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January 25, 2015

One of the Japanese hostages is reportedly still alive.
20:10 GMT
Daesh radio confirmed on Sunday that its terrorists have executed Japanese security contractor Haruna Yukawa, following the release of a video announcing the hostage's death, according to AFP.
The rocket and mortar attacks on central Damascus were in retaliation for air raids carried about by the Syrian regime. (Photo: AFP File/SANAA)
15:25 GMT
Four civilians were killed and dozens wounded when rebels fired a barrage of rockets and mortar rounds Sunday at central Damascus, a monitoring group said.
The group's leader, Zahran Alloush, demanded that the Syrian government stop their offensive in Ghouta or else the militant group will retaliate. (AFP/File)
10:10 GMT
A militant commander in Syria has threatened Damascus that terrorists may hit the capital by Katyusha rockets.
The US-led air campaign, which Washington claims aims to degrade Daesh's military capability, remains the subject of debate, with critics pointing to Daesh’s advances and battlefield successes despite the raids.(AFP/DOD /Jonathan Synder)
08:39 GMT
Since the start of the US-led airstrikes against Daesh, only one percent of the supposed "caliphate" has been reclaimed.
Japan's Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga answers questions during a press conference after Daesh released a nearly three-minute recording showing a still image of Japanese hostage Kenji Goto holding an apparent photograph of Haruna Yukawa's slain body. (AFP/Kazuhiro Nogi)
07:43 GMT
Japan's government ministers held emergency meeting in response to the recently released Daesh video.
Al-Rishawi planned to wear a suicide bomb alongside her husband at a wedding reception in the Radisson SAS Hotel in Amman in 2005. (AFP/File)
07:17 GMT
Daesh reportedly demanded the release of an Iraqi woman detained in Jordan in exchange for a Japanese hostage they have captured.
In it's fifth year, the Syrian conflict has so far resulted in an exodus of 3.8 million Syrians into Jordan and Iraq, while another 7.6 have been internally displaced. (AFP/File)
05:00 GMT
Activist network Syrian Network for Human Rights reported in a statement that at least 92 people across Syria were killed in government airstrikes on Friday.

January 24, 2015

While the video has not yet been verified by officials, experts have noted the original video, which demanded $200 million ransom on a 72-hour deadline, varies considerably from previous Daesh videos. (AFP/File)
17:07 GMT
In an unverified video released Saturday afternoon, Daesh militants claim to have killed the first of two Japanese hostages after the passing of a 72-hour deadline to receive a $200 million ransom, and issues new demands for the release of the second hostage, journalist Kenji Goto.
The violence is the latest in a slew of clashes in Lebanon's restive Bekaa Valley area, where militants spill over from Syria and encounter the Lebanese army frequently. (AFP/File)
09:11 GMT
Ongoing clashes between the Lebanese army and Syrian al-Qaeda-affiliate Nusra Front have reportedly left casualties on both sides, with two Lebanese soldiers dead, four wounded and five missing completely in the restive Lebanese border town of Ras Baalbek.
The news follows an international address by UN Security General Ban Ki-moon Friday, in which the UN leader stressed the deteriorating state of some 7.6 internally displaced people in Syria, and another 3.8 million who have be forced to flee. (AFP/File)
07:26 GMT
British-based activist group Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said Friday an air attack by the Syrian government in the city of Ghouta, outside Damascus, has killed over 40 people, many of the women and children.

January 23, 2015

Lebanon has witnessed increased violence recently that is seen as a spillover from the Syria conflict. (Photo: AFP/Zac Baillie)
11:39 GMT
Daesh militants have reportedly clashed with the Free Syrian Army in eastern Lebanon, which has been suffering from a spillover of the Syria crisis.
In additional comments, Hammond stressed that any ground activity to combat the group would be done by a reconstructed Iraqi army, and British ground troops would not be involved. (AFP/File)
05:00 GMT
As Europe remains tense after the Charlie Hebdo attacks in Paris, British Foreign Secretary Philiip Hammond said he believed the greatest threat to British soil was a Daesh attack by sympathizers living in the UK.

