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Syrian Army enters east Aleppo neighborhoods for first time in 4 years
Today's Headlines
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Page 1: WoT Operations
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Page 2: WoT Background
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Page 3: Non-WoT
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Page 4: Opinion
3 15:05 trailing wife [356]
17 21:07 Frank G [615]
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6 10:42 Anguper Hupomosing9418 [402]
2 18:14 BrerRabbit [420]
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Page 6: Politix
15 14:40 Lionel Gonque2389 [527]
Afghanistan
Security Forces Advance In Helmand Operation
The military operation was launched two days ago and security forces have managed to clear a number of areas on the outskirts of the city.

Security forces have advanced at least six kilometers in their military operation against the Taliban on the outskirts of Lashkargah city, Helmand local officials said on Tuesday.

The military operation was launched two days ago and security forces have managed to clear a number of areas on the outskirts of the city.

“Security forces including the Afghan National Army, the Afghan National Police and the National Directorate of Security operatives have started a military operation to clear Lashkargah city of insurgents. We have ordered our forces to prevent civilian casualties during their mission,” said Brigadier General Ghani Abrar, an army chief in 2015 Maiwand Corps.

Meanwhile, Bost Zone Police Chief Major Gen. Mohammad Hakim Angar said: “Our forces have advanced by six kilometers in their operation which started two days ago. They have cleared many villages as well. We will launch other military operations in Helmand’s districts after clearing Lashkargah city.”

He added that the military operation is targeting insurgents from the air and ground and no casualties have been inflicted on the security forces or on civilians so far.

“Taliban’s casualty toll is high in this operation, but due to a heavy clash, we could not get exact information in this respect. No casualties were imposed on security forces or civilians in this operation,” Angar stated.

The military operation comes four months after the Taliban attacked the outskirts of Lashkargah city and took control of some areas.
Posted by: badanov || 12/21/2016 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [205 views] Top|| File under: Taliban


ISIS militants suffer casualties in US airstrike in East of Afghanistan
[Khaama (Afghanistan)] 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 suffered casualties in US Arclight airstrike 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.

According to the local security officials in Nangarhar, the Arclight airstrike was conducted in Haska Mina district, targeting the bandidos bandidos krazed killers of the terror group in Nari Oba area.

The officials further added that 8 loyalists of the terror group were killed and at least two others were maimed.

According to the officials, the US forces used unmanned aerial vehicle to carry out the Arclight airstrike which did not incur any casualties to the local residents.

The loyalists of the terror group have not commented regarding the report so far.

This comes a local leader of the Taliban group was killed along with another myrmidon accompanying him in Chaparhar district.

Both the Afghan and US forces conducted regular strikes against the loyalists of the terror group in this province.

Posted by: Fred || 12/21/2016 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [234 views] Top|| File under: Islamic State


ICRC member kidnapped in North of Afghanistan
[Khaama (Afghanistan)] According to the security officials, the gunnies stopped the vehicles of ICRC carrying at least 4 staff members but they took away one of them and released the three others.

There are no details available regarding the identity of the kidnapped staff member.

No group including the Taliban forces of Evil has so far grabbed credit behind the incident.

The high between Kunduz and Balkh province has been witnessing instability during the recent months as the anti-government armed Lion of Islam groups have stepped up insurgency in key Northern provinces.

Posted by: Fred || 12/21/2016 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [232 views] Top|| File under: Taliban


Africa North
Attack on remote MMR pumping station
Tripoli, 20 December 2016:

There are confused reports that IS terrorists have seized a remote pumping station on the Man-Made River, taking hostages and sacking the place before withdrawing.

The attack appears to have been mounted early today on the location some 60 kilometres north of Ash Shwayrif, along an unmetalled road.

A Google Earth image shows what appears to be a large rambling building on the site. A short distance away is a more substantial square structure which might be an engine house or storage tank.

It is not known how many workers and guards are normally at the pumping station.

Petty criminals have in the past broken into remote MMR installations and stolen valuable metal and high technology equipment.

Posted by: badanov || 12/21/2016 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [283 views] Top|| File under: Islamic State


Arabia
22 die in Taiz fighting
ADEN: At least 22 people were killed in clashes between government forces and rebels on the outskirts of the flashpoint city of Taiz in southwest Yemen, military sources said Tuesday.

