Tikrit/Iraq: Scores of gunmen took over a federal police headquarters in northern Iraq on the 21 Mar 14 before driving a tanker laden with explosives into the building, killing many.
Militants occupied Sulaiman Pek last month and raised the black flag of the Sunni Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) over it. Security officials said the tanker bombing might have targeted Brigadier General Raghib Ali in revenge for his role in driving the militants out of Sulaiman Pek. This is an interesting incident as there have only been two other vehicle tanker attacks reported in Iraq since 2003. It was believed that the terrorists in the past failed to get the right sort of material mix together to make the “tanker VBIED” any value. This latest attack may show that they now have the correct mix and they will probably attack more locations similar to this with the same tactic. It will also be interesting to see where else and with which terrorist groups copy this possible new tactic.
Syria/Turkey – Turkish fighter jets on the 23 Mar 14 shot down a Syrian warplane after it violated Turkey's airspace. The Syrian military confirmed the incident, saying the plane was downed in Syrian airspace while strafing rebel positions. Syrian state TV described the incident as a "blatant aggression," and said the pilot safely ejected from the aircraft. In 2012 Turkey changed its rules of engagement after Syria shot down a Turkish military plane, saying that any Syrian military plane approaching the Turkish border would be treated as a legitimate target.
Syria – Syrian rebels have seized control of a tourist site by the Turkish border that allowed them a small foothold by the Mediterranean for the first time since the uprising against President Bashar al-Assad erupted three years ago it has been reported on the 26 Mar 14. Samra straddles the Syria-Turkey border and the Turkish government has allowed Syrian rebels to ship in aid, weapons and men through its border crossing.