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Producer of Fake 'Syrian Hero Boy' Video Apologizes

The producer of a viral video showing a Syrian boy rescuing a girl under gunfire apologized Sunday after the revelation it was fake drew fierce criticism.

"We stand for our good intention behind this but we're also sorry if it is making some harm and we're sorry if it makes documentation or reporting in war zones more difficult," Norwegian producer John Einar Hagen told Agence France-Presse.

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U.S. Aid Worker Kassig's Parents Say Awaiting Confirmation on Death

The parents of U.S. aid worker Peter Kassig, who Islamic State jihadists claimed to have beheaded, said Sunday they were awaiting official confirmation on the death of their "treasured son."

"We are aware of the news reports being circulated about our treasured son and are waiting for confirmation from the government as to the authenticity of these reports," Ed and Paula Kassig said in a statement.

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New U.S.-Led Strikes on Syria's Kobane

The U.S.-led coalition against the Islamic State jihadist group carried out a series of air strikes overnight in the embattled Syrian town of Kobane, a monitor and activists said Sunday.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights also reported intensifying clashes between Kurdish fighters defending Kobane and IS jihadists in the south of the town, which lies on the Turkish border.

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IS Claims Beheading of U.S. Aid Worker, 18 Syrians

The Islamic State group on Sunday released a video claiming the beheading of U.S. aid worker Peter Kassig in a warning to Washington as it prepares to send more troops to Iraq.

The video also showed the gruesome simultaneous beheadings of at least 18 men described as Syrian military personnel, the latest in a series of mass executions and other atrocities carried out by IS in Syria and Iraq.

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'Syrian Hero Boy' Video Hoax by Norwegian Filmmaker

A viral video showing a Syrian boy rescuing a girl under gunfire, watched online by millions of viewers, was faked by a Norwegian film crew, according to its director.

Posted on YouTube on Monday, the "Syrian hero boy" video was shot on location in Malta last summer with professional actors, and directed by 34-year-old Norwegian Lars Klevberg, who hoped to provoke a debate on children in war zones.

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Hungry Syrians Clash with Rebels Over Food Cache

Armed clashes have erupted in the Syrian town of Douma after hungry residents stormed food warehouses belonging to an Islamist rebel group, a monitoring group said on Saturday.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the clashes on Friday began when residents of the town in Damascus province tried to storm depots belonging to a charity linked to the Army of Islam rebel brigade.

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Morocco Arrests 5 Would-be Jihadists

Morocco arrested five people Saturday in the southern city of Marrakesh on suspicion of seeking to join jihadists in Iraq and Syria and of aiding terrorist activities, the interior ministry said.

Three of those arrested, whose identities were not given, were "preparing to join terrorist organisations in Syria and Iraq, in particular the Islamic State (IS)" group, a ministry statement said.

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Report: Turkey, U.S. Agree Plan to Train 2,000 Moderate Syrian Rebels

Turkey and the United States have agreed a plan under which some 2,000 fighters from the moderate Syrian opposition would be trained on Turkish soil, a report said Saturday.

The fighters from the Free Syrian Army (FSA) will be trained at the Kirsehir base some 150 kilometers (90 miles) south of the capital Ankara by both Turkish and U.S. personnel starting from late December, Hurriet Daily News reported, quoting unnamed officials.

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Islamic State Faces War of Attrition in Syria's Kobane

The Islamic State group is locked in a war of attrition in the Syrian border town of Kobane, where Kurdish fighters backed by U.S.-led air strikes are mounting fierce resistance.

Two months after IS launched a major offensive to try to capture the strategic prize on the Turkish frontier, the jihadists have failed to defeat the town's Kurdish defenders.

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U.S. Sees No Sign of Qaida-IS Pact, Says Clapper

U.S. intelligence chief James Clapper said Friday analysts had not seen any evidence indicating Islamic State jihadists and Al-Qaida had forged an alliance in Syria.

Clapper, the Director of National Intelligence, told CBS television U.S. experts were unaware of any pact between the two groups, which would potentially complicate the U.S.-led military campaign in Syria.

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