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Philippine military: Omar Maute likely dead
Today's Headlines
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At least 34 killed in southern Afghanistan bombing
[DAWN] At least 34 people were killed in a suicide bombing in Afghanistan's southern Helmand province on Thursday.

The bombing targeted Afghan troops and government employees waiting to collect their salaries ahead of Eidul Fitr, officials said.

Omar Zwak, spokesman for the provincial governor, said at least 34 people had been killed and more than 60 wounded, including members of the police and army, civilians and staff of the New Kabul Bank branch where the attack took place.

No group immediately claimed responsibility for the attack but Helmand has been at the centre of bitter battles between the Afghan Taliban and Afghan security forces, aided by Nato troops.

The insurgents, believed to control nearly 80 per cent of the province's countryside, have increasingly been pressing a push onto Lashkar Gah and its environs in efforts to take the city.

In recent weeks, the Afghan Taliban have overrun Helmand's key Sangin district, where both British and US troops had fought for years to keep them at bay.

Esmatullah, an Afghan border policeman, who was at the scene of the explosion, said the noise from the blast was deafening. He said many are missing in the ensuing chaos as witnesses, survivors and ambulances struggled to ferry first the most seriously wounded to hospital.

Posted by: Fred || 06/23/2017 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6464 views] Top|| File under: Taliban

#1  The bombing targeted Afghan troops and government employees waiting to collect their salaries ahead of Eidul Fitrr

If there ever was a case for having direct electronic deposit...
Posted by: Pappy || 06/23/2017 11:12 Comments || Top||

Africa Horn
Somalia: Car bomb hits Police station in Mogadishu
[Garowe Online] A Somali police station in the heart of Mogadishu was targeted on Thursday by a powerful car bomb, leaving a number of police officers dead, Garowe Online reports.

The car laden with explosives was detonated at the entrance of the Waberi district police complex, officials said. The blast also damaged nearby commercial buildings along Makka Al Mukarama street.

The blast was followed by a heavy gunfire, as security forces cordoned off the area around the Police station. No group has yet claimed responsibility for the car bomb attack.

Civilians were reported to be among the casualties of the attack.

There were no immediate details on casualties, but ambulances have been sent to the scene. Photos taken from the scene showed a plume of white smoke rising from the building.
Posted by: Fred || 06/23/2017 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6462 views] Top|| File under: al-Shabaab (AQ)

Africa North
Egypt police kill 7 terrorists 'involved in recent attacks on Christians': Ministry
[AlAhram] Egypt's Ministry of Interior said Thursday that police have killed seven Lions of Islam involved in recent attacks on churches and Christians during raids on training camps in Giza and Upper Egypt.

The raids, which started at dawn, initially targeted the Western Desert in Assiut where bully boyz where training in camps and hideouts to execute further attacks during the upcoming period, the ministry said.

The bully boyz were killed after a shootout with police forces, who seized large amounts of guns, ammunition, and IEDs.

The ministry said it is working on identifying the slain bully boyz and that the State Security Prosecution will carry out further investigations.
Posted by: trailing wife || 06/23/2017 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6465 views] Top|| File under: Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis (IS)

#1  Saves on court costs...
Posted by: Pappy || 06/23/2017 9:07 Comments || Top||

Caribbean-Latin America
Last Month Was The Deadliest In Mexico In 20 Years
[BUZZFEED] May was the deadliest month in Mexico since 1997 with three people killed every hour, according to the Mexican government.

There were 2,186 homicides last month, according to figures from the Executive Secretary of the National System for Public Security which go back 20 years. In some states which were previously considered peaceful, like Baja Caliphornia, an impregnable bastion of the Democratic Party, Sur and Nayarit, the rate doubled.

"This is the overwhelming and absolute failure of Peña Nieto’s public safety policy," Alejandro Hope, a Mexican security analyst, told BuzzFeed News.

