [151 views] Top|| File under:

Police claim killing two AQIS militants in Karachi
KARACHI: The counter-terrorism department of the city police claimed on Saturday night to have killed two suspected militants in an encounter in Quaidabad area.

The CTD personnel, helped by an intelligence agency, conducted a raid on a militant hideout during which they came under attack. In an ensuing battle, two suspects got killed.

A senior police officer, who wished not to be named, told Dawn that the killed militants belonged to the Al Qaeda in the Indian Sub-Continent (AQIS). The officer described those killed as “high-value target”.

Published in Dawn, March 13th, 2016
Posted by: badanov || 03/14/2016 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [154 views] Top|| File under: al-Qaeda in Pakistan

ISIS Top Dawg enters the sweet bye and bye in Anbar
ISIS recruiting efforts suffer a setback as recruiting plans bomb
[ARA News] QAMISHLI – U.S.-led coalition forces conducted Sunday several airstrikes in the Iraqi province of Anbar, killing and wounding a number of militants from the radical group of Islamic State (ISIS), including prominent jihadi recruiter, official sources reported.

“The operation targeted Mohammed Khalaf al-Satouri, a senior official in Daesh, along with four of his companions in the western district of Hit in Anbar province,” a spokesman for the Iraqi army told ARA News, using an acronym for ISIS.

Al-Satouri was head of ISIS recruitment department in Anbar, according to the source—who spoke on condition of anonymity.

In the meantime, the U.S.-led coalition fighter jets conducted eight airstrikes against the hardline group in Mosul, Ramadi, Hit and Tal Afar, killing dozens of ISIS militants as well as destroying several armored vehicles led by the group, according to the coalition’s General Command.

The radical group is paying up to $10,000 to each recruiter in European countries for recruiting people to join the alleged jihad in Syria and Iraq, UN experts said in previous statements. ISIS also relies on informal networks and social media for recruitment of western jihadis.

Also, spokesman of the U.S. Department of Defense expected last Tuesday the death of the so-called ISIS war minister, Abu Omar al-Shinshani, in an airstrike on the group’s headquarters in Hasakah province, northeastern Syria.

However, local sources confirmed that al-Shinshani is alive, but suffering from serious injuries.

The coalition’s airstrikes have recently killed dozens of prominent leaders of the radical group across Syria and Iraq, besides hitting tactical units and oil fields held by the group in both war-torn countries.
Posted by: badanov || 03/14/2016 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [171 views] Top|| File under: Islamic State

ISIS scholars burn 100s of Christian books
Islam: your one-stop shop for when you're out of ideas
[ARA News] ERBIL – Extremists of the Islamic State (ISIS) have reportedly burned hundreds of Christian books in the city of Mosul, northern Iraq, under the pretext they are “books of infidels”, local sources reported on Sunday.

“ISIS jihadis burned hundreds of Christian textbooks in central Mosul, having collected them earlier last week from the schools and churches of the city,” local media activist Abdullah al-Mulla told ARA News in Mosul.

“The militants have also collected a lot of Christian textbooks from the Dawassa district near the Martyrs’ Park and publically burned them,” the source reported.

Local activists in Mosul circulated last Thursday a videotape on social media, showing remnants of burned Christian textbooks piled up east of the city in northern Iraq.

The ISIS radical group claimed that these books are burned because they belong to “infidels”, in reference to the Christians.

“I wish I were in my hometown Mosul right now, but we can’t come back to our areas and live with Daesh,” an Iraqi Christian refugee in Germany told ARA News, using an acronym for ISIS.

“We escaped from Mosul to Erbil (capital of Kurdistan Region) in August 2014,” he said. “The fighting was ongoing between Daesh and the Peshmerga.”

“It was difficult to stay there as a Christian,” he stressed.

The city of Mosul in Nineveh province of northern Iraq saw mass displacement among the residents after ISIS took over the region in June, 2014, especially among the Christian community. Those who insisted to remain are reportedly under great pressure.


