Keyword: iraq

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  • ISIS Says It Killed Steven Sotloff After U.S. Strikes in Northern Iraq

    09/02/2014 9:09:05 PM PDT · by 2ndDivisionVet · 9 replies
    The New York Times ^ | September 2, 2014 | Mark Lander and Eric Schmitt
    An Islamic militant group released a video on Tuesday showing the second beheading of an American hostage in two weeks and blamed President Obama for the killing. The video raised the pressure on the president to order military strikes on the group in its sanctuary in Syria. The hostage, Steven J. Sotloff, is shown in the video kneeling like the previous victim, James Foley, while a masked figure stands above, wielding a knife. Mr. Sotloff addresses the camera and describes himself as “paying the price” for Mr. Obama’s decision to strike the group, the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria,...
  • Christian man tortured and killed by Islamic State militants for refusing to convert to Islam

    09/02/2014 8:49:53 PM PDT · by GonzoII · 8 replies
    ANIT ^ | 09/02/2014
    Baghdad (AsiaNews) - Islamic State fighters spills more Christian blood in Iraq as they continue to persecute unarmed civilians, including children. Sources within the Chaldean Patriarchate told AsiaNews that yesterday Sunni fundamentalists tortured and killed a Christian man in Bartala, a small predominantly Syriac town in the Niniveh Plains that has been occupied by Jihadists for the past few weeks. He was part of a small group who did not flee when the place was overrun. According to reports from a witness, the martyr - as the Patriarchate calls him - was a man of 43, Salem Matti Kourki. He...
  • Breaking: Obama approves sending 350 more troops back into Baghdad

    09/02/2014 7:01:26 PM PDT · by SeekAndFind · 24 replies
    Hotair ^ | 09/02/2014 | Mary Katherine Ham
    These troops are being sent to protect the American embassy and the airport in Baghdad, and allow a contingent of troops already there to exit safely. They will “not serve in a combat role,” according to the White House. U.S. President Barack Obama on Tuesday authorized a request for an additional 350 troops to be sent to Iraq to protect American diplomatic facilities and personnel in Baghdad, according to a statement released by the White House. “The request he approved today will allow some previously deployed military personnel to depart Iraq, while at the same time providing a more...
  • The Obama era is over. The presidency continues.

    09/02/2014 6:35:48 PM PDT · by 2ndDivisionVet · 32 replies
    The Week ^ | September 2, 2014 | Michael Brendan Dougherty
    A listless summer is the clearest sign that Obama has lost the clout needed to move his agenda. Just in time for the season's final barbecue, President Obama last week backed off his promise (threat?) to "do something" about immigration reform by the end of the summer if Congress failed to send him a bill addressing the issue. He needs more time, we're told. It's a dumb and uneventful conclusion to a dumb, uneventful summer in Washington politics. Obama's promise to rewrite America's immigration law through a mixture of executive fiat and a kind of officious neglect may have been...
  • Obama to send approximately 350 additional military personnel to Iraq

    09/02/2014 5:50:31 PM PDT · by Hojczyk · 13 replies
    Fox News ^ | Sept. 2,2014
    <p>President Obama announced Tuesday he is sending approximately 350 additional military personnel to Iraq to protect U.S. diplomatic facilities and workers in Baghdad.</p> <p>The White House said in a press release that the personnel will not serve a combat role, and are fulfilling a request from the State Department for more protection as the country fights an insurgency from the Islamic State militant group, also known as ISIS or ISIL. The White House said the additional personnel will be able to provide a “more robust, sustainable security force” and will allow previously deployed personnel to leave the country.</p>
  • Blackwater legacy: a faint memory of Nisoor Square [Trial concluded today]

    09/02/2014 5:20:15 PM PDT · by Timber Rattler · 10 replies
    AP, via Stars & Stripes ^ | September 2, 2014 | PETE YOST
    The summer-long trial of four Blackwater security guards in the shootings of more than 30 Iraqis has been a grim retelling of lives snuffed out and the daily life-and-death decisions amid the chaos of war. Wrapping up almost 6,200 miles from Baghdad, the trial is the best hope the survivors and the families of the victims have for accountability for the violence at Nisoor Square on Sept. 16, 2007, in which 14 people were killed. After 10 weeks of arguments and testimony, the case goes to the jury Tuesday.
  • Fidel Castro Claims Mossad is Behind the Islamic State

