"They are armed with bow and spear; they are cruel, without compassion; their sound is like the roaring sea, as they ride forth on horses." Jeremiah 50:42
"Islamic State" or "Daesh" *
Image from ISIL, showing the execution of Iraqi soldiers - showing and celebrating their cruelty
Eight Islamist fighters from a rival group were crucified by ISIS in the Syrian city of Aleppo. Their corpses were left on display in the town square, Deir Hafer. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights noted that the men were executed because they belonged to more moderate organizations. ISIS accused them of being "Sahwa" fighters, puppets of Western powers. ISIS began as an offshoot of Al Qaeda. However, Al Qaeda disowned ISIS because the organization was too indiscriminate and inhumane in its attacks for even its taste.
This page was previously titled - "Gulf War III"
Remember that, like the borders of Israel, the borders of the other Middle East states were drawn up by politicians in the early twentieth century (CE) with little regard to the ethnic groupings of those living there. www.foxnews.com - see also International Law
the Islamic State is intentionally waging a war of genocide against Christians in Iraq and Syria. The jihadists are systematically trying to exterminate the Christian population in both countries by forcing followers of Jesus Christ to convert to their brand of Apocalyptic Islam or enslaving them, murdering them, starving them, and/or driving them out of the region."
There is a real and growing and chilling concern among top intelligence officials that ISIS is steadily developing the ability to launch massive, genocidal attacks against its enemies using chemical weapons. Whether ISIS is planning such attacks inside the U.S., in Europe or only within the Middle East, is not yet clear.
For the al-Qaida breakaway group that overran parts of Iraq, the border between that country and Syria, where it is also fighting, may as well not even be there. The group, first known as the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant ( ISIL ), wants to establish a Shariah-ruled mini-state bridging both countries, in effect uniting a Sunni heartland across the center of the Mideast.
The ISIL is commonly referred to in the (UK) media as ISIS - Islamic State of Iraq and Syria
The Levant according to Wikipedia, is also known as the Eastern Mediterranean, and is a geographic and cultural region consisting of the "eastern Mediterranean littoral between Anatolia and Egypt". The Levant today consists of the island of Cyprus, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, and part of southern Turkey
The significance of this difference?
The media calling them Islamic State of Iraq and Syria suggest that these nations are the limit of their aspirations, but by calling themselves Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, they set out their aspirations much wider!
Map from Islamic State showing their aspirations; even beyond the Levant
ISIL has declared itself an Islamic "caliphate" and called on factions worldwide to pledge their allegiance, a statement posted on Islamist websites. The group has renamed itself "Islamic State" and proclaimed its leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi as "Caliph" - the head of the state. A statement proclaimed, "Accordingly, the "Iraq and Sham" (Levant) in the name of the Islamic State is henceforth removed from all official deliberations and communications, and the official name is the Islamic State from the date of this declaration,"
Map shows the conflict in Syria and Iraq - from June 2014 - may soon be out of date, but a starting perspective.
ISIL (ISIS) is a Sunni grouping and the war is developing as Shia leaders issue calls to arms to the world's Shia Muslims. Islam denominations.
If you're following the news about ISIS (or al-Sham, "Greater Syria") , which now calls itself the Islamic State, you might think you've mistakenly clicked on a historical story about barbarians from millennia ago. In a matter of months, the group seized territory in both Iraq and Syria and declared an Islamic caliphate, celebrating its own shocking slaughter along the way. (CNN)
"I don't see any attention from the rest of the world," a member of the Yazidi minority in Iraq told the New Yorker . "In one day, they killed more than two thousand Yazidi in Sinjar, and the whole world says, 'Save Gaza, save Gaza.'"
In Syria, the group hoisted some of its victims severed heads on poles. One of the latest videos of the savagery shows a Christian man forced to his knees, surrounded by masked militants, identified in the video as members of ISIS. They force the man at gunpoint to "convert" to Islam. Then, the group beheads him. ISIS has targeted members of numerous minority groups in the region, including Christian nuns, Turkmen and Shabaks, according to Human Rights Watch.
ISIS was too brutal for Osama bin Laden, letter reveals
'Daily Mail' reports that letter discovered in bin Laden's Pakistan compound said associating with extremely brutal ISIS could harm al-Qaida's reputation
"Al Qaeda will now want to challenge ISIS's appropriation of its key objectives and tactics. The only way for al Qaeda to stay relevant now is through a violent and spectacular attack. Although IS may eventually be a victim of its own success, the real victims will be the thousands of innocent Muslims and non-Muslims caught in the crossfire."
Hezbollah's Nasrallah said of Islamic State the group is a "monster that has come to devour the region's people," and he claimed that if Hezbollah had not participated in Syrian fighting the group would have reached Beirut. "If someone steps up to fight this monster… should they be thanked or condemned?" he asked rhetorically, attempting to defend Hezbollah's involvement in the Syrian conflict.
IS / ISIS / ISIL Identity, Aims and Objectives
ISIL - Originally known as Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (Levant refers to the whole region east of the Mediterranean)
ISIS - Widely referred to in the media as Islamic State of Iraq and Syria. (narrower scope)
IS - Recently calling themselves merely Islamic State.
Islamic Caliphate - sometimes used - referring to their stated long term objective.
IS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi broadly defines the group's ambitions as well as its enemies. The world, he says, now has divided into two camps, "the camp of Muslims and the mujahidin everywhere, and the camp of the Jews, the crusaders, their allies, and with them the rest of the nations and religions - all being led by America and Russia and mobilized by the Jews."
11 Reasons Why ISIS Might Be More Dangerous Than Al Qaeda
By Peter Brookes (bio) published on Political Mavens.com
ISIS is not just the terror group de jour. They are a hugely successful movement with an apocalyptic, nihilistic philosophy. When they say "convert, join us, or die", they not only mean it, but they follow through with horrific effect.
But let's look deeper. What else makes them such a real security threat, to Iraq, to the region, to the world ? Here are 11 reasons.
