ISIS - updates

Rappler's latest stories on ISIS

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Special forces in search for New Zealand nurse held hostage by ISIS

Apr 15, 2019 - 9:17 AM

Details of the kidnapping had been kept under wraps until the International Committee of the Red Cross appealed for news about Louisa Akavi and two Syrian drivers kidnapped with her in October 2013

KIDNAPPED. This combination of undated handout photographs released by International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and created in Geneva Switzerland on April 14, 2019, shows (from): Syria's Alaa Rajab, New Zealand's Louisa Akavi and Syria's Nabil Bakdoune at undisclosed locations. (Handout/ICRC/AFP)

Iran president says U.S. 'leader of world terrorism'

Apr 09, 2019 - 4:57 PM

'Who are you to label revolutionary institutions as terrorists?' Iranian President Hassan Rouhani asks in a speech broadcast live by state television

IRAN REACTS. President Hassan Rouhani says that the United States is the real 'leader of world terrorism' after Washington blacklisted Iran's Revolutionary Guards as a 'foreign terrorist organization.' AFP PHOTO / HO / IRANIAN PRESIDENCY

Syria's Kurds call for international court to try ISIS jihadists

Mar 25, 2019 - 8:36 PM

(UPDATED) In this way, 'trials can be conducted fairly and in accordance with international law and human rights covenants and charters,' the Syria Kurdish administration says

ISIS IN SYRIA. Men suspected of being Islamic State fighters wait to be searched by members of the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces after leaving the ISIS group's last holdout of Baghouz, in Syria's northern Deir Ezzor province on February 22, 2019. File photo by Bulent Kilic/AFP

Jihadists emerge from tunnels to surrender after 'caliphate' falls

Mar 25, 2019 - 9:52 AM

(UPDATED) An AFP reporter says he saw dozens of people – mostly men – file out of the battered jihadist encampment in the remote village of Baghouz near the Iraqi border to board pickup trucks

Members of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) walk in the village of Baghouz in Syria's eastern Deir Ezzor province near the Iraqi border on March 24, 2019, a day after the Islamic State (IS) group's "caliphate" was declared defeated by the US-backed Kurdish-led SDF.  Delil souleiman / AFP

Philippines hails fall of last ISIS territory

Mar 24, 2019 - 9:40 AM

But the Philippines, where ISIS influence persists, says the fight 'is not over'

VICTORY AT LAST. A female fighter of the US-backed Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) flashes the victory gesture while celebrating near the Omar oil field in the eastern Syrian Deir Ezzor province on March 23, 2019. Photo by Delil Souleiman/AFP

Macron says ISIS defeat removes 'significant threat' to France

Mar 23, 2019 - 8:44 PM

'But the threat remains and the fight against terrorist groups must continue,' French President Emmanuel Macron says

ISIS loss affirms Pentagon plan, but end game vague as U.S. pulls out

Mar 23, 2019 - 3:41 PM

But ISIS still has thousands of battle-hardened fighters across several countries, and questions loom over whether the group's territorial loss can be parlayed into an enduring defeat

Civilians evacuated from the Islamic State (IS) group's embattled holdout of Baghouz wait at a screening area held by the US-backed Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), in the eastern Syrian province of Deir Ezzor, on March 5, 2019. - Kurdish-led forces launched a final assault Friday on the last pocket held by the Islamic State group in eastern Syria, their spokesman said. The "operation to clear the last remaining pocket of ISIS has just started", Mustefa Bali, the spokesman of the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces, said in a statement using an acronym for the jihadist group. (Photo by Bulent KILIC / AFP)

ISIS 'caliphate' totally eliminated – Syria force

Mar 23, 2019 - 3:02 PM

'Syrian Democratic Forces declare total elimination of so-called caliphate and 100% territorial defeat of ISIS,' says spokesman of the US-backed Kurdish-Arab alliance

In this file picture, a Kurdish female fighter of the Women's Protection Units (YPJ) looks on at a training camp in al-Qahtaniyah, near the Syrian-Turkish border on February 13, 2015. Kurdish-led forces announced on March 23, 2019 they had fully captured the Islamic State group's last bastion in eastern Syria and declared the total elimination of the jihadists' "caliphate". DELIL SOULEIMAN / AFP

U.S.-backed Syrian forces fight last ISIS jihadists

Mar 23, 2019 - 10:06 AM

Though the WHite House says the 'caliphate' has been wiped out, the Syrian Democratic Forces say clashes are still ongoing

