Islamic State (ISIS) shoots down Syrian warplane carrying out airstrikes

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The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) shot down a Syrian regime fighter jet conducting airstrikes on the group’s stronghold of Raqqa on Tuesday, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported. “It is the first aircraft shot down since the regime launched air strikes against the jihadists in July following their declaration of a caliphate in late June.” 

Al-Arabiya (h/t Susan K)  Observatory director Rami Abdel Rahman told AFP that the plane was carrying out strikes on the ISIS stronghold of Raqa when it was hit. It crashed into a house in the Euphrates Valley city, the sole provincial capital entirely out of Syrian government control, causing deaths and injuries on the ground, he added. A photograph posted on a jihadist Twitter account purported to show the burnt-out wreckage of the plane.

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“Allahu Akbar (God is greater), thanks to God we can confirm that a military aircraft has been shot down over Raqa,” another account said, congratulating the “lions of the Islamic State.”

The plane is far from the first Syrian government aircraft downed by opposition forces, but it comes after President Bashar al-Assad’s regime stepped up its air campaign against ISIS in eastern Syria. In recent weeks it has repeatedly targeted the group’s Euphrates valley strongholds in Raqa and Deir Ezzor provinces and jihadist-held areas of the northeastern province of Hasakeh.

An Islamic State militant (L) stands next to residents as they hold pieces of wreckage from a Syrian war plane after it crashed in Raqqa

An Islamic State militant (L) stands next to residents as they hold pieces of wreckage from a Syrian war plane after it crashed in Raqqa

U.S. President Barack Obama said last week he would not hesitate to hit ISIS in Syria. Senior U.S. officials have said that the Syrian military’s air defenses would face retaliation if Syria attempted to respond to U.S. airstrikes that are expected against ISIS targets in Syria. One official said if the Assad military were to demonstrate that it was a threat to the U.S. ability to operate in the area, it would put Syrian air defenses in the region at risk.

The United States has stressed it will not coordinate with the Assad government in any way in its fight against ISIS. Obama’s position has long been that he would like to see Assad leave power, particularly after using chemical weapons against his own people last year. But airstrikes against ISIS in Syria could have the indirect effect of benefiting Assad because the extremists have been fighting the Syrian government during what is now a three-year civil war.

Washington wants to train and equip (non-existent) Syrian rebels who are deemed to be moderate to hold territory cleared by U.S. airstrikes.

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EGYPT’S Foreign Minister takes John Kerry to school re: Islamic terrorism

Secretary of State John Kerry meets with Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shukri in Cairo on Saturday, September 13, 2014.

Secretary of State John Kerry meets with Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shukri in Cairo on Saturday, September 13, 2014.

Egypt tells John Kerry that ISIS brand of Islamofascist terrorism isn’t limited to Syria and Iraq, it’s all over the Middle East and should be dealt with everywhere.

CNS News  During Secretary of State John Kerry’s weekend visit to Cairo, his Egyptian counterpart pushed for the new international focus on countering terrorism to go beyond Syria and Iraq, arguing that the same ideology espoused by the jihadists there is driving other Islamist extremists, including those in Egypt’s neighboring territories.

During his current travels in the Middle East and Europe, Kerry is seeking support for a coalition to tackle the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS/ISIL), and he said Sunday he has received offers from some countries to take part in the military element of that campaign. But while the administration’s focus has been largely centered on ISIS, Cairo sees the problem as a far broader one.

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A spokesman for President Abdul Fattah el-Sisi said that in talks with Kerry the president had “stressed that any international coalition against terrorism must be a comprehensive alliance that is not limited to confront a certain organization or to curb a single terrorist hotbed but must expand to include all the terrorist hotbeds across the Middle East and Africa.”

During a joint press appearance with Kerry, Foreign Minister Sameh Shukri underlined the point, calling for a fight against Islamist terrorists “wherever they may be.” “I support the international efforts to fight terrorism and work on supporting these efforts, and support the necessary measures to put an end to this phenomenon, whether in Iraq, Libya, any part of the Arab world, or in Africa,” he said.

In reply to a question about possible links between ISIS and Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis, a terrorist group based in the Sinai peninsula, he said the two organizations were linked through a common ideologically and vision, even if they portray themselves differently. “We definitely monitor these relationships between the various organizations, and in the end, this – ideologically speaking, this organization is linked and these organizations share that common vision,” Shukri said, speaking through a translator.

