ISIS and al-Nusra struck an alliance to gain control of the Yarmouk Palestinian Refugee camp in Syria.
This is the deepest incursion yet by ISIS militants into the Syrian capital. If they gain control of the Yarmouk camp, they can threaten President Bashar Assad’s seat of power. Ynet
Yarmouk was controlled by terrorist groups loyal to Hamas, now ISIS controls about 90% of the camp. About 18,000 people remain in the camp. There have been reports of beheadings and mass killings.
Thousands of Palestinians are trapped in the devastated Yarmouk refugee camp in Syria, which has mostly been seized by groups including ISIS, activists report.
The London-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says ISIS and the al Qaeda-affiliated Al-Nusra Front took control of 90% of the camp in southern Damascus.
Calling the lives of Yarmouk refugees “profoundly threatened” on Sunday, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency issued a statement urging humanitarian aid access. “Never has the hour been more desperate in the Palestine refugee camp of Yarmouk,” the statement said.
The UNRWA estimates 18,000 civilians remain trapped in the camp that has been engulfed in fighting between the government and rebel forces since December 2012.
Syria’s state-run SANA news agency reports up to 2,000 people have fled in the past two days as food, water and medical supplies remain scarce. CNN
Haya El Ali, 26, the young woman who secretly filmed life in Raqqa, Syria under ISIS has fled to France. “When she was recognised by the Islamic extremists, Haya received death threats and had to flee, by way of Turkey, to Europe. Today, she is a refugee in France.” France24
The U.S. airstrikes in Syria have been a farce and a failure. Since the airstrikes began ISIS has nearly doubled its territory in Syria.
ISIS continues to gain substantial ground in Syria, despite nearly 800 airstrikes in the American-led campaign to break its grip there.
At least one-third of the country’s territory is now under ISIS influence, with recent gains in rural areas that can serve as a conduit to major cities that the so-called Islamic State hopes to eventually claim as part of its caliphate. Meanwhile, the Islamic extremist group does not appear to have suffered any major ground losses since the strikes began. The result is a net ground gain for ISIS, according to information compiled by twogroups with on-the-ground sources.
In Syria, ISIS “has not any lost any key terrain,” Jennifer Cafarella, a fellow at the Washington, D.C.-based Institute for the Study of War who studies the Syrian conflict, explained to The Daily Beast.
Even U.S. military officials privately conceded to The Daily Beast that ISIS has gained ground in some areas, even as the Pentagon claims its seized territory elsewhere, largely around the northern city of Kobani. That’s been the focus of the U.S.-led campaign, and ISIS has not been able to take the town, despite its best efforts.
A combined ISIS and Al-Nusra Front will make things in Syria a whole lot worse. Al-Nusra Front is a branch of al-Qaeda operating in Syria and Lebanon.
Militant leaders from the Islamic State group and al-Qaida gathered at a farm house in northern Syria last week and agreed on a plan to stop fighting each other and work together against their opponents, a high-level Syrian opposition official and a rebel commander have told The Associated Press….
IS — the group that has seized nearly a third of Syria and Iraq with a campaign of brutality and beheadings this year — and al-Qaida’s affiliate in Syria, known as the Nusra Front, have fought each other bitterly for more than a year to dominate the rebellion against Syrian President Bashar Assad.
The Associated Press reported late last month on signs that the two groups appear to have curtailed their feud with informal local truces. Their new agreement, according to the sources in rebel groups opposed to both IS and Nusra Front, would involve a promise to stop fighting and team up in attacks in some areas of northern Syria.
Cooperation, however, would fall short of unifying the rival groups, and experts believe any pact between the two sides could easily unravel. U.S. intelligence officials have been watching the groups closely and say a full merger is not expected soon — if ever. A U.S. official with access to intelligence about Syria said the American intelligence community has not seen any indications of a shift in the two groups’ strategy, but added that he could not rule out tactical deals on the ground. The official insisted on anonymity because he said he was not authorized to speak publicly about the subject.
Islamist militants have been pushed out of Kobane and fighters of the Peoples Protection Units (YPG) are now in control of the town, a Kurdish official in Kobane told Rudaw.
“There is no ISIS in Kobane now,” said Omar Alush, co-chair of the TEV-DEM movement in Kobane.