The fighting late Monday north of Taiz, held by loyalists but partly surrounded by Shiite Houthis and their rebel allies, left at least 14 rebels and eight soldiers dead, they said.

Residents said relative calm was restored on Tuesday.

In the north, two loyalist officers were killed in clashes around the Red Sea port town of Midi, the sources said, while a rights activist said a 13-year-old girl died when a shell fired by rebels crashed into her home in the southern province of Dhaleh.

Yemen’s 20-month-old conflict has killed more than 7,000 people and wounded nearly 37,000, the United Nations says.

The Houthis overran the capital Sanaa and other parts of the impoverished country in September 2014, prompting a Saudi-led Arab military coalition to intervene six months later in support of President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi.
Posted by: badanov || 12/21/2016 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [250 views] Top|| File under: Houthis


Europe
Manhunt! European arrest warrent issued for Tunisian asylum seeker, 23, now suspected of carrying out Berlin massacre
A very well known, not-lone wolf.
[Daily Mail, of course]
  • ID belonging to Anis Amri, 23, who was born in Tataouine, Tunisia,
    ...an ISIS stronghold near the Libyan border...
    in 1992, found in killer truck's footwell

  • Officers have been to all hospitals because they believe Amri could be badly injured after massacre

  • Suspect has links to Tunisian radical group Ansar al-Sharia
    ...a Salafist militia which claims it is not part of al-Qaeda, even though it works about the same and for the same ends. There are groups of the same name in Libyaand Yemen, with the Libyan versions currently most active. Tunisia's Shabaab al-Tawhid started out an Ansar al-Sharia and changed its name in early 2014. It still uses the old name now and then, probably because the stationery's not all used up and the web site hasn't expired yet...
    and salafist imams in Germany connected to ISIS
  • Yet another one connected to multiple organizations, all aimed at helping him commit jihad.
  • Amri allegedly arrested for GBH and having fake passport but vanished in December before being charged

  • Driver steered at crowds - including children - along 80 metre stretch of pavement packed with stalls

  • Naved Baluch, 23, was blamed for carnage all because witnesses saw him commit a traffic offense

  • He had no blood on his clothes, no injuries, there was no DNA match to lorry and he denied being involved

  • A Tunisian asylum seeker suspected of carrying out the Berlin massacre was jugged
    Youse'll never take me alive coppers!... [BANG!]... Ow!... I quit!
    three times this year amid fears he was planning a terror plot - but they let him go.

    Despite being an ISIS supporter known to have received weapons training, German authorities allowed Anis Amri to slip through their clutches time after time.

    The 23-year-old even tried to recruit an accomplice for a terror plot ‐ and again the authorities knew about it ‐ but still he remained on the lam, it has emerged.

    Police today revealed they have launched a Europe-wide hunt for the refugee, who came to Germany earlier this year and to Italia in 2012. He is probably armed, 'highly dangerous' and a member of a 'large' Islamic organization and has weapons training abroad, security sources say.

    This afternoon it emerged that he had already been under investigation for planning a 'serious act of violence against the state' and counter-terrorism officials last exchanged information about him in November.

    The wanted notice issued this afternoon, a European arrest warrant from Germany, indicates he has at times used six different aliases and three different nationalities.
    He arrived in Germany in July 2015 and was given a hearing by immigration authorities in April this year. According to media reports, he was denied the right to asylum and due to be deported this year. But under a peculiarity of the German asylum system he was granted a 'Duldung' or toleration papers allowing him to stay for unknown reasons. He was due to be deported before year's end.

    According to BILD newspaper the German authorities were in touch with their Tunisian counterparts to get him a passport so he could be kicked out. But Tunis said it had no record of him being a citzen. The wanted notice issued this afternoon, a European arrest warrant from Germany, indicates he has at times used six different aliases and three different nationalities.

    He was put on a danger list shortly after arriving - a move which meant authorities considered him prone to extreme violence. Yet just how much surveillance he was under remains unclear.

    In July this year he got into a knife fight over drugs and was charged with GBH. But he went underground before getting to court.

    Yet he surfaced again in August in Ludwigsburg when he was arrested for possessing a fake Italian document. Again, why he was allowed to slip through the fingers of the security services, given his known affiliation to hate preachers, is unclear.