1. ISIS is more media sophisticated than al-Qaeda and excels in using social media as a tool of terrorism. The group's twitter and YouTube postings in English show that the West is often their target audience.
2. ISIS is flush with cash. ISIS' territorial control allows for consistent stream of funding, and they've developed an extensive extortion racket, as well as selling electricity and exporting oil and gas.
3. Because of ISIS rise to prominence, many al-Qaeda-linked groups are now pledging allegiance to al-Baghdadi's ISIS, including elements of al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), Ansar al-Dine (Tunisia) Boko Haram, and al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), giving ISIS access to a global network of terrorists.
4. ISIS controls territory the size of Maryland in the heart of the Arab world, which is important for a predominantly Arab revolutionary terrorist group. The al-Qaeda core group along the Afghanistan/Pakistan border controls no territory and is dependent on Afghan and Pakistani Islamist militants who act as hosts.
5. ISIS has evolved into a proto-state, with its own army, civil administration, judiciary and a sophisticated propaganda operation. Al-Qaeda core leaders are fugitives who are forced to live a clandestine existence under the constant threat of drone strikes or commando assaults.
6. ISIS is the most heavily-armed Islamist extremist group in history, having captured huge amounts of military weapons and equipment in Iraq and Syria.
7. ISIS is out-recruiting Al-Qaeda. It is estimated that 80 percent of the foreign militants that flock to Syria join ISIS, rather than al-Qaeda's franchise, the Al-Nusra Front. ISIS appears to have success with recruitment of Westerners as well.
8. The leader of ISIS, who goes by the nom de guerre of Abu-Bakr al-Baghdadi, is a charismatic leader who claims descent from the Prophet Mohammed. This will help recruit young, impressionable Muslims. He has much more personal appeal for young Muslim militants than Al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri, a dour and didactic theoretician.
9. ISIS is better placed to not only attract recruits from the Middle East, North Africa, Europe and the United States, but get them into the fight. It is much easier to travel across the dissolving borders of Iraq and Syria than it is to travel to Pakistan or Afghanistan.
10. ISIS has declared the rebirth of the Caliphate and the leader of ISIS has proclaimed himself to be Caliph Ibrahim.
11. ISIS is the richest terrorist group in history. It looted at least five banks in Iraq, including Mosul's central bank, which yielded more than $400 million dollars in gold and Iraqi currency. It controls oil fields in Syria and Iraq that generate income and it has pocketed millions of dollars in ransoms for hostages.
In summary, ISIS is an army, not just a terror group. ISIS is the biggest terror group ever. ISIS is actually established as a state, a caliphate at that, and it's richer than al-Qaeda. It holds more territory than al-Qaeda, it's drawing more recruits than al-Qaeda, and it's more brutal than al-Qaeda.
11 Rules for Journalists working in IS areas
ISIS Issues Rules for Journalists; Punishment for Violation is Crucifixion
Business Insider reported.
The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) has issued a list of rules that journalists must abide by on penalty of death,
The list of 11 rules start:
1. Correspondents must swear allegiance to the Caliph [Abu Bakr] al-Baghdadi . . . they are subjects of the Islamic State and, as subjects, they are obliged to swear loyalty to their imam.
2. Their work will be under the exclusive supervision of the [ISIS] media offices.
3. Journalists can work directly with international news agencies (such as Reuters, AFP and AP), but they are to avoid all international and local satellite TV channels. They are forbidden to provide any exclusive material or have any contact (sound or image) with them in any capacity.
The news website Syria Deeply, which first uncovered the rules, noted that independent journalists and other activists were threatened with crucifixion if they failed to abide by the rules. Even reporting on the existence of the rules themselves may be grounds for a death sentence.
This is not the first case in which a terrorist organization has attempted to control how the media reports on it. This summer, during Operation Protective Edge, Hamas released "guidelines" for how Palestinians should use social media, demanding that they not post photos of rockets being fired. The Foreign Press Association condemned Hamas for "blatant, incessant, forceful and unorthodox methods employed by the Hamas authorities and their representatives against visiting international journalists in Gaza,"
As it intensifies militarily, the Islamic State is also becoming a financial powerhouse, making millions from ransom paid by the West. - (United with Israel report)
The Islamic State terror group operating in Iraq and Syria has accumulated a vast sum of $35-45 million over the past year in ransom money, an expert on the issue told a UN commission this week.
Yotsna Lalji, a UN specialist monitoring al-Qaeda, told a meeting of the UN Security Council's Counter-Terrorism Committee that an estimated $120 million in ransom money was paid to terrorist groups around the world between 2004 and 2012.
Lalji further warned that this lucrative source of income for terror groups is on the rise, as is the number terror groups themselves. She said that terrorist groups operating in the Middle East, Asia and Africa have made kidnapping "the core al-Qaeda tactic for generating revenue."
AP quotes Lalji as saying that al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, which operates from Yemen, received $20 million in ransoms between 2011 and 2013, and al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, which operates in North Africa, received $75 million over the past four years.
She said that the Islamic al-Qaeda-linked extremist groups Boko Haram in Nigeria and al-Shabab in Somalia also "have collected millions of dollars over the past years," and the Abu Sayyaf militant group in the Philippines has received about $1.5 million in ransoms.
PressTV reports that many governments do pay ransom money in order to release their nationals kidnapped by terrorist groups. The U.S. says it will not change its position against paying ransom for American hostages.
Forbes Israel has ranked the Islamic State as the richest terror group in history, with $2 billion in annual revenues. Hamas came in second with a $1 billion yearly income.
"The financial power incurred by an organization like ISIS poses a threat to the Western states and to the moderate Arab countries," IDF Major-General (Res.) Giora Eiland told Forbes. "ISIS needs cooperation with other countries for its financial endeavors to succeed. ISIS, with all its accumulated financial assets, requires cooperation from a second party. Its oil, for instance, it sells to Turkey, so ultimately there is cooperation with it [ISIS], and that is disturbing."
by Raymond Ibrahim - FrontPage Magazine - February 17, 2015 - extracts
The disputed fate of the 21 Coptic Christians abducted in Sirte, Libya is now clear and visible for all to see on video: while holding them down, Islamic State members shove their fingers in the Christians' eyes, crane their heads back, and slice away at their throats with knives - all in the name of Allah and Islam, all as the slaughtered call out on the "Lord Jesus Christ." ......
