– Two US states shun Syria refugees in wake of Paris attacks
– US warplanes strike ISIS oil trucks; US delivers ammunition to Syrians fighting ISIS
– After Paris attacks, French jets pound ISIS
– Nusra Front kills leader of ISIS affiliate
– World powers push timetable for Syria solution
– Iraq warned of attacks before Paris assault

Two US states shun Syria refugees in wake of Paris attacks

US states Alabama and Michigan say they will block or suspend a program to resettle Syrian refugees within their borders, citing security concerns after Friday’s wave of deadly assaults in Paris. “After full consideration of this weekend’s attacks of terror on innocent citizens in Paris, I will oppose any attempt to relocate Syrian refugees to Alabama,” said Governor of Alabama Robert Bentley. “As your governor, I will not stand complicit to a policy that places the citizens of Alabama in harm’s way,” Bentley said in a statement on Sunday.” The governor of Michigan said on Sunday that he had decided to suspend arrivals of Syrian refugees under a program announced by President Barack Obama. [AFP, 11/16/2015]

US warplanes strike ISIS oil trucks; US delivers ammunition to Syrians fighting ISIS
Intensifying pressure on the Islamic State (ISIS or ISIL), for the first time US warplanes have attacked hundreds of trucks on Monday that the group uses to smuggle crude oil it, officials said. According to an initial assessment, 116 trucks were destroyed in the attack in Deir Ezzor.In related news, the United States has carried out another delivery of ammunition to fighters from the Syrian Arab Coalition battling ISIS. The latest US resupply operation was completed by delivering the weaponry by land. [Reuters, NYT, 11/16/2015]

After Paris attacks, French jets pound ISIS
French fighter jets struck areas controlled by ISIS in Syria on Sunday as European police widened investigations into a series of coordinated attacks in Paris. President Bashar al-Assad said in response to the Paris attacks, “We said, don’t take what is happening in Syria lightly. Unfortunately, European officials did not listen.”Although France has been bombing ISIS positions in Syria and Iraq as part of the US-led coalition, Paris has sworn to destroy the group following Friday’s bloodshed. French warplanes Sunday launched their largest series of raids to date, mainly targeting the group’s de facto capital of Raqqa. “The raid … including ten fighter jets, was launched simultaneously from the United Arab Emirates and Jordan. Twenty bombs were dropped,” the French Defense Ministry said in a statement. [Reuters, 11/16/2015]

Nusra Front kills leader of ISIS affiliate
The al-Qaeda affiliated Nusra Front killed the leader of a rival militant Syrian faction that had pledged allegiance to ISIS on Sunday in a suicide attack, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) said. “Abu Ali al-Baridi, head of al-Yarmuk Martyrs Brigade and nicknamed ‘The Uncle,’ was killed in a suicide attack by al-Nusra Front,” SOHR said. Baridi and two of his group’s top leaders were killed in the town of Jamlah in the southern Syrian province of Deraa bordering Jordan. The Nusra Front’s official Twitter account confirmed it had attacked Baridi, calling it a “heroic infiltration operation.” The two jihadist factions had been clashing in Deraa for quite some time. [AFP, 11/15/2015]

World powers push timetable for Syria solution
The United States, Russia, and other world powers have set a target date of January 1, 2016, for formal negotiations to start between the Assad regime and the opposition in the latest effort to try to craft a political solution to the Syrian conflict. US Secretary of State John Kerry warned that differences remain among world powers over the future of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. The group nonetheless set a six-month period for Syria to form an interim unity government and said they wanted to see free and fair elections in Syria within the next eighteen months. US President Barack Obama and Russian President Vladimir Putin agreed on Sunday on the need for UN-sponsored peace talks and ceasefire in Syria and G20 leaders promised to tighten border controls, step up intelligence-sharing, and crack down on terrorist financing during the summit in Turkey on Monday. [WSJ, 11/14/2015]

Iraq warned of attacks before Paris assault
Senior Iraqi intelligence officials warned members of the US-led coalition fighting ISIS of imminent assaults by the militant organization just one day before last week’s deadly attacks in Paris. Iraqi intelligence sent a dispatch saying the group’s leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi had ordered an attack on Iran, Russia, and coalition countries fighting against them in Iraq and Syria through bombings or other attacks in the days ahead. The dispatch said the Iraqis had no specific details on when or where the attack would take place and a senior French security official said that French intelligence gets this kind of communication regularly. Without commenting specifically on the Iraqi warning, a senior US intelligence official said he was not aware of any threat information sent to Western governments that was specific enough to have thwarted the Paris attacks. [NYT, 11/16/2015]