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Syrian Rebels Mourn Loss of Leader, Name Replacement
Today's Headlines
Headline Comments [Views]
Page 1: WoT Operations
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5 11:33 g(r)omgoru [455] 
7 12:16 Pappy [369] 
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Page 2: WoT Background
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Page 3: Non-WoT
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Page 4: Opinion
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7 23:58 Zenobia Floger6220 [415]
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Page 6: Politix
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4 19:20 CrazyFool [479]
2 22:48 JosephMendiola [431]
Caucasus/Russia/Central Asia
Russia says Caucasus terrorist trained in Syria
[RFE/RL] One of three suspected militants killed in a recent North Caucasus clash in the was trained by "terrorists" in Syria, Russian officials said.

The militants were killed on December 22 in Kabardino-Balkaria, near Georgia, the national antiterrorist committee said. Troops had tried to stop a car for a routine check when the occupants opened fire, sparking a gun battle.

One of those killed was Nazir Tokhov, whom the committee said went to Syria for "terrorist training" before returning to Kabardino-Balkaria to form an armed group of former detainees and "perpetrate terrorist attacks in the North Caucasus."
Posted by: ryuge || 12/27/2015 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [231 views] Top|| File under: Islamic State

Prosecutor: Arrest of 11 Islamists thwarted Sarajevo attack
[RFE/RL] A Bosnian anti-terror prosecutor said the arrests of 11 suspected Islamist extremists last week have prevented an attack that could have killed around 100 people in Sarajevo.

Bosnian state television quoted prosecutor Dubravko Campara as saying that the group was plotting "a terrorist act during end-of-year celebrations." Campara added "they were threatening to carry out an explosives attack in which 100 people would be killed."

The suspects were arrested on December 22 in raids carried out in several parts of Sarajevo. After the arrests, prosecutors released a photograph taken at the site showing a printout of the Daesh flag on the wall of a rented house in a suburb of the Bosnian capital where the suspects purportedly gathered for worship.

Last year Bosnia adopted a new law providing for jail sentences of up to 20 years for Islamist extremists and their associates.
Posted by: ryuge || 12/27/2015 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [193 views] Top|| File under: Islamic State

18 cases being sent to military courts for trial
[DAWN] The Sindh government is set to send 18 cases, including the Safoora Goth bus carnage and Sabeen Mahmud murder cases, to military courts for trial, it emerged on Saturday.

The remaining cases are against five suspects of the bus carnage, killing of coppers, attempted murder and carrying of explosive substances and unlicensed weapons.

On an application of the provincial authorities, the Sindh High Court through a letter informed the Sindh government that the chief justice had acceded to its request to transfer the cases and custody of the accused persons to military courts.

The cases have been pending trial before two antiterrorism courts of Bloody Karachi
...formerly the capital of Pakistain, now merely its most important port and financial center. It is among the largest cities in the world, with a population of 18 million, most of whom hate each other and many of whom are armed and dangerous...
and the SHC also directed the trial court judges to hand over the original files of the cases to the authorities concerned for trial in military courts.

The provincial authorities had sent the cases to the federal government for scrutiny and approval for trial in military courts and on Dec 9 the latter approved 18 cases.

Parliament passed in January the 21st constitutional amendment to establish the military courts after the massacre in the Army Public School, Beautiful Downtown Peshawar
...capital of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (formerly known as the North-West Frontier Province), administrative and economic hub for the Federally Administered Tribal Areas of Pakistan. Peshawar is situated near the eastern end of the Khyber Pass, convenient to the Pak-Afghan border. Peshawar has evolved into one of Pakistan's most ethnically and linguistically diverse cities, which means lots of gunfire.
, in December last year. Around 15 cases from Sindh have already been sent to military courts.

...back at the alley, Slats grabbed for his rosco...
the provincial home department also sought record and proceedings/original files and case properties from the prosecutors of ATC- VI & VII, where the cases are pending for further action.

Around 45 Shia Ismaili community members, including 18 women, were killed and eight others maimed in an armed attack on their bus near Safoora Goth on May 13.

Tahir Hussain Minhas, alias Sain, a construction entrepreneur, and the alleged criminal mastermind of the bus attack, Saad Aziz, alias Tin Tin, a business graduate alleged to have filmed the brutal attack, and Asad-ur-Rehman, alias Malik, who allegedly backed up the attackers, have been charge-sheeted for their direct involvement in the bus carnage case.