    09/02/2014 5:15:29 PM PDT · by Olog-hai · 26 replies
    INN ^ | 9/2/2014, 5:42 AM | Elad Benari
    Former Cuban leader Fidel Castro claimed on Monday that the Israeli intelligence agency Mossad was behind the Islamic State (IS) terrorist group, AFP reports. Castro’s claims were made in a column published in Cuban media in which he lashed out at the United States and Europe and accused them of war-mongering. He also compared the NATO military alliance’s representatives to the Nazi SS. Castro also attacked U.S. Senator John McCain over United States policy in the Middle East, calling him “Israel’s most unconditional ally.” He singled out McCain, the 2008 Republican presidential candidate, saying he had supported Israel’s Mossad intelligence...
  • Steven Sotloff 'beheaded by Islamic State' - latest

    09/02/2014 10:54:59 AM PDT · by boycott · 127 replies
    The Telegraph ^ | 02 Sep 2014 | Barney Henderson
    Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (Isil) release video apparently showing beheading of US hostage, Steven Sotloff ---- David Cameron has said: "I've just seen the news. It's an absolutely disgusting and despicable act and I will be making a statement later."
  • ISIS claims to behead second American: Is it me, or does this background look superimposed?

    09/02/2014 12:16:45 PM PDT · by TangledUpInBlue · 64 replies
    No text, just video at the link.
  • Ethnic Cleansing Occurring in Iraq, Amnesty International Charges (official report)

    09/02/2014 1:37:12 PM PDT · by NYer · 17 replies
    aleteia ^ | September 2, 2014 | JOHN BURGER
    It’s difficult to read Amnesty International’s report on ethnic cleansing in Iraq without imagining that you’re reading the script of a movie. Over and over, the report, issued today, relates accounts of men being taken out of their villages in pickup trucks, lined up in a deserted area, and shot. Often they were shot in the backs, many times at the edge of a “wadi” or a large hole in the ground, into which the bodies would tumble. Some were not gravely injured and feigned death so that they could escape—and tell the story. Enough Iraqis—Christians, Shia Muslims, Yazidis...
  • 'Our Enemy Is Not Terrorism'

    09/02/2014 1:29:38 PM PDT · by Retain Mike · 35 replies
    U.S. Naval Institute Proceedings ^ | May 2004 | John Lehman
    The subject here is naval history and the naval history to come. This is particularly relevant, given the subjects I've been immersed in over the last year—the so-called war on terrorism and the attacks of 9/11, what went wrong, and what we should do to fix it. I have learned that what these two institutions—the U.S. Naval Institute and the U.S. Naval Academy—stand for are at the center of what we face as a nation going forward. The Naval Institute is one of the great intellectual institutions in this country. I first joined when I was an undergraduate in college,...
  • Heart Surgery Saved This Child From an ISIS Beheading

    09/02/2014 1:23:06 PM PDT · by NYer · 9 replies
    vocativ ^ | August 28, 2014 | Inna Lazareva
    Luck, timing and heart surgery helped a Yazidi father and his toddler son escape the ISIS massacre in Sinjar At just one year and five months old, little Abu Wissam has already cheated death twice. Born with congenital heart problems, he was lucky enough to get crucial heart surgery in Israel. And while the surgery was temporarily delayed, that in itself was a blessing. It meant that Abu and his father were far from home in August when ISIS militants came to slaughter their Yazidi neighbors and relatives in Sinjar, northern Iraq.Perched on his sonÂ’s hospital bed and watching him...
  • Iraq Crisis: Kurdish Peshmerga Commander Claims Amerli Recaptured From 'Drugged Up' Jihadis

    09/02/2014 10:14:27 AM PDT · by GonzoII · 16 replies
    IBT ^ | September 2, 2014 17:43 BST | Jack Moore
    <p>A Kurdish peshmerga commander has claimed that his forces retook the besieged town of Amerli in northern Iraq from Isis (now known as the Islamic State) militants who were "high on drugs".</p> <p>Last week, Kurdish peshmerga Iraqi forces and Shia militias recaptured the Turkmen town of Amerli after it fell into the hands of IS for two months.</p>
  • Are American Troops Already Fighting on the Front Lines in Iraq? [GERMAN SF ON THE GROUND IN IRAQ]

