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Death toll rises to 20 25 in Cairo Coptic cathedral bombing
Today's Headlines
Headline Comments [Views]
Page 1: WoT Operations
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Page 2: WoT Background
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Page 4: Opinion
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Al-Qaeda leader channeling funds to militants arrested by Afghan police
[Khaama (Afghanistan)] A top al-Qaeda leader who was channeling funds to the gunnies in Afghanistan was placed in durance vile
Drop the rosco, Muggsy, or you're one with the ages!
during an operation in eastern Nangarhar
The unfortunate Afghan province located adjacent to Mohmand, Kurram, and Khyber Agencies. The capital is Jalalabad. The province was the fief of Younus Khalis after the Soviets departed and one of his sons is the current provincial Taliban commander. Nangarhar is Haqqani country..
province of Afghanistan.

The Ministry of Interior (MoI) said Friday that suspect was arrested during a special military operation conducted in Khogyani district late on Thursday night.

According to MoI, the suspect was injured during the operation and was arrested by the security forces.

MoI further added that the suspect is originally a resident of Pakistain and another Lion of Islam was also killed during the operation.

The anti-government armed Lion of Islam groups have not commented regarding the report so far.

This comes as a top al-Qaeda leader was killed in Afghanistan during Arclight airstrike by the US forces in eastern Kunar province
... which is right down the road from Chitral. Kunar is Haqqani country.....
of Afghanistan.

The al-Qaeda leader Faruq al-Qatani was killed in the dronezaps carried out in Kunar in mid-October.

Al-Qatani, considered as the terror network’s leader for the region, was targeted along with another al-Qaeda leader Bilal al-Utabi in a series of dronezaps on 23rd October.

The officials in Kunar also added that several gunnies including foreigners were also among those killed in the Arclight airstrikes.
Posted by: Fred || 12/11/2016 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [297 views] Top|| File under: al-Qaeda

14 Turbans die in separate airstrikes
At least 14 militants were killed in separate airstrikes conducted in southern and western parts of the country, the Ministry of Interior (MoI) said.

According a statement by MoI, at least 12 of the militants were killed in Bala Bolok district of Farah prvince on Friday.

The statement further added that 2 militants were killed in a separate airstrike conducted in Nahr-e-Saraj district of Helmand province.

MoI further added that several weapons, ammunition, and explosives were also destroyed in the airstrikes.

The anti-government armed militant groups including the Taliban insurgents have not commented regarding the report so far.

Helmand is among the relatively volatile provinces in southern Afghanistan where the Taliban insurgents are actively operating in its various districts and frequently conduct insurgency activities.

However, Farah is relatively safe as compared to southern Helmand although insurgency activities by Taliban and other militants are often reported in this province.

Reports emerged earlier suggesting that the loyalists of ISIIL terrorist group are attempting to expand foothold from this province.
Posted by: badanov || 12/11/2016 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [251 views] Top|| File under:

Africa Horn
Shaboobs kill 9 soldiers in car bomb attack
Al shabaab has claimed full responsibility for the a deadly suicide car bomb explosion targeted a security checkpoint near Somali capital, Mogadishu on Saturday morning, killing at least 9 people.

According to a pro-al shabaab website, at least nine people, including a bomber have lost their lives in the massive attack at Siinka Dheer , which lies about 18KM north-west of Somali capital, Mogadishu.

Somali officials have vehemently rejected the Al shabaab claims of the high number casualties, saying a soldier serving with Somali National Intelligence and Security Agency (NISA) lost his life in the attack.

The independent sources confirmed at least two people, including a bomber who carried out the attack died in the incident, which has rocked a main security checkpoint manned by Somali special forces.
Posted by: Steve White || 12/11/2016 00:12 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [296 views] Top|| File under: al-Shabaab

KDF soldiers feared dead after a deadly IED Blast
A military convoy carrying Kenyan forces serving with African Union Mission in Somalia (Amisom) , along with Somali National Army (SNA) were targeted in a roadside bomb in Lower Jubba region.

According to sources, several soldiers are feared dead, after their convoy was hit by a remote-controlled roadside bomb tore through the troops’ convoy as they were travelling to Qoqani town.

Al-Shabaab has claimed responsibility for the attack, saying it targeted KDF and Somali forces left from Tabta area and heading to Qoqani district near Kenyan border in a devastating landmine blast. AMISOM and SNA have yet to release its own statement concerning the attack.
Posted by: Steve White || 12/11/2016 00:12 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [255 views] Top|| File under: al-Shabaab

Africa North
Death toll rises to 20 25 in Cairo Coptic cathedral bombing
An explosion on Sunday near the Cairo's Coptic cathedral killed at least 25 people and injured 35, Egyptian security sources said.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility.

On Friday, two roadside bombs - one in Cairo and one north of the capital - killed six policemen and wounded six others.
#Breaking explosion reported in the St Mark Orthodox Cathedral in Abbassiya #Cairo, injuries reported pic.twitter.com/hcYTuXO6sD
-- Michael Horowitz (@michaelh992) December 11, 2016

Egyptian security forces are fighting an Islamist insurgency led by Islamic State's branch in North Sinai, where hundreds of soldiers and police have been killed. The insurgents have also launched deadly attacks Cairo and other cities.
Update from Al Ahram at 7:25 a.m. ET, their fifth update since the story broke:
The Coptic Church's official spokesperson Rev Paul Halim told Al-Ahram Arabic that the explosion took place in the small church of St Peter and St Paul (El-Botroseya), attached to the Coptic Cathedral.

A security source told the Middle East News Agency (MENA) that the explosion was caused by a 12 kilogramme TNT bomb.

Member of the Coptic Papal residence Samuel Metias told MENA that the explosion occurred in the ladies section of the St Peter and St Paul church. The St Mark Cathedral was left undamaged.
It could be Ansar Bayt al Maqdis/ISIS in the Sinai or it could be Hasm/Muslim Brotherhood, which has been getting feisty in the Cairo area recently.
Update from the same Al Ahram link at 2:00 p.m. ET: the number of injured increased to 49, mostly Copts, according to the Minister of Health, and President el Sisi declared three days of mourning.
Posted by: g(r)omgoru || 12/11/2016 05:51 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [607 views] Top|| File under:

Egypt court rejects final appeal by Sinai militant Habara against death sentence in 2013 deadly attack
[AlAhram] Egypt’s Court of Cassation rejected on Saturday a final appeal by Islamist Death Eater Adel Habara
... big man in Ansar Bayt al Maqdis since back when it was a mere Al Qaeda affiliate murdering police and soldiers in the Sinai. His full name is Adel Mohamed Ibrahim, but he is sometimes called Adel Mohammed...
against a death sentence for plotting an execution-style killing of 25 soldiers in an ambush in August 2013.

The court also rejected the appeals of 15 other defendants in the case whose sentences ranged from three years to life in prison.

Habara's lawyer Adel Moawad told Ahram Online that his client "is still on trial in other cases, including insulting the judiciary, attempted escape during transport, and [and has received another] death sentence for the murder of an informant in Sharkiya governorate."

man does not live by words alone, despite the fact that sometimes he has to eat them...
today's death sentence is final and enforceable, and [the implementation of which] cannot be postponed until other cases are concluded."

Habara, who gained notoriety over his reported involvement in the attack, is appealing another death sentence against him for his role in a major 2012 attack in North Sinai that left 16 soldiers dead.