Hafiz Nasir, alias Yasir, and Mohammad Azhar Ishrat, alias Majid, were named for allegedly providing accommodation, funds and reconnaissance to the main suspects. Fishermen Cooperative Society vice chairman Sultan Qamar Siddiqui, his brother Hussain Umar Siddiqui and Sajid Naeem were also nominated for allegedly providing weapons to the assailants.

The police also named around 10 absconders in the case, including arms dealer Zahid Abdul Qadir, alias Zahid Motiwala, and placed over 100 prosecution witnesses, including around 10 eyewitnesses, in the final investigation report and contended that two of the detained suspects disclosed their affiliation with the Islamic State
...formerly ISIS or ISIL, depending on your preference. Before that al-Qaeda in Iraq, as shaped by Abu Musab Zarqawi. They're very devout, committing every atrocity they can find in the Koran and inventing a few more. They fling Allah around with every other sentence, but to hear the pols talk they're not really Moslems....
myrmidon group.

The report further said that as per the investigation, the JIT report and other documentary record, all the suspects remained associated with Al-Qaeda and following its split they became part of IS.

Saad Aziz with his absconding accomplices has also been booked for allegedly killing Sabeen Mahmud, social media campaigner and human rights
When they're defined by the state or an NGO they don't mean much...
activist, when she with her mother was returning home after holding a seminar.

The other cases being sent to military courts are against Tahir, Saad, Asad, Nasir and Azhar related to the killing of coppers, an attempted murder, and keeping illicit weapons and kaboom.
Posted by: Fred || 12/27/2015 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [218 views] Top|| File under: Govt of Pakistan

Two militants killed, five injured in Kurram checkpost attack
[DAWN] HAWAR: At least two suspected gunnies were killed and five others injured as security forces repulsed a myrmidon attack carried out in Kurram tribal region from across the border in Afghanistan on Saturday, security sources said.

Security sources said Afghanistan-based gunnies attacked on a Pak security checkpost in Kurram Agency
...home of an intricately interconnected web of poverty, ignorance, and religious fanaticism, where the laws of cause and effect are assumed to be suspended, conveniently located adjacent to Tora Bora...

The gunnies who were armed with sophisticated weapons opened fire on the checkpost, they said. The security forces responded to the attack with retaliatory firing killing at least two attackers and injuring five.

Kurram is one of the most sensitive tribal areas as it borders three Afghan provinces and at one point was one of the key routes for myrmidon movement across the border.
Posted by: Fred || 12/27/2015 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [202 views] Top|| File under: TTP

Peshmerga fight off ISIS on their farthest western front
[Rudaw] Peshmerga forces repulsed an ISIS attack on their farthest defensive line on the western Shingal front on Saturday, a Kurdish military official told Rudaw.

"Militants in a vehicle attempted to break through Peshmerga defenses, on the farthest Peshmerga-ISIS point on the western Shingal front, but they failed," said Khalid Hamza, a Peshmerga commander on the front.

"Peshmerga forces are on alert to fight off any assault by the ISIS Lion of Islams," he said.

...back at the alley, Slats grabbed for his rosco...
warplanes from the US-led coalition carried out 12 air raids against ISIS positions in Iraq on Saturday, destroying bunkers, shelters and bases.

The raids struck near Shingal, djinn-infested Mosul
... the home of a particularly ferocious and hairy djinn...
, Gayara, Ramadi and Fallujah,
... the City of Mosques, which might have somthing to do with why it's not called Center of Prosperity or a really nice place to raise your kids...
according to a statement by the US Central Command.

It also reported that five barrel bombs were dropped in Syria, targeting ISIS posts and positions near the group's self-proclaimed capital, Raqqa.

The ISIS assaults against the Peshmerga coincide with a Kurdish-American commando operation Friday night against a base belonging to the group near Hawija, killing a number of bully boyz and capturing others, Kirkuk police said.
Posted by: trailing wife || 12/27/2015 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [209 views] Top|| File under: Islamic State

Kurdish-American commandos raid ISIS base near Hawija
[Rudaw] Kurdish and American commandos raided an Islamic State
...formerly ISIS or ISIL, depending on your preference. Before that al-Qaeda in Iraq, as shaped by Abu Musab Zarqawi. They're very devout, committing every atrocity they can find in the Koran and inventing a few more. They fling Allah around with every other sentence, but to hear the pols talk they're not really Moslems....
(ISIS) base near Hawija Friday night, killing a number of turbans and capturing others, Kirkuk police said.

Brigadier Sarhad Qadir of the Kirkuk police told Rudaw that at 11:00 pm Friday night Kurdish commandos backed by American special forces stormed an ISIS court in the town of Riyadh east of Hawija where they killed a number of turbans in the ensuing firefight.

