Associated Press/Syrian Democratic Forces, file

Syrian militia advances on ISIS-held Raqqa

by Lynde Langdon
Posted 6/06/17, 10:26 am

U.S.-backed Kurdish troops in Syria began an offensive against the northern city of Raqqa, the de facto capital of Islamic State (ISIS). The Syrian Democratic Forces have been advancing toward Raqqa since November. ISIS has fortified its positions in the city, setting up barriers and hanging sheets of cloth to provide cover from airstrikes. A belt of landmines and checkpoints circles the city, and men have been ordered to dress like jihadis to make it more difficult to distinguish between militants and civilians.

Read more

Associated Press/Photo by Aaron Favila

Philippine airstrike kills 11 soldiers in friendly-fire incident

by Onize Ohikere
Posted 6/01/17, 09:11 am

A Philippine airstrike mistakenly killed 11 of the country’s own soldiers and injured seven others as government officials struggle to regain control of the besieged southern city of Marawi, the defense ministry confirmed on Thursday. Military spokesman Gen. Restituo Padilla said the plane was carrying out a bombing operation over militant positions in the city on Wednesday when it hit the troops, who were fighting ISIS-linked extremists who had taken cover in buildings and houses. Military chief of staff Gen. Eduardo Ano has ordered an investigation into the strike.

Read more

Associated Press/Russia Defense Ministry Press Service

Russia launches missile attack on ISIS

by Lynde Langdon
Posted 5/31/17, 10:38 am

Russia fired four cruise missiles at Islamic State (ISIS) positions in Syria today in support of Syrian troops fighting the terror group. A frigate and a submarine in the Mediterranean Sea launched the missiles toward the area surrounding Palmyra, where the Syrian government is fighting to cut off ISIS from the border with Iraq. In recent weeks, the military has reclaimed a swath of territory from ISIS and U.S.-backed rebels. Russia, a staunch ally of Syrian President Bashar Assad, has been providing air cover for the fight against ISIS and other insurgents since 2015.

Read more