In the video, the lead executioner waves his dagger at the camera while boasting of the Islamic State's savagery:
Oh people, recently you have seen us on the hills of as-Sham and Dabiq's plain [Syrian regions], chopping off the heads that have been carrying the cross for a long time. And today, we are on the south of Rome, on the land of Islam, Libya, sending another message.
He adds: "We will fight you until Christ descends, breaks the cross and kills the pig" (all eschatological actions ascribed to the Muslim "Christ," Isa). .......
Needless to say, such atrocities were unheard of under Gaddafi's "authoritarian" rule (just as they were unheard of in Saddam Hussein's Iraq, just as they were unheard of in Syrian regions formerly under Bashar Assad, etc.).
With all eyes on the Islamic State group’s onslaught in Iraq and Syria, a less conspicuous but potentially just as explosive front line with the extremists is emerging in Lebanon, where Lebanese soldiers and Shiite Hezbollah guerrillas are increasingly pulled into deadly fighting with the Sunni militants along the country’s border with Syria.
The US has been speeding up delivery of small ammunition to shore up Lebanon’s army, but recent cross-border attacks and beheading of Lebanese soldiers by Islamic State fighters — and the defection of four others to the extremists — has sent shockwaves across this Mediterranean country, eliciting fear of a potential slide into the kind of militant, sectarian violence afflicting both Syria and Iraq, and increasingly prompting minorities to take up arms.
According to a recent Gatestone Institute publication , the presence of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) has begun to grow in the Gaza Strip, with both the PA and Israel convinced that followers of ISIS in Gaza have been responsible for some of the rocket attacks on Israel.
Last month, the Israel Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center reported that Salafist-jihadi operatives in the Gaza Strip uploaded a video clip to YouTube on July 8, documenting several instances of rockets being launched at Israel. The video clip, entitled "The Salafist-jihadi [movement[ in the Gaza Strip - lovers of the Islamic state [i.e. ISIS] launches rockets at the Jews." The video showed at least 10 rockets being launched at Israel.
In addition, the Egyptian newspaper Al-Masry Al-Youm reported in late June that Egyptian security forces arrested 15 ISIS terrorists (known as 'Daash' in Arabic) who tried to infiltrate Sinai from the Gaza Strip. According to the report, the 15 who were arrested were instructed to begin the formation of an ISIS branch in Egypt among terrorist groups in the Sinai.
Hamas has dealt with expressions of ISIS support in the Strip strongly. Gatestone reports that ISIS followers organized a rally on June 12 to celebrate the military victories of the ISIS in Iraq, with Hamas policemen dispersing the Rafah rally in response. In addition, Hamas prevented local journalists from reporting the event "as part of its attempt to deny the existence of ISIS in the Gaza Strip."
Additionally, at a funeral for two terrorists that Israel killed for firing rockets at Israeli communities, on Sunday, June 29, the black ISIS flags were seen flying, and the terrorists' coffins were reportedly draped in ISIS flags according to a World Net Daily report.
Senior Obama administration officials have said, " Once the jihadi group turns its attention to the Hashemite kingdom, Jerusalem may be drawn into the fray, administration. Jordan may ask Israel and the United States to help it fight the al-Qaeda-linked jihadi group that threatens Syria and Iraq if it threatens Amman as well."
Some ISIL jihadists have already tweeted out photos and messages saying they have seized a key Jordanian town.
The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) which has taken control of large swaths of Iraqi and Syrian territory has reportedly moved forces to threaten Jordan as well, prompting Jordan's Armed Forces to deploy forces to the border region, even as troops loyal to the Baghdad regime have melted away from their posts on the Iraqi side of the border and ISIL has reportedly activated sleeper cells inside Jordan to prepare for an invasion. "The situation in Iraq and in particular on our eastern border with this country is a source of concern for everyone," MP Bassam Manaseer said. Meanwhile, the number of refugees fleeing into Jordan from Syria has increased sharply in recent days as ISIL pushes its attacks in that country. Elsewhere, the US and Iran have quietly taken steps to coordinate their response to the ISIL offensive.
Jordanian security forces reportedly arrested 50 Islamist activists in a sweep this week for their alleged support for the Islamic State (IS, formally ISIS) terror militia. The sweep brings to total number of suspected IS supporters in Jordan to 70 just this month, while Jordanian intelligence estimates another 1,600 of its citizens are fighting with IS in Syria and Iraq.
Elsewhere, the UN accused IS of war crimes in a recent report that also included an accusation that the Assad regime had used chlorine gas against its opponents in the three year conflict.
"Executions in public spaces have become a common spectacle on Fridays in Al Raqqa and ISIS-controlled areas of Aleppo governorate [province]," the report said. "Children have been present at the executions, which take the form of beheading or shooting in the head at close range... Bodies are placed on public display, often on crucifixes, for up to three days, serving as a warning to local residents."
Egypt - Sinai
Four Egyptian men were beheaded by a Sinai-based terror group for allegedly spying for Israel.
Notice the black flags again. Maybe not actually IS, but from the same root!
Members of the Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis said in a video released Thursday that they killed the men because they had been spying for Israel's Mossad agency. The video shows men in black masks beheading the accused collaborators as they kneeled on the ground, according to Reuters.
The terror group said that the men provided intelligence to Israel used in a July airstrike on northern Sinai, in which three Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis fighters were killed. The Egyptian army said at the time of the strike that no Israeli aircraft had been in Egyptian airspace. Two of the executed men served time in Israeli jails for smuggling, and two had said the Mossad had paid them for information, the group asserted in the video.