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“And we don’t believe there’s a different – perhaps just in the tactics used by these organizations and the way they depict themselves to the international community,” he continued. “We believe that this extremist, exclusionary ideology is common among all terrorist organizations,” Shukri said, adding that Egypt monitors cooperation between such groups and recognizes that they pose threats across borders between national states.

“They want to eliminate these states so that this extremist ideology will prevail.” Shukri said Egypt believed defeating terrorism was “a collective responsibility.” “There should be agreement between members of the international community to eliminate these phenomena wherever they may be.”

The U.S. and Egypt have also differed over the Muslim Brotherhood, a veteran Islamist organization which the former views as a legitimate political force and the latter as a terrorist group.

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Sisi, in his then capacity as military chief, toppled the Islamist organization’s ruling administration in July 2013 and cracked down on its leaders, from former President Mohamed Morsi down.

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The Obama and Sisi administrations have not seen eye-to-eye over the turmoil in Libya, where Egyptian and Emirati airstrikes against Islamist militia last month drew a reprimand from Washington.

Egypt, the UAE and others like Saudi Arabia regard the chaos in Libya, where Islamist militias seized control of Tripoli airport on August 23 and are supporting an alternative government, as a major security challenge. 

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ALGERIA: Former al-Qaeda members form new splinter ISIS group

A new armed group calling itself the ‘Soldiers of the Caliphate in Algeria’ has split from al-Qaeda’s North African branch and sworn loyalty to the group calling itself the Islamic State (ISIS), fighting in Syria and Iraq.

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Al-Jazeera  In a communique released on Sunday, a regional commander of al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) said he broke away from the group, accusing it of “deviating from the true path”. Gouri Abdelmalek, nom de guerre Khaled Abu Suleimane, claimed leadership of the splinter group, and was joined by a AQIM commander of an eastern region in Algeria.

“You have in the Islamic Maghreb men if you order them they will obey you,” Suleimane said in reference to Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the self-professed “caliph” of the IS group. Algerian officials did not immediately comment on the statement.

The “Soldiers of the Caliphate in Algeria” is the latest group to break with AQIM and side with Baghdadi, after veteran Algerian jihadist, Mokhtar Belmokhtar’s group, “Those who sign in Blood” pledged allegiance to the IS group.

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But experts say the announcement will not have a major operational impact on the ground as AQIM has been focused on the Sahel region rather than OPEC member Algeria. “The new group will try hard to make some noise, but it will be very difficult to execute big terrorist actions as Algerian security forces have knocked out most of the armed groups in Algeria,” security analyst Anis Rahmani told the Reuters news agency.

AQIM is a mostly Algerian and Mauritanian group that has been present in northern Mali since 2003, and a source of thousands of young fighters travelling to Syria and Iraq. Tuaregs and Arabs joined AQIM in Mali, and youths from Senegal, Niger, and other countries have also reportedly joined the group’s fight.

Baghdadi, who has declared himself the “leader of Muslims everywhere”, fell out with al-Qaeda in 2013 over his decision to expand into Syria, where his followers carried out beheadings, crucifixions, and mass executions.

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SYRIA: Fiji says captors of UN peacekeepers, al-Nusra Front terrorists, are demanding compensation and removal from global terrorism list (WARNING: Graphic)

Al-Qaeda affiliated fighters from Jabhat al-Nusra who seized dozens of Fijian soldiers serving as U.N. peacekeepers on the Golan Heights last week are demanding their group be removed from a global terrorism list and that compensation be paid for members killed in fighting.

PHOTOS below are from Jabhat al-Nusra in Syria:

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MSN  (h/t Larry A) Brigadier-General Mosese Tikoitoga said negotiations had been stepped up between the Al Qaeda-linked Nusra Front and a new U.N. negotiation team now in place in Syria. “The rebels are not telling us where the troops are, but they continue to reassure us they are being well-looked after,” Tikoitoga told media in Suva. “They also told us they are ensuring that they are taken out of battle areas.”

Heavy fighting erupted on Monday between the Syrian army and Islamofascist rebels near where 45 Fijian peacekeepers were captured and scores of their fellow blue helmets from the Philippines escaped after resisting capture. The number of Fijians captured had previously been put at 44.

