Turkish security forces killed a total of seven PKK terrorists in Turkey and northern Iraq over the last two days, according to a Turkish General Staff statement on Monday, Anadolu reported.
The statement said that in the Zap area of northern Iraq on Sunday, Turkish fighter jets conducted an airstrike on PKK terrorists preparing for attacks on bases in Turkey.
The militant group Islamic State (IS) has vowed in a rare video message in Persian that includes the apparent beheading of four captured soldiers that it will conquer Iran.
In an appeal to sectarian divides, the group also calls on Iran’s Sunni minority to rise up against the Shi’a-dominated Iranian establishment.
WASHINGTON (AFP) – US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson declared Wednesday that Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi’s death is imminent, as US-backed forces close in on the jihadists in Syria and Iraq.
“Nearly all of Abu Bakr Baghdadi’s deputies are now dead, including the mastermind behind the attacks in Brussels, Paris and elsewhere,” Tillerson told a coalition meeting in Washington.
“It is only a matter of time before Baghdadi himself meets this same fate,” he promised, as he opened discussions between the 69 members of the US-led military coalition and their Iraqi ally.
Isis has reportedly banned football referees in one of its Syrian strongholds because they uphold the rules of Fifa and not Sharia law.
According to the UK-based Syrian Observatory of Human Rights, Isis commanders told organisers of local games that referees would be banned because their decisions ‘do not judge according to what Allah has revealed’ and are ‘a violation of Allah’s command and the Sunnah.’
TEHRAN (FNA)- A pilgrim has carried the flag of the ISIL terrorist group on the Plain of Arafat in Saudi Arabia during the Hajj rituals, media reports said.
According to Iraq’s Alsumaria satellite TV network, social media, especially Twitter, Facebook and YouTube, posted photos on Saturday showing a pilgrim carrying the ISIL flag during the Hajj rites on Jabal ar-Rahmah mountain on the Plain of Arafat on Friday, press tv reported.
The Saudi television aired footage of the pilgrim with the ISIL flag for just a few seconds before it stopped broadcasting the video.
This comes as Saudi Arabia and its former intelligence chief Prince Bandar Bin Sultan have played a leading role in the formation of the ISIL terrorist group.
The ISIL controls large areas of Syria’s East and North. The group sent its militants into Iraq in June, seizing large parts of land straddling the border between Syria and Iraq.
The West and its regional allies, including Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Turkey, are reportedly giving financial and military support to the militants.
Attack in subway likely also known in advance by Belgian and Western agencies; attack plan was formulated at de-facto ISIS capital of Raqqa, in Syria.
The Belgian security services, as well as other Western intelligence agencies, had advance and precise intelligence warnings regarding the terrorist attacks in Belgium on Tuesday, Haaretz has learned.
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The security services knew, with a high degree of certainty, that attacks were planned in the very near future for the airport and, apparently, for the subway as well.
Despite the advance warning, the intelligence and security preparedness in Brussels, where most of the European Union agencies are located, was limited in its scope and insufficient for the severity and immediacy of the alert.
As far as is known, the attacks were planned by the headquarters of the Islamic State (ISIS) in Raqqa, Syria, which it has pronounced as the capital of its Islamic caliphate.
The terror cell responsible for the attacks in Brussels on Tuesday was closely associated with the network behind the series of attacks in Paris last November. At this stage, it appears that both were part of the same terrorist infrastructure, connected at the top by the terrorist Salah Abdeslam, who was involved in both the preparation for the Paris attacks and its implementation.
Abdeslam escaped from Paris after the November attacks, hid out in Brussels and was arrested last week by the Belgian authorities.
Abdeslam’s arrest was apparently the trigger for Tuesday’s attacks, due to the concern in ISIS that he might give information about the planned attacks under interrogation, particularly in the light of reports that he was cooperating with his captors.
The testimony of the detained terrorist, alongside other intelligence information, part of which concerned ISIS operations in Syria, should have resulted in much more stringent security preparedness in crowded public places in Brussels, along with a heightened search for the cell.
As of now, the search is focused on the terrorist Najim Laachraoui, who created the explosive vests used by the bombers and escaped from the airport at the last moment.
There is concern, however, that other cells connected to ISIS in Western Europe will attempt to carry out additional attacks in the near future, either in Belgium or in other countries involved in the war against the terror organization in Syria and Iraq.
At least 31 people were killed and 260 wounded in the terrorist bombings at the Brussels airport and in the subway system on Tuesday. Responsibility for the attacks was claimed by ISIS.
Belgian authorities have named the two airport attackers as brothers Ibrahim and Khalid El Bakraoui. Laachraoui, who was photographed with the brothers at the airport and was observed fleeing the scene, is the subject of a massive manhunt.