In August 2014, ISIS extremists had taken control of Shingal, causing a mass displacement of nearly 400,000 Yezidi civilians towards Duhok and Erbil, in Iraqi Kurdistan. Tens of thousands of Yezidis remained trapped in Mount Sinjar, suffering mass killings, kidnappings and rape at the hands of ISIS extremists. Also, more than 3000 Yezidi women have been taken by the radical group as sex slaves.

After more than a year of ISIS occupation, the Yezidi region of Shingal was liberated in November at the hands of the Peshmerga, supported by the U.S.-led coalition’s air cover.

After ISIS departure, the Kurdish forces have discovered several mass graves in Shingal. Most of the victims were women and children from the Yezidi minority. Specialized teams, that have been inspecting traces of the people disappeared during the group’s rule over the Yezidi-populated region, have so far discovered five mass graves belonging to Yezidi civilians, according to human rights activists and Peshmerga officials who spoke to ARA News.
Posted by: badanov || 03/14/2016 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [219 views] Top|| File under: Islamic State

#1  I wanted to burn some E-books the other day,
but couldn't get the fire going.
Guess I needed more Kindle-ing.....
Posted by: USN, Ret. || 03/14/2016 14:37 Comments || Top||

#2  Ugh! You need to be PUNished for that one....
Posted by: CrazyFool || 03/14/2016 14:58 Comments || Top||

#3  Go to your room, #1 USN, Ret. :-D
Posted by: Barbara || 03/14/2016 16:07 Comments || Top||

12 ISIS troops die in Kurd artillery attack in Mosul
(IraqiNews.com) Nineveh – The Kurdistan Democratic Party announced on Sunday, that 12 ISIS elements had been killed in an artillery shelling by the paramilitary Peshmerga force north of Mosul.

Saeed Mamouzini, the spokesperson for the Kurdistan Democratic Party, said in a statement received by IraqiNews.com, “The artillery of the Kurdish Peshmerga forces shelled a convoy belonging to the ISIS in the village of Bahzany in the district of Ba’shiqah (22 km north of Mosul), resulting in the death of 12 [ISIS] elements.”

Mamouzini also added, “The shelling resulted in the complete destruction of the convey which had consisted of three military vehicles.”
Posted by: badanov || 03/14/2016 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [147 views] Top|| File under: Islamic State

Kirkuk Kombat Chronicle: 54 die
40 ISIS Bad Guys die near Alas and Ajil oil fields

(IraqiNews.com) Kirkuk – The leader in al-Hashd al-Shaabi Jabbar al-Mamouri revealed on Sunday, that Hawija Hospital southwest of Kirkuk received more than 40 bodies belonging to ISIS militants, in additions to dozens of ISIS members that were wounded in the attack on Alas and Ajil oil fields.

Mamouri also pointed out that the dead ISIS members included the two prominent leaders Abul-Qaqaa al-Masry and Abu Osama al-Ansari.

Mamouri said in a press statement obtained by IraqiNews.com, “Yesterday, Hawija Hospital received more than 40 dead bodies belonging to the members of the so-called ISIS incursions battalion in Nineveh and dozens of wounded members, after being defeated in the battle of Alas and Ajil oil fields north of Salahuddin.”

“The dead ISIS members included 6 prominent leaders in Nineveh. The dead leaders included Abul-Qaqaa al-Masry, Abu Osama al-Ansari and Talha al-Iraqi,” Mamouri added.

14 ISIS Bad Guys have a Very Bad Day

(IraqiNews.com) Kirkuk – A security source in Kirkuk province said on Sunday, that 14 ISIS elements had been killed during an aerial bombardment south of the province.

The source, who requested anonymity, said in a brief statement obtained by IraqiNews.com, “The [army’s] air force bombed sites for ISIS in the village of Albu Mafraj and Qasaba Bashir (30 km south of Kirkuk), resulting in the death of 14 [ISIS] elements.”