WAR. A fighter of the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) loads an ammunition belt at a position in the village of Baghouz, near Syria's border with Iraq, in the eastern Deir Ezzor province on March 15, 2019 during the SDF's preparations to advance in the battle against the last pocket of Islamic State group jihadists. Photo by Delil Souleiman/AFP

Anger, grief sweep Iraq's Mosul as ferry disaster toll hits 100

Mar 22, 2019 - 8:53 PM

Residents of the northern city, scarred by years of jihadist rule, demand justice as Prime Minister Adel Abdel Mahdi decrees 3 days of national mourning following the accident

RESCUE. Emergency personnel arrive on March 21, 2019, at the site of a popular picnic area in the northern Iraqi city of Mosul on the shores of the Tigris river, after a ferry sank leaving more than 70 people dead in Iraq's worst accident in years. Photo by Waleed Al-Khaled/AFP

Almost 100 dead as Iraq ferry sinks on spring holiday trip

Mar 22, 2019 - 12:10 AM

(UPDATED) The accident sparks an outpouring of grief among residents who only recently resumed festivities on the banks of the Tigris after the northern city's recapture from the Islamic State group

Syria force combs last ISIS hideouts in Baghouz

Mar 21, 2019 - 11:24 PM

Syrian Democratic Forces spokesman Mustefa Bali says a victory announcement would be premature

LAST JIHADISTS. Smoke rises in the Islamic State group's last remaining position on the eastern banks of the Euphrates River (C) in the village of Baghouz during battles with the Syrian Democratic Forces, in the countryside of the eastern Syrian province of Deir Ezzor, on March 18, 2019. Photo by Delil Souleiman/AFP

Islamic State will be wiped off map imminently, says Trump

Mar 21, 2019 - 8:20 AM

The US president signals the group's imminent demise on several previous occasions, although ISIS has yet to wave the white flag of surrender

US President Donald Trump holds up a map as he speaks before departing the White House in Washington, DC, on March 20, 2019.  Jim WATSON / AFP

Syria force locked in battle with ISIS jihadists in holdout village

Mar 17, 2019 - 12:08 AM

The makeshift camp of tents and tunnels is all that remains of a once-sprawling 'caliphate' declared in 2014 over swathes of Syria and neighboring Iraq

WAR. A fighter of the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) loads an ammunition belt at a position in the village of Baghouz, near Syria's border with Iraq, in the eastern Deir Ezzor province on March 15, 2019 during the SDF's preparations to advance in the battle against the last pocket of Islamic State group jihadists. Photo by Delil Souleiman/AFP

Anti-ISIS Syria force boosted as jihadist holdout shrinks

Mar 15, 2019 - 11:58 PM

The country's devastating conflict enters its ninth year with more than 370,000 dead

NINTH YEAR. People said to be members of the Islamic State group by the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces, exit with children from the village of Baghouz in the eastern Syrian province of Deir Ezzor, on March 14, 2019. Photo by Delil Souleiman/AFP

U.S.-backed Syria force pummels last ISIS bastion

Mar 14, 2019 - 7:14 PM

The US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces have since March 10 rained fire on the enclave in a bend of the Euphrates River, blitzing thousands of ISIS members into surrender

FRONTLINES. Fighters with the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) are pictured in the town of Baghouz, on the frontline of fighting to expel the Islamic State group from the area, in the eastern Syrian province of Deir Ezzor, on March 12, 2019. Photo by Delil Souleiman/AFP

More surrenders from ISIS Syria bastion as end nears

Mar 12, 2019 - 11:36 PM

Airstrikes and shelling have pummelled Baghouz for two nights in a row, killing scores of fighters and prompting hundreds of jihadists and their relatives to surrender

TIME'S UP. A fighter with the Syrian Democratic Forces fires a machine gun in a position in the eastern Syrian province of Deir Ezzor outside the Islamic State group's embattled holdout of Baghouz, on March 11, 2019. Photo by Bulent Kilic/AFP

ISIS runaway teen's baby son dies in Syria

Mar 09, 2019 - 4:06 PM

British opposition figure Diane Abbott calls the UK government's decision stripping the mother of citizenship 'callous and inhumane'

INHUMANE? British opposition figure slams as "inhumane" the decision of the UK government to strip Shamima Begum of citizenship. Begum's baby boy recently died in a refugee camp in northeastern Syria. File photo by Laura Lean/Pool/AFP

'Never-ending' numbers in last ISIS scrap shock U.S.-backed fighters

Mar 09, 2019 - 12:39 PM

Tens of thousands of dust-covered women, children and men have streamed out of the ragged tent encampment in the Syrian village of Baghouz since December – and despite that exodus they still keep on coming

