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Qaida-Led Court Executes 10 in Syria's Aleppo

At least 10 people were executed on Saturday in Syria's Aleppo city on the orders of a religious court dominated by al-Qaida affiliate Al-Nusra Front, a monitor said.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said two of the executed were accused of adultery, with the rest accused of collaboration with the Syrian government.

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Syrian Businessman Slams Reports of Hiding Fugitive Daou

Syrian businessman Wahib Merhi slammed media reports that fugitive Hisham Daou, accused of killing Major Rabih Kahil, is under his protection, MTV said on Saturday.

On Friday, MTV reported that Daou has fled Lebanon to the Syrian province of Latakia and is in the custody of Merhi.

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Syrian Observatory: Syria Army Pushes Back Rebels near Regime Heartland

Nearly 40 government and opposition fighters have been killed as Syrian regime forces pushed rebels back from an area bordering President Bashar Assad's heartland, a monitor said Saturday.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said at least 20 regime forces and 19 rebels from the Army of Conquest alliance had been killed in 24 hours of clashes in Hama province's Sahl al-Ghab region.

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Al-Nusra Front Claims Capture of U.S.-backed Rebels

Al-Qaida's Syria affiliate launched a fierce assault on the headquarters of a U.S.-trained rebel group Friday, while claiming responsibility for capturing members of the "moderate" force earlier this week. 

Al-Nusra Front unleashed its offensive on the base of the Division 30 unit in northern Aleppo province, a monitor said, sparking clashes and air raids by a U.S.-led coalition that killed at least 18 of the jihadists.

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U.S.-led Raids Destroy IS Bridges on Syria-Iraq Border

U.S.-led coalition air strikes destroyed early Friday two key bridges used by the Islamic State group on the Syrian side of the Iraqi border, a monitoring group said. 

The Pentagon confirmed strikes in the area, and a senior U.S. officer said they will have a "profound impact" on IS abilities to carry out operations in the neighboring and strategically important Iraqi province of Anbar.

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Despite Bombing, Islamic State is no Weaker than a Year Ago

After billions of dollars spent and more than 10,000 extremist fighters killed, the Islamic State group is fundamentally no weaker than it was when the U.S.-led bombing campaign began a year ago, American intelligence agencies have concluded.

The military campaign has prevented Iraq's collapse and put the Islamic State under increasing pressure in northern Syria, particularly squeezing its self-proclaimed capital in Raqqa. But intelligence analysts see the overall situation as a strategic stalemate: The Islamic State remains a well-funded extremist army able to replenish its ranks with foreign jihadis as quickly as the U.S. can eliminate them. Meanwhile, the group has expanded to other countries, including Libya, Egypt's Sinai Peninsula and Afghanistan.

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Israel Deploys Iron Dome on Lebanon Border after Nuclear Deal

Israel has deployed the Iron Dome defense system to the north on the border with Lebanon, likely amid fears that Hizbullah could get an infusion of cash and weapons from Iran after the nuclear deal.

In an exclusive interview with, the commander of Israel’s Active Defense Air Wing, Col. Yoni Saada Marom, said that the military drills were not a direct reaction to recent events, but made clear that Hizbullah and other groups close to Israel's borders presented a potentially heightened threat.

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Afghan Taliban Announce Mullah Akhtar Mansour as New Leader

The Taliban appointed Mullah Akhtar Mansour as their new leader, a statement said Friday, marking a historic power transition for the militant movement that has waged a 14-year insurgency in Afghanistan.

The Taliban also announced his deputies -- Sirajuddin Haqqani, who leads the Taliban-allied Haqqani network and has a $10 million U.S. bounty on his head, and Haibatullah Akhundzada, the former head of the Taliban courts.

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Pentagon Denies U.S.-Trained Rebels Captured in Syria

The Pentagon denied reports Thursday that new graduates of its program to train Syrian rebels had been captured by rivals from an al-Qaida affiliate.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said earlier that al-Nusra Front had kidnapped eight members of a U.S.-backed rebel unit.

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18 Dead in IS Attack on Kurd-Held Syria Town

At least 18 people were killed Thursday when Islamic State group jihadists attacked a town in northern Syria recently captured by Kurdish forces, a monitor said.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitor said several IS fighters infiltrated Sarrin, in Aleppo province, and attacked a school being used as a base by the Kurds.

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