PHOTO EXHIBIT ‘MATERIAL EVIDENCE’ SYRIA, UKRAINE – EXHIBITION LAST DAY TOMORROW OCT 11 !

 

If you can’t make it, visit the PHOTO EXHIBIT WEBSITE

YOU CAN ALSO VIEW THE EXHIBITION IN BERLIN

2 countries. 2 wars. 2 exhibitions.

During several years we have been watching the devastating consequences of the civil war in Syria. A terrible conflict which began in 2011 turned the country into ruins with many victims, destroyed the state structure and divided society into warring factions. At the end of the previous year similar events took place in Ukraine. Bloody confrontations at the “Maidan Nezalezhnosti” in Kiev ended with mutinies of nationalists – Bandera’s followers, who overthrew the legitimate power of the incumbent president. Civil war in Ukraine is not ended yet, and daily events reflect with pain in our hearts.

What really happened in Kiev and Crimea, and where Ukraine is heading? Who benefits from war in Syria and what has happened to this country? You can find answers to these questions at the material evidences exhibition prepared by indifferent journalists who risked their own lives, plunged into the midst of armed conflict: Damascus and its destroyed suburbs; Kiev, Kharkov, Simferopol, Sevastopol. They worked in the “hottest spots” keeping for the History a unique evidence of the dramatic events that took place there.

All the truth about events in Syria and Ukraine, unique shots, artifacts, videos – all of this can be seen at the exhibition “Material evidences. Syria. Ukraine”.

Pink Floyd: “The Endless River Will Be Our Final Album”

David Gilmour on Pink Floyd: ‘It’s a Shame, but This Is the End’

 

Pink Floyd David Gilmour and Nick Mason

Pink Floyd David Gilmour and Nick Mason

 

October 10, 2014

PINK FLOYD WILL RELEASE ALBUM The Endless River next month – and then that will be it for the band as far as new records go.

Speaking to BBC Radio, David Gilmour stated that the group have no plans to record together again following the death in 2008 of keyboard player Rick Wright, who appears posthumously on the LP.

“Well, Rick is gone. This is the last thing that’ll be out from us,” he declared. “I’m pretty certain there will not be any follow-up to this.”

The guitarist confirmed that The Endless River, released on November 7, is something of a tribute to his late bandmate, explaining that he felt Wright’s contribution to the band has been generally undervalued.

“He has been underestimated by the public, by the media and by us at times I hate to say,” he admitted. “I didn’t necessarily always give him his proper due. People have very different attitudes to the way they work and we can become very judgemental and think someone is not quite pulling his weight enough, without realising that theirs is a different weight to pull.”

 

“Rick has been underestimated by the public, by the media and by us at times I hate to say.”

David Gilmour

Drummer Nick Mason agreed, suggesting that in terms of the Pink Floyd legacy both he and Wright had remained in the shadows.

“I think the tendency is that the most attention is payed to the songs or the guitar part or whatever, and sad old drummers and keyboard players get left behind,” he mused. “I think it’s been a great opportunity; it is a great opportunity to recognise, remember and maybe give some credit rather late on. He was very gentle, very quiet, which doesn’t help if you’re in a band looking to promote yourself.”

 

 

 

The song sounds very much like The Division Bells sessions that are the genesis of much of the music on this upcoming album, The Endless River. Gilmour’s guitar parts are stellar, although perhaps softer than the classic jagged tone of the ’70s records. Time has softened The Floyd a bit, but this is still a beautiful song. The autobiographical lyrics, referring to the power behind Pink Floyd’s music and infighting are excellent. Gilmour told the BBC, “I’m pretty certain there will not be any follow up to this. And Polly, my wife, thought that would be a very good lyrical idea to go out on. A way of describing the symbiosis that we have. Or had.”

The Endless River is due out on November 10th, 2014. Pre-order the album on Amazon.com or Pink Floyd’s official store.

Here are the different versions that will be available (click images for full details and to order at Amazon.com):

pink-floyd-the-endless-river-cd-2014-500x333

pink-floyd-the-endless-river-cd-packaging-2014-500x333

pink-floyd-endless-river-vinyl-500x333

Western Journalists Used As ‘Puppets’ of Western Intelligence: Former Newspaper Editor

MI6 HQ in London

MI6 HQ in London

 

FRANKFURT, October 10 (RIA Novosti), Mark Hirst – Many journalists working in the UK and across Europe are “being used as puppets” of Western intelligence agencies, Dr Udo Ulfkotte, a former Frankfurter Allgemeine German newspaper Editor told RIA Novosti Friday.