The source added, “The bombardment resulted in destructing 4 tactical sites for ISIS.”
Posted by: badanov || 03/14/2016 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [141 views] Top|| File under: Islamic State

Iraqi kops repel ISIS attack in Salahuddin
(IraqiNews.com) Salahuddin – The commander of the Federal Police Raed Shaker Jawdat announced on Sunday, that the security forces repulsed an attack launched by the so-called ISIS in northern Salahuddin, while pointed out that the Federal Police forces also seized 19 hell (Jahanam) rockets south of the province.

Jawdat said in a statement followed by IraqiNews.com, “The Federal Police forces repulsed ISIS attack in Makhoul Mountains and detonated a booby-trapped bulldozer,” adding that, “The 3rd commandos brigade killed four ISIS members and destructed their vehicle northwest of al-Siniya vicinity east of Tikrit.”

Jawdat also pointed out, “The bomb squad detonated 88 improvised explosive bombs, a booby-trapped vehicle and six C4 explosives containers west of al-Siniya Airport,” indicating that, “The 5th brigade forces seized a cache belonging to ISIS west of Samarra, containing 19 local-made rockets called hell rockets.”
Posted by: badanov || 03/14/2016 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [144 views] Top|| File under: Islamic State

Anbar Antics
Iraqi forces liberate western areas of Anbar

(IraqiNews.com) Anbar – On Sunday, official journalists with the Ministry of Defense announced, that the Anti-Terrorism forces besieged Heet District from the northern and southern axes, while took control of al-Akba axis in western Anbar.

The journalist said in a statement received by IraqiNews.com, “The Anti-Terrorism forces managed to take control of al-Akba axis in western Anbar, and besieged Heet District from the northern and southern axes.”

Yesterday, official journalists with the Ministry of Defense announced the liberation of al-Safiriya and Albu Tiban areas in western Anbar, and raised the Iraqi flag over the buildings, while the Anti-Terrorism forces managed to evacuate thousands of families from the liberated areas.

Iraqi forces advance into area near Ramadi

(IraqiNews.com) al-Anbar – On Sunday, a security source in Anbar province stated, that the Iraqi security forces had managed to advance into the areas controlled by ISIS in Albu Obeid region east of Ramadi.

The source said in a statement received by IraqiNews.com, “The Anti-Terrorism forces and Anbar police managed to advance into the ISIS-controlled areas in Albu Obeid region located on the international highway road east of Ramadi,” noting that, “Those forces entered [the area] after the collapse of the [ISIS] elements in the region.”

The source also added, “Anbar tribal fighters are taking part in military operations east of Ramadi,” pointing out that, “The international coalition aviation inflicted great human and material losses upon ISIS in Khalidiya Island.”

Iraqi forces liberate areas neat Heet

(IraqiNews.com) Anbar – The Head of the security committee in Anbar Provincial Council Rageh Barakat al-Eissawi announced on Sunday, that the joint forces liberated the areas of al-Khawda and Banan in Heet District west of Ramadi, while pointed out that the operation resulted in the killing of dozens of ISIS members.

Eissawi said in a statement obtained by IraqiNews.com, “The joint forces from the army, police and tribal fighters carried out a wide-scale military operation on the headquarters and gatherings of ISIS terrorist gangs,” pointing out that, “The operation resulted in the liberation of al-Khawda and Banan areas in Heet District, as well as killing dozens of ISIS members.”

The Head of the security committee in Anbar Provincial Council added, “ISIS is collapsing, and its members are escaping to the western areas of Anbar.”

80 ISIS suspects detained near Ramadi

(IraqiNews.com) al-Anbar – The security committee of Anbar Provincial Council announced on Sunday, that 80 ISIS elements and suspects were detained in areas west of Ramadi.

The head of the security committee, Rageh Barakat al-Issawi, said in a press statement followed by IraqiNews.com, “The security forces managed to detain 80 ISIS elements and [other] suspects during the scrutiny which the civilians came under [it] in the areas of Zankura and the modern village as well as areas near Heet District west of Ramadi.”