January 22, 2015

The US announced a train and equip program for moderate Syrian rebels in the northern and southern fronts of war-torn Syria, which is set to launch in March. (AFP/File)
18:05 GMT
Syrian opposition umbrella group Syrian National Coalition (SNC) received $6 million from the US, marking the first direct financial aid from Washington to reach the group.
A Syrian man evacuates a child found in the rubble of a building reportedly hit by an explosives-filled barrel dropped by a government forces helicopter. (AFP/Khaled Khatib)
12:54 GMT
The Syrian government reportedly dropped barrel bombs in Homs killing 13, including two children.
Onlookers watch a large TV screen in Tokyo showing reports about two Japanese nationals who were kidnapped by Daesh. (January 20, 2015)
11:14 GMT
Japan's government made last attempts to free two hostages being held by Daesh militants in Syria as the three-day ultimatum given by the group entered day two.
Syrian opposition members attend a conference to discuss the forthcoming Moscow meeting, in Damascus, on January 19, 2015. (AFP/Louai Beshara)
10:12 GMT
Syria's opposition interim government received $6 million from the US government for implementing development and relief projects in areas liberated by the "moderate Syrian opposition".
Hashim Safieddin (C), head of Hezbollah's political bureau, arrives to attend the funeral of Hezbollah military leader Mohammed Issa, a senior commander responsible for Hezbollah operations in Syria and Iraq, one of the six Hezbollah fighters killed in an Israeli strike near Quneitra on the Syrian-controlled side of the Golan Heights, in the southern Lebanese village of Arab Salim. (AFP/Mahmoud Zayyat)
08:00 GMT
The Israeli airstrikes on Golan Heights has ushered in a new phase of strategic resistance by Syria and Hezbollah; but who will lead, what will retaliation look like, and how will the conflict escalate?
Several leaders from the militant group Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan pledged allegiance to Daesh last year. (AFP/File)
07:01 GMT
Pakistani security forces arrested an ISIL militant and two accomplices in the city of Lahore. According to a senior security official, the Syrian man was setting up terrorist networks in the country.

January 21, 2015

Government forces regained control of parts of Homs in May 2014. (AFP/Getty Images)
13:39 GMT
The bomb was detonated in a majority Alawite neighborhood of Homs.
The airstrikes are believed to have struck a cattle market in northern Syria. (AFP/File)
07:04 GMT
Airstrikes carried out by the Syrian government Tuesday killed at least 39 people including many civilians in the north of the country.

January 20, 2015

UN peacekeepers in the Golan Heights say they saw the Israeli drones fly over the ceasefire line before the airstrike. (AFP/File)
17:07 GMT
An unnamed Israeli security source said the Iranian Revolutionary Guard general, who was killed in an Israeli strike on a Hezbollah post in Syria, was not an intended target.
While Canadian officials declined to specify where the attack took place, the incident is the first recorded clash between Daesh and Western forces in Iraq. (AFP/File)
15:56 GMT
In the first confirmed clash between Western forces and Daesh militants, Canadian special forces say they exchanged fire with insurgents in Iraq last week.
While several members of the Shiite militant group were contacted following the attack, most refused to comment on both the attack itself and possible retaliation. (AFP/File)
12:49 GMT
As thousands of Hezbollah supporters call for revenge in Beirut, Hezbollah has so far remained silent on retaliation plans for an Israeli strike on an Israeli air strike on a Hezbollah convoy in Syria's Qunaitra Sunday.
Israeli soldiers from the Golani Brigade take part in a military training exercise in the Israeli-annexed Golan Heights near the border with Syria. (AFP/Jack Guez)
11:14 GMT
The collaborative "resistant society" aimed to prevent Israel from normalizing relations with locals, following Israeli airstrikes earlier this week which killed numerous Hezbollah members and Iranians.
Lebanese soldiers stand in the border town of Arsal, which was overrun by Daesh and Nusra Front militants last year. (AFP/File)
09:17 GMT
A Lebanese man was kidnapped by Daesh militants in the border town of Arsal Tuesday, according to local media reports.
A screenshot shows the Daesh militant standing between two Japanese hostages. (Image: NBC)
08:06 GMT
Daesh militants threatened to execute two Japanese hostages in a new propaganda video released Tuesday.
“In a way I feel guilty and I’ve gone over it in my mind many times of all the things that I could have done to avoid it from happening. But as a parent I feel like I’ve been a victim of this, rather someone to blame," said the young Jihadi's mother. (AFP/Getty/Al-Hayat Media Centre)
07:19 GMT
A mother who traveled to Turkey to bring her son home expresses fear and frustration at a lack of support for radicalized former fighters suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder.
UN peacekeepers patrol the occupied Golan Heights in Syria. (AFP/File)
06:50 GMT
UN peacekeeping forces deployed in the Golan Heights said they saw Israeli drones prior to an airstrike, which killed seven Hezbollah fighters.
Iranian General Mohammad Ali Allah-Dadi was inspecting Quneitra, a region near the Golan Heights, when he was killed in the airstrike. (AFP/File)
06:00 GMT
Iran confirmed that General Mohammad Ali Allah-Dadi was killed in the airstrike on Syria's sector of the Golan Heights on Sunday.
Syria is behind schedule in destroying its bunkers and hangars used to produce chemical weapons. (Photo: JM LOPEZ/AFP)
05:00 GMT
Syria has started destroying what remained of its chemical weapons production and storage facilities.