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Syria’s three-year civil war reached the frontier with Israeli-controlled territory last week when Islamist fighters overran a crossing point in the line that has separated Israelis from Syrians in the Golan Heights since a 1973 war. The fighters then turned on the U.N. blue helmets from a peacekeeping force that has patrolled the ceasefire line for 40 years. After the Fijians were captured on Thursday, more than 70 Filipinos spent two days besieged at two locations before reaching safety.

The al-Nusra Front, a Syrian affiliate of al Qaeda, says it is holding the peacekeepers because the U.N. force protects Israel.

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Tikoitoga said the group was demanding compensation for three fighters killed in the confrontation with the U.N. peacekeepers, as well as humanitarian assistance to the people of Ruta, a stronghold of the group on outskirts of Damascus, and the removal of the organization from the U.N. list of banned terrorist organizations.

“We’ve been assured by U.N. headquarters that the U.N. will bring all its resources to bear to ensure the safe return of our soldiers,” the Fijian army chief said.

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SYRIA: So-called (by Obama & McCain) “moderate” Free Syrian Army (FSA) rebels chop off fingers of alleged spy

The man, who appears to be a civilian, was accused of giving out information to the Syrian government. The incident took place in the city of al-Rastan in the Homs governorate, the third largest city in the Homs and under the control of the FSA.

These “moderate” rebels have been getting $$hundreds of millions in military aid from Barack Hussein Obama and other Western countries.

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Islamic State (ISIS) advances into Lebanon – captures nine soldiers, beheads one

ISIS allegedly threatened in a new video Friday to slaughter nine Lebanese soldiers it is holding within three days unless the government acted to release Islamist detainees held in Roumieh prison.  

Gateway Pundit  The group posted a  video showing nine other soldiers begging for their lives, urging their families to take to the streets in the next three days to demand the release of Islamist prisoners as a condition to escape al-Sayyed’s fate.  I

In the footage, posted on YouTube Friday night, one of the nine soldiers called on their families to block roads and exert pressure on the government to release the Islamist detainees from Roumieh within three days because they faced the threat of slaughter at the hands of IS militants. “I urge my people to take to the streets to pressure the Lebanese government or else we will be slaughtered,” Hussein Mahmoud Ammar, a soldier from the Akkar village of Fnaydeq, said in the video. “If they don’t take to the streets, we will be slaughtered within three days.”

The wife of Ali al-Sayyed held her daughter and mourned the death of her husband, a Lebanese soldier who was beheaded by ISIS militants in Fnideq, a town in northern Lebanon.

(Reuters)

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Islamic State terrorists beheaded a Lebanese soldier who was one of 19 captured by hardline Syrian Islamists when they seized a Lebanese border town for few days this month, a video posted on social media showed on Saturday.

The soldier, recognizable as Ali al-Sayyed, a Sunni Muslim from north Lebanon, was shown blindfolded with his hands tied behind his back, writhing and kicking the dusty ground while a militant announces he will be killed. Another militant then beheads him.

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SYRIA: Heads roll in the battle of the terrorists vs the terrorists (WARNING: Graphic Images)

Islamic State (ISIS) jihadists get their heads handed to them…literally…as a rival terror group called the Islamic Front beheads seven ISIS terrorists.

Syrian Fight  Seven IS fighters were beheaded by rival fighters in Aleppo countryside. The first picture with seven severed heads is from Aktharin, the second was taken somewhere in the northern part of the Aleppo governorate. The photos were taken in the last few days during the battles between the Islamic battalions and IS. Responsible for this crime is probably the Islamic Front.

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SYRIA: ISIS (Islamic State) massacre at Tabqa airbase in Raqqah (WARNING: Graphic Images)

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Fierce clashes are taking place around the Tabqa airbase in Raqqah countryside between the Syrian Army and the Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS). Syrian state TV confirmed that government forces had evacuated the airbase, saying they were regrouping and were conducting airstrikes.

Syrian Fight  During the clashes around 374 Islamic State fighters were killed according to the SOHR. IS fighters displayed the severed heads of Syrian army soldiers in the city square, a witness said, adding that Syrian warplanes were heard over Raqqa following the air base attack. Earlier on Sunday the Syrian air force had bombed areas around the base.

IS terrorists displayed severed heads of Syrian army soldiers in the city square:

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