Syrian Kurds demonstrate in Qamishli against Turkish shelling of Kurdish militia posts in northern Syria, on October 31, 2018. Source: DELIL SOULEIMAN/AFP/Getty Images

ISIS: The rise and fall of Islamic State in Iraq and Syria

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Reuters//Timeline: The rise and fall of Islamic State in Iraq and Syria

The rise and fall of Islamic State of Syria and Iraq in the middle east – AIWA! NO!

In 2013, ISI began seizing territory in Syria and changed its name toIslamic State in Iraq and the Levant (Isis/Isil). The next year Isis overran large parts of Iraq, proclaimed its leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi as caliph, and became known as “Islamic State“.

CRIMSON TAZVINZWA, AIWA! NO!|(Reuters) – Islamic State fighters have been defeated at the final shred of territory they held in eastern Syria, marking the end of jihadist rule that once spanned a third of Iraq and Syria, the U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) said on Saturday.

The Jerusalem Post
A man cries as he carries his daughter while walking from an Islamic State -controlled
The Jerusalem Post//A man cries as he carries his daughter while walking from an Islamic State -controlled

This timeline chronicles the lightning rise, cruel reign and gradual fall of Islamic State.

* 2004-11 – In the chaos following the 2003 U.S.-led invasion of Iraq, an al Qaeda offshoot sets up there, changing its name in 2006 to Islamic State in Iraq.

* 2011 – After Syria’s crisis begins, the group’s leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi sends operatives there to set up a Syrian subsidiary. Baghdadi follows in 2013, breaking with al Qaeda and renaming his group “The Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant”.

* 2014 – Its sudden success starts with the seizure of Fallujah in Iraq and Raqqa in Syria at the turn of the year. The jihadists take Mosul and Tikrit in June and overrun the border with Syria. At Mosul’s great Mosque, Baghdadi renames the group Islamic State (IS) and declares a caliphate.

So begins a reign of terror. In Iraq, IS slaughters thousands of Yazidis in Sinjar and forces more than 7,000 women and girls into sexual slavery. In Syria, it massacres hundreds of members of the Sheitaat tribe. IS beheads Western hostages in grotesquely choreographed films.

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi (centre) announces victory over Islamic State in Mosul, Iraq, on July 10, 2017.
Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi (centre) announces victory over Islamic State in Mosul, Iraq, on July 10, 2017. PHOTO: REUTERS

In September, the United States builds a coalition against IS and starts air strikes to stop its momentum, helping the Syrian Kurdish YPG militia turn the militants back from Kobani on the border with Turkey.

* 2015 – Militants in Paris attack a satirical newspaper and a kosher supermarket, the bloody start to a wave of attacks that IS claims around the world. Militants in Libya behead Christians and pledge allegiance to IS, followed by groups in other countries, but they stay operationally independent.

In May, IS takes Ramadi in Iraq and the ancient desert town of Palmyra in Syria, but by the end of the year it is on the back foot in both countries.

* 2016 – Iraq takes back Fallujah in June, the first town IS had captured during its initial blaze of success. In August, the U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), spearheaded by the Kurdish YPG, takes Manbij in Syria.

Alarmed by the Kurdish advances near its own frontier, Turkey launches an offensive into Syria against both IS and the YPG. Enmity between Turkey and the YPG will continue to complicate operations against IS.

* 2017 – Islamic State suffers a year of catastrophic defeats. In June it loses Mosul to Iraqi forces after months of fighting and Baghdad declares the end of the caliphate. In September the Syrian army races eastwards backed by Russia and Iran to relieve Deir al-Zor and re-extend state control at the Euphrates River. In October, the SDF drives IS from Raqqa.

* 2018 – The Syrian government retakes IS enclaves in Yarmouk, south of Damascus, and on the frontier with the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights. The SDF advances further down the Euphrates and Iraqi forces take the rest of the border region. The United States vows to withdraw troops.

* 2019 – IS fighters are defeated at their last enclave on the Euphrates at the village of Baghouz, the SDF says. The SDF declares the “caliphate” eliminated.

Compiled by Angus McDowall; Editing by Tom Perry/Mark Heinrich


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(Danish Ismail/Reuters) Indian soldiers stand next to the wreckage of an Indian Air Force helicopter after it crashed in Budgam district in Kashmir Feb. 27, 2019.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo calls for ‘restraint’ after Pakistan shoots down Indian fighter jets amid rising tensions in Kashmir

 Indian soldiers stand next to the wreckage of an Indian Air Force helicopter after it crashed in Budgam district in Kashmir Feb. 27, 2019.
(Danish Ismail/Reuters)  Indian soldiers stand next to the wreckage of an Indian Air Force helicopter after it crashed in Budgam district in Kashmir Feb. 27, 2019.

Tensions continue to rise between the two nuclear powers –
Guy Davies , abc

AIWA! NO!|Secretary of State Mike Pompeo called for “restraint” after two Indian jets flying in Pakistani territory were shot down Wednesday morning by the Pakistani military. Tensions continue to rise between the two nuclear powers over the disputed region of Kashmir.

