BEIRUT (Reuters) – At least 21 people were killed and around 100 wounded overnight when Syrian army planes bombed a town in northern Syria controlled by Islamic State militants, a group monitoring the war said on Sunday.
The attack came hours before a United Nations mediator met with senior Syrian officials in Damascus to discuss ways to ease the conflict, which has entered its fourth year and killed more than 191,000 people.
RASHAYA Lebanon (Reuters) – On mountains close to the Syrian border, members of Lebanon’s minority Druze sect say they are ready to defend their towns and villages with arms if the civil war next raging door gets much nearer.
“Here in the east, the danger has become very close to us, it is right in our faces and in our lives,” said Ali Fayik, a regional official speaking in the predominantly Druze town of Rashaya, set in steep mountains with a panorama over the region.
ISTANBUL/BEIRUT (Reuters) – A senior Syrian Kurdish official on Friday denied a report from Turkey’s president that Syrian Kurds had agreed to let 1,300 Free Syrian Army fighters enter the border town of Kobani to help defend it against besieging Islamic State insurgents.
President Tayyip Erdogan has long championed the relatively secular Free Syrian Army in the complicated, faction-ridden insurgency against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and has repeatedly advocated FSA intervention in Kobani.
BEIRUT (Reuters) – Iraqi pilots who have joined Islamic State in Syria are training members of the group to fly in three captured fighter jets, a group monitoring the war said on Friday, saying it was the first time the militant group had taken to the air.
The group, which has seized swathes of land in Syria and Iraq, has been flying the planes over the captured al-Jarrah military airport east of Aleppo, said Rami Abdulrahman, who runs the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.
BEIRUT (Reuters) – Iraqi pilots who have joined Islamic State in Syria are training members of the group to fly in three captured fighter jets, a group monitoring the war said on Friday, saying it was the first time that the militant group had taken to the air.
The group, which has seized land in Syria and Iraq, has been flying the planes over the captured al-Jarrah military airport east of Aleppo, said Rami Abdulrahman, who runs the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.
MURSITPINAR Turkey / BEIRUT (Reuters) – Kurdish forces battled overnight with Islamists trying to seize a hill overlooking a Syrian border town with Turkey as U.S.-led coalition warplanes carried out raids on the militants, a Kurdish official and a monitoring group said on Sunday.
A translator with the Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD) inside Kobani said Islamic State forces were hitting it with tank and mortar fire as they tried to seize Mistanour hill, a landmark whose capture would give them easy access to the town.
MURSITPINAR/BEIRUT (Reuters) – Islamic State forces shelled the Syrian border town of Kobani on Saturday and its Kurdish defenders said they were expecting a new assault to try to capture it.
U.S.-led coalition warplanes had struck at Islamic State targets overnight to halt the insurgents’ advance and Saturday’s barrages were less intense than the previous day.
MURSITPINAR/BEIRUT (Reuters) – U.S.-led coalition war planes attacked Islamic State targets around the Syrian border town of Kobani overnight as the insurgents pressed their assault against its Kurdish defenders, a monitoring group and witnesses said.
Previous coalition air strikes have failed to stop the insurgent offensive on the predominantly-Kurdish Kobani and the outgunned Kurdish fighters have put up a desperate fight as shells rained down on the town over the past week.
WASHINGTON/BEIRUT (Reuters) – Islamic State militants fighting in Iraq and Syria posted a video on Friday that appeared to show the beheading of British aid worker Alan Henning, triggering condemnation by the British and U.S. governments.
The footage on YouTube, highlighted on pro-Islamic State Twitter feeds, showed a bearded man in an orange jumpsuit kneeling next to a black-clad man in arid scrubland, similar to past Islamic State beheading videos of two American journalists and a British aid worker.
WASHINGTON/BEIRUT (Reuters) – Islamic State militants fighting in Iraq and Syria released a video on Friday that purported to show the beheading of a man it identified as British citizen Alan Henning.
The footage on YouTube, which was linked to on pro-Islamic State Twitter feeds, showed a man in an orange jumpsuit kneeling in a landscape who was identified as Henning.