Video: ISIS Is Doing Something Unimaginably Sick To These Kids, Even For Them

While Secretary of State John Kerry and his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov are reportedly close to a new agreement on a cessation of hostilities in Syria, the Islamic State escalated the violence in the country on Sunday.

On Sunday, six ISIS terrorists killed close to 190 people and wounded hundreds of others in car bomb and other suicide attacks in Homs and the Damascus region in Syria.

The carnage started when two ISIS suicide bombers blew themselves up near the Shiite shrine in Sayyida Seinab killing 120 people, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported. This was followed by a car bomb attack in Damascus and a twin car bomb attack in Homs that killed another 64 people and wounded at least 180 others, SOHR reported.

The attacks came after reports that the Islamic State suffered new defeats at the hands of the Russian/Iranian led pro-Assad coalition and rebels supported by the U.S.-led coalition in the area north of Aleppo and elsewhere in Syria.

The pro-Assad Shia news site Abna and the London-based Sunni Arabic newspaper Asharq al-Awsat reported that ISIS lost 25 villages in the Aleppo area over the last week and had started to evacuate hundreds of fighters and their families from the area. A spokesman for the Russian army confirmed the evacuation and said “militants in Aleppo have carried out a mass evacuation of their families to the north of the province toward the Turkish border.”

Also on Sunday, the Daily Mail in Great Britain reported the publication of a new ISIS video that shows how the Jihadist organization uses children to carry out suicide attacks with car bombs in Syria and Iraq.

Abu Imara al-Omri, an 11-year-old boy, can be seen in the video kissing his father’s hands before driving a truck bomb toward the village of Gazl near Aleppo where he detonated the car bomb, blowing himself up.

Before driving in the direction of Gazl, the boy and his father inspect the explosives-laden truck, and the child receives instruction how to ignite the explosives. The final part of the video shows Abu Imara sitting in the truck and receiving his father’s blessing before taking off to Gazl where the explosion of the car bomb is visible sometime later.


The increase in ISIS suicide attacks in Syria is part of a shift in the strategy of the group after both the Russian/Iranian led coalition and the U.S.-led alliance stepped up its air campaign in the country and succeeded to halt the advance of ISIS to other regions.

The Islamic State is now trying to sabotage American efforts to come to a ceasefire in Syria because the group knows it will be excluded from the arrangement. The parties involved in the ceasefire negotiations agreed earlier that the battle against the Islamic State and Al-Qaeda affiliate Jabhat al-Nusra will continue after what Kerry now calls by its Arabic name “Hudna” is realized.

Kerry said Sunday the parties have come closer to a cease-fire (Hudna) in Syria after he announced that President Obama and Russian leader Vladimir Putin will speak on the telephone several times this week to iron out the final details of the agreement. The Obama administration wants a ceasefire that is long enough to start up negotiations about the future of the war-torn country. The Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad will benefit from this “Hudna” and has already announced a willingness to enter the cease-fire.

ISIS wants to torpedo the ceasefire because continued fighting will serve its interests and will relieve some of the pressure on its fighters. Sowing chaos and destruction to destabilize countries is part of the ISIS doctrine and has proven effective in Iraq, Syria and Libya where the U.S. launched its first airstrikes on ISIS last week.

The airstrikes on ISIS positions in Libya do not mean that the U.S. will restart its involvement in Libya experts say, but were meant to deter the Islamic State from expanding its activities into Tunisia.

The Daily Beast reported last week that Obama refuses to implement recommendations by the U.S. military to start a military operation against the Islamic State in Libya. Instead, the administration decided to carry out isolated strikes against ISIS that will hopefully prevent a spillover of the war in Libya to other countries in the region.

Kerry and Obama have previously said that military intervention in Libya would be dependent on the forming of a national unity government in Tripoli. Now that this government has finally been formed, the President seems to renege on his promise to go after Islamic State “anywhere it appeared.”

With 28 Dead, Turkey Uses Terror Attack To Step Up Campaign Against Syrian Kurds- But Is Afraid Of Russia

Just hours after a car bomb killed 28 people in Ankara, Turkey — including some high-ranking Turkish military officials — Wednesday evening, Turkey’s president Tayyip Erdogan and prime minister Ahmet Davutoğlu announced they had identified the perpetrator of the attack.