Brig. Qadir said some turbans were captured in the raid and Hussein Umair Assafi, a commander of the radical group was killed. He added that more information on the raid is expected to be released by the special operations team.

It is believed the raid was to free Kurdish Peshmerga soldiers from ISIS captivity. Brig. Qadir did not say if any Peshmerga was rescued.

Helicopter gunships participated in the raid and flew the commandos to the ISIS base.

This is the second special commando operation against ISIS in two months. In a similar operation in October American and Kurdish special forces stormed an ISIS prison in Hawija and freed 70 hostages. One American soldier was killed by ISIS fire during the raid.
Al Ahram adds:
Iraqi Kurdish forces carried out a commando operation near Hawijah in which several senior members of the Islamic State group were captured or killed, local and security sources said Saturday.

Ibrahim al-Juburi, an official in the Hawijah mayor's office before the area was taken over by IS last year said Assafi was a member of the Islamic Army from 2003 to 2010 and then of the Ansar al-Sunna Death Eater group.

He pledged allegiance when IS took over in June 2014 and was made a jihadist chief in Riyadh, Juburi said.
Posted by: trailing wife || 12/27/2015 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [369 views] Top|| File under: Islamic State

#1  killing a number of turbans and capturing others

Bummer. Gotta work on that ratio.
Posted by: gorb || 12/27/2015 1:35 Comments || Top||

#2  Why? After the survivors are wrung out for information, they'll get left with the Kurds, or the Kurds'll turn them over to the Syrians. They're dead in any case.
Posted by: Pappy || 12/27/2015 10:09 Comments || Top||

#3  they can help IED and minefield clearing
Posted by: Frank G || 12/27/2015 10:50 Comments || Top||

#4  Just don't bring 'em to Gitmo.
Posted by: Abu Uluque || 12/27/2015 11:10 Comments || Top||

#5  You need human intell

Killing everyone robs you of the opportunity to, as pappy said, "wring them out for information"

Which has been a key flaw in the Obumble terrorism campaign of drone zapping instead of snatching a combatant for a "chat"

Didn't any of you guys do a "POW snatch" back in the day?
Posted by: Bill Clinton || 12/27/2015 11:47 Comments || Top||

#6  ..until they implemented the 'catch and release' program.
Posted by: Procopius2k || 12/27/2015 12:12 Comments || Top||

#7  Just don't bring 'em to Gitmo.

Congratulations - you're on the same side as Mr. Obama.
Posted by: Pappy || 12/27/2015 12:16 Comments || Top||

Iraqi forces to finish conquering Ramadi any day now
Iraqi forces on Saturday clashed with militants from the Daesh group defending the former government complex in the heart of the city of Ramadi. After a major push on Tuesday that broke Daesh defences around the city centre, government forces have been slowed by snipers, booby traps, roadside bombs and suicide attackers.

While initial hopes of a quick victory have faded, Iraq's elite counter-terrorism service (CTS) and the army have advanced steadily through the devastated capital of Anbar province. They reached a key intersection in the Hoz neighbourhood home to the government complex, whose recapture would go a long way towards ensuring a full recapture of Ramadi.

"There are fierce battles pitting members of the Daesh organisation against the Iraqi forces there now," said Ahmed Al Dulaimi, a police captain.

He said the latest fighting had left at least two members of the Iraqi security forces dead and nine wounded.

At least three were killed on Friday, according to several senior officers and local officials. The figures they provide for Daesh casualties are high, with at least 23 killed on Friday alone.

The number of Daesh fighters hunkered down in central Ramadi was estimated at the start of the operation five days ago at no more than 400.

"You have the 8th Iraqi army and CTS... and they're all pushing forward," said Colonel Steve Warren, the spokesman for the US-led coalition which has been supporting Iraqi forces in Ramadi with daily air strikes.

"CTS have made more progress, they're several hundred metres closer to the government complex," Warren said.
Posted by: Steve White || 12/27/2015 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [249 views] Top|| File under: Govt of Iraq

Soldier lightly hurt in West Bank car-ramming
[IsraelTimes] Attacker shot at scene of attack at Hawara checkpoint near Nablus, dies later of his wounds

An Israeli soldier was lightly hurt Saturday afternoon in a car-ramming attack at a checkpoint near the town of Hawara in the northern West Bank, close to the city of Nablus.

The attacker was shot at the scene, Israel's Ynet news website said, later reporting that he had died of his wounds in hospital in Nablus. The website identified him as 56-year-old Maher Jabi, but gave no details of his residence.