Habara's death sentence has to reviewed by the country's Grand Mufti, though the Mufti's recommendation to the court is not legally binding.
Possibly this is actually the end of the road for Ol' Adel. With all those cases at various stages of the process, he's probably grateful to escape the circuit between prison and courtroom. Hell, with its roasting intestines and red hot iron stools, will surely be more interesting.
Posted by: trailing wife || 12/11/2016 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [317 views] Top|| File under: Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis (IS)

#1  "we'll execute him, then proceed with his other trials"
Posted by: Frank G || 12/11/2016 8:39 Comments || Top||

Southern Libya on high alert amid possible IS regrouping
[Libya Observer] The front man for the Third Force that is securing the southern region in Libya, Mohammed Glaiwan, confirmed Saturday that the security apparatuses in Sabha and its surrounding districts had declared the alert state for fear that IS turbans, who managed to somehow escape Sirte, would venture to regroup in the south.

In a statement to the press, Glaiwan stressed that the alert state is a natural procedure to be taken in Sabha and its suburbs to prevent any possible regrouping of IS turbans in the southern Libyan region.

"The Third Force personnel are ready to respond powerfully to any security violations in the southern region." Glaiwan added.

...back at the laboratory the smoke and fumes had dispersed, to reveal an ominous sight...
the Third Force denied the news that said the pro-Haftar forces of Mohammed Ben Nayel had seized the Barak al-Shatti military base in the south, saying it is under the control of its forces as usual.

Misrata-led forces liberated the last hideout of the IS snuffies in Sirte last Tuesday and announced full eradication of the terror group from the coastal city of Sirte after seven months of all-out war.
Posted by: Fred || 12/11/2016 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [241 views] Top|| File under: Islamic State

Families evacuated from Ganfouda after LNA offers 6-hour ceasefire
[Libya Herald] Four Libyan families and three foreign workers were evacuated from Ganfouda today during a six-hour ceasefire announced by the Libyan National Army (LNA) to enable remaining civilians trapped in the area to leave.

death is not the end. There remains the litigation over the estate...
according to LNA front man Colonel Ahmed Mismari, the turbans did not abide by the ceasefire, which came into affect at 10am local time today, and started firing when the families tried to leave.

Announcing it last night, LNA front man Colonel Ahmed Mismari said that it would suspend operations and allow families to come out of the district, if there were any left there. The LNA would not go in and try to rescue anyone.

Three weeks ago, at the time turbans were finally crushed in neighbouring Gwarsha, the LNA said that with all efforts now concentrated on Ganfouda, families still there should try to head towards its front lines.

The LNA had previously said that it allow women, children and the elderly to leave freely but males of fighting age had to be considered as potential Death Eaters and therefore had to be tossed in the slammer
Youse'll never take me alive coppers!... [BANG!]... Ow!... I quit!
and interrogated.

So far, there has been no statement that anyone has taken advantage of the ceasfire and left. However,
death is not the end. There remains the litigation over the estate...
there are reports that two members of the Benghazi Revolutionaries Shoura Council have been arrested while trying to flee Ganfouda.

The six-hour ceasefire has been welcomed by UN Special Envoy Martin Kobler.

"I call on parties to the conflict in Ganfouda area to ensure smooth and safe evacuation process during the ceasefire period. Civilians must always be protected and should not be subjected to any form of harassment or maltreatment during this process," he said.

Posted by: Fred || 12/11/2016 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [290 views] Top|| File under: Arab Spring

Africa Subsaharan
Nigeria suicide attacks toll reaches 45: Emergency service
More on this report from two days ago.
[AlAhram] Twojacket wallah'> exploding trollop female suicide bomber
s on Friday killed 45 people and maimed 33 others when they detonated their explosives in a crowded market in Nigeria's restive northeast, the emergency service said
The army had earlier put the corpse count at 30.

"From our updated records we have 45 dead and 33 injured in the twin suicide bomb kabooms in Madagali," said Sa'ad Bello of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) in Adamawa state.

While there was no immediate claim of responsibility, the blasts bore all the hallmarks of Boko Haram
... not to be confused with Procol Harum, Harum Scarum, possibly to be confused with Helter Skelter. The Nigerian version of al-Qaeda and the Taliban rolled together and flavored with a smigeon of distinctly Subsaharan ignorance and brutality...
, which regularly uses women and maidens to carry out suicide kabooms in its seven-year Lion of Islam campaign in the troubled region.

Military front man Badare Akintoye had earlier said "at least 30 people have been killed in the suicide kabooms carried out by two exploding trollop female suicide bombers in the market."

A local government official and the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) confirmed the attack.

"The two bombers who (were) disguised as customers, detonated their suicide belts at the section of the market selling grains and second-hand clothing," said Yusuf Muhammad, the chairman of Madagali local government.

The attack on Madagali, which was recaptured by Nigerian forces from Boko Haram jihadists in 2015, was the third time the town has been targeted since December last year when two exploding trollop female suicide bombers killed scores.

Market trader Habu Ahmad said Friday's blasts happened around 9:30 am (0830 GMT).
Posted by: trailing wife || 12/11/2016 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [271 views] Top|| File under: Boko Haram

Vigilantes step in to fight Boko Haram menace in Cameroon
[MSN] Boko Haram continues to pose a major threat in the remote north of Cameroon. The military has made some gains since it declared war on the Nigeria-based armed group but in two and a half years nearly 2,000 people have been killed and thousands.
The al-Jazeera video is worth watching. People can do what govt can't.
Posted by: Fred || 12/11/2016 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [260 views] Top|| File under: Boko Haram

Suicide bomb attack in Yemen kills 45 soldiers
[ENGLISH.ALARABIYA.NET] At least 45 soldiers were killed in an kaboom at the al-Sawlaban army camp in the Yemeni port city of Aden, Al Arabiya News Channel’s correspondent has reported.

Sources confirmed that the kaboom was a result of an unknown jacket wallah who was able to break into the camp and detonated his suicide belt as soldiers were gathering to collect their salaries.

ISIS turbans have repeatedly grabbed credit for carrying out attacks on military personnel in the southern port city.

The turbans have taken advantage of Yemen's civil war between the government and the Iran-aligned 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 ...
Posted by: Fred || 12/11/2016 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [276 views] Top|| File under: Islamic State

France arrests new suspect in foiled terror plot
[Ynet] French judicial authorities have locked away
Drop the rod and step away witcher hands up!
and charged a sixth suspect in a foiled bully boy plot to attack sites in the Gay Paree region, a judicial source said on Saturday.

La Belle France has been under a state of emergency since a wave of Islamist attacks last year, giving police wider powers, and the arrests come at a sensitive time ahead of next spring's presidential elections in which security will be a major theme.

The 31-year old suspect has been placed in preventive detention and accused of cooperation with "criminal terrorists" and of having supplied weapons to his accomplices, the source said.

Five other men suspected of being part of the plot are in jug after simultaneous police swoops last month in the southern port city of Marseille and in Strasbourg in northeast La Belle France. Investigators uncovered a plan to attack a Gay Paree metro station and the Disneyland theme park east of Gay Paree in the name of 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....
, the judicial source said.

More than 230 people have been killed in Islamist bully boy attacks on French soil since January 2015, including 130 in [coordinated attacks in Gay Paree November 13, 2015.]

France to extend national state of emergency until July

[IsraelTimes] PM Cazeneuve
...the new prime minister. The old PM stepped down to run as the Socialist candidate for president next year, since President Hollande's deep unpopularity convinced him retirement is a better idea...
. says 17 attacks thwarted so far this year, extension ‘absolutely necessary’ to ensure citizens’ safety ahead of election year.