“German and UK journalists from the mainstream media have always been used as non-official cover. That means they have been used as puppets of the intelligence services because they could freely travel and claim there were just journalists,” Ulfkotte said.

“There is an interference of intelligence services with the mainstream media across Europe,” he added.

Dr Ulfkotte, who worked as a journalist for 25 years, 17 of those with Frankfurter Allgemeine – one of Germany’s most well-known newspaper titles, claims to have worked himself, in a journalistic capacity, for the US Central Intelligence Agency.

“This has historical reasons and started shortly after World War II when the Cold War began. The mainstream media in the western countries had to be anti-Soviet and pro-American,” a former Frankfurter Allgemeine editor explained.

Ulfkotte noted that no German publications like BILD or Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung would have got a license after World War II if they had not been pro-US.

“If their cover was blown the intelligence service running them could always claim they had no idea what they were doing,” the journalist added.

BBC investigative reporter Peter Taylor has also detailed how British intelligence infiltrated the mainstream media in the UK. In a documentary film which Taylor wrote and presented, called “True spies”, the BBC journalist said, that “all the conspiracy theories about the security services tapping phones and so on that we all dismissed, turned out to be true. They infiltrated everyone and everything, even Fleet Street and the BBC. The files they had were vast.”

Taylor said BBC journalists deemed to be “subversive” had their personnel files marked with a green Christmas tree stamp that would alert senior BBC management and prevent them from covering stories deemed “sensitive” to UK national security. BBC journalists were also routinely asked to sign the Official Secrets Act before being offered an employment contract.

“UK journalists have always been used as embedded writers for the intelligence community,” Ulfkotte proceeded.

“I remember a good old friend of mine from The Economist who worked in Frankfurt and was in fact the resident [operative] of MI6 in the Rhein-Main-Area (the area around Frankfurt). He was a very good friend of Stella Rimington who had been in charge of the MI5 from 1992 to 1996,” claimed the reporter.

Last month Ulfkotte told the RT channel that he had decided to tell the truth about Western intelligence service control of the corporate media fearing a war may break out between the West and Russia on the back of the anti-Russian propaganda being broadcast and printed by Western journalists.

“The German and American media tries to bring war to the people in Europe, to bring war to Russia,” Ulfkotte said. “This is a point of no return, and I am going to stand up and say… it is not right what I have done in the past, to manipulate people, to make propaganda against Russia.”

Asked by RIA Novosti what advice he could give to journalists trying to resist approaches by western intelligence Ulfkotte said, that as he had been bribed by western intelligence services in the past he specifically asks journalists not to be “lured by the honey pots.”

“Intelligence services never approach you and say, “Hello, would you like to work for me? They cover up, but try to win you over with money or enticements you cannot afford,” the former editor stressed.

Ulfkotte recalled that he was accepting golden watches or five star holidays and finally found himself in the trap.

“So the first is to use your brain and think, why is a stranger offering you things that you cannot afford? Secondly, don’t go to the honey traps of the “transatlantic organizations” – keep your distance from the Council on Foreign Relations, Aspen Institute and so on, as they are all related to the intelligence community,” he advised.

Ukraine Should Not Become NATO Member: Former NATO Supreme Allied Commander of Europe

Ukraine should not become a member of NATO, the alliance's retired General Wesley Clark said. Ukraine should not become a member of NATO, the alliance's retired General Wesley Clark said.

Ukraine should not become a member of NATO, the alliance’s retired General Wesley Clark said.

 

WASHINGTON, October 10 (RIA Novosti) – Ukraine should not become a member of NATO and was never intended to become a NATO member, the former NATO Supreme Allied Commander of Europe told RIA Novosti.

“We don’t need Ukraine as a member of NATO, we shouldn’t put it in NATO. It’s a different country. It was never our plan when we would talk about NATO enlargement to bring Ukraine into NATO,” retired General Wesley Clark told RIA Novosti at an Atlantic Council discussion.

Clark continued that the escalation of the crisis in Ukraine and lack of support in the conflict from other NATO allies is “because the United States hasn’t taken the lead on this.”

Clark insisted that the close ties between Europe and the US were critical to meeting challenges on the European continent during the Cold War and remained a key component today.