Channel 2 television reported that the attack apparently occurred after soldiers set up a surprise checkpoint at the site in order to inspect Paleostinian cars.

The attack came hours after security forces thwarted a stabbing attack in Jerusalem, when an assailant from East Jerusalem pulled out a knife and assaulted coppers near the Old City's Jaffa Gate.

Also Saturday, Jerusalem police clashed with some 150 Paleostinian protesters in the Muslim Quarter of the Old City, who were demanding that Israel return the bodies of those killed while carrying out attacks.

Police cleared away the protesters using riot dispersal measures. Some threw stones at the security forces, and one person was tossed in the clink
Book 'im, Mahmoud!
, Channel 2 reported.

Later, the IDF shot up a bulldozer in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Silwan, after the driver of the vehicle attempted to drive through a roadblock.

No injuries were reported in the incident.

Israeli troops raid home of Jerusalem stabber — report

[IsraelTimes] Israeli security forces on Saturday raided the home of an East Jerusalem who was killed earlier in the day while trying to stab coppers near the Jaffa Gate entrance to the Old City of Jerusalem, the Paleostinian news agency Ma'an reported.

According to the report, troops entered the family home of Musab al-Ghazali in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Silwan, hours after he was rubbed out by coppers on Saturday morning.

The man's uncle, Abu Wajdi al-Ghazali, told Ma'an that the Israeli forces who carried out the raid in Silwan also summoned the attacker's brothers and father for questioning.

Police on patrol near the gate had noticed the man behaving in a suspicious manner, as he appeared to be following Jewish worshipers walking nearby.

When the officers approached him and said they wanted to search him, the man pulled out a knife and lunged at them. The officers shot and killed him. The coppers were unharmed.

Ma'an quoted the uncle as saying that Musab al-Ghazali had mental disabilities. He also reportedly denied that his nephew had tried to stab the coppers, saying that the unemployed 26-year-old had set out to collect used bottles, in order to reclaim the deposit money on them.
Posted by: trailing wife || 12/27/2015 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [239 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Just a simple bottle- collector minding his own business....yeah, right!
Posted by: Bob Chath4605 || 12/27/2015 9:44 Comments || Top||

Southeast Asia
Philippine army: Maoists broke holiday truce
[GMA News] The Philippine army accused the New People's Army of breaking the holiday truce after an attack in Kitaotao, Bukidnon last Wednesday night.
"An tet co vui khong?"
Colonel Jesse Alvarez said an undetermined number of Maoist militants fired rifle grenades at houses in Kitaotao town at around 7 p.m. on December 23. He said troops from the 2nd Special Forces Company fired back at the insurgents, who immediately retreated. No one was hurt in the incident.
Posted by: ryuge || 12/27/2015 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [272 views] Top|| File under: Commies

#1  Is that one of the "classic languages" Fred?
Posted by: Shipman || 12/27/2015 4:30 Comments || Top||

#2  You would have thought they'd learned after Tet '68.
Posted by: Procopius2k || 12/27/2015 9:26 Comments || Top||

Abu Sayyaf gunman kills Philippine soldier
[SunStar] A suspected Abu Sayyaf gunman shot and killed a Philippine soldier on Christmas Day in the province of Sulu. Bryan Sanoy was shot by a motorcycle-riding gunman Friday morning in the village of Asturias, Jolo, Sulu. Brigadier General Alan Arrojado said Sanoy, who was shot twice, was rushed to the hospital but he did not survive.
Posted by: ryuge || 12/27/2015 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [193 views] Top|| File under: Abu Sayyaf

14 killed as BIFF launches wave of Yuletide attacks
[Inquirer] Christmas attacks by Muslim militants in southern Philippine villages left at least 14 people dead and may have been partly influenced by Daesh's notoriety, officials said Saturday. The dead included nine villagers separately gunned down by Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighter militants and at least five insurgents killed by government forces in clashes in three provinces on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.

Regional military spokesperson Captain Joan Petinglay said about 200 militants took part in at least eight attacks on Thursday and Friday. She said the military found out about the impending attacks, secured towns and villages, and warned villagers not to venture out, which prevented a larger number of casualties.

Petinglay said, "We learned that the BIFF had plans to attack civilians and our detachments so we went on heightened alert even before Christmas. That prevented the rebels from attacking villages and inflicting more casualties."

Despite warnings, five farmers went to their farms Thursday to spray their crops in Maguindanao province and were captured and gunned down by the rebels. In a nearby village in Sultan Kudarat province, militants fleeing from troops took a family hostage on Thursday, releasing a mother and her child but killing three men. A village official was also gunned down by the militants late Thursday in North Cotabato province. Villagers in one area hid in a Roman Catholic church after word of the rebel assaults spread.