January 19, 2015

The recapture of the hilltop is seen as significant progress for Kurdish fighters battling Daesh. (Photo: AFP/Bulent Kilic)
14:19 GMT
Kurdish fighters have managed to recapture a strategic hilltop from Daesh in the Syrian border town of Kobani.
Lebanese troops stand at a checkpoint in the border town of Arsal, August 9, 2014. (AFP/File)
10:32 GMT
Up to 700 moderate rebels allegedly pledged allegiance to Daesh along Syria's border with Lebanon where the militant group is gearing up to launch further attacks.
The plane crashed into electrical power-lines while attempting to land. (AFP/File)
06:59 GMT
The military cargo plane crashed in Idlib while trying to land at Abu al-Duhur military airport due to heavy fog, resulting in 35 soldier deaths.

January 18, 2015

Syria said last month that Israeli jets had bombed areas near Damascus international airport and in the town of Dimas, near the border with Lebanon. (AFP/Jack Guez)
17:14 GMT
Israeli helicopters fired two missiles into the Syria's Golan Height, killing nine including Jihad Mughniyeh, the son of Hezbollah's slain top military commander Imad Mughniyeh.
The Israel Defense Forces have not confirmed the attack. (AFP/Getty/Jack Guez)
14:52 GMT
Two missiles allegedly struck Syrian Golan Heights.
Arizona state Senator John McCain has urged for more US military action in Syria during the conflict's long life span, and arrived in Saudi Arabia this week to discuss the US's upcoming train and equip program for moderate Syrian rebels. (AFP/File)
11:05 GMT
With a US-led train and equip program for moderate Syrian forces on the horizon in March, US Senator John McCain led a delegation of US senators to Saudi Arabia to discuss the plan's progress.
The King's College radicalization studies' center said the women have appeared across social media asking other British women who cannot come to Syria to 'carry out something at home.' (AFP/File)
08:43 GMT
British-based International Center for the Study of Radicalization has identified about 30 British female Daesh members as emerging threats as they encourage other female Muslims to carry out attacks in the UK on social media.
The Moroccan government believes nearly 2,000 Moroccans have fought in Syria or Iraq for Daesh or other militant organizations. (AFP/File)
05:00 GMT
The Moroccan police dismantled a terrorist cell and arrested its eight members. The cell recruited Moroccans to fight for Daesh in Syria and Iraq.

January 17, 2015

Pentagon press secretary John Kirby said the training program is set to begin in March, giving some groups the opportunity to travel back to Syria to fight before the year's end. (AFP/File)
06:00 GMT
Troops from US Special Forces will be among some 400 military trainers traveling to Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Turkey to train moderate Syrian rebels, the Pentagon said Friday.

January 16, 2015

The US and ally effort to train and equip Syrian moderate rebels is part of a larger campaign to push back advances by Daesh in Iraq and Syria, where so far US-led coalition forces have been carrying out airstrikes against the group since last September.  (AFP/File)
18:38 GMT
The US has announced plans to send 400 military trainers to hosting sites Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Qatar, a US Defense Department officer said Friday.
Islamist extremists took killed 17 people in Paris last week, including 12 journalists from the satirical magazine, Charlie Hebdo. (AFP/File)
13:56 GMT
Hundreds of Muslims took the streets in northern and southern Lebanon Friday to protest the new cover of satirical French magazine, Charlie Hebdo, which depicts the Prophet Mohammad.
Syrian refugees have been hit hard with freezing winter temperatures in Lebanon, where inadequate housing has already resulted in several casualties. (AFP/File)
08:44 GMT
Rama Tahran, a 50-year-old Syrian refugee living in a makeshift cap in Lebanon's eastern city of Baalbek, passed away Thursday after winter temperatures dipped below freezing.

