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Civilians Bear Brunt As Fresh Syria Strikes Kill 35, Says UN

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A fresh wave of airstrikes in eastern Syria killed at least 35 civilians including women and children, state media and a monitoring group reported Friday, the U.N. human rights chief said civilians are increasingly paying the price of escalating attacks against the Islamic State group in the country. “The same civilians who are suffering indiscriminate shelling and summary executions by ISIL, are also falling victim to the escalating airstrikes, particularly in the northeastern governorates of” Raqqa and Deir el-Zour, al-Hussein said in a statement from Geneva, using another acronym for IS. “Unfortunately, scant attention is being paid by the outside world to the appalling predicament of the civilians trapped in these areas”. In the meantime, The U.S.-led coalition also announced on Friday that a U.S. service member has died in northern Syria. A statement said the serviceman died of injuries sustained “during a vehicle roll-over”. It was not immediately clear whether the incident was related to a combat situation. No further details were made available.

Iran Urges War on Cyber Capabilities of Terrorists

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A ranking Iranian security official warned against a major shift in the methods and approaches used by terrorist groups, calling for concerted global action to curb terrorists’ cyber capabilities and counter their modern tactics. Addressing the 8th International Meeting of High Representatives for Security Issues in Moscow on Wednesday, Secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council Ali Shamkhani warned of the shifting nature and geographical distribution of terrorists in the world. Pointing to the cyber-infrastructures and modern communication systems that terrorist networks employ to recruit, organize, train and control forces in different countries, Shamkhani stressed the need for serious international determination to restrict such modern capabilities and counteract terrorists’ Internet-based activities. He further noted that Iran, with years of experience in combatting terrorism and its military, security, and cyber threats, could play a significant role in the global initiatives against terrorism. Shamkhani then attributed the Daesh (ISIL) terrorist group’s acquisition of advanced communication systems, modern arms and weapons of mass destruction to the double standards adopted by certain “infamous governments” which sponsor terrorist groups. The top official further deplored the UN’s weak performance in dealing with regional crises, and urged certain states to end their “failed and dangerous policies” toward Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan and Yemen. Security officials from 95 countries around the world have gathered in Moscow for the 3-day conference to coordinate efforts in ensuring cyber security, addressing the regional and international threats, and countering the issues leading to crises.

Turkish Foreign Minister extends condolences to Egyptian counterpart over ISIL church attacks.

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Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu on April 10 extended his condolences to Egyptian counterpart, Sameh Shoukry, over two Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) church attacks in the country in a phone call, marking a rare diplomatic interaction between the two countries since relations soured after the ouster of Mohamad Morsi in 2013. Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi announced a three-month state of emergency following twin church bombings by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) that killed at least 44 people on Palm Sunday, April 9, the deadliest attacks on the minority in recent memory.

 

Flag issue in Kirkuk divisive, source of tension.

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Mr. Bahram Ghasemi who was reacting to proposals in Iraq that flag of Kurdistan Autonomous Region be flown in government offices, said that Iran’s official line of policy had been to respect Iraqi national sovereignty and territorial integrity; based on this, Ghasemi concluded, “the flag of a federal unit of Iraq in a city over which there is still debate as to which side it should belong is unconstitutional and violates territorial integrity of the country and is condemned”, he told the press Monday evening. He also reiterated Iran’s unfaltering support for Iraqi central government in fighting and defeating ISIL; “the act in Kirkuk of flying KAR’s flag in a highly controversial city would waste national capabilities and capacities and effectively deflect strength and energy otherwise should be directed to the destruction of terrorism”, he added.

 

FBI investigating ISIL cell in Turkey, five suspects

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The Federal Bureau of Investigation has been investigating an Islamic State Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) cell known as the “Dokumacılar” since a suicide attack killed two U.S. citizens and two others on Istanbul’s İstiklal Avenue on March 19, 2016, according to revelations from a case file at the Istanbul Chief Prosecutor’s Office. Five suspects from the attack were put on trial by the Istanbul 23rd Court of Serious Crimes in connection with the attack.