Children who were captured by Islamic State (IS) group fighters, believed to be from the Yazidi community, are pictured after being evacuated from the IS' embattled holdout of Baghouz at a screening area held by the US-backed Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) in the eastern Syrian province of Deir Ezzor, on March 6, 2019. More than 7000 people, mostly women and children, have fled the shrinking pocket over the past two days, as US-backed forces press ahead with an offensive to crush holdout jihadists. The Yazidis are a mostly Iraq-based Kurdish-speaking religious minority. The jihadists consider them heretics and in 2014, tried to exterminate them. Bulent KILIC / AFP

In Syrian riverside camp, ISIS clings to last scrap of 'caliphate'

Mar 08, 2019 - 6:35 PM

The Syrian Democratic Forces are waiting for all civilians to be evacuated before moving in to retake the last scrap of ISIS-held territory

SCREENING AREA. Civilians evacuated from the Islamic State group's embattled holdout of Baghouz wait at a screening area held by the US-backed Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), in the eastern Syrian province of Deir Ezzor, on March 5, 2019. File photo by Bulent Kilic/AFP

Mortar attack on major political gathering in Kabul kills 3

Mar 07, 2019 - 8:35 PM

The attack claimed by the Islamic State group represents a major security breach and marks a resumption of violence in the capital after weeks of calm

AFTERMATH. The Afghan relatives of a blast victim fight with a hospital security guard (C) who was restricting access of people trying to get inside Isteqlal Hospital following explosions that struck a large ceremony in Kabul on March 7, 2019. Photo by Wakil Kohsar/AFP

Bangsamoro gov't success 'most important goal' vs terrorism in PH – report

Mar 06, 2019 - 6:03 PM

The Institute for Policy Analysis of Conflict urges close cooperation between officials of the Bangsamoro region, the national government, and the military as 'consequences of failure could be devastating'

PROMISES OF PEACE. Supporters of the new Bangsamoro region gathered in Cotabato City for a peace gathering before the January 21, 2019 plebiscite. Photo by Rappler

Syria force to resume evacuations after piercing last ISIS redoubt

Mar 05, 2019 - 7:58 PM

The latest evacuees also include relatives of jihadists, as well as civilians who had been held by the group as 'human shields'

SEARCH. A man (C) suspected of belonging to the Islamic State group, who spoke to AFP journalists in French, sits in the back of a truck as he waits to be searched by members of the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) just after leaving ISIS' last holdout of Baghouz, in the eastern Syrian province of Deir Ezzor on March 4, 2019. Photo by Bulent Kilic/AFP

Syria's Kurds set free nearly 300 ISIS-linked Syrians

Mar 03, 2019 - 6:09 PM

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said it was not the first release of ISIS-linked prisoners by Kurdish authorities, but the number was particularly large this time

LAST REDOUBT. A Syrian Democratic Forces fighter uses a binocular to inspect the embattled village of Baghouz in Syria's northern Deir Ezzor province on February 19, 2019. File photo by Bulent Kilic/AFP

Syria force battles into last jihadist pocket

Mar 02, 2019 - 8:48 PM

'Those who have not surrendered by now will meet their fate there,' says the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces Spokespman Adnan Afrin

LAST REDOUBT. A Syrian Democratic Forces fighter uses a binocular to inspect the embattled village of Baghouz in Syria's northern Deir Ezzor province on February 19, 2019. File photo by Bulent Kilic/AFP

Nigeria's Buhari faces long to-do list in second term

Feb 28, 2019 - 11:55 PM

'The hard work to build a better Nigeria continues,' Muhammadu Buhari says in his acceptance speech on Wednesday, February 27

SECOND TERM. Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari addresses the audience following his reelection, after Nigeria's Independent National Electoral Commission presented his certificate of election on February 27, 2019, in Abuja. Photo by Kola Sulaimon/AFP

Syria force poised for final assault on ISIS

Feb 28, 2019 - 10:54 PM

The Syrian Democratic Forces estimates the number of people inside the last ISIS redoubt at anything from a few hundred to several thousand

Syria force to pluck more civilians from last ISIS pocket

Feb 23, 2019 - 8:52 PM

'God had promised us a caliphate and we went to it. I feel there will be no victory although they (jihadists) tell us victory is near,' says a Syrian woman who is a wife of a deceased ISIS fighter

LAST HOLDOUT. Men suspected of being Islamic State fighters wait to be searched by members of the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) after leaving the IS group's last holdout of Baghouz, in Syria's northern Deir Ezzor province on February 22, 2019. Photo by Bulent Kilic/AFP

