Hundreds of US-led airstrikes and daily multi-million dollar military operations have failed to stem the tide of foreign fighters entering Iraq and Syria, who continue to pour in by their thousands, according to multiple reports.
Ministers have come under increasing pressure to name the date when the findings of Sir John Chilcot’s inquiry into the 2003 Iraq war will be published. A debate on the cost of the probe was held in Westminster Hall on Wednesday.
The first group of Iraqi Kurdish Peshmerga fighters has entered the besieged Syrian city of Kobani via a Turkish border crossing. Damascus has accused Ankara of “blatantly violating” Syria’s sovereignty by allowing the fighters to cross through Turkey.
British veterans who served in Iraq and Afghanistan are deprived of long-term help, particularly with mental health problems, post-traumatic stress (PTSD), and war pensions and compensation payments, a cross-party group of MPs warn.
The militant groups operating in Lebanon, especially in Tripoli, were enjoying the sponsorship of influential political figures in Lebanon, including members of government, unlike the extremists in Syria or Iraq, geopolitical analyst Jamal Wakim told RT.
Senior Qatari officials have refuted allegations the country is financially backing Islamic State militants in Syria. But the UK government faces increasing pressure to push the Gulf state’s Emir to take tougher action against jihadi financiers.
Many British jihadists who travelled to Syria and Iraq and became embroiled with the Islamic State (IS) now want to return home but have been threatened with death by senior figures in IS, The Observer reported.
Iraqi and Kurdish forces have made significant gains against Islamic State militants over the weekend, aided by coalition airstrikes. Kurds managed to take the Iraqi town of Zumar, while also repelling IS attacks on the strategic Syrian town of Kobani.
Islamic State militants in northern Iraq have modern portable air defense systems that are capable of shooting down a passenger plane, Germany’s Bild am Sonntag newspaper reported citing the country’s foreign intelligence agency.
Oil sales, ransoms and extortions help ISIS “generate tens of millions of dollars” monthly, the US Treasury estimates, promising to undermine the group’s finances and to impose sanctions on anyone attempting to do business with the extremists.