“If you look at the challenges facing the United States, none of these challenges can be handled effectively unless we have really tight relations with… Europe… We maintained peace and security during the Cold War because we had this argument about the coupling of the United States and Europe.”

Referring to the policy of nuclear deterrence and placement of nuclear weapons throughout Europe he noted, “We still need that policy. We still need that linkage just as much as we did then.”

In recent months, the NATO military bloc has laid out a series of measures to revitalize the 28-member state alliance and increase the levels of a ready military force near the borders of Russia. The readiness action plan and increased troop rotations in Eastern Europe are being pursued with the stated goal of reassuring allies.

Russia has repeatedly warned Washington against trying to encircle it by pulling more and more ex-Soviet nations into the military alliance, but the souring relations between Moscow and the West in the face of Crimea’s reunification with Russia led in April to a complete freeze in Russia-NATO relations, virtually ending any possibility of a dialogue.

US Vice President Biden’s Lies and Misrepresentations Regarding Ukraine and Russia

The Ukrainian Portion of V.P. Biden’s Harvard Kennedy-School Address, October 3, 2014

 

In-depth Report:
VP Biden

VP Biden

Almost everything that our Vice President said about Ukraine and Russia, in this speech he delivered at Harvard on October 3rd, is a lie or else out-of-context misrepresentation, as the links here-provided are intended to make clear. Each linked-to source will document the reality that contradicts V.P. Joe Biden’s assertion that’s being linked there.

To see so many lies strung together in just this part of his speech, stuns. My added comments, providing key context that Biden’s speech avoided mentioning, are placed into brackets below, as is this Introduction.
Altogether, what you will see here is a U.S. Vice President who is willing to string lie upon lie, while bragging (elsewhere in this speech) about American “democracy,” though democracy becomes impossible when such high public officials as he is, so routinely lie, and are not being held to account for their lying (as you will see that Biden was not). Thus, aptly, the Obama Administration has argued before the U.S. Supreme Court that there must be no legal restraints limiting political lying. This is supposed to be ‘democracy’? It actually mocks the very term. Without truth being absolutely required of politicians, the only determinants of whom our rulers will be, will be how much money is backing each contender, and how skillful each one is at deceiving voters via those contending political war-chests. This makes authentic democracy impossible, and oligarchy (rule by the richest) inevitable – it produces rule by deceit. Biden here exemplifies that, as you will now see documented, if you will click on the links here.]
BIDEN’S COMMENTS ABOUT UKRAINE, AT HARVARD:

(32:40 on the VIDEO of the speech) Putin — [Russia’s] President Putin — was determined to deny Ukraine and the Ukrainian people the power to make their choices about the future – whether to look east or west or both. Under the pretext of protecting Russian-speaking populations, he not only encouraged and supported separatists in Ukraine, but he armed them. He sent in Russian personnel out of uniform to take on the Ukrainian military, those little, green men

[As that last link makes clear, there is no reliable evidence that, prior to August, there were any Russian conscript, or non-volunteer, fighters participating in the Ukrainian conflict; but there were volunteers from a number of countries, including not just Russia but SpainSweden, and others, fighting on both sides. In addition, there were at least 400 U.S. mercenaries hired by the Ukrainian Government. By the end of June, it was already becoming clear that Ukraine’s troops were losing, the rebels were winning; and Russian conscripts didn’t come into Ukraine until late August, well after the rebel fighters were slaughtering Ukraine’s conscripts and mercenaries. Perhaps Putin wanted the rebels to win faster, so that Russia would be able to get some of the million Ukrainian refugees, who had escaped into Russia, returned back to Ukraine before winter. But, by the time when Russian conscripts were being introduced, in August, Kiev had already lost their war, but they had basically surrendered even by July 1st.]

And when that wasn’t enough, he had the audacity to send Russian troops and tanks and sophisticated, air-defense systems across the border. [This claim, repeatedly made by the U.S. regime, was never supported by any reliable evidence.]

