At least 50 people are killed and dozens more wounded latein an attack possibly carried out by a suicide bomber on a wedding party in the Turkish city of Gaziantep near the Syrian border. A senior security official says the device used was the same type as those employed in the July 2015 suicide attack in the border town of Suruc and the October 2015 suicide bombing of a rally of pro-Kurdish activists in Ankara. Reports say the attack was carried out by a suicide bomber aged between 12 and 14. Turkey’s foreign minister:
Daesh should be completely cleansed from our borders and we are ready to do what it takes for that.
The U.S. military dismisses a claim that ISIS shot down a jet piloted by a Jordanian airforce pilot, and confirms the group has taken the pilot captive. CentCom statement:
Evidence clearly indicates that ISIL did not down the aircraft as the terrorist organization is claiming. We strongly condemn the actions of ISIL, which has taken captive the downed pilot
We will support efforts to ensure his safe recovery, and will not tolerate ISIL’s attempts to misrepresent or exploit this unfortunate aircraft crash for their own purposes.
The Jordanians are highly respected and valued partners and their pilots and crews have performed exceptionally well over the course of this campaign.
The group captures the Jordanian pilot after his plane crashes in Syria while carrying out airstrikes. He was in an F-16 and was able to eject. He is the first foreign fighter to fall into the militant group’s hands since the bombing campaign began several months ago.
Rehana is reported to have been beheaded by ISIS. Photos claiming to show her severed head are circulated on Twitter, but her death is unconfirmed at this point. The Kurdish YPG (People’s Defense Unit) and YPJ (Women Protection Unit) aren’t able to be reached for comment.
Metropolitan police commissioner Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe says the figure is a minimum, and the ‘drumbeat of terrorism in the UK’ is now ‘faster and more intense’.
Those are the ones that we believe have gone. There may be many more who set out to travel to another country and meandered over to Syria and Iraq in a way that is not always possible to spot when you have failed states and leaky borders.
A video released on ISIS-affiliated social media pages shows a woman being stoned to death. The charges against the woman are not clear, but a cleric accuses her of committing adultery. The woman pleads for forgiveness with a man that she refers to as her father, before the sentence is carried out.
The UK government is reported to redeploy drones based in Afghanistan to Iraq and Syria, where they may get authorization to deploy Hellfire missiles. They will be based in Kuwait and controlled via satellite link from RAF Waddington in Lincolnshire. Whitehall official:
The Reapers would be very useful for intel on Isis in Syria for ourselves and our allies; that would be their primary purpose. Their use in combat would obviously depend on parliamentary approval – unless we have a need for them to secure the wellbeing of British subjects or prevent a humanitarian crisis.
ISIS is reported to have crucified a 17-year-old boy it said was taking photos of its installations and selling the for 500 Turkish lira. The group is reported to have left his body on display in a square in Syria with a note pinned to his chest saying he has been ‘killed and crucified for a period of three days’ as punishment for ‘apostasy’.
The head of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says ISIS fighters have been making test flights in fighter jets believed to be MiG 21 or MiG 23s captured from the government. It isn’t known if the jets are equipped with weapons or if the pilots are capable of long-distance flights. Rami Abdulrahman:
They have trainers, Iraqi officers who were pilots before for Saddam Hussein. People saw the flights, they went up many times from the airport and they are flying in the skies outside the airport and coming back,’ he said, citing witnesses near al-Jarrah military airport.
ISIS issues a set of 11 rules for journalists in Deir Ezzor, including a requirement to submit a request for a license to the group’s media office, providing the user-names of any social media accounts operated by journalists, and avoiding working with TV channels it has placed on a blacklist as being anti-Islamic, including Al Jazeera and Al Arabiya. Journalists must also swear allegiance to Baghdadi as the Caliph. The Independent reports that most journalists have fled the area since the rules were announced.
The leaders of Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon and the Gulf Cooperation Council – the alliance of Sunni Arab Gulf nations that includes Saudi Arabia, Qatar and the UAE – sign a document called the stating that they have formally Obama’s coalition against ISIS (full text here). The Jeddah Communique:
The ministers representing states of the Gulf Cooperation Council, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon and the United States declared their shared commitment to stand united against the threat posed by all terrorism, including the so-called Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), to the region and the world … The participants resolved to strengthen their support for the new Iraqi Government in its efforts to unite all Iraqis in combatting ISIL and discussed a strategy to destroy ISIL wherever it is, including in both Iraq and Syria.