Legal situation facing ISIS teen stripped of UK citizenship

Feb 23, 2019 - 2:24 PM

Shamima Begum is of Bangladeshi descent and a British citizen by birth

From shy student to ISIS polemicist, Hoda Muthana in U.S. crosshairs

Feb 22, 2019 - 8:15 AM

The 24-year-old says she regrets her turn to radicalism and wants to return home – but President Donald Trump personally intervenes to block her

RETURNING. An undated photograph obtained on February 20, 2019, from attorney Hassan Shibly shows Hoda Muthana, a 24-year-old woman from Alabama. Handout photo/AFP

Syria forces try to free last civilians from ISIS holdout

Feb 21, 2019 - 10:08 PM

(UPDATED) Security officials in Iraq say the Syrian Democratic Forces has handed over 130 Iraqi jihadists to Iraq on February 21, but SDF spokesman Mustefa Bali denies the claim

LAST REDOUBT. A Syrian Democratic Forces fighter uses a binocular to inspect the embattled village of Baghouz in Syria's northern Deir Ezzor province on February 19, 2019. File photo by Bulent Kilic/AFP

Convoy plucks women, children from last ISIS holdout in Syria

Feb 20, 2019 - 10:07 PM

Around 15 trucks carrying men, women, and children have exited the last patch of ISIS territory in eastern Syria, according to Agence France-Presse correspondents

ISIS' LAST HOLDOUT. Islamic State group's fighters and their families sit in the back of a truck as they leave ISIS's last holdout of Baghouz in Syria's northern Deir Ezzor province on February 20, 2019. Photo by Bulent Kilic/AFP

ISIS teen 'shocked' after UK revokes her citizenship

Feb 20, 2019 - 12:49 PM

(UPDATED) Shamima Begum, who now wants to return home after giving birth in a refugee camp in Syria last weekend, says the order is 'unjust'

STRIPPED OF CITIZENSHIP. Shamima Begum, who fled to join ISIS in Syria in 2015 is living in a refugee camp and wants to return home. File photo by Laura Lean/Pool/AFP

ISIS defends final pocket of dying 'caliphate' in Syria

Feb 18, 2019 - 2:34 PM

(UPDATED) Diehard ISIS members are trapped in their last patch of territory of less than half a square kilometer in eastern Syria near the Iraqi border

DEFEATING ISIS. Delegates listen as US President Donald Trump speaks to the Ministers of the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS at the US Department of State February 6, 2019 in Washington, DC. Photo by Brendan Smialowski/AFP

UK teen who joined ISIS has given birth in Syria – family

Feb 17, 2019 - 9:29 PM

Lawyer Mohammad Akunjee says Britain has a responsibility towards Shamima Begum and her newborn child

Dying days of caliphate in Syria as ISIS fighters trapped

Feb 16, 2019 - 11:40 PM

'In a very short time, not longer than a few days, we will officially announce the end of ISIS' existence,' says Syrian Democratic Forces commander Jia Furat

CIVILIANS. Men believed to be civilians fleeing the battered Islamic State-held holdout of Baghouz in the eastern Syrian province of Deir Ezzor stand in the back of a truck on February 11, 2019. Photo . by Fadel Senna/AFP

U.S. struggles to convince anti-ISIS allies to secure Syria after it leaves

Feb 16, 2019 - 10:23 AM

US President Donald Trump says he will announce the end of the ISIS 'caliphate' within 24 hours

SYRIA. A Syrian motorist drives amidst ruins in Morek, a town in the northern countryside of Hama province. On February 16, 2018, the US struggles to convince allies to secure Syria once it leaves. Photo by Omar Haj Kadour/AFP

Syria jihadists trapped in last square kilometer

Feb 14, 2019 - 10:51 PM

'The fighting is fierce,' says Adnan Afrin, a spokesman for the Syrian Democratic Forces

BAGHOUZ. A military vehicle with the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces rides during an operation to expel Islamic State group jihadists from the Baghouz area in the eastern Syrian province of Deir Ezzor on February 13, 2019. Photo by Delil Souleiman/AFP

ISIS defends last Syria redoubt, as family members flee

Feb 14, 2019 - 1:35 AM

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says the Syrian Democratic Forces fighters are making painstaking progress

Indonesian Islamic State militant killed in Syria – police

Feb 13, 2019 - 10:14 PM

Abu Walid featured in a number of online recruitment videos for the extremist group, including the first Indonesian-language video appealing for Indonesian militants to fight for ISIS in the Philippines if they could not reach Syria