After speaking to both the Indian and Pakistani ministers for foreign affairs earlier in the day, Pompeo said in a statement that he “expressed to both ministers that we encourage India and Pakistan to exercise restraint, and avoid escalation at any cost.”

Maj. Gen. Asif Ghafoor, a spokesman for Pakistan’s military, confirmed on Twitter that Pakistan Air Force’s shot down the jets.

Maj Gen Asif Ghafoor@OfficialDGISPR

In response to PAF strikes this morning as released by MoFA, IAF crossed LOC. PAF shot down two Indian aircrafts inside Pakistani airspace. One of the aircraft fell inside AJ&K while other fell inside IOK. One Indian pilot arrested by troops on ground while two in the area.105K6:19 AM – Feb 27, 2019Twitter Ads info and privacy71.1K people are talking about this

 Indian soldiers and Kashmiri onlookers stand near the remains of an Indian Air Force helicopter after it crashed in Budgam district, on the outskirts of Srinagar on Feb. 27, 2019.
(Tauseef Mustafa/AFP/Getty Images)  Indian soldiers and Kashmiri onlookers stand near the remains of an Indian Air Force helicopter after it crashed in Budgam district, on the outskirts of Srinagar on Feb. 27, 2019.

One of the aircraft fell inside Pakistani territory and the other was grounded in Indian-controlled territory, Ghafoor said. One Indian pilot was arrested and taken into custody and is “being treated as per norms of military ethics,” the military spokesman said.

The Indian aircraft entered Pakistani airspace after the Pakistan Air Force undertook “strikes” across the Line of Control, the border between Pakistani and Indian-controlled Kashmir, according to the Pakistan Ministry of Foreign Affairs. These airstrikes were launched against “non-military” targets, which were mostly empty areas, Asad Ali, a senior analyst for IHS Markit, told ABC News.

Dr Mohammad Faisal@ForeignOfficePk

#Pakistanstrikesback #PAF undertook strikes across LoC from Pakistani airspace. Sole purpose of this action was to demonstrate our right, will and capability for self defence. We do not wish to escalate but are fully prepared if forced into that paradigm#PakistanZindabad8,5266:19 AM – Feb 27, 2019Twitter Ads info and privacy3,359 people are talking about this

Mohammad Faisal of the Pakistan Ministry of Foreign Affairs posted on Twitter that the “sole purpose of this action was to demonstrate our right, will and capability for self defence.”

Pakistan’s ministry of information also released a video which appears to show the downed jets and a number of military personnel on the scene.

Information Ministry@MoIB_Official

Wreckges of Indian fighter planes burning. Well done Pakistan Air Force. The entire nation is proud of you.1,0096:59 AM – Feb 27, 2019522 people are talking about thisTwitter Ads info and privacy

Conflicting reports

The escalation in tensions comes after the Indian Air Force said it carried out an airstrike on Jaish-e Mohammad militants in Pakistani territory this week. The Indian government has blamed the militant group for a suicide bomb attack that killed 40 Indian security personnel in Kashmir on Feb. 14. India has accused Pakistan of harboring the militant group, a claim Pakistan denies.

In a meeting with the foreign ministers of Russia and China, India’s external affairs minister, Sushma Swaraj, said the airstrike on Monday was carried out “in the light of continuing refusal of Pakistan to acknowledge and act against terror groups on its territory.”

“The Pakistan Air Force was detected and the Indian Air Force responded instantly,” the Indian government said in a statement. “In that aerial engagement, one Pakistan Air Force fighter aircraft was shot down by a MiG 21 Bison of the Indian Air Force. The Pakistani aircraft was seen by ground forces falling from the sky on Pakistan side. In this engagement, we have unfortunately lost one MiG 21. The pilot is missing in action. Pakistan has claimed that he is in their custody. We are ascertaining the facts.”

The conflict between the two sides is characterized by contradictory official reports. On Tuesday, India claimed it had killed a “very large number” of Jaish e-Mohamed militants while the Pakistani military spokesperson said there were no casualties and the jets were successfully scrambled.

“This kind of misinformation, backed up by each country’s noisy media, is a useful strategy that allows both sides to claim victory,” Elizabeth Chatterjee, a lecturer in regional and comparative politics at Queen Mary University in London, told ABC News.

This is the first aerial battle between the two nations since their war of 1971. Since then both Pakistan and India have become nuclear powers.

Pakistan’s minister of finance, Asad Umar, accused Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi of “a mad attempt to pitch two nuclear nations in a conflict.”

“I hope there are no questions left about Pakistan’s capability and will to defend itself now,” he posted on Twitter. “Hope the sane voices in India will be able to stop narendra modi’s mad attempt to pitch two nuclear nations in a conflict that no sane person can want.”

‘Leader of Chinese consulate attack in Pakistan reported killed’ in Afghanistan

CTV News
Separatists attack Chinese consulate in Pakistan, killing 4. pakistan
CTV NewsSeparatists attack Chinese consulate in Pakistan, killing 4. pakistan

Mastermind of Chinese consulate attack killed in Kandahar: BBC

Alleged leader of Chinese consulate attack in Pakistan reported killed
One of the alleged masterminds of an attack by a Pakistani separatist group on the Chinese consulate in Karachi last month has been killed along with five associates, the insurgent group said on Wednesday. 