Posted by: trailing wife || 12/11/2016 02:02 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [280 views] Top|| File under: Moslem Colonists

The Grand Turk
Bloodbath in Istanbul: Terrorists kill at least 29 38 in attack on Turkish riot police outside football match
  • The car bomb targeted a riot police bus outside the stadium after Besiktas' 2-1 win at home against Bursaspor

  • Riot police officers are believed to be among the 166 injured, while 13 29 people are reported to have been killed

  • A second blast went off in nearby Macka Park, said to be the work of a suicide bomber

  • Turkey's radio and television board issued a temporary coverage ban citing 'national security concerns'

  • This information is as of 11:00 p.m. ET on Saturday. But it's the Daily Mail, so regular updates can be expected. The Times of Israel adds:
    Twenty-seven of those killed were police and two were civilians, Turkish Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu told reporters in Istanbul, adding that 10 suspects had already been detained over the bombing.

    Al Arabiya adds

    An eyewitness said that the stadium is close to famous tourist sites Taksim Square and Istiklal Avenue that are frequented by Europeans and Arabs.

    "There were nearly 500 people near Taksim Square and Istiklal Avenue when the kabooms detonated. A lot of the hotels near the stadium that are often frequented by Arab tourists were evacuated by security forces for fear of another attack during the night," said Bashir Ayash, a Syrian journalist who was close to the scene of the attack.

    Hurriyet Daily News version here

    Speaking at a press conference early on Dec. 11, Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmuş detailed the bombings saying that the first attack was staged by the detonation of a moving car in which he said directly targeted riot police near the stadium. The second attack came 45 seconds after the first one when a suicide bomber blew self up at Maçka Park just across the stadium, Kurtulmuş said.

    The interior minister later announced that 27 police officers and two civilians were killed while 166 people were wounded in the twin bombings. He also added that some 10 suspects were detained in connection with the attack.

    Daily Mail update dateline 7:07 a.m. ET, same link as above:
    Witnesses said gunfire heard after the explosions, in what appeared to have been an armed attack on police.

    Suspected attacks were orchestrated by Kurdistan Workers party and 19 people have been detained.

    Number of dead increased to 38.
    Posted by: trailing wife || 12/11/2016 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [529 views] Top|| File under: Sublime Porte

    #1  A Raider's home game?
    Posted by: borgboy || 12/11/2016 0:17 Comments || Top||

    #2  According to stats... Charger game.
    Posted by: Shipman || 12/11/2016 8:48 Comments || Top||

    #3  hey now...
    Posted by: Frank G || 12/11/2016 9:56 Comments || Top||

    #4  Surprised me to Frank, I figure the yearly "visitation" might have something to do with the numbers.
    Posted by: Shipman || 12/11/2016 13:50 Comments || Top||

    #5  What kind of idiot goes to a sporting event in Constantinople?!
    Posted by: Rob Crawford || 12/11/2016 23:14 Comments || Top||

    CTD officer shot dead in Peshawar
    Suspected militants on Saturday shot dead a Counter-Terrorism Department (CTD) Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) in Peshawar.

    Police officials said that DSP Riazul Islam's vehicle was ambushed on Charsada road.

    "Riazul Islam and his son was on their way to home after offering evening prayers in a near by mosque when terrorists targeted them," said Superintendent of Police (SP) Furqan.

    The police official was killed while his son sustained bullet injuries, added Furqan.

    Police launched a search operation in the area after the attack on the police official and started their initial investigation in to the incident.

    Last week, suspected terrorists had a targeted Frontier Constabulary (FC) vehicle with an improvised explosive devise (IED), killing four FC troopers in the same area.

    Posted by: badanov || 12/11/2016 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [156 views] Top|| File under:

    ‘Wanted militant’ arrested in Bannu
    [DAWN] The Bannu police claimed on Friday to have jugged
    Please don't kill me!
    a bad boy wanted to law enforcement agencies in various cases of terrorism in the district.

    Officials of Kaki cop shoppe said that they were on a routine patrol in the area when they spotted a suspected person, and arrested him.

    They said a pistol, cartridges, and a fake NIC card in the name of Mulla Dad were recovered from his possession.

    The police officials said that the alleged terrorist was wanted to police in 12 high profile cases of militancy, including carrying out a blast on a school, assassination'>assassination
    s, blowing up a military vehicle, killing of Kaki nazim
    ...small time big shot, the chief elected official of a local government in Pakistan, such as a district, tehsil, union council, or village council...
    and other crimes of heinous nature.
    Whoa! He had the death sentence on twelve systems!
    He was carrying a Rs1 million head money.
    Posted by: Fred || 12/11/2016 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [230 views] Top|| File under: Govt of Pakistan

    Policeman held for ‘helping terrorists’
    [DAWN] KARACHI: The police counter-terrorism department (CTD) on Friday claimed to have detained a ’police locator operator’ for leaking sensitive information about raids to holy warriors owing to which the police failed to apprehend suspects involved in several high-profile cases, said a police brass hat.

    CTD SSP Naveed Khowaja told Dawn that his team was working on recent high-profile cases and traced mobile phone numbers of some suspects. But whenever the CTD team conducted a raid with the help of locator to capture the suspects, their mobile phones were found off at that particular moment.

    The senior officer said that it triggered suspicions that someone was leaking information to holy warriors about such raids.

    The SSP revealed that with technical help, the police placed in durance vile
    Please don't kill me!
    a policeman identified as Irfan who worked as locator operator in the police special branch. The officer said the CTD police had started the paperwork but haven't done much else against him over charges of ’facilitating’ terrorists.

    It was being probed as to whether the held policeman used to provide the sensitive information to holy warriors in return of some money or he was ideologically affiliated with them.

    The CTD SSP admitted that due to the activities of the detained policeman, they had failed to apprehend at least eight holy warriors involved in terrorism and sectarian cases.

    ...back at the Alamo, Davy was wondering if Buck was okay. He suspected he wasn't...
    another police officer, who wished not to be named, told Dawn that the held policeman’s two brothers were also working in the police department.

    The officer said that the held policeman had ’sectarian affiliation’.

    Posted by: Fred || 12/11/2016 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [269 views] Top|| File under: Govt of Pakistan

    #1  Seriously, I thought the article was referencing Mexico.
    Posted by: borgboy || 12/11/2016 0:24 Comments || Top||

    19 Kurds die in Turkish airstrikes
    (Reuters) Turkish jets carried out air strikes against Kurdish militants in the Gara region of northern Iraq on Friday and killed 19 militants, Turkish military sources said on Saturday.

    The warplanes took off from an air base in Diyarbakir in response to threats that the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) militants were preparing an attack on military units at the border, the sources said.

    Turkey frequently launches air attacks against PKK targets in the mountainous regions of northern Iraq near the Turkish border, where the Kurdish militant group’s leadership has camps.

    A ceasefire between the autonomy-seeking PKK and the state fell apart last year, triggering some of the worst violence in the three decades of the Kurdish insurgency.

    More than 40,000 people, most of them Kurds, have been killed in Turkey’s conflict with the PKK, which Ankara, the United States and European Union designate a terrorist organization.
    Posted by: badanov || 12/11/2016 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [415 views] Top|| File under: Sublime Porte

    Anbar Antics

    Iraqi forces capture 125 artillery rockets

    Anbar (IraqiNews.com) Anbar Operations Command announced on Saturday discovering 125 Jahannam (Hell) rockets belonging to the Islamic State, in addition to large quantities of weapons and IEDs, through search operations in Hayy al-Bakr in Heet, west of Ramadi.

    Commander of Anbar Operations, Major General Ismail al-Mahalawi, said in a press statement, “Security forces, while searching the liberated area of Hayy al-Bakr in Heet (70 km west of Ramadi), found a large cache of weapons and rockets inside one of the houses.”