    09/02/2014 8:46:29 AM PDT · by GonzoII · 35 replies
    Are American Troops Already Fighting on the Front Lines in Iraq? The Pentagon is denying that U.S. troops are fighting ISIS on the ground in Iraq—but eyewitness accounts and Kurdish officials tell a different story. ZUMAR, Iraq — The role of American Special Operations Forces in Iraq has remained hidden even while the U.S. air war expands. As momentum against ISIS picks up, they may be emerging from the shadows. In a pitched battle on Monday, Kurdish Peshmerga, backed by American airpower and what appeared to be U.S. troops, struck at ISIS positions in the strategic crossroads of Zumar.Scenes from...
  • Armed Iraqi Volunteers Help Government Forces Fight Off ISIS

    09/02/2014 6:51:18 AM PDT · by Kaslin · 5 replies
    Townhall.com ^ | September 2, 2014 | Katie Pavlich
    That whole armed citizenry thing is working....in Iraq against ISIS. More from Al Jazeera: Government forces mainly composed of Kurdish peshmerga fighters and armed volunteers have broken through the Islamic State group siege on the town of Amerli located between Baghdad, and the northern city of Kirkuk.The news came as the AFP news agency reported on Monday that fighting with the Sunni rebel group continues in Sulaiman Bek and Yanakaja towns north of Amerli, killing at least two peshmerga fighters.As of Monday, Iraqi forces and the armed volunteers have taken control of Amerli, a day after entering the town, where...
  • Jury to decide fates of former Blackwater contractors charged in Iraq shooting

    09/02/2014 6:18:24 AM PDT · by Dave346 · 4 replies
    CNN ^ | Tue September 2, 2014
    The Iraq War incident has been a controversial political and diplomatic case from start. On Tuesday, a Washington jury begins deliberations on whether the four guards are guilty of murder, among other charges.
  • UN: Iraq Atrocities "Acts Of Inhumanity On An Unimaginable Scale"

    09/02/2014 3:49:54 AM PDT · by Biggirl · 23 replies
    Breitbart.com ^ | September 2,2014 | Breitbart News
    The UN says it has received reports from Iraq that "reveal acts of inhumanity on an unimaginable scale". Deputy Human Rights Commissioner Flavia Pansieri said Islamic State (IS) was believed to have committed systematic and intentional attacks on civilians.
  • Australia: ‘Extreme Force’ Justified Against ISIS

    09/01/2014 11:39:51 PM PDT · by nickcarraway · 5 replies
    Al Arabiya ^ | Tuesday, 2 September 2014
    Prime Minister Tony Abbott on Tuesday said "extreme force" was justified in battling Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) militants as he played down reports that an Australian plane delivering humanitarian aid in Iraq came under fire. Australia will "in coming days" join ally the United States in an international effort to transport weapons to Kurdish forces fighting IS extremists in northern Iraq. It has also been conducting humanitarian air drops to the besieged town of Amerli.
  • Obama warned Isis terrorists 'will target US cities and kill with abandon'

    09/01/2014 9:40:40 PM PDT · by 2ndDivisionVet · 35 replies
    The London Independent | September 1, 2014 | Stuart Henderson
    Link only, due to copyright issues: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/obama-warned-isis-terrorists-will-target-us-cities-and-kill-with-abandon-9702900.html
  • Iraq crisis: Shia and Kurdish forces move against IS

    09/01/2014 8:11:19 PM PDT · by MinorityRepublican · 9 replies
    BBC News ^ | 1 September 2014
    Iraqi Shia militias and Kurdish forces are continuing their advance against Islamic State militants after breaking the siege of Amerli in northern Iraq. A BBC team entered the town on Monday, finding residents who had endured more than two months under siege. The joint forces have also seized the militant stronghold of Suleiman Beg. Meanwhile Amnesty International says that it has uncovered new evidence that Islamic State have launched a campaign of ethnic cleansing in the north.
  • 2nd update: iraq claims further advances against islamic state militants