Hope and others attribute the uptick to a pie fight between criminal groups, and the violent fragmentation within the Sinaloa Cartel headed by Joaquín Guzmán, known as "El Chapo."

Kidnapping, extortion, and car-theft rates also increased in May compared to the previous month.

A spokesperson at the Ministry of the Interior declined to comment on the homicide rate when reached by BuzzFeed News.

The record figure is likely to further hurt President Enrique Peña Nieto’s low approval rating, which was most recently battered by the revelation that the government is spying on journalists and activists through spyware on their phones.

Posted by: Fred || 06/23/2017 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6461 views] Top|| File under: Narcos

The Grand Turk
Blast Hits Western Turkey Near NATO Facility
A queer little adventure to make one wonder.
[AnNahar] A blast on Thursday hit the western Turkish city of Izmir, close to a NATO
...the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. It's headquartered in Belgium. That sez it all....
military facility, but there were no casualties, state media reported.

The kaboom took place near a cemetery and the NATO facility in the Konak district of Izmir around 7:50 am (0450 GMT), state-run Anadolu news agency said.

The blast destroyed a wall and shattered the windows of buildings close by, Anadolu reported.

Initial findings said the kaboom was caused by a stun grenade left by the wall, the agency said.

A witness quoted by Anadolu said the kaboom took place just after a military vehicle passed by.

Reports said that the blast took place near to the Izmir air station, which is used by the US air force.

Reports of unrest are rare in the Aegean city but the blast comes after two people were killed in a boom-mobileing in Izmir in January outside a courthouse, which was attributed to Kurdish holy warriors.
Posted by: trailing wife || 06/23/2017 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6460 views] Top|| File under:

Home Front: WoT
U.S. charges New York man with trying to join Islamic State
Another terror-loving Muslim idiot hands himself to the authorities on a silver platter. We seem to have more than our fair share of them here.
[DailyMail] U.S. prosecutors on Thursday charged a Bronx, New York, man with attempting to travel to Syria in order to fight for 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....
Saddam Mohammed Raishani, 30, was jugged
Drop the rod and step away witcher hands up!
at New York´s John F. Kennedy International Airport after trying to board a flight to Istanbul via Lisbon, federal prosecutors in Manhattan said.

Raishani is charged with one count of attempting to provide material support to a designated foreign terrorist organization, which carries a maximum sentence of 20 years. He appeared in Manhattan federal court Thursday afternoon and is being held without bail.

In January, Raishani told a person who was working as an informant for law enforcement officials that he had previously helped a friend leave New York to join Islamic State, according to a criminal complaint. He said he helped his friend buy supplies, and drove him to the airport, according to prosecutors.

Raishani later told the informant that he regretted not going himself, prosecutors said.

At one point, Raishani told the informant that he had asked his wife whether she would come with him to join Islamic State, but that based on her reaction he decided not to raise the subject again because he feared she might report him to law enforcement, according to the complaint.

He later said that while it was difficult leaving his wife and child behind in the United States, he believed it was the right decision, the complaint said.
Betcha he won't be getting any family visits over the next twenty years. And she won't mortgage the house to get him a good lawyer, either.
The informant put Raishani in contact with an undercover New York City Police Department detective posing as a person who wanted to travel abroad and fight for Islamic State, according to prosecutors.

Raishani then began making plans for the two to travel together, telling the undercover officer that he could pose as a refugee aid worker while Raishani, a home health aid, could pose as a nurse, according to the complaint.

In May, prosecutors said, the informant put Raishani in contact with another person who the informant said would help arrange Raishani's travel. That other person was actually an undercover FBI employee.
Posted by: trailing wife || 06/23/2017 01:42 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6465 views] Top|| File under: Islamic State

#1  Maybe he just wanted out of NY?
Posted by: Skidmark || 06/23/2017 11:59 Comments || Top||

#2  His name is not Snake Plissken.
Posted by: Pappy || 06/23/2017 13:25 Comments || Top||

Indian forces kill three suspected militants in held Kashmir gunfight
[DAWN] Indian forces killed three suspected turbans during a fierce overnight shootout in India-held Kashmire, the Indian army said Thursday.