But we rallied the world to check his ambitions and defend Ukrainian sovereignty. We didn’t put boots on the ground

Putin sought to prevent a free and open election. We rallied the world to help Ukraine hold quite possibly the freest election in its history. Putin sought to destabilize Ukraine’s economy. We provided a billion dollars directly from the United States and worked with the IMF on a $27 billion international rescue package to keep them from going under.[That ‘rescue package’ was a loan, with onerous conditions, including the requirement that Ukraine must quickly kill and/or drive out the residents in Ukraine’s southeast, who were refusing to accept this coup-imposed Government. As the IMF’s Christine Lagarde warned the coup-Government on May 1st (right before the massacre in Odessa that began the ethnic cleansing that was required in order to eliminate the undesired voters from Ukraine’s southeast), a “loss of economic control over the east [i.e., loss of that region’s gas-fracking income] that reduces [Ukrainian] budget revenue would require a significant recalibration of the [loan] program; and [end] additional financing, including from Ukraine’s bilateral partners,” the U.S. and EU. So, by May 1st at the latest, the coup-Government were, essentially, ordered to exterminate quickly the residents in Ukraine’s southeastAnd they tried their best to do that. And Joe Biden’s son could have become a billionaire if they had succeeded.]

(33:40) Putin sought to keep Ukraine weak through corruption. [Though no evidence exists supporting that claim, the U.S. coup in February installed as Ukraine’s new leaders oligarchs who had long records of corruption. President Obama’s favored person to win Ukraine’s Presidency, Yulia Timoshenko, lost the May 25th election, though that vote was held only in Ukraine’s northwest, where her support had traditionally been strongest, not at all in the southeast, where the man whom Obama overthrew had won almost all of his votes, and where Timoshenko’s support was virtually non-existent; but, even the anti-Russian Guardian newspaper had previously reported her corruptness. She was no less corrupt than Yanukovych. And, talk about corruption, the oligarch who hired Joe Biden’s son, Timoshenko’s friend Ihor Kolomoyskyi, was widely regarded as the most corrupt of them all.]

We’re helping those leaders fight back corruption, which by the way is an issue that demands our leadership around the world, by helping them write new laws, set up a new judiciary and much more. Putin sought to hollow out Ukraine’s military the last 10 years, and he was very successful. But we rallied NATO and NATO countries to begin to build that military capability back up. Putin sought to keep secret Russian support for separatists who shot down a civilian airliner. We exposed it to the world, and in turn rallied the world. And remember this all began because Putin sought to block Ukraine’s accession agreement with the European Union. 

[Similarly, Obama sought to end Ukraine’s existing trade-agreement with the Russia-dominated Eurasian Economic Commission. Both sides, the U.S. and Russia, were competing for Ukraine to join — or, in Russia’s case, to remain with — them. The way aljazeera phrased this on 29 November 2013 was that Ukraine’s President, the man whom Obama overthrew, Viktor “Yanukovych believes he can continue to strike a balance between Russia and the rest of Europe, even though both are demanding that he commit to one side.” The difference was that Russia perpetrated no Ukrainian coup, but the U.S. did.]

Well, guess what: That agreement was signed and ratified several weeks ago [yes it was — but directly as a result of Obama’s February 2014 coup in Ukraine, overthrowing Yanukovych].

Throughout we’ve given Putin a simple choice: Respect Ukraine’s sovereignty [though the phone-transcript here proves that EU ministers themselves knew that Obama had raped Ukraine’s sovereignty] or face increasing consequences. That has allowed us to rally the world’s major developed countries to impose real cost on Russia.

(35:24) It is true they did not want to do that. But again, it was America’s leadership and the President of the United States insisting, oft times almost having to embarrass Europe to stand up and take economic hits to impose costs.[But, since EU leaders knew that Obama had raped Ukraine, why did they even go along with Obama at all, on this?]

And the results have been massive capital flight from Russia, a virtual freeze on foreign direct investment, a ruble at an all-time low against the dollar, and the Russian economy teetering on the brink of recession [whereas the U.S. economic ‘recovery’ from the global ‘recession’ has been far worse than Russia’s under Putin has been].

We don’t want Russia to collapse [though the last link there suggests that they do want precisely that].

We want Russia to succeed. But Putin has to make a choice. These asymmetrical advances on another country[such as the Obama Administration’s coup overthrowing and replacing Ukraine’s Government was?] cannot be tolerated. The international system will collapse if they are. And to state the obvious, it’s not over yet. And there are no guarantees of success. But unlike [EU leaders] — the Ukrainian people have stood up. And we are helping them, leading and acting strategically. [Click on that link, to find out how “we” are “helping” “them.” It’s by actually destroying them.]

