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Tags: Islamic State | Syria war | Assad

ISIS Downs Syrian Plane As Fighting Intensifies

By    |   Wednesday, 17 September 2014 07:13 AM


United States efforts to strike at Islamic State fighters, while not benefiting al-Qaida-affiliated groups or the Syrian government of Bashar Assad, have been complicated by the chaotic fighting among warring factions up and down the country, The New York Times reported.

In the north, the Islamic State (ISIS) said its fighters had shot down a Syrian military aircraft. The craft reportedly crashed into a house, killing eight people in the city of Raqqa.

President Barack Obama has excluded the possibility of cooperating with the Assad regime that has been frighting a hodgepodge of Sunni rebels for the past three years.

Mohammad al-Lahham, speaker of the Syrian parliament, has urged U.S. lawmakers to have the administration's policy re-evaluated and to prevent weapons from falling into the hands of all anti-government forces. The Assad regime also wants Washington to provide it with intelligence, pressure Turkey to obstruct the movement of jihadist into Syria, and for Saudi Arabia to end its patronage of the extremists, the Times reported.

Meanwhile, Assad's troops were conducting raids against the al-Qaida affiliated Nusra Front and the comparatively moderate Ahrar al-Sham in the Damascus suburbs close to areas of the city the government controls.

Until recently, Assad purportedly allowed ISIS to operate freely in the north of the country, where it clashed with the other insurgent groups and underscored his case that he was fighting terrorism. That has now changed and the government has been launching multiple attacks against ISIS, according to the Times.

At the same time, Assad's forces carried out airstrikes in northern Syria against the Syrian Revolutionaries Front — an amalgamation of 13 Islamist factions— which Washington deems sufficiently moderate to have its backing against the Islamic State, the Times reported.

The U.N. Human Rights Council in the meantime condemned the Syrian regime, accusing it of being responsible for "the majority of the civilian casualties" in the country although it acknowledged that the Islamists had carried out massacres, and stonings and crucifixions, the Times reported.

In a further sign of the chaos gripping Syria, the U.N. pulled out its Disengagement Observer Force whose mandate was to monitor the truce between Syria and Israel established after the 1973 Yom Kippur War. Members of the unit taken prisoner by the Nusra Front were released a week ago.

The forces were evacuated to the Israeli side of the Golan Heights,  The Wall Street Journal reported.


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Newsfront
United States efforts to strike at Islamic State fighters, while not benefiting al-Qaida-affiliated groups or the Syrian government, have been complicated by the chaotic fighting among warring factions across the country.
Islamic State, Syria war, Assad
396
2014-13-17
Wednesday, 17 September 2014 07:13 AM
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