Trump tells the world he defeated ISIS (ODT)
ISIS is a US creation. So are al-Qaeda, its al-Nusra offshoot, and other terrorist groups – used by the Pentagon and CIA as proxy troops.
Trump claiming “(w)e’re knocking the hell out of ISIS…We have defeated ISIS in Syria” are Big Lies. Earlier he boasted that he “know(s) more about #ISIS than generals do…”
By Stephen Landman
The War that Trump won against ISIS is over. I don’t think so. (ODT)
One only needs to remember how the USA invaded Iraq, Vietnam, and assisted ib secret actions in the Central and Latin America and has a military presance in some 153 countries to realize to realize their business is war and maintaining a presence and the control of oil in Saudi Arabia, (ODT)
Islamic State still keeps its presence in Syria, but only in US-controlled areas while those liberated by Syrian government forces areas are slowly recovering after terrorists’ defeat, according to the Russian Defense Ministry.
“All the remaining pockets of resistance of ISIS terrorists in Syria are only in areas controlled by the United States,” Major-General Igor Konashenkov, a defense ministry spokesman, said on Saturday.
Earlier, US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said in a bold statement that pulling out of the Arab Republic “must avoid leaving a vacuum in Syria that can be exploited by the Assad regime or its supporters,” in apparent reference to Iran and Russia.
Russia has been fighting terrorists in the country on the invitation of the Syrian government, while the US presence there has been deemed aggressive by Damascus.
Konashenkov pulled no punches on the US military official, reminding him that the Washington-led invasion in Iraq under a false pretext in fact led to the rise of Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS) and eventually its expansion into war-ravaged Syria.
“Further expansion of ISIS in Syria became possible due to criminal inaction of the US and the so-called ‘international coalition,’ which resulted in quickly gaining control by ISIS militants over the main oil-bearing areas of Eastern Syria and constant flow of funds from the illegal sale of oil products,” Konashenkov said.
Washington supplied arms worth hundreds of millions to the “fictitious” Syrian opposition, while the vast majority of it ended up in hands of Al-Qaeda offshoot Al-Nusra Front, and Islamic State, he claimed. That, in Konashenkov’s view, shows that the terrorists groups’ goals in Syria coincide with Washington’s policies.
Not long after the final blast from the muzzle of Stephen Paddock’s rifle cut through the Las Vegas night, the search for his motive began.
The Australian media and political landscape is now awash with goons seeking to exploit the sort of far-right tone the Donald Trump presidency has helped legitimise across the West, all of them dedicated to the defence of free speech and the hurt feelings of white men.
Surviving ISIS: Mosul and its people may be free of Islamic State for now but their troubles are far from over.
They come over here. They buy up all the farmland that we stole. And they don’t assimilate. I am, of course, referring to the impossibly clever Chinese. And we’ll get to the perennially screwed over First Australians in a minute. Reports out today cast some doubt on the never-ending xenophobia of Australians when it comesMore
In his daily free-association exercise, the Republican presidential nominee accused the president of creating the terrorist organization by withdrawing troops from Iraq in 2011. But the timetable for withdrawal was set by the Bush administration.
France’s foreign minister has said Turkey may no longer be a viable partner in the fight against Isis in Syria, while Syrian state media has claimed the failed coup in the country was fabricated by President Erdogan to tarnish the military’s reputation.
We live in a world where people still associate the brutality and cowardice of ISIS with the same people who die at the militant group’s hands.
(ANTIWAR) In a speech at the Herzliya Conference, Israel’s military intelligence chief, Major General Herzi Halevy, took Israel’s long-standing position that it “prefers ISIS” over the Syrian government to a whole ‘nother level, declaring openly that Israel does not want to see ISIS defeated in the …
“Genocide has occurred and is ongoing,” Paulo Pinheiro, head of the UN Commission of Inquiry (COI) for Syria said in a statement.”ISIS has subjected every Yazidi
Islamic State’s claim of responsibility for the Orlando mass shooting may be nothing more than a propaganda move to capitalize on a massacre perpetrated by a lone-wolf attacker who could have had no direct links to the terror group, security experts told RT.
Isis execution squads have appeared in the streets of Fallujah, a city 40 miles west of Bag
Syrian refugees flee after camps are overrun by Isis but find themselves being shot at by Turkish border troops
Last week began well for security forces. But then came the bombings. And then the realisation intelligence had failed to contain a group more durable than anyone expected
ISIS says it was responsible for the terror attacks in Brussels, but maybe America should ultimately take the credit for it.