    “The cache contained 125 Jahannam rockets that were used by the Islamic State to attack security forces,” Mahalawi explained.

    Mahalawi added that the cache also contained ten boxes of explosive materials, as well as six Katyusha rockets.

    Furthermore, Commander of Operations revealed that security forces from the army and police continue search operations in the areas that were liberated from the ISIS, especially in Heet that was the extremist group’s key stronghold for more than three years.

    Security forces managed to liberate the majority of cities of Anbar from the ISIS control in early 2016, and now they are preparing the freed areas for the return of thousands of displaced families.
    Posted by: badanov || 12/11/2016 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [219 views] Top|| File under: Islamic State

    US airstrike in Mosul leaves 90 Iraqi troopers dead
    [Iran Press TV] At least 90 Iraqi soldiers have bit the dust when fighter jets from the United States Air Force (USAF) mistakenly struck their position in djinn-infested Mosul
    ... the home of a particularly ferocious and hairy djinn...
    as government forces and allied fighters are trying to flush ISIS Lions of Islam out of the strategic northern city.
    Ayep. Jimmy cracked corn, too.
    An Iraqi army source, speaking on condition of anonymity
    ... for fear of being murdered...
    , told the Arabic service of Russia’s Sputnik news agency on Saturday that the Arclight airstrike had targeted soldiers from the 9th Armored Division of the Iraqi army the previous day, destroying eight infantry fighting vehicles as well as four Humvee military trucks. Some 100 soldiers were also maimed as a result of the attack.

    On Saturday, the commander of Nineveh Liberation Operation, Lieutenant General Abdul Amir Yarallah, said in a press statement that Iraqi counter-terrorism forces had managed to free the entire neighborhoods of al-Qadisiyah and al-Morour in the eastern quarter of Mosul from ISIS.

    Yarallah added that security forces had also raised the Iraqi flag over several buildings in both districts, and inflicted heavy human and material losses on the terrorists.

    The Iraqi Joint Operations Command (JOC) also stated that Iraqi F-16 fighter jets had carried out Arclight airstrikes on designated targets inside Mosul, destroying three bomb-making workshops and as many arms depots.
    Posted by: Fred || 12/11/2016 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [311 views] Top|| File under: Islamic State

    #1  "Friendly fire is never friendly."
    ~ Author Unknown
    Posted by: Besoeker || 12/11/2016 1:22 Comments || Top||

    #2  I wonder if this is from the hospital in East Mosul. Daesh allowed the 9th Armored to reach the hospital, then surrounded and ambushed them. The counter terrorist division had to fight their way through and rescue them.

    Any vehicles left behind would be targeted by the air coalition.

    Posted by: Frozen Al || 12/11/2016 11:03 Comments || Top||

    Mosul Offensive News
    Iraq sends reinforcements to eastern Mosul after ISIS attack

    [ENGLISH.ALARABIYA.NET] An Iraqi commander says reinforcements have been sent to eastern djinn-infested Mosul
    ... the home of a particularly ferocious and hairy djinn...
    after a major ISIS counterattack drove troops back last week, further slowing a nearly two-month-old offensive to retake the city.

    Major General Najim al-Jabouri said that Federal Police and Iraqi army units have moved from the southern front to the city’s east, where most of the fighting has been concentrated in recent weeks.

    On hold
    Iraqi commanders had hoped to push up from the south to take Mosul’s international airport, but those plans appear to be on hold.

    Iraqi troops were driven back last week within hours of seizing the al-Salam hospital in eastern Mosul, which ISIS had been using as a base. More than 20 soldiers were killed before special forces opened a corridor for them to retreat.

    Iraqi forces counterattack against ISIS in eastern Mosul

    Nineveh (IraqiNews.com) Anti-Terrorism Directorate announced on Saturday killing seven members of the Islamic State, after repulsing their attack using booby-trapped vehicles and motorcycles, in eastern Mosul.

    Commander of the Anti-Terrorism’s 3rd Special Operations Directorate Sami al-Aredi, said in a press statement, “Troops of the Anti-Terrorism Directorate repulsed, this morning, a fierce attack launched by ISIS using a car bomb and a number of suicide bombers on Hayy al-Bareed, in eastern Mosul.”

    “The [Anti-Terrorism] forces managed to kill seven suicide bombers, as well as detonating the vehicle before reaching the security forces,” Aredi added.

    Furthermore, Aredi revealed that the suicide bombers included foreign members, who attacked the security forces using booby-trapped motorcycles.

    Iraqi warbirds destroy munitions depots in Ninevah

    Nineveh (IraqiNews.com) We Are Coming, Nineveh Operations Command announced on Saturday, that the Iraqi F16 fighter jets destroyed explosives factories and caches of weapons in Mosul.

    Commander of operations, Lieutenant General Abdel Amir Yarallah, said in a press statement, “Iraqi F16 fighter jets carried out an air strike on selected targets in the city of Mosul.”

    Yarallah also added that the air strikes resulted in the destruction of three explosives factories and three caches containing different types of weapons.

    Noteworthy, international coalition and Iraqi Aviation are carrying out several air strikes targeting the Islamic State group, within the battle that was launched in 17 October 2016, by Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, to liberate the province of Nineveh.

    Iraqi forces capture 2 neighborhoods in Mosul

    Nineveh (IraqiNews.com) We Are Coming, Nineveh Operations Command declared on Saturday liberating two neighborhoods in eastern side of Mosul.

    Commander of Operations, Lieutenant General Abdel Amir Yarallah, said in a press statement, “Troops of the Anti-Terrorism Directorate managed to free the entire neighborhoods of al-Qadisiyah and al-Morour, in the eastern side of the city of Mosul.”

    Yarallah further added that the security forces also raised the Iraqi flag over the buildings of the two neighborhoods, in addition to inflicting heavy human and material losses on the terrorists.

    Yesterday, Commander of the Anti-Terrorism Directorate, Major General Abdel Ghani al-Asadi announced finishing the first phase of the battle to liberate Nineveh.

    Iraqi forces continue to gain yardage in Mosul

    [ARA News] Duhok – Iraqi Counter-Terrorism Units on Saturday captured two new districts in the war-ravaged city of Mosul in Iraq’s northwestern Nineveh Governorate.

    “Counter-Terrorism Units liberated the districts of al-Murur and Qadissiyah al-Oula in Mosul,” the Iraqi Army General Command said in an official statement.

    “ISIS suffered heavy losses under heavy bombardment by our forces on Saturday,” it added.

    Also on Saturday, Iraqi Security Forces (ISF) seized control of three neighborhoods in the eastern part of Mosul city after fierce clashes with ISIS fighters.

    “The ISF have secured the neighborhoods of al-Adil, Taamim and al-Eylam,” the Iraqi General Command said.

    Although the Islamic State’s (ISIS) militants have shown heavy resistance in defense of Mosul, the Iraqi forces have been able to continue their progress in the operation.

    Mosul is the Islamic State’s de facto capital in Iraq. The group took over the city in June 2014, and immediately afterward announced its self-proclaimed Caliphate.

    On October 17, the Iraqi Army and Kurdish Peshmerga launched a major operation to liberate Mosul city and its surroundings. According to military sources, more than 2,200 ISIS militants have been killed in the operation so far.

    Supported by the US-led coalition, the Iraqi forces have so far captured some 28 neighborhoods in the war-torn city since the launch of Mosul operation, forcing the Islamic State back towards the downtown core.

