ISIS Seizes Azaz
Fighters with the Syrian rebel group Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS) have stormed the border town of Azaz in Aleppo province, after coming into conflict with fighters from the Free Syrian Army (FSA) aligned Northern Storm Brigade rebel group. By nightfall, ISIS controlled the majority of the city, while FSA fighters controlled the Bab al-Salamah, one of the few open crossings on the Turkish border. Following news of the ISIS aggression against their erstwhile FSA allies in Azaz, the border crossing was shut down. At press time it is believed that several FSA brigades will reinforce positions at Bab al-Salamah, while eyewitnesses confirm that ISIS brigades are doing the same.
Flare ups and friction between moderate groups aligned with the FSA and radical groups aligned with ISIS, which is itself an arm of al-Qaeda, had not been uncommon since the beginning of the Syrian civil war. However, given the grievous nature of the actions taken today, many believe a second front has opened in the Syrian War.
Knife Murder Causes Calls for Greece Political Party to be Outlawed
Greek hip-hop artist and strident antifascist Pavlos Fyssas, also known as Killah P. was stabbed to death as he was beset by a group of 15 men early this morning. A 45 year-old male, belonging to the neo-fascist nationalist political party Golden Dawn, has been arrested after he confessed to the crime.
The scene of the crime in Athens, later became a rallying point for over 5,000 people bereft at the passing of Fyssas. A number of the gathered projected their loss at nearby police, who returned fire with teargas and rubber bullets. More than 300 people were detained in Athens and other spontaneous gatherings through Greece. “The government of Samaras is the instigator by allowing murderous Golden Dawners to roam around unpunished and armed with knives,” said KEERFA, the United Movement Against Racism and the Fascist Threat. “It’s time to punish the neo-Nazi murderers of Golden Dawn and to throw the Samaras government – a miserable gang of bankers, the troika (of international lenders) and neo-Nazis – into the trash.”
Politicians in Greece and through Europe condemned the murder and Golden Dawn. Greek public order minister Nikos Dendias, cleared his schedule to begin emergency legislation that would seek to outlaw the group, saying “Neither the state will tolerate, nor society accept, acts and practices that undermine the legal system.”
Hannes Swoboda president of the Socialists and Democrats Group in the European Parliament, concurred, “Golden Dawn’s openly xenophobic, neo-Nazi hatred even goes as far as murdering political opponents. This is shocking and intolerable by any standards, and more so in a European Union country.”
Storms Continue to Ravage Mexico
Tropical storm Manuel reformed today off the pacific coast of Mexico, the storm has already killed more than 60 people nation wide. Flooding has virtually cut off the popular tourist town of Acapulco from the rest of Guerrero state. This comes hours after Hurricane Ingrid slammed into north-eastern Mexico. A third storm system is building off the coast of the Yucatan peninsula. According to the national weather service this is the first time Mexico has been hit by two such powerful storms since 1958.
Police Arrest 15 over Acid Attacks
Police in Zanzibar City say they’ve arrested 15 people responsible for a rash of acid attacks on Zanzibar. Just last week, Catholic Father Joseph Anselmo Mwagambwa was splashed with acid in the Stone town area of the capital. In November of last year Sheikh Fadhil Suleiman Soraga was hospitalized with sever injuries from a similar attack. Police Commissioner Mussa Ali Mussa said his forces have seized 29 liters of acid from people without permits to handle acid, and suggested to the New York Times that at least some suspects had links to Al Qaeda and the Somali Islamist extremist group Shabab. Ahmeid Rajab, of Somalia’s Universal TV, rejected Mussa’s claim saying Zanzibar was unlikely to have a Shabab or al-Qaeda presence, “After all, those radical groups never, ever use acid to advance their goals.” Rajab contends the commissioner is looking for an excuse to escape blame for failing to arrest real suspects.