Tuesday, September 23, 2014
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2014.09.24 02:12:56

Ukrainian forces and pro-Russian rebels were battling around the airport near the rebel stronghold of Donetsk on Tuesday, sending flames and clouds of black smoke into the sky, the AFP news agency journalists said.

The fighting erupted despite a new truce agreement reached on Saturday which calls for forces on both sides to cease fire and pull back from the frontline to create a buffer zone.

The airport, which was severely damaged in a fierce battle in May, was hit by heavy artillery and the rattle of automatic weapons fire could also be heard, the journalists said. [AFP]

  Ukraine | Russia
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2014.09.24 02:09:53

US President Barack Obama wil hold talks with Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abbadi while attending the United Nations General Assembly this week, the White House has said.

It will be Obama's first face-to-face meeting with al-Abbadi since the Iraqi took over as prime minister this past summer and began forming a more inclusive government that Washington hopes will counter the threat of the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant.


  Iraq | Islamic State | United States | Barack Obama
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2014.09.24 01:51:01

Tens of Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant fighters have been killed or wounded in the coalition airstrikes on Syrian soil, a monitoring groups tells Reuters news agency.

  Syria | Islamic State | United States
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2014.09.24 01:50:03

AFP is reporting that Damascus had been informed by Washington about the airstrikes which began early on Tuesday against Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) on Syrian soil.

"The Americans had informed the Syrian representative at the United Nations that strikes would be carried out against the terrorist IS organization in Raqqa" in the north of the country, said the ministry, according to state television.

  Syria | Islamic State | United States
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2014.09.24 01:48:59

The Wall Street Journal and ABC reported that the F22 fighter jet, the most sophisticated jet in the US arsenal, flew its first ever combat mission today.

  Syria | Islamic State | United States
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2014.09.24 01:41:58

Senior US military official says that the five Arab coalition partners in the airstrikes against ISIL in Syria are Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Bahrain, UAE, and Qatar.

  Syria | Islamic State | United States | Saudi Arabia | Jordan | Bahrain | UAE | Qatar.
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2014.09.24 01:31:58

A US official has told the Reuters news agency that ongoing strikes by the US and partner nations in Syria could include around 20 targets.

The official said some of the strikes employed Tomahawk missiles launched from at least one US ship.

The Pentagon earlier said some of the strikes were being carried out from the air, using a mix of fighter jets, bombers and Tomahawks.


  Syria | Islamic State | United States
Comments 0 Hits: 25  

2014.09.24 01:21:03

Arab partners are helping in ongoing air strikes against Islamic State targets in Syria, a US official told the Reuters news agency, speaking on condition of anonymity.

The official declined to say which nations were involved or specify their roles.

The Pentagon earlier on Monday confirmed that the United States and unspecified partner nations were carrying out the first air strikes against Islamic State targets in Syria, opening up a new, more complicated front against the militants.


  Syria | Islamic State | United States
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2014.09.24 01:19:52

The United States has launched airstrikes in Syria against ISIL positions.

Rear Admiral, John Kirby, said on Tuesday morning that the US military and partner nations are undertaking military action against ISIL in Syria "using a mix of fighter, bomber and Tomahawk Land Attack Missiles."

The Pentagon says operations are ongoing and will not provide further details on operations until later.

Kirby said "the decision to conduct these strikes was made earlier today by the US Central Command commander under authorization granted him by the commander in chief.  We will provide more details later as operationally appropriate.

  Syria | Islamic State | United States
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2014.09.23 05:24:14

Tensions were high near the Syria-Turkey border on Monday, as a flag of the Islamic State group was hoisted in the Syrian village of Koski, a mile from the Turkish border.

Although the Turkish authorities have admitted Syrian Kurdish refugees across the border, they have not allowed many of their cars to cross, meaning thousands of vehicles have been abandoned on the Syrian side of the border.


  Syria | Turkey
Comments 0 Hits: 91  

2014.09.23 05:23:15

The head of Syria's Western-backed opposition group is calling for immediate U.S. airstrikes targeting the Islamic State group in Syria.

Speaking at a press conference at the United Nations, Hadi Bahra says every day that passes without airstrikes in Syria allows the group the opportunity to grow.


  Syria | Islamic State | United States
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2014.09.23 05:21:38

This video published by ISIL purports to show the group shelling Kurdish villages in northern Aleppo.

