DAMASCUS (Worthy News)– The Islamic State continues to capture towns on its way to Aleppo, Syria's largest city, which now stands less than 50 kilometers away. Meanwhile, limited U.S. airstrikes have caused jihadists of the Islamic State to change their military tactics, instead of operating as an army with conventional formations, they are now acting like insurgents and mixing in with civilians to disguise their maneuvers making it harder to strike them.
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Syrian forces, Islamic militants encircling key rebel city of Aleppo – Fox News
Rebel commanders in Aleppo told the Journal that they are stocking up on food and other supplies to prevent the type of starvation-inducing siege that forced them to surrender the city of Homs earlier this year, and warn that losing Aleppo could be the death blow to the revolt against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad that began in 2011.
"We're about to lose Aleppo and no one cares," Hussam Almarie, a FSA spokesman, told The Wall Street Journal. "We won't be able to recover the revolution if this happens. And we'll lose the moderates in Syria."
On Wednesday, Syrian opposition activists told the Associated Press that Islamic State fighters captured the towns of Akhtarin and Turkmanbareh in the Aleppo countryside near the border with Turkey, dislodging other rebels in the process.
Syrian regime said cooperating with ISIL advance on rebel-held Aleppo – World Tribune
Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant has approached Syria's largest city.
Opposition sources said ISIL was capturing rebel-held towns in its advance toward Aleppo. They said ISIL, in what appeared to mark cooperation with the Syrian military, was moving within 50 kilometers of Aleppo, the last rebel-held city in Syria.
Limited U.S. Airstrikes in Iraq Impede Fight Against ISIL – Washington Free Beacon
President Barack Obama has missed a key opportunity to deliver a blow to Islamic militants in Iraq by authorizing only limited airstrikes, making it more difficult to combat the security threat posed by the jihadist group, a leading military expert said on Thursday.
Obama ordered airstrikes and airdrops of food and water in recent days to prevent the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL or ISIS) from slaughtering Yazidi minorities trapped atop Mount Sinjar in northern Iraq. Defense officials said on Wednesday that U.S. aid had helped Kurdish pesh merga fighters break ISIL’s siege of the mountain and lead thousands of Yazidis to safety.
However, one U.S. defense expert said the limited air campaign had provoked a change in ISIL’s behavior. Rather than operating like an army with conventional formations as the group had done previously, the militants are now acting like insurgents and mixing in with civilians.
Isis: Armed and dangerous – Financial Times
The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, known as Isis but transformed into the Islamic State since it declared its caliphate at the end of June, has turned into a strategic threat of the first magnitude, writes David Gardner. What looked like a black-shirted horde of jihadi fanatics, taking opportune advantage of a demoralised army in a dismembered Iraq, is a movement of a qualitatively higher order than al-Qaeda, dwarfing anything the followers of Osama bin Laden were able to throw at the Middle East and the world.
Isis is consolidating its hold over a third of Syria, which it used as the springboard for its surge over the Iraqi border in June. Now it is putting down roots in almost a third of Iraq, and striking east into Kurdistan and west into Lebanon. The Iraqi army melted in the face of this onslaught, surrendering Mosul, Tikrit and a string of towns in the north and centre of the country as well as an arsenal of US-supplied heavy weapons, leaving Iraq wide open to this jihadi menace.
Syrian troops seize contested Damascus suburb – AP
Syrian government troops captured a fiercely contested suburb of the capital Thursday after five months of heavy fighting, flushing rebels from their last hideouts and quickly moving to crush pockets of resistance in the surrounding countryside, activists and state media said.