Issawi added, “The security information confirmed that elements of ISIS have shaved their beards in the districts of Heet, Kabisa, and A’anah in preparation for an escape to Syria,” pointing out that, “The security forces transferred the wanted suspects who were arrested during the liberation battles to a security detention center for interrogation.”
Posted by: badanov || 03/14/2016 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [174 views] Top|| File under: Islamic State

Baghdad bomb and Bullet Bulletin: 1 dead
1 dead in bomb attack

(IraqiNews.com) Baghdad – A source in the Interior Ministry said Sunday, that nine people had been either killed or injured in a bomb blast that took place southeast of Baghdad.

The source, who requested anonymity, said in a brief statement received by IraqiNews.com, “An explosive device has went off near the industrial shops in the area of Basmaya southeast of Baghdad, resulting in the death of one persons and wounding eight others,” adding that, “A security force rushed to the area and transferred the injured to nearby hospital for treatment and the dead to the forensic medicine authority, while carried out an inspection operation to search for the perpetrators of the attack.”
Posted by: badanov || 03/14/2016 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [140 views] Top|| File under:

ISIL Terrorists Pull out of Town in Iraq’s Anbar
[ALMANAR.LB] The so-called 'Islamic State
...formerly ISIS or ISIL, depending on your preference. Before that al-Qaeda in Iraq, as shaped by Abu Musab Zarqawi. They're very devout, committing every atrocity they can find in the Koran and inventing a few more. They fling Allah around with every other sentence, but to hear the pols talk they're not really Moslems....
of Iraq and the Levant' (ISIL) takfiri
...an adherent of takfir wal hijra, an offshoot of Salafism that regards everybody who doesn't agree with them as apostates who most be killed...
group on Sunday pulled its turbans out of Rutba, a desert town in the western Iraqi province of Anbar, an army general and the mayor said.

"Daesh [Islamic State] [Arabic acronym of ISIL] has completely pulled out of Rutba and gone towards Al-Qaim," a major general said, referring to a takfiri bastion on the border with Syria, further north in Anbar.

"Daesh [Islamic State]'s gunnies started pulling out last night and completed their withdrawal this morning," the senior officer said, speaking on condition of anonymity
... for fear of being murdered...
. "Rutba is now free of Daesh [Islamic State]."

The mayor of the isolated town, which lies about 390 kilometers (245 miles) west of Baghdad on the road to Jordan, confirmed that ISIL had withdrawn.

After launching a final push against ISIL in the picturesque provincial capital Ramadi late last year, Iraq's security forces established full control over the city last month.

They have since been securing areas east of Ramadi, further isolating the takfiri stronghold of Fallujah,
... the City of Mosques, which might have somthing to do with why it's not called Center of Prosperity or a really nice place to raise your kids...
which lies only 50 kilometers (30 miles) west of Baghdad.

ISIS pulls most of its fighters from Iraqi town Hit

[AlAhram] The Islamic State group has pulled most of its fighters out of Hit, a large town in western Iraq on which security forces were advancing, a military front man says on Sunday.

"The majority of Daesh [Islamic State] (IS) fighters in Hit, Rutba and Kubaysa have fled through the desert to other regions," Yahya Rasool, Iraq’s top security front man, tells AFP.

Kubaysa is a smaller town that lies west of Hit while Rutba is a desert town on the road to Jordan.

"There is an operation to hunt them down with Iraqi aircraft," says Rasool, who is the front man for the Joint Operations Command coordinating the fight against IS in Iraq.

"Hit is surrounded by Iraqi forces from the south and north," he says. "Thousands of families have fled the area to meet our forces."

Raja Barakat, a member of Anbar provincial council's security committee, confirmed the Rutba pullout and said IS group had also been pulling some of its forces from Hit.

"It was not just from Rutba but also from Hit after their fighters shaved their beards to slip out," he said.
Ah yes, the old shaved beard trick. Note the lack of tan on the chin, guys, it's a dead giveaway.
"But in Hit, it's not a complete pullout, some Daesh fighters remain."

