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Kurds see chance to advance their cause in ruins of Islamic State

Across the border in Raqqa, with five of its neighbourhoods under their control, Kurdish forces are contemplating what comes next for them and their cause.

For Russia, there is the chance to establish a presence in the centre of the region, with political muscle and enhanced gas and oil interests.

60 Other Related Articles

The Guardian -
Ever-closer ties between US and Kurds stoke Turkish border tensions

In the aftermath of Turkish airstrikes on Kurdish positions in north-east Syria last week, US troops escorted an ageing militant through an angry crowd to inspect the damage.

US armoured vehicles were deployed over the weekend along a section of the tense Turkish border, creating a buffer zone between the Turks to the north and Kurdish forces to the south, who are known in Syria as the YPG and are closely linked to the PKK.


New York Times -
U.S. Sends Civilian Team to Syria to Help the Displaced Return Home

The Trump administration is sending a civilian team into Syria to try to bring stability to areas that American-backed forces have retaken from the Islamic State and to avert a humanitarian crisis, according to United States officials.

Their mission, which has not been made public, is not to rebuild damaged cities and towns but to help Syrians return home by organizing efforts to clear roadside bombs left behind by the Islamic State and to restore electricity and access to clean water, in part to prevent the areas from becoming breeding grounds for militants.


BBC -
Why Mosul’s Great Mosque of al-Nuri mattered

The Great Mosque of al-Nuri in Mosul has been destroyed during fighting between government forces and the jihadist group Islamic State (IS).

On Wednesday night, the Iraqi commander in charge of the offensive said elite Counter-Terrorism Service units had advanced to within 50m (165ft) of the mosque and minaret when IS militants "committed another historical crime" and blew it up.


Reuters -
Shock and anger in Mosul after Islamic State destroys historic mosque

His words echoed the shock and anger of many over the destruction of the Grand al-Nuri Mosque along with its famous minaret, known affectionately as "the hunchback" by Iraqis.

The insurgents chose to blow up the mosque rather than see the flag taken down by U.S.-backed Iraqi forces battling through the maze of narrow alleys and streets of the Old City, the last district still under control of Islamic State in Mosul.


BBC -
Battle for Mosul: Destruction of al-Nuri mosque 'shows IS defeated'

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi says the destruction of an ancient mosque in the city of Mosul is "an official declaration of defeat" by so-called Islamic State (IS).

Iraqi forces say IS blew up the Great Mosque of al-Nuri and its famous leaning minaret as jihadists battled to stop advancing pro-government troops. The mosque, which was more than 800 years old, was where IS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi proclaimed a "caliphate" in 2014.


Global News -
Islamic State destroys historic al-Nuri mosque in Mosul where it declared ‘caliphate’

Islamic State militants on Wednesday blew up the Grand al-Nuri Mosque of Mosul and its famous leaning minaret, Iraq’s military said in a statement, as Iraqi forces seeking to expel the group from the city closed in on the site.

Islamic State’s Amaq news agency accused American aircraft of destroying the mosque, a claim swiftly denied by the U.S.-led coalition fighting the militant group. “We did not strike in that area,” coalition spokesman U.S. Air Force Colonel John Dorrian told Reuters by telephone.


Washington Post -
U.S. on collision course with Syria and Iran once de facto Islamic State capital falls

Trump administration officials, anticipating the defeat of the Islamic State in its de facto Syrian capital of Raqqa, are planning for what they see as the next stage of the war, a complex fight that will bring them into direct conflict with Syrian government and Iranian forces contesting control of a vast desert stretch in the eastern part of the country.

Some in the Pentagon have resisted the move, amid concern about distractions from the campaign against the Islamic State and whether U.S. troops put in isolated positions in Syria, or those in proximity to Iranian-backed militias in Iraq, could be protected.


LA Times -
Iraqi officials say Islamic State destroyed historic mosque and minaret in Mosul

Terrorists see it as a time to step up violence. Government forces begin storming Mosul's Old City as Islamic State makes a last stand in its Iraqi 'capital'. 2:30 p.m.: This article was updated with statements by U.S. officials and more details.

Instead, Mosul’s most famous landmarks, the Great Nuri Mosque and the leaning minaret known as the Hadba or “hunchback,” were destroyed by the militant group on Wednesday, government officials said.