ISIS VIDEO. An Indonesian, Filipino, and Malaysian behead 3 Caucasians and call Muslims to fight the jihad in Syria and the Philippines (screenshot)

U.S.-backed Syrian forces battle to take last ISIS pocket

Feb 11, 2019 - 10:47 PM

More than 4 years after the extremists declared a 'caliphate' across large parts of Syria and neighboring Iraq, several offensives have whittled that proto-state down to a tiny holdout

LAST POCKET. Fighters from the Syrian Democratic Forces walk in the front line village of Baghouz in the countryside of the eastern Syrian Deir Ezzor province, on the border with Iraq, on February 2, 2019. FILE Photo by Delil Souleiman/AFP

Canadian jihadist says ISIS foreign fighters 'hung out to dry'

Feb 11, 2019 - 12:21 PM

Mohammad Ali begins doubting his decision to join ISIS in late 2016, as the jihadists start losing territory and turning against foreigners

'HUNG OUT TO DRY.' Mohammad Ali, a 28-year-old Canadian jihadist captured by the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), speaks to AFP at a detention center in the northeastern Syrian city of Hasakeh on February 10, 2019. Photo by Fadel Senna/AFP

Russia 'repatriates' 27 children of ISIS fighters from Iraq

Feb 10, 2019 - 7:58 PM

Russian authorities say fathers of the children were killed during the 3 years of fighting between the jihadists and Iraqi roops

Kurdish-led forces ready for push on last ISIS pocket

Feb 08, 2019 - 10:25 PM

US President Donald Trump predicts that the once-sprawling proto-state's official death could be proclaimed as early as next week but operations have been paused for days on the main front line

SYRIAN DEMOCRATIC FORCES. This file photo shows fighters from the Syrian Democratic Forces attending the funeral of a local official that the SDF say was assassinated in a Kurdish-held area in the countryside of Deir Ezzor, in the Syrian Kurdish-majority city of Qamishli on December 31, 2018. File photo by Delil Souleiman/AFP

Alleged Brussels museum killer was 'sadistic' Syria jailer

Feb 07, 2019 - 11:09 PM

Former hostage Nicolas Henin describes Mehdi Nemmouche as a 'sadistic, playful and narcissistic' man

TRIAL. A file court sketch made on January 10, 2019 shows Mehdi Nemmouche (C), accused of the terrorist attack at the Jewish Museum in Brussels in 2014, during his trial at the Brussels Justice Palace. Photo by Benoit Peyrucq/AFP

Jolo bombing 'mastermind' Sawadjaan is new ISIS head in PH – Año

Feb 07, 2019 - 5:44 PM

DILG Secretary Eduardo Año says Hatib Hajan Saawadjaan replaced Abu Dar after the latter lost most of his forces in Marawi

NEW THREAT. Interior and Local Government Secretary Eduardo Año at the senate inquiry on the lowering of age of criminal responsibility, January 25, 2019. File photo by Angie de Silva/Rappler

U.S. promises to keep up ISIS fight after its defeat

Feb 07, 2019 - 10:06 AM

'Rest assured, we'll do what it takes to defeat every ounce and every last person within the ISIS madness and defend our people from radical Islamic terrorism,' Donald Trump says

DEFEATING ISIS. US President Donald Trump speaks to the Ministers of the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS at the US State Department in Washington, DC, on February 6, 2019. Photo by Brendan Smialowski/AFP

Pompeo tells allies U.S. still committed to fight ISIS

Feb 06, 2019 - 11:25 PM

'We ask each of your countries to stand with us and, through our efforts and God's help, the day will come when the permanent defeat of ISIS is a reality,' says US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo

ON ISIS. US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo attends the Meeting of the Ministers of the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS at the Department of State in Washington, DC, on February 6, 2019. File photo by Jim Watson/AFP

Trapped in shrinking Syria holdout, ISIS turns to human shields

Feb 03, 2019 - 11:53 PM

'The fighting has stopped as we wait for the remaining civilians to leave,' says a fighter for the Syrian Democratic Forces

ATTACKS. An image grab taken from a video published by Hawar News Agency (ANHA) on January 21, 2019 shows the scene of a suicide car bomb attack on a military convoy on a road in Syria's northeastern Hasakeh province, which killed five members of a Kurdish-led force accompanying US-led coalition troops. AFP photo

Turkey captures ISIS suspects on Syria border

Feb 02, 2019 - 5:09 PM

Border units from the Turkish armed forces capture the ISIS suspects on Friday, February 1 in the Akcakale district of Sanliurfa in southeast Turkey