Stephanie Knizkov - Jerusalem Online
According to various horror scenarios, ISIS will succeed in establishing itself in Jordan or Syria and turn its aggression towards Israel. Experts we spoke with assess that this scenario is not likely. "It is very hard to assess the number of ISIS members, but according to estimates it numbers at between 10 to 15 thousand members,” explains the head of the terrorism project at the Institute for National Security Studies (INSS), Yoram Schweitzer. “It is an extremely aggressive organisation that acts violently also towards Muslims who do not accept its ideology, but it does not pose a threat to Israel."
One of the current indications for this is ISIS’s meagre presence near the Israeli border. “The concrete danger that ISIS does pose, is the evil militant spirit it is spreading, which can encourage other likeminded organisations,” said Schweitzer. “The moment ISIS will face a trained, united army, unlike the crumbling Iraqi army, it will be defeated. In my opinion, ISIS will not be able to establish itself in Jordan or Kuwait.”
This assessment is also heard amongst other experts in the field, who say that the influence ISIS is assumed to have on the balance of power in the Middle East is overrated. “ISIS has declared that Israel is not its target. Its intent is to establish itself in its country,” says Prof. Kais Firro, an expert on Lebanon and Syria from Haifa University. “The ISIS phenomenon will not change the balance of powers in the Middle East as it hopes, and the chances that it will be able to establish itself in Iraq or Syria are low. ISIS’s efforts are in establishing its status inwards, in the Muslim world.”
ISIS Pledge to Join the Palestinian Fight Against 'Barbaric Jews'
The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (Isis) has told the Palestinian people that it is "only a matter of time" before they reach Palestine to join the fight against "barbaric Jews". in a message released on an Isis-affiliated Twitter account.
"It is only matter of time and patience before it [Islamic State] reaches Palestine to fight the barbaric Jews and kill those of them hiding behind the gharqad trees - the trees of the Jews," the statement read.
The group said it would do "everything within its means" to continue the fight against any obstacle on the way to "Palestine", alluding to the Middle Eastern territory before the creation of the State of Israel in 1948.
"As for the massacres taking place in Gaza against the Muslim men, women and children, then the Islamic State will do everything within its means to continue striking down every apostate who stands as an obstacle on its paths towards Palestine," the group said.
The group and its "Caliph", Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, have faced criticism from some quarters for not coming to the aid of Palestinian civilians being killed in the Israeli Defense Forces' Operation Protective Edge in Gaza.
The comments issued was not to be taken lightly as the group do not offer "empty" words like other Arab nations who speak and do not act, the statement said. "It is not the manner of the Islamic State to throw empty, dry and hypocritical words of condemnation and condolences like the Arab tawaghit do in the UN and Arab League."
The radical jihadi ISIS , Islamic State, proclaimed itself an Islamic caliphate on June 29, claiming religious authority over all Muslims in the world, and having ushered in "a new era of international jihad."
Evidence Mounting That Turkey Is Behind ISIS Recruitment to Establish an Islamic Caliphate
By Shoebat Foundation Walid Shoebat
Several Middle Eastern media broke the news that unrest has sparked in Turkey with demonstrations erupting denouncing Erdogan after Turkish citizens captured ISIS operatives in Turkey in which Turkish security forces released the terrorists and attacked the civilians who turned them in:
This confirms what Shobeat.com reported as far back as March, that there are ISIS "training centers in Orfa, Ghazi Antab and Antakia (Antioch) set up by the Turkish government for more terrorists to be sent to Syria."
Confirming our findings, this week, the World Tribune discovered that "the government of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has acknowledged significant recruitment of Turkish nationals by Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant. Officials have told Turkey's parliament that at least 1,000 Turks were fighting with ISIL in Iraq and Syria.
Turkey has long been accused of tolerating ISIL as part of efforts to maintain the war in neighboring Syria. Opposition sources said Turkish intelligence facilitated the supply of fighters and weapons from Iran through Turkey and to Syria.
In Istanbul, Turkey a Caliphate nostalgia for the Ottoman Empire has been on the rise as of late. The Turkish newspaper Today's Zaman had this to say :
"Therefore it is no coincidence to observe that some of the followers of Erdogan believe he is a caliph who seeks to resurrect the Islamic Caliphate and the Ottoman Empire. It is no coincidence that Erdogan's target of "The Great Turkey" is intended to be completed in 2023 …"
But Erdogan's support of the ISIS is easy to explain, even though the ISIS declared a caliphate in southern Turkey which seems as a no threat to Erdogan. He is silent because he sees an opportunity since Turkey needs the ISIS to dismantle nationalistic governments then to later consume them to create its Sunni Axis and its Ottoman dream.
Turkey's master plan is to eventually sacrifice someone in its little ISIS pawn in order to declare itself as the supreme Caliphate taking all under its neo-Ottoman umbrella which will also include an alliance with Iran. Turkey's brilliant plan is that it needs the ISIS to dismantle the Levant while using wealthy Arabs who support ISIS to aid the Caliphate cause while using the very ISIS to even turn on the Arabs themselves. Turkey then will execute a plan using its non-Wahhabist Sufi version of Islam that is neutral towards Shiite Iran, to unite both Sunni and Shiite forces to finally bring about peace amongst Muslims in the region and by this self-fulfilling the Islamic view that a Mahdi will come and bring 7 years of peace after 7 years of turmoil. http://shoebat.com/2014/08/13/evidence-mounting-turkey-behind-isis-recruitment/
ISIL atrocities - Against Christians
Islamic terrorist group ISIS continues its effort to eradicate the Christian faith in Iraq, as reports come out of the nation's besieged Nineveh province of wholesale executions of believers, including crucifixions and the beheadings of children.
In July the terrorists overran the Nineveh capital of Mosul , which had had a strong Christian presence for over 1,700 years, prompting families who had lived there for generations to flee under threat of death. ISIS thugs systematically looted Christian homes and businesses in the city, desecrated cemeteries, destroyed the tombs of biblical prophets, ruined churches, and pulled down crosses, all in an effort to establish control and intimidate Christians and religious minorities throughout Iraq.