Soldiers and special police counter-insurgency forces surrounded a residential area where they suspected armed 'militants' were hiding out, triggering a fierce exchange of fire.

One police officer said scores of residents came out of their houses shouting slogans demanding freedom from Indian rule and throwing stones at the soldiers to try to help the suspected turbans escape.

"Three bad boyz were potted and three weapons recovered from the site," army front man, Colonel Rajesh Kalia said.

Witnesses said the army blew up the house where the suspected turbans were hiding in Kakapora, around 30 kilometres south of the main city of Srinagar.

On Wednesday morning soldiers killed two suspected turbans during a firefight in the northern Sopore area. Police said they were members of Kashmire's largest rebel group Hizbul Mujahideen.

Posted by: Fred || 06/23/2017 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6463 views] Top|| File under: Govt of Pakistain Proxies

#1  scores of residents came out of their houses shouting slogans demanding freedom from Indian rule and throwing stones at the soldiers to try to help the suspected turbans escape

sounds like Kakapora needs urban renewal/demolition
Posted by: Frank G || 06/23/2017 8:36 Comments || Top||

Main accused in Perween murder case acquitted for want of proof
[DAWN] Raheem Swati, the prime accused in the murder case of renowned social worker Perween Rahman, was on Wednesday acquitted by an antiterrorism court in three connecting cases that pertained to possession of illegal weapons and explosive materials and shoot-out with a police party.

The ATC exonerated the accused from charges in three cases as the prosecution failed to bring on record any incriminating evidence against him.

Meanwhile, the ATC put off the hearing of the murder case against Swati after his counsel produced a memory card of the mobile that contained a video of accused Swati.

The counsel claimed that the video was proof that his client was not even present at the scene of the crime.

According to police, Raheem Swati was arrested on May 7 last year after a shoot-out in the Sultanabad area of Manghopir. The police claimed to have found illicit weapons and explosives in his possession.

The police also claimed that Raheem was the prime suspect in Perween Rahman murder case. Later, his remand was obtained in attempted murder, unlicensed weapons and explosive material cases.

Perween Rahman, director of the Orangi Pilot Project, was gunned down on Manghopir Road in March 2013.

The case is pending trial before an ATC against detained suspects Ahmed Khan, alias Ahmed Ali, alias Pappu Kashmiri and Mohammad Imran Swati while Raheem

Swati, Ayaz Swati, Amjad Afridi and Shaldar Khan were shown absconders in the last charge-sheet filed in October, 2015.

The charge sheet said that during questioning detained suspect Imran disclosed that Raheem of the banned Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan, with his brother-in-law Shaldar and others, carried out the killing.

Posted by: Fred || 06/23/2017 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6466 views] Top|| File under: TTP

Civilian killed at funeral for slain 'militants' in held Kashmir
[DAWN] A civilian was killed and several wounded Thursday in India-held Kashmir when security forces opened fire on a crowd gathered for the funeral of three suspected militants slain overnight in clashes with soldiers, police said.

Thousands of villagers poured onto the streets for the funeral, chanting slogans against Indian rule and pelting stones at soldiers who responded with bullets and pellet fire, a police officer said.

S.P. Vaid, director general of police for the territory, confirmed a protester was killed in the exchange.

Another police officer, speaking on condition of anonymity, said at least a dozen others were injured by pellets fired by government forces to disperse the angry crowd.
Posted by: Fred || 06/23/2017 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6463 views] Top|| File under: Govt of Pakistain Proxies

2 wounded by cross-border firing in AJK's Nakyal sector
[DAWN] At least two people were seriously injured in Azad Jammu and Kashmire in "unprovoked" Indian firing from across the Line of Control (LoC) on Thursday evening, an official said.

