A watchdog group as well as the Syrian opposition have said fighters from the ISIS terror group are being trained to fly warplanes by former Iraqi military officers, raising fears that militants could be preparing to attack coalition aircraft.
"Reliable resource reported to SOHR that ISIL now own three warplanes that can fly with pilots being taught high level manoeuvre tactics," the London-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said Friday.
These warplanes are expected to be MIG 21 and 23, and officers from the Iraqi dissolved army, who are also members of the Islamic State, also known as ISIL, "have overseen the training of some militants in order to be able to lead these aircrafts," the Observatory added. more >>
The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C., is featuring a display showing graphic photos of murder and torture that are said to have been committed under the regime of President Bashar al-Assad in Syria. A Syrian pastor has warned against using the images to justify expanding the war in the country, however.
The Associated Press reported that the photos are from an archive of 55,000 images smuggled out of Syria by a photographer, who has testified in Congress about witnessing the mass killing of prisoners. The journalist, who was only named by the codename "Caesar," said that the massacre was committed under the Assad regime.
"They show a side of the Syrian regime that hasn't really been really seen. You might have heard about it, read about it, but when you're confronted with these images, they're impossible to ignore," said Cameron Hudson, director of the museum's Center for the Prevention of Genocide. more >>
Islamic State members now have more to worry about than U.S.-led airstrikes and the Kurdish peshmerga fighters, with the recent increase in guerrilla attacks against them conducted by several Syrian rebel combat groups in eastern Syria.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a monitoring group tracking the conflict, reports that they have seen an increase in the amount of guerrilla attacks on ISIS militants by gunman in the Deir al-Zor province, which alongside the Raqq province to the north, constitutes the biggest cog in the Islamic State threshold in Syria.
The Observatory said there are a number of groups that are conducting attacks on ISIS within the province, which is a major oil region in Syria and is still partly controlled by the government. more >>
The United States' war on terror group ISIS in Iraq and Syria has been given an official name and dubbed "Operation Inherent Resolve."
"According to CENTCOM officials, the name INHERENT RESOLVE is intended to reflect the unwavering resolve and deep commitment of the U.S. and partner nations in the region and around the globe to eliminate the terrorist group ISIL and the threat they pose to Iraq, the region and the wider international community," read a statement by officials with U.S. Central Command, according to The Washington Post.
"It also symbolizes the willingness and dedication of coalition members to work closely with our friends in the region and apply all available dimensions of national power necessary — diplomatic, informational, military, economic — to degrade and ultimately destroy ISIL." more >>
Testimonies from two Yazidi female teenagers who have escaped from the tight grip of the Islamic State detail their horrific experiences as ISIS captives. One of the girls, like many other ISIS captives, contemplated suicide before her eventual escape.
Interviews conducted by Globalpost.com earlier this month highlight the experiences of two Yazidi females, one 15-year-old and the other 19, who were captured when the Islamic State took control of the Yazidi region of Sinjar in the Nineveh province in Iraq on Aug. 3.
As the Yazidi Fraternal Organization states that it has registered the names of 12,000 missing Yazidis (7,000 men, 5,000 women) since Aug. 3, these stories provide greater anecdotal insight into the all-too common nature of the human rights abuses facing many religious minorities who are at the mercy of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. more >>
Pictures acquired by the Middle East Review of International Affairs provides visual evidence that the Islamic State terrorist group may have already used Saddam Hussein's leftover chemical weapons on Kurdish fighters.
The pictures were published in a report by the Global Research in International Affairs (GLORIA) on Sunday and includes about 20 photographs of mutilated bodies of Kurdish fighters of the Kurdish People's Protection Unit (YPG) that could be a result of ISIS's use of chemical weapons in battle that took place on July 12 in the eastern part of the Kobane enclave.
The report was published two days prior to a New York Times report published Tuesday in which interviewees and an intelligence document show that United States and Iraqi troops encountered over 5,000 chemical warheads, aviation bombs and shells in Iraq from 2004 to 2011. The weapons are believed to be left behind from the rule of Saddam Hussein. more >>