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 Response units were about 500 …

US plans for Syria include another 1,000 troops

The Levant News — Up to 1,000 additional US troops could deploy to northern Syria under provisional plans drawn up by the Pentagon, a US defense official said on Wednesday. The plans, which still need to be approved by President Donald Trump and Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, would mark a significant uptick in US boots …

Syrian army captures water station supplying Aleppo from Iٍ

The Levant News – The Syrian army and its allies have captured the main water pumping station that supplies Aleppo in a sweeping advance against Islamic State that has brought them to the bank of the Euphrates, a group that monitors the conflict said on Tuesday. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the army …

Uighur IS fighters vow blood will ‘flow in rivers’ in China

By Michael Martina and Ben Blanchard for Reuters| BEIJING – Vowing to plant their flag in China and that blood will “flow in rivers”, a video released this week purportedly by the Islamic State group shows ethnic Uighur fighters training in Iraq, underscoring what Beijing sees as a serious threat. China is worried that Uighurs, …

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 capture Palmyra for the second …

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 and spectacular ruins, from Islamic …