Washington Post -
ISIS blows up historic mosque in Mosul, Iraqi military says

For more than 800 years, the minaret of the Great Mosque of al-Nuri has punctuated the skyline of Mosul, calling worshipers to prayer.

The militants blew up the mosque and its minaret as Iraqi forces­ came within about 50 yards of the building, according to Iraq’s joint operations command, which published a video that appeared to back up its claim, showing a blast emanating from the complex. The Islamic State’s Amaq News Agency contended that the mosque was destroyed in a U.S. airstrike, which the U.S.-led coalition denied.


NBC News -
ISIS destroys famous al-Nuri mosque in Mosul, Iraqi military says

ISIS militants allegedly blew up the landmark al-Nuri mosque and its famous leaning minaret in Mosul where the terror group’s leader three years ago declared a "caliphate," Iraq’s military said in a statement.

"As our Iraqi Security Force partners closed in on the al-Nuri mosque, ISIS destroyed one of Mosul and Iraq's great treasures," Maj. A U.S. official said they did not conduct any planned or deliberate strikes in the area.


CBS News -
Iconic mosque where ISIS leader declared caliphate destroyed

The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) destroyed Mosul's al-Nuri mosque and its iconic leaning minaret known as al-Hadba when fighters detonated explosives inside the structures Wednesday night, Iraq's Ministry of Defense said.

Is where ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi declared a so-called Islamic caliphate in 2014 shortly after the city was overrun by the militants and was seen as a key symbolic prize in the fight for Iraq's second largest city.


BBC -
Battle for Mosul: IS 'blows up' al-Nuri mosque

This seems unlikely but such is the savage nature of the struggle for control of Mosul that it's fair to say that preserving the city's cultural and religious heritage has not been a high priority for anyone involved.

"As our Iraqi Security Force partners closed in on the al-Nuri mosque, [IS] destroyed one of Mosul and Iraq's great treasures," a senior US commander in Iraq said. "This is a crime against the people of Mosul and all of Iraq, and is an example of why this brutal organisation must be annihilated," Maj Gen Joseph Martin said.


LA Times -
Iraqi officials say Islamic State destroyed historic mosque in Mosul

The Great Mosque of Al-Nuri and the leaning minaret Hadba in the Iraqi city of Mosul were destroyed by Islamic State extremists Wednesday, government officials said.

Commandos from Iraq’s elite Counter-Terrorism Service had gotten to almost fifty yards of the landmarks in Mosul when the militants blew up the mosque and minaret, officials said. The mosque was where IslamicState leader Abu Bakr Baghdadi gave his first speech as Caliph when the group blitzed through Mosul in 2014.


Reuters -
Islamic State blows up Mosul mosque where it declared 'caliphate': Iraqi military

"The Daesh (Islamic State) terror gangs committed another historical crime by blowing up the al-Nuri mosque and its historical al-Hadba minaret," the Iraqi military statement said.

It was from this medieval mosque that the militants' leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi declared a self-styled "caliphate" spanning parts of Syria and Iraq three years ago. Islamic State's Amaq news agency accused American aircraft of destroying the mosque.


New York Times -
ISIS Is Said to Destroy Historic Al Nuri Mosque in Mosul

The Islamic State on Wednesday night destroyed Mosul’s centuries-old Al Nuri Grand Mosque and its distinctive leaning minaret, one of Iraq’s most famous landmarks, according to the Iraqi and American militaries.

The mosque was built by Nur al-Din Mahmoud Zangi, a ruler who in the 12th century unified Arab forces against crusaders from Europe.


The Guardian -
Mosul's Grand al-Nouri mosque 'blown up' by Isis fighters

One of Islam’s most venerated sites, the Grand Nouri mosque in Mosul, has been destroyed by explosions as Iraqi forces battled Islamic State (Isis) militants who had holed up nearby.

“As our Iraqi security force partners closed in on the al-Nouri mosque, Isis destroyed one of Mosul and Iraq’s great treasures,” said Maj Gen Joseph Martin, commanding general of the US-led coalition fighting Isis. “This is a crime against the people of Mosul and all of Iraq, and is an example of why this brutal organisation must be annihilated,” said Martin.


