Tag Archives: fighters

Afghan Taliban tells fighters to stay at posts after attack on ceasefire revellers

Afghan Taliban tells fighters to stay at posts after attack on ceasefire revellersThe Taliban on Sunday ordered its fighters in Afghanistan to avoid gatherings of security forces and civilians, a day after a suicide bomber killed 25 people including members of the militant group celebrating an unprecedented ceasefire. It was the first formal nationwide ceasefire since the 2001 US invasion and the display of jubilation and unity has fuelled hopes among war-weary Afghans that peace is possible. The attack on a crowd celebrating the truce in Rodat district also wounded 54 people and was blamed by officials on the Islamic State group.



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Islamic State fighters 'evacuate Damascus enclave' as Bashar Assad moves to reclaim western Syria

Islamic State fighters 'evacuate Damascus enclave' as Bashar Assad moves to reclaim western SyriaA war monitor said buses evacuated Islamic State fighters from an enclave south of Damascus on Sunday in a withdrawal deal, though state media denied the report and said the Syrian army was fighting to finish off the insurgents. The recovery of the enclave south of Damascus will mark another milestone in President Bashar al-Assad's war effort, crushing the last besieged rebel enclave in western Syria. Swathes of territory at the borders with Iraq, Turkey and Jordan, however, remain outside state control. Syrian government forces and their allies have been battling to recover the enclave south of Damascus since defeating rebels in eastern Ghouta, also near the capital, in April. The area is centred around the al-Hajar al-Aswad district and the adjoining Palestinian refugee camp of Yarmouk. In a live broadcast, a reporter with Syrian state TV said the Syrian army operations in the Hajar al-Aswad area were nearing their end and insurgent lines were collapsing as columns of smoke rose from the area behind him. Smoke billowing from the Palestinian camp of Yarmouk during regime strikes targeting the Islamic State group in the camp Credit: Stringer/AFP The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights earlier said buses had entered the enclave after midnight to take out fighters and their families. They had left towards the Syrian Badia, a sparsely populated expanse of territory east of the capital that extends to the border with Jordan and Iraq, it said. Islamic State militants had torched their offices in the Yarmouk enclave, the Observatory said. Negotiated withdrawals have been a common feature of the Syrian war in recent years as the government, aided by the Russian military and Iran-backed forces, has steadily clawed back territory. The rebels have mostly been given safe passage to northwestern Syria. In the last two months alone, the United Nations says 110,000 people have been evacuated to northwestern Syria and rebel-held areas north of Aleppo. Syrian president Bashar Assad meets Vladimir Putin for talks in Sochi on May 17 Credit: MIKHAIL KLIMENTYEV/AFP The opposition has called it a policy of forced displacement amounting to demographic change to drive out Assad's opponents. The Syrian government has said nobody is forced to leave and those who stay must accept state rule. While Assad has vowed to win back "every inch" of Syria, the map of the conflict suggests a more complicated time ahead from now on. The U.S. military is in much of the east and northeast, which is controlled by Kurdish groups that want autonomy from Damascus. It has used force to defend the territory from pro-Assad forces. Turkey has sent forces into the northwest to counter those same Kurdish groups, carving out a buffer zone where anti-Assad rebels have regrouped. In the southwest, where rebels hold territory at the Israeli and Jordanian border, Assad faces the risk of conflict with Israel, which wants his Iranian-backed allies kept well away from the frontier and has mounted air strikes in Syria.



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Israeli envoy says Iran has recruited 80,000 Shiite fighters in Syria

Israeli envoy says Iran has recruited 80,000 Shiite fighters in Syria(Reuters) – Israel’s envoy to the United Nations said on Thursday that Iran had recruited at least 80,000 Shiite fighters which it was training at a base just over five miles from Damascus. Holding up a map, Israeli Ambassador to the United Nations Danny Danon told the Security Council that Iran had set up a training base just over five miles from Damascus. “What you can see here is Iran’s central induction and recruitment center in Syria.



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Israeli envoy says Iran has recruited 80,000 Shiite fighters in Syria

Israeli envoy says Iran has recruited 80,000 Shiite fighters in Syria(Reuters) – Israel’s envoy to the United Nations said on Thursday that Iran had recruited at least 80,000 Shiite fighters which it was training at a base just over five miles from Damascus. Holding up a map, Israeli Ambassador to the United Nations Danny Danon told the Security Council that Iran had set up a training base just over five miles from Damascus. “What you can see here is Iran’s central induction and recruitment center in Syria.



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Air Showdown: America's F-22 & F-35 Stealth Fighters vs. Russia's S-400 (Who Wins?)

Air Showdown: America's F-22 & F-35 Stealth Fighters vs. Russia's S-400 (Who Wins?)For the Russians, solving the problem of targeting a low observable aircraft is something that they continue to work on—but it is doubtful the Moscow has resolved the issue. Russia’s strong investment in layers of air defenses tells us that the Kremlin believes the primary threat to its ground forces comes from U.S. airpower. As such, defeating stealth technology is one of Moscow’s top priorities, Kofman notes, and the Kremlin has dedicated a lot of resources to that end.



