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After the announcement of American Alan Gross being released from a Cuban prison, President Obama announces an end to an approach he says "for decades has failed" U.S. interests.
November 12th, 2014
08:13 PM ET

Sources: President Obama seeks new strategy on ISIS, Assad

Senior U.S. officials and diplomats tell CNN President Obama has asked for a review of U.S. policy toward Syria, admitting his initial ISIS strategy was a miscalculation.

Sources: Obama seeks new Syria strategy review to deal with ISIS, Assad

The sources say the President has realized the defeat of ISIS cannot happen without the toppling of Syrian President Bashir al Assad.

Why this admission now?

OutFront, Senator Saxby Chambliss is the top Republican on the Intelligence Committee.


Filed under: International • Iraq • ISIS • News • Syria
October 29th, 2014
10:42 PM ET

Officials: Terror leaders in Syria survived U.S. airstrikes

(CNN) - The U.S. intelligence community now believes two key terrorist operatives targeted by the United States in the opening night of attacks in Syria are still alive and could be actively plotting, multiple officials tell CNN.

The operatives are key members of Khorasan Group, the al Qaeda affiliate entrenched in Syria that the United States has declared poses a great risk to American national security. One official with direct knowledge of the latest U.S. assessment said the working assumption now is that both Muhsin al-Fadhli, the leader of the group, and David Drugeon, a French jihadist and key member, who is believed to be a skilled bomb-maker, are alive. The United States does not know with certainty if they are injured.

An intelligence analyst with knowledge of the intelligence tells CNN "its 99.5% certain" they are alive.

FULL POST


Filed under: al Qaeda • International • Iraq • News • Syria
October 8th, 2014
11:17 PM ET

Rep. McKeon: Obama's ISIS strategy is not working

New U.S. airstrikes against ISIS include nine in Syria and three in Iraq, according to military officials as President Barack Obama met with high level military officials at the Pentagon Wednesday to discuss the U.S. strategy against ISIS.

The United States and its allies have made at least 271 airstrikes in Iraq and 116 in Syria.

The cost? More than $62 million for just the munitions alone.

The effect? Negligible, some say, particularly in Iraq as ISIS continues to gain ground.

Republican Congressman Buck McKeon is Chairman of House Armed Services Committee and he's OutFront.


Filed under: Iraq • ISIS • News • Syria
October 6th, 2014
11:08 PM ET

ISIS raises black flag over key Syrian border town of Kobani

Intense street fighting raged in the Syrian city of Kobani Monday as ISIS came closer to capturing a key area on the border with Turkey.

ISIS fighters continue to gain ground across the region. Militants raised their black flag over two Syrian positions in the key border town of Kobani. To the west in Anbar province, ISIS has captured the town of Heet and earlier Monday, mortar fire hit the green zone - inside Baghdad.

In the U.S., the FBI arrested an Illinois teen at Chicago's O'hare airport, charging that he was headed to the middle east.. to fight for ISIS.

OutFront, Congressman Dutch Ruppersberger, he's the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee.


Filed under: International • Iraq • ISIS • Syria
October 6th, 2014
09:30 PM ET

How ISIS makes its millions

Besaslan, Turkey (CNN) - On the southern edge of Turkey, rolling brown pastoral hills slope gently to the Syrian border, with small towns like this one dotting the horizon. The calm on this side of the border, however, belies the scene on the other side.

Just across the border in northern Syria, the Islamic extremist group known as ISIS is fighting a full-tilt battle in its effort to capture and control new territory, part of its push to create a sprawling Islamic caliphate, or separate Islamic state, modeled on the first caliphate that spread across the region in the centuries following the death of the Prophet Muhammad around 640 AD.

As ISIS fighters expand their control, it is in the border region, in villages like Besaslan, where the Islamic State group can make some of the money it needs to finance its wars. Oil-smuggling operations involving millions of barrels have recently been uncovered.

The oil comes from wells and refineries that ISIS has taken over inside northern Iraq and northern Syria, and until very recently it was easy to smuggle it into this quiet part of southern Turkey. One reason is that cheap, smuggled oil is a much-prized commodity in Turkey, where oil is so expensive that it almost doesn't matter who is selling it, even if it's your enemy.

FULL POST

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Filed under: International • Iraq • ISIS • Syria
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