BBC -
US official: Russia 'hacked' 21 US states in election

Ms Manfra, the department's acting deputy undersecretary of cyber security, testified on Wednesday before the Senate Intelligence committee, which is investigating Russia's alleged meddling in the 2016 election.

The Kremlin has repeatedly denied any involvement in election cyber hacks while Mr Trump has dismissed allegations that his campaign colluded with Russia as "fake news". White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer on Tuesday refused to say whether Mr Trump believes Russia interfered in the 2016 election.


BBC -
Russian defence minister's plane 'buzzed' by Nato jet

A Nato fighter jet has approached a Russian plane carrying the defence minister but was chased away by a Russian escort jet, Russian media say.

Unlike in Europe, there is a direct link between Russian and US commanders to avoid dangerous incidents - and although Russia is saying that this has been suspended in the wake of the US shooting down of a Syrian jet - the US side insists that the channel remains open.


Washington Post -
NATO jet approached plane carrying Russian defense minister, reports say

A NATO F-16 fighter approached and was then warned away from a jet carrying Russia’s defense minister, Russian media reported Wednesday, the latest in a string of aerial incidents that have marked rising tensions between the West and Russia.

The incident occurred over the Baltic Sea in northeast Europe, according to reporters traveling with the defense minister, Sergey Shoigu, in international airspace crowded with Russian and NATO jets testing one another’s nerve in close — sometimes dangerously — proximity.


BBC -
Russian jet 'flies 5ft from US spy plane' over Baltic Sea

A Russian jet flew within 5ft (1.5m) of a US reconnaissance plane's wing tip over the Baltic Sea on Monday, US officials say.

There have been more than 30 interactions between US and Russian planes and ships in the Baltic Sea since the beginning of June, US officials tell CNN.


CBS News -
Ex-DHS chief Jeh Johnson to testify Russia "did not alter ballots"

Former Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Jeh Johnson will testify Wednesday at 10 a.m. in front of the House Intelligence Committee as it continues its ongoing investigation into possible Russia interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential elections.

Mr. Trump has called allegations of collusion between Russia and his campaign a "witch hunt" and Mr. Trump's lawyer has since said that the commander in chief "is not under investigation."


Washington Post -
Can a name change make DC seem more stately Ask Governor Bowser

It ended with a proposed constitution for a state named after Frederick Douglass and led by a governor and a 21-member legislature.

If perception is reality, then D.C. Council member David Grosso has an idea to jumpstart the District’s stalled campaign to become the 51st state. Grosso (I-At Large) wants to upgrade the names of the city’s elected leaders to their state equivalents.


Washington Post -
A Russian jet came within feet of a U.S. reconnaissance plane, the Pentagon says

A Russian fighter jet came “within several feet” of an Air Force RC-135 reconnaissance plane over the Baltic Sea and lingered by the side of the U.S. plane for several minutes on Monday, U.S. military officials said.

In one example, a Russian jet flew within 20 feet of a U.S. Navy P-8 surveillance plane in May over the Black Sea, southwest of Russia. The United States and Russia both regularly intercept each other’s aircraft, but they are expected to follow an internationally recognized set of procedures when doing so to avoid accidental collisions.


BBC -
Syria conflict: US jet 'downs Iran-made drone'

A US jet has shot down an Iranian-made drone operated by forces backing the Syrian government in the south of the country, American officials say.

As well as announcing that US-led coalition warplanes would be tracked, Russia's ministry of defence suspended a hotline set up to avoid clashes between US and Russian aircraft over Syria.


Washington Post -
In third shoot-down in a month, U.S. jet destroys another Iranian drone over Syria

A U.S. F-15 fighter jet shot down an Iranian-made drone over southern Syria on Tuesday, a U.S. defense official said, marking the second time in a week that the U.S. military has taken a pro-Syrian government aircraft out of the sky.

The official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the incident had yet to be made public, said the drone was in the area where a U.S. plane shot down the same type of unmanned aircraft — an Iranian Shahed 129 — this month.


The Guardian -
US shoots down second Iran-made armed drone over Syria in 12 days

US forces in southern Syria have shot down an Iranian-made armed drone for the second time in 12 days, in a further sign that Washington and Tehran’s agendas are colliding along the Syrian-Iraqi desert frontier.