Davutoğlu said during a speech broadcast on live television that the attacker had been identified as Salih Neccar, a Syrian citizen born in 1992 in the northern Syria town of Amuda.

“In light of information we have obtained, it has been clearly identified that this attack has been carried out by the members of a terrorist organization inside Turkey together with a YPG member individual who has crossed from Syria,” Davutoğlu said.

The alleged bomber had entered Turkey in July, 2014. A security official later claimed Neccar had been in contact with the Kurdish Workers Party (PKK) in Turkey and with the Syrian secret service Mukhabarat.

Erdogan announced 14 people had been arrested in connection to the attack and claimed both the PKK and the Syrian Kurdish militia YPG were behind the assault.

“Even though those who head the PYD (the political party that runs the YPG) and PKK say this has no connection with them, based on the information obtained by our interior minister and our intelligence agencies, it is identified that this is done by them,” Erdoğan claimed.

Saleh Muslim, a leader of the Kurds in northern Syria, denied the YPG and PYD were behind the attack.

Muslim claimed Turkey was using the attack to justify an escalation of fighting in northern Syria. “We are completely refuting that. Davutoğlu is preparing for something else because they are shelling us as you know for the past week,” he told Reuters

“I can assure you, not even one bullet is fired by the YPG into Turkey. They don’t consider Turkey an enemy,” Muslim added.

Erdogan later called upon the EU and the Obama administration to acknowledge the YPG is a terrorist organization, similar to the PKK, which is designated as a terror group by both EU and U.S.

The speedy conclusions by both Turkish leaders who didn’t waste time accusing the YPG could indicate that Muslim is probably right.

Erdogan feels betrayed by the U.S. because the Obama administration didn’t buy his claims of the YPG being a terrorist group. Erdogan wants the Europeans and the U.S. to stop supporting the Syrian Kurds and believes the YPG is a just branch of the PKK.

The U.S. helped to form the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) that consists of the YPG and moderate Sunni militias. The YPG has proven to be the most effective fighting force in the battle against ISIS in Syria and now controls much of the border area with Turkey.

Erdogan earlier closed a deal with Obama about the establishment of a buffer zone in northern Syria that would be free of ISIS. But Erdogan planned to use the buffer zone to prevent further Kurdish advances along the border. The Turkish President fears that the YPG successes in Syria will inspire the PKK to declare autonomy in eastern Turkey.

When Obama dragged his feet on the issue, Erdogan started looking for other ways to realize the Kurds-free zone on the Turkish border between the Kurdish cantons Kobane and Afrin in northwestern Syria.

He first issued an ultimatum to Obama about the recognition of the YPG as a terrorist organization and a stop on military aid to the Kurds. When that didn’t help he ordered the Turkish army to shell YPG positions in Syria. This happened after the YPG advanced north of Aleppo and captured Al-Ziyara and Khuraybika — two villages in the Shirawa region of the Afrin Canton a couple of kilometers from the Turkish border.

This week the Turkish army intensified the shelling across the border in Syria after the Kurds captured the Tishrin Dam south of Jarablus in Syria, and crossed to the west of the Euphrates River. With this move, the Kurds crossed a red line for Erdogan.and Davutoğlu, who had said Turkey never would allow the Kurds to cross to the western bank of the Euphrates River.

But the Kurds weren’t stupid and decided not to provoke a Turkish invasion in northern Syria. Instead of advancing west of the Euphrates River they proceeded in the direction of Azaz east of Afrin where they seized the Menagh air base and nearby villages. On Feb. 13 the Turkish army started shelling Menagh and the captured villages, killing two civilians and wounding six others.

It didn’t prevent the Kurdish-dominated SDF from achieving a new success when it seized Tel Rifat close to the Turkish border. The Turks tried to prevent the Kurdish advances by letting approximately 500 Islamist Syrian rebels — who were transferred from Idlib Province in Syria — cross the Turkish border in the vicinity of Tel Rifat, and by sending in ammunition and weapons.

They stopped short, however, of sending in Turkish ground forces. It’s easy to explain why.

The Russians warned Erdogan and Davutoğlu not to interfere in northern Syria and threatened air strikes on Turkish troops that would enter Syria. The Turkish leaders apparently backed off and used Syrian rebels to try to stop the SDF advances.