    Informed sources inside Mosul told ARA News that the Iraqi forces currently control approximately 50% of Mosul city, beside tightening the siege on the ISIS-held downtown districts.

    Human Shields
    Haidar al-Khalidi, a journalist inside Mosul, told ARA News that ISIS is impeding the army’s advance by using civilians as human shields. This tactic has “prevented the army from using its heavy weapons during the clashes.”

    “ISIS is using residential buildings as bases for its attacks on the Iraqi forces. Many civilians are located in Mosul’s ISIS-held districts. [They’re] being used as human shields,” al-Khalidi reported.

    According to Michael Stephens, the head of the Royal United Services Institute–Qatar, there are a few reasons, mostly tactical decisions taken early on in the campaign, which have led to too many civilians being present in areas of heavy fighting. This has severely limited the ability of the Iraqi forces to use artillery and call in air power.

    “Additionally, ISIS militants are well dug in, moving in amongst houses and launching traps and huge numbers of suicide bombers to slow down the advance. To date, ISIS has utilized some 600 suicide bombers to defend Mosul which gives them tactical advantage in small enclosed areas,” Stephens told ARA News.

    “There is little doubt that the fight ISIS has put up is more than was expected. The problem is made worse by the lack of available forces that can successfully close the noose around Mosul and get ISIS to divert resources away from defending the eastern side of the city,” he said.

    “As such, it’s placing undue pressure on those units operating in the eastern neighbourhoods of Mosul, hugely slowing down the advance,” he added.

    Nicholas Heras, a Washington-based Middle East researcher at the Centre for a New American Security, agreed with Stephens. “ISIS fighters are providing far greater resistance inside the city than the Coalition expected,” Heras told ARA News.

    “The Coalition, Baghdad, and the KRG [Kurdistan Regional Government] will also be very cautious with the campaign plan to take the more densely populated districts of Mosul, fearing an even greater outflow of refugees from the city,” he said.

    “With winter approaching, the humanitarian pressure on the KRG and other areas of Nineveh and further into Iraq could be catastrophic,” Heras concluded.
    Posted by: Fred || 12/11/2016 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [321 views] Top|| File under: Islamic State

    Israel trying to keep chemical arms from Hezbollah, Liberman says
    [IsraelTimes] Israel is working to keep chemical weapons out of Hezbollah's hands, Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman said Thursday, clarifying comments a day earlier that hinted the terror group was attempting to obtain mass-casualty arms.

    In a conversation with the Knesset's Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, Liberman again seemed to confirm that Israeli forces had been behind two recent strikes inside Syria that had been blamed on the Jewish State.

    The defense minister again insisted that Israel has "absolutely no interest" in getting involved in the Syrian civil war, but will work to defend itself.

    "Our policies and our positions are very clear and are based on three red lines: We won't allow any harm to the citizens of the State of Israel, we won't allow any harm to the sovereignty of the State of Israel and we will not allow the smuggling of high-quality advanced weapons and chemical weapons from Syria to Lebanon for Hezbollah," Liberman said.

    The comments echoed a statement he made a day earlier to ambassadors from the European Union addressing recent airstrikes in Syria.
    Posted by: Frank G || 12/11/2016 14:57 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [379 views] Top|| File under: Hezbollah

    #1  Probably a good idea.
    Posted by: Iblis || 12/11/2016 15:31 Comments || Top||

    #2  Good find, Frank G. :-)
    Posted by: trailing wife || 12/11/2016 21:37 Comments || Top||

    Southeast Asia
    Indonesia arrests 4 for bomb attack plot in Jakarta
    [Iran Press TV] Four people have been locked away
    Please don't kill me!
    in Indonesia on suspicion of plotting a major kaboom in the capital, Jakarta.

    Police said on Saturday that the four were planning an attack on Sunday on "a vital location in Central Jakarta," adding that bomb disposal teams managed to safely detonate a bomb on the outskirts of the capital.

    Police discovered the three-kilogram bomb encased in a pressure cooker in a boarding house in Bekasi, where a female suspect was staying. Two others were arrested in a separate location in Jakarta, while the fourth, presumably the bomb-maker, was arrested in central Java island.

    Officials said all the four were strongly believed to be linked to an Indonesian myrmidon currently in Syria working with the ISIS Takfiri
    ...an adherent of takfir wal hijra, an offshoot of Salafism that regards everybody who doesn't agree with them as apostates who must be killed...
    terrorist group. The man, identified as Bahrun Naim, is thought to have orchestrated a deadly terror attack in Jakarta in January.
    ...the former Solo boy is suspected of orchestrating every other excitement of note in the region...
    The attack, which targeted a Starbucks café, killed four people and was claimed by a branch of ISIS in Southeast Asia. The assault was the first of its kind by the branch.

    The arrests were the latest in a string of similar security operations in the country.
    Posted by: Fred || 12/11/2016 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [280 views] Top|| File under: Islamic State

    200 more American troops headed to Syria
    Washington will send another 200 troops to Syria to help an alliance of Kurdish and Arab fighters seize the Daesh group bastion of Raqa, Defence Secretary Ashton Carter said on Saturday.

    "I can tell you today that the United States will deploy approximately 200 additional US forces in Syria," Carter told Gulf policymakers in the Bahraini capital Manama.

    They will complement 300 American special forces already in Syria to assist US-backed Kurdish-Arab fighters who in recent weeks began their offensive on Raqa. That operation coincides with a US-backed Iraqi effort to retake Mosul.

    The two cities are the last major urban centres under Daesh control after the militants suffered a string of territorial losses in Iraq and Syria over the past year.

    Carter told the Manama Dialogue security forum that the troop reinforcements will include bomb disposal experts and trainers as well as special forces.

    "We're now helping tens of thousands of local Syrian forces to isolate Raqa," from which they are only about 25 kilometres (15 miles), he said.

    Raqa, which has also served as a hub for militants plotting attacks abroad, is being isolated according to plan, Carter said. With the offensives against Mosul and Raqa, the US-led coalition against Daesh has reached "a critical milestone", Carter said.

    Iraqi forces are battling militants deep inside Mosul, edging closer to the River Tigris that divides the city and looking for a breakthrough in the seven-week-old offensive.

    "This is a complex mission that will take time to accomplish but I'm confident that militants' days in Mosul are numbered," Carter said.

    He warned that it is unclear what form Daesh will take after its eventual defeat in Iraq and Syria, so the coalition of Western and Middle Eastern nations battling it will need to remain vigilant.

    US adds munitions to Raqqa fighting

    [ARA News] Erbil – The US will provide additional arms support to the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) fighting in Raqqa.

    US President Barack Obama has waived prohibitions in the US Arms Export Control Act, which will allow the US to arm the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces and their partners that launched the second phase of the Euphrates Wrath Operation on Saturday.

    US officials said the waiver will not be used to arm groups in Aleppo, only groups fighting ISIS in northern Syria. “We’re talking about partner forces that we’re working with in northern Syria,” US State Department spokesperson Mark Toner said, in an indirect reference to the SDF forces.

    The waived sections of the law will allow the US to provide defence articles and services to forces within Syria allied to the US, a decision described by the White House as “essential” to national-security interests.

    “Since Syria is a state sponsor of terrorism, from time to time the President has to enact – or waive, I guess – restrictions that would otherwise prohibit the US military from providing assistance, lethal assistance to our partners who are carrying out these activities against Daesh or ISIS,” Toner said.

    “We have provided some level of assistance to the Syrian Democratic Forces that are fighting in northern Syria against Daesh. That’s on top of the advice and training that we’ve provided these groups. And the reason we’ve done that is that they’ve been highly effective in going after and destroying Daesh on the battlefield in northern Syria,” Toner added.