In Syria, Russia announced on Monday that it had suspended a military hotline with US forces and threatened to shoot down coalition planes that flew west of the Euphrates river after the US shot down a Syrian-piloted bomber that flew too close to a US-supported force advancing on the Isis bastion of Raqqa in northern Syria.


New York Times -
American Warplane Shoots Down Iranian-Made Drone Over Syria

An American F-15E fighter jet shot down an Iranian-made armed drone over southeast Syria on Tuesday that was flying toward American-backed Syrian fighters and their advisers, Pentagon officials said.

American officials said that the aircraft was a Shahed 129, the same type of Iranian drone that an American warplane blasted on June 8 after it dropped a bomb near American-supported Syrian fighters and their coalition advisers.


CBS News -
Armed Russia jet comes within five feet of U.S. military plane

An armed Russian jet came within five feet of a U.S. reconnaissance plane over the Baltic Sea, CBS News national security correspondent David Martin reports.

The Russian jet intercepted the U.S. Navy P-8A Poseidon aircraft in international airspace as it flew a course toward Russian territory, according to Russia's military.


The Week -
Memo to America: You should still be terrified of World War III

Even if the Russians did intervene to elect Trump, there will still be no alternative to diplomacy with a nuclear superpower, for now and the foreseeable future.

Such a possibility gets less attention than climate change these days, I think, because we don't have to do anything to avoid it — merely preserve the mutually assured destruction framework that carried us through the Cold War, despite a few close calls.


The Guardian -
Australia suspends air missions over Syria amid US-Russia tensions

Australia has suspended air combat missions over Syria after Russia threatened that it would treat any plane from the US-led coalition flying west of the Euphrates river as a potential target.

“Australian defence force personnel are closely monitoring the air situation in Syria and a decision on the resumption of ADF air operations in Syria will be made in due course,” he said. Moscow’s warning on Monday to US-allied warplanes west of the Euphrates escalated the threat of a direct Russian-American confrontation in Syria, following the first US shooting down of a fighter jet belonging to the regime since the start of the civil war six years ago.


BBC -
Syria conflict: Australia suspends military air operations

Australia says it is temporarily suspending its military air operations over Syria, after a warning from Russia that it would treat aircraft from the US-led coalition as potential targets.

"ADF personnel are closely monitoring the air situation in Syria and a decision on the resumption of ADF air operations in Syria will be made in due course." Russia warned on Monday that it would track coalition aircraft with missile systems and military aircraft, but it stopped short of openly saying it would shoot them down.


Reuters -
By keeping U.S. focus on Islamic State, Trump risks wider Syria war

As it tries to craft a Syria strategy, the Trump administration is divided between those who consider Islamic State the primary enemy and some officials who think the war in Syria is part of an existential struggle between the United States and its Gulf allies on the one hand and Iran on the other, said a third U.S. official, who has participated in government deliberations on Syria.

"The absence of a civilian-led U.S. strategy in Syria and the narrow U.S. military focus on ISIS will continue to provide an open invite for the pro-Assad regime coalition to extend and escalate," Cafarella said.


NBC News -
Trump foreign policy reversals complicate U.S. role on world stage

It was the latest signal of deteriorating relations between the superpowers, following the zigzagging path of U.S. foreign policy under President Donald Trump.

The disagreement is in keeping with numerous reversals by Trump, which seem to have made life difficult for Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and U.S. diplomats. On the campaign trail, for example, Trump repeatedly inveighed against intervening in Syria, where Assad's regime has used banned chemical weapons on its own citizens.


Washington Post -
Trump’s agenda on the line in a hard-fought Georgia House race

President Trump faces a high-stakes political test on Tuesday in a special congressional election that has turned into a referendum on his leadership and could have significant consequences for his stalled agenda on Capitol Hill.

In particular, the official added, strategist Stephen K. Bannon and chief of staff Reince Priebus have been involved in ongoing discussions about the race and possible ramifications.


Reuters -
White House says it retains right to self-defense in Syria; Moscow warns Washington

Adding to the tension, Iran launched missiles at Islamic State targets in eastern Syria on Sunday, a strike seen as a projection of military power into part of Syria identified as a top priority by Damascus and its allies.