    Before his vanishing act he had contact with Salafist preachers who promoted Jihad among German young men who converted to Islam.
    Much more at the link, including photos of the gentleman in question without bars over his eyes -- which will be of interest to European Conservative, as apparently German news sources now blur or place a bar over the eyes of images of suspects in addition to giving only their first name and last initials to protect their privacy. And as this is the Daily Mail, check the link peridodically for updates, dear Reader.
    Posted by: trailing wife || 12/21/2016 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [521 views] Top|| File under: Islamic State

    #1  who conveniently left his ID in the truck....uh-huh
    Posted by: Clem Shiger8841 || 12/21/2016 13:37 Comments || Top||

    #2  The Berlin truck attack suspect had been arrested in August with forged documents on his way to Italy but was released by a judge, a German security official tells CNN.
    The suspect's identity papers were found inside the truck used in Monday's attack on a Christmas market, which left 12 people dead, German security officials said.
    The suspect was known to German security services as someone in contact with radical Islamist groups, and had been assessed as posing a risk, Interior Minister of North Rhine-Westphalia Ralf Jaeger told reporters.
    The suspect was believed to have entered Germany in July 2015, Jaeger said. His asylum request was refused in June, and Tunisian authorities were informed when the deportation process started.
    Posted by: Deacon Blues || 12/21/2016 14:22 Comments || Top||

    #3  Clem, he probably left it in the truck because he knew police throughout the EU would need all the help they could get.
    Posted by: gorb || 12/21/2016 15:07 Comments || Top||

    #4  Anis

    Is that the Tunisian spelling of that word?
    Posted by: SteveS || 12/21/2016 19:02 Comments || Top||


    #6  Why asylum from Tunisia? The Govt there hounding him for being an Islamist?
    Posted by: Jack Salami || 12/21/2016 20:22 Comments || Top||

    #7  Tunisians often go to Italy, and when they are running out of options there they try the asylum spiel. Usually they arrive by train, shred their documents and claim they are from Libya.
    Posted by: European Conservative || 12/21/2016 20:38 Comments || Top||

    #8  He is really, really good at evading capture without assistance, eh?
    Posted by: Blossom Unains5562 || 12/21/2016 20:48 Comments || Top||

    #9  Time to shut down immigration from Europe
    Posted by: Regular joe || 12/21/2016 20:48 Comments || Top||

    #10  To paraphrase Mr. Box: "What part of the pig is the Anis?"
    Posted by: JHH || 12/21/2016 21:04 Comments || Top||


    The Grand Turk
    TAK claims responsibility for Kayseri car bombing
    [RUDAW.NET] The Kurdistan Freedom Hawks (TAK), an offshoot of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), have grabbed credit for Saturday’s boom-mobileing targeting Turkish soldiers in Kayseri.

    At least 13 Turkish soldiers were killed and more than 50 maimed in a boom-mobile which targeted a bus transporting the soldiers in the central city.

    This was TAK’s second deadly attack within one week. They also grabbed credit for bombings in Istanbul the Saturday before that killed 35 and maimed 166.

    TAK have stated that they are engaged in a "War of Taking Revenge" against Turkish forces who have been fighting a renewed conflict with the PKK for the past year and a half. They state that the Turkish people are not their direct targets.
    Posted by: Fred || 12/21/2016 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [212 views] Top|| File under: Sublime Porte


    Iraq
    7 die in double bombing in Erbil
    [ARA News] Erbil – At least seven people were killed in a twin bomb attack that targeted the Democratic Party of Iranian Kurdistan’s (PDK-I) office in Erbil, capital of Iraqi Kurdistan, late Tuesday evening.

    The PDK-I confirmed in a statement that seven were killed and four injured in a twin bombing that was allegedly carried out by the Iranian state.

    According to officials, two Peshmerga fighters and two members of the security police were injured in the attack.

    Ali Qoytasi, a senior member of the PDK-I, was among the dead in the attack.

    The explosions took place during the Yalda celebration, a celebration of winter solstice on December 21–the last night of fall and the longest night of the year.

    Hosyar Zebari, the former Iraqi Minister of Finance, blamed the Iranian intelligence for the attack.

