Syria

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Journo Offers Stunning Account of Kidnapping, Torture

American Peter Theo Curtis, aka Theo Padnos, tells of 22 months with al-Nusra Front

(Newser) - The world was shocked and elated when American journalist Peter Theo Curtis was released this summer after 22 months of being held in captivity in Syria by the militant al-Nusra Front group. Now Curtis, who writes under the name Theo Padnos, has penned an extraordinary account for the New York ... More »

ISIS Used Chlorine Against Iraqi Cops: Report

Patients in Syria suffer after possible chemical weapon attack

(Newser) - On the heels of reports that ISIS militants are learning to fly fighter jets , Iraqi officials say the group has also used chemical weapons—specifically, chlorine gas. Eleven Iraqi police officers were hospitalized on Sept. 15 after being poisoned by the stuff, according to doctors, and the officers say ISIS... More »

Why the Fight for Kobani Matters

Battle over Syrian town emerges as test of US policy: 'New York Times'

(Newser) - It's a safe bet that most Americans had never heard of the town of Kobani , Syria, a few weeks ago. Now, however, a common school of thought seems to be, "As Kobani goes, so goes the war on ISIS." In an editorial today, the New York Times... More »

FBI: 3 Teen Girls From Denver Tried to Join ISIS

Girls ages 15 and 16 were caught in Germany, returned home

(Newser) - Three teenage girls from Denver flew overseas in a bid to join ISIS in Syria before being stopped, reports the Denver Post . The girls, ages 15 and 16, apparently were lured by a "slick" online campaign to join militants with the Islamic State, an FBI official tells ABC News... More »

ISIS Fighters May Be Learning How to Fly

Syrian group says Iraqi pilots are teaching them

(Newser) - A group that monitors the Syrian war has some seriously unwelcome news in the fight against ISIS: The militants are learning how to fly fighter jets, reports Reuters . According to the British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, former Iraqi officers who served under Saddam Hussein have been training ISIS pilots.... More »

Turkey Will Let US Use Its Bases to Fight ISIS

As fighting continues in Kobani

(Newser) - Turkey will let US and coalition forces use its bases, including a key installation within 100 miles of the Syrian border, for operations against Islamic State militants in Syria and Iraq, American defense officials said yesterday. But progress in negotiations with Turkey—including Ankara's agreement to train several thousand... More »

US Hostage's Mom Tries to Reach ISIS via Twitter

'How can we reach you?' mother of Abdul-Rahman Kassig asks militants

(Newser) - Abdul-Rahman Kassig's family has already released a letter from him in which he said he was "scared to die" and posted a series of YouTube videos begging for his freedom from his ISIS captors. Now mom Paula Kassig has taken to Twitter to directly address "Caliph Abu... More »

UN: ISIS Atrocities Loom in Besieged Border Town

World must act now to save Kobani, envoy warns

(Newser) - The world has seen the "massacres, humanitarian tragedies, rapes, horrific violence," and other atrocities that unfold when ISIS seizes a town—and it needs to act now to stop the same happening in the Syrian border city of Kobani , a UN official warns. The UN special envoy for... More »

Fears Mount That Key Border Town Will Fall to ISIS

Turkey's president says as much

(Newser) - The Syrian border city of Kobani continues to grab headlines today, with reports placing ISIS closer than ever to the heart of the city, which remains in Kurdish hands. The Wall Street Journal reports that ISIS yesterday managed to raise two of its black flags in the city's outskirts.... More »

Woman Quits Teaching for ISIS, Then Quits ISIS

Syrian says she patrolled streets to enforce Islamic law

(Newser) - A Syrian elementary school teacher says she joined ISIS to help topple President Bashar al-Assad, but ended up fleeing the group for her life. Covered in a niqab and calling herself Khadija, she tells CNN that she initially enjoyed demonstrations against al-Assad and came to hate the chaos and bloodshed... More »

Hitting ISIS From the Air Isn't Working, Say Kurds

While on the ground, data suggests ISIS is getting ammunition from US, its allies

(Newser) - The start of a new week brings not much in the way of encouraging ISIS news. The latest:
  • The news: Kurdish fighters battling ISIS in northern Syria say the airstrikes aimed at the militants there haven't done much to stop the group's advance on Kobani. Kurds put ISIS'
... More »

McCain Slaps Obama: We Predicted Rise of ISIS

'Of course' we are at war, says senator

(Newser) - In a 60 Minutes interview last night , President Obama asserted that the US had "underestimated" the looming threat posed by ISIS, but John McCain strongly disagrees. "We predicted what would happen if we didn't leave residual force [in Iraq]," McCain tells CNN . "His intelligence comments—... More »

ISIS Oil Sites Pounded for 2nd Day

FBI: Only 12 Americans fighting in Syria

(Newser) - The US-led anti-ISIS coalition has hit the militant group in the wallet for a second day, carrying out more airstrikes on the oil production facilities in eastern Syria believed to make millions of dollars a day for the group. Activists say that ISIS has started to cut back on the... More »

Female Pilot Led UAE Airstrikes Against ISIS

Maj. Mariam Al Mansouri, 35, was first woman to join Emirates' air force

(Newser) - If a country's going to send military pilots to fight ISIS, it's going to send its very best. Which is why the United Arab Emirates selected Maj. Mariam Al Mansouri, 35—the first female fighter pilot in the Emirates air force—to lead one of its airstrike missions... More »

US Airstrikes Hit ISIS in the Wallet: Oil Fields

Reports: Compounds, checkpoints hit; terror arrests made; terror leader killed

(Newser) - American-led airstrikes hit the Islamic State in the wallet overnight and early today, targeting Syrian oil installations held by the terror group and killing nearly 20 people as the militants released dozens of detainees in their de facto capital of Raqqa, fearing further raids, activists tell the AP . The latest... More »

Obama's Salute With Coffee Cup Causes Outrage

Obama is getting heat over what some are calling 'unpresidential' gesture

(Newser) - Many of us have probably disembarked from a long flight clutching a cup of joe—but we're not all the president of the United States saluting members of our armed forces. President Obama is on the receiving end of criticism and coffee-themed jokes for stepping off the Marine One... More »

Khorasan Threat Was Kept Secret for Months

Al-Qaeda cell was cause of recent air security warnings

(Newser) - Not many people had heard of the Khorasan terror group until it emerged that many of the US-led airstrikes in Syria targeted the group—but some lawmakers say they've known about the threat for months, BuzzFeed reports. Rep. Peter King says he is surprised the name of the "... More »

Obama Has a New Role: War President

He should embrace it, writes editor at Politico Magazine

(Newser) - Yes, President Obama came to national prominence on an anti-war platform, or, more specifically, as an opponent of what he saw as a "dumb" war in Iraq. But that was then. Now he "must go from being the president who was elected to end wars—his most treasured... More »

Khorasan Is the Terror Group to Worry About

Officials point to danger at home from al-Qaeda cell

(Newser) - More than a third of the 22 US airstrikes in Syria weren't aimed at ISIS. Instead, they targeted a lesser-known al-Qaeda cell known as the Khorasan Group—an organization that some US officials see as a "more direct threat" to the West than ISIS, the New York Times ... More »

Israel Downs Syrian Fighter Jet in Its Airspace

First such interception since 1980s: reports

(Newser) - Israel has shot down a Syrian fighter jet that entered Israeli airspace, Haaretz reports. The pilots appear to have parachuted to safety in the incident, which saw a Patriot missile hit the Sukhoi-24 jet over Golan Heights. It was the first time since the 1980s that Israel has shot down... More »

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