At least four militants died in a clash when their group assaulted a military outpost in Esperanza town on Thursday, triggering a firefight. Another injured militant was reported to have died in a village medical clinic. Two homemade explosives were left by the militants on a jungle trail where pursuing soldiers would pass, but the troops found the bombs.

The BIFF broke off from the larger MILF several years ago when they opposed the latter's decision to hold negotiations with the Philippine government. A BIFF spokesman said last year that his group supports Daesh.

The latest attacks were the most brazen by the BIFF since a military offensive against them left more than 100 gunmen dead early this year. The insurgent group still has about 100 armed fighters who may have been joined by relatives and new recruits to stage the attacks.
Posted by: ryuge || 12/27/2015 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [225 views] Top|| File under: Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters

Russia releases imagery of ISIS oil tanker convoy
[Telegraph] Russia has released spectacular footage of what Kremlin officials claim to be a successful bombing campaign to destroy the Islamic State's oil-smuggling rackets into Turkey.

At a briefing by the Russian ministry of defence in Moscow, generals produced videos and photographs of Russian warplanes pulverizing huge columns of oil tankers allegedly transporting oil for sale on the black market.
Not sure how we missed that one.
We had the report yesterday. And another report today from The Times of Israel, but the video isn't nearly as good as this Telegraph article provides.
Posted by: Besoeker || 12/27/2015 08:12 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [625 views] Top|| File under:

#1  However, experts questioned whether the Russian briefing was primarily a propaganda stunt designed to irritate Turkey, whose government is a leading opponent of Syria's President Bashar al-Assad.

what would we ever do without experts?
Posted by: Frank G || 12/27/2015 8:53 Comments || Top||

#2  How can that knowitall from King's College dismiss all of this video as another example of how the Russian MoD is lying?

Kinda hard to refute video tape.

Of course if he is a typical liberal, he's like the cardinal looking through Galileo's telescope and refusing to admit to seeing moons around Jupiter.
Posted by: Bill Clinton || 12/27/2015 11:55 Comments || Top||

#3  I cut the Cardinal a little slack, I figure he mighta be seriously myopic, like James Thurber.

So we tried it with every adjustment of the microscope known to man. With only one of them did I see anything but blackness or the familiar lacteal opacity, and that time I saw, to my pleasure and amazement, a variegated constellation of flecks, specks, and dots. These I hastily drew. The instructor, noting my activity, came from an adjoining desk, a smile on his lips and his eyebrows high in hope. He looked at my cell drawing. "What's that?" he demanded, with a hint of squeal in his voice. "That's what I saw," I said. "You didn't, you didn't, you didn't!" he screamed, losing control of his temper instantly, and he bent over and squinted into the microscope. His head snapped up. "That's your eye!" he shouted. "You've fixed the lens so that it reflects! You've drawn your eye!"

Posted by: Shipman || 12/27/2015 15:39 Comments || Top||

#4  "what would we ever do without experts?"

Live happy, normal lives, #1 Frank.
Posted by: Barbara || 12/27/2015 18:38 Comments || Top||

#5  And Obama let this go on for more than a year without doing a thing to stop it. The funds ISIS received helped kill thousands, and their blood is on Obama's hands. We don't have a schizophrenic foreign policy, we lack a foreign policy. Period.
Posted by: Clyde Bucket1605 || 12/27/2015 18:54 Comments || Top||

#6  No, Clyde #5, "we" (Bambi et al.) do have a foreign policy:

Shaft our traditional/Western friends and help our enemies destroy all of Western Civilization.
Posted by: Barbara || 12/27/2015 22:41 Comments || Top||

#7  For the Obama foreign policy, also see Islamic foreign policy.
Posted by: Besoeker || 12/27/2015 22:43 Comments || Top||

Kurds, Arabs seize key Syria dam from ISIS: group
[AlAhram] An alliance of Kurdish and Arab rebels seized a key dam on the Euphrates River from Islamic State
...formerly ISIS or ISIL, depending on your preference. Before that al-Qaeda in Iraq, as shaped by Abu Musab Zarqawi. They're very devout, committing every atrocity they can find in the Koran and inventing a few more. They fling Allah around with every other sentence, but to hear the pols talk they're not really Moslems....
group murderous Moslems in northern Syria on Saturday, the group said.

The Syrian Democratic Forces captured Tishreen Dam after intense festivities with IS, as well as seven villages along the river's eastern bank, front man Talal Sello told AFP.

