The war against Islamic State continues non-stop in Syria and In Iraq. However as the map (end of article) shows Kurdish forces have freed the north of Iraq (a big part of) and the movement continues in Syria (in a slower bit).
- Syrian Army Kills Over 30 Islamic State Militants in Northeastern Syria.
Syrian government troops killed more than 30 militants from the Islamic State (IS) extremist group in the city of Deir ez-Zor in northeastern Syria, SANA news agency reported Friday.
The Syrian Army has launched military operations in several districts of Deir ez-Zor and its suburbs preventing the rebels from capturing new territories. The fighting took place in six surrounding villages, according to the Arab newspaper Alahednews. Two IS boats were destroyed on the Euphrates river not far from the city.
- The Iraqi forces’ airstrikes killed 17 Islamic State militants in western Kirkuk.
At least 17 Islamic State (IS) militants have been killed in airstrikes on the northern city of Kirkuk, carried out by the Iraqi Air Force, Iraqi News reported Saturday.
“The IA strike resulted in killing 17 ISIL terrorists in western Kirkuk,” a local security source was quoted as saying by the news outlet.
- American forces ‘building pressure’ on Isis (Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant)
US efforts against Islamic State militants in Iraq are “a drumbeat, a steady building pressure” on several fronts that will ultimately enable Iraqi forces to launch a counter-offensive at a time of their choosing, the top US military officer said.
“This is a drumbeat, a steady building pressure on ISIL along eight or nine lines of effort: counter-financing, counter-foreign fighters, counter-message as well as the military operations,”
The Pentagon revealed this week that US forces have hit or damaged some 3,222 IS targets in Iraq and Syria since August.
US military officials also said the department is looking into complaints that civilians may have been killed in US air strikes (Source: Reuters).
- Hacker group anonymous ‘declares war’ on al Qaeda, Islamic State
The hacker group Anonymous has vowed to attack online websites affiliated with radical jihadist Islamists in revenge for the recent string of terror attacks in Paris, which began with the Paris killings of Charlie Hebdo cartoonists and journalists, Al Arabiya reported.
Citing a YouTube video posted by the group in French, the hacker group said it has “declared war” against “al-Qaeda, Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) and other terrorists.”
- Islamic State praise Paris attackers as “heroic jihadists”
The Islamic State militant group acclaimed the gunmen’s action behind this week’s killings at the Paris headquarters of the Charlie Hebdo weekly newspaper as “heroic jihadists”, a monitoring group said on Friday.
The SITE Intelligence Group, which monitors radical Islamist organisations in the media, said Islamic State praised the gunmen in a brief note in its daily audio bulletin, which was distributed on Twitter and jihadi forums on Thursday.
Syria regime fights off Nusra in Aleppo, 14 Nusra terrorists killed.
Syrian regime forces repulsed an attack by the Nusra Front on two Shiite towns in Aleppo province in battles that killed 25 fighters, activists and a monitoring group said Friday.
The Nusra Front and its allies launched a multi-pronged offensive early Thursday against Nubl and Zahraa and secured a foothold in the area for the first time, before withdrawing the following day.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, said that 14 Nusra Front fighters were also killed in the clashes, which saw Al-Qaeda’s affiliate deploy seven tanks (Source: Dailystar.com.lb)
- Syria building new underground nuclear facility near Homs
The Syrian government is covertly engaged in the construction of a new nuclear facility near the city of Homs, the German weekly Der Spiegel revealed on Saturday.According to the report, which is based on satellite images and secret intelligence documents that include transcriptions of intercepted telephone conversations, the Syrians are being aided in their efforts by North Korea.
The project is codenamed “zamzam,” after the holy spring located near the Black Stone in Mecca.
- New Rebuff to Russia’s Plan for Syria Peace Talks in Moscow
Prominent Syrian opposition figure Mouaz Al Khatib said on Friday he had turned down an invitation to a Moscow meeting with Syrian government officials, in a further blow to Russian efforts to find a solution to the Syrian conflict. (Source: The Moscow Times)
Russia, one of Assad’s top allies, had extended invitations to senior opposition figures within Syria and outside to meet Syrian government representatives in late January.The main Turkish-based National Coalition for Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces has already shunned the meeting and said any of its members who attended would be expelled.
State Department Warns U.S. Citizens to Be Vigilant After Attacks in France (Wall Street Journal)
After the violence in France this week, the State Department issued an updated global-security message, warning U.S. citizens to be vigilant.
In an update of its “Worldwide Caution” advisory, the State Department said recent attacks—“whether by those affiliated with terrorist entities, copycats or individual perpetrators”—are reminders that U.S. citizens should be vigilant and take appropriate security precautions wherever they are.