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2014.10.13 02:50:55

ISIL group sent in reinforcements on Sunday for its nearly month-long siege of Kobane as the Syrian town's Kurdish defenders kept up their high-profile resistance.

The Syrian Observatory said they are sending in fighters from other areas it controls in Syria, including its Euphrates Valley stronghold of Raqqa, after its Friday capture of the Kurdish command headquarters in Kobane failed to deliver a decisive blow.

  Syria | Islamic State
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2014.10.13 02:23:42

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the death toll on Saturday has reached 138 people , including 44 ISIL fighters and Kurdish fighters.

  Syria | Islamic State
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2014.10.13 02:20:45

This is from Reuters news agency:

Three car bombs exploded at a government compound north of Iraq's Baquba city on Sunday, killing 25 people including military personnel and  civilians, hospital sources said.

Sixty people were wounded in the blasts 80 km (50 miles) north of Baquba, the sources added. In a separate incident, two improvised explosive devices detonated at a local market in the Dur  al-Dhubat district in southern Baquba, killing six civilians and wounding 10,  a police source said.

The Associated Press is also reporting the incident, saying at least 22 are dead.

More soon.

  Iraq | Islamic State
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2014.10.13 02:08:04

The UN special envoy to Syria has warned that up to 700 people, mainly elderly, are still trapped in the Syrian border town of Kobane.

Staffan de Mistura also urged Turkey to allow in volunteers to Syria to defend the town from ISIL.

  Syria | Islamic State
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2014.10.13 01:54:48

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reports 9 airstrikes by the US-led coalition in Kobane and outskirts of the bordering town.

  Syria | Islamic State | United States
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2014.10.12 03:25:39

The United Nations says the number of child marriages among Syrian refugees in Jordan has risen sharply. Girls as young as thirteen are being forced to have children with men more than double their age.

  Syria | Jordan
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2014.10.12 03:24:29

US-led air strikes have hit positions of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) group near the northern Syrian city of Kobane. The group has moved further into the Syrian border town.

The armed group has reportedly taken over the headquarters of Kurdish political parties.Kobane has been a major battleground between ISIL and Kurdish forces for the past three weeks.

  Syria | Islamic State | United States
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2014.10.12 03:05:24

The White House has emphasized the importance of quickly getting Turkish military help in the fight against the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant group active in in Iraq and Syria, an issue that came to the forefront this week in the Syrian border town of Kobani.

Lisa Monaco, a top national security aide to President Barack Obama, met with Turkish intelligence chief Hakan Fidan on Friday, part of a series of US-Turkish meetings on Turkey's support for training moderate Syrian fighters.

Monaco "expressed appreciation for Turkey's support to ongoing U.S. military operations in Iraq and Syria and underscored the importance of accelerating Turkish assistance as part of the comprehensive strategy to degrade and ultimately destroy ISIL," the White House said in a statement.


  Syria | Islamic State | United States | Turkey
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2014.10.11 02:46:11

The U.S-led coalition against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant has intensified air strikes near the Syrian town of Kobane.

Kurdish forces have been fighting street battles with the group after it entered the town earlier in the week.

  Syria | Islamic State | United States
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2014.10.11 02:11:15

US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said that the key military assistance the United States would like to get from Turkey would be access to the Turkish air base at Incirlik, and an agreement to help train and equip the moderate Syrian forces.

Hagel, who is visiting Colombia, said US officials are raising those issues with Turkish leaders in discussions this week.

While Ankara's persistent request for the U.S. to set up a safe zone along Turkey's border with Syria is not "actively being considered," he said, American leaders are open to a discussion about it. [AP]

  Syria | Islamic State | United States | Turkey
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2014.10.10 04:09:25

A priest kidnapped by Al-Qaeda-linked rebels in northwestern Syria was released Thursday, the Franciscan Order said, days after his abduction alongside 20 other Christians.

"Father Hanna Jallouf has been released this morning... he is under house arrest at the convent of Qunyeh," the order said in a statement, without providing further details.


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2014.10.10 04:08:26

The Observatory said the death toll in Syria for Wednesday has reached 228 including Kurdish fighters and ISIL fighters in battles in Kobane in addition to other cities such as Aleppo, Deraa, Idlib and Homs.

  Syria | Islamic State
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2014.10.10 04:07:32

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said Syrian government forces have bombed several towns outside of Damascus overnight and into Thursday.

The Observatory also said that several clashes between government forces and Al Nusra front took place during the same time with several deaths reported.

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2014.10.10 03:54:20

Turkey on Thursday said it cannot be expected to lead a ground operation against ISIL in Syria alone, amid growing pressure on Ankara from the West to intervene militarily.

"It's not realistic to expect that Turkey will lead a ground operation on its own," Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said at a news conference with visiting NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg.


  Syria | Islamic State | Turkey | NATO
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2014.10.10 03:33:12

Despite the US-led airstrikes on Syria , ISIL fighters managed to capture a police station east of the border town of Kobane on Thursday, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

  Syria | Islamic State | United States
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2014.10.10 03:06:02

Pro-Kurdish protesters angered by the Turkish government's lack of action against ISIL in Syria clashed for the third night running with police as the death toll from the violence rose to 22, officials said Thursday.


  Syria | Islamic State | Turkey
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2014.10.10 02:53:19

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, said clashes continued into Thursday morning as the forces of ISIL pushed forward.

"ISIL control more than a third of Kobani. All eastern areas, a small part of the northeast and an area in the southeast," the Observatory's head, Rami Abdulrahman, said by telephone.

An explosion was heard on Thursday on the western side of the mainly Kurdish town, with thick black smoke visible from the Turkish border a few kilometers away.


  Syria | Islamic State
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2014.10.10 02:29:57

The US-led coalition on Thursday carried out two fresh strikes on ISIL positions in the key Syrian town of Kobane, said an AFP reporter just across the border in Turkey.

The strikes targeted the city's southwest, which is under control of Kurdish forces who have been fighting off a three-week ISIL advance on the strategic town.


  Syria | Islamic State | United States
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2014.10.10 02:17:43

The US and UK have said they are willing to examine the possibility of creating a "buffer zone" between Syria and Turkey as ISIL continues its assault on the border town of Kobane.

But the White House and US defense department said that while a buffer zone was not one of the military options under consideration, they were open to discuss it with Turkey.

  Syria | Islamic State | United States | Turkey
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2014.10.10 02:02:10

Prof. Bessma Momani, a Middle East expert at the University of Waterloo in Canada, said that it is unlikely that Turkey would send ground troops, to prevent the fall of the Syrian town of Kobane into the hands of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant.

In an interview, she said that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is under intense pressure from Turkish majority, who are against more intervention in Syria.

"Ankara is stuck," she said referring to the Turkish government. "The domestic situation is really not in its favor."

  Syria | Islamic State | Turkey
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