Aug 26, 2015

Iran recruits Afghan refugees as fighters to bolster Syria

The fate of two brothers from Kabul, one grievously wounded, the other killed fighting in Syria, spotlights Iran’s covert but active recruitment of Afghan refugees to buttress President Bashar Assad’s steadily depleting forces. Shiite Iran, Assad’s key military and financial patron, denies enlisting Afghan ...

U.S. suspects Islamic State used chemical agent against Kurds in Iraq

Aug 14, 2015

U.S. suspects Islamic State used chemical agent against Kurds in Iraq

The United States is investigating whether the Islamic State used chemical weapons, the White House said Thursday, following allegations that the group’s militants deployed chemical weapons against Kurdish forces in northern Iraq. Alistair Baskey, a spokesman for the White House’s National Security Council, said ...

Al-Qaida in Syria leaves area where Turkey seeks buffer

Aug 11, 2015

Al-Qaida in Syria leaves area where Turkey seeks buffer

The al-Qaida-linked Nusra Front says it has quit frontline positions against the Islamic State group north of Aleppo and ceded them to other rebels, leaving an area of northern Syria where Turkey wants to set up a buffer zone. A Nusra Front statement dated ...

Syrian Islamists, courting West, say they will protect minorities

Jul 22, 2015

Syrian Islamists, courting West, say they will protect minorities

A conservative Islamist rebel group said on Tuesday it would protect Syria’s minorities, pressing a campaign in Western media to address concerns about one of the most powerful insurgent forces fighting President Bashar al-Assad. Ahrar al-Sham is an ultra orthodox Salafist group and part ...

Jul 15, 2015

Syria rebel chief killed in IS-linked suicide bombing

A senior member of the Syrian Ahrar al-Sham rebel group was killed along with six other fighters Tuesday in a double suicide bombing in northwestern Syria, a monitor said. No group claimed responsibility for the attack, but the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said ...

Jun 6, 2015

Islamic State working to develop chemical weapons: Australia

The Islamic State group has shown it is prepared to use chemical weapons and is likely to have among its recruits the technical expertise to develop them, Australia’s Foreign Minister Julie Bishop said. In a speech late Friday, Bishop said Australia had no doubt ...