He said dozens of ISIS fighters had been killed.

The dam, held by ISIS since 2014, helps generate electricity for large parts of the northern Aleppo province.

Backed by air strikes from a US-led coalition, the SDF launched its assault on ISIS-held towns along the eastern bank of the Euphrates late Wednesday.

It was the alliance's second major operation, after clearing ISIS from some 200 villages in the northeastern province of Hasakeh.

Sherfan Darwish, front man for an Arab rebel group in the SDF, wrote online: "Congratulations to our peoples... the battles are ongoing, the operation is ongoing, and the victories are ongoing."

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights also said the SDF had "cleared the eastern bank of the Euphrates and crossed the dam."

"The battles are now on the western bank of the river," said Observatory head Rami Abdel Rahman.

Formed in October, the SDF has scored a series of successes against ISIS in northeastern Syria and appears to be extending its operations further west.

It receives backing by the US-led air coalition striking ISIS in Iraq and Syria.
Posted by: trailing wife || 12/27/2015 00:49 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [438 views] Top|| File under: Islamic State

#1  Watch for Turkey to now strike hard at the Kurds.
The west bank was one of that poofter prez of Turkey's no-go lines.
Posted by: 3dc || 12/27/2015 15:06 Comments || Top||

#2  Down in the desert hangin by a
little bitty pool
Swam three little turbans
And a mama Klingon too
"Swim," said the mama Klingon
"Swim if you can."
And they swam and swam and over ran the dam.

Boop boop diten datem whatem choo
Boop boop diten datem whatem choo
Boop boop diten datem whatem choo
And they swam and they swam
right over the dam
Posted by: Shipman || 12/27/2015 15:47 Comments || Top||

More than 70 dead in rebel assault in north Syria: Monitor
[AlAhram] Fierce festivities in northern Syria between regime loyalists and rebels including Al-Qaeda gunnies have left more than 70 dead, a monitoring group said Saturday.

Al-Qaeda affiliate Al-Nusra Front launched the assault on Friday with a suicide kaboom against forces loyal to Hereditary President-for-Life Bashir Pencilneck al-Assad
Horror of Homs...
in Aleppo province, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

Fighting raged around the village of Bashkoy, which lies at a crossroads north of Aleppo city, Observatory head Rami Abdel Rahman said.

"Violent festivities followed the suicide attack, between the Syrian army and pro-regime militia on one side, and Islamist fighters on the other," Abdel Rahman said

At least 33 pro-regime fighters and 38 opposition fighters were killed, he added.

The toll included both Syrian and imported muscle, who have become increasingly common among turbans groups in the country, where more than 250,000 people have died in the nearly five-year-old war.

There was also fierce fighting in nearby Khan Tuman, a former rebel stronghold which government forces captured on December 20.

Al-Nusra and allied rebels seized several neighbourhoods in Bashkoy and festivities subsided overnight, according to the Observatory.

Eastern parts of Aleppo province are held by the Islamic State
...formerly ISIS or ISIL, depending on your preference. Before that al-Qaeda in Iraq, as shaped by Abu Musab Zarqawi. They're very devout, committing every atrocity they can find in the Koran and inventing a few more. They fling Allah around with every other sentence, but to hear the pols talk they're not really Moslems....
bully boy group, and the west is held by opposition groups ranging from US-backed rebels to Al-Nusra.

Regime troops have been fighting to retake southern parts of the province.

Aleppo city, too, is divided. Rebel groups control the eastern parts of the city while the west is held by regime troops.
Posted by: trailing wife || 12/27/2015 00:00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [223 views] Top|| File under: al-Nusra

Syrian media: Israel hits Hezbollah targets in Qalamoun area
[IsraelTimes] Local reports say that at least seven Arclight airstrikes carried out by Israeli warplanes; Lebanese terror group denies reports

Israeli warplanes hit Hezbollah targets in the Qalamoun area of Syria in a series of at least seven Arclight airstrikes, Syrian media outlets reported Saturday night.

The Israel Defense Forces declined to comment on the alleged Arclight airstrikes. Hezbollah denied Israeli raids had targeted their positions, according to Channel 2.

According to Channel 2, the IDF released a statement before the reports emerged warning that, "in the coming hours sounds of kabooms may be heard in the Upper Galilee. These are initiated and controlled kabooms that were planned in advance and not a security incident."

The reported strikes came less than a week after Hezbollah-allied terrorist Samir Kuntar was killed in an kaboom in his Damascus home, which has been attributed to Israel. Kuntar's death was followed within hours by rocket strikes from Leb on the northern Israeli city of Nahariya.