    “(By enabling) the Syrian Democratic Forces to liberate territory in Syria, we work to bring and provide stability back into these cities, work with local governments, local councils to re-establish stability in these areas,” Toner said. “Our special envoy, Brett McGurk, is in constant contact with many of these groups, as well as with Turkish authorities and others in the region, on what comes next,” he stated.
    Posted by: Steve White || 12/11/2016 00:20 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [282 views] Top|| File under: Islamic State

    #1  Plotting a bad leave. No surprise here.
    Posted by: Besoeker || 12/11/2016 0:38 Comments || Top||

    #2  In sandals right? No boots.
    Posted by: Procopius2k || 12/11/2016 8:29 Comments || Top||

    Syrian Army artillery pounds rebel positions in Aleppo
    AFP, Beirut
    Friday, 9 December 2016

    Syrian government artillery bombarded the fast-shrinking rebel enclave in the heart of Aleppo on Friday despite its ally Russia’s announcement of a new humanitarian pause, a monitor said.

    Air strikes halted on Thursday evening following Moscow’s announcement but shelling continued throughout the night and into the morning, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

    An AFP correspondent in the rebel-held enclave reported hearing the boom of artillery through the night.

    “There was heavy shelling of several besieged districts and fierce fighting, particularly in Bustan al-Qasr,” one of the biggest districts still in rebel hands after the army’s blistering three-week offensive, Observatory chief Rami Abdel Rahman told AFP.

    After talks with US Secretary of State John Kerry in the German city of Hamburg on Thursday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov announced a pause in the army’s assault to allow for the evacuation of some of the tens of thousands of civilians trapped in the now tiny rebel enclave.

    The army has recaptured 85 percent of the eastern sector of the city which the rebels had held since summer 2012.

    “I can tell you that today combat operations by the Syrian army have been halted in eastern Aleppo because there is a large operation under way to evacuate civilians,” Lavrov said. “There is going to be to a column of 8,000 evacuees.”

    In Washington, White House spokesman Josh Earnest said Lavrov’s announcement was “an indication that something positive could happen.”

    The army’s bombardment of rebel-held districts killed at least 18 civilians on Thursday, according to the Observatory, a Britain-based monitoring group which has a wide network of sources on the ground.

    Aleppo Witnesses Renewed Bombardment

    Beirut- Regime air forces in Syria renewed aerial bombardment of rebel-held Aleppo eastern neighborhoods on Friday. All eyes have turned to the Turkish-led Operation Euphrates Shield making advances on al-Bab grounds, an ISIS controlled city in northern Syria.

    Rupert Colville, spokesman for the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights, said the body was “gravely concerned” both for those “being squeezed into ever-shrinking areas” as regime forces advance, and for those who have fled. He also pointed out that over a 100,000 civilians have stayed inside rebel-held grounds in eastern Aleppo, and areas closed off by war.

    Unfolding developments in Syria, especially the Turkish-led advance, have shaped a great challenge to be later faced by senior Russian and U.S. diplomats.

    Euphrates Shield forces have stunned Syrian regime forces by resuming operations and attacks after a pause that surpassed 20 days, making a deafening advance of two kilometers.

    The United Nations General Assembly voted 122 to 13 on Friday to demand an immediate cessation of hostilities in Syria, humanitarian aid access throughout the country and an end to all sieges, including in Aleppo. Among objecting states, were Russia, Iran and China, 36 other states abstained.

    Thirty-six countries abstained in the vote on the Canadian-drafted resolution on the nearly six-year Syrian conflict. General Assembly resolutions are non-binding, but can carry political weight.

    Hezbollah Secretary General Hassan Nasrallah on Friday delivered a “promised” victory being imminent for Syrian regime forces and their allies in the city of Aleppo. “There are great events taking place now in our region … (such as) what is happening in Aleppo, and the ramifications of the promised and coming victory for the whole battle in Syria and the region,” he said in a speech broadcast.
    Posted by: badanov || 12/11/2016 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [288 views] Top|| File under: Govt of Syria

    Rooshuns evacuate 50K from Aleppo
    [al-Manar] Over the past 48 hours, up to 50,000 people have been evacuated from eastern Aleppo, Russian Defense Ministry spokesperson Major General Igor Konashenkov has reported.

    “More than 20,000 residents left eastern Aleppo in the first part of Saturday, and 1,217 militants laid down their weapons,” Konashenkov said.

    “The Russian Center for Reconciliation, through humanitarian corridors near Karim El-Hun and Mahayar, has organized the evacuation of civilians from the eastern parts of Aleppo to the safe areas of the city,” Konashenkov added.

    “We warn terrorists and militants of the so-called ‘moderate opposition,’ and also their patrons: Do not attempt any provocations, especially attacks on civilians leaving through humanitarian corridors,” the Russian Defense Ministry statement says.

    Konashenkov also addressed those who, over the past few months, have declared their readiness to send humanitarian aid to Aleppo.

    “Representatives of the US, UK, France, Canada, the European Union, and international organizations: Over the past two days, nearly 50,000 civilians have been evacuated by the Russian Reconciliation Center from the eastern parts of Aleppo. They are in need of the humanitarian assistance you promised. It is time to check the validity of your intentions.”

    The statement added that the Syrian government now controls 93 percent of Aleppo, and the civilians who exited eastern Aleppo have been placed in special humanitarian centers where they are provided with hot food and medical help.

    The Russian Reconciliation Center is monitoring the evacuation of civilians from the blocked districts round-the-clock with the use of drones.

    Earlier this week, Moscow slammed a statement by EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini, who said the EU was the only party providing aid to Syria.

    “It’s outrageous twisting of facts which ignores what Russia has been doing for a long time,” Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov said on Thursday.

    The Russian Foreign Ministry noted that Russia, “unlike other international players, has been actively supplying thousands of tons of humanitarian aid to various regions across Syria, including the liberated areas in eastern Aleppo, at the risk of Russian military lives.

    “If the high representative [Mogherini] means providing assistance to terrorists and extremists, then we don’t participate in this, indeed,” the statement added.

    Last week, British Prime Minister Theresa May’s spokeswoman claimed that Russia was blocking aid intended for Aleppo’s civilian population.

    “The Syrian regime and their influencers [Russia, among others] are preventing aid” from reaching the city, the Daily Mail quoted her as saying.

    “It seems that the UK government has lost an objective view of what is happening in Syria, including Aleppo, due to Russophobia,” Konashenkov responded, noting that the UK has not sent “a single gram of flour, any medicine or blankets to help” civilians in Aleppo during the entire Syrian conflict.

    “If the UK government really wants to send humanitarian aid to residents in the eastern neighborhoods [of Aleppo], it has all the conditions for doing this, just tell us where it [the aid] has been held up,” he added.
    Posted by: badanov || 12/11/2016 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [316 views] Top|| File under:

    #1  Too bad Stalin's efforts at evacuation of Leningrad were not similar!
    Posted by: borgboy || 12/11/2016 0:19 Comments || Top||

    #2  Smoke em
    Posted by: Large Scourge of the Boskonians9800 || 12/11/2016 12:17 Comments || Top||

    #3  Yeah boy...
    Posted by: Shipman || 12/11/2016 13:53 Comments || Top||

    Turkish airstrikes net 4 dead Bad Guys
    [al-Manar] Turkish warplanes destroyed 39 ISIL targets and killed four militants in northern Syria, the Turkish army said on Saturday.

