July 10, 2016


Islamic State lost quarter of its Iraq, Syria territory in 18 months: IHS (Reuters, 7/10/16)

Islamic State lost an area the size of Ireland - a quarter of its territory - to hostile forces in the last 18 months in Iraq and Syria and is likely to further step up attacks on civilians in coming months, IHS said in a report on Sunday.

The territory controlled by the ultra-hardline Sunni group shrank from 90,800 sq km (35,000 square miles) in January 2015, six months after it declared a caliphate in Syria and Iraq, to 68,300 sq km (26,370 square miles), the research firm said.

This has led the group to step up attacks on civilian targets in the Middle East and in Europe and this is likely to intensify, IHS said.

"As the Islamic State's caliphate shrinks and it becomes increasingly clear that its governance project is failing, the group is re-prioritizing insurgency," said Columb Strack, senior analyst at IHS and lead analyst for the IHS Conflict Monitor.

Two Russian Helicopter Pilots Shot Down, Killed In Syria: Interfax (REUTERS, 07/10/16)

Militants shot down a military helicopter near Palmyra in Syria, killing two Russian pilots on board, Interfax news agency said, quoting Russia's defense ministry.

The two men had been attacking a detachment of Islamic State fighters in the Homs region on Friday, when the Syrian Mi-25 helicopter they were in ran out of ammunition, the ministry said, according to Interfax.

Kurdish militant bomb attack on Turkish army outpost kills two: sources (Reuters, 7/10/16)

Kurdish militants carried out a car bomb attack on a military outpost in southeastern Turkey overnight, killing one soldier and a member of the state-sponsored village guard militia, security sources said on Sunday.

It was the second such attack within 12 hours in the mainly Kurdish region, showing no let-up in a conflict between the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) militant group and the state which flared up a year ago when a two-year-old ceasefire collapsed.

Coalition air strikes, Turkish army kill eight Islamic State militants: Anadolu (Reuters, 7/10/16)

Air strikes by U.S.-led coalition warplanes and artillery fire from Turkey killed eight Islamic State fighters in northern Syria, state-run Anadolu Agency cited the Turkish military as saying on Sunday.

Ten Islamic State targets were hit in the strikes, which also destroyed one building used by the militants as a base, the agency said.

The UR hardly deserves credit for the state of this war, which is driven by the universal demand for self-governance (unleashed in the Arab world by George W. Bush) and the universal rejection of Islamicism (unleashed by ISIS), but he has managed not to get in its way, which is an epic achievement in itself.

Posted by at July 10, 2016 7:50 AM