Israel has warned Hezbollah not to respond to Kuntar's death. Foreign officials also warned the Leb-based terror group that seeking retaliation for Kuntar's killing could prompt a crushing Israeli response.

Last month, Israel reportedly carried out some four Arclight airstrikes on Syrian regime and Hezbollah positions in the area of the Qalamoun mountains.

Israel has long warned that it would not allow any "game-changing" weapons to fall into Hezbollah's hands as it fights alongside the Syrian regime in the country's years-long civil war.
Update from Ynet at 5:20 p.m. ET:
Hezbollah denies reports of IAF attacks in Qalamoun area: Syrian opposition circles have been spreading many reports since Kuntar's liquidation of Israeli Arclight airstrikes against Hezbollah posts in Syria.
Posted by: trailing wife || 12/27/2015 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [257 views] Top|| File under: Hezbollah

Russia strikes Islamic State weapons, oil in Syria
[IsraelTimes] Kremlin says it destroyed one of the main headquarters of the terrorist group

The Syrian military on Saturday published video footage of several Arclight airstrikes carried out by the Russian army against Islamic State
...formerly ISIS or ISIL, depending on your preference. Before that al-Qaeda in Iraq, as shaped by Abu Musab Zarqawi. They're very devout, committing every atrocity they can find in the Koran and inventing a few more. They fling Allah around with every other sentence, but to hear the pols talk they're not really Moslems....
targets across the war-torn region, including the terror group's oil reserves.
Video of explosions can be seen at the link.
"We've attacked many terrorist bases, hits were identified on targets and much damage was caused to the terrorist infrastructure," the Russian Defense Ministry said in a statement following the release of the footage.

Channel 2 television reported that the targets struck by the Russian military included a training facility, a weapons storehouse, a massive oil refinery, and numerous oil tankers.

"We operated primarily against the illegal oil trade routes in Syria, and nearly 2,000 tankers that were in the hands of the snuffies were destroyed, a source in the Kremlin said, according to Channel 2.

The Kremlin said it had also hit "one of the main headquarters of the krazed killers" in an Arclight airstrike on some holy man's guesthouse an undisclosed location.

The strikes came as Russia President Vladimir Putin
...Second and fourth President and sixth of the Russian Federation and the first to remain sober. Putin is credited with bringing political stability and re-establishing something like the rule of law, which occasionally results in somebody dropping dead from polonium poisoning. Under Putin, a new group of business magnates controlling significant swathes of Russia's economy has emerged, all of whom have close personal ties to Putin. The old bunch, without close personal ties to Putin, are in jail or in exile or dead...
and US President Barack Obama
I am not a dictator!...
push rival plans on ways to defeat the Islamic State group in Syria and on the future role of the country's embattled leader Bashir al-Assad.

Putin is seeking to muscle his way back onto the world stage after months of Western isolation following Russia's seizure of Crimea from Ukraine and support for a separatist insurgency in the east of the ex-Soviet country.
Posted by: trailing wife || 12/27/2015 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [455 views] Top|| File under: Islamic State

#1  When this Syria business is concluded one can rest assured that there will be a meeting headed by the UN and supported by the EU requesting many billions to repair the damage done. This time the US should stay clear of the usual breast beating and inform the Gulf states that it is their turn to clean up the mess.
Posted by: Clyde Bucket1605 || 12/27/2015 6:30 Comments || Top||

#2  "The mess," of course, is not the rubble, which has been in constant production forever in this land of ancient civilizations. The real mess is genetic, and while it has been sporadically chipped away at since day one, it shows no signs of being cleaned up.
Posted by: M. Murcek || 12/27/2015 6:58 Comments || Top||

#3  The real mess is genetic.

Yes, the elite and scientific community are acutely aware, but the little people [test sample population] must not be told too much.

Popular myths, slogans about equality, human rights, and discrimination should be sufficient to keep everyone marching along in the right direction.

Our work must continue.
Posted by: Besoeker || 12/27/2015 7:16 Comments || Top||

#4  the real mess is genetic<\i>
Next up: g(r)omgoru "yes we have it mapped"
Posted by: Shipman || 12/27/2015 10:25 Comments || Top||

#5  We don't have it mapped, but we (well I) have a guess what attributes it involves
Posted by: g(r)omgoru || 12/27/2015 11:33 Comments || Top||

Syrian Rebels Mourn Loss of Leader, Name Replacement
[VOA News] Syrian Lion of Islam groups mourned Saturday the death of a powerful rebel commander who was killed in an Arclight airstrike near Damascus, and they named a top military commander as his successor.