Aneela Zahoor, 12, fell victim to cross-border firing in Nari Dhroti village of Nakyal sector in the southern Kotli district, Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Kotli Chaudhry Zulqarnain Sarfraz told Dawn by telephone.

Robina Khalid, 30, was injured in the village of Dotilla Dabsi in Nakyal sector and referred to District Headquarters Hospital Kotli, the SSP said.

"She has been shifted to District Headquarters Hospital Kotli at death's door," he added.

The SSP said that the firing started without any provocation when people of the area were preparing to break their fast.

Posted by: Fred || 06/23/2017 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6462 views] Top|| File under: Govt of Pakistan

Western Mosul reconquest: the final push

Iraqi commander: Mosul’s minaret was booby-trapped before explosion

Mosul (IraqiNews.com) A senior Iraqi army commander said Thursday that a historic minaret which exploded during battles between the Islamic State and government troops on Wednesday had already been booby-trapped, indirectly refuting the blame the group laid on U.S. warplanes.

Abdul-Ghani al-Assadi, commander of the army’s elite Counter-Terrorism Service, said in a press statement that the medieval Grand Nuri al-Kabir Mosque and its famous Hadbaa (leaning) Minaret had already been prepared for detonation once the group reached “total bankruptcy” as he put it.

Assadi said it had been Islamic State’s habit to detonate historic sites in Mosul, reminding that the militants had previously blown up the Nabi Yunis shrine in Mosul.

Assadi’s remarks come as Islamic State and the U.S.-led coalition backing Iraqi forces traded blame Wednesday for the explosion that brought down the historic structure which stands at the mosque where IS first declared the establishment of its rule in Iraq in 2014.

The minaret’s collapse came as CTS forces were 50 meters away from the mosque, partaking in an invasion by U.S.-backed Iraqi joint forces of the Old City, the ancient neighborhood where a few hundreds of IS members are entrenched as a last refuge in Mosul.

Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi said in a statement by his office that Islamic State militants, by resorting to blowing up the historic site, were officially declaring their defeat.

Iraqi forces kill Islamic State’s explosives official near Mosul’s Old City

Mosul (IraqiNews.com) Iraqi government forces killed on Thursday an Islamic State explosives official while moving inside a district adjacent to Mosul’s Old City, the group’s last bastion.

Shafaq News quoted security sources saying that troops killed Abu Furqan al-Maswseli along with 15 others at a house in al-Shifa district.

The Iraqi command said earlier this week its forces had consummated the recapture of al-Shifa, a home to major health and medical facilities, thus putting the medieval Old City under full siege.

Also on Thursday, Federal Police chief Shaker Jawdat said his forces killed 43 Islamic State members in Ras al-Jada and Bab al-Beed in the old city, and destroyed five booby-trapped vehicles.

Iraqi troops have advanced on Wednesday closer to the Grand Nuri al-Kabir Mosque, where Islamic State’s supreme leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi declared the establishment of the group’s rule in 2014. IS members blew up the mosque’s ancient minaret on Wednesday as troops advanced, a move which the Iraqi command said signalled an imminent defeat to the extremist group.

A few hundred militants are thought to remain inside the Old City, but are holding at least 100.000 civilians who are shot dead or caught and executed while trying to flee the neighborhood.
Posted by: trailing wife || 06/23/2017 02:17 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6470 views] Top|| File under: Islamic State

#1  I'm curious what, if any, effect ISIS' losses in Mosul has had on its overall combat effectiveness.
Posted by: Iblis || 06/23/2017 12:15 Comments || Top||

#2  Likely the senior leadership; the Chechens, the Baathists et al, are long gone.
Posted by: Pappy || 06/23/2017 15:22 Comments || Top||

#3  But it seems they are not letting the junior leaders get out alive, so ISIS is not gaining the benefit of experience in developing its next generation of leaders.
Posted by: Glenmore || 06/23/2017 15:34 Comments || Top||

#4  ISIS is not gaining the benefit of experience in developing its next generation of leaders

1. Life is cheap

2. Life is harsh

3. Some lives end up slightly more valuable than others, e.g. Chechens, "Russians", those with various skills, money, connections.

