|Head of ISIS, Calif Ibrahim|
American Forces Bomb ISIS Targets -
IS Controls Unmatched Resources and Territory - Terrence McCoy
What was recently a ragtag cadre of former al-Qaeda operatives has now morphed into a transnational, fully-militarized and very rich operation said to control more than one-third of Syria's territory.
The Islamic State "now controls a volume of resources and territory unmatched in the history of extremist organizations," wrote defense expert Janine Davidson of the Council on Foreign Relations.
Experts estimate the group is pocketing as much as $3 million per day in oil revenue.
Islamic State Seizes Territory in Lebanon - Maria Abi-Habib
Fighters from the extremist group Islamic State streamed across the border from Syria into Lebanon, taking over the city of Arsal after overrunning police posts and a military barracks.
In a coordinated response in Tripoli, Lebanon's second-largest city, masked, armed men affiliated with the Islamic State whizzed by on motorbikes, attacking soldiers there.
(Wall Street Journal)
"White Shrouds" Mobilize Against ISIS - Marlin Dick
Last month's sweeping territorial gains by militants from ISIS in Syria's Deir al-Zor province have generated a fierce counter-offensive by locals, organized loosely in "popular resistance" groups. Small, clandestine groups calling themselves "white shrouds" have adopted a low-profile tactic of assassinating ISIS militants and attacking their positions.
In the last few weeks a string of small-scale, hit-and-run attacks have been reported in more than half a dozen villages between Deir al-Zor and the border town of Al-Bukamal, where a demonstration by residents against ISIS late last month was dispersed by gunfire.
Some supporters of the movement against ISIS are referring to the actions as a "tribal intifada." An observer said ISIS was largely to blame for the counter-offensive because it had violated the non-aggression pacts struck with locals.
Hamas Threat Is No Different from Islamic State
- Lt. Col. (ret.) Jonathan D. Halevi
Hamas' modes of warfare in the current conflict reveal the ideological and operational likeness between Hamas and the Islamic State (IS). From the start, Hamas directed its massive and ongoing missile offensive at civilian targets. Hamas hardly appears different from IS, which decrees a policy of the genocide of infidels without any moral constraints.
Hamas in Gaza provides a comfortable haven to all the Palestinian terror organizations and allows al-Qaeda and IS groups to operate freely so long as they do not defy its rule. On the ideological level, there is no difference between how Hamas and IS view the West and the worldwide Islamic revolution. Hamas, too, calls for the founding of the Islamic caliphate with its capital in Jerusalem.
(Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs)
Obama Authorizes Airstrikes in Iraq
President Barack Obama announced Thursday: "Today I authorized two operations in Iraq - targeted airstrikes to protect our American personnel, and a humanitarian effort to help save thousands of Iraqi civilians who are trapped on a mountain without food and water and facing almost certain death."
IS Captures Dam in Iraq - Alissa J. Rubin and Tim Arango
Sunni militants captured the Mosul dam, the largest in Iraq, as their advances in the country's north set off fearful rumors in Irbil, the Kurdish regional capital.
The dam, which sits on the Tigris River, provides electricity to the city of Mosul and controls the water supply for a large amount of territory.
In a statement, the Islamic State vowed to continue its offensive. "Our Islamic State forces are still fighting in all directions, and we will not step down until the project of the [Islamic] caliphate is established, with the will of God."
(New York Times)