CNN reported that the community of Qaraqosh in Nineveh, identified as Iraq's largest Christian city, was overrun by ISIS terrorists August 7, prompting thousands of Christians to flee. Joseph Thomas, the archbishop of Iraq's Chaldean Christian group in Iraq, confirmed that "the towns of Qaraqosh, Tal Kayf, Bartella, and Karamlesh have been emptied of their original population and are now under the control of the militants."
Twenty miles southeast of Mosul, Qaraqosh is a historic Assyrian city of 50,000 people with a long-time, vibrant Chaldean Christian community, and many of those who were forced to flee Mosul took refuge in Qaraqosh. When ISIS terrorists invaded the city, both refugees and the community's Christian residents quickly fled north, as ISIS continued with its effort to create an Islamic caliphate taking in both Syria and Iraq.
The U.K.'s Telegraph newspaper reported that over 200,000 Iraqis have fled from Nineveh to the north as the ISIS campaign of murder and mayhem continues.
Chaldean Patriarch Louis Sako told AFP News that Iraqi Christians "have fled with nothing but their clothes, some of them on foot, to reach the Kurdistan region" - which borders Nineveh Province. He added that it was a "humanitarian disaster. The churches are occupied, their crosses were taken down," with out-of-control ISIS thugs burning as many as 1,500 ancient Christian manuscripts.
A resident of Tal Kayf, which has a significant Christian community along with members of the Shabak Shiite minority, said that the community fell with no resistance to the ISIS thugs. "I heard some gunshots last night and when I looked outside, I saw a military convoy from [ISIS]," the resident told the Telegraph. "They were shouting 'Allahu akbar' [Allah is greatest].'"
On the heels of the ISIS assault, some reports have placed the Christian population of Iraq, once estimated at approximately 1.5 million, at fewer than 200,000.
"Christianity in Mosul is dead, and a Christian holocaust is in our midst," said Mark Arabo, a Chaldean-American businessman living in California, in CNN in a televised interview . He warned that a "Christian genocide" is being conducted by ISIS. "Children are being beheaded, mothers are being raped and killed, and fathers are being [hanged]," he said. Arabo emphasized that ISIS terrorists "are systematically beheading children, and mothers and fathers. The world hasn't seen an evil like this for generations."
He related that "there's actually a park in Mosul where they beheaded children and put their heads on a stick.... They are doing the most horrendous, the most heart-breaking crimes that you can think of."
YouTube shows the truth - there are gruesome videos of heads on spikes, and many of live beheadings." One video shows an individual, apparently a Christian, "forced to say the Shahada 'there is no God but Allah and Muhammad is his Prophet,'" reported CNS News, "and then beheaded anyway." Warned the news site: "Don't Google these things unless you have a strong stomach."
Vicar Andrew White of Baghdad's St. George's Church, the only Anglican congregation in Iraq, reported on his Facebook page that he has seen "images too awful to show" of atrocities committed by ISIS. "The photo I was sent today was the most awful I have ever seen," he reported. "A family of 8 all shot through the face laying in a pool of blood with their Bible open on the couch. They would not convert; it cost them their life. I thought of asking if anybody wanted to see the picture but it is just too awful to show to anybody. This is Iraq today."
In an article posted July 31 on the Anglican Communion News Service , White noted that ISIS had boasted: "We can do anything now the world is just looking at Gaza." It is as if hell has broken out here and nobody cares."
The West suddenly took notice when American Journalist James Foley was beheaded and the video of the murder was posted on You Tube. The Jihadi murderer came from Britain.
Mohammed Emwazi was a British Arab - Born: 17/08/88 in Kuwait - Died: 12/11/15, in Syria
Horrific though this is, it is no more horrific than all the previous beheadings carried out by IS jihadists upon Iraquis and Syrians - including Christians.
Perhaps the West is starting to see that the evil of IS must be confronted, unless we choose to capitulate to the threat attached to this murder, that more such atrocities will follow unless US (western) strikes against IS are halted.
This is what terrorists do and what terrorism is all about!
In addition to the assault on Christians, Fox News reported that ISIS had also besieged the northwestern Iraqi village of Sinjar, "forcing tens of thousands of people from the ancient Yazidi minority to flee into the mountains and the Kurdish region." Reports from experts on the ground estimated that between 35,000 and 50,000 had fled to nearby Mount Sinjar and other areas, with armed ISIS terrorists in pursuit.
When relief came, it appeared that the journalists had exaggerated the scale of this particular problem.
Islamic State militants have killed 500 members of the Yazidi ethnic minority, including some women and children who were buried alive, Iraq's human rights minister said on Sunday. Mohammed Shia al-Sudani told Reuters that another 300 women were kidnapped and forced into slavery as the Sunni jihadist fighters rampaged across the north of the country.
The plight of the Yazidis, thousands of whom have managed to escape into Kurdish-held territory in northern Iraq, prompted an international outcry.
ISIS's cruelty could be its downfall
The West may have reason to take no immediate action, says Fahad Nazer, terrorism analyst with JTG Inc. "Unlike other al Qaeda branches, ISIS doesn't seem eager to attack the West. It has too much to lose.
"While the West has never been comfortable with Hamas in Gaza or Hezbollah in Lebanon, it has largely left it up to the countries of the wider Middle East to deal with these militant, Islamist organizations," he writes.
Also, "The West may find solace in the fact that ISIS has many enemies in the Arab and Muslim worlds," Nazer writes. And with so many groups suffering from its persecution and terror, such "violent ideology and brutality makes its endurance over the long-term unlikely."
There's also the possibility that al Qaeda and ISIS will fight each other so heavily that they inflict casualties and weaken each other.
"Several Obama administration officials have told us that our national security is at risk from ISIS," adds Elliott Abrams, who served as deputy national security adviser under President George W. Bush.
ISIS Cruelty is not just religious; it is drug fuelled
From an article by
BY 21WIRE - OCTOBER 30, 2015
It's the untold and often hidden history that underpins many of today's proxy wars, conflicts and the horrific activities of death squads the world over.