    09/01/2014 11:47:57 AM PDT · by GonzoII · 22 replies
    Alliance News/LSE ^ | Mon, 1st Sep 2014 | Alliance News
    Baghdad (Alliance News) - Iraqi government and Kurdish forces on Monday retook two more towns from the militant Islamic State organization, officials said, building on recent gains against the radical jihadists. Government troops, backed by Shiite militiamen and Kurdish Peshmerga forces, recaptured the northern town of Suleiman Pek, an official said. "Elite troops were able today to fully purge Suleiman Pek of the Islamic State," spokesman for Iraq's anti-terrorism agency, Sabah al-Numan, told independent site al-Sumaria News. "The troops hoisted the Iraqi flag on top of the town hall." Suleiman Pek is located near Amerli, which Iraqi troops regained on...
  • The Worst Case Scenario In The Middle East, In One Sentence

    08/31/2014 2:32:34 PM PDT · by blam · 19 replies
    BI ^ | 8-31-2014 | Michael B Kelley
    Michael B KelleyAugust 31, 2014Ali Khedery, the longest continuously serving American official in Iraq (2003-09), recently sat down with Reza Akhlaghi of the Foreign Policy Association to discuss American policy in the Middle East. The candid discussion highlights several mistakes the U.S. made in the 21st century and lays out some troubling potential scenarios for the future if circumstances continue to worsen. "As the Middle East unravels, the U.S. and its allies will be the real losers because we won’t be able to contain these cancers of sectarian war and transnational jihad," Khedery, who is now chairman and chief executive...
  • Germany to send rifles, tank busters to aid Kurds fighting Islamic extremists in Iraq

    08/31/2014 12:04:17 PM PDT · by GonzoII · 21 replies
    AP via Tribtown.com ^ | August 31, 2014
    BERLIN — The German government says it will send high-end rifles, tank-busting weapons and armored vehicles to aid Kurdish fighters battling Islamic extremists in Iraq. .... Three shipments will be made starting at the end of September, including 8,000 German-made G36 assault rifles and ammunition, 30 MILAN anti-tank systems, and five heavily armored Dingo infantry vehicles.
  • Feinstein: Obama maybe ‘too cautious’ on ISIS, but plans are underway

    08/31/2014 8:54:15 AM PDT · by GonzoII · 45 replies
    - The Washington Times - ^ | Sunday, August 31, 2014 | Tom Howell Jr.
    The chairwoman of the Senate Intelligence Committee said Sunday that President Obama is notably cautious — “maybe, in this instance, too cautious” — but insisted the U.S. and its allies will coalesce behind a plan to beat back the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria before their well-funded sources take Baghdad.
  • Iraqi Town Liberated From Two-Month ISIS Siege After U.S. Aid Drops

    08/31/2014 7:55:42 AM PDT · by elhombrelibre · 6 replies
    NBC ^ | 31 Aug 14 | Unknown
    Iraqi security forces and Shiite militiamen liberated the town of Amirli Sunday following a two-month siege by ISIS militants, officials told NBC News. The news comes hours after the Pentagon announced the U.S. military was conducting airstrikes and dropping humanitarian aid to the city at the request of the Iraqi government. "Amirli is liberated by the joint Iraqi forces," Hakim Al-Zamily, a Sadrist member of Parliament, said. "ISIS militants escaped from Amirli and the areas around."
  • Iraq breaks Islamic State siege of Amerli

    08/31/2014 4:00:55 AM PDT · by GonzoII · 12 replies
    Al Jazeera ^ | 31 Aug 2014 10:48 | Al Jazeera
    The Iraqi army backed by volunteer fighters have broken through the Islamic State group siege on the town of Amerli located between the capital, Baghdad, and northern city of Kirkuk, sources have told Al Jazeera. Iraqi forces and the militia entered the city on Sunday, where thousands of people have been trapped for over two months with dwindling food and water. "Our forces entered Amerli and broke the siege," security spokesman Lieutenant General Qassem Atta told AFP news agency. Sources on the ground told Al Jazeera's Jane Arraf that the Iraqi soldiers were backed by "Shia militia". On Saturday, the...
  • IS in Retreat as Kurdish, Iraqi Forces Advance to Amerli with US Air Support

    08/31/2014 2:59:46 AM PDT · by GonzoII · 7 replies
    Rudaw ^ | 2 hours ago
    Iraq IS in Retreat as Kurdish, Iraqi Forces Advance to Amerli with US Air Support 2 hours ago ERBIL, Kurdistan Region – Kurdish and Iraqi forces fighting to lift a two-month siege of Amerli by the Islamic State (IS/ISIS) were swiftly advancing on the Shiite Turkmen town on Sunday and had the militants on retreat. The joint, three-pronged advance toward Amerli began Saturday, and was backed by US airstrikes on the outskirts of the town on Sunday. IS armies have surrounded Amerli for the past two months, cutting off the estimated 20,000 population from food, water and electricity. Reports...
  • U.S. military airstrikes in Iraq boost morale of thousands of besieged residents