Sharrouf tweets a photo apparently showing his seven-year-old son holding the decapitated head of a Syrian soldier. Caption:
That’s my boy
In the photographs featuring Sharrouf and his son the heads are blackened and bloated, having been dead for a week.
Austrian authorities detain two girls attempting to leave the country to join extremist groups in the Middle East. The girls are aged 16 and 14, and their parents are apparently of Iraqi origin. They are caught when the mother of a third friend who was supposed to be traveling with them becomes suspicious about the amount of luggage her daughter is packing. Police are now hoping to find out how they became radicalised, and whether anybody helped them plan their trip to Syria via Turkey.
An investigation by ABC’s 7:30 program identifies 33-year-old Mohammad Ali Baryalei from Sydney as Australia’s most senior ISIS member. Baryalei is from an aristocratic Afghan family that came to Australia as refugees as a child, and has worked as a security guard in King’s Cross and made a brief appearance as an extra on the true crime show Underbelly. Police say that in 2013 he traveled to Syria to fight with extremist groups and has since become the top recruiter of Australians to ISIS, involved in its operational command in Syria and Iraq as a facilitator for Australians traveling to join jihad. Baryalei in an intercepted phone call with his handler in Sydney:
Four brothers coming this week. They are leaving Australia. Going to try to get them by the weekend. Abu Qaqa is the tall one that was doing Dawah with you. … The brothers yesterday, they were crying, affected, none of them wanted to stay in this country one second.
A report by the London-based Conflict Armament Research small-arms research organization says ISIS is using U.S. weapons supplied by Saudi Arabia to moderate Syrian groups. The study documented weapons seized by Kurdish forces from ISIS fighters in Iraq and Syria over a 10-day period in July. The organization says ISIS disposed of ‘significant quantities’ of U.S.-made small arms including M16 assault rifles. It includes photos of ‘Property of U.S. Govt’ markings on the weapons. It also finds that anti-tank rockets used by ISIS in Syria are ‘identical to M79 rockets transferred by Saudi Arabia to forces operating under the Free Syrian Army umbrella in 2013.’ The rockets were made in Yugoslavia in the 1980s.
ISIS has ‘distributed‘ as many as 300 Yazidi women to rank-and-file members in the past few weeks. The Syrian Observatory on Human Rights confirms at least 27 cases in which women have been sold for around $1,000 each to fighters in Aleppo and Raqqa suburbs and Al-Hassakah, while others have been given away. SOHR says the women were kidnapped in Iraq and transported to Syria and that some have converted to Islam so that ISIS fighters can marry them. ISIS views them as:
captives of the spoils of war with the infidels
ISIS beheads a Lebanese soldier, one of 19 captured in an assault on the border town of Arsal aimed at freeing captured Syrian rebel commander Imad Ahmad Jomaa. The soldier, recognizable as Ali al-Sayyed, a Sunni Muslim from north Lebanon, is shown blindfolded with his hands tied behind his back, writhing and kicking the dusty ground while a militant announces he will be killed. Another militant then beheads him.
ISIS has acquired an arsenal that includes state-of-the-art anti-aircraft guns that can shoot down modern warplanes and poses a significant threat to civilian flights. Prior to the group’s weekend capture of the Taqba airport, it had already seized a large amount of weapons from the Assad regime and fleeing Iraqi forces that includes top-shelf mortars, APCs and even several M1A1 Abrams main battlefield tanks, but its surface-to-air capability was limited to ageing, subpar equipment. However, more recent propaganda photos show militants holding standard-issue carbines and Russian-made Kalashnikov AK-47 replicas, a staple of Middle Eastern armed groups for decades, alongside Russian SA-24 Grinch manpads (man-portable air defence system) captured from the airfield. An American diplomat involved in monitoring Islamist groups:
There is a need to assess the air-defence capabilities of ISIS and also the capabilities of President Assad’s forces. But, I would like to stress that no decision has yet been made on whether to extend the operations in Iraq to Syria
The group is known to have Soviet, Polish and Bulgarian ZU23-2 and ZU23-4 anti-aircraft guns and American low altitude FIM92 Stinger manpads, and has used GSHK heavy-machine guns against the Assad regime’s attack helicopters to great effect, although they are not much use against high-flying fast jets. These are now thought to be augmented by Chinese FN-6 manpads that can hit targets at 11,000 feet and SA-16 Gimlet manpads, with effective range of 16,000 feet which were supplied in large quantities to the regime.