    “Most likely Iranian IRGs MOIS carried the terrorist attack against KDP-I headquarters in Koi Senjak E of Erbil,” Zebari said.

    This is not the first time that Iran allegedly targeted Kurdish parties.

    On 9 August 2015, the Komala Party of Iranian Kurdistan reported that an Iranian agent planted four improvised explosives at Komala’s Zrgwez camp, which were defused by the Kurdish security forces.

    “I strongly condemn the terrorist attack against the PDK-I in Koya, urge the authorities to find the perpetrators and bring them to justice,” said Dr Mahmoud Othman, the former chairman of the Kurdistan Socialist Party and a member of the Iraqi governing council.

    Tensions have increased between the Iranian Kurdish parties and the Iranian regime since the former decided to resume their armed struggle last summer. The parties are principally seeking an autonomous Kurdish government in Iran, analogous to the KRG in Iraq.
    Posted by: badanov || 12/21/2016 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [222 views] Top|| File under: Govt of Iran


    Iraqi airstrike destroys ISIS convoy in Anbar
    Anbar (IraqiNews.com) Intelligence Officer of al-Hashd al-Ashaeri in Haditha, Captain Nazim al-Jaghifi, announced on Tuesday, that the Islamic state was intending to attack the district.

    Jaghifi said in a press statement, “Today, Iraqi Army Aviation bombarded a convoy of the Islamic State in al-Sakra area, west of the city of Haditha.”

    “The bombardment resulted in the killing of 12 members of the Islamic State, as well as destroying four vehicles,” he added.

    “The Army Aviation also hit another convoy of three vehicles belonging to the Islamic State, destructing them completely and killing all terrorists inside them,” Jaghifi further added.

    “Furthermore, the Army Aviation bombed a number of vehicles in al-Raihana area in Anah district, totally destroying them,” Jaghifi explained.

    Jaghifi also revealed that the Islamic State group was mobilizing its members west of Haditha, in order to launch an attack on the district, but their plans were foiled by the Army’s air strike.
    Posted by: badanov || 12/21/2016 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [242 views] Top|| File under: Islamic State


    Iraqi and Hashd forces repel ISIS attacks west and south of Mosul
    [RUDAW.NET] ISIS Death Eaters launched two separate counterattacks on the Shiite Hashd al-Shaabi west of djinn-infested Mosul
    ... the home of a particularly ferocious and hairy djinn...
    and the Iraqi army in southern Mosul as the Iraqi forces have tightened the noose around the Death Eaters on all fronts in the embattled city.

    "The Hashd al-Shaabi forces repelled an ISIS attack around Tal Afar airport, killing 10 Death Eaters and destroying three military vehicles," a Shiite official, told Rudaw.

    The source said the groups’ counterattack was to minimize Hashd advances on the bad boy-held town of Tal Afar as "their morale has collapsed and are now putting up weak resistance."

    He added that "Tal Afar is surrounded on all directions. ISIS Death Eaters are in a terrible situation as they dig trenches and make wooden-statues to confuse Hashd al-Shaabi and coalition warplanes."

    ISIS has reportedly built fake military installations such as tanks out of wood as decoy targets to fool Iraqi and coalition forces.

    The group also launched an attack on the advancing Iraqi troops in the village of Azba in southern Mosul.

    A source from the Iraqi federal police told Rudaw that the ISIS attackers were "intensely bombed in the Ghazlani military base," near the village.

    The Iraqi government alongside Shiite and Kurdish forces launched an offensive to retake Mosul, still largely under the control 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....
    , just over two months ago. They have retaken nearly 40 neighborhoods in eastern Mosul and large areas around the city.
    Posted by: Fred || 12/21/2016 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [240 views] Top|| File under: Islamic State


    Israel-Palestine-Jordan
    Killer of author Nahed Hattar sentenced to death
    [Al Jazeera] A Jordanian judge has sentenced to death by hanging the man accused of killing Nahed Hattar, a Christian writer,
    ...Christian by birth, atheist by conviction, inveterate poker of bears by inclination, the combination of which finally got him klled...
    on the steps of a court earlier this year.

    Riyad Ismail
    ...a former imam fired by the Jordanian government, probably for being a Salafist..
    .was handed the death penalty on Tuesday, state news agency Petra said.

