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ISIS leader confirmed dead?

By Andrew Illingworth – The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) claims to have “confirmed evidence” that ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi is dead. According to the UK-based, pro-opposition Syrian War monitoring group, they have been able to confirm the death of the al-Baghdadi via sources based in the Syrian …

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Russia calls new British carrier ‘convenient target’

The Russian Defense Ministry has derided the United Kingdom’s brand new aircraft carrier as a “convenient target” for the Russian military, hitting back at Britain’s disparaging comments about Russia’s aircraft carrier, the Admiral Kuznetsov. In a statement released on Thursday, Russia’s Defense Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov called Britain’s HMS Queen …

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Rain hampers Iraqi forces’ push on Mosul Old City

By Patrick Markey for Reuters | MOSUL, IRAQ — Heavy rain slowed Iraqi government forces battling Islamic State on Thursday around Mosul’s Old City, where militants holed up in narrow alleyways and homes resisted with sniper fire, suicide attacks and car bombs. Troops from the federal police and elite Rapid …

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Saudi police kill suspected ISIS militant

The Levant News – Saudi security forces killed a suspected ISIS militant when he pulled a gun on a patrol in the capital Riyadh, the Interior Ministry said on Wednesday. The patrol was trying to check a complaint on Tuesday evening that a resident of a flat in the capital’s …

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Iraqi forces see off ISIS attack, seize road out of Mosul

By Isabel Coles and Ahmed Rasheed for Reuters | MOSUL/SULAIMANIYA, IRAQ – Iraqi forces saw off an overnight ISIS counter-attack near Mosul’s main government buildings and took full control on Wednesday of the last major road leading west to the militant-held town of Tal Afar, the military said. Inside the …

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Iraqi forces in Mosul fight ISIS counter-attack

By Stephen Kalin for Reuters | MOSUL, IRAQ – ISIS fighters launched a counter-attack against advancing U.S.-backed Iraqi forces in western Mosul during an overnight storm, as the battle for control of the militants’ last major urban stronghold in Iraq intensified. Explosions and gun fire rang out across the city’s …

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Syrian army advances inside Palmyra

The Levant News — Syria’s army and allied forces advanced inside Palmyra on Thursday after ISIS pulled most of its forces back from positions inside the ancient desert city, a war monitor reported. The Syrian army, backed by Russia’s air force and Shi’ite militias supported by Iran, is attempting to …

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Saudis expel 39,000 Pakistanis over terror fears

By Richard Spencer for THE TIMES — Saudi Arabia has expelled 39,000 Pakistanis in the past four months amid what it says is a crackdown on terrorism, according to the Saudi Gazette. Most deportations were for standard visa violations, reported the English-language daily newspaper, published in Jedda. However, officials were …

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ISIS claims responsibility for Berlin truck attack

The Levant News — “The Islamic State” group (ISIS)claimed responsibility Tuesday for a truck attack at a Christmas market in Berlin that killed 12 people and injured 48 others. German police are still hunting for the driver of the truck. “The executor of the operation … in Berlin is a …

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Karak attackers planned further assaults

The Levant News — Assailants who staged attacks in Jordan’s southern city of Karak on Sunday had suicide vests and other weapons, and were planning further assaults, Interior Minister Salamah Hamad has said. Hamad did not give details on Monday on the identity or nationality of the attackers, saying an …

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Kurd-led forces press ISIS near Syria’s Raqqa

The Levant News – Several villages held by Islamic State have been captured by the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), a coalition of militias backed by the United States that includes a strong Kurdish contingent, an organisation that monitors the war said on Monday. The advance is part of a military …

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ISIS makes advances towards Palmyra

The ISIS group in Syria attacked the Syrian army near the city of Palmyra on Thursday, killing dozens of soldiers and advancing to within four kilometers (2.5 miles) of the city, a war monitor said. The Syrian army, backed by Russian jets, recaptured Palmyra, the site of a Roman-era city …

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Air strike targeting militants kills seven in southern Libya

The Levant News – An air strike targeting Islamist militants has killed at least seven people near the southwestern Libyan city of Sabha, a local official and media reports said on Tuesday. Gunmen later seized the remains of the suspected militants from a morgue, said the official, who did not …

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Elite Iraqi troops battle ISIS on Mosul streets

MOSUL, Iraq: Elite Iraqi troops battled ISIS in the streets of Mosul Friday as U.S.-backed forces in Syria pressed an advance on extremist bastion Raqqa after a sandstorm eased. The high winds in the desert which separates the Syrian Kurdish-Arab militia alliance from the extremists’ stronghold in the Euphrates Valley …

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ISIS hits back in Mosul but faces new Raqqa front

By Ahmed Rasheed and Rodi Said | BAGHDAD/AIN ISSA, SYRIA – Reuters —ISIS fighters targeted Iraqi troops with car bombs and ambushes in Mosul, stalling an army advance in their north Iraq stronghold, but faced attack on a new front on Sunday when U.S.-backed rebels launched a campaign for the Syrian …

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Libyan forces report 14 civilians freed from ISIS in Sirte

The Levant News — Libyan forces in the final stages of a six-month campaign to recapture Sirte from ISIS said they freed 14 civilians on Sunday from a small residential area where some militants are holding out. The forces, composed of fighters mainly from Misrata, say they are exercising caution …

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Iraqi troops on southern front battle for last town before Mosul

By Babak Dehghanpisheh for Reuters | NEAR HAMMAM AL-ALIL, IRAQ — Iraqi troops advancing towards Mosul battled on Saturday for the last town left between them and the Islamic State stronghold to the north, which is already under assault from special forces fighting inside the city’s eastern districts. Saturday’s attack on Hammam …

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Documents show ISIS obsessions

By Babak Dehghanpisheh and Michael Georgy  for REUTERS| ZARQA/SHURA, IRAQ —After ISIS conquered villages in northern Iraq, it spelled out in minute detail the rules of its self-proclaimed caliphate, from beard length to alms to guidelines for taking women as sex slaves. Islamic State documents and posters, obtained in villages …

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