Erdogan and Davutoğlu are again trying to enlist the West against the YPG by using the terrorist attack in Ankara. There is no evidence, however, of Salih Neccar’s alleged ties to the YPG and it could be the terrorist was affiliated with Islamic State that claimed responsibility for an earlier attack in Turkey that killed 95 people. PYD leader Saleh Muslim thinks Turkey fabricated the story about Neccar’s ties to the YPG and PYD in order to escalate the war against the Syrian Kurds.

“They are trying to escalate, for one week they have been shelling, it’s a type of escalation,” Muslim told DW in Germany.

Meanwhile, the Turkish air force again bombed PKK positions in Iraq, and the cross-border shelling on SDF positions in Syria continued today. The PKK reacted with an attack on a military convoy in southeast Turkey and killed six Turkish soldiers.





Syrian War Escalates After ‘Ceasefire’ Anouncement; Russia Warns Of World War III

News broke Friday that world powers had agreed on the “cessation of hostilities” in Syria. The announcement came after marathon talks in Munich aimed at facilitating the restart of the negotiations about a permanent cease fire in Geneva.

The first round of the UN-sponsored talks at the beginning of February ended abruptly after three days because the Russian/Iranian pro-Assad coalition started an offensive against rebels in Syria’s largest city Aleppo on the first day of the conference in the Swiss city.

After the announcement of the deal in Munich, the parties emphasized it’s not a formal cease fire, since the fight against Islamic State and al-Qaeda affiliate Jabhat al-Nusra will continue, and Russian vowed to continue its bombing campaign against “terrorist” targets in Syria.

The deal should be implemented within one week. But immediately after the announcement of the agreement it became clear that, as Secretary of State John Kerry put it, “more work needs to be done.”

Kerry said during a press conference after the announcement of the deal that “what we need to see in the next few days are actions on the ground, in the field.”

If the actions on the ground are an indication, there’s little chance the agreement will be implemented at all.

Since Friday, the Russians stepped up their airstrikes against rebels that fight Assad’s army in Syria. On Saturday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov expressed pessimism about the chances the deal will achieve a cessation of the hostilities. He said the chances to implement the deal were “49 percent.”

At the same time the Russian-backed Syrian Army continues to advance north of Aleppo and has captured positions in the Raqqa Province the Islamic State stronghold in Syria. The government forces aim to advance in the direction of the ISIS capital in the coming days. A Syrian general said the Raqqa front is now open.

Meanwhile, Russia again vowed to continue airstrikes against the “terrorists.” This includes Western-backed rebel forces.

Kerry and other Western leaders such as French Foreign Minister Manual Valls now call on Russia to stop the “bombing of civilians” but it didn’t prevent them from agreeing to the deal. This is why Israeli Middle East expert Ehud Yari said Kerry sold out Aleppo and the pro-Western rebels by agreeing to the deal.

Also on Saturday, reports emerged about Turkish attacks on Kurdish YPG positions in Syria.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the artillery strikes were targeting the village of Malkiyeh and the Mannagh air base, which was captured by Kurdish fighters and their allies earlier this week.

Amer Hassan, an opposition activist based in the northern Syrian town of Azaz, confirmed Turkish troops have shelled the Mannagh air base, Associated Press reported.

The Turkish military action started immediately after Prime Minister Achmed Davutoglu threatened the Kurds with military action.

“We can, if necessary, take the same measures in Syria as we took in Iraq and Qandil,” Davutoglu said on Turkish television.

He was referring to the Turkish crackdown on the PKK in Iraq and its stronghold in the Qanndil mountains in the country. Davutoglu said he expected  Turkey’s “friends and our allies will stand by us,” a reference to the Obama administration that is at odds with Ankara over the approach toward the Kurds in Syria and Iraq.

The U.S. sees the Kurds as an important ally in the battle against Islamic State, while President Erdogan of Turkey demands the Obama administration recognizes the Syrian Kurdish militia YPG as a terrorist organization. The YPG has ties with the Turkish Kurdish Workers Party PKK, which is designated as a terrorist organization by the EU and the United States.

Also on Saturday, Turkey announced  it is coordinating with Saudi Arabia on a possible ground operation against “Islamic State” in Syria. The Turkish announcement came after the United Arab Emirates said it was willing to deploy ground forces in Syria to help rebels in the battle against Islamic State.

