Monday, 18 January 2016

News round-up - 01/17/2016

Islamic State jihadists have reportedly slaughtered up to 280 people in the Deir ez-Zor province, killing “whole families” for alleged cooperation with the Syrian troops. The killings are said to have taken place a day after Russian humanitarian aid was airdropped in the region.

Local residents told Sputnik news agency the massacre happened in al-Bagilya settlement, an area which received Russian airlifted aid earlier.

The horrific massacre carried out today by ISIL militants in al-Bagilya in Deir ez-Zor. 280 victims, including women, children and old people. Reason – cooperation with the Syrian army,” a Sputnik source said.

Islamic State (IS, previously ISIS/ISIL) militants reportedly carried out executions of “whole families.”

Previously, reports indicated that IS fighters were moving their way up to the northern part of the Deir ez-Zor province.

The massacre appears to be one of the worst daily mass killings that took place over the five years of the Syrian conflict.

Syrian state media reports that all the people killed were civilians. But local monitoring groups say dozens of government troops were killed as well.

Syrian state news agency SANA initially reported that IS fighters murdered dozens of civilians, without providing any further details. Meanwhile, the Lebanon-based Al-Mayadeen TV said that 280 people were killed, including children and women. The TV channel added that the dead bodies were dumped in the Euphrates River, while 400 survivors were taken hostage.

Reuters also reported at least 250 people dead in Bagilya settlement, citing a source close to the government. Some of the victims were beheaded, according to the source.

Hours after the attack was reported, the governor of Deir ez-Zor province, Mohammad Qaddur Ajnyyja, told Sputnik that Syrian army has successfully freed the settlement from Islamic State control.

ISIL militants entered in the village of al-Bagilya… last night and perpetrated a massacre of whole families. For this reason the army headed to this region to save the population. There were clashes with ISIL militants, they suffered significant casualties, the rest succeeded to flee to the neighboring areas controlled by ISIL,” Ajnyyja said

Iranian banks received the opportunity to reconnect to SWIFT international payment system amid substantial relief of international sanctions imposed on Tehran in response to its nuclear program, SWIFT said in a statement


The Saudi Royal Army has not fared well against the Houthis and the Yemeni Army’s Republican Guard inside Saudi Arabia’s southern countryside; this has become evident with their lack of progress in the Jizan Region and the cities of Najran and Al-Rabou’ah.
On Saturday morning, the situation did not get any better for the Saudi Royal Army, as they were devastated by the Houthis and Republican Guard forces at the cities of Al-Rabou’ah and Najran.
Read more aAlMasdarNews

3 U.S. citizens kidnapped in Baghdad

3 U.S. citizens kidnapped in Baghdad
On Sunday morning, 3 U.S. citizens were reportedly kidnapped by unknown assailants in the Al-Dourah Neighborhood of southern Baghdad.
According to the Iraqi Minister of Information, the 3 U.S. citizens are of Iraqi origin and were only visiting the country temporarily before they were kidnapped.
The 3 U.S. citizens were on their way to the Baghdad International Airport before a number of assailants halted their vehicle in the Al-Dourah Neighborhood.
Iraqi security officials are currently working to rescue the kidnapped Americans.
As a result of this kidnapping, the U.S. State Department has issued a warning to all U.S. citizens about traveling to Iraq.

Saudi and Blackwater Forces suffer heavy losses in northern Yemen

Saudi and Blackwater Forces suffer heavy losses in northern Yemen

Saudi and Blackwater Forces suffer heavy losses in northern Yemen

Saudi and Blackwater Forces suffer heavy losses in northern Yemen
On Sunday morning, the Yemeni Army’s Republican Guard – in coordination with Saleh loyalists and the Houthis – carried out a powerful assault on the Saudi Royal Army’s defensive positions at the Al-Bayrak Camp in the Mar’eb Governorate, resulting in heavy casualties and the destruction of the base’s western fortifications.
According to the Yemeni Army, their forces struck the Saudi Royal Army’s positions at the western perimeter of the Al-Bayrak Camp with a toshka missile; this caused a large explosion that resulted in the death of several soldiers form the Saudi Army, the Blackwater Group, and the Emirati Army.
In addition to destroying the western fortifications, the Yemeni Army’s Republican Guard, the Saleh Loyalsits, and the Houthis also destroyed a well-developed “spying system” inside the base.
The Al-Bayrak Camp is located near the provincial capital of the Mar’eb Governorate in northern Yemen; this province is currently contested by the Saudi-led Coalition and the Yemeni Army.

Burkina Faso hostage siege: 126 freed, at least 20 killed in Islamist attack

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