Tensions escalated on Sunday as the U.S. military brought down a Syrian military jet near Raqqa for bombing near U.S.-allied forces on the ground, the first time Washington had carried out such an action in the multi-pronged civil war.


LA Times -
Trump still lacks Syria strategy as fighting escalates

The U.S. military’s role in Syria has steadily escalated since President Trump took office, but even as fighting intensifies, the administration has said little to the public about its goals, nor has it released a long-stalled update on its strategy for the war-torn country.

Their goal appears to be to prompt the U.S. to state on record that it has no business inside Syria after Islamic State militants are defeated, said Jennifer Cafarella, a Syria analyst at the nonpartisan Institute for the Study of War in Washington.


LA Times -
Russia raises the stakes in Syria, warning U.S. after downing of Syrian jet

Russia’s Defense Ministry warned sternly Monday that it would target U.S. warplanes flying in a conflict zone of Syria, raising the stakes in a war that now involves more than a dozen countries and has long held the potential for a superpower confrontation.

This is the second time Russia has said it would cancel the airspace agreement with the U.S. In April, Russia said it was disconnecting what has been called the “de-conflicting memorandum” after President Trump ordered an airstrike on a Syrian airbase in response to accusations that Assad used sarin gas against civilians in Syria.


Fox News -
US responds to Russian threat after shoot-down of Syrian jet

U.S. pilots operating over Syria won't hesitate to defend themselves from Russian threats, a Pentagon spokesperson said Monday in the latest escalation between the two superpowers since a U.S. jet shot down a Syrian aircraft on Sunday.

The Russian defense ministry said it viewed the incident as Washington's “deliberate failure to make good on its commitments” under the de-confliction deal.'. Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov, in comments to Russian news agencies, compared the downing to “helping the terrorists that the U.S. is fighting against.”


NBC News -
Russia warns U.S. after Syrian warplane is downed

Warplanes from the U.S.-led coalition operating over Syrian government-controlled areas west of the Euphrates River will be tracked as potential targets, Russia's Defense Ministry said Monday, a day after the U.S. military shot down a Syrian air force jet.

The first time in the conflict that the U.S. has shot down a Syrian jet — came as Iran fired several ballistic missiles at ISIS positions in eastern Syria in retaliation for two attacks by the extremists in Tehran earlier this month that killed 17 people.


Global News -
Russia threatens to target U.S.-led coalition planes that fly over Syria

Warplanes from the U.S.-led coalition operating over Syrian government-controlled areas west of the Euphrates River will be tracked as potential targets, Russia’s Defense Ministry said Monday, a day after the U.S. military shot down a Syrian air force jet.

In April, Russia briefly suspended a hotline intended to prevent midair incidents with the U.S. over Syria after the American military fired 59 missiles at a Syrian air base following a chemical weapons attack that Washington blamed on the Assad government.


CBS News -
Russia issues warning after U.S. coalition downs Syrian warplane

Warplanes from the U.S.-led coalition operating over Syrian government-controlled areas west of the Euphrates River will be tracked as potential targets, Russia's Defense Ministry said Monday, a day after the U.S. military shot down a Syrian air force jet.

The first time in the conflict that the U.S. has shot down a Syrian jet - came as Iran fired several ballistic missiles at ISIS in eastern Syria in retaliation for two attacks by the extremists in Tehran earlier this month that killed 17 people.


The Guardian -
Russia to target planes from US-led coalition flying over parts of Syria

Russia has said it will target any plane from the US-led coalition flying west of the Euphrates river in Syria after the US military shot down a Syrian air force jet on Sunday.

The growing risk of a direct confrontation between the US and Russia follows a decision by Donald Trump to grant his military chiefs untrammelled control of US military strategy in Syria. Tensions have also been bubbling between Washington and Moscow over efforts to dislodge Isis from its Raqqa stronghold.


Washington Post -
Russia threatens to treat U.S. coalition aircraft as targets over Syria

 Russia on Monday angrily condemned the downing of a Syrian aircraft by a U.S. fighter as a “flagrant violation of international law,” and said its forces will treat U.S.-led coalition aircraft and drones as targets if they are operating in Syrian airspace west of the Euphrates while Russian aviation is on combat missions.