    08/31/2014 1:16:08 AM PDT · by elhombrelibre · 9 replies
    Washington Post ^ | 31 Aug 14 | Abigail Hauslohner
    BAGHDAD — The U.S. military carried out airstrikes on Islamic State militants near the besieged Iraqi town of Amerli on Saturday night, boosting morale for thousands of residents who have been trapped inside for two months, Iraqi officials and the Pentagon said. The assault, which came alongside a coordinated humanitarian aid drop, marks the second time this month that the United States has intervened militarily in Iraq to prevent an Islamic State attack on thousands of trapped civilians. On Saturday night, American, Australian, British and French aircraft dropped humanitarian aid to Amerli, a Shiite Turkmen town, at the request of...
  • ISIS Sells 300 Yazidi Women As Brides To Fighters In Recent Weeks

    08/31/2014 1:46:01 AM PDT · by GonzoII · 9 replies
    IBT ^ | August 30 2014 2:50 | Dennis Lynch&#61954;
    The Islamic State has sold some 300 Yazidi girls and women captured in Iraq to its fighters in Syria in recent weeks, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a U.K.-based monitoring group. The woman were forced to convert to Islam, and SOHR reported it has documented cases where girls and women were sold to fighters for $1,000 each.Formerly known as ISIS, the Islamic State considers the women to be so-called al Sabaya, defined by SOHR as “women captured in war.” The monitoring group said it has documented 27 cases of bride-selling in northern Syria, around Raqqa, Hasaka...
  • Australia to fly guns and ammunition into Iraq

    08/31/2014 1:07:39 AM PDT · by GonzoII · 5 replies
    AP via Stars and Stripes ^ | August 31, 2014 | Rod McGuirk
    CANBERRA, Australia -- An Australian military aircraft will soon fly guns and ammunition to the northern Iraqi city of Irbil to help Kurds fight Islamic State militants as part of a U.S.-led multination mission, Australia's prime minister said on Sunday. Prime Minister Tony Abbott said his government would join the United States, Britain, Canada, France and Italy in delivering rocket-propelled grenades, mortars and assault rifle ammunition at the request of the U.S. and Iraqi governments. "While we understandably shrink from reaching out to these conflicts, the truth is that these conflicts reach out to us," Abbott told reporters. "None of...
  • FILIPINO TROOPS PULL `GREATEST ESCAPE' FROM SYRIA

    08/31/2014 12:48:19 AM PDT · by Jet Jaguar · 17 replies
    AP ^ | Aug 31, 2014 | BY JIM GOMEZ
    Under cover of darkness, 40 Filipino peacekeepers made a daring escape after being surrounded and under fire for seven hours by Syrian rebels in the Golan Heights, Philippine officials said Sunday, leaving 44 Fijian troops still in the hands of the al-Qaida-linked insurgents. "We may call it the greatest escape," Philippine military chief Gen. Gregorio Pio Catapang said. The peacekeepers became trapped after Syrian rebels entered the U.N.-patrolled buffer zone between Syria and Israel this week, seizing 44 Fijian soldiers and demanding that their Filipino colleagues surrender with their weapons. The Filipinos in two U.N. encampments refused and clashed with...
  • U.S. planes strike militants near Iraq's Amerli, airdrop aid

    08/31/2014 12:41:01 AM PDT · by GonzoII · 4 replies
    Reuters ^ | Sun Aug 31, 2014 12:29pm IST | Raheem Salman and Matt Spetalnick
    (Reuters) - The United States carried out air strikes on Saturday against Islamic State fighters near the besieged Shi'ite town of Amerli in northern Iraq and airdropped humanitarian aid to civilians trapped there, the Pentagon said. President Barack Obama authorized the new military action, broadening U.S. operations in Iraq amid an international outcry over the threat to Amerli's mostly ethnic Turkmen population. U.S. aircraft delivered over a hundred bundles of emergency supplies and more aid was dropped from British, French and Australian planes, officials said, signaling headway in Obama’s efforts to draw allies into the fight against Islamic State. Iraqi...
  • The Trouble Is that Obama DOES Have a Strategy