Alush said that following the recent air strikes on positions of the Islamic State (IS) militants in Kobane, the YPG managed to drive the rest of the jihadis out of town and that they are now in control.
“YPG fighters are now searching the homes for bombs and explosives that the Islamist militants might have left behind,” said Alush. IS militants laid siege to the Kurdish town of Kobane on the Turkish-Syrian border last month, pounding the town with heavy artillery and tanks.
With support from US air strikes, the YPG held the town and eventually managed to turn the tide against the IS. “Kobane is quiet now and the flag of ISIS is gone,” Alush maintained. Alush said that the jihadis still hold Kani Arab and Gire Mishtanur, close to Kobane.
“Fighting is still going on between the ISIS and YPG on the eastern outskirts of the town,” he said.
Alush said that the air strikes were effective in pushing back the militants, however, he said, the coalition forces should cut off the ISIS supply route from other parts of Syria “because we have information that the group is preparing for another assault on Kobane.” Rudaw
A courageous Kurdish woman fighting ISIS for Kobane blew herself and 10 ISIS terrorist up to help slow down the advancing horde.
The London-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) said the woman, who was from a unit of the People’s Protection Units (YPG), broke into an ISIS bastion around the eastern outskirts of Kobane, or Ayn al-Arab in Arabic.
She clashed with enemy fighters, fired grenades and then detonated herself with a grenade. SOHR added that clashes continue between the two sides around dozens of points around Kobane, with the ISIS in possession of some 350 villages around the city. Rudaw
Deilar Kanj Khamis, known by the nom de guerre Arin Mirkan, blew herself up at an IS position east of the border town, killing ten jihadists.
It was the first known case of a female Kurdish fighter carrying out a suicide bomb against IS. According to tributes on Twitter, she was a mother with two children, though this was unconfirmed.
While there is little else known about the woman, she was a member of the Women’s Protection Unit, a branch of the Peoples Protection Units (YPG). The force has more than 10,000 female fighters who played a major role in the battles against the IS group.
Yesterday the force suggested all of their fighters would martyr themselves if it meant defeating IS and protecting the pivotal border town. DaillyMail
French television aired video footage secretly shot by a Syrian woman currently living the city of Raqqa, the unofficial capital of ISIS. The woman carried a camera under her niqab. The film shows women at an underground Internet cafe speaking in perfect French to relatives in France.
What would draw a woman from Europe to this? What would draw a woman from France to a group that beheaded the French tourist in Algeria? Nationality is irrelevant. Islam and wanting the triumph of Islam.
IDF soldiers saved a contingent of 130 Irish UN soldiers from being killed or taken hostage by Islamic militants in the Golan Heights ‘senior sources’ told the Irish Independent on Sunday.
Senor military sources said that Irish soldiers would have been killed or captured if it weren’t for the action of the IDF on August 30th. The IDF guided the Irish soldiers to safety along a route that avoided the Syrian militants. Also, there were “unconfirmed reports that the Israelis directed fire at the Islamists to stop them from attacking the Filipino and Irish soldiers.” About 45 Fijian soldiers are still missing, and are believed held captive by Islamists.
A historically unprecedented number of foreign fighters have gone to Syria. Some have joined extremist factions. EU counter-terrorism co-ordinator Gilles de Kerchove estimates that over 2,000 Europeans have gone to Syria to fight, mainly from Belgium, Denmark, Germany, the Netherlands, and the UK. Many are now returning home posing an increased threat to Western countries. Norwegian academic Thomas Hegghammer found on average one in nine foreign fighters returned home to take part in a domestic terror plot.
A dark side is evidence that some of the foreign fighters in Syria have been involved in brutal atrocities. A highly graphic video was released in 2013, a prisoner is shown being beheaded with a knife, some of the perpetrators speak Dutch (Flemish) and French.
In March, French counter-terrorism police arrested 23-year-old Ibrahim B., a returning fighter from Syria, who was preparing to strike in the southern French region of Côte d’Azur. Some 900 kilos of explosives were found in the suspect’s temporary apartment near Cannes.
The Long War Journal lists a sampling of the terrorist activity outside Syria from returning fighters, fighters from over 70 countries are now fighting in Syria.
Why are so many foreign fighters streaming to Syria?