Syrian rebels and the government said Friday that Zahran Alloush, founder of the Army of Islam, was killed in a raid that targeted the group's headquarters in eastern Ghouta, a suburb of Damascus.

Alloush's death was a significant blow to the armed opposition, bolstering Hereditary President-for-Life Bashir Pencilneck al-Assad
Horror of Homs...
ahead of new peace talks scheduled for early 2016.

The Army of Islam appointed Essam al-Buwaydhani, also known as Abu Hammam, as Alloush's replacement .
Posted by: Fred || 12/27/2015 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [674 views] Top|| File under: Jaish al-Islam (MB)

Evacuation of IS group fighters from Damascus delayed
Update from this post yesterday. I'm just so, so surprised...
A UN-sponsored deal to evacuate more than 2,000 Islamic State (IS) group fighters and other militants from rebel-held parts of south Damascus has been delayed, a body that monitors the war said on Saturday, a day after a rebel leader was killed.

Buses were due to transport the fighters to Raqqa, the de facto capital of the IS group in northern Syria, Lebanese Hezbollah’s Manar TV station said.

But the deal fell through after the Jaysh al Islam rebel group’s leader Zahran Alloush, through whose territory the convoy had been granted safe passage, was killed in an air strike on Friday, the broadcaster said.
Talk about a secondary explosion...
The arrangement was the first of its kind between the Syrian authorities and the IS group. It would have marked a significant show of strength by the government of President Bashar al-Assad, increasing its chances of reasserting control over a strategic area four kilometres south of the centre of the capital.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the evacuation had been expected to take place early Saturday but was delayed as there was now no secure territory for the militants to pass through.

Manar TV said buses arrived on Friday to pick up the fighters and at least 1,500 family members but had turned back.

The broadcaster is the official mouthpiece of Hezbollah, a Lebanese Shiite group which is a major ally of Assad and has sent its forces to fight alongside government troops.

Local hostilities grow toward IS group

The IS group has a large presence in several southern neighbourhoods of Damascus, including the Palestinian refugee camp of Yarmouk. Local hostility towards the Jihadist group - which controls large swathes of territory in Syria and Iraq - has grown.

"We have had enough with their presence and the fighting that goes and the siege that has caused a lot of hardship," said Yousef, a resident of the nearby neighbourhood of Hajar al Aswad, who declined to give his full name for security reasons.

A years-long government siege of parts of Damascus controlled by a patchwork of rebel groups - of which Jaysh al Islam is the largest - has impeded the flow of food and humanitarian aid, starving many people to death in what rights group Amnesty International has described as a war crime.
Posted by: Steve White || 12/27/2015 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [244 views] Top|| File under: Islamic State

#1  Looks like it's Total Absolute Souk-War.
Posted by: Shipman || 12/27/2015 10:27 Comments || Top||

Who's in the News
9Islamic State
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3Govt of Iran
1Govt of Iraq
1Jaish al-Islam (MB)
1Jamaat-e-Ulema Islami
1Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen Bangladesh
1Abu Sayyaf
1Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters

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Two weeks of WOT
Sun 2015-12-27
  Syrian Rebels Mourn Loss of Leader, Name Replacement
Sat 2015-12-26
  One Killed as Bomb Blast Rocks Ahmadi Mosque in Bangladesh
Fri 2015-12-25
  30 ISIS Bad Guys die in Fallujah
Thu 2015-12-24
  ISIS troops forced out of Ramadi
Wed 2015-12-23
  Driver Shouting 'Allahu Akbar!' Runs Down 11 French Pedestrians
Tue 2015-12-22
  Tunisia dismantles cell recruiting women for Islamist militant
Mon 2015-12-21
  Afghanistan: Taliban 'take centre of Helmand district'
Sun 2015-12-20
  Terrorist and Hezbollah commander Samir Kuntar... Tango Uniform
Sat 2015-12-19
  Yemen Government Forces Capture Capital of al-Jawf Province as Peace Talks Go on
Fri 2015-12-18
  Over 800 migrants try to storm Channel Tunnel in France: Official
Thu 2015-12-17
  30 Dead in Boko Haram Attack on Three Nigeria Villages
Wed 2015-12-16
  Top Saudi, UAE Commanders among 150 Forces Killed in Yemen Tochka Attack
Tue 2015-12-15
  Breaking: L.A. School District shut down due to credible terror threat
Mon 2015-12-14
  40 die in Damascus airstrikes
Sun 2015-12-13
  Gambia now an Islamic republic, says President

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