ISIS fighters offer a prisoner swap of 19 Lebanese soldiers captured in their assault on the border town of Arsal in exchange for Islamist detainees, including Imad Ahmad Joma, previously affiliated with Al Qaeda branch Al-Nusra Front but now aligned with ISIS. A militant:
It is simple: their soldiers for the Islamic hostages.
Syrian fighters affiliated with ISIS and Al Qaeda branch the Al-Nusra Front withdraw from the Lebanese border town of Arsal at dawn. The militants take with them 10 soldiers and 17 policemen captured and held as hostages. A fighter:
They could be released later in stages
Syrian fighters release three soldiers captured during the assault on the Lebanese border town of Arsal, bringing the total number of soldiers released to five. The group says it is still holding 10 soldiers and 17 policemen. The rebels are reported to pledge allegiance to both ISIS and the Al Qaeda affiliate Al-Nusra Front.
A Lebanese Army statement says its casualties total 14 soldiers killed, 86 wounded and 22 missing from three days of fighting against Syrian rebels claiming to be from both ISIS and Al Qaida affiliate the al-Nusra Front. The rebelssay they are fighting to free rebel commander Imad Ahmad Jomaa, who has pledged allegiance to both groups. Jomaa’s deputy:
Let them release our emir and we are ready to pull out from all over the town … Or else we will escalate and expand, and we will ask for more demands
Syrian rebels attack the Lebanese border town of Arsil in an apparent attempt to free a militant, Imad Ahmad Jomaa, detained a day earlier by Lebanese security forces. Army statement:
What happened today is the most dangerous incident Lebanon and the Lebanese have ever faced because it’s made clear that there is someone planning and preparing to attack Lebanon as well as planning to sabotage the Lebanese Army and the residents of Arsal
Rival opposition groups including the Al Qaeda-affiliated Al-Nusra Front expel ISIS from the province of Deir Ezzor. The oil-producing province is also a key conduit for weapons across the Iraqi border. The Al-Nusra Front, which has largely stayed out of conflicts with ISIS, joined about 10 other militant groups to expel the extremist faction.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reports that ISIS’s headquarters in Aleppo have been overtaken by rival opposition:
Fighters from several Islamist rebel brigades took control of the children’s hospital in the Qadi Askar district, which is the headquarters of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant in the city.
The extremist group has effectively abandoned the area:
ISIL withdrew from the Inzarat area after clashes with fighters from rebel… brigades, and the post office building was taken over by Islamist rebel fighters … There are hardly any ISIL members left in the city of Aleppo.
Rival opposition factions strike back at ISIS after its moves to seize territory they have claimed from regime forces in Aleppo and Idlib provinces. Raqqa-based Sham News Network media activist Abu Bakr:
The rebels have achieved tremendous progress against ISIS in all the points of conflict, liberating more than 80% of the Idlib countryside and 65% of Aleppo and its countryside
Mohammad Hassano, an activist in the town of Azaz:
People just couldn’t take it anymore, after all the kidnapping and arrests and attacks against the [Free Syrian Army]. People were very angry at them, but there was hesitation in fighting them because of the priority of fighting the regime.
ISIS fighters seize the northern town of Azaz near the Turkish border from Free Syrian Army forces, causing confusion among the ranks of the opposition. FSA spokesman Loay al-Mikdad says the group took the town from Assad regime forces in self-defence and questions why ISIS are storming an area that is already ‘liberated’:
They said they came to defend the Syrian people. Now they have turned their guns away from fighting the regime to fighting the Syrian people.
Six of Syria’s main rebel factions ask ISIS to withdraw from the town of Azaz, near the Turkish border, which it captured several days earlier from Free Syrian Army rebels. The statement asks “our brothers in ISIL to withdraw their troops and vehicles to their main headquarters immediately” and implement an “immediate ceasefire” in the area. Signed by the Ahrar al-Sham, Liwa al-Tawhid and Jaysh al-Islam factions, and the smaller Suqur al-Sham, Furqan Brigades and Liwa al-Haq groups, it comes hours after the group clashes with the mainstream Northern Front Alliance and sends fighters towards a border post. ISIS and the Northern Front are asked to…
…resort immediately to the Islamic court, which will remain in session in Aleppo for 48 hours
Human Rights Watch says ISIS forced 153 boys as young as 14 in Kobani to watch videos of beheadings and crucifixions while listening to religious lectures, and flogged them with cables for not paying attention. Former prisoner:
Those who didn’t conform to the program were beaten. They beat us with a green hose or a thick cable with wire running through it. They also beat the soles of our feet.