4. As a result of 1 &2, Those that aren't valuable end up having to prove themselves through the Darwin School of Warfare.

It's all very Occidental.
Posted by: Pappy || 06/23/2017 18:53 Comments || Top||

Two killed, four wounded in bomb blast, west of Baghdad
Baghdad (IraqiNews.com) A blast occurred on Thursday at one of the main exits between the capital city of Baghdad and Anbar province, a police source said.

Speaking to Shafaq News, the source said two persons were killed, while four others were maimed as a booby-trapped vehicle went kaboom! in west of Baghdad.
Posted by: trailing wife || 06/23/2017 02:17 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6464 views] Top|| File under:

Diyala devastations: paramilitaries launch and ISIS mastermind killed

Paramilitary troops launch offensive to clear northeast of Diyala

Diyala (IraqiNews.com) The paramilitary troops have announced launching an offensive in Naft Khana, northeast of Diyala, the media service said on Thursday.

“The operation is carried out from six main axes with support from the army jets, the statement said. “It targets eliminating Islamic State pockets as well as boosting security in the strategic region.”

Naft Khana is considered a pivotal region in Diyala for its strategic location, being near to main roads, in addition to being geographically-connected to Hamrin basin.

Attacks launched by Islamic State militants against security troops, the pro-government forces and civilians surged over the past few weeks in northeast of Diyala, which urge the Iraqi forces to prevent the militants infiltration between Salahuddin and Kirkuk provinces, especially the regions stretching along Hamreen mountains and Al-Azeem town.

IS holds pivotal regions that link between each of Diyala, Salahuddin and Kirkuk, posing threats to the liberated regions.

Mastermind of ‘Ramadan invasion’ attacks killed in airstrike in Hawija

Diyala (IraqiNews.com) The mastermind of the so-called “Ramadan invasion” has been killed in an airstrike in Hawija, the security committee in Diyala provincial council said on Thursday.

“Confirmed information showed the death of the mastermind of ‘Ramadan invasion’ in Diyala in an airstrike near Hawija,” Sadeq al-Husseini, head of the committee, told AlSumaria News.

“IS attempted through the ‘Ramadan invasion’ to destabilize security in some of Diyala cities including Baqubah through sending eleven suicide bombers who infiltrated from Hawija toward Mutaibija then toward the province to carry out crimes and kill the innocent.”

The ‘invasion’, according to Husseini, “ failed in Diyala, thanks to security efforts.”

In late May, Rafidain Operations Command said IS entitled several attacks, that it was going to carry out in four provinces during the month of Ramadan, as “Ramadan invasion”. These provinces included Wasit, Muthanna, Dhi Qar and Maysan.
Posted by: trailing wife || 06/23/2017 02:17 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6462 views] Top|| File under: Islamic State

Border police thwart infiltration into West Bank settlement
[IsraelTimes] 2 suspects enjugged
Drop the rosco, Muggsy, or you're one with the ages!
after breaking into Na’ale community; third man, apparently waiting in getaway car, manages to escape.

Border Police officers arrested two Paleostinians caught infiltrating the central West Bank settlement of Na’ale early Thursday morning.

Security cameras on the settlement’s perimeter fence picked up the pair as they entered, and they were only able to make it 40 meters (130 feet) into the community before being detained, according to Moked 443, a settler news service.

Authorities made the arrests without incident and transferred the pair to the Shin Bet security service for questioning. A third suspect, who was waiting for the two in a car outside the settlement, made an escape while the arrests were taking place.

It wasn’t immediately clear if they were armed.