There’s one group of fighters that the men of Islamic State fear more than others because, rumors say, to be killed by them doesn’t lead to martyrdom, but to an eternity in hell.
Is Donald Trump helping ISIS?
The invasion of Iraq fueled the creation of the Islamic State and the West is poised to make all the same mistakes in Syria, says the former head of the U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency.
Published just weeks before the Paris attacks, the French professor’s grim analysis has hit a nerve
Turkey’s decision to down a Russian fighter jet was dictated by a desire to defend IS oil supplies to Turkey, Vladimir Putin says.
Paris. For French President François Hollande, the attacks in Paris on November 13, carried out by French and Belgian citizens, changed everything. His prior, oft-repeated mantra that “Assad must g…
Source: Who’s Afraid of ISIS?
Many Islamic State recruits have been far from devout Muslims, despite claiming that their victims’ lives are decadent and obscene.
Terrorists and the far right both see democracy as a decadent failure; at least ISIS admits they want to destroy it
The Paris attacks and the bombing of a Russian airliner have driven Moscow and the West closer together and, in doing so, have done more to seal Islamic State’s fate than 18 months of inconclusive Western airstrikes.
Russian President Vladimir Putin says he wants “a co-ordinating structure” to fight Islamic State, as world leaders gather at the UN to discuss the issue.
It comes as welcome news that Australia is set to abandon its opposition to Bashar al-Assad as part of a durable peace settlement in Syria. The recent military escalation by Russia and reported sightings of Chinese war ships in the Mediterranean in the last week must come as something of an embarrassment to the war…
“Yesterday an ISIS member stopped the car of a Christian couple.
ISIS member: Are you Muslim?
Christian man: Yes, I’m Muslim.
ISIS member: If you are a Muslim, then recite a verse of Quran.
Christian man recited a verse from the Bible.
ISIS member: Ok allah go.
Later his wife tells him: “I cannot believe the risk you just took.
Why did u tell him that we are Muslims?
If he knew you were lying he would have killed both of us.”
“Do not worry! If they knew the Quran they would not kill people” answered the Husband.
ISIS is not Islam, terrorism has no religion.
Kindly share it as much as you can.”
BAGHDAD – (CT&P) – Islamic State militants have curtailed the amount of water flowing to government-held areas in Iraq’s western Anbar province, an official said Thursday, the latest in the vicious war as Iraqi forces struggle to claw back ground held by the extremists in the Sunni heartland.
It’s not the first time that water has been used as a weapon of war in Mideast conflicts and in Iraq in particular. Earlier this year, the Islamic State group reduced the flow through another lock outside the militant-held town of Fallujah, also in Anbar province. But the extremists soon reopened it after criticism from the media and threats of boycotts on the Islamic State from more progressive terrorists and business leaders in surrounding provinces.
The reduced flow of water through the militant-held dam on the Euphrates River will threaten irrigation systems and water treatment plants in nearby areas controlled by troops and tribes opposed to the extremist group, provincial council member Taha Abdul-Ghani told the Associated Press.
Abdul-Ghani said there would be no immediate effect on Shiite areas in central and southern Iraq, saying water is being diverted to those areas from the Tigris River.
The United Nations had said on Wednesday that it was looking into reports that ISIS had reduced the flow of water through the al-Warar dam.
ISIS CEO Abu Bakr al-Butthollah told reporters from Al Jazeera that the actions were perfectly justified under the Islamic State’s new “Religious Freedom Restoration Act, enacted last December.
“We got the idea from Indiana and other misguided, backwards-ass states located in the Great Satan,” said Butthollah. “We have to protect our employees’ deeply held religious beliefs. Our supreme court already upheld the law with its landmark decision in Unexploded Ordnance Lobby v Omar last month.
“There’s just no way that we’re going to force any of our employees to serve water to infidels with alternative lifestyles, and I think Allah would be proud of the stand we’re taking for bigoted assholes all over the globe.”
United Nations officials have reacted with dismay to the policy, as it has to the ridiculous attempts to make homosexuals second-class citizens within the U.S.
“The use of water as a tool of war is to be condemned in no uncertain terms,” the spokesman for the UN secretary-general, Stephane Dujarric, told reporters. “It is just a damn shame that these throwbacks from the Middle Ages still exist in state governments around America and in the Middle East as well. These kinds of reports are disturbing, to say the least.”