Sources say Aslam alias Achu is a BLA commander. PHOTO: EXPRESS

Sources say Aslam alias Achu is a BLA commander. PHOTO: EXPRESS

|AIWA! NO!|The mastermind of a recent attack on the Chinese consulate in Karachi has been killed along with six other Baloch terrorists in a suicide attack in Kandahar, Afghanistan.

According to BBC Pashto service, the banned terrorist group Baloch Liberation Army (BLA) confirmed the death of Aslam along with other terrorists.

A child was also injured in the attack in the second largest city of Afghanistan.

Sources said the other terrorists killed in the attack included; Taju Marri, Rustom alias Rosto, Rahim Marri and Nasir Baloch.

The local sources told BBC that Aslam had arrived in Kandahar a few weeks back.

According to Pakistani sources, Achhoo was the mastermind of the recent attack on the Chinese consulate in Karachi and he was also behind an attack on the Quaid-i-Azam Residency in Ziarat. He was the chief of a group of the BLA.

Chinese consulate attack ‘mastermind’ being treated at New Delhi hospital

They said Achhoo was taken to India via Afghanistan for treatment after he was injured in an earlier incident. He had returned to Afghanistan after recovery.

Afghan authorities said the attack took place in Eeno Meena, a posh area of Kandahar. No group has claimed responsibility for the suicide attack so far.

Cases of bomb explosions, attacks on security forces and target killing had been registered against Aslam and his head money was fixed at Rs5 million.

According to the banned BLA’s statement, Aslam was one of the founding leaders of the organisation and had been associated with it for 25 years. It said other terrorists killed in the attack had also been associated with the group for several years.

On November 23, security forces staved off a brazen terrorist attempt to storm the Chinese consulate located in the upscale Clifton neighbourhood of Karachi. Four people – including two police officials – were martyred before all the three terrorists were taken down by security forces. The diplomatic staff inside the consulate remained unhurt.


Pakistan Former Prime Minister Sharif jailed for seven years for graft

Supporters of former Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif protest against a court ruling, in Multan, Pakistan, Monday, 24 December 2018 ( AP )

Supporters of former Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif protest against a court ruling, in Multan, Pakistan, Monday, 24 December 2018 ( AP )

A Pakistan court on Monday jailed former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif for seven years on graft charges that he says were politically motivated.

A Pakistan court on Monday jailed former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif for seven years on graft charges that he says were politically motivated.

The anti-corruption court said in its ruling that the three-time prime minister was unable to prove the source of income that led to his ownership of a steel mill in Saudi Arabia.

Mr Sharif was sentenced in July to 10 years in prison by the same court, on charges related to the purchase of upscale apartments in London, after the Supreme Court removed him from power. He was released in September pending an appeal.

Mr Sharif’s supporters said he would appeal.

“Appeal is our right, we will protest but will remain peaceful,” former prime minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, who succeeded Sharif last year, told reporters outside the courthouse in Islamabad.

Sharif was ousted and disqualified from holding office by the Supreme Court in July 2017 and jailed earlier this year in absentia. He was arrested on 13 July upon returning from London.

The court ruled on two charges related to Sharif‘s assets: the ownership of the Al-Azizia Steel Mills in Saudi Arabia set up by Sharif‘s father in 2001, and Flagship Investments, a company established by his son, Hasan Nawaz, which owns luxury properties in Britain.

Atena Daemi, Iranian Human Rights Activist Jailed For Opposing Death Penalty On Hunger Strike Since February 2018

Atena Daemi is a children's and human rights defender who has advocated for the rights of children in Kobane and Gaza, for women's rights and against capital punishment.

Atena Daemi is a children’s and human rights defender who has advocated for the rights of children in Kobane and Gaza, for women’s rights and against capital punishment.

Atena Daemi is serving seven years in Iran’s most notorious prison. Her crime? Peacefully protesting for women’s rights and an end to the death penalty.

|AIWA! NO!|On 12 May 2018, Atena Daemi and Golrokh Iraee were returned to Evin Prison after having been illegally transferred to Gharchak prison (in the city of Varamin) for three and half months. Both human rights defenders had been on hunger strike in protest at the transfer.

As of 9 March 2018, human rights defenders Atena Daemi and Golrokh Ebrahimi Iraee are being held in a quarantine section of Shahr-e Rey prison in the town of Varamin. They are still on hunger strike as of 15 February 2018.

On 13 February 2018, the mother and sister of Atena Daemi were arrested after being beaten by prison guards with batons while standing in front of Evin prison to show their solidarity with the defender. They were released that same evening.

On 8 October 2017, Atena Daemi was taken to hospital to have surgery on her gall bladder.

She had previously refused treatment due to the fact that she was to be handcuffed throughout hospitalization – there was some negotiation in this regard and the prison director ultimately relented to her demand not to be handcuffed during the surgery.