    Ismail shot Hattar at close range on September 25 as the writer was about to to enter a court in the Jordanian capital Amman. He was hit by three bullets.

    Hattar, 56, had been on trial for blasphemy for sharing a cartoon on social media that was deemed offensive to Islam by many Jordanian Moslems.

    Ismail, a 49-year-old computer engineer, worked for the education ministry.

    He was incarcerated
    Maw! They're comin' to get me, Maw!
    at the scene and charged with premeditated murder, terrorism and possession of an illegal firearm.

    Ismail appeared on Tuesday before the military court bearded, handcuffed and wearing a brown prison uniform.

    Judge Ziad al-Edwan said Ismail was sentenced "for having carried out deadly terrorist act".

    The court also sentenced the man who sold Ismail the gun and the man who introduced him to the weapons merchant, each to one year in jail.

    Hattar, a leftist, had been arrested on August 13 after posting a cartoon on Facebook under the title "God of ISIS", which uses the Arabic abbreviation for 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 the Levant (ISIS).

    He was later released on bail.

    He explained on Facebook that the cartoon made fun of "bully boyz and how they imagine God and heaven, and does not insult God in anyway".

    His murder, which King Abdullah II branded a "heinous crime", prompted protests in Jordan, with demonstrators calling on the government to resign.
    Posted by: Fred || 12/21/2016 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [242 views] Top|| File under: Salafists


    4 Jordanian kops die in al-Karak operation
    [al-Manar] Fierce clashes erupted Tuesday between the security forces and a group of terrorists in Wasiya area in Karak province in southern Jordan as media reports indicated that four policemen were killed in fire exchange during raids aimed to arrest wanted people in the area.

    On Sunday gunmen killed 10 people, including policemen and a Canadian tourist, and wounded 34 other people, in a shooting spree in Karak, home to one of the region’s biggest Crusader-castle.

    Four assailants were killed by the Jordanian security forces.

    The ISIL group on Tuesday claimed responsibility for the attack, saying it was carried out by four “soldiers of the caliphate”, in revenge for U.S.-led coalition air strikes targeting ‘jihadists’ in Syria and Iraq.
    Al Ahram adds:
    Jordanian officials have so far not said who they suspect of the attack but security sources said the perpetrators were Jordanian nationals.
    Posted by: badanov || 12/21/2016 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [257 views] Top|| File under: Islamic State


    Southeast Asia
    Indonesia police arrest three over suspected suicide bomb plot
    [Al Ahram] Indonesian police said on Tuesday that three people had been tossed in the clink
    Please don't kill me!
    over a suspected plot to carry out a suicide kaboom in some holy man's guesthouse an undisclosed location outside the most populous island of Java.

    Two men were arrested in the Central Java city of Solo on Sunday on suspicion they made explosives to be carried by a female accomplice, said Martinus Sitompul, a front man for the national police.

    A suspectedjacket wallah'> exploding trollop female suicide bomber
    had been arrested in Purworejo, also in Central Java, last Thursday, he said.

    "The group was planning to carry out an attack outside Java," Sitompul said. He declined to elaborate and said police would hold a news briefing later this week.

    The three were linked to a group police arrested earlier this month for planning an attack at the changing of the guard at Jakarta's presidential palace, he added.

    In both cases, police suspect the groups planned to use a exploding trollop female suicide bomber, a new tactic for attacks in Indonesia.

    The suspects held over the planned Jakarta attack had been communicating with and received money from Bahrun Naim, an Indonesian bully boy known to be fighting with 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....
    in Syria, police have said.

    Indonesian police are currently interrogating 14 suspects related to the planned Jakarta bombing and the plot outside Java, Sitompul said.

    Posted by: Fred || 12/21/2016 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [219 views] Top|| File under: Islamic State


    Syria-Lebanon-Iran
    Syrian Army enters east Aleppo neighborhoods for first time in 4 years
    [ALMASDARNEWS] The Syrian Arab Army (SAA) officially entered the eastern Aleppo neighborhoods that were under the control of the jihadist rebels for the last four years, a military source told al-Masdar News on Tuesday.

    Several hundred Syrian Arab Army soldiers reportedly entered al-Sukkari after a large number of jihadist rebels exited this district over the last 48 hours.

