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Tag Archives: Islamic State

Belgium at the epicenter of the war for Europe

By John Lloyd for REUTERS — A police helicopter hovers over Brussels’ rooftops following bomb attacks in Brussels, Belgium, March 22, 2016. REUTERS/Christian Hartmann – RTSBQZ6 A police helicopter hovers over Brussels’ rooftops following bomb attacks in the Belgian city, March 22, 2016. REUTERS/Christian Hartmann With every bloody episode that …

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Will Boko Haram benefit from Isil allegiance?

By Colin Freeman for THE TELEGRAPH — It may seem unlikely, given their self-publicised appetite for slaughter and mayhem. But like any other high-profile cause, international jihadism is not immune to the charge that standards have slipped over the years. A decade ago, when Osama bin Laden was in charge, he …

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IS turns against its own – punish deserters

THE LEVANT – Several foreign jihadists who joined the Islamic State in Syria but then tried to desert have faced arrest and execution at the hands of the radical group, activists said Friday. Those who have tried to flee are usually young and mostly non-Arabs who regretted joining the IS once …

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Jihadists launch major attack on Iraq’s Ramadi

THE LEVANT – The Islamic State group launched a major attack on the Iraqi city of Ramadi Friday, attempting to seize one of the last urban pockets under government control in troubled Anbar province. Parts of Ramadi, the provincial capital, and all of Fallujah to its east, fell to anti-government forces …

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UN goes after IS money – cutting off terror financing arms

THE LEVANT – A UN report is recommending the seizure of all oil tanker trucks leaving Islamist-controlled territory in Iraq and Syria to cut off millions of dollars from crude sales now bankrolling the jihadists. The UN’s Al-Qaeda Monitoring Team is also proposing an embargo on flights taking off or …

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What Makes Islamic State So Formidable?

THE LEVANT  – By Charles Recknagel –  From the use of suicide car bombs against enemy front lines to slaughtering prisoners of war to frighten opponents, Islamic State militants have proven brutally effective on the battlefield. Here are five things that make the group a formidable force. Suicide Bombers Many …

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US pressing Turkey to join anti-IS coalition

THE LEVANT – The United States is pushing Turkey to join the fight against Islamic militants, amid frustration and wariness in both governments heightened by Ankara’s unease at helping besieged Kurdish communities. Retired US general John Allen, and the US pointman on Iraq, Brett McGurk, will Thursday begin two days …

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Ancient prophecies of apocalypse rally IS jihadists

THE LEVANT – An infidel horde flying 80 banners meets a Muslim army at the Syrian town of Dabiq in an apocalyptic battle. The Muslims are decimated but ultimately prevail, ushering in the end of days. This ancient Sunni Muslim prophecy — mentioned in canonical accounts of the Prophet Mohammed’s …

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Iraqi Yazidi woman awarded Anna Politkovskaya prize

THE LEVANT – Iraqi legislator Vian Dakhil on Monday received the Anna Politkovskaya prize for her denunciation of the jihadist group Islamic State over its brutal treatment of Yazidi women. The award – handed out by London-based organisation RAW in WAR to honour women working to help those trapped in …

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Twin blasts kill 30 Kurdish fighters in Syria: monitor

THE LEVANT – Twin truck bombings by jihadists killed at least 30 Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) fighters and security officers on Monday in Syria’s northeastern town of Hasakeh, a monitoring group said. “At least 30 members of the YPG and asayesh were killed when two Islamic State suicide bombers …

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Heavy toll in Iraq’s “forgotten” Anbar

THE LEVANT – Nine months of shelling, airstrikes and street battles have taken a heavy toll on Iraq’s “forgotten” province of Anbar, the first to be overrun by militants from the group now calling itself the Islamic State (IS). The cities of Ramadi and Fallujah have been reduced to bombed-out wrecks: hospitals, homes, …

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Jordan Arrests IS Affiliates Preparing Terrorist Attack In Kingdom

THE LEVANT – Jordanian security authorities arrested several militants associated with the Islamic State (IS) terrorist group, the Jordan News Agency, Petra, reported on Sunday. The detainees confessed to having connections with the group’s commanders in Syria, and said they were entrusted with carrying out terrorist operations in Jordan targeting …

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IS jihadists urge killing of citizens from US-led coalition

THE LEVANT – The Islamic State group called on Muslims to kill citizens of all countries taking part in the US-led anti-jihadist coalition by any available means, in a statement posted online Monday. “If you can kill a disbelieving American or European — especially the spiteful and filthy French — …

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IS militants can’t be defeated by air strikes, says Iran FM

THE LEVANT – Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif hit out against the Islamic State group Wednesday as a “dangerous phenomenon,” but warned it could not be defeated by air strikes. Accusing other nations of having created “a Frankenstein that has come to haunt its creators,” Zarif said at a …

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Islamic State jihadists close in on Syrian Kurd town

THE LEVANT – Jihadists from the Islamic State group using heavy weapons have seized a string of villages around Ain al-Arab as they close in on Syria’s third largest Kurdish town, a monitor said Thursday. “IS fighters have seized at least 21 villages around Kobane,” said Syrian Observatory for Human …

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The plight of the Yazidis

THE LEVANT – By Matthew Barber – The plight of thousands of Yazidi women, kidnapped by the Islamic State (IS) during its August 3 attack on Iraq’s Sinjar mountains and in the following weeks, has received some media attention, but most people are unaware of just how far-reaching this disastrous …

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Islamic State group’s war chest is growing

THE LEVANT  – By Ken Dilanian – Islamic State militants, who once relied on wealthy Persian Gulf donors for money, have become a self-sustaining financial juggernaut, earning more than $3 million a day from oil smuggling, human trafficking, theft and extortion, according to U.S. intelligence officials and private experts. The …

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IS has 20,000-31,500 fighters in Iraq and Syria, says CIA

THE LEVANT – Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria now have about 20,000 to 31,500 fighters on the ground, the Central Intelligence Agency said, much higher than a previous estimate of 10,000. Among those in Syria are 15,000 foreign fighters including 2,000 Westerners, some of whom have joined IS, …

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Awaiting an Arab response to fight IS

THE LEVANT – By Osama Al Sharif – NATO’s ten-nation “core coalition” that was formed last week in Wales in the United Kingdom to confront the growing threat of the Islamic State (IS), also known as ISIL, did not include any Arab country. And yet President Barack Obama has underlined …

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Islamic State fighters are using US arms

THE LEVANT – Islamic State fighters appear to be using captured US military issue arms and weapons supplied to moderate rebels in Syria by Saudi Arabia, according to a report published on Monday. The study by the London-based small-arms research organisation Conflict Armament Research documented weapons seized by Kurdish forces …

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