Islamic State

A popular uprising has broken out in Idlib, a province in the north of Syria, against the reactionary Islamist group Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS), according to Leila al-Shami, a well known Syrian activist and author.

The uprising began in the town of Kafar Takharim, when people refused to pay increased taxes imposed by HTS on goods and services, including bread, electricity and olive oil. They stormed HTS-controlled olive presses and police stations and evicted HTS from their community.

Huge protests have erupted on the streets of Iraq. Green Left Weekly’s Sam Wainwright spoke to Khalil Albawy. Albawy is a member of the Iraqi Communist Party and Secretary of the Iraqi and Australian Friendship Society in Western Australia.

This picture looks like any ordinary scenery from the Kobanê countryside. The idyllic villages and golden wheat fields with the sleepy little houses tucked away across the distance. But, it is more than that. This is Ain Issa, an area of Tell Abyad and the frontline between the Syrian Democratic Forces (QSD) and Daesh (Islamic State).
Students of the Australian National University have launched a campaign to raise awareness about the current situation in Rojava, in northern Syria. The campaign, “Stand With Kobane” aims to raise money to help rebuild the Kurdish city of Kobane. Kobane made headlines this year when it was the first Kurdish city to successfully break Islamic State's siege. A successful counter-attack resulted in the expulsion of all the IS fighters from the Kobane canton.
Turkey has “joined the war against ISIS”, according to US politicians and the corporate media after a July 23 deal between the US and the Turkish government. The deal gives US war planes and drones access to Turkey's Incirlik airbase from which to conduct air strikes in Syria and Iraq.
On July 20, 32 people were killed in a suicide bombing attack on a cultural centre in Suruç, a town in Turkish Kurdistan. More than 100 were injured. Suruç is located across the border from the Syrian Kurdish town of Kobanê, which was besieged by forces of the self-styled Islamic State terrorist group, also known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), between September and January.
The Kurdish town of Kobane in northern Syria was attacked on June 25 by forces from the self-styled Islamic State (IS) terrorist group, which crossed from Turkey. This was the first significant IS attack on the town since a five-month siege was repulsed in January. The attack appears to be a Turkish-backed response to recent military gains made by the Kurdish-led forces of the Women's Defence Units (YPJ) and People's Defence Units (YPG).
When Prime Minister Tony Abbott used a March 3 press conference at Parliament House to announce the deployment of 300 more soldiers to Iraq, it was impossible to ignore the political theatre to serve a partisan domestic agenda. If you missed it in the content of his talk, you couldn't miss the no-less-than eight flags propped up behind him as he spoke. A combination of relentless attacks on the living standards of ordinary people and Abbott's incompetence has made his government one of the most unpopular in Australian history.
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