The author is a Middle Eastern woman who grew up in Jordan and has been able to explore the world from there. She has camped in Petra, touched the sky at Burj Khalifa, driven through the streets of Riyadh (shhh), and partied the night away at Sky Bar in Beirut. My home, for now, is New York. She wrote Your Middle East’s most popular article to date. The journey continues at www.womanunveiled.com
On Tuesday, the international community was shocked to learn of the barbaric murder of Jordanian Air Force Pilot Lt. Muath Al Kassasbeh. Jordanians lost a brother and a son, and passionate emotions of grief and anger spread across the entire country.
While our heartbreak and anger may push us towards seeking revenge, let us hone in on our emotions to unite in our humanity instead. Beyond any military war, it is the love and compassion encouraged by Islam and all religions that is our greatest weapon.
I grew up in Jordan, but any visitor and guest of the country will tell you of the great qualities of hospitality and generosity its people transmit. It is no coincidence that it is such a country that has overcome a range of political, economic, and social challenges, consistently opening itself up to aid refugees and fellow Arab populations in times of need despite significant resource constraints.
As we continue to mourn the death of the brave martyr, let me explicitly note that ISIS is not an extremist version of Islam. Their followers in no way, shape, or form, abide by any version of Islam, let alone any other religion. Let us in our reaction and remembrance of Muaath expose ISIS for what they truly are, nothing more than a collection of monsters. Let us delegitimize them by exercising the true meaning of Islam, a religion that was built on love and compassion to overcome an era of ignorance (Jahl) that ISIS embodies today.
Rest in peace Muaath. You will not be forgotten.
With Islamic State militants just kilometres from the country’s western border, and increasingly radical anti-Shia militants to the east in Pakistan, Gareth Smyth examines Iran’s Sunni problem
Nearly ten years ago, a story circulating in Tehran had Mohammad Khatami say of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, his successor as president, “No matter how extreme you are, you will always be in a queue behind Ousama [bin Laden].”
This may well have been an urban folk tale, but it highlighted a fear that Ahmadinejad’s assertive Shi’ism was not in Iran’s best interests. Rather than spread Iranian influence, unleash a revolution of the world’s dispossessed, or liberate Jerusalem from the Israelis, Iranian radicalism carried the danger of a backlash from Sunnis Muslims, who are around 80% of the world’s 1.6 billion Muslims, while Shia are 10-15% and a majority in only Iran, Iraq, Azerbaijan and Bahrain.
Is that nightmare now becoming real? Today the Islamic State (Isis), which regards Shia as infidels and has killed thousands, is barely kilometres from the Iranian border in Iraq’s Diyala province. But if the rapid rise of Isis to the west has alarmed the Iranian public, there are also developments to its east.
Several Pakistan Taliban commanders have declared their loyalty to Isis, including former spokesman Shahidullah Shahid. There are reports of Isis establishing an affiliate, Ansar-ul Daulat-e Islamia fil Pakistan, and luring recruits from two Sunni militant groups, Lashkar-e Jhangvi and Ahl-e Sunnat Wai Jamat.
For 30 years, Pakistan has been a centre of a brand of Sunni extremism, related to Saudi Wahhabism, that considers Shia apostates. Violence against Shia has killed thousands in recent years. In Baluchistan, neighbouring Iran, eight Shia were taken from a bus in October and gunned down in Quetta, the provincial capital.
A Human Rights Watch report in June highlighted a litany of atrocities against Shia, especially against ethnic Hazara in Baluchistan province, that have killed many hundreds in recent years, including two bombings in Quetta in 2013 in which at least 180 died.
Pakistani Baluch army recruits take part in a training exercise in Quetta in 2010.
Pakistani Baluch army recruits take part in a training exercise in Quetta in 2010. Photograph: Aamir Qureshi/AFP/Getty Images
It is not easy for Iran to isolate its own territory. Around 10 million Baluchis straddle Iran’s Sistan-Baluchistan and Pakistan’s Baluchistan, both poor provinces with widespread drug smuggling.
Last year Iran executed 16 members of Jundallah, which had carried attacks on Iranian security forces, mixing Baluchi nationalism with al-Qaeda style practices including beheadings, and declared its insurrection over.
But a new group, Jaish al-Adl, appeared and in February captured five border guards, provoking a drawn-out crisis that provoked major social media activity among alarmed Iranians before mediation by the main Sunni leader in Sistan-Baluchistan, Abdul-Hamid Esmaeel-Zehi, secured the release of four.