He said that the IS group fighters who withdrew from Hit moved through the desert towards Baiji, to the northeast, and towards Al-Qaim, to the northwest.
Posted by: Fred || 03/14/2016 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [171 views] Top|| File under: Islamic State

#1  Al-Qaim, referring to a bastion on the border with Syria

Where my junior son spent six months with the Marines in 2004-2005. The times they are a'changin'. Hope 'n' changin', that is.
Posted by: Bobby || 03/14/2016 13:23 Comments || Top||

Two attempted car rammings near Hebron; 3 Palestinian terrorists shot dead
[Jpost] Three Palestinian terrorists were shot and killed during the course of two separate attempted attacks that took place within 30 minutes of each other Monday morning near the Kiryat Arba settlement located just outside of the West Bank city of Hebron.

In the first incident, two suspected terrorists tried to target hitchhikers in an attempted vehicular-ramming attack at the entrance to the West Bank settlement of Kiryat Arba, according to initial reports.

During the incident, a Palestinian vehicle containing two armed terrorists enters Kiryat Arba, did a U-turn and came to a sudden stop. The gunmen exited their vehicle and opened fire, lightly injuring an IDF soldier.

The two attackers were shot dead in IDF return fire.

...During the second attack, a Palestinian vehicle traveling from Bnei Naim rammed a bus. An IDF soldier who was near the bus narrowly escaped injury. A terrorist attempted to exit the vehicle, but soldiers on the scene shot him dead.

The incident came 30 minutes after the first vehicular-ramming attack of the day.

The two soldiers who were lightly wounded from shrapnel from the car ramming attack received treatment on the scene from army medics.

Authorities are now trying to determine whether the attacks were coordinated by the assailants.
Update on 3/17: According to The Times of Israel one of the Palestinians in the first car ramming was a long-time member of Hamas.
Posted by: g(r)omgoru || 03/14/2016 04:14 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [209 views] Top|| File under: Hamas

#1  Ynet reports that the gunmen in the first car were armed with a "Carl Gustav" submachine gun and a pistol. In other words, their guns were locally produced, as reported in the article below this one.
Posted by: trailing wife || 03/14/2016 13:12 Comments || Top||

Israel seizes guns, gun-making tools in the West Bank
[IsraelTimes] IDF and Shin Bet confiscate weapons, ammo and equipment in crackdown on homemade guns used in terror attacks
When the yoots aren't rampaging, there's time for this kind of thing.
The Shin Bet, together with the IDF, has seized dozens of homemade weapons and gun-making equipment in Paleostinian cities in the West Bank over the past few months, the security service announced on Sunday.

During one raid on Saturday, Shin Bet officers confiscated 15 rifles that had been hidden in the Yabad village, outside Jenin.

The officers learned of the weapons’ locations after interrogating a gunsmith they had placed in durance vile
... anything you say can and will be used against you, whether you say it or not...
and questioned earlier, the service said.

On March 1, security forces conducted a similar raid in Nablus, seizing guns, bullets and weapon-making equipment.

"The IDF and the Shin Bet are constantly carrying out operations to thwart the creation and sale of weaponry in the West Bank," the Shin Bet said this month.

Improvised submachine guns, based off the Carl Gustav design, have been used frequently and to devastating effect in the ongoing wave of violence.

Most recently, two Paleostinian faceless myrmidons opened fire with two Carl Gustav submachine guns at a city bus in the Ramot neighborhood of Jerusalem and then at coppers near the Old City. During the firefight, an elderly Arab Israeli man was maimed.

The day before, a Paleostinian gunman shot and seriously injured two coppers with a Carl Gustav-style submachine gun in a drive-by shooting in East Jerusalem.

Three faceless myrmidons armed with such guns also shot and killed 19-year-old Border Police officer Hadar Cohen in February.