    08/30/2014 10:19:57 PM PDT · by 2ndDivisionVet · 25 replies
    PJ Media's Spengler ^ | August 29, 2014 | David P. Goldman
    Obama’s “we-don’t-have-a-strategy” gaffe was so egregious as to distract attention from the fact that he does indeed have a strategy, which has blown up in his face. His strategy is accommodation with Iran at all costs. As I wrote earlier this month, our ISIS problem derives from our Iran problem: Bashar Assad’s ethnic cleansing, which has displaced 4 million Syrians internally and driven 3 million out of the country, was possible because of Iranian backing. The refugee flood in Iraq and Syria gives ISIS an unlimited pool of recruits. Iraqi Sunni support for ISIS, including the participation of some of...
  • Rick Perry seizes on Obama's ISIS "strategy" remark

    08/29/2014 2:54:36 PM PDT · by Responsibility2nd · 19 replies
    CBS News ^ | 08/29/2014
    DALLAS - Gov. Rick Perry, R-Texas, wasted little time pouncing on President Obama's "we don't have a strategy yet" comments about removing the threat of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) in the Middle East, accusing the White House of "dithering and debating" the threat posed by the violent militant faction. "Yesterday, the president admitted he had no strategy to deal with ISIS," Perry said in remarks Friday at a summit put on by Americans for Prosperity, an influential conservative organization backed by the billionaire industrialist Koch brothers. "The deepening chaos in Iraq, Syria, Gaza, and Ukraine is...
  • President Obama needs to focus on how the United States can meet global challenges

    08/30/2014 8:33:26 AM PDT · by Mariner · 38 replies
    The Washington Post ^ | Aug 30, 2014 | Editorial Board
    RESIDENT OBAMA’S acknowledgment that “we don’t have a strategy yet” in Syria understandably attracted the most attention after his perplexing meeting with reporters Thursday. But his restatement of the obvious was not the most dismaying aspect of his remarks. The president’s goal, to the extent he had one, seemed to be to tamp down all the assessments of gathering dangers that his own team had been issuing over the previous days. This argument with his own administration is alarming on three levels. The first has to do with simple competence. One can only imagine the whiplash that foreign leaders must...
  • Latest Big Lie: We Have No Strategy

    08/29/2014 12:55:02 PM PDT · by Rummyfan · 22 replies
    PJ Media ^ | 29 Aug 2014 | Michael Ledeen
    They DO have a strategy, but they prefer to appear indecisive. That’s because the strategy would likely provoke even greater criticism than the false confession of endless dithering. The actual strategy is detente first, and then a full alliance with Iran throughout the Middle East and North Africa. It has been on display since before the beginning of the Obama administration. During his first presidential campaign in 2008, Mr. Obama used a secret back channel to Tehran to assure the mullahs that he was a friend of the Islamic Republic, and that they would be very happy with his policies....
  • This Is How ISIS Is Building An Airforce

    08/30/2014 1:26:43 PM PDT · by blam · 61 replies
    Zero Hedge ^ | 8-31-2014 | Tyler Durden
    Tyler Durden 08/30/2014The Islamic State is nothing if not ambitious. Despite no record of current 'airplane' assets in their annual reports, ISIS has begun detaining and forcing Syrian pilots to train militant fighters to fly stolen aircraft. According to CNN Arabic, the pilots (and their planes and helicopters) were abducted when the terrorist group gained control of Tabqa military base. It appears that if beheadings, executions, and whippings are not enough to strike fear into the hearts of the locals, then (just as America is tryiung to do), an air assault will greatly demoralize. We can only imagine how this...
  • Iraqi Christian Village: From Sanctuary To Ghost Town In 2 Months

    08/30/2014 7:38:09 AM PDT · by marshmallow · 6 replies
    NPR ^ | 8/27/14 | Pter Kenyon
    Friar Gabriel Tooma leads a service at the Chaldean Church of the Virgin Mary of the Harvest, in Al-Qosh on June 15. At the time, the Christian village in northern Iraq was taking in those fleeing violence in the nearby city of Mosul. Now the village itself is largely deserted. The northern Iraqi village of Al-Qosh was humming with activity — and some jitters — when NPR visited back in June. The Assyrian Christian villagers had opened their schools and homes to Iraqis fleeing the takeover of nearby Mosul by Islamist fighters calling themselves the Islamic State. But these days,...
  • John Kerry says 'airstrikes alone' will not defeat 'genocidal' Isis militants

