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US Airstrikes Target the Islamic State’s Seized Syrian Oilfields

At least 19 people were killed on the third day of a US-led air campaign targeting the Islamic State in Syria. Strikes focused on one of the group’s main revenue streams — the region’s captured oil fields.

Activists say that the attacks, made by the US along with five Arab allies, led to the release at least 150 people from a prison in their powerbase of Raqqa in northern Syria, as the militant group feared more strikes, according to the Associated Press.

At least 14 militants were killed in the attacks, which hit four oil installations and three oil fields near the town of Mayadeen in the east of the country. This information came from the UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR), which gathers reports from a network of activists on the ground, and was confirmed by two local activist groups.

Video Shows Al Nusra Tanks Pushing North Towards ‘Another Kobane’

A video showing a large armed convoy of the Jabhat al Nusra militant group entering Khan al-Sabeel, a city on the Homs-Aleppo highway, emerged online on Tuesday.

The high-quality footage, uploaded by a group associated with al Nusra,shows a parade of vehicles and heavy weaponry travelling through the town heading north and suggests that the fighters are making their way, as Kurdish PKK military leader Cemil Bayik has warned, to a Kurdish enclave of Afrin within the Aleppo Governorate.

Kurdish Boys from Kobane Detail Awful Abuses at the Hands of the Islamic State

Kurdish boys from the Syrian town of Kobane were repeatedly beaten with an electric cable and a hose while in the custody of Islamic State militants and forced to watch videos of the terror group’s beheadings and attacks, Human Rights Watch reported on Tuesday.

The taking of 153 of these children hostage and the accompanying physical abuse amount to war crimes under international law, contributing to the astonishing assortment of offenses against humanity that the Islamic State (also known as ISIS/ISIL) is believed to have committed — including summary mass executions and the selling of sex slaves.

What is a Barrel Bomb?

Barrel bomb attacks kill thousands of people in Syria every year. So why do these attacks get so little attention? The Syrian Network for Human Rights says nearly 14,000 people have been killed in barrel-bomb attacks despite a UN resolution banning the use of the weapon in 2014.

‘Just forget about Syria. Forget about going back’

No matter how hard he tries, Nemer, a 22-year-old Syrian immigrant living in New Jersey, cannot shake the vision from his mind: 60 people huddled in a tin cell made for 10 out in the Syrian desert. They take it in turns to sleep on the floor. At night the desert is so cold the metal is like ice; by morning the prison is an oven.

This was the fate of a friend jailed for 18 months for publishing an anti-regime poem on Facebook. ‘Like this they torture you for 24 hours,’ says Nemer (who is using a pseudonym out of concern for his family’s safety). ‘But when a friend calls me to say, “Just forget about Syria, forget about going back,” it’s like pulling one of my nerves. It’s like holding my heart and taking it out of my body to tell me I’m not going back to Syria.’