Alleged ISIL leader detained again one year after release in Istanbul

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An alleged Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) leader, based in Istanbul has been detained once again, one year after he was release from jail in 2016. The man was detained in July 2015 after a suspected ISIL suicide bomber killed 31 mostly young people on July 24. Bayancuk , the man detained, reportedly penned articles for several pro-ISIL media outlets and conducted militant recruiting.

957 suspected ISIL militants caught in February in Turkey

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The state-run Anadolu Agency has reported that in anti-ISIL operations were caught 957 militants. In an operation in the province of Bursa were caught 13 militants linked with the attack on a nightclub in the 1st of January. in Gaziantep were detained four suspects who were planning deadly attacks. Turkish jets have continued to bomb ISIL targets, neutralizing many militants.

Coalition strikes continue to hit Isil in Iraq

Asia @en di

Attack, bomber, fighter, rotary and remotely piloted aircraft, as well as artillery, conducted six strikes consisting of 28 engagements in Iraq, coordinated with and in support of Iraq’s government:

— Near Irbil, a strike engaged an ISIL tactical unit; destroyed an ISIL-held building and a weapons cache.

— Near Mosul, five strikes engaged two ISIL tactical units; destroyed 13 watercraft, three mortar systems, two front-end loaders, two supply caches, two ISIL-held buildings, two pieces of engineering equipment, and a tank, damaged three supply routes, and suppressed two mortar teams.

Task force officials define a strike as one or more kinetic events that occur in roughly the same geographic location to produce a single, sometimes cumulative, effect. Therefore, officials explained, a single aircraft delivering a single weapon against a lone ISIL vehicle is one strike, but so is multiple aircraft delivering dozens of weapons against buildings, vehicles and weapon systems in a compound, for example, having the cumulative effect of making those targets harder or impossible for ISIL to use. Accordingly, officials said, they do not report the number or type of aircraft employed in a strike, the number of munitions dropped in each strike, or the number of individual munition impact points against a target. Ground-based artillery fired in counterfire or in fire support to maneuver roles is not

Assad also said US-Russian cooperation in stepping up the fight against ISIL

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Syrian President Bashar al-Assad dismissed a US-led coalition against ISIL in Syria as “illusive,” saying the terrorist group “was expanding” during the operation.Speaking to a group of Belgian reporters, Assad has also cast doubt at new US President Donald Trump’s pledge to fight ISIL terrorists, SANA reported. Assad also said US-Russian cooperation in stepping up the fight against ISIL, as suggested by Trump, would have positive repercussions but it was too early to expect any practical steps. Assad said the European Union should have no role in the reconstruction of Syria unless it changes its policy toward the country. EU countries, he said, back militants who inflicted destruction on Syria.  He also accused UN institutions of acting unfairly towards his country, saying “they are biased because of the American influence and the French and British, mainly.” He made the remarks in response to a December decision by the UN General Assembly to gather evidence on war crimes in Syria towards prosecuting those responsible for atrocities there.”For me, as president, when I do my duty, the same for the government and for the army, to defend our country, we don’t look to this issue, we don’t care about it,” he added.

Car bomb attack in the Aegean province of Izmir

A car bomb attack in the Aegean province of İzmir near the Courthouse killed at least two people on Jan. 5, the İzmir Governor has announced.
Governor Erol Ayyıldız said one of the victims was a police officer while the other was an employee at the İzmir Courthouse, adding that around seven people were also wounded and two militants were killed. Police officer identified as Fethi Sekin apparently prevented an even bigger attack by noticing the bomb-laden car on time and intervening. According to Ayyıldız, another car was also detonated near the scene. Ayyıldız also said initial findings suggested that the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) was responsible for the attack, but in the end the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) had claimed responsibility for the attack.

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