Some 68 shooting attacks have been carried out in the West Bank and Jerusalem since October 1, many of them with this kind of fabricated gun, the IDF said in a statement.
Posted by: trailing wife || 03/14/2016 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [329 views] Top|| File under:

#1  I thought the Carl Gustav was a recoiless rifle. There's a submachine gun?
Posted by: Thing From Snowy Mountain || 03/14/2016 16:14 Comments || Top||

#2  From the article, dear Snowy Thing:

Improvised submachine guns, based off the Carl Gustav design, have been used frequently and to devastating effect in the ongoing wave of violence.

There are also photos at the link that you might find interesting.
Posted by: trailing wife || 03/14/2016 17:06 Comments || Top||

#3  Swedish designed Carl Gustav m45
Posted by: Skidmark || 03/14/2016 18:28 Comments || Top||

#4  More commonly known as the 'Swedish-K.' Very, very stable and accurate. The ability to write one's name on a large target, frequently claimed.
Posted by: Besoeker || 03/14/2016 19:47 Comments || Top||

Southeast Asia
Suspected Abu Sayyaf leader gunned down in Mindanao
[Inquirer] The suspected leader of a kidnap-for-ransom gang behind the abduction of an Irish priest and an Australian ex-soldier was gunned down by security forces Sunday. Waning Abdusalam was killed after he resisted arrest by a combined military and police team. The suspect was killed in Zamboanga Sibugay province.

Maj. Filemon Tan said Abdusalam was implicated in the kidnapping for ransom of numerous people in Mindanao, including three Filipino teachers in 2009, Irish missionary Father Michael Sinnott, also in 2009, and Australian Warren Rodwell in 2011.

While Sinnott was released after about a month with the help of a larger Muslim militant group, Rodwell spent 15 months as a hostage and was only freed after ransom was paid.
Other sources describe Waning Abdusalam as a former Moro Islamic Liberation Front commander who was later disowned by the group.
Posted by: ryuge || 03/14/2016 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [173 views] Top|| File under: Abu Sayyaf

Seven rangers wounded in attack against Thai hospital
[The Nation] At least seven rangers were wounded when Muslim militants launched three simultaneous attacks against soldiers and police in Narathiwat province before some of them fled inside a hospital and exchanged gunfire with security forces there.

In the first attack, four insurgents on two motorcycles fired at a police unit guarding the Joh I Rong district railway station. The militants also fired two M79 grenades at police and rangers who pursued them, but no one was wounded.

In the second attack, about ten militants fired grenades at a ranger post near the hospital, wounding seven rangers. The militants then fled into the hospital and exchanged gunfire with security forces for over an hour before they fled by hiding themselves among the fleeing patients.

In the third attack, militants detonated a roadside bomb, but there were no casualties.
Posted by: ryuge || 03/14/2016 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [187 views] Top|| File under: Thai Insurgency

al-Nusra troops capture rebel bases in Idlib
The al Qaeda-linked Nusra Front seized bases and weapons from a Western-backed rebel group in overnight fighting in northwestern Syria, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said on Sunday.

Rami Abdulrahman, director of the Observatory, said the Nusra Front had also detained dozens of members of the 13th Division rebel group, one of the factions that has received foreign military aid, capturing U.S.-made anti-tank missiles.

The 13th Division, which is led by the prominent rebel commander Ahmed al-Seoud and fights under the banner of the Free Syrian Army, said on Twitter that Nusra Front fighters attacked its bases and seized weapons, but gave no further details.

Nusra Front accused the rebel fighters of launching surprise attacks on its own bases in the town of Maarat al-Numan in Idlib province in northwest Syria. It said some Nusra fighters had been captured.

The clashes came two weeks into a cessation of hostilities in Syria and on the eve of peace talks in Geneva between President Bashar al-Assad's government and the opposition.

The halt in fighting, agreed by government forces, rebel groups and their international backers, excludes Nusra Front and ISIS militants.

Nusra Front fighters have often taken part in offensives alongside other rebel groups. But they have also fought them for territory, defeating groups such as the Western-backed Syria Revolutionaries Front and the Hazzm group last year.
An Nahar adds:
According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitoring group, the clashes left at least six combatants dead, four of them identified as Division 13 fighters.