Iran fears both that the United States and Saudi Arabia have encouraged Jundallah, alleging when it captured and hanged its 27-year-old leader Abdul-Malik Rigi in 2010 that he had visited the US air base in Bagram, Afghanistan, shortly before his capture. The New York Times has recently offered new evidence of US intelligence involvement with the group.
Iran is also aware of collusion between sections of Pakistani security – especially Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) – with militant Sunni groups, which goes back at least to both Saudi and Pakistani intelligence fuelling jihad against Russia in Afghanistan in the 1980s.
Hence the limits of last year’s bilateral agreement with Pakistan to co-operate against crime and security threats were exposed by several weeks of recent border tensions. In October, Tehran warned Pakistan after militants killed at least four Iranian soldiers or border guards, and then reportedly crossed the border (17 October) and, according to Pakistan, killed one and wounded three border guards. This culminated, a few days later, with the two sides’ armed forces exchanging mortar fire and the dispatch of a deputy Iranian foreign minister for urgent talks.
Pakistani officials have denied Iran’s claims that insurgents use Pakistan as a base, with some arguing unrest has its origins in legitimate Baluchi resentment. With support growing for Isis, this is no time to be “soft” on Shia Iran.
But for Iran, the Baluchi make a Sunni-Shia conflict domestic. Inside Iran, Sunnis are around 10% of the country’s 78 million people and are mainly ethnic Baluchi or Kurds. Extreme Sunni militancy has made far less headway among the Kurds than among the Baluchi, partly due to the influence of Sufism and the strength of pre-Islamic Kurdish culture, but a growth in Kurdish nationalism caused by both Syrian and Iraqi Kurds fighting Isis has its own implications for Iran’s 8 million Kurds.
But in any case, all Iran’s Sunnis allege discrimination in government employment and investment, and begrudge the absence of a Sunni mosque in Tehran and the common naming of buildings and streets in Sunni provinces after Shia leaders.
President Hassan Rouhani has promised to address the grievances of both ethnic and religious minorities. In last year’s presidential election, he did better in Kordistan province (which is not all of the mainly Kurdish region) with 71% and Sistan-Baluchestan (of which Sistan is mainly Shia) with 73% compared to 51% nationally. But delivery is far from easy, as Mohammad Khatami found when he made similar promises.
While there is political opposition to reform both among Shia clerics and the political class, Iranian security favours “strategic depth”, whereby border provinces are heavily militarised to create a buffer, an approach that can fuel resentment as much as improve security.
In terms of politics, Iranian leaders have been at pains to deny there is a regional battle between Shia and Sunnis and to argue that Sunni militants should be distinguished from the wider Sunni community. Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the supreme leader, has called several times in recent months for Muslim unity. He told Iranian hajj officials in late October that the “ummah shouldn’t practise hostility towards each other, but should support each other over important global issues”.
But does at least some hostility towards Shia – and therefore rise of militant Sunni groups – stem from the behaviour of Iran and its allies?
An Iranian Revolutionary Guard covers his chest with a portrait of Lebanon’s Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah.
An Iranian Revolutionary Guard covers his chest with a portrait of Lebanon’s Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah. Photograph: Behrouz Mehri/AFP/Getty Images
The 2003 US-led invasion of Iraq unnerved the Sunni-led states, especially Saudi Arabia, by creating a new, Shia-led order in Baghdad that Iran welcomed. In 2008, Hezbollah’s military assertion in west Beirut, in response to a Sunni-led government challenging its security role at the airport, alienated “moderate Sunnis”. Above all, by 2012 the Syrian war appeared clearly sectarian as an Iranian-backed, Allawi-led regime confronted mainly Sunni rebels.
Since Isis took Mosul in June, Iran’s approach in Iraq has been rooted in Shia solidarity. Nouri al-Maliki, Iraqi vice-president and as former prime minister widely blamed for alienating Iraq’s Sunnis, was recently in Iran to improve what he called “mutual co-operation” against “Takfiri terrorists”. Shia militia leaders in Iraq have been quoted extolling the role of Qassem Soleimani, the head of the al-Quds section of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards, to the extent of leading a front-line operation in the recapture of Jurf al-Sakher from Isis, shunning a flak jacket in the process.
Human Rights Watch has documented abuses both by mainly Iraqi Shia government forces and by Shia militias (it has described the two as “indistinguishable”). After the killing of 34 civilians in a mosque in Diyala province in August, Joe Stork, HRW regional director noted: “Iraqi authorities and Iraq’s allies alike have ignored this horrific attack and then they wonder why the militant group Islamic State has had such appeal among Sunni communities.”