Really wonder if the YPG will connect the Cantons.
Most maps of Syria show a pro-government enclave in eastern Rojava. What is this? Do Assad's soldiers in this region have some sort of non-aggression pact with the Kurds?
Reuters said:Kurdish Peshmerga forces launched a fresh attack on Islamic State (IS) forces early on Sunday as part of a campaign to capture Mosul, the militants' de facto capital in Iraq, Kurdish officials said.
The advance began after heavy shelling and air strikes by a United States-led coalition against IS forces, a Reuters correspondent reported from Wardak, 30 km (19 miles) southeast of Mosul. The militants fought back, firing mortars at the advancing troops and detonating at least two car bombs.
A Peshmerga commander said a dozen villages had been taken from the ultra-hardline Sunni militants as Kurdish forces headed toward Gwer, the target of the operation, 40 km (25 miles) southeast of Mosul.
Repairing a bridge that the militants destroyed in Gwer would allow the Peshmerga to open a new front around Mosul. The bridge crosses the Grand Zab river that flows into the Tigris.
Reuters said:Mosul is the largest urban center under the militants' control, and had a pre-war population of nearly 2 million.
Its fall would mark the effective defeat of Islamic State in Iraq, according to Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, who has said he aims to retake the city this year.
The Iraqi army is trying to close in from the south. In July it captured the Qayyara airfield, 60 km (35 miles) south of Mosul, which is to serve as the main staging post for the anticipated offensive.
The Peshmerga operation on Sunday was "one of many shaping operations that will also increase pressure on ISIL in and around Mosul," said an official from the Kurdistan Regional Security Council, using another acronym to refer to IS.
"Noose tightening around #ISIL terrorists: #Peshmerga advancing east of #Mosul, #ISF shoring up south near #Qayyara,"tweeted Brett McGurk, the U.S. envoy to the coalition fighting the militant group.
Preparations for the offensive on Mosul are "approaching the final phase," McGurk told reporters during a visit to Baghdad on Thursday. He said the planning included considerations for humanitarian aid to uprooted civilians.
BBC said:A dozen Turkish tanks have rolled across the Syrian border after heavy Turkish shelling of an area held by so-called Islamic State (IS).
Military sources told Turkish media 70 targets in the Jarablus area had been destroyed by artillery and rocket strikes, and 12 by air strikes.
Turkish special forces entered Syria earlier as part of the offensive.
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said the operation was aimed against both IS and Kurdish fighters.
Turkey shelled Syrian Kurdish forces in the region this week, determined not to let them fill the vacuum if IS leaves, the BBC's Mark Lowen reports from Gaziantep, near the Syrian border.
The concern in Ankara is that the Kurds could create an autonomous area close to the border which might foster Kurdish separatism within Turkey itself, our correspondent says.
BBC said:The tanks were followed by pick-up trucks believed to be carrying Turkish-backed Syrian rebels from the Free Syrian Army.
"At 04:00 [01:00 GMT] our forces began an operation against the Daesh [IS] and PYD [Kurdish Democratic Union Party] terror groups," President Erdogan said in a speech in Ankara.
The offensive is aimed at "putting an end" to problems on the border, he said.
A Turkish tank heads towards the Syrian border, 24 AugustImage copyrightAFP
At least a dozen tanks were involved
The Turkish town of Karkamis - just across the border from Jarablus - was evacuated as a precaution following earlier IS mortar attacks.
Turkey has vowed to "completely cleanse" IS from its border region, blaming the group for a bomb attack on a wedding that killed at least 54 people in Gaziantep on Saturday.
BBC said:An unnamed senior US official in Washington told BBC News before the start of the Turkish operation that it was "partly to create a buffer against the possibility of the Kurds moving forward".
"We are working with them on that potential operation: our advisers are communicating with them on the Jarablus plan.
"We'll give close air support if there's an operation."
Turkey and Free Syrian Army launch attack on Jarablus on the Turkish border
Hopefully the US can keep Turkey/FSA from fighting the SDF in the region, at least while Daesh is still active. Obviously ideally they'd work together against Assad too after that and come to an agreement on running Syria, but that would be the most optimistic scenario.