The strategic dispensing of narcotics in the military theatre and in guerrilla warfare is more common than many people realize. In many cases this is the X-factor that fuels the mayhem and terrorizes vulnerable bystanders on the ground.
Examples of the narco-guerrilla warfare phenomenon are numerous and well-documented. A UNICEF report explains:
"Children are often deliberately brutalized in order to harden them into more ruthless soldiers. In some conflicts, children have been forced to commit atrocities against their own families. In Sierra Leone, for example, the Revolutionary United Front forced captured children to take part in the torture and execution of their own relatives, after which they were led to neighbouring villages to repeat the slaughter. Elsewhere, before battle young soldiers have been given amphetamines, tranquillizers and other drugs to "increase their courage" and to dull their sensitivity to pain."
Drugs are also coupled with sexual exploitation in order to help war planners retain cadres of militant recruits.
the result is almost always the same: the most brutal death squads imaginable. The terrorist wave taking place in Iraq and Syria is no different. The drug of choice for ISIS and other CIA-backed terrorist confabs like Al Nusra Front, seem to be an amphetamine called Captagon.
Because of Turkey's "look the other way" policy, northern Syria border cities like Kobani and Raqqa serve as major international Heroin and Captagon smuggling corridors. Kurdish gangs are also a key link in the chain, helping ferry narcotics to lucrative European markets.
Last year, 21WIRE also covered possible links between Dutch organized criminal gangs and Kurdish operations in northern Syria. The Gulf States, full of wealthy, non-working, disaffected youth, are also a growing drug consumer market.
The following analysis by Burning Blogger of Bedlam is one of the best compilations we have seen to date on this subject . . .
The Drug-Smuggling Saudi Prince: And the Story of Captagon, NATO, ISIS, Libya/Syria & the Nazis…
So here's a question: who remember's Gaddafi's claim back in 2011 that the jihadists and NATO-backed 'rebels' fighting to overthrow his government were feeding young Libyan men hallucinogenic drugs to fuel their violent activity?
"Bribed, drugged, and supporting the Devil…" was one of the late Gaddafi's more colourful descriptions of the armed gangs that were terrorising the Libyan people in early 2011.
Based on subsequent evidence, that seems a rather pertinent description; and all the media commentators and journalists who made fun of him for saying it are now the ones with egg on their face. The utter absence of proper, investigative journalism or fact-finding in regard to Libya in 2011 was utterly astounding.
Police in Lebanon had arrested a Saudi prince (identified by the media as Abdel Mohsen Bin Walid Bin Abdulaziz), on allegations he was attempting to smuggle two tonnes of amphetamines on his private jet, simply reinforced the reality that much of the rabid, ultra-violent jihadism we've seen from 2011 onwards has been linked to illegal drugs.
Mainstream media commentators and journalists laughed at Gaddafi in 2011, dismissing his claims as the delusions or lies of an old man trying to cling to power. Yet evidence has since emerged from the fighting in Syria that many Syrian (and foreign) rebels were fueled by illicit substances. Syrian rebels have been captured and video-recorded clearly in drug-induced frenzies and altered states.
'Captagon', an amphetamine and psycho-stimulant said to be widely used in the Middle East but mostly unknown elsewhere, was reported to be keeping fighters (in Syria) on their feet during grueling battles and generating money for more weapons. As this video attested, evidence was starting to emerge that the brutal conflict in Syria, despite having various causes, was also being fueled by both the export and *consumption* of rapidly increasing quantities of illegal drugs. Again, footage exists on-line of various Islamist militants, including Al-Qaeda, in Syria or Iraq where they are noticeably deranged: their behaviour and their mannerisms are visibly a type of 'mania'.
Remember Abu Sakkar, the crazed Syrian rebel who was filmed ripping the heart out of a Syrian soldier and eating it? Reminiscent, it has to be said, of the 'Libyan rebels' who publicly tore out the internal organs of Libyan army soldiers in Misrata early in the 2011 uprising.
This page is not including suggestions about who is sourcing these drugs, but those wishing to see more should seek out the 21Wire page.
If true, these accusations would provide a very different context to some of the more inhuman, shocking behaviour of jihadists and extremists; including mass beheadings or, for example, the setting alight of the Jordanian pilot or even the sadistic rape and murder of Gaddafi himself in October 2011.
These substances and their proliferation would have, in all likelihood, been intended to create manic behaviour and possibly increased susceptibility to following morally-questionable orders.
It seems possible that some of the particularly barbaric crimes were being committed by people on these substances; though in truth many of those involved in the armed uprisings in Libya and Syria were simply brutal people anyway, as is the nature of most Salafist groups and is certainly the nature of Al-Qaeda.
But considering how many of those who's blood-lust was deliberately amplified and utilised for the purposes of the bloody revolutions in Libya and Syria then subsequently would've joined ISIL/Daesh either in Syria, Iraq or Libya, it tends to beg the question of whether ISIL itself owes more to drug-induced mania than it does to religious ideas. In truth, probably an ugly and distinctly unholy mixture of both.
This element of 'Captagon' in the violent jihadism from 2011 onwards (and, in turn, in the rise of ISIL/Daesh) is interesting for another reason too.
You will have heard numerous people over the last year or so compare ISIS to the Nazis or the SS in terms of their brutality and their fascistic ideology, right? Well, a German author and researcher, Norman Ohler, recently published a book in which he revealed a new dimension to the rise of the Nazis: specifically that Hitler's armies had carried out their "Blitzkrieg" invasions of Poland and France while high on a version of crystal meth which kept them wide awake, feeling euphoric and invincible.
Norman Ohler reveals the key strategic role of the methamphetamine-based drug, manufactured from 1937 onwards by the Nazis under the brand name of "Pervitin" and distributed among the Nazi armed forces. According to these findings, based on months of research at military archives in Germany and the United States, the Nazi leadership was well aware of Pervitin's value as stimulant during combat. After having tried it in 1939 during the invasion of Poland, the German army subsequently ordered 35 million tablets of Pervitin for soldiers before advancing on France in the spring of 1940.