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Fighters start to quit last rebel pocket of Syria's Ghouta

Fighters start to quit last rebel pocket of Syria's GhoutaSyria’s regime drew closer to taking full control of Eastern Ghouta on Monday as state media reported that fighters began evacuating the last rebel-held pocket of the former opposition stronghold near Damascus. A Russian-brokered deal had been reported on Sunday for fighters with Jaish al-Islam, the largest rebel group still in Ghouta, to leave the enclave’s main town of Douma. The retaking of Eastern Ghouta would mark a major milestone in President Bashar al-Assad’s efforts to regain control of territory seized by rebel factions during Syria’s seven-year civil war.



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IS kills 19 regime fighters in east Syria: monitor

IS kills 19 regime fighters in east Syria: monitorJihadists from the Islamic State group have killed at least 19 pro-government fighters in a spate of attacks in eastern Syria, a monitoring group said Sunday. The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the attacks over the past 24 hours struck in and around the town of Albu Kamal, near the border with Iraq. IS has largely been defeated since storming across the region in 2014, but still clings to pockets of territory in eastern Syria and maintains the ability to launch deadly attacks.



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'700,000 trapped in Syrian city of Afrin' after Turkey and allied fighters surround area

'700,000 trapped in Syrian city of Afrin' after Turkey and allied fighters surround areaTurkish forces and allied rebels surrounded the Syrian city of Afrin on Tuesday, leaving hundreds of thousands of its mostly Kurdish residents trapped. Hundreds of civilians managed to flee advancing troops on Monday, but an estimated 700,000 are now encircled in Afrin and nearby villages and towns. The only road out was in range of Turkish artillery fire and was therefore impassable, the UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said. Some 230 civilians have been killed so far in Turkey's Operation Olive Branch, however Kurdish fighters warned the new siege could trigger a humanitarian crisis. There was no water after Turkish forces seized control of the local dam, and residents say they have relied on water wells for their consumption. Syrian civilians ride their cars through Ain Dara in Syria's northern Afrin region as they flee Afrin Credit: AFP “Where is the international community? Why don’t they cry tears for all Syrian civilians, not only some?” Ahmed Murad, a resident of Afrin told the Telegraph. “They are too scared to criticise their Turkish ally.” While attention in recent weeks has focused on a ferocious regime assault on rebel-held Eastern Ghouta, in Syria's north Turkish forces and Syrian opposition fighters have been advancing in their offensive against the Kurdish enclave. Turkey launched its operation on January 20, saying it intended to clear the border of YPG fighters, whom they consider terrorists. However, its mission has expanded to include territory deep into Syria. Senior officials have said that Turkey was trying, through war, to take lands it occupied during the Ottoman Empire. Redur Xelil, head of foreign relations for the Syrian Democratic Forces, a US-backed alliance of fighters that includes the YPG, accused the Turkish forces of carrying out "demographic change" in Kurdish territory captured in Afrin. Civilians fleeing Afrin after Turkey said its army and allied rebels surrounded the Kurdish city in northern Syria, walk towards a Kurdish and Syrian pro-regime forces check point  Credit: AFP "The Turkish government is settling Turkmen and Arab families in the villages of Afrin that it occupied after forcing out its people, and is distributing the belongings of the people of Afrin to the new settlers," he said. The United Nations said that it received "disturbing reports" of civilian deaths in the northwestern Syrian enclave and that it believes "tens of thousands" have been displaced. Turkey denied the claims. The Turkish offensive opened a new front in a multi-sided civil war now entering its eighth year, which has drawn in neighbours and global powers who have armed and assisted fighters on the ground. Turkey considers the YPG a serious threat to its security, while the US has relied on the group in the fight against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (Isil). Their different positions have been the source of increasing friction between the Nato allies. Ankara is riled by US support and arming of the Kurds, and accuses Washington of not fulfilling a promise to move the Syrian Kurdish fighters in Manbij east of the Euphrates River. It threatened on Tuesday to expand its current offensive in northern Syria to drive the Syrian Kurds out of Manbij, where the US has troops. Mevlut Cavusoglu, Turkey’s foreign minister, said it had been agreed that the YPG would leave Manbij and Turkey and the US would jointly secure the area. The US did not immediately confirm and the YPG said it had not been informed of any such deal.



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China's Air Force May Soon Get More Russian Su-35 Fighters

China's Air Force May Soon Get More Russian Su-35 FightersMoscow and Beijing may have struck a deal. Multiple sources within Russia and the People’s Liberation Army Air Force suggest that Beijing and Moscow may have struck a preliminary deal for procurement by the PLAAF of more of Russian-made Sukhoi Su-35 fighters. Hong Kong-based military monthly Kanwa Defense Review reported in February that the second batch of the highly maneuverable aircraft with thrust-vectoring engines had already descended on PLA airbases in southern China.



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The Latest: Al-Qaida fighters in Syria want to go to Idlib

The Latest: Al-Qaida fighters in Syria want to go to IdlibBEIRUT (AP) — The Latest on the conflict in Syria (all times local):



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