Seems like Turkey was spooked by the Kurds' success into doing what they should have been doing three years ago.
BBC said:Turkey says allied forces have driven so-called Islamic State (IS) from the last stretch of the border with Syria which the militants controlled.
The loss to IS would cut off key supply lines to the group in Syria and Iraq.
It comes after Turkey and pro-Turkish rebels launched an offensive last month to clear the border of militants.
Separately, Syrian state forces recaptured parts of Aleppo recently lost to rebels, reimposing the siege of the rebel-held east of the city.
Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim announced Ankara's military successes in a televised speech on Sunday.
He said: "Thank God, today, from Azaz to Jarablus, our 91km of borderline with Syria has been entirely secured.
BBC said:The UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said "rebels and Islamist factions backed by Turkish tanks and warplanes" had taken several villages on the border between Turkey and Syria "after IS withdrew from them, ending IS's presence on the border".
CHEEZMO;200887270 said:They also seem to want to make a point that they are trying to establish a presence in Bangladesh. They claim a couple of small attacks earlier in the issue, then has a eulogy for a Bangladeshi foreign fighter, and then caps off the issue with an interview with the Emir of this supposed new Bengali franchise.
He talks about how they need to protect the persecuted Muslims in Burma, but before that happens they need to establish a stronghold in Bangladesh to consolidate and strike forth from. Says that one of the obstacles to this is the presence of Hindus, Sufis and Christians etc, and that "Sharīah in Bengal wont be achieved until the local Hindus are targeted in mass numbers and until a state of polarization is created in the region, dividing between the believers and the disbelievers", which is quite ominous.
Also talk of long-term hopes to co-ordinate with ISIS in Af-Pak to carry out attacks in India.
An army of 10,000 troops is amassing outside of the besieged city of Aleppo as the government prepares for an unprecedented assault on rebel-held areas of the city after a week of airstrikes and artillery fire has left the city burning and hundreds dead.
According to senior government sources speaking to CNN, the US is now considering how to react to the latest move by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad against opposition forces in eastern Aleppo.
The troops, which have been gathering for the last week and are believed to include as many as 3,000 soldiers from Iran, are reportedly preparing for a final ground assault as al-Assad looks to crush rebel positions in eastern Aleppo and retake the strategically important city.
On Sunday morning the rebel alliance backed by Turkey announced that it had taken Dabiq after Isis withdrew from the town.
“The Daesh myth of their great battle in Dabiq is finished,” Ahmed Osman, the head of the Sultan Murad group, which took part in the operation, told Reuters.
The Levant Front, another group in the Turkish-backed offensive, published images from inside Dabiq shortly after the announcement, showing deserted streets and terrain.
The operation to reclaim Dabiq was part of Euphrates Shield, a campaign announced by Turkey in August in which Syrian rebel fighters have consolidated control over a stretch of territory from the Euphrates river to the town of Azaz, north of Aleppo, aided by Turkish fighter jets, tanks and special forces troops.
The town was the scene of the executions of American and British aid workers and journalists kidnapped by Isis, the filming of which came to symbolise the group’s brutality.
The Dabiq defeat is the latest in a string of losses for the terror group, which once declared its self-proclaimed caliphate was “remaining and expanding”.
The caliphate has instead receded: in Syria this year it has lost the historic city of Palmyra and the town of Manbij, north of Aleppo, as well as much of its holdings in northern Syria. In Iraq, it lost its stronghold of Falluja in the summer along with much of Anbar province. An operation to retake Mosul, the most populous city under its control, is expected to begin in the coming days.
Islamic State’s top lieutenants have been killed in targeted assassinations and airstrikes, including the recent high-profile killing of its spokesman, Abu Mohammad al-Adnani, in an airstrike on al-Bab, a town north of Aleppo that is expected to be an upcoming target for the Turkish-backed coalition.
Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi has announced the start of the Mosul offensive in a televised address.
Stay tuned to Rudaw for live updates.
Poor fucking guys. What can you say about this except it being acts of pure evil?And today the scum uploaded a video of 2 Turkish soldiers being burned alive: Monitoring group says Islamic State video shows two Turkish soldiers burned alive | Reuters