This invasion of France shocked the world at the time. In just four days, the radicalised and zealous Nazi forces had captured more French territory than German troops had managed to secure in four years of the First World War. 'Pervitin', it is now claimed, helped the invading Nazis stay awake, keep going and, apparently, "feel great".
It's true to say that ISIL/Daesh's 'lightning' capturing of key Iraqi cities last year also 'shocked the world' in precisely the same way and was considered by most neutral observers as having been unprecedented.
Mr Ohler of course draws no parallels between the Nazis and ISIS; his research is purely historical. But when I saw this story, it was immediately obvious to me that there's a clear parallel. And given that the rise of the so-called 'Islamic State' has certainly been a cynically manufactured event for geo-political purposes, I tend to wonder if knowledge of how the Nazi soldiers proved so effective early on has been used as a blueprint of sorts for the early successes of the ISIL/Daesh terrorists and Islamo-Fascists. The question being frequently asked last year of why the various Iraqi forces had been defeated 'so quickly' by the marauding ISIL hordes perhaps is a little easier to answer when we consider that those under-equipped and unprepared units found themselves under attack from hordes of insanely zealous jihadists who here high on psycho-stimulants, feeling utterly invincible and who were already known to be barbaric.
The drug-induced feelings of invincibility, as with Hitler's troops and their lightning invasions, would also explain how these gangs of maniacs have been able to defeat the non-drug-taking Syrian Army and, earlier, the overwhelmed Libyan army soldiers.
The Burning Blogger of Bedlam is Independent journalist, culture lover, student of history and professional pariah and troublemaker, stranded in the 21st century and plummeting the depths of various aspects of our culture, politics, art, the controversial and the weird. Also a writer, a musician and songwriter and part-time freelance, involuntary human being.
Saudi Paper: It's Not the Arab-Israeli Conflict Any More
An op-ed published in the Saudi owned, London-based newspaper Asharq al-Awsat argued that the Middle East conflict once known as the "Arab-Israel" conflict has shifted so much that it needs to be recast as one between Israel along with moderate Arab regimes, on the one hand, and extremist regimes, terror groups and their backers, on the other. The "current conflict looks like an Israel/Hamas-Turkey-Iran-Qatar one, with the rest of the Arab world's support existing only on Twitter and other social media forums."
Mamoun Fandy, a senior fellow at the Baker Institute, observes: The conflict in now regionalized at the geopolitical level, with Iran and Turkey directly involved through their backing Hezbollah and Hamas respectively. The conflict has also become religious in nature rather than ethnic, especially after the Israeli government insisted on the Jewish identity of their state. The conflict has also become more sectarian on the Arab side due to the new rift within Islam between Shi'ite and Sunni Muslims.
The involvement of moderate Sunni Arab states is one of nothing more than providing a forum for negotiation between Israel and the Palestinians in Cairo, or in the case of the Gulf states, providing aid for reconstructing Gaza or southern Lebanon.
Fandy sees the current dynamic as possibly providing an opportunity for a peace deal between Israel and much of the Arab world.
Last week, Jonathan Schanzer of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies identified how Qatar and Turkey's behavior alienated Israel, the Palestinians and much of the Arab world.
Others in the Arab world, particularly the traditional monarchies that seek to counter the destabilizing influence of the Muslim Brotherhood, are equally furious about the role Qatar and Turkey are playing in the cease-fire negotiations. As Newsweek reported, "Officials from … Saudi Arabia and Jordan, to name a few interested parties, watched with astonishment over the weekend as Kerry engaged in Paris with … the foreign ministers of Qatar and Turkey." Israel's left-leaning Haaretz also noted that the elevation of Qatar and Turkey constituted a "slap on the face" to these regional powers.
Egypt was also irked. The government of President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi overthrew the Turkey- and Qatar-backed Muslim Brotherhood President Mohammed Morsi last year. The new regime sees Hamas, which was formed as a splinter of the Brotherhood in 1987, as an extension of their ideological foe. The Sisi government was apparently so angry at the inclusion of Qatar and Turkey in the Paris talks that it refused to send its foreign minister, Sameh Shukri. Shukri recently accused Turkey and Qatar of attempting to "thwart" Egypt's efforts to broker an end to the conflict.
With the Middle East roiled by the aggressiveness of radical Sunni Islamists such as Hamas and ISIS, and the growing projection of Shi'ite Iran's military power, the Gulf states, led by Saudi Arabia, are finding themselves sharing interests with Israel. How close the tacit cooperation with Israel gets will likely be the result of how great a threat to their stability the moderate Arab states feel.
Tribal / denominational roots of the crisis
Across Time and Death: Iran and the ISIS Challenge
Lt. Col. (ret.) Michael Segall, August 18, 2014
The Middle East's haunted past keeps casting a dark shadow over the region's future, threatening to return the region to the basic components that existed before the interventions of the Persian, Ottoman, and later, Western powers. Intervention reached its apogee with the drawing of artificial borders about a century ago in the European-designed Sikes-Picot Agreement. The new Arab nation-states failed to create a national civic identity transcending tribal and sectarian divisions, and continued to be governed, if covertly, along traditional tribal lines.
The Price of Neglect
Nouri al-Maliki, the former Shiite prime minister of Iraq who has close ties with Iran, has now paid the price for his long neglect and abuse of the Sunnis and for turning the Iraqi army from a professional body into a corrupt one where appointments were made based on personal connections or on a sectarian basis. On Tehran's advice, al-Maliki did not maintain dialogue with the Sunni tribes, and he forcefully repressed the Sunni protests that sometimes arose against his corrupt rule. Ties with the leaders of the Sunni tribes and the forces loyal to them, the Sahwat, were a main component of U.S. strategy in 2011 in the war against ISI - that was linked with Al-Qaeda, which, in turn, had by then lost most of its standing in Iraq. Although it took the United States a long time to understand the importance of the Iraqi network of tribal alliances and connections, once it did so it was able to eradicate Al-Qaeda from Iraq almost completely.