    08/30/2014 11:47:03 AM PDT · by GonzoII · 66 replies
    The Guardian ^ | Saturday 30 August 2014 16.50 BST | Martin Pengelly
    US Secretary of State John Kerry on Saturday called for “a world coalition” to defeat the Islamic State (Isis) militant group which has seized control of large parts of Iraq and Syria and was cited by the British prime minister, David Cameron, when he raised the UK’s terror threat level to “severe” on Friday. In an op-ed for the New York Times that was released online on Friday night and in print on Saturday, Kerry wrote: “In a polarised region and a complicated world, the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria presents a unifying threat to a broad array of...
  • Kurdish Forces Control Iraq-Syria Border Town [Cut Off ISIS Movement Back Into Syria]

    08/30/2014 10:43:18 AM PDT · by GonzoII · 11 replies
    BasNews, Erbil ^ | 30.08.2014 | Mewan Dolamari
    Kurdish Peshmerga force in Rabia a town on the Iraqi-Syria border News / Kurdistan Kurdish Forces Control Iraq-Syria Border Town 30.08.2014  Mewan Dolamari BasNews, Erbil   Kurdish Peshmerga forces, with the help of US military planes, have taken complete control of Rabia, a town located on the Iraq – Syria border.   On Saturday, a Kurdish military source told BasNews correspondent in Rabia that the Peshmerga  now control the strategically important area, holding the border between Iraq and Syria.   “Now, Rabia is totally under the control of Peshmerga forces and the advances of Islamic State (IS) militants from...
  • Obama’s Moment to Seize the Day in Iraq

    08/30/2014 10:32:49 AM PDT · by Kaslin · 7 replies
    Townhall.com ^ | August 30, 2014 | Raymond Tanter
    Reports President Obama authorized surveillance flights over Syria suggest he is beginning to seize the moment given to him by the horrific execution of American journalist, James Foley. If he authorizes airstrikes into Syria against the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), even over the horizon from Iraq, it could reinforce the “moderate” Free Syrian Army against both ISIS and Assad. Even if such strikes also helped Assad against ISIS, they would be worth the effort. Interests If the surveillance over Syria indicates the President if abandoning his strategy of defensive containment and going on the offensive with a...
  • Iraq begins major operation to free jihadist-besieged town

    08/30/2014 9:21:35 AM PDT · by GonzoII · 2 replies
    Iraqi security forces, Shiite militiamen and Kurdish fighters launched a major operation today to break the more than two-month jihadist siege of a Shi'ite Turkmen-majority town, officials said. The operation has been in the works for days, with Iraqi aircraft carrying out strikes and forces massing for the drive toward Amerli, which has been besieged since militants led by the Islamic State (IS) jihadist group launched a major offensive in June. Residents face major shortages of food and water, and are in danger both because of their Shiite faith, which jihadists consider heresy, and their resistance to the militants, which...
  • Peshmerga Retake Oil Town, Closes in on Zumar

    08/30/2014 6:07:50 AM PDT · by GonzoII · 7 replies
    BasNews, Dohuk ^ | 30.08.2014
    Smoke rises from Ain Zalah oil field in Northern Iraq News / Kurdistan Peshmerga Retake Oil Town, Closes in on Zumar 30.08.2014 BasNews, Dohuk    Kurdish Peshmerga forces have completely retaken the oil rich town Ain Zalah and all associated oil fields in Northern Iraq.   A BasNews correspondent in the region has revealed that on Saturday Peshmerga forces took control of the town of Ain Zalah, a mixed town near Zumar in Northern Iraq, along with all the oil wells in the town.   A few days ago, when the Peshmerga attacks began, Islamic State (IS) jihadists set...
  • Shaking faith: How ISIS is causing Muslims to abandon Islam

    08/30/2014 2:08:32 AM PDT · by GonzoII · 57 replies
    Modern Muslim Living ^ | 21 hours ago | Omar Shahid
    The extremist group that kills Muslims and non-Muslims alike is also driving countless of the faithful from our religion. By Omar Shahid. Screengrab from VICE News documentary “The Islamic State” by reporter Medyan Dairieh. (Image: VICE/YouTube) One of the signs of the end times, according to Islam, is the inversion of reality – in other words, things being upside-down. For Muslims, there is nothing that more obviously illustrates this than Islam being made to appear bad to the world. For the first time in the history of our faith, an extremist fringe has hijacked the religion and is dominating...
  • DHS considering new security measures to intercept ‘foreign fighters’ returning from Syria