    While all of the eastern neighborhoods of Aleppo have still not been cleared of jihadist rebels, the Syrian Armed Forces do have access to several sites that were originally under Fatah Halab's control last week.

    With the eastern Aleppo operations wrapping up, the Syrian Arab Army will now shift their attention to the southwestern and northwestern suburbs of Aleppo City, where they look to clear the 'Abadan Plains and Rashiddeen 4 area.

    In the coming weeks, the Syrian Armed Forces will likely begin their new military operations in Aleppo, as they look to secure the entire province by the end of 2017.

    Posted by: Fred || 12/21/2016 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [378 views] Top|| File under: Govt of Syria


    Syrian Army in intense firefights against ISIS in T-4 Airbase surroundings
    [ALMASDARNEWS] Military correspondents embedded with Syrian Arab Army's (SAA) Qalamoun Shield Brigade published a new video footage showing soldiers of the brigade engaged in heavy firefights with holy warriors 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 Syria" (ISIS) in the surroundings of T-4 Military Airport in the eastern part of Homs province. Government forces are supported by Russian attack helicopters and Syrian fighter jets.

    Meanwhile,
    ...back at the revival hall, the congregants were being herded into the paddy wagon...
    on Tuesday, government forces foiled another attack by the aforementioned terror group in Abou Kalleh Dam area which is located approximately 20 kilometers southeast of T-4 Airbase.

    According to a military source at T-4 Military Airport, Syrian Armed Forces were able to destroy at least 2 enemy's technical vehicles, while also killing no less than 10 ISIS gunnies in the process.
    Posted by: Fred || 12/21/2016 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [293 views] Top|| File under: Govt of Syria

    #1  this is another round in the ISIS counter offensive that was begun earlier in Dec (about the 10th or so)

    Assad's forces had taken the city and the airbase from ISIS back in March 2016.

    ISIS captured Palmyra from Assad's forces in May 2015.
    Posted by: lord garth || 12/21/2016 9:49 Comments || Top||

    #2  Hmm, Battle of Verdun? Palmyra does not seem to be vital to Assad other than as a Roach Motel. As long as Assad avoids a "Baby Stalingrad" this could be useful in killing ISIS troops on the cheap.
    Posted by: magpie || 12/21/2016 12:47 Comments || Top||


    SDF have ‘reached the Euphrates’ 10 days into campaign for Raqqa
    [RUDAW.NET] Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) have clashed with ISIS faceless myrmidons on the road to Jabaar Castle on the Euphrates River, killing nine of the bully boy fighters, they announced Tuesday.

    The festivities come on the tenth day of the SDF’s second stage of their Wrath of Euphrates operation to liberate ISIS’ stronghold of Raqqa. Their forces have reached the Euphrates and retaken a large area northwest of Raqqa, they announced on Tuesday.

    "Our fighters have reached the Euphrates after liberating a large area from ISIS groups," reads a statement from the SDF.

    "During the first 10 days in the second stage in the Operation Wrath of Euphrates, which was launched from the directions of Qadiriyê and Kerdosan villages with the goal of liberating western Raqqa, fighters have liberated 97 villages, dozens of hamlets and strategic hills in a total area of 1300 square kilometers," said spokesperson Jihan Sheikh Ahmad in a press briefing.

    Ahmed added that "96 ISIS members were killed in festivities and 7 others were captured and taken captive, including one gang member who surrendered together with his family."

    The SDF have also suffered casualties during the offensive ‐ 9 fighters were killed and 12 were maimed, Ahmad stated.

    The Kurdish-led coalition of forces with a strong contingent from Raqqa itself is carrying out the offensive with backing from the US-led coalition.

    In the ten days of fighting, they have defused as many as 550 mines planted by ISIS and seized a large quantity of arms.

    The SDF warned civilians eager to return to their homes that some locations have yet to be cleared and advised them "to stay away from areas occupied by ISIS gangs."

    In the first phase of the campaign, the SDF had liberated 50 villages and 50 farms, "plus they liberated 150 families and killed 150 ISIS gangsters, and liberated 550 square kilometres of territory."