The Russian Defense Ministry said it is suspending an agreement to minimize the risk of in-flight incidents between Russian and U.S.-led coalition aircraft operating over Syria.


New York Times -
Russia Threatens to Target U.S. Warplanes Over Syria

“It seems that the U.S. under Donald Trump is the source of danger for the Middle East and the whole world on a qualitatively new level.”

Russia condemned on Monday the American military’s downing of a Syrian warplane and suspended the use of a military hotline that Washington and Moscow have used to avoid collisions in Syrian airspace. Russia also threatened to target aircraft flown by the United States and its allies over Syria.


BBC -
Syria conflict: Russia issues warning after US coalition downs jet

Russia has warned the US-led coalition fighting in Syria that it will view its aircraft as targets, after a Syrian military plane was shot down.

Although this is the first time the coalition has shot down a Syrian jet, there have been an increasing number of incidents between the two sides:. In a separate incident on Sunday, Iran's Revolutionary Guards said they had launched several missiles from Iran into eastern Syria, targeting IS fighters.


Fox News -
Navy jet shoots down Syrian warplane that attacked US-backed rebels

A U.S. Navy fighter jet shot down a Syrian government warplane after it attacked Washington-backed fighters near ISIS' de facto capital of Raqqa, the U.S.-led coalition said Sunday.

In a statement, the coalition headquarters in Iraq said that a F/A-18E Super Hornet shot down a Syrian Su-22 that had dropped bombs near positions held by the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF). The statement said coalition aircraft had "conducted a show of force" to turn back an attack by Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad's forces on the SDF in the town of Ja'Din, south of Tabqah.


New York Times -
U.S. Jet Shoots Down Syrian Warplane

An American fighter jet shot down a Syrian warplane Sunday after the Syrians struck local ground forces supported by the United States, the first time the American military has downed a Syrian aircraft since the start of the civil war in 2011, officials said.

The missile strike over a considerable distance may have also been designed to send a message to Iran’s enemies in the region, including Israel and Saudi Arabia, as well as the United States, which maintains multiple military bases in the Middle East.


LA Times -
U.S. warplane shoots down Syrian jet near Raqqah

A U.S. warplane shot down a Syrian jet on Sunday near the Islamic State-held city of Raqqah, officials said, marking the latest escalation between the U.S. and Syria since the blood-soaked civil war began six years ago.

Why one shopkeeper returned to his war-ravaged Syrian hometown: ‘I believe in Palmyra’. U.S. Navy identifies seven sailors who died when destroyer and container ship collided


ABC News -
U.S. shoots down Syrian fighter jet over Syria

A U.S. Navy fighter jet shot down a Syrian regime fighter jet on Sunday that had dropped bombs on Syrian rebel forces fighting ISIS in Syria.

The incident occurred in the town of Ja'Din, south of Tabqa, Syria, which had recently been retaken from ISIS by the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), an umbrella group of Syrian Kurdish and Arab rebel forces supported by the U.S. in the fight against the militant group.


BBC -
US coalition downs Syrian army plane in Raqqa

The Syrian army said its warplane was on a mission against the Islamic State (IS) group when it came under fire on Sunday, according to state television.

The incident took place in the town of Ja'Din, which is held by the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) and lies on the outskirts of Raqqa. "In accordance with rules of engagement and in collective self-defence of Coalition-partnered forces [the plane] was immediately shot down," said the US military in a statement.


Washington Post -
Afghan war faces flurry of setbacks as new U.S. military policy nears

As American military officials complete plans that will likely send several thousand additional U.S. troops to Afghanistan, a flurry of setbacks in the war has underscored both the imperative of action and the pitfalls of various approaches.

The Saturday shooting was one of several recent insider attacks that are raising new concerns about poor vetting and conflicting loyalties, even among the elite Afghan special operations forces that the U.S. military sees as crucial to boosting the war effort.


CBS News -
The White Helmets: Fighting for life in Syria's vicious civil war

Their only hope is the Syrian Civil Defense, a self-appointed, all Syrian, volunteer force of rescue workers who call themselves the White Helmets.

Rami Jarrah is a Syrian reporter who's followed the White Helmets from their makeshift beginnings to today's trained force of 3,000 rescue workers. Rami Jarrah: They provide some sort of security or safety or some sort of hope to civilians that live in this area that even if you are attacked, even if your building comes down, there is someone that's going to come and save you.