  Syria | Islamic State
Comments 0 Hits: 272  

2014.09.23 05:19:03

At least 30 ISIL fighters have been killed in a US airstrike targeting ISIL's headquarters in Duloaiya, near the old airport in Salah al-Din province.

  Iraq | Islamic State | United States
Comments 0 Hits: 237  

2014.09.23 05:18:10

Syrian Kurdish fighters have halted an advance by ISIL fighters to the east of a predominantly Kurdish town near the border with Turkey, a spokesman for the main armed Kurdish group said.

"Fierce clashes are still under way but the ISIL advance to the east of Kobani has been halted since last night," Redur Xelil, spokesman for the YPG told Reuters via Skype.

He said the eastern front was the scene of the fiercest fighting in the offensive launched by ISIL last Tuesday on Kobane, also known in Arabic as Ain al-Arab.

More than 130,000 Syrian Kurds, driven by fear of ISIL, have fled its advance, many crossing the border into Turkey.

  Syria | Islamic State | Turkey
Comments 0 Hits: 96  

2014.09.23 05:14:32

Germany's Foreign Ministry has said that it is organizing an international conference on the refugee crisis resulting from the conflicts in Syria and Iraq.

Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Sawsan Chebli said Monday that Germany was planning the conference for Oct. 28, "since we can't assume that the situation in Syria will get better in the coming months."

It was not immediately clear where the conference would be held, the Associated Press news agency reported.

  Syria | Iraq | Germany
Comments 0 Hits: 225  

2014.09.23 05:12:47

Six Syrian war planes have launched air raids on Syrian fighter hideouts in the mountainous area of Arsal in Lebanon. According to a Syrian activists, several people were killed and wounded.

  Syria | Lebanon
Comments 0 Hits: 67  

2014.09.23 05:01:16

The rise of the brutal Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) can partly be blamed on President Barack Obama's failure to arm moderate Syrian rebels far earlier, said former US defense secretary Leon Panetta.

Panetta told CBS's "60 Minutes" news program in an interview aired on Sunday that he and then secretary of state Hillary Clinton had urged Obama in 2012 to arm moderate Syrian rebels against President Bashar al-Assad.

I think the president's concern, and I understand it, was that he had a fear that if we started providing weapons, we wouldn't know where those weapons would wind up.


  Iraq | Islamic State | United States | Syria
Comments 0 Hits: 221  

2014.09.23 04:59:23

At least 42 civilians including women and children have been killed in Syrian government air strikes on rebel-held territory in the country's northwest, a monitoring group said on Monday.

The attacks hit territory in and around the towns of Saraqeb and Ehsim in Idlib province on Sunday, the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

One struck an area outside Saraqeb where people who had fled earlier assaults on the town itself were taking shelter, the Observatory said.

It was not immediately clear what the attacks were targeting but an activist in the area said there were no rebel fighters near the positions they struck.

The Observatory, which monitors violence through a network of sources in Syria, said at least 16 children and 11 women were among the dead. At least 17 people from one family were also killed, it added.

One activist in Saraqeb said people had been fleeing to nearby farmland to escape the bombardment, but on Sunday warplanes also struck the farms which had been "packed with families".

"This is what led to the high number of deaths," the activist said.

Comments 0 Hits: 56  

2014.09.23 04:47:25

US Secretary of State John Kerry has raised the threat of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) directly with his Iranian counterpart in rare high-level talks in New York, a US official said.

Kerry met Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif for more than an hour at a hotel, during which they discussed progress in nuclear negotiations and "also discussed the threat posed by ISIL," a senior State Department official said.

Zarif and Kerry met one-on-one first, before being joined by US Deputy Secretary Bill Burns and Under Secretary Wendy Sherman on the US side and Zarif's deputies Abbas Araqchi and Majid Takht-Ravanchi on the Iranian side, the State Department official said.


  Iraq | Islamic State | United States | Syria | Iran
Comments 0 Hits: 189  

2014.09.23 04:46:11

Eastern Ukraine is in a serious economic recession due to the protracted conflicts between government troops and separatists in the region.

Many shops and banks in Donetsk have closed, municipal employees haven't been paid in months, and hundreds of thousands have fled the region to safer places.


  Ukraine | Russia
Comments 0 Hits: 64  

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