    The military operation to retake the Syrian city of Raqqa from ISIS, ousting the bully boy group from their de facto capital, was launched in early November on two fronts north of the city, from the towns of Saluq and Ayn Issa, by a coalition of forces fighting under the SDF flag.

    The offensive began with 9 brigades, including Kurdish forces, Christians, Turkmens, and many Arab brigades from the Raqqa area, but has since grown as more recruits have completed training and joined the force.

    More from ARA News: Syrian rebels expel ISIS from 97 villages

    Raqqa – The Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) made new gains in the fight against the Islamic State (ISIS) in western Raqqa. The SDF on Tuesday announced that they have captured 97 villages in an area measuring approximately 1300 square kilometres since the launch of the Euphrates Wrath Operation’s second phase earlier in December.

    According to the Kurdish-led SDF, the operation will continue until its goals are reached by isolating ISIS in Raqqa and eventually liberating the city, which has been taken by the group as a de facto capital for its self-proclaimed Caliphate.

    In a press conference in the Jahisha town, west of Raqqa, the SDF leadership announced the outcomes of the first 10 days of the operation. “Our forces advanced towards Raqqa from two axis, al-Qadiriyah and Kerdoshan,” the SDF said. “We have dismantled more than 550 landmines that had been planted by ISIS in western Raqqa. The dismantling operations continue in the area.”

    The SDF launched the second phase of the Euphrates Wrath Operation on the 10th of December, with the objective of liberating the western countryside of Raqqa and the strategic Tabqa Dam.

    Chin Sheikh Ahmed, the Official Spokesperson of the Euphrates Wrath Operation, told ARA News: “At least 96 ISIS militants have been killed so far and seven militants arrested in this phase of the operation. Also, one ISIS militant surrendered with his family to the Syrian Democratic Forces.”

    “The clashes are now centred in the vicinity of the Jaabar Citadel,” she said. “The operation will continue until liberating western Raqqa, which is the main goal of this phase of the Euphrates Wrath Operation.”

    According to Abdulqadir Fadel, a member of the Euphrates Wrath Operation’s Chamber, American military experts played a key role in preparing the SDF forces for this operation.

    “The US-led coalition continues to provide support to our forces in the campaign. There are also Western military experts participating in this operation,” Fadel told ARA News, adding: “In the framework of this operation, various factions have joined the SDF ranks. This came at the request of the local Arab tribes in the liberated areas.”

    During the first phase of Euphrates Wrath, SDF soldiers captured an area measuring approximately 560 km2.

    The long-term objective of Euphrates Wrath is the elimination of the Islamic State in its de facto capital, Raqqa city.
    Video report at the link
    Posted by: Fred || 12/21/2016 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [230 views] Top|| File under: Islamic State


    Terror Networks
    The Beatings Will Continue: Syrian Edition


    ISIS executes 4 in Deir Ezzor

    [ARA News] Deir Ezzor – Extremists of the Islamic State (ISIS) on Tuesday burned four civilians to death in Syria’s eastern city of Deir ez-Zor, after accusing them of supporting Kurdish forces, activists and eyewitnesses reported.

    The ISIS-led Islamic Police, also known as Diwan al-Hisba, arrested the four men three months ago. They were eventually charged with supporting Kurdish YPG forces in Syria.

    ISIS also accused the four men of leaking security information about the group’s movements in Deir ez-Zor to the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG).

    The YPG is a leading member of the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), that are in fight with ISIS at different fronts in northern Syria, including Raqqa–the ISIS de facto capital.

    The Sharia Court of Deir ez-Zor said in a statement that after “interrogations” the suspects “confessed” to have been supporting and cooperating with the YPG against the so-called Caliphate.

    “The Sharia Court called for the most brutal punishment for those four men. ISIS radicals burned them to death in public on Tuesday evening,” Ahmed Ramadan, spokesman of the campaign ‘Deir ez-Zor Is Being Slaughtered Silently’ (DBSS), told ARA News.

    The victims were charged with treason and apostasy, according to the source.

    “Hundreds of people witnessed the execution, including the victims’ families who were forced to watch their sons being burned to death,” an eyewitness told ARA News, speaking on condition of anonymity.

    After burning them, ISIS reportedly threw the victims’ bodies into the Euphrates River.
    Posted by: badanov || 12/21/2016 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [221 views] Top|| File under: Islamic State



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