Washington Post -
U.S. aircraft shoots down a Syrian government jet over northern Syria, Pentagon says

A U.S. strike aircraft shot down a Syrian government fighter jet shortly after it bombed U.S.-backed Syrian fighters in northern Syria, the Pentagon said in a statement Sunday.

Col. John Thomas, a spokesman for the U.S. Central Command, said that the Syrian aircraft arrived with little warning and that U.S. aircraft nearby tried to hail the Syrian jet after it had dropped its bombs. About two hours later, despite the called-for stand-down and the U.S. presence overhead, a Syrian Su-22 jet attacked the Syrian Democratic Forces, dropping an unknown number of munitions on the U.S.-backed force.


The Guardian -
US plane shoots down Syrian aircraft that attacked US-backed fighters

Later, US central command issued a statement saying the Syrian plane was downed “in collective self-defense of coalition-partnered forces”, which were identified as fighters of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) near Tabqa. It said “pro-Syrian regime forces” attacked an SDF held town south of Tabqa and wounded a number of fighters, driving them from the town.

The Syrian army has taken territory from retreating Isis militants in the western Raqqa countryside and seized back some oil fields and villages that had been under the militants’ control for almost three years.


Global News -
U.S. shoots down Syrian army jet, says jet dropped bombs near American-backed forces

A U.S. warplane shot down a Syrian army jet on Sunday in the southern Raqqa countryside with Washington saying the jet had dropped bombs near U.S. backed forces and Damascus saying the plane was downed while flying a mission against Islamic State militants.

When a Syrian army SU-22 jet later dropped bombs near the U.S. backed forces, it was immediately shot by a U.S. F/A-18E Super Hornet, the statement said.


Fox News -
Iran launches strikes against ISIS in Syria in response to Tehran attacks

 Iran's Revolutionary Guard said Sunday it launched missiles into eastern Syria targeting Islamic State (ISIS) militants in response to an attack on Iran's parliament and a shrine in Tehran, warning that it would similarly retaliate on anyone else carrying out attacks in Iran.

Activists in Syria said they had no immediate information on damage or casualties from the strikes, launched from Iran's Kurdistan and Kermanshah provinces.


CBS News -
Islamic State threat in Southeast Asia raises alarm in Washington

Southeast Asia's jihadis who fought by the hundreds for the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) now have a different battle closer to home in the southern Philippines.

They include the Islamic State's purported leader in Southeast Asia: Isnilon Hapilon, a Filipino on Washington's list of most-wanted terrorists, with a $5 million bounty on his head. U.S. officials are assessing whether any of the estimated 1,000 Southeast Asians who traveled to Iraq and Syria in recent years are fighting in Catholic-majority Philippines.


NBC News -
ISIS leader reported possibly killed presents a shadowy figure

The America's Most Wanted terrorist kingpin has been reported killed several times before only to turn up later alive and defiant and vowing to unleash "volcanoes of jihad." "Yes, there should be skepticism," NBC News' Ayman Mohyeldin said Friday on TODAY.

Two years ago, the family of Kayla Mueller — the American aid worker who died while being held captive by ISIS — reported that al-Baghdadi had raped her repeatedly.


LA Times -
Despite airline scandals, carriers' stock prices keep climbing

While airlines suffer short-term reputation damage by such incidents, experts say the industry has become so consolidated after a series of mergers and acquisitions that it would be difficult to get travelers to abandoned their favorite airline.

A passenger is bloodied as he is dragged from his seat in April after refusing to give it up to crew members on a United Airlines flight. Later that same month, a family flying home from a Hawaiian vacation is booted from a Delta Air Lines flight after a dispute over seating for an infant.


The Guardian -
Russia claims it may have killed Isis leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi

The Russian military has said it may have killed the leader of Islamic State, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, in an airstrike in Syria in late May.

The loss of Mosul will be a crushing blow for Isis’s ambitions to control a swath of land straddling two nations where it could impose an ultra-hardline version of Islamic law on captive communities and from which it intended to make inroads elsewhere in the Arab world and beyond.



“Four hostile newspapers are more to be feared than a thousand bayonets...” ― Napoléon Bonaparte