Moked 443 also reported a separate incident Thursday morning in which a Paleostinian was spotted on a road outside the settlement of Nahliel. A chase ensued and the suspect was caught and taken away for further questioning.
Posted by: trailing wife || 06/23/2017 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6464 views] Top|| File under:

Southeast Asia
Rebels reported cornered in Marawi
[Reuters] Rebels holding parts of the southern Philippine city of Marawi have been cornered and their firepower is diminishing after five weeks of fighting. But despite signs that the militants are now on the back foot, regional governments are worried that the siege could be just the prelude to further violence as the Islamic State tries to establish a foothold in the area.

Jolted by the May 23 attack on Marawi, Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines have launched joint patrols to control the movement of militants across islands in the region and their foreign ministers gathered in Manila on Thursday for talks.

Malaysia is worried that militants who are flushed out of Marawi City may try to cross from the Philippines to its eastern state of Sabah. Eastern Sabah Security Command (Esscom) chief Wan Abdul Bari Wan Abdul Khalid said, "We fear that they may enter the country disguised as illegal immigrants or foreign fishermen."

He said Esscom had drawn up a wanted list that included two militants who spearheaded the attempt to capture Marawi. They are Abu Sayyaf leader Isnilon Hapilon, who was proclaimed last year as the Islamic State's "emir" of Southeast Asia, and Abdullah Maute.

The Philippine military said the number of militants holding out in Marawi had dwindled to "a little over 100".

"Their area has been reduced to one square kilometer only," said Lt Col Christopher Tampus, whose troops are blocking escape routes across bridges spanning a river to the west of the rebels. He said, "Our forces are coming from the east and the north and we are blocking the three bridges."

Tampus said rebel snipers were still firing from strategic nests in schools and mosques, and home-made bombs were hampering the progress of troops as they advanced house by house. He said he had seen at least five civilians dressed in black who appeared to have been forced to stand in the street as human shields.
Posted by: ryuge || 06/23/2017 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6481 views] Top|| File under: Maute group (IS)

#1  He said he had seen at least five civilians dressed in black who appeared to have been forced to stand in the street as human shields.

Happy Ramadan!
Posted by: Frank G || 06/23/2017 8:39 Comments || Top||

#2  Well, it being a Religion of Peace™, and all that...
Posted by: Pappy || 06/23/2017 11:21 Comments || Top||

#3  "Their area has been reduced to one square kilometer only"

So maybe a grid of 4-2000 pounders?

The blast waves of such a weapon can create a very great concussive effect; a 2,000lb bomb can be expected to cause severe injury and damage as far as 800 metres from the point of impact.
Posted by: Skidmark || 06/23/2017 12:16 Comments || Top||

Philippine military: Omar Maute likely dead
[ABS-CBN] One of the Maute brothers is likely dead, said Philippine military chief of staff Eduardo Año on Thursday. He said Omarkhayam Maute was most likely killed in the siege of Marawi City but his brother, Abdullah, is still alive and is still in Marawi along with Isnilon Hapilon, the alleged regional Islamic State leader.

He did not say when Omar was killed or provide proof.

Philippine Army 1st Infantry Division spokesperson Jo-Ar Herrera earlier said the military was confirming reports that Omar and his brother Madie were killed in the Marawi clashes. He said, "There are reports that Omar and Madie were killed in the operations. We are still validating this report but there are strong indications that they [were] killed."

The reported death of the two militants came after the arrest of their parents. The Maute patriarch was arrested on June 6 at a checkpoint in Sirawan, Toril, Davao City. Farhana Maute was apprehended on June 10 in Masiu, Lanao del Sur while trying to leave the province.
Posted by: ryuge || 06/23/2017 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6510 views] Top|| File under: Maute group (IS)

Aid trucks bring ‘humanitarian breakthrough’ to Syria’s Qamishli – U.N.
[IraqiNews] Food aid has reached Syria’s Kurdish-dominated city of Qamishli by road for the first time in two years in a "humanitarian breakthrough" that will increase support for tens of thousands of families, the United Nations
...an organization originally established to war on dictatorships which was promptly infiltrated by dictatorships and is now held in thrall to dictatorships...
said on Thursday.