January 15, 2015

The Syrian government has regained control of parts of Homs in May 2014, and it is likely al-Waar will also surrender to government forces. (AFP/File)
15:02 GMT
A ten-day truce has been agreed upon between Syrian rebels and the government in Waar, an area of Homs.
Seven airstrikes targeted the contested Syrian city of Kobani. (AFP/Getty Images/Taieb Mahjoub)
14:02 GMT
The Combined Joint Task Force announced it launched 11 attacks in Syria and another 11 attacks in Iraq on Wednesday.
Abu Anwar al-Canadi, a 23-year-old Canadian who appeared in a Daesh propaganda video last year condemning Canada's involvement in the US-led coalition airstrikes, is reportedly among five Canadians killing fighting with the militant group in Syria. (AFP/File)
09:31 GMT
Canadian media reports the deaths of at least five Canadians fighting with Daesh in Syria in recent months, including a 23-year-old Ottawa man who appeared in a video condemning US-led coalition airstrikes months ago.
Turkey will sign a 'memorandum of understanding' with the US late-January, marking the first step toward the implementation of a train and equip program for moderate opposition forces in the war-torn Syria. (AFP/File)
08:46 GMT
The IS Syria envoy discussed joint Turkish-US plans to implement a train-and-equip program for Syrian rebels in recent Istanbul meetings, the Central Command said Wednesday.
During a visit, International Committee for the Red Cross President Peter Maurer met with Lebanon's PM Tammam Salam and discussed the prisoner crisis as well as Lebanon's controversial new visa policy for incoming Syrians. (AFP/File)
07:25 GMT
During a visit to Lebanon, a top official to the organization said the International Committee for the Red Cross could help in securing the release of Lebanese servicemen still held hostage from clashes in Lebanon's northeastern border town of Arsal through a prisoner exchange.
In August 2014 the UN reported over 191,000 deaths in Syria since the start of the conflict, making al-Assad an expert on the senseless murder of civilians. (AFP/Joseph Eid)
05:00 GMT
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad shared his expert opinion on senseless murders, blaming Europe's governments for the terrorist attacks in Paris.

January 14, 2015

The killers of al-Nusra denied the woman's final wish to see her children before she was executed. (AFP/File)
12:33 GMT
Al-Nusra Front executed a woman charged of adultery near the city of Idlib in Syria.

January 13, 2015

A screen shot of a Daesh propaganda video shot last March shows militants riding on tanks through the northern Syrian city of Homs, experts say the use of children in the most recent videos reflects a drastic change in direction. (AFP/File)
17:30 GMT
A video by the militant group in Iraq and Syria purports to show a young boy, thought to be around 10 or 11 years old, shooting dead two men they call
At least 27 Syrian have died due to the freezing weather, according to the Syrian National Coalition. (AFP/File)
13:21 GMT
The Syrian National Coalition was heavily criticized over the rising number of deaths due to harsh winter conditions in the country.
Coalition forces bombed 27 positions across Iraq and Syria, according to a US official. (AFP/File)
07:43 GMT
US officials confirmed 27 airstrikes were carried out across Iraq and Syria, killing three civilians in Deir al-Zor and wounding three others.

January 12, 2015

Fahed Najjar alive and kicking here! (Image: The Daily Star)
10:49 GMT
Everyone was convinced he was dead last month, but now a source reveals that Syrian actor Fahed Al Najjar was seen recently in a Damascus cafe? What the...
The Shin Bet warned Arab Israelis of the dangers of travelling to Syria, insisting they will be subject to capture and torture by Assad's security forces like Mr. Nasrallah. (AFP/Jalaa Marey)
10:44 GMT
Yousef Yaakub Nasrallah, age 20, was arrested at the Jordan River Crossing and subsequently tortured throughout numerous interrogations upon attempting to return home to Israel after traveling to Syria via Jordan in April 2014.