"Al-Nusra and Jund al-Aqsa kidnapped at least 40 members of Division 13, whose commander has gone missing," Observatory head Rami Abdel Rahman told Agence France Presse.

He said the jihadists had cleared out Division 13's depots in Maarat al-Numan and three nearby towns, seizing U.S.-made anti-tank TOW missiles.

Speaking to AFP from neighboring Turkey, Division 13 commander Ahmad al-Saoud denied that any TOW missiles had been seized.

"They only took light weapons and ammunition," he said.
Posted by: badanov || 03/14/2016 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [140 views] Top|| File under: al-Nusra

Syrian rebels renew chemical attacks in Aleppo
[ARA News] KOBANE – Syrian Islamist rebels renewed attacks with chemical weapons on the Kurdish district of Sheikh Maqsoud in Aleppo, northern Syria, local sources reported on Sunday.

The bombardment caused dozens of casualties among civilians, including women and children.

“The injured have lost consciousness after they inhaled the poisonous gas,” a medical source in Sheikh Maqsoud told ARA News.

The source confirmed that the rockets included phosphorus and chlorine agents.

Speaking to ARA News in Aleppo, Rezan Hiddo, member of the Syrian Democratic Council (SDC), said that the Islamist groups of Sultan Murad brigade, the 16th brigade, Noureddin Zanki and Ahrar al-Sham Movement resumed their attacks on the Kurdish district of Sheikh Maqsoud, launching shells filled with chemical agents.

Hiddo, who is close to the Kurdish leadership of the People’s Protection Units (YPG), pointed out Islamist groups are directly attacking civilians and from several sides.

“The bombing is still ongoing on the Sheikh Maqsoud district,” he stressed.

“The attack was conducted by several Syrian Islamist armed groups, including the Islamic Movement of Ahrar al-Sham, the Levant Front, Sultan Murad Brigade, Sultan Fatih group, Fastaqim Kama Umirt Brigades, Nour ad-Din Zanki militia, Brigade 13 and 116, the First Regiment and Abu Amarah Brigades,” the YPG ‘s leadership confirmed in previous statements.

Last Tuesday, the Sheikh Maqsoud district in Aleppo was attacked with chemical weapons. Radical groups launched dozens of rockets filled with yellow phosphorus element on the district, according to the YPG’s leadership.

The Islamist rebels have reportedly taken advantage of the current ceasefire to attack the Kurdish region.

“We have announced our full commitment to the ceasefire. But we will not remain silent as our areas are being exposed to deadly offensives by the Islamists. If the bombardment continues, our forces will respond,” a Kurdish official told ARA News.

The U.N. Security Council approved last Friday a US-Russian draft resolution endorsing the Syria ceasefire. A cessation of hostilities started across the war-torn country. However, several violations have been documented, especially at the hands of Islamists in the Kurdish region in northern Syria.
Posted by: badanov || 03/14/2016 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [442 views] Top|| File under:

Syria rivals clash ahead of peace talks
[Hurriyet Daily News] Syria’s warring sides prepared on March 13 for fresh peace talks after locking horns over the fate of Hereditary President-for-Life Bashir Pencilneck al-Assad
Light of the Alawites...
, with the regime insisting his ouster was a "red line" while the opposition vowed to see him go - dead or alive.

The U.N.-brokered indirect negotiations are due to start on March 14 in Geneva, the latest international push to try to end Syria’s five-year conflict, which has killed more than 270,000 people and forced millions from their homes.

Government negotiator Bashar al-Jaafari arrived on March 13 in Geneva, where delegates from the main opposition group, the High Negotiations Committee (HNC) are already preparing.

Analysts have said much has changed since the last round collapsed in February as fighting raged, but that the huge regime-opposition divide will complicate a settlement.

A fragile February 27 truce brokered by the United States and Russia has largely held despite each side accusing the other of violations, a development U.S. Secretary of State John F. I was in Vietnam, you know Kerry
Former Senator-for-Life from Massachussetts, self-defined war hero, speaker of French, owner of a lucky hat, conqueror of Cambodia, and current Secretary of State...
said was "very significant."