Although Qamishli lies on the Turkish border, the crossing is closed and the U.N. aid effort in northeastern Syria has relied on airlifts from Damascus to Qamishli since July 2016.

Last week, Syria gave the U.N. permission to get aid to Qamishli by truck, relieving the strain on a base that is supporting thousands of people who have been displaced by the war 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....
A convoy of three lorries from Homs has since arrived in the city in the northeastern Hasakeh region, passing by Aleppo and bringing a month’s supply of food for 15,000 people, the U.N. World Food Programme (WFP) said.

"This humanitarian breakthrough will allow us to increase regular support for all 250,000 people in need in Hasakeh," WFP’s Syria country director Jakob Kern said in a statement.

The agency said it could previously assist only 190,000 people by airlifts, due to higher costs and limited capacity.

"Once regular land access to Hasakeh is established, WFP will gradually phase out of its current airlift operation," Kern said.

That could save the agency some $19 million annually ‐ enough to provide a year’s food aid to 100,000 people, WFP said.

WFP flights had been running at full capacity, twice a day, six days a week for almost a year.

Roads became inaccessible in December 2015, and restoration of deliveries was only made possible by improved security, the agency said.

The development came as U.S. backed Syrian militias were closing in on Islamic State’s Syrian stronghold of Raqqa.

The Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), which include Arab and Kurdish fighters and are supported with air strikes by a U.S.-led coalition, began an offensive two weeks ago to seize the northern city from Islamic State, which overran it in 2014.

Earlier in June, the U.N. said it estimated that 440,000 people might need humanitarian aid as a result of the offensive.
Posted by: trailing wife || 06/23/2017 02:17 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6465 views] Top|| File under: Islamic State

#1  Now that its safe.
Posted by: Skidmark || 06/23/2017 11:58 Comments || Top||

Roadside bomb kills 5 in jihadist-held Idlib
[ALMASDARNEWS] An improvised explosive device planted in a motorcycle exploded inside the rebel-held city of Idlib as tensions escalate among rival jihadi groups.

The blast killed 5 militants from the ‘security force’ of al-Qaeda-affiliate Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham, and injured 10 others.

The attack comes one week after the group (formerly known as Jabhet al-Nusra) was caught in heavy infighting with the FSA-affiliated Shaitat group. Elsewhere in Maarrat al-Numan to the south, HTS jihadists stormed bases for Division 13; an opposition action fighting under the banner of the Free Syrian Army.
Posted by: Fred || 06/23/2017 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6464 views] Top|| File under: al-Nusra

Syrian government, rebels reach reconciliation deal in Daraa
[ALMASDARNEWS] Syrian rebels in southern province of Daraa have reportedly concluded a reconciliation agreement following weeks of fierce fighting.

According to the pan-Arabist satellite television channel, Al-Mayadeen, a meeting – brokered by Russia – was held yesterday last night between Syrian officials and representatives of the rebel groups in the town of Izra, located to the north of the provincial capital.

The alleged agreement’s terms stipulate that the Syrian government pulls out Army troops from the city of Daraa – while maintaining positions outside the provincial capital – only to be replaced by police and security forces, which shall take over the area.
Posted by: Fred || 06/23/2017 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6471 views] Top|| File under: Govt of Syria

Dead Kurdish fighters dragged through the streets of Raqqa after ISIS counter-attack
[ALMASDARNEWS] US allies have sustained heavy casualties in Raqqa city this week. According to Amaq Agency, upwards of 53 casualties were inflicted on the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) over the past 24 hours alone.