In satisfying his desire for revenge against the Sunni regime of Saddam Hussein, al-Maliki managed to destroy the special and delicate fabric of trust with the heads of the Sunni tribes that the Americans had built up with great effort. For these tribes, al-Maliki's conduct re-ignited the flames of sectarian hatred. He also dismantled the Sahwat militias instead of integrating them into the army, stripped the Sunnis of all significant political influence, and at the end of 2013 harshly repressed their protest in Ramadi and Fallujah.
All this led the embittered Sunnis into the arms of ISIS. The ongoing civil war in Syria opened a new window of opportunity for ISIS as it deployed its forces there, indeed to the detriment of Al-Qaeda. Meanwhile, in Iraq, al-Maliki's tyrannical rule and alienation of the Sunnis, including the remnants of the Baath regime, gave ISIS an opportunity to return to the country on a large scale.
It appears, however, that one of the main dangers stemming from ISIS's expansion and activities is the spread of global terror beyond the borders of Iraq and Syria. Iran, too, is a target. Radical Islamic organizations throughout the Arab world (for instance, in Libya and Tunisia) have already expressed support for ISIS' activity. In Ma'an in southern Jordan, such organizations have even staged demonstrations extolling ISIS and its recent triumphs in Iraq. The demonstrators flaunted black ISIS flags and banners proclaiming, " Ma'an - Fallujah of Jordan."
ISIS's successes will likely bolster radical Islamic elements in moderate Arab countries such as Tunisia, where a slow, cautious democratic process has been in place since Ennahda, the local branch of the Muslim Brotherhood, agreed to relinquish powers so as to facilitate that process. ISIS is also a melting pot for jihadists from the Western world, and their return to their countries of origin not only increases the risk of radicalization among Muslim communities but also the possibility of appalling terror attacks and suicide bombings not unlike the scenes of horror emanating from Iraq and Syria.
More generally, Iran sees the expansion of ISIS's activity and influence as a threat to its national security. The front line Iran has drawn in Lebanon and Syria is contracting, and the defensive lines Hizbullah has laid down in Syria, at Iran's behest, against the infiltration of Lebanon by Al-Qaeda and ISIS elements have also been breached. Today Iran is already contending on its eastern border with the Sunni Jundallah organization, which has carried out attacks and kidnappings against IRGC forces in Iranian territory. And now Iran faces a new, determined, and experienced Sunni foe on its northwestern border, which also includes elements of the hated Baath that Iran remembers well from the days of the Iran-Iraq War. All this is occurring while Iran continues to fight the Kurdish opposition in these areas.
What to do ?
Analysts: West must arm Kurds
"The world now faces two urgent challenges: to prevent the genocide of the Yazidis and to stop ISIS from continuing to conquer swaths of the Middle East,"
The Iraqi Kurdish army, known as the Peshmerga, has fought ISIS but is "outgunned," partly because the Iraqi army dropped its weapons "and fled when ISIS rolled in from Syria and captured Mosul,"
Should the United States to help arm the Kurds against ISIS. The United States has been reluctant to do so, wary that the Kurds will try to break off from Iraq and build a separate state at a time Washington is trying to bolster a central Iraqi government in Baghdad.
On Wednesday, the Iraqi air force struck a building Mosul believed to be used by ISIS, killing 76 people, an Iraqi official told CNN. But local officials said dozens of those killed were actually civilians who had opposed the Islamic State. (echoes of Gaza?)
Remember - if we had armed the opposition to Syria's dictator, Assad, those arms would now be in the Hands of ISIL. Our enemy's enemy is not necessarily our friend.
Analyst: Build a U.S. base
Michael Rubin, a former Pentagon official who focuses on Arab politics and terrorism, disagrees on both fronts.
Among Kurds in Iraq, there's a danger: "Kurdish leadership is just as permeated by, and just as close in terms of a working relationship with, the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps" -- Iran's elite force. "In the past, the Kurds have leaked intelligence to the Iranians -- and they could presumably leak weaponry." The Peshmerga is also not as competent as its popular image suggests Rubin says.
He wants the United States to accept an offer from the Massoud Barzani, head of the Kurdistan Regional Government, to set up a base in Kurdistan. President Barack Obama has made clear "there are no American military solutions to the problems in Iraq. We can't solve these problems for them. These problems can only be solved with Iraqi political solutions." Obama says any U.S. military action in Iraq would not include boots on the ground.
Allow Kurdistan to become a state rather than just a region?
Some interesting information that did not come from the BBC; or any other media.
The Kurdistan region of Iraq is the one success story of the earlier Gulf Wars.
Refugees poured into Kurdistan - a safe haven from the conflict.
Kurdistan is a Muslim country, but it is the only Islamic state in which conversion from Islam is not the capital offence of apostasy and converts are protected from persecution.
Evangelical missionary organisations are welcome and encouraged to go in to help the refugee crisis and to preach the Christian Gospel. Information from World Compassion, led by Dr Terry Law. (support here )
In Kurdistan, if you ask someone whether he is Sunni or Shia, he will tell you, "I am a kurd." Kurdish Pashtun are the best fighters in the Middle East, after Israel. The DNA of the Pashtun is so closely related to the DNA of the Israeli Jews that it seems highly likely they are from one of the "lost tribes"
OR - maybe this is correct
Prophetic implications; the Kurds, known as the Medes in the Bible, seize oil-rich region of Iraq. What does this mean?
from Joel C Rosenberg - includes a map.
Reports out of Iraq indicate that in the wake of battles between the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) terror militia and its enemies, many of the country's Christians have been turned into internal refugees, fleeing south to Baghdad and east into the Kurdish controlled areas around the city of Kirkuk. The city of Mosul, the capital of Nineveh province, formally contained one of the largest remaining segments of Iraq's ancient Chaldean Christian community, but the ISIL have targeted this group along with Shi'ite Moslems as part of a campaign to purge the areas under their control of "apostates" which has included mass executions of Shi'ite prisoners and execution by crucifixion of Christian leaders.