Jordan: The safe haven for Christians fleeing ISIL
AMMAN // Ammar Elias Ayoub was a taxi driver in Mosul before ISIL militants overran the city last June. He fled just days before the terror group took over, knowing that he might be killed because of his faith.
Jordan unites in march amid ISIL claims that airstrikes killed US hostage
AMMAN // Jordan’s Queen Rania joined thousands of people as they marched through the streets of Amman on Friday in a display of unity against the ISIL terror group.
Pilot burned alive by ISIL was ‘proud’ to defend Jordan
AI, JORDAN // Maaz Al Kassasbeh, the Jordanian fighter pilot burned alive by ISIL militants, could have been anyone’s son in the tiny, remote village where he grew up.
Fear and fundamentalism: inside the terror group ISIL
The shock of the terrorist group ISIL’s rise is that it was a shock at all. Politicians in the United States considered Al Qaeda in Iraq to be defeated by 2010: another mission accomplished. In the years since there’s been a dismaying lack of analysis to counter this misleading narrative.
Jordan’s King Abdullah pledges ‘relentless’ war on ISIL after pilot’s death
AMMAN // King Abdullah of Jordan on Wednesday pledged a “relentless” war against ISIL on the extremists’ own territory,
The Syrian Supply Chain
ANKARA, Turkey — After months of excruciating indecision in Washington and a rapid reversal of events in Syria — where only six months ago it seemed like time was running out for President Bashar al-Assad — the White House has finally indicated that it will send light arms to the Syrian rebels. The decision, as spokesmen for the Syrian opposition were quick to point out, is unlikely to shift the balance of power in Syria, but it will almost certainly leave its mark on Turkey, which has become increasingly enmeshed in the conflict in recent months.
Holding Civil Society Workshops While Syria Burns
Even as the conflict escalates, however, the United States still appears fixated on the peaceful activists who dominated the early days of what is now a 19-month revolt. U.S. policy remains geared to providing only nonlethal support to the Syrian opposition, which rebels and activists deride as useless to those fighting the insurgency. Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia and Qatar are moving in to fill the vacuum left by the United States by supplying the rebels with lethal aid, bolstering their influence among the rebels.
The Air War in Aleppo
ALEPPO, Syria — For insurgents that are outgunned and lacking support, Syria’s rebels are a consistently cheerful lot. It’s not hard to see why: Here in the country’s northern Aleppo province, they have largely driven Syrian troops out of the countryside, and are forcefully challenging President Bashar al-Assad’s grip on the city of Aleppo.
In Syria, group suspected of al-Qaeda links gaining prominence in war to topple Assad
ALEPPO, Syria — A shadowy jihadist organization that first surfaced on the Internet to assert responsibility for suicide bombings in Aleppo and Damascus has stepped out of the shadows and onto the front lines of the war for Syria’s cities.
When Syria’s rebel cause has a British accent
ALEPPO, Syria // Wounded Syrian rebels being carried in and out of crowded hospitals are hardly an unusual sight. But when one young fighter passing through the hospital doors says, “Excuse me, guys”, in perfect British English, bystanders take notice.
Syrian Bombs Follow Refugees To ‘Liberated’ City of Azaz
AZAZ, Syria – Tiny pieces of a dead woman were picked up one by one and placed in a white piece of cloth. It might have been a scarf or perhaps simply at hand when it was needed for a final task that certainly had not been its intended purpose. The young men filled the cloth with bits of the woman’s remains and moved broken pieces of concrete from around the rest of her body. The men carefully collected as much of her as possible.
Alawites fear they, and not Assad, are the target of rebels
SAMANDAG, Turkey // For Celal and other Alawites, the world seems to be closing in all too quickly. Whether in Syria or southern Turkey, those who belong to the Shiite-linked sect are scared.
Rebel forces armed by wealthy exiles
As Syria slides towards a civil war, a wealthy Syrian exile is racing to provide additional arms and ammunition to the loosely organised bands of rebels fighting under the umbrella of the Free Syrian Army (FSA).
On the Front Line with Syria’s Free Army
AIN AL-BAIDA, SYRIA – The Turkish flag flies next to the green, white, and black standard of the Syrian revolution at a Free Syrian Army (FSA) position above the village of Ain al-Baida. Here, about 150 rebel fighters — mostly defectors from the Syrian Army — are situated in concrete and cinderblock houses pockmarked by bullet holes, their weapons pointed across the valley at the Syrian military below
‘Every Syrian has lost someone. Now we are ready to fight back’
The sharp pop of gunfire draws little reaction. The soldiers of the Free Syrian Army (FSA) point to a multi-storey house just across the wide valley from their base above the village of Ain al-Baida, about a mile from the Turkish border. “That is where the military is,” says commander Abo Mohammad, who wears a camouflage jacket over civilian clothes and cradles an AK-47.
‘They shot people who were trying to get away’
The haunting memories of savage violence and loss are fresh in their minds. Now, with the vengeful forces of the regime closing in, the terrified and exhausted stream of the dispossessed fleeing Syria’s strife await an uncertain fate. More than 10,000 people have headed for the Turkish border in an attempt to escape the onslaught unleashed by Bashar al-Assad. They were living in squalor with little food and water and no shelter. But they were prepared to suffer that to reach a place of relative safety away from the tanks, artillery and helicopter gunships, and the death they bring.