    08/30/2014 1:50:28 AM PDT · by GonzoII · 10 replies
    Fox News ^ | 8/30/2014
    The Department of Homeland Security said Friday that officials are considering “additional security measures” to intercept foreign fighters who have joined up with radical militants overseas, on the heels of reports that two Americans have died fighting for the Islamic State in Syria. The development comes as the British government raises its threat level to “severe” amid the crisis in the Middle East. The White House said Friday there are “no plans” to follow suit in Washington; DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson said his department and the FBI are not aware of any “specific, credible threat” to the U.S. homeland from...
  • Saudi king warns of terror threat to the world

    08/29/2014 8:20:08 PM PDT · by Brad from Tennessee · 89 replies
    Al Arabiya News ^ | August 29, 2014 | Staff Writer
    Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz warned on Friday that the threat of terrorism will reach Europe and America if the world does not unite to confront it, Al Arabiya News Channel reported. The king made the statement during a reception of foreign ambassadors to the kingdom in the coastal city of Jeddah. Britain on Friday raised the terror threat level to severe, the second-highest level. The decision was related to developments in Iraq and Syria, but there was no information to suggest an attack was imminent. “What we are facing in Iraq now with ISIL is a greater threat...
  • Obama’s 5 Worst Foreign Policy Decisions

    08/30/2014 1:25:41 AM PDT · by Kaslin · 33 replies
    Townhall.com ^ | August 30, 2014 | John Hawkins
    Since Barack Obama has been the Hindenburg of Presidents on the domestic front, there hasn't been as much commentary as you'd expect about the fact that he has been the Titanic of Presidents on foreign policy. George W. Bush certainly made his mistakes as President, primarily in Iraq, but you did at least get the sense that his administration was full of capable, serious adults sincerely grappling with a new strategic problem for the country. On the other hand, when it comes to foreign policy, Obama comes across like a bored kid playing war because his mother won't let him...
  • President Obama Needs To Focus On How The United States Can Meet Global Challenges [Blistering!]

    08/29/2014 11:42:44 PM PDT · by Steelfish · 27 replies
    Washington Post ^ | August 29, 2014
    President Obama needs to focus on how the United States can meet global challenges Share on FacebookShare on TwitterShare on Google PlusShare via EmailMore Options Resize Text Print Article Comments 1634 President Barack Obama. (Evan Vucci/AP) By Editorial Board August 29 President Obama Needs To Focus On How The United States Can Meet Global Challenges PRESIDENT OBAMA’S acknowledgment that “we don’t have a strategy yet” in Syria understandably attracted the most attention after his perplexing meeting with reporters Thursday. But his restatement of the obvious was not the most dismaying aspect of his remarks. The president’s goal, to the extent...
  • John McCain and Lindsey Graham: Confront ISIS Now

    08/30/2014 12:22:52 AM PDT · by GonzoII · 43 replies
    Nerw York Times ^ | AUG. 29, 2014 | John McCain and Lindsey Graham
    AFTER more than three years, almost 200,000 dead in Syria, the near collapse of Iraq, and the rise of the world’s most sinister terrorist army — the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, which has conquered vast swaths of both countries — President Obama’s admission this week that “we don’t have a strategy yet” to deal with this threat is startling. It is also dangerous. The president clearly wants to move deliberately and consult with allies and Congress as he considers what to do about ISIS. No one disputes that goal. But the threat ISIS poses only grows over time....
  • White House does damage control

    08/29/2014 2:28:01 PM PDT · by shepardspie33 · 23 replies
    The Hill ^ | August 29 2014 | Justin Sink
    President Obama was referring only "to military options for striking" Islamist militants in Syria when he said the White House did not "have a strategy yet,” press secretary Josh Earnest insisted Thursday. The White House launched a full-court media press to clarify the president’s comments after the media and Republicans seized on the admission. He added that Obama "was asked a specific question about what approach he was going to pursue about possible military action in Syria." The White House spokesman said Obama had for months described a "comprehensive strategy" to deal with the threat posed by terrorists from the...