    Turkey’s ramping up of its air strikes in northern Syria are part of Ankara’s almost four-month-old “Euphrates Shield” operation with Turkish-backed militants, which aims to push the extremists and Kurdish militia fighters away from the Syrian border area.

    Turkish jets destroyed shelters, vehicles mounted with guns, and ammunition depots the latest air strikes in the al-Bab and Zarzur regions of northern Syria, the army said.

    The Turkish army on Friday said its air strikes destroyed 34 ISIL targets, while a statement from the day before said it said it had hit 10 targets.

    Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said on Friday the Turkish-backed militants closed in on the key ISIL-held city of al-Bab in northern Syria, with Turkish tanks and warplanes supporting the assault.

    Turkish army, allies enter IS Syrian bastion Al-Bab: Monitor

    [AlAhram] The Turkish army and its allies on Saturday entered 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....
    (IS) holy warrior group's bastion of al-Bab in northern Syria, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitoring group said.

    "They entered al-Bab from the northwest after violent festivities with the jihadists as Turkish artillery bombarded the town," the Observatory's Rami Abdel Rahman said.

    Heavy fighting
    ... as opposed to the more usual name-calling or slapsy...
    was ongoing late Saturday in the town near the Turkish border, he said, which has been under IS control since 2014.

    Al-Bab is the last bastion IS has in northern Aleppo province.
    Posted by: badanov || 12/11/2016 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [288 views] Top|| File under: Islamic State

    Syrian regulars advance in Daraa
    [al-Manar] The Syrian army on Saturday restored al-Faqi’a village and farms in the northern countryside of Daraa southern province, chasing the fleeing terrorists, according to SANA.

    The Syrian army also secured the Old International Road to the north of Daraa city by striking Nusra Front posts in the area.
    Posted by: badanov || 12/11/2016 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [195 views] Top|| File under: Govt of Syria

    Lebanese soldiers do weapons sweep a refugee camps
    [al-Manar] The Lebanese Armed Forces carried out at dawn on Saturday extensive raids of Syrian encampments in Qaa in search of terrorists and illegal arms.

    Tens of Syrians were apprehended and numerous weapons were confiscated along with illegal motorcycles.
    Posted by: badanov || 12/11/2016 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [282 views] Top|| File under:

    Syrian losing ground to ISIS in Homs
    [ARA News] Homs – Subsequent to fierce clashes with Syrian Army forces, militant fighters of the Islamic State (ISIS) seized control of several areas in Syria’s central Homs Governorate on Saturday.

    ISIS militants launched a major offensive on military bases of the Syrian regime’s armed forces in the vicinity of al-Mahr oilfield, in Homs’ eastern countryside.

    The group shelled the army headquarters with mortar and artillery fire, forcing Syrian soldiers to evacuate main positions near al-Mahr.

    “At least 19 pro-regime soldiers were killed in Saturday’s offensive,” media activist Amro al-Hussein told ARA News in Homs, citing a military source.

    “The army was forced to retreat from the Ertiwaziyah District and al-Burj Hill, east of Homs. ISIS is now in control of both locations,” the source reported.

    ISIS has repeatedly tried to storm the fortified hilltops which abut the al-Mahr oilfield, employing VBIEDs and suicide squads.

    Islamic State militants also seized control of three military checkpoints in eastern Homs after clashes with Syrian army forces on Saturday evening.

    ISIS has recently brought reinforcements to the eastern countryside of Homs in a bid to protect its positions and push into Homs City. However, the group’s movement has been considerably restricted in central Syria due to intensified Russian airstrikes, that often hit the ISIS’s tactical units and fighting positions in support of the Syrian regime’s forces.
    Posted by: badanov || 12/11/2016 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [260 views] Top|| File under: Islamic State

    More reinforcements join in the Raqqa battles
    [ARA News] Raqqa – Syrian Elite Forces, headed by former chief of the Syrian National Coalition (SNC) Ahmad Jarba, have joined the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) in the fight against the Islamic State (ISIS) in Raqqa, officials said on Saturday.

    Jarba, a prominent Syrian opposition figure and leading member of the Shammar Arab tribe, has established the Elite Forces with support from Egypt and the United Arab Emirates.

    Officials from the SDF and the US-led coalition confirmed on Saturday that the Elite Forces have joined the second phase of the Euphrates Wrath Operation–aimed at isolating and eventually eliminating ISIS in Raqqa.

    The Syrian Elite Forces, the military wing of Jarba’s Syrian Tomorrow Party, have been cooperating with the Syrian Democratic Forces in Shaddadi near Deir ez-Zor, but did not join the SDF forces.

    Initially, the Jarba-led forces were based near Shadadi and only fought in the Hasakah Governorate and near Deir ez-Zor. But now the coalition forces and officials of the Syrian Democratic Forces say the Elite Forces are an official part of the Raqqa campaign.

    “One notable faction joining the Raqqa campaign is the Syrian Elite Forces, who are led by Ahmad al-Jarba, an influential member in the region who has the ability to mobilize local forces in support of the offensive,” said Colonel John Dorrian, spokesman for the US-led coalition.

    “The SDF now consists of approximately 45,000 fighters, more than 13,000 of which are Arab,” he said, while Kurds remain a majority in the Syrian Democratic Forces.

    Syrian rebels launch Phase 2 of Raqqa offensive

    [ARA News] Raqqa – The Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) on Saturday announced the begin of the second phase of Euphrates Wrath Operation to combat Islamic State’s (ISIS) militants in their de facto capital Raqqa.

    Cihan Shekh Ehmed, spokesperson of the SDF-led Euphrates Wrath Operation, told a press conference: “The Syrian Democratic Forces decided to launch the second phase of the Euphrates Wrath Operation. This stage is aimed at liberating the western countryside of Raqqa from ISIS, beside completing the isolation of Raqqa City.”

    “The operation will continue until all goals are accomplished,” she said.

    According to the SDF spokeswoman, more than 1500 Arab fighters have joined the Kurdish-led SDF in the fight for Raqqa.

    “We also announce that the Euphrates Wrath Operation has been expanding with new factions joining the SDF ranks to eliminate ISIS in Raqqa,” Cihan said. “More than 1500 Arab fighters have joined the Syrian Democratic Forces in battle for Raqqa, and they’ve been equipped by the US-led coalition.”

    “The new factions include the Deir Ezzor Military Council, Raqqa Revolutionary Battalion and the Elite Forces affiliated with the Syrian Future Movement.

    “We want to stress that the coordination between the SDF and the Western Coalition has reached a high level,” she said, adding: “This coordination and cooperation will ensure a successful second phase of the Euphrates Wrath Operation.”

    The Kurdish official also stressed that after expelling ISIS from Raqqa, the city will be run by a local civilian council.

    “Once liberated, the city of Raqqa will be run by its own people, by a civilian council established locally and representatives elected by the people of Raqqa,” she said.

    Four weeks ago, the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces launched the Euphrates Wrath Operation, with support from the US-led coalition. The operation’s long-term objective is the isolation and elimination of the Islamic State in Raqqa.

    During the first phase of Euphrates Wrath, SDF soldiers captured an area measuring approximately 560 km2, containing dozens of towns, villages and farms. Military sources told ARA News that more than 185 ISIS jihadists have been killed since November 6.

