Home / World

Al-Qaida stays defiant as US hits jihadists in Syria

By Agencies in Damascus and Beirut | China Daily | Updated: 2014-09-29 07:36

British warplanes fly first combat missions over neighboring Iraq

The al-Nusra Front, al-Qaida's Syrian offshoot, has threatened reprisals against nations participating in airstrikes against the Islamic State group, denouncing them as "a war against Islam".

Group spokesman Abu Firas al-Suri said in a video posted online on Saturday the states involved had "committed a horrible act that is going to put them on the list of jihadist targets throughout the world".

The warning came as the US-led coalition widened its airstrikes against the Islamic State group in Syria and as British warplanes flew their first anti-jihadist combat missions over neighboring Iraq.

Washington has been supported in its Syria campaign by Arab allies Bahrain, Jordan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

Seven targets were hit in Syria, the Pentagon said, including at the border crossing into Turkey of the besieged Kurdish town of Ain al-Arab, also known as Kobane.

Muhsin al-Fadhli, a long-standing al-Qaida operative and the alleged leader of the al-Qaida-linked Khorasan, was killed in the strikes, according to a jihadist who fought with the group.

The US-based SITE Intelligence Group said a series of tweets from the jihadist, identified as a member of al-Qaida, expressed condolences for the deaths of Fadhli.

The coalition also destroyed three makeshift oil refineries in jihadist-controlled territory in Syria early on Sunday as it pressed efforts to deny Islamic State militants funding.

The United States and its coalition partners aim to destroy the Islamic State group, which controls a swath of territory in Iraq and Syria, has murdered two US journalists and a British aid worker, and is locked in a brutal war with Iraqi and Kurdish authorities.

Al-Qaida stays defiant as US hits jihadists in Syria

The Islamic State campaign has already driven 160,000 Kurdish refugees into Turkey.

British Royal Air Force Tornado GR4 jets took off from Britain's RAF Akrotiri on Cyprus for Iraq but returned to base without dropping their laser-guided bombs.

"On this occasion, no targets were identified as requiring immediate air attack by our aircraft," said a Defense Ministry spokesman in London.

Belgium and Denmark have also approved plans to join France and the Netherlands in targeting the Islamic State group in Iraq, allowing Washington to focus on the more-complex operation against its Syria base.

Washington warned that the jihadists could not be defeated in Syria by air power alone, saying that up to 15,000 "moderate" rebels would need to be trained.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Turkey could take a military role in the coalition, The Hurriyet daily reported.

'Necessary steps'

He said the government would go to parliament with a motion on Thursday, after which "all the necessary steps" would be taken.

Ankara had previously insisted its hands were tied over dozens of Turkish hostages abducted by the Islamic State group in Iraq, but they are now free.

Hundreds of Syrian Kurdish refugees, clutching whatever they could grab, crossed the border on Saturday to safety.

Turkey's NTV television reported that shells fired from Syria hit Suruc, about 10 km north of the border, wounding two women.

Senior Syrian Kurdish official Newaf Khalil said that airstrikes hit the Islamic State-held town of Ali Shar east of Ain al-Arab, destroying several Islamic State tanks.

AFP - AP - Reuters

 Al-Qaida stays defiant as US hits jihadists in Syria

A Turkish soldier stands guard as Syrian Kurdish refugees wait behind border fences to cross into Turkey near Suruc in Sanliurfa province on Saturday.  Murad Sezer / Reuters

(China Daily 09/29/2014 page12)

Today's Top News

Editor's picks

Most Viewed

Copyright 1995 - . All rights reserved. The content (including but not limited to text, photo, multimedia information, etc) published in this site belongs to China Daily Information Co (CDIC). Without written authorization from CDIC, such content shall not be republished or used in any form. Note: Browsers with 1024*768 or higher resolution are suggested for this site.
License for publishing multimedia online 0108263

Registration Number: 130349