The fourth element of our strategy is countering violent extremism [such as by placing fascists and even nazis in control of Ukraine, as Obama didAnd, if those are not “violent extremists,” then no one is.].

[NOTE: None of the many questions that were raised at the end by Harvard Kennedy School students — during the question-period extending from 0:51:00 to 1:31:00 on the video — related to anything Biden said about Ukraine or about Russia: virtually all of these students’ questions concerned Islamic terrorism, the rest ebola or else Ferguson, but none concerned Ukraine or Russia. No student there was interested in that, though it’s mega-strategic for the United States. Biden had virtually insulted these students with his string of lies about this crucially important topic, and they showed themselves appropriate for that implicit insult; they responded as the lackeys they’re evidently practicing to become: uncaring careerist self-obsessed automata, the students at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government. Some “Government,” that! Some “students,” those!]

[CONCLUDING NOTE: On 28 August 2014, President Barack Obama himself had said:

“Russia is responsible for the violence in eastern Ukraine. The violence is encouraged by Russia. The separatists are trained by Russia. They are armed by Russia. They are funded by Russia. Russia has deliberately and repeatedly violated the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine.”

So, it’s clear where Vice President Biden gets his talking-points: he’s just a hack-peddler of his boss’s lies.

But that’s good enough for Harvard — as it was for the U.S. Supreme Court, which unanimously accepted Obama’s view that political lies are protected by the First Amendment: that deceiving the public about political matters is a right which no state government may restrict.]

 

Vice President Biden Delivered Remarks on Foreign Policy | Institute of Politics

 

 

The Odessa Massacre – What REALLY Happened

It’s Official: China Dethrones America as Largest Economy

By Washington’s Blog
Global Research, October 09, 2014
Washington’s Blog

Region: Asia, USA
Theme: Global Economy

chinausflag2Under One Test

We reported in April 2012 that leading Chinese economic analyst (and American ex-pat) professor Michael Pettis argued in 2011 that China’s GDP might already higher than America’s in terms of purchasing power parity.

And we noted that Arvind Subramanian – former assistant director in the Research Department of the International Monetary Fund, and now senior fellow jointly at the Peterson Institute for International Economics – says that China passed up the USA in 2010.

Financial Times reported in April:

The US is on the brink of losing its status as the world’s largest economy, and is likely to slip behind China this year, sooner than widely anticipated, according to the world’s leading statistical agencies.

Now, it’s official …

As Huffington Post notes:

China’s gross domestic product is worth $17.6 trillion, adjusted for China’s relatively low cost of living, compared with $17.4 trillion for the U.S., the International Monetary Fund estimated as part of its latest World Economic Outlook. Here’s how that looks in chart form:

original

Note the chart extends to 2018. The IMF expects this trend to continue indefinitely.

***

Here’s another way of looking at it — China’s share of the global economy is now slightly bigger than America’s, at 16.5 percent to 16.3 percent:

original2

It’s important to note that these figures are adjusted for the relative costs of living in both countries, known to fancy economists as “purchasing power parity.” It’s something economists do to try to make comparisons between countries more fair. It is crazy cheap to live in China and crazy expensive to live in the U.S., so a trillion U.S. dollars are worth a lot more in China than in the U.S.

And that has something to do with the fact that China is manipulating its currency to be worth much less than the dollar. It does this to help make Chinese stuff cheaper than U.S. stuff on the global market. American politicians regularly pretend to be super angry about this, but don’t much mind getting all the cheap Chinese stuff. And China’s booming factory sector has, in turn, helped make China’s economy rapidly get bigger and bigger.

In terms of sheer size, however — meaning, not adjusted for costs of living — the U.S. economy still dwarfs China’s, at $17.4 trillion to $10.4 trillion:

original3

Target ISIS: First batch of Russian fighter jets arrives in Iraq

su_25_rian.si

A Sukhoi Su-25 fighter jet (RIA Novosti/Lesya Polyakova)


 
 

The first delivery of Russian Sukhoi fighter jets arrived in Iraq on Saturday, the country’s Defense Ministry said. Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki is hoping the jets will make a key difference in the fight against ISIS.

The Iraqi Ministry of Defense on Sunday confirmed receiving five Su-25 fighter jets in accordance with the deal with Moscow. The jets were delivered by a Russian An-124 transport plane in a dismantled state, and are expected to be set up and become operational within 3-4 days.