But key obstacles remain, including the fate of Assad, the holding of elections within 18 months and the shape of any new government.

"We will not talk with anyone who wants to discuss the presidency... Bashir al-Assad is a red line," Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Muallem said in Damascus on March 12.

"If they continue with this approach, there’s no reason for them to come to Geneva."

The HNC has repeatedly called for Assad’s departure as a prerequisite for any deal.

"We believe that the transitional period should start with the fall, or death, of Bashir al-Assad," chief opposition negotiator Mohammad Alloush told AFP in a joint interview in Geneva.

"It cannot start with the presence of the regime, or the head of this regime still in power."

U.N. peace envoy Staffan de Mistura has said the Geneva meetings, opening on the eve of the fifth anniversary of the start of the conflict in March 2011, would not last more than 10 days.
Posted by: Fred || 03/14/2016 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [140 views] Top|| File under: Govt of Syria

Terror Networks
ISIL’s Shishani ’Clinically Dead’ - Report
[ALMANAR.LB] Top commander of the so-called 'Islamic State
...formerly ISIS or ISIL, depending on your preference. Before that al-Qaeda in Iraq, as shaped by Abu Musab Zarqawi. They're very devout, committing every atrocity they can find in the Koran and inventing a few more. They fling Allah around with every other sentence, but to hear the pols talk they're not really Moslems....
of Iraq and the Levant' (ISIL) takfiri
...an adherent of takfir wal hijra, an offshoot of Salafism that regards everybody who doesn't agree with them as apostates who most be killed...
group Omar al-Shishani has been "clinically dead" for several days after a US air strike in northern Syria, a monitoring group said Sunday.

"Shishani is not able to breathe on his own and is using machines. He has been clinically dead for several days," said Rami Abdel Rahman, head of the UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.
"Using machines" -- plural. So ventilator plus dialysis plus some infusion pumps. That's a start...
Abdel Rahman said the notorious red-bearded commander, known as Omar the Chechen, was in a hospital in the northern province of Raqa, ISIL's bastion in Syria.

A US official said on March 9 that Shishani "likely died" in a barrage of US-led air strikes on March 4 in northeastern Syria. The official branded Shishani "the ISIL equivalent of the secretary of defense".

Abdel Rahman at the time said the terrorist had been "seriously injured" in the strike on his convoy, but that he had not died.

Shishani was one of the ISIL leaders, allegedly most wanted by Washington, which put a $5 million bounty on his head. Shishani comes from the Pankisi Gorge, a mainly ethnic Chechen region of ex-Soviet state Georgia.

As early as May 2013, when ISIL was just emerging in Syria, he was appointed the group's military commander for the north of the country.
Posted by: Fred || 03/14/2016 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [399 views] Top|| File under: Islamic State

#1  So they found enough body parts to assemble something resembling a body and put it on a respirator?

his left arm and torso were deaders before they were ever loaded into the ambulance.
Posted by: Sock Puppet of Doom || 03/14/2016 5:17 Comments || Top||

#2  He's just mostly dead.
Posted by: Rambler in Virginia || 03/14/2016 8:55 Comments || Top||

#3  Hospitals are not un-Islamic? I thought allen would decide.
Posted by: Bobby || 03/14/2016 13:19 Comments || Top||

#4  ...I prefer the following terms:

* 'Oz Dead': Not only merely dead, but really most sincerely dead.

* 'Blackadder Dead': As dead as a great big...dead thing.

Posted by: Mike Kozlowski || 03/14/2016 17:30 Comments || Top||

#5  So should we be praying for sepsis, or is his current condition sufficient for humanity's needs?
Posted by: gorb || 03/14/2016 18:22 Comments || Top||

#6  ....pining for the fjords.....
Posted by: Bov Flimbers || 03/14/2016 20:22 Comments || Top||

#7  "He smells slightly worse, if that were possible"
Posted by: Frank G || 03/14/2016 22:19 Comments || Top||

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