Adel al-Jubeir, the Saudi foreign minister, made clear what the real goal of the Turkish-Saudi cooperation is. “There will be no Bashar al-Assad in the future,” he said.

Both the UAE announcement and the Turkish-Saudi preparations for a ground offensive in Syria led to sharp-worded Russian statements about an impending “world war” and a return to the cold war.

“We can say it even more clearly: We have slid into a new period of Cold War,” Russian PM Medvedev said Saturday at the Munich Security Conference.

His comments cannot be dismissed as mere rhetoric. While Medvedev was referring to the NATO actions in Eastern Europe, the Russian intervention in Syria has caused a tectonic shift in the power balance in the region.

Russia has filled the vacuum in the Middle East that has been created by the Obama administration and is working to replace the United States as the dominant force in the region.

In Syria, Russia has already succeeded in changing the power balance and has tied the hands of other powers. The U.S.-led coalition, for example, has stopped manned flights over Western Syria and does not provide air support to pro-Western rebel forces in the region anymore.

The deployment of the S-400 air defense system means Russia is controlling all of Syria’s airspace and can even hit Israeli warplanes flying over the northern part of Israel.

Iranian media reported Saturday the deployment of the S-400 system will be followed by more advanced air defense systems that will make any foreign intervention in Syria much more complicated and increase the chances of further escalation in the powder keg the Middle East already is.

WATCH: Russia Introduces A New Deadly Toy In The Syrian War

As Western Journalism reported today, Russia has moved the Sukhoi SU-35 S super flanker to its airbase in the Syrian Latakia Province. The SU-35 is the world’s most dangerous fighter plane after the US-made F-22.

The move came as the Russian/Iranian coalition is seeking to win its first major victory in Syria by recapturing Aleppo, the largest city in the country.

The SU-35S arrived in Syria last week and on Sunday fresh video evidence was released that showed the fighter jet already participates in the airstrikes against opposition forces in the warn-torn country.

To get an idea about the plane’s impressive capabilities, the video below, published in January 2015 shows the introduction of the fighter plane during Russia’s biennial super air show and arms bazaar MAKS.

Russia has already installed the S-400 surface to air missile system that virtually controls all air traffic in Syria’s airspace. It uses two airbases in Syria to carry out an increasing number of airstrikes that prepare the way for ground offensives in northern and southern Syria.

The Russians have also equipped their SU-34 fullback fighters with air to air missiles after the downing of a Russian warplane by Turkish F-16 fighter jets in December 2015. The deployment of the SU-35S increases the striking capabilities of the Russian air force in Syria and must be seen as a warning to Turkey, as well. Russia will not tolerate another attack on its air force by Turkey.

You can watch video images of the SU-35S in northern Syria here:

h/t: Foxtrot Alpha

Russia’s Syria Strategy Is Paying Off: Anticipated Fall Of Syria’s Largest City Will Be Turning Point In The War

More than twenty thousand new Syrian refugees are trapped at the Bab al-Salam border crossing with Turkey in northern Syria after they fled the Syrian city of Aleppo at the end of last week.

The Syrian citizens left Aleppo during intensive Russian airstrikes, and after Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s army and its allies started to close in on the eastern side of the city that has been controlled by rebels since the summer of 2012. An estimated 40,000 other residents are on their way from Aleppo to the Turkish border or have found shelter in the Kurdish Canton Afrin, local media reported on Sunday. Afrin is relatively safe because the Russians and the American-led coalition planes don’t carry out airstrikes there.

The EU has called upon Turkey to open its borders to the refugees, and President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has promised to do so; but for now, Turkey is delivering aid to the refugees in Syria. The governor of the Turkish border province of Kilis has said that only in the event of an “extraordinary crisis” will the refugees be allowed to enter Turkey; he did not elaborate. Turkey is already hosting more than 2,5 million Syrian refugees and wants other countries to do more to elevate the unprecedented humanitarian crisis in Syria.

The battle for Aleppo could be the turning point in the almost five-year-old Syrian war and comes on the heels of the failed peace conference in Geneva last week. The opposition accuses the Assad regime of deliberately undermining the conference and points to the timing of the offensive in the vicinity of Aleppo that coincided with the beginning of the conference in Geneva. Assad is now more interested in securing a military victory than in a negotiated settlement of the conflict, they claim.