“The Sukhoi Su-25 is an air-ground support and anti-terrorism mission aircraft. In these difficult times, we are in great need of such aircraft. With God’s help, we will be able to deploy them to support our ground forces on a mission against the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant militants within the next 3-4 days,” Iraqi Army Lieutenant General Anwar Hamad Amen Ahmed told RT’s Ruptly news agency at an airport receiving the jets.

According to Ahmed, Iraq will wage a “massive attack” on insurgents with the help of the jets.

Iraq: Russian Su-25 fighter jets arrive in Iraq

 

“We have experienced pilots and other professionals. Our Russian friends have also sent their own experts to assist us in preparing the aircraft. All the logistics have been planned for as well,” the lieutenant general said.

Earlier, Iraqi MP Abbas al-Bayati was quoted as saying by local media that ten Russian jets have been delivered, with Iraqi media identifying them as Su-24s. However, the conflicting information has not been confirmed by other sources.

The fighter jets will be stationed at an airbase located in the southern part of the country, PressTV reported, citing military sources.

Earlier this week, Prime Minister Nouri Maliki revealed that Iraq purchased jets from Russia and Belarus in order to help its fight against Sunni militants from the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIS/ISIL).

At the same time, Maliki criticized the US for taking too long to deliver on its own contract after Iraq purchased F-16 jets from America.

On Friday, Iraqi Air Force Commander Hameed al-Maliki confirmed the shipment of MI-35 and MI-28 Russian helicopter fighters to “keep the momentum” in the attacks against ISIS, Ruptly reported.

The commander said that he signed three contracts with the Russians and stressed the importance of the choppers as “excellent anti-terrorism weapons.”

The radical Sunni ISIS militants have taken large parts of the country’s north from the Shia government.

Hundreds of Iraqi soldiers have been killed by insurgents since the Sunni militants began their offensive on June 9, according to Iraqi forces.

The United Nations says more than 1,000 people – mainly civilians – have been killed during the surge thus far.

 

ISIS crucify eight anti-Assad fighters in Syria – watchdog

An image grab taken from a propaganda video released on March 17, 2014 by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant's al-Furqan Media allegedly shows ISIS fighters driving on a street in the northern Syrian City of Homs. (AFP Photo)

An image grab taken from a propaganda video released on March 17, 2014 by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant’s al-Furqan Media allegedly shows ISIS fighters driving on a street in the northern Syrian City of Homs. (AFP Photo)

An image grab taken from a propaganda video released on March 17, 2014 by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant’s al-Furqan Media allegedly shows ISIS fighters driving on a street in the northern Syrian City of Homs. (AFP Photo)

The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL/ISIS) fighters have publically executed and crucified eight rebels who were fighting both Assad and jihadists, according to a monitoring group using information from local sources.

The eight men were brutally killed in the town square of Deir Hafar in the east of Aleppo province on June 28 because they were from rebel groups that had fought the jihadists as well as President Bashar Assad’s forces, the UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said, AFP reports.

ISIS then “crucified them in the main square of the village, where their bodies will remain for three days,” the pro-opposition NGO added.

A ninth man was crucified alive in Aleppo province where he was nailed up for eight hours in Al-Bab near the Turkish border as a punishment, although he has reportedly survived the ordeal.

Read more: ISIS mass executions in Iraq detailed

ISIS first emerged with any strength in Syria in late spring last year. They were initially welcomed by some of the Syrian rebels who thought their combat experience might be handy in their three-year battle to topple Assad.

But ISIS’s numerous human rights abuses quickly turned the Syrian opposition including other Islamists against them.

In January 2014, the Syrian rebels launched a major anti-ISIS offensive and managed to push them out of large areas of Aleppo province and all of Idlib. But they are still entrenched in Raqa, their northern Syrian headquarters, and in Deir Ezzor in the east of the country near the border with Iraq.

The Observatory says that clashes between rival Islamist groups in Syria have claimed the lives of about 7,000 people since January.

ISIS’s successful June offensive in Iraq and their capture of heavy weapons, some of them US made, has given them a new run of confidence over the border in Syria.

Read more: All you need to know about ISIS and what is happening in Iraq

However, a recent counter attack by well-equipped Iraqi army forces supported by helicopter gunships has pushed them back and halted their advance.

There is also an effort on the political front in Baghdad to create a government that will reflect the interests of Iraq’s Sunni Muslims, in an attempt to draw support away from Sunni jihadists.