With ISIS luring the largely Kurdish SDF into an attritional battle for Raqqa, jihadist militants managed to retake parts of the Al-Bitani and Al-Sinaa neighborhoods in eastern Raqqa along with the southern sector of the Division 17 Army Base on Wednesday. Two suicide bombings were reported amid the large-scale ISIS counter-attack.

Subsequently, ISIS dragged the corpses of Kurdish combattants through downtown Raqqa, likely to install fear in locals and deter them from cooperating with the US-led coalition.

ISIS doomed in Raqqa as Kurdish forces cutoff last supply line to the embattled city

[ALMASDARNEWS] On Thursday, the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) cemented their siege of ISIS-held Raqqa after taking control of the last village on the southern Euphrates River bank of the city.

In an advance that seems to have sealed the fate of ISIS insurgents bogged down within their own capital, the US-backed SDF imposed full control over Al-Kamb after wrestling control of the neighboring villages of Sheikh al-Jimal and Kasrat Al-Faraj earlier this week.

Effectively, Kurdish troops have fully ringed Raqqa city, leaving them no escape route to the Islamic State mainland elsewhere in Syria and Iraq.
Posted by: Fred || 06/23/2017 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6464 views] Top|| File under: Islamic State

Syrian Army rapidly advances in east Damascus amid militant collapse
[ALMASDARNEWS] The militant forces in the ‘Ayn Tarma Valley and nearby town are in serious trouble, as the Syrian Arab Army’s Republican Guard units rapidly advance through the enemy defenses.

On Thursday, the Syrian Arab Army’s 105th Brigade of the Republican Guard resumed their large-scale offensive in ‘Ayn Tarma, capturing more than 90 percent of the ‘Ayn Tarma Valley after a fierce battle with Faylaq Al-Rahman militants.

In addition to their advance at the ‘Ayn Tarma Valley, the Syrian Arab Army also captured several sites in the southern part of the town, including the Driving School, Al-Jisr Neighborhood, and a number of nearby buildings.
Posted by: Fred || 06/23/2017 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6466 views] Top|| File under: Govt of Syria

#1  Faylaq Al-Rahman

That would be Legion of God, or something like that. Presumably Islamist.
Posted by: Zhang Fei || 06/23/2017 15:00 Comments || Top||

Who's in the News
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2al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula
2Govt of Syria
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2Govt of Pakistain Proxies
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1Palestinian Authority
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1al-Shabaab (AQ)
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1Govt of Qatar (MB)
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Two weeks of WOT
Fri 2017-06-23
  Philippine military: Omar Maute likely dead
Thu 2017-06-22
  BIFF Bravely Takes Hostages at Philippine School
Wed 2017-06-21
  ISIS Lord High Holy Man, al-Baghdadi confidant, killed by US-led coalition forces
Tue 2017-06-20
  Afghan forces clear strategic Tora Bora of ISIS militants: Gen. Waziri
Mon 2017-06-19
  IRGC completely dismantles terrorist group in southeast Iran: Commander
Sun 2017-06-18
  Afghan forces recapture Tora Bora in Nangarhar
Sat 2017-06-17
  Taliban rejects report on Kandahar bombing that killed UAE ambassador, diplomats
Fri 2017-06-16
  Army takes over Mosul’s Old City entrance, IS trapped
Thu 2017-06-15
  SDF capture former IS member known as Jihadi Jack
Wed 2017-06-14
  Senior Republican politician and several aides shot at baseball practice near Washington
Tue 2017-06-13
  Taliban’s military commission chief killed in Helmand drone strike
Mon 2017-06-12
  London Police Chief: Terror Victims Show How Diverse We Are
Sun 2017-06-11
  Libyan group says it has freed Gaddafi son Seif al-Islam
Sat 2017-06-10
  Islamic State claims it killed two Chinese in Pakistan
Fri 2017-06-09
  Nearly 70 dead in Al-Shabaab attack on Puntland military base

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