The Obama administration announced late Thursday that over 400 troops will be deployed to the Middle East this spring to train and equip rebel forces that are fighting the Islamic State terror group in Syria and Iraq.
As U.S.-led airstrikes continue to target Islamic State positions, the training program will be part of "Obama's multi-year plan to field local forces in Syria" to defeat the Islamic State, Reuters reports.
Along with the 400 troops, hundreds of U.S. support personnel will also be deployed to the region, a Pentagon spokesman said Thursday. more >>
The ISIS commander who appeared in a propaganda video earlier this week that showed a young boy executing two Russian spies on camera was reportedly killed days later in the Syrian city of Kobane, sources have said.
The Independent said that the man, identified as Abu Sa'ad al-Daghistani, is believed to have died in the city that finds itself heavily under siege in a major battle between ISIS and local fighters.
Charlie Winter, a researcher of jihadism in Syria and Iraq at the Quilliam Foundation, said that the terror group made it known earlier this week that al-Daghistani had died. more >>
Terror group ISIS has released a video that shows a young boy executing two men with a gun that are said to be Russian spies.
The video has made the rounds on social media and has been re-posted by a number of media outlets, ABC News said. The footage apparently shows the young boy firing a gun directly at the two men, who are kneeling on the ground with hands tied behind their backs, after which they fall lifeless. more >>
Despite widespread support from western journalists defending the French satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo's right to offend after a terrorist attack on its Paris office left 12 people dead last Wednesday, a series of leaked emails between journalists at the Qatari-government run news outlet Al Jazeera has revealed a cultural rift between western staff and their Middle East counterparts about that support.
Reminding staff of their audience in the series of emails leaked to National Review Online, Salah-Aldeen Khadr, executive producer of Al Jazeera English, questioned whether the attack against the magazine was about free speech.
"You don't actually stick it to the terrorists by insulting the majority of Muslims by reproducing more cartoons — you actually entrench the very animosity and divisions these guys seek to sow," Khadr wrote. more >>
The Islamic State terrorist organization in Syria is now offering 5-minute speed dating services to attract more disenfranchised Western women to the caliphate and to become jihadi brides.
The Daily Star reports that a British Islamic State militant named Abu Qa'qa al-Britani, who lives in the Syrian stronghold of Raqqa, has recently published, on the online social site Tumblr, a guide that is designed to help encourage radical women to travel to Syria by making the husband-finding process seem more simple.
The guide outlines that women who have a desire to travel to join the caliphate can contact militants who specialize in "marriage affairs" in order to be matched up with militant suitors. Meetings between the woman and her potential suitors can be arranged in the form of a speed dates. more >>
After killing an important ISIS leader in battle, Kurdish forces in Syria found a huge bag of cocaine in the slain commander's home, providing further speculation that militants often use narcotics despite the fact that its police units strictly enforce drug bans inside the group's strongholds.
As Kurdish advancements in Kobane have allowed the People's Protection Unit to push ISIS militants out of about 80 percent of the strategic Syrian border town, key ISIS leader Emir Abu Zahra was killed by the kurds in a recent gun fight.
Vice News' video footage shows that the during the Kurdish unit's subsequent search of Zahra's home in the Botan neighborhood of Kobane, the troops found a huge bag containing a white powdery substance. more >>