The opposition is probably right.

Since the Russian intervention in Syria, Assad’s chances of surviving the rebellion against his regime have significantly risen, and his Russian/Iranian-led coalition has even succeeded in regaining the initiative in the war.

The Russians have used the period between September 2015 and January 2016 to build up their forces and to bring in large quantities of arms and other military equipment that replenished the depleted arsenals of Assad’s army and Hezbollah. Just last week, the Russians flew in the Sukhoi SU-35S, the most dangerous fighter plane in the world except for the U.S. made F-22, according to Western media.

The Russians are also building a large military base for ground forces south of the city of Latakia in Syria, the Israeli Hebrew language paper Yediot Acharonot reported on Friday. Analyst Alex Fishman wrote that the base would be, in fact, a Russian autonomous area in Syria where Russian personnel will be in full control of everything. Fishman says that this shows that the Russians intend to stay in Syria and will try to expand their influence over parts of the Middle East from there.

The successful Russian strategy is now becoming visible in Aleppo and elsewhere in Syria.

The Syrian army together with Hezbollah has repeatedly tried to recapture Aleppo – or Halab in Arabic – which is the largest city in Syria, but all efforts failed. But now, the situation looks different. This became apparent last week when after heavy Russian airstrikes, the Assad coalition succeeded in cutting off a crucial supply route from Aleppo to the Turkish border. The reinforcement of troops by Al Qaeda affiliate Jabhat al-Nusra in eastern Aleppo was not enough to stop the advances of government forces, and some fear that Assad’s army will impose a siege on the city instead of trying to drive out the rebels by urban battle.

The city has been split in half since the rebels captured eastern Aleppo in mid-2012, and had been the scene of intensive fighting and bombardments ever since. A local Syrian journalist painted a bleak picture of the future of the rebels in Aleppo.

“The rebels have light weapons, and they are facing literal armies: Iran, Russia, the [Syrian] regime, Hezbollah … ISIS. They’re up against warplanes and surface-to-surface missiles. And meanwhile, Turkey won’t even let in the refugees. How do you think it’s going to go?” Mohammed al-Khatib told NPR.

The siege and the fall of Aleppo will probably deliver a decisive blow to the opposition in Syria, experts think. It probably will be the turning point in the war, not only because of the loss of Aleppo but mainly because the supply routes of the opposition forces are now under increasing threat.

“The full encirclement of Aleppo City would fuel a humanitarian catastrophe, shatter opposition morale, fundamentally challenge Turkish strategic ambitions, and deny the opposition its most valuable bargaining chip before the international community,” according to the Washington-based Institute of the Study of War.

The latest reports from the Aleppo region make mention of a massacre among Jabhat al-Nusra forces in the city of Retyan, close to Aleppo. Three hundred al-Nusra fighters were killed during fierce fighting with Assad’s army there over the past few days, Russian media reported.

The turning tide of the Syrian war has not only become visible in the northern and western part of the country, but in the south as well.

In the area of Daraa, the southern town that was the scene of the first demonstrations against the Assad regime in 2011, government forces are on the march as well.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) reported on Friday that the Syrian army, backed by Hezbollah and foreign Shiite militias, seized the town of Ataman,1.3 miles from Daraa, the capital of the province with the same name.

Here, the pattern was the same: Russian warplanes carried out intensive air raids ahead of a ground offensive; and within a short time, government forces recaptured Ataman.

The recapture of the northern part of the Daraa Province is probably the beginning of a long-anticipated offensive that aims to bring Assad back in control of southern Syria.

But it won’t stop there. Israel fears that this offensive will end with a push by Hezbollah and the Iranian Al-Quds Brigades to set up camp next to the Israeli border on the Golan Heights.

Meanwhile, Russia warned Saudi Arabia not to intervene in Syria after the Saudi government had announced it was willing to send ground troops to assist the U.S. led coalition in a possible future ground offensive against Islamic State.

The Saudi decision was welcomed by the U.S. State Department, but Pavel Krasheninnikov, the head of the Russian State Duma Committee, threatened war over the Saudi decision.

“Syria has to give official consent, to invite. Otherwise, it will be war,” Krasheninnikov said on Friday.