    The Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG), Women’s Protection Units (YPJ), Syriac Military Council, Raqqa Revolutionaries Battalion and Tel Abyad Revolutionary Brigade are participating in Euphrates Wrath. In addition to these local fighters, foreign soldiers from a half-dozen nations are participating, either as YPG volunteers or under the auspices of the US-led coalition.
    Video report at the link
    Posted by: badanov || 12/11/2016 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [308 views] Top|| File under: Islamic State

    Syria sends reinforcements to Palmyra to counter Daesh
    [Iran Press TV] The Syrian army says reinforcements have been deployed to the ancient city of Palmyra in the west-central Homs Province to prevent the Takfiri
    ...an adherent of takfir wal hijra, an offshoot of Salafism that regards everybody who doesn't agree with them as apostates who must be killed...
    ISIS murderous Moslems from further advancing toward the city.

    The army said in a statement on Saturday that festivities are underway between government forces and the terrorists, who have advanced to the city’s outskirts.

    The statement said that the Lions of Islam had seized areas to the northwest and southeast of the historic city.

    According to the so-called Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, the terrorist group launched the recent offensive late on Thursday, when it seized grain silos northeast of Palmyra, and has since taken at least partial control of oil and gas fields to the city’s northwest.

    The Syrian army, backed by popular forces and a wave of Russian Arclight airstrikes, retook the ancient city from ISIS on March 27 following weeks of military operations.

    Syrian army and allied forces are also busy driving the Takfiri murderous Moslems from the strategic northwestern city of Aleppo. On Friday, government forces liberated 52 blocks in the eastern parts of the city and are now in control of 93 percent of the whole city, according to the Russian Defense Ministry.

    The recent army gains come despite the persistent financial and military support that many foreign states have been providing to the Lions of Islam since 2011 to bring about the ouster of Hereditary President-for-Life Bashir Pencilneck al-Assad
    Lord of the Baath...

    ISIS enters Palmyra

    BEIRUT: Fighters of the Daesh group on Saturday re-entered Syria’s famed ancient desert city of Palmyra from which they were driven out eight months ago, a monitor said.

    “IS entered Palmyra on Saturday and now occupies its northwest. There is also fighting with the army in the city center,” said Rami Abdel Rahman of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

    The jihadists began an offensive in recent days near the town which is on UNESCO’s world heritage list.

    In May last year, Daesh seized several towns in Homs province including Palmyra, where they caused extensive damage to many of its ancient sites.

    They were ousted from Palmyra in March by Syrian regime forces backed by Russia.

    ISIS captures Palmyra

    AMMAN/BEIRUT: Daesh militants on Saturday captured most of the ancient city of Palmyra after penetrating Syrian regime’s army defenses and securing strategic heights around the ancient city in eastern Syria following a surprise assault, a monitoring group and rebels said.

    The UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said there were fears for the lives and safety of civilians inside the city because many of them were pro-regime.

    The opposition and the war monitor said with the exception of the southern parts, most of the city was now in the hands of the militants who had waged an attack on several fronts.

    Meanwhile, the regime’s army tightened its grip Saturday on opposition fighters besieged in Aleppo along with thousands of civilians.

    Airstrikes pummeled the shrinking opposition enclave in east Aleppo as US Secretary of State John Kerry said the regime’s “indiscriminate bombing” amounted to crimes against humanity.

    Western powers meeting in Paris called for peace talks to resume and for civilians to be allowed to leave Aleppo, where tens of thousands have already fled the offensive.

    UN Syria envoy Staffan de Mistura said the world is watching “the last steps” in the Aleppo battle and evacuating civilians must be a priority.

    Meanwhile, the US-led coalition has killed a key leader of Daesh in Syria, the Pentagon said on Saturday.

    “Coalition warplanes targeted and killed Tunisian Boubaker Al-Hakim, in Raqqa, Syria” on Nov. 26, Pentagon spokesman Ben Sakrisson said in a statement.

    “Al-Hakim was a Daesh leader and longtime terrorist with deep ties to French and Tunisian radical elements,” he added.

    Al-Hakim is also suspected of involvement in extremist attacks against Tunisian political leadership in 2013, Sakrisson said.

    “His removal degrades Daesh’s ability to conduct further attacks in the West and denies Daesh a veteran extremist with extensive ties,” he added.

    Hakim’s death also “denies Daesh a key figure with extensive historical and current involvement in facilitation and external operations and degrades their ability to conduct terror attacks around the world,” the statement read.

    Separately, the Turkish army and its allies on Saturday entered the Daesh bastion of Al-Bab in northern Syria, the observatory said.

    “They entered Al-Bab from the northwest after violent clashes with the radicals as Turkish artillery bombarded the town,” the observatory said. Heavy fighting was ongoing late Saturday in the town near the Turkish border, he said.
    Ynet relates Babouker al Hakim's pre-death history:
    Hakim, a 33-year-old French Tunisian, was a mentor to the brothers who gunned down cartoonists at the French paper Charlie Hebdo in January 2015.

    Soon after the US invasion of Iraq in 2003, el Hakim wound up in a network of French jihadis and fought with Abu Musab al-Zarqawi. ISIS began as an al-Qaida affiliate in Iraq led by al-Zarqawi, until Zarqawi was killed in a US airstrike in June 2006.

    El Hakim was arrested in Syria and sent to France, where he was convicted in 2008 and sentenced to seven years in prison. He was considered at the time to be among the most radicalized of the network of young extremists from the Paris area, which included the brothers Said and Cherif Kouachi.

    Released from prison in early 2011,
    ...he must have been credited with time served while awaiting trial, or else he was a seriously model prisoner...
    el Hakim is believed to have moved to Tunisia, where he claimed responsibility in 2014 for the assassinations of two political figures. By then, he was high up in ISIS's ranks and was believed to play a role in the group's external operations.

    El Hakim moved back and forth between Syria and Iraq using networks of smugglers and jihadis, according to court records obtained by The Associated Press. He appeared on French television calling on friends in Paris to join him.

    "I am in Iraq, I'm doing jihad. And all my brothers who are there, should come and defend Islam," he said.
    Posted by: Fred || 12/11/2016 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [219 views] Top|| File under: Govt of Syria

    Iran frees criminals if they volunteer in Syria
    [ENGLISH.ALARABIYA.NET] Iranian authorities are pardoning some of their most notorious criminals from its prisons as long as they agree to volunteer to fight in Syria, a local media outlet has reported.

    Al-Hissar News, a local human right news website focused on Iranian prisoners, revealed how Tehran coaxes Iranian and Afghan prisoners with promises of amnesty if they returned intact from the war.

    According to the source, prisons authority confirmed that the volunteered prisoners would be considered "deaders", in addition to benefits and perks to be rewarded to their families if they are killed while fighting on the frontlines.

    Thousands of Iranian soldiers and militia fighters have been killed in Syria’s civil war, laying bare the scale of Iran’s intervention to preserve Syrian Hereditary President-for-Life Bashir Pencilneck al-Assad
    Supressor of the Damascenes...
    ’s grip on power.

    Tehran has also been covertly recruiting hundreds of Iraqis, Paks, and Afghan to fight alongside the Syrian government forces.

    A prisoner at Rajaai Shar Karj prison, who refused to be identified for security reasons, said prisoners are restricted from disclosing their intention to volunteer to fight in Syria or clarifying the grounds of their pardons, according to news report.

    "My mother staunchly rejected the idea of volunteering and told to let Khamenei and Rafsanjani send their children, not the helpless prisoners and Afghans," the prisoner was quoted as saying.
    Posted by: Fred || 12/11/2016 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [323 views] Top|| File under: Govt of Iran

    #1  Probably to be placed in 'penal battalions' a la Stalin. Remember guys to be very careful when walking over the mine fields...
    Posted by: borgboy || 12/11/2016 0:23 Comments || Top||

    #2  Stealing from Hollywood.